The second day was devoted to a trip to the Anderson Valley, a place of idyllic beauty which is a nice contrast from the nearby wine meccas of Napa and Sonoma. Anderson Valley seems a bit more serious and less touristy, likely in part because it’s a longer, more difficult drive up the mountains. The goal was to visit what I consider the best winery in America, Roederer Estate.
But you can’t drink (or spit) wine all day without a little food, so we stopped by the Buckhorn in Boonville. The small town of Boonville is known for Boontling, a dialect of English “now mostly spoken only by aging counter-culturists and native Anderson Valley residents.”
The Buckhorn’s service was great and laid back, and even though we sat outside somewhat far from the kitchen, all the food came out piping hot, scalding even, which I much prefer. I’d rather have food served too hot and let it cool than have it too cool and then be forced to get out my mini microwave. I enjoy seafood when in coastal areas where I know it’s fresh, so crab cakes seemed like a good idea. These human Scooby Snacks were light and had a high crab-meat ratio. Adding lemon juice was essential (sine qua non), and it was a nice starter as a go-with to a Roederer Estate sparkling rosé.
To continue the theme of overeating, and to continue my search for America’s best French dip, I had the French dip. Choosing the garlic mashed potatoes as a side was an ordering mistake on my part (too heavy with the rich sandwich), but they tasted good. The French dip was succulent and tender, and had good seasoning.
It’s definitely a good spot for lunch if you’re taking a day trip to the Anderson Valley.