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Jim’s Napa Blog2018-10-26T16:56:30+00:00

Jim’s Napa Blog

Angele Restaurant: California cuisine meets French inspiration

A twenty minute walk from The Inn On First (won't feel so long as you wind around the river path or enjoy window shopping along First Street and Main Street), is a lovely, very romantic restaurant, Angele(pronounce Awn-jell).  Named after her French grandmother, the owner, Bettina, provides a lovely ambience to enjoy a clean, quiet environment with beautiful food. The menu changes seasonally which is what locals love, and rather than being strictly french, she brings french accents to the dishes without overwhelming you with cream and butter.  Fresh summer tomato salad with homemade ricotta, fried deviled eggs, and classic [...]

By |September 8th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|

The Corner Restaurant: upscale American food

Twice within a month friends came into town and both times they chose The Corner as the restaurant of destination.  Only a fifteen minute walk from The Inn On First, a Napa Valley luxury bed and breakfast. The Corner provides a hip, casual atmosphere with an uptick in scale on the food.  They take great American classics and make them into something wonderfully delicious and fun. Garden Beets with Candied Pecans, oh my.  Pork Belly with Peach Mostarde, mm-mm good.  Foie Gras with Pistachio Butter on Brioche, a slice of heaven.  For main courses, they provide enough choices for meat [...]

1313 Main: Knocked my socks off with food flavor and presentation

Only a 15 minute walk from The Inn On First, a romantic Napa bed and breakfast inn, 1313 Main opened initially as a wine bar and later morphed into a restaurant.  Elements of the wine bar still exist as you enter the space, but really the restaurant is the shining star. The menu is broad (such as frog legs, wagyu beef) and yet the basics are there as well (beef rib, roasted chicken, fresh fish).   The chef accommodates all food issues and easily presents great flavor and stylish presentation even for vegans.  You will find delicacies such as Peach Gaspacho, [...]

I’m a Vegan-Cheater

As a chef it is a funny thing to state you are eating vegan.  People look at me strangely, wonder if I am okay, and when invited over to their homes are wondering if I will be satisfied without a piece of meat on my plate.  That's okay.  This was my reaction to most vegans who came into my life. Over the course of the past ten years I have worked with many vegans here at the inn, all of whom have given me ideas and assistance on what could and would make a nourishing breakfast without eggs or meat [...]

By |July 10th, 2017|Categories: bed and breakfast, bed and breakfast inn, jim and jamie, jim gunther, napa|

The French Laundry has changed how they take reservations…plan for Sep/Oct right now!

The French Laundry, acclaimed chef Thomas Keller's premier restaurant in the Napa Valley featuring a 9-course, 3-hour culinary adventure., has changed the procedure for making reservations.  They no longer take phone reservations. To obtain a reservation, you must use their reservation page on their website.  They open reservations on the 1st day of every odd month (Jan, Mar, May, July, Sep, Nov) at 10:00 am PST.  For example, on July 1st, at 10 am PST, they will take reservations for September and October. Website Jacket required.  Current cost is $310. Is it worth it? Is food fuel or pleasure to you? [...]

It is here: The Inn On First Cookbook is available to purchase

Ten years in the making, tested and edited by a diligent crew of people who have loved and supported me.  With more than 380 pages there are  90+ breakfast recipes available for you to make at home.  Over 200 recipes total for you to play with in your kitchen.  From basics like homemade granola, date nut rolls, and chocolate chunk cookies, to more innovative creations like the corndog omelet, homemade egg noodles, and bacon-stuffed steamed buns.  This is a softbound copy, 8.5" x 11" format, available in black and white or full color.  For digital subscribers, you can order the digital [...]

By |April 5th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|

2017 and The Inn On First

What new things are coming to The Inn On First for this year. As the best Napa Valley bed and breakfast inn, new breakfasts, of course!  I've just completed testing on a new recipe for a Prosciutto-Ricotta Cake with Poached Eggs, what I will call Cindy's Ricotta Cake (as it was a guest, Cindy Weatherman, who gave me the idea for the breakfast).  It has opened up a realm of new possibilities in terms of flavor profiles: Italian style (with parmesan, prosciutto, served with basil oil and topped with honey roasted tomatoes), Mexican style (with pepper jack cheese, chorizo sausage, roasted red pepper, and [...]

Christmas at The Inn On First

The holidays are magical here at The Inn On First in Napa, California, a luxury bed and breakfast inn.  Our own innkeeper, Jamie Cherry, pays attention to every little detail in decorating for the holidays.  I'm responsible for the lights on the tree, help decorate the trees, but he is pretty much responsible for everything else.  Attached is a video that shows you a bit of what Christmas is like here for us.  Wishing you and your families/friends a  happy holiday.    

By |December 17th, 2016|Categories: bed and breakfast, bed and breakfast inn, Holidays, jamie cherry, napa, napa valley, The Inn On First|

The Inn On First Remote Organic Garden…TFL’s got nothing on us!

Okay, so maybe The French Laundry Garden is a bit more spacious and they have incredible chefs creating magnificent food for all 3 restaurants, but we are really proud of our own Napa Garden, compliments of Toni's backyard with Rick's assistance (our own Mr. Home Improvement/Contractor/WineMaker/now Gardener), who are graciously permitting us to grow so many things remotely and to come and pick what we need once a week.  From green onions, to tomatoes, peppers, melons, and so much more. Boy are we happy campers tonight as we pulled away with all these luscious tomatoes!  What shall we do, what [...]

By |August 27th, 2016|Categories: bed and breakfast, breakfast, heirloom tomato, napa|

Former priest, currently Napa chef/innkeeper, now author

NAPA, Calif. — Former priest, now Napa innkeeper and author Jim Gunther announces the nationwide release of his new spiritual book, “Let It Go Deep.” This book was co-authored by the late Dr. Juanita Meller. Leaving formal ministry Jim Gunther found himself floundering outside of the Catholic Church.  First as a trained chef, then a software quality assurance engineer, and finally as innkeeper and chef in Napa.  Through it all he continued to ask the deeper question about who God is and what was required of him now that he no longer had a formal ministerial role to fulfill.  How [...]

By |August 15th, 2016|Categories: Media-News|
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