When I was in Napa recently, I was lucky enough to attend a lunch at the Far Niente winery. It was the most stylish event I've ever been to in a barn.
The long table was set for 120 guests with mismatched china, glasses, cutlery and pitchers of meadow flowers – a great example of casual chic.
Lunch was cooked by some of my favourite chefs. Gary Danko from Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco made one of his signature dishes, an awesome spiced and herbal beef filet; Tony Mantuano from Chicago's Spiaggia and Bar Toma (his latest casual eatery), served light-as-air gnocchi,with shrimp. Finally a mouth-watering mussel and potato salad, bound with a lemony tarragon vinaigrette, by Bob Hurley of Hurley's Restaurant in Yountville, Calif. completed the feast. Matched with Far Niente wines, it made a perfect meal.
These dishes also work well for a dinner party.