Have you seen the new BBC series Life? It's pretty amazing. I was watching a segment last night about African fruit bats that travel thousands of miles to eat the perfect mango. At a certain time of year, these mangoes ripen in a forest in Zambia. The bats start flying from their small swamps and groves, to gather in hordes and eat. Over ten million bats travel all this way just a specific type of food. They gorge themselves for several weeks and then fly back home, satiated for the time being. So I don't feel so bad traveling three hours for an amazing meal. The Boonville Hotel is situated in a small town in Mendocino County, surrounded by farms and wineries. I read about it several years ago in a book about food, and saw it mentioned many times since then in blogs and articles. So, I formed a trip around the fact that I needed to eat there. We went. We ate. We are still recovering.
We started with tiny, chilled glasses of Rose wine and a plate of antipasta: prosciutto, cheese, toasted bread and olives. Next course was a salad of greens with tiny pieces of almonds throughout the leaves, topped with blue cheese dressing. I happily would have drowned myself in the main course, Coq Co Vin, which was served with thick homemade noodles. The chicken marinated for over 24 hours, and basically melted into the sauce. I can't even believe how good it was, and sitting here, two days later, I'm still kind of reeling. The icing on the cake, literally, was the dessert - lemon buttermilk cake with strawberries and cream. Definitley worth the trip. Maybe those bats are onto something.