On Saturday, I spent a day in beautiful downtown Napa with Jonna. We started at Copia, where she'd signed us up for a cocktail class.
Copia originally opened in 2001 as a food and wine museum. I loved it. Food + museum = so very Cindy! I went 5 or 6 times before it shut down in 2008. It remained vacant until 2015, when the Culinary Institute of America bought the property. It now houses the CIA's Food Business School and offers classes, shopping, and dining opportunities to the public.
Obviously, I had to pose with the fork. Appropriately, it's made from forks.
The grounds at Copia are beautiful.
Their gardens, which provide some of the produce used on site, are recovering post-pandemic, when Copia shut down.
We enjoyed the Chuck Williams Culinary Art Museum (which you can visit for free, even if you're not registered for a class). Williams, of Williams-Sonoma fame, collected a huge amount of culinary tools, specialty cookware, and other food-related items, more than 4000 of which are displayed at Copia.
He must have liked rabbits. They were all over the place.
I really enjoyed this exhibit on spices, which is part of Copia's 3-D Dining Experience.
I was perplexed by the Candy Cap Sugar, sold in the Marketplace. I'm not a fan of mushrooms, so I didn't buy it, but my curiosity is piqued for sure.
Our class, Seasonal Cocktails From the Garden: Getting Ready For Summer, took place in the theater.
During the 90 minute class, we learned how to make vermouth and use it for a fresh spring cocktail, how to put a spring twist on a negroni, how to make an herbal infusion for a whiskey sour, and the recipe for the ultimate margarita. And, of course, sampled each. Our instructor had so much information to share that she had a hard time squeezing it all in.
We walked next door to Oxbow Public Market for lunch.
There are a lot of tempting options there. We eventually settled on Live Fire Pizza. It was sooo good. We shared two pizzas and the AMAZING gnocco fritto. It was enough food for us to stuff ourselves at lunch and still have plenty leftover for dinner.
Both pizzas were fantastic, but the Asparagus Pizza on the left was so unique I have to tell you about it. It has expected items, like onions, prosciutto, goat cheese, and mozzarella, but this was the first time I've ever had lemons on a pizza. Actual slices of lemon, with the peel, baked on the pizza.
Copia and the Oxbow Market back to the Napa River. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed a long walk along the river.
If you've never spent time in the city of Napa, go, particularly if you love food as much as I do. Obviously, Napa is famous for its wine, but it should be equally famous for its cuisine. There is so much to see and do in Napa. I love that we live so close.
Thanks again, Jonna, for a fantastic day!