La Toque, Westin Verasa, Napa CA
Welcome to the Napa Truffle Festival! Today was the first of four days of meals, excursions, seminars, and meeting professionals in the field. This evening was registration and reception for guests who will be participating in all the events of the weekend.
We arrived at the well-appointed Westin Verasa where most of the meals, seminars, and meet-and-greets are happening. The reception consisted of wine tasting and truffled appetizers in Ken Frank’s La Toque. There were lots and lots of wine from various purveyors, but the appetizers, although tasty, were limited.
The truffled leeks with a scallop was August’s favorite (she has always loved scallops, she calls them “marshmallows of the sea”).
The mousse was delicious yet it was difficult to eat out of the spoon, so it was awkward for all the guests to lick their spoons clean, but at least everyone was doing it together.
Starting with a crisp and buttery crustini topped with nutty and smooth duck liver mouse, and garnished with a black truffle slice, these little morsels were flavor and texture stacked on top of each other.
The only warm appetizer was Zach’s favorite, the ravioli. There was a rich truffle and goat cheese filling served with a savory butter sauce and topped with even more black truffle shavings. He says it was an “action packed bite!”
This evening was a wonderful start to the long truffle-filled weekend. It was a pleasure meeting so many inspired restauranteurs and others in the business, and we can’t wait to share more with you tomorrow!