CarrieWas218's Profile

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Three nights' dinners in Napa Valley

Great reports - thanks for reminding me how much Press costs... I just can't justify those kinds of prices for MEAT.

San Jose, Half Moon Bay and Sausalito

Note that Barbara's is cash only and actually at Pillar Point Harbor (technically, El Granada) and not in the downtown Half Moon Bay area that most people think of. If you are actually *in* downtown Half Moon Bay, I would recommend Pasta Moon. There is a Sushi on Main in HMB, and their $10.95 bento box isn't bad.

One nice dinner at a classic San Francisco restaurant on a thursday night

Concur with others; Boulevard and Zuni will cover the bases with both nice and classic for dinners.

If you are here on a Saturday, make sure to hit the Farmers Market at the Ferry Plaza in the morning for breakfast. Otherwise, breakfast and lunches could easily be filled with dim sum at Yank Sing or Ton Kiang, a Mission crawl for burritos or tacos, and whatever you do, avoid Fisherman's Wharf at all costs (food wise) = tourist trap.

Napa: Critique my Day

Uber is not a big deal in the Napa valley and you would be much better suited to finding a driver for the day then hiring cabs and taxis. It will even out on the cost and you will spend less time waiting around for the taxi to arrive (they aren't that prevalent in the valley and so you aren't factoring in the wait time).

Creative tasting menu or a la carte menu for special birthday lunch?

I understand you might not want to do Chinese, but Hakkasan is also open for lunch. There is also Meadowood...

One Dinner in SF - Where and Why?

Gary Danko is riding coattails that are ten years old and most of the clientele are tourists who are reading old city guides.

I have found Danko's menu to be staid and mired in the past. They have a nice cheese selection, yes, but the rest is high on my mediocrity list.

Napa Valley Biscuits - what happened???

That is very sad...

Coi or Crenn [San Francisco]

I'm the same with BBulkow. Having season tix to both the symphony and the opera, I think I've only gone to Jardiniere once in three years...

One Dinner in SF - Where and Why?

I prefer Mandalay Bay over Burma Superstar (always less of a wait as well). Burma Superstar got famous because of its Food Network coverage, but that's all.

I like Robert's suggestion of Burmese Kitchen on Larkin, but only if you are in the Tenderloin for something else.

One Dinner in SF - Where and Why?

Uniquely San Franciscan would be places like Tadich Grill (for history) or Sotto Mare (for cioppino) or Swan's (old oyster bar).

Also, there are a TON of great Burmese restaurants in the city which is also unique to the area.

San Francisco 4 day, 3 night trip - Wine is important!

What do you like in cocktails? I recently did a cocktail trawl that included Trou Nourmand and I found them too alcohol-forward for my tastes. Alternately, the second part of my trawl included The Cavalier which I adored (as well as the food).

Other spots for cocktails include Smuggler's Cove for unforgettable rum drinks, Bourbon & Branch (must have reservations), Alembic (go early to avoid the crowd) and Trick Dog.

Manresa fire

CBS News on the Radio cited the "owner/chef" as David FINCH.

Wonder how many calls they will get on that error?

Traditional Wedding Cake - Coastside/Half Moon Bay, Peninsula

Honestly, I live near HMB and for my recent nuptials (a courthouse wedding last November and a coast side reception in April), I drove to Crixa in Berkeley TWICE.

I had a small wedding so I wasn't looking for something "decorated," but desired pure, exceptional taste.

For the courthouse wedding, I got Black Forest Cake (my husband's preference for chocolate and cherries) and for our reception, I got a Clara Ward (rum and raspberries), a fruit tart, and a chocolate pave.

Traditional Wedding Cake - Coastside/Half Moon Bay, Peninsula

Kermit - I have; there have been occasions where I need a last-minute dinner treat. I've also eaten most of their pastries at one time or another.

As indicated, they are traditional and all that, but not very memorable, truthfully. But I tend to go towards the "creative" and unusual. Definitely better than the local Safeway.

You can always stop by and try a slice.

Traditional Wedding Cake - Coastside/Half Moon Bay, Peninsula

Moonside Bakery in Half Moon Bay is kind of the only option on the coast and it is probably what you are looking for: solid and traditional without being overly "creative."

Decline in the food truck craze?

I want to add that lately, I've been attending Off The Grid or the trucks in SOMA and have been shocked at the lack of crowds or lines...

Itinerary for 1 day Sonoma trip- please check! (and thanks for the initial suggestions!)

Have you fully mapped out what you are anticipating? Because here is what I get that will have you wanting to re-think things...

Start in downtown San Francisco and on the road by 7:30 a.m.

That will have you at Oxbow Market by 9:00 at the earliest, probably 9:30, if it is a weekday. Bouchon is NOT at Oxbow at all (Model Bakery is), so if you want to go to Bouchon, that is another 30 minute drive up-valley.

So let's assume you get to Oxbow at 9:30. You will probably spend an hour or so there. It is now 10:30.

You drive up to Bouchon and it is now 11:00. Give yourself a half-hour to lounge and consume. 11:30.

Honestly, since you are here in Yountville, why not just taste some bubbly at nearby Chandon?

At this point, the drive from Yountville to Guernville is about 90 minutes. That puts you in that 'hood way after lunchtime.

See where I'm going here? I'm not going to continue because I think you are trying to cram way too much into locations that are too far apart; downtown Napa, Yountville, Guernville, and then Santa Rosa?!?! You will be spending more time driving than enjoying.

Which wineries/eateries do you REALLY want to visit and plan your trip around those. You've got way too much for one day...

Olallieberry Picking (and pie at Duarte's)

I think you are right... How sad...

Olallieberry Picking (and pie at Duarte's)

In Pillar Point Harbor (technically, El Granada - in between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay), there are a TON of guys that sell salmon off their boats.

Many also just go to Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing.

Olallieberry Picking (and pie at Duarte's)

I am not a fan of Duarte's whatsoever and think they are riding some really old coattails.

Go pick your berries and then head back to Half Moon Bay and stop at Ground Up for a truly incredible burger. My original post is here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9065...

Trou Normand [San Francisco]

I'll add my notes to this thread from last week's visit:

Not having reservations, we stood at the bar for 15 or 20 minutes before seats opened up. Ironically, when we did sit down, it was right next to Chris Cosentino who was there, eating through the charcuterie menu! For cocktails, we shared an Algonquin (bourbon, lime, pineapple gum, vermouth) and a Demspey (gin, calvados, grenadine, absinthe). My friend -- who is opening a distillery -- was impressed at the alcohol-forward cocktails, mixologists, and giant, crystal-clear ice cubes. When we finally got seated, we had a small charcuterie plate (pork rillette, rabbit pâté, lonza, and coppa). We were impressed with the house-made butter but a little disappointed that the charcuterie plate did not come with any vinegar component (olive or cornichon). When we asked about it, they told us of the house-made pickles which we ordered. Nice and light, in a Japanese-sort-of-aesthetic. My friend had a second cocktail which I don't recall and - for my birthday - we were comped with a nice taster of Reserve Calvados by Lemorton. I think we would have stayed longer but for the acoustics; those high, concrete ceilings would benefit from some massive textile art to buffer the sound.

Pacifica Update - Spring 2014

Thanks for the update, Pam !

Have you been to Paisanos Trattoria yet?

The Cavalier [Union Square, SOMA, San Francisco]

Hmmmm... every Scotch egg I've had in Britain and when you google recipes, always have one start with a hard boiled egg.

Loved it regardless! Nice about the owners too -- still maintain the feel was for a younger crowd.

The Cavalier [Union Square, SOMA, San Francisco]

I have now eaten here twice on consecutive nights.

The first night was part of a bar trawl with a girlfriend, so we only had a few bites. I adored the interior and we were easily able to sit at the bar upon entrance. Being a gin girl, I started with a White Lady (gin, creole shrub, egg white, lemon) and my friend had a Barrister (bourbon, vermouth, nardini amaro, yellow chartreuse). These were more interesting and complex cocktails for my palate. Small bites included the vadouvan-roasted Brussels sprouts, marrow-roasted oysters, and quail egg with crispy shallots. My friend had a second cocktail of Whiz Bang (scotch, cherry herring, vermouth, absinthe) while I had a complimentary Champagne (working the birthday!). I could have easily ordered a lot more from this menu, but we wanted to save room for our next stop...

But being so impressed, I made reservations for the following evening for my husband and I. Instead of the bar, we were seated in one of the back rooms which was preferable for the acoustics as I found the main dining room very loud.

We are very much the type of couple who will order all of the appetizers over two entrees to be able to taste more things. The Maitre'd recognized me from the evening before and commented it was nice to have a return customer. He comped us a nice starter cocktail of Armagnac, absinthe, and Champagne with an orange twist. It was more than sufficient to carry us through the first few courses.

Based on my recommendation from the previous evening, my husband ordered the quail egg and the roasted oysters. For health reasons, we thought there should be something healthy so we split the farrow salad with roasted beets and toasted pumpkin seeds. Topped with some fresh greens, this is one I will try to recreate at home.

At this point, we ordered some beers for our heavier courses. My husband had a "Twisted Thistle" IPA from Belhaven, Scotland and I had a Marston's Oyster stout.

The next arrival was a Welsh Rarebit soufflé - a very nice concoction of cheddar cheese and and a classic sauce, made light and fluffy. This paired really well with the British beers and the beers really shined with the arrival of the Duck Duck Scotch Egg - an intensely light and rich duck egg, thinly encased in sausage and deep fried. It was served with a stone fruit chutney and some fresh greens. Unlike classic Scotch Eggs which are made with hard-boiled eggs, this provided a runny yolk which added to the richness and freshness.

Our last savory course was a side dish the waiter had forgotten to bring earlier, but in retrospect, was perfect as an ending; what they call "Beef Dripping Chips" which were potatoes double-fried in beef tallow and served with classic Bordelaise sauce. Amazing and rich and addictive.

Before they even brought the dessert menu, I told my husband that if they had a Sticky Toffee Pudding, it would have to be ordered. Despite the waiter touting a fresh Peach Crumble, we went with the classic STP which was served with fresh ice cream, two sauces (one apple) and chunks of walnuts. With our Earl Grey tea, it was an amazing finish.

Being effusive about our food to the waiter and staff, at the end of the meal they extended an invitation to the private "Marianne" room in the back - a sort of exclusive "club room" with a bar, interesting historical pictures (one of Marianne Faithful and another of the Rolling Stones), and lots of antiques and dripping candles. It all felt a little too twee and "Los Angeles," (maybe because we are middle aged and not hipsters - drinking our tea instead of cocktails), but it was greatly appreciated and a nice spot to end the evening.

I am very anxious to go back and eat through the entire menu which, based on their website, seems to be changing. There are dishes listed online which are no longer being offered and dessert menu is definitely different. Makes me miss living in the city...

Dim sum near the Japan Center? [San Francisco]

There isn't really any dim sum within walking distance of JTown and what ChefJ said, Hong Kong Lounge is the closest - and quite good, actually.

We ate there two weeks ago and were especially happy with the pork buns, stuffed eggplant, and shu mai.

Dim sum Koi Palace (Daly City) on Saturday mornings?

My family and I go at least once a month. We always arrive 10 to 15 minutes before they open and are seated immediately.

Walking Trawl for Friday Night [San Francisco]

Well, as it happened, we DID start the evening and Trou Normand as it was a few blocks from The Palace.

Not having reservations, we stood at the bar for 15 or 20 minutes before seats opened up. Ironically, when we did sit down, it was right next to Chris Cosentino who was there, eating through the charcuterie menu! For cocktails, we shared an Algonquin (bourbon, lime, pineapple gum, vermouth) and a Demspey (gin, calvados, grenadine, absinthe). My friend -- who is opening a distillery -- was impressed at the alcohol-forward cocktails, mixologists, and giant, crystal-clear ice cubes. When we finally got seated, we had a small charcuterie plate (pork rillette, rabbit pâté, lonza, and coppa). We were impressed with the house-made butter but a little disappointed that the charcuterie plate did not come with any vinegar component (olive or cornichon). When we asked about it, they told us of the house-made pickles which we ordered. Nice and light, in a Japanese-sort-of-aesthetic. My friend had a second cocktail which I don't recall and - for my birthday - we were comped with a nice taster of Reserve Calvados by Lemorton. I think we would have stayed longer but for the acoustics; those high, concrete ceilings would benefit from some massive textile art to buffer the sound.

Our next stop was The Cavalier. I adored the interior and we were easily able to sit at the bar upon entrance. Being a gin girl, I started with a White Lady (gin, creole shrub, egg white, lemon) and my friend had a Barrister (bourbon, vermouth, nardini amaro, yellow chartreuse). These were more interesting and complex cocktails for my palate. Small bites included the vadouvan-roasted Brussels sprouts, marrow-roasted oysters, and quail egg with crispy shallots. My friend had a second cocktail of Whiz Bang (scotch, cherry herring, vermouth, absinthe) while I had a complimentary Champagne (working the birthday!). I could have easily ordered a lot more from this menu, but we wanted to save room for our last stop...

Next we hit TBD. Sadly, upon entering at 10:45, we were advised the kitchen was closing but we could still order dessert. I could have used a little more savory in my stomach, but this would suffice. Not having a full liquor license, we perused their "loophole" menu of cocktails. I ordered Jerez My Mind (vermouth, oloroso sherry and orange bitters) while our very nice bartender directed my friend towards some more interesting beers. She had one from The Bruery, "Sucre" Solera-aged old ale which I adored. For dessert, we shared the S'mores which was an interesting deconstruction of a chocolate and chicory pudding and torched, house-made marshmallow puffs. We were poured another, darker beer called Gigantic "Too Much Coffee Man" a dark saison from Portland.

It was a really great evening with new tastes and as my husband is still working at The Palace today, my first thought was to bring him to Bix to taste their tartare and Sidecar. While out last night, I had was able to make reservations to take him back to Trou Normand this evening. Shelving both those ideas, I am going to cancel TN in preference to return to The Cavalier for a bigger meal this evening.

As stated elsewhere in this thread, having just returned from Spain, my husband has developed a taste for aged Pedro Ximenez and I believe we'll be hitting TBD afterwards to taste their 1947 Toro Albalá as a nightcap.

Thanks for all the guidance! My girlfriend did all the research for last evening and I was glad to have put myself in her hands. It was a brilliant -- if not a bit intoxicating -- evening.

Walking Trawl for Friday Night [San Francisco]

Ironically, Flavorenhancer, I was in Spain two weeks ago so I'm still riding a tapas high and not ready to bring it down to SF levels!

(My new husband is going through such jambon withdrawals, he spent an hour researching the acquisition of a jambon leg for our pantry...) SERIOUSLY.

Walking Trawl for Friday Night [San Francisco]

As I have jewelry deliveries at the Ferry Plaza this afternoon and a room at The Palace Hotel this evening, it looks as though this is the area we are going to concentrate in...

I've been meaning to try Bouli Bar but we'll see how the crowd goes.

I'll report back!

Walking Trawl for Friday Night [San Francisco]

I haven't lived in the city for several years (Napa and Montara) so while I know of the best destination restaurants for my needs, I want to plan a Friday evening where a girlfriend and I can park and just walk and eat...

In the past, we headed towards downtown, eating nothing but Uni dishes at Anchor & Hope, Ame, and Fifth Floor.

We aren't married to eating at any one restaurant, but like the idea of walking around, noshing here and there... Where might the best enclave of good eats be at these days?