I walked in, knowing I’d like it. I’d heard too much praise from Napa friends of mine. But I needed to see for myself. Loved the enclosed, but still cozy, not at all crushed flavor of the space. As soon as I selected a seat at the bar, Steve, a partial owner, greeted, poured. This is the guy you want pouring for you. Funny, knowledgable. A wine guy, loving Italian varietals. What’s not to like? And, he had my ever favorite beer, Racer 5. Not even identifying mySelf as one from the industry, he poured me a taste of one of his favorites, a 2007 Aglianico del Vulture. What a generously hospitable motion, first of all. But, just as rattling as the pourer's generosity, a remarkably gripping wine. Aggressively subdued and graceful in flavor delivery. Symphonic, smooth, but tenacious.
Hungry, so I asked Steve what I should have in way of starters. He suggested fries. “Fries?” I thought? Nothing fancier? “Fine,” I thought. I accepted. Forever glad I did. These were fancy, ferociously flavorful fries. Crispy, as I always need them to be, plus topped with a drizzle of cheese. Beyond satisfying. I’m a slow eater anyway, but with these little quaintly adorned spuds, I was a satisfied slug. I was then poured a little preview of a sparkling wine that, I was told, would be available during summer. Or more elevated temperatures. I’ll be there many days till. And after. So this wouldn’t be the last I’d of this sip. Watched the game for a few minutes. Relaxed. This is the perfect place to have by the office. Glad it’s by mine.
Another 2nd home for me, in my beloved zone of Napa’s downtown. This scenic sanctuary, scored, by me. Chill crowd, which was an image, sentiment, that with me stuck the entire journey back to Sonoma County. Napa’s downtown is enough a hook to provoke even the most stubborn of loyals to switch sides. I just might, one day. Soon. I may seize my day, Carpe Diem has me further postulating. All from the walls’ and furniture’s colors, the wine, Racer 5, fries, to the arranged manner of bottles on the wall. Steve, his masterful staff, can expect me there again. Sipping, snapping sequential stills, unwinding after shift. Before long, my Napans’ll say, “Mike: Never far be him from Carpe Diem.” Sip, sip ...