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Vancouver and Whistler

Whistler:

Araxi was our favorite for 2 lunches and 1 dinner. Kept going back. Was great to sit outside and the food was delicious. Fresh fish. Great meats. Couldn't go wrong here. Except for the lunches when we both times sat next to tables with kids who couldn't stay in their seats. Weird as it's not a kid kind of place. Maybe because we were outside.

Bearfoot Bistro was also good. Did a wine pairing with a 5 course meal. Liked that the pairings pushed the envelope and for 1 course we tried a couple of wines. Great service. Great food.

Grill & Vine at the Westin hotel was ok, but not great. The salad was beautiful though. Had wanted an easy place to get into for the first night in case we were late getting in. Good decision as we didn't know it was the big mountain bike championships that weekend with a very crowded village.

Had breakfast at La Brasserie. Could skip. Sandwich from Ingrid's. Could skip. Appetizers at Caramba. Could skip the goat cheese & tomato coulis but the Tightrope Rosé was good.

Locals tout Elements for breakfast & lunch but didn't make it there. Coffee shop by Araxi had much better coffee than Moguls by the lifts.

Vancouver:

Vij's is one of my all time favs. Didn't disappoint this time either. Had an appetizer that was pulled pork (sold by the spoonful). Literally the best single bite of food I have ever had in my entire life. Skipped dessert and ordered 2 more spoonfuls. The staff understood.

Salt is located in Gastown and let me just say that it is literally in an alleyway so if the possibility of rat sightings turns you off, this might not be the place for you. Great cheeses and salamis and extensive wine list that can be arranged in flights.

Le Crocodile was the fine dining restaurant we chose for my birthday. Let me just say that all 6 courses we had were excellent, but the size of the portions put me into a coma-like state and I just ate a portion of each one. Two people could have shared one. Very unFrench-like. Just way too much food for a multi-course meal. Pairings and outside dining were nice though.

Santa Fe Report

Had a great time. Mostly winners. One loser.

Lunches:
Got in around 2pm and took a seat overlooking the street at Coyote Cafe rooftop cantina. Sort of a tradition. Love being outside overlooking the area. The pulled pork nachos were decadent, huge, and barely touched but yummy. Duck quesadillas ditto. Way too much food ordered after we started with the guacamole. Beware.

The Shed was hit for 2 lunches because we were right in that area and we could sit outside. I find that one enchilada and one taco, Christmas style, with one margarita makes the perfect lunch.

Cafe Pascual's for breakfast the morning we left--another tradition. Breakfast burrito is way too much food, but eating half works just fine.

Dinners:
The Compound was chosen for the pretty patio and it was one of the old fine dining restaurants we'd never tried. Lovely patio. Great service. Not great food. The temperature seemed to be off on most things. My soft shell crab was too heavily breaded and barely warm. Hubby's tomato soup was neither cold nor room temp, nor hot. Weirdly somewhat warm. My double pork chop was perfectly done and well seasoned but the scalloped potatoes were, again, barely warm. What is with this? Blueberry mousse dessert good. Nice evening to sit outside, but won't go back.

Izanami (at Ten Thousand Waves)
Best meal of the trip. Sort of a Japanese tapas style. Everything was fantastic. Chanterelles with corn, pork belly, gyoza, eggplant and shishito peppers (and I normally don't like eggplant--this was great), small burger with the works (best burger I have EVER had), fried avocado and squash, steak and figs. Oh man this food was good. Only disappointing part--we tried 3 of the 4 Rosés and none were great. So convenient to go here after spa treatments. Or as a destination.

Arroyo Vino (a bit outside Santa Fe)
Seems like it's in the middle of nowhere. We sat outside on the patio all by ourselves while the inside was packed (Why? The weather was great!). Everything that Chef Mark Connell served up was delish. Shared all the dishes with hubby. Duck liver paté, housemade pappardelle with ragu, duck breast, and Mark's signature desserts of passion fruit truffles and a chocolate globe that is opened by pouring a warm sauce on it. The attached wine shop was fun to peruse before dinner and with only a $20 corkage, drank well.

Great trip and great food!

2 days ago
mousse in Southwest

Santa Fe: Canyon Road lunch?

I agree. Problem is we'd like to stroll through galleries & don't want to run back to the plaza area to then have to go all the way out where we left off. Have done that before & get very grouchy chowhub. You list great options for the couple of days we're just around the plaza.

Sep 10, 2014
mousse in Southwest

Santa Fe: Canyon Road lunch?

Planning on hitting Canyon Road galleries for at least part of a day next week. Have come up with choices of The Compund, El Farol, the Tea Room or we can backtrack & go to The Pink Adobe. Did I miss anything? What do you think?

Sep 09, 2014
mousse in Southwest

Santa Fe: Farmer's Market lunch?

I've been to the wonderful Saturday farmer's market before but can't remember if there are vendors that sell prepared food that we could eat for lunch while we're there. Are there?

Aug 13, 2014
mousse in Southwest

Santa Fe: Arroyo Vino?

We haven't been to Santa Fe in 3 years, but one of our favorite restaurants 2 years running was Max's. I thought Mark Connell's food was fantastic. I see that he's at Arroyo Vino. Wonder what people think of it. Looks like about a 15 min drive from the plaza area. After eating his food in the past, I'm thinking it's probably worth it. Is it?

Aug 11, 2014
mousse in Southwest

Who's been to Eataly?

I think this place is fantastic! By myself, with guests from out of town, with friends. What's not to love? They have any kind of dried pasta you can think of. Many, many hand-made fresh pastas too. Fantastic meat and fish department. Many Italian tomato products. Where can you get canned cherry tomatoes or tomato paste with fried onions in it? Just fun. I could go on and on. Every olive oil has origin farm and region info. Nice wine and beer selection. Get there early to eat lunch. Best lasagne. Fantastic agnoletti with butter/lemon sauce. Fun to sit at the salami/cheese counter. Incredible selection of cured meats and cheeses. Go at an off time and enjoy!

Jan 26, 2014
mousse in Chicago Area

Anything new/ good in Kingston/Richmond?

Been a couple of yrs since there were suggestions for this area. Am here for a week & have some dinners lined up in London, but need to be out here a few nights. Help!

Nov 18, 2013
mousse in U.K./Ireland

Oak Park lunch near FLW

Sorry about confusion. I didn't mean big portions by saying big main course meal, I meant more like a European lunch with mains rather than American sandwich/salad lunches.

Sep 22, 2013
mousse in Chicago Area

Oak Park lunch near FLW

Taking friends on a Frank Lloyd Wright house tour. Want a big main meal lunch afterwards. Thought of Marion Street Market but, on a Friday, it's just salads and sandwiches. Any other suggestions? I'm in Evanston and not too familiar with Oak Park

Sep 20, 2013
mousse in Chicago Area

update for Healdsburg? 4 nights

Just thought I'd ask for an update on restaurants. We have 4 nights and I think we've decided on 3 so far. Dry Creek Kitchen (have friends working there), Scopa (love it!) and Barndiva (have never been). A friend suggested Diavola in Geyserville. What do you think?

Sep 20, 2013
mousse in San Francisco Bay Area

Food for 3 Nights Napa Valley + 1 Night Healdsburg

Have never had a bad meal at Scopa. It's great. Hope that it's a night when they have their wild boar ragu.

Sep 10, 2013
mousse in San Francisco Bay Area

would LOVE your thoughts on our Napa Itinerary...

Would second Terra Valentine

Sep 10, 2013
mousse in San Francisco Bay Area

would LOVE your thoughts on our Napa Itinerary...

It's a shame that you'll miss Sonoma Valley. The wineries tend be be smaller, more personal, and you often have personal contact with the winemaker. I would encourage you to go to Envy winery. Would skip Chateau Montalena to do it.

Sep 10, 2013
mousse in San Francisco Bay Area

Sonoma, CA

Going to have to veto La Salette as we just got back from Spain/Portugal. What do you think of the others?

Sep 09, 2013
mousse in San Francisco Bay Area

Sonoma, CA

Staying near Sonoma for 2 nights. Have booked one night at Sante, but there seem to be a few good options for the other. Cafe La Haye? El Dorado Kitchen? Girl and the Fig? What do you think?

Sep 09, 2013
mousse in San Francisco Bay Area

What's happened to Balena?

Balena was my reliable go-to restaurant before Steppenwolf. Our last two meals were really disappointing. During the last dinner, we ordered the burrata, which had no creamy center and little flavor. Pasta course was good but then the short ribs were actually dry. Dessert good. That's a 50% success, not good enough for the price. A friend had a similar experience. Has the chef changed in the last few months? Have others been disatisfied too? A shame. I really liked this restaurant.

Mar 10, 2013
mousse in Chicago Area

Manhattan Report 3 Days, 4 Nights

Had great visit last week. Want to give feedback. Thanks to CH help.

Dinners:
Gramercy Tavern--Excellent tasting menu with extra cheese course and wine pairings. I'm not a huge fish fan but the halibut was outstanding, fluke great, warm lobster salad fantastic. My fav course was a pork ragu in ravioli style pasta. Perfectly al dente pasta with lush pork. Double yum.

Mas (Farmhouse)--Also had tasting menu that was great with wine pairings. Sweet corn soup with scallop particularly good. Liked the atmosphere too. Excellent service

The NoMad--Great atmosphere, almost like a lounge. Roasted cauliflower and foie appetizers. Suckling pig succulent. Server was particularly helpful with descriptions. Interesting wine list that is mix of value and expected higher end. Had an interesting Palmina Nebbiolo. Unexpected.

Cafe Boulud--Wonderful dinner and wine. It was our least favorite dinner, not because of the food or service, which were both stellar, but because we were seated at a table that was closest to the entrance door and, strangely enough, facing it. Our backs were to the entire room. I don't have a problem asking for a different table when first seated, but it was well into our dinner when we figured out why were so uncomfortable. The entire restaurant was behind us. It really did impact the experience and it didn't have to be set up that way.

Lunches:

Birreria (at Eataly)--fun on the rooftop on a glorious sunny day. Good food.

Katz Deli--It's just fun. Corned beef sandwich decent

EAT (near the Metropolitan Museum)--Not great. My roast chicken was served cold inside. Had to send it back. Next table sent their soups back as weren't hot. Really?

Oct 29, 2012
mousse in Manhattan

Concert at City Winery

Oops. Should have mentioned the concert is on a Sunday night (iNG closed unfortunately).

Oct 12, 2012
mousse in Chicago Area

Concert at City Winery

We have concert tickets coming up at City Winery but have been reading about how bad the food is. So...thinking of before concert restaurants in the area. We're going to Girl & the Goat the next weekend so that's out. I don't want anyplace too dressy (like Nellcote?) or too casual like a diner. Anything in between? Great food a must.

Oct 12, 2012
mousse in Chicago Area

tamales and ???

A friend just gave me a dozen meat tamales. What should I serve with them to have a nice complete meal?

Oct 09, 2012
mousse in Home Cooking

Is Hard Anodized Aluminum ok w/acids?

Thinking of buying a new saute pan. Calphalon has a Commercial Hard Anodized Aluminum pan that looks good. Wondering if since it's "aluminum", it reacts the same way (negatively) with tomatoes, wine, etc. that regular aluminum would.

Sep 29, 2012
mousse in Cookware

Appetizer for 12 to a wine party

Wow, Gretchen. Thanks for the recipe!

Sep 28, 2012
mousse in Home Cooking

Appetizer for 12 to a wine party

I would love the recipe Gretchen.

Sep 27, 2012
mousse in Home Cooking

Appetizer for 12 to a wine party

I need to take an appetizer for 12 to a wine party that will probably have 100 people. It has to be "ready to serve" so nothing that needs to be warmed. Nothing to get soggy. Nothing to assemble as the kitchen won't be available for that. I don't want to take anything usual like cheese or hummus or boiled shrimp....Ideas?

Sep 27, 2012
mousse in Home Cooking

Vancouver 4 night schedule

Hey thanks, Jzone. What a nice recap of the seasonal food!

Jun 05, 2012
mousse in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Vancouver 4 night schedule

Have culled through many posts here. We have 4 nights in August and decided on:

Yew
Cioppino's
L'Abattoir
Vij's

Am I off anywhere? Any recent info I'm missing that would change my mind?

Lunch thoughts, depending on where we are:

Meat & Bread
Edible Canada
Feastro
Pasta Lupino or Araxi in Whistler

What do you think?

Jun 05, 2012
mousse in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Novo in San Luis Obispo

Stopped enroute to the south and found Novo. What a nice little restaurant with tables outside in the back overlooking a creek. Great chile verde. Chowhub had nachos. Simple food buy well done. Loved the setting, the service, the food.

Apr 16, 2012
mousse in California

Santa Barbara Report

Had some great meals here recently. Loved, loved, loved Julienne. What a deal. The food is creative and delicious and the price for the wine pairings is scandalously low for generous pours. They are super flexible (3, 5, or 7 courses and can come from the same course on the menu--so if you want 2 of the 2 offered salads for 2 of your courses, no problem). Husband is the chef, wife the front of the house wine person, server, etc. Great food. Can't say enough.

Jeanine for breakfast on 2 mornings. Crowded, but host always found a place for us to sit. Saturday brunch was a lobster omelet. Also tried a the quesadillas and the breakfast burrito. Only complaint was that they didn't have fresh orange juice on a weekday. Apparently only the weekend. Great way to start the day.

Wine cask for lunch. Fantastic dungeness crab salad with red pepper coulis and corn puree that made the plate really pretty. Yummy Cobb Salad. Nice courtyard with fountain.

Bouchon was mostly wonderful. Started with a scallop trio that had one U6 scallop in asian style; one as a bruschetta; and one on risotto. Delish. One main of duck duo that was good and one of pork shank. The shank was huge, which I found really unappealing and it was sitting on black beans and greens. It was pretty monochromatic and one of those dishes that gets worse the more you think of it afterwards. There was no restraint or variety in color. Rest of meal, service, and atmosphere very good.

Stonehouse (at San Ysidro Ranch). Fantastically romantic on the covered patio with twinkle lights above and our server, Marcus Baker, was really knowledgeable about food and wine and really made the evening. The food was good, but should be better. The chef isn't stretching at all and it seemed like well-prepared, safe food. So, fine, but not good enough for the atmosphere. That being said, I'd go back for the atmosphere.

Apr 16, 2012
mousse in California

Healdsburg

Quick weekend for a fun event so didn't hit many restaurants, but Scopa was as great as usual. Pasta w/ ragu, burrata, little meatballs...all great. Also continue to be so impressed with Dry Creek Kitchen. Food is very good and reliable. No hiccups anytime we've been there. Staff is also very well trained thanks to general manager Dan Prentice. Charcuterie Restaurant is also good, although for all the pig logos, there are only a couple of pork dishes. Good sandwich/salad place.

Cannot go to Healdsburg without going in Oakville Grocery for their wonderful Chicken & Gruyere sandwich. Warm and toasty, carmelized onlons...

Apr 16, 2012
mousse in San Francisco Bay Area