The Best Thing I Ever Ate!

Some of you may be familiar with a Food Network show called The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Well, last night, I had the best thing I ever ate. Seriously.

We were invited by some good friends to go to Francis Ford Coppola’s restaurant Rustic at the new-ish winery in Geyserville. A restaurant at a winery? Yup. First of all, this place is high-class. From the gravel driveway to the fixtures and displays the winery just exudes posh-ness. Some places have tried this kind of extravagance and failed. If not done with class and style, it can quickly turn into a cheap Disneyland.

With the kids safely hanging out for the night at my in-laws house, we headed out for our 8:15 dinner reservation.

We arrived early and enjoyed a drink at the stylish bar….

My Makers Mark Manhattan was very tasty.

Love this diagram on what parts of the cow go with what wine….

Of course, we brought along our own wine. Our friends contributed a 2008 Bella Lily Hill Zinfandel – a great way to start out the evening….

I dove into our cellar and pulled out an unlabeled 2005 Louis Martini Lot 1. This Cabernet based wine called out for steak. And usually I’m not a traditional steak / Cabernet pairing person, but this wine was perfect for it. More on that in a moment.

Sitting on the table when we sat down were these circles of yummy doughy goodness….

I’m still not sure exactly what they were, but I could have probably eaten at least a dozen of them.

So, when we (my friend and I, not my vegetarian wife) looked at the menu and then contemplated the Louis Martini wine, we knew there was only one choice that would be perfect….

Classic Fiorentina Steak. What? A Porterhouse. Oh, yeah. Of course. Oh wait, not just any Porterhouse, but a 32 ounce monster that’s been dry-aged for 30 days then cooked to medium-rare perfection. A Porterhouse is a New York on one side of the bone and a Filet on the other side. This piece of meat is so big it’s labeled as a steak (for two)….

The steak had so much flavor and texture that I couldn’t believe it was only seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil. I’m no “foodie”, but I’ve had some memorable meals over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I love food, but simple food with lots of flavor. Not the fru, fru stuff with things in it I haven’t ever heard of. At first I was thinking about how this ranked right up there with the Filet Mignon from the Ahwahnee Hotel or the fish I had on my 30th birthday on our Celebrity Cruise. But then it hit me. This is the most amazing thing I have ever eaten. It was so rich, decadent and meaty and juicy. I just couldn’t get over it. I’m still drooling a little. It came with no sides (we did order a side of veggies) and it didn’t need it. It was a meal in itself.

That’s me, gnawing on the bone. I couldn’t resist!

In addition to all this, the four of us each ordered a dessert. My favorites were the chocolate mousse….

And the Italia’s Cream Puffs….


This meal is one I won’t forget. Probably ever. And all of it happened at a winery. Who knew? I highly recommend going for a visit. I know I’ll be going back as soon as I can.


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