o

OenoV's Profile

Title Last Reply

Wineries with great white wines in Santa Ynez Valley

Hmmm, well, I think I will let you make that decision, I have attached a picture of Rusack's picnic area for your review.

Aug 24, 2011
OenoV in California

Wineries with great white wines in Santa Ynez Valley

If you are looking for less touristy wineries, I would recommend Demetria Estate Winery (los olivos) it is appointment only but a beautiful place to taste wine. Also Rusack in Solvang has a charming little picnic area overlooking the vineyards. Bella Cavalli Farms is my little secret in solvang and is gorgeous during the fall. The winery sits opposite Shoestring Vineyards (also a great winery) on Highway 246 and overlooked by most tourists in the area. All of these tasting rooms pour Chardonnay and other white wines so I'm pretty sure you will find a few that you will enjoy.

The link to my website is posted in my profile and will give you pictures and more information on these wineries.

Aug 24, 2011
OenoV in California

1 dinner, 1 breakfast, 3 lunches in SF

You have a few good ones there, especially Acquerello (Although quite expensive) and Swan Oyster Depot. I would just like to add a few for consideration...

For Breakfast:

Dottie's True Blue Cafe or Red Door Cafe

Lunch:

The Sycamore - American dishes such as the mix 'n match sliders created with
a choice of beer battered Rock Cod, seasoned ground lamb, crispy fried chicken or ground beef. A favorite on the bar snack menu are the Pork Belly Donuts with Maple Makers Mark Glaze 11:30am - 12am; Daily

Anchor Oyster Bar (Similar to like Swan)

Lavash: Persian dishes.

Kokkari Estiatorio: Greek, Mediterranean

The House - (I know you are a little ify on Chineese/Japanese but this is really good Asian Fusion if you would like to consider)

Dinner:
Acquerello
Blue Plate Cafe: Classic American and rustic Mediterranean dishes

Great bars:

Broken Record (awesome bar with really good comfort style food)
Barrique (wine bar, I think open til 10pm)
The Sycamore

Aug 15, 2011
OenoV in San Francisco Bay Area

One day and night in Carmel

Definitely Passionfish in Pacific Grove for seafood, Max's Grill in Carmel for California Cuisine, they currently have a prix-fixe which includes a choice starter, entree and dessert or a glass of wine, all for $25 Sunday through Thursday! For French Cuisine I suggest L'escargot in carmel (Mission at 4th Avenue) but check their current prices before making a reservation, it's been a while since I was there.

-----
Passionfish
701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Max's Grill
209 Forest Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

L'escargot
Mission 4th Ave, Carmel, CA 93923

Aug 15, 2011
OenoV in California

VERY small, intimate wedding at Paso Robles Winery... please help us find the right place.

Although small, it's kind of last minute to book a wedding but I will offer up a suggestion. My choice would be HammerSky Vineyards for the gorgeous view, delicious wine and cozy inn, but you would need to contact them to see if they can accommodate your needs.

http://hammersky.com/HammerSky/Home.html

Aug 15, 2011
OenoV in California

Honeymoon Dinner in Carmel, suggestions?

No, L'Escargot in Carmel http://www.escargot-carmel.com/
Yes, Bistro Moulin is on Wave Street in Monterey, thank you for the correction :-

)

-----
Bistro Moulin
867 Wave St, Monterey, CA 93940

Jul 22, 2011
OenoV in California

Honeymoon Dinner in Carmel, suggestions?

I second Passionfish in Pacific Grove but if you prefer something in Carmel I suggest Bistro Moulin or L'escargot (Both Romantic French restaurants that cater to foodies). Happy Anniversary!

Jul 22, 2011
OenoV in California

Wineries with great white wines in Santa Ynez Valley

Definitely Kenneth Volk Vineyards & Rancho Sisquoc. I love Riverbench (One of my favorites) but just beware that they only produce Chardonnay & Pinot Noir so if you are not interested in the Pinot, you will only be tasting a couple of Chardonnays. Beckman Vineyards in Solvang is also be good for a visit.

Jul 20, 2011
OenoV in California

Need Some California Travel Advise

Their Estate Pinot Noir is wonderful (bought a couple of bottles at the winery) and I'm not really a white wine drinker but their Chardonnay was pretty good too.

Jul 04, 2011
OenoV in California

Need Some California Travel Advise

Why thank you :-) I have quite a bit of California Wine Country Travel experience under my belt.

Jul 04, 2011
OenoV in California

Need Some California Travel Advise

That's a tough decision but if you end up going the LA route, I would hit Riverbench Winery in Santa Maria and Kukkula Winery, Poalillo Vineyards, Epoch Estate & Ecluse Wines all in Paso Robles. Justin Winery is extemely touristy however it's a good place to visit if you are looking for a contrast between larger commercial wineries and smaller producers.

If in the Paso Robles area, I recommend dining on the coast in either Cambria, Morro Bay or Cayucos at either the Cass House Restaurant, Galley Seafood Grill or Black Cat Bistro. In Santa Barbara either Cold Springs Tavern or Julienne is good or Ballard Inn, Mirabelle Restaurant or Brothers in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Jul 04, 2011
OenoV in California

First time trip to Wine Country (Oregon, Napa/Sonoma), need opinions please!

Visiting Napa, I find the North end of the valley (St. Helena, Calistoga) to be more interesting. If you are looking for less touristy, I recommend Zahtila Vineyards and Vincent Arroyo. I would also head up Spring Mountain to Pride and Robert Keenan. These wineries are not close to Rutherford Grill and I am not sure about your priorities (wineries vs. dining). I always prefer to picnic for lunch and there are many options for picnic provisions around.

On the South end of the Valley, Hendry Vineyard , Elyse Winery and Laird Family Estate are a must. Or if you want to stick to the "less traveled" Silverado Trail, Lava Vine Winery, Joseph Phelps Vineyards (appt) and August Briggs Winery are recommended.

For Sonoma: I would stick to the Healdsburg area (Sonoma County - North). Smaller wineries include: Limerick Lane Cellars, Rochioli, Talty, Truett-Hurst, Stuhlmuller and more.

More hidden gems and best kept secrets....www.oenoventures.com

-----
Joseph Phelps Vineyards
200 Taplin Rd, Saint Helena, CA

Zahtila Vineyards
2250 Lake County Hwy, Calistoga, CA

Rutherford Grill
1180 Rutherford Rd, Napa, CA 94558

Elyse Winery
2100 Hoffman Ln, Napa, CA

Lava Vine
965 Silverado Trl, Calistoga, CA

Jul 03, 2011
OenoV in San Francisco Bay Area

Bread upon request

I have yet to see "complimentary bread" written on a menu, however, I can't say that I have ever paid close enough attention. I do understand that it's now a cost issue with a lot of restaurants but I still think it's more hospitable for the server to offer than the guest having to ask for it. I guess it's just my many years working in the hotel industry that makes me feel this way.

Jul 02, 2011
OenoV in Not About Food

Bread upon request

I don't think you should have to request the extras, wait staff should ask guests if they would like bread or water, it's all part of hospitable service. Otherwise, if a customer has never been to the restaurant, how do they know bread is offered? and if I saw bread on someone else's table, I may give the restaurant a bad review for service.

Jul 02, 2011
OenoV in Not About Food

Why is Foodie a nasty term?

I don't find "foodie" to be negative however, I can see why some people might find it to mean snobby. I love visiting restaurants recommended to foodies because it helps me to differentiate between what I find to be a good dish and what others feel is a gourmet dish.

Jul 02, 2011
OenoV in Not About Food

what (if anything) does it take for you to return to a bad restaurant?

The ONLY way I would return to a restaurant after having a bad experience is if the food was exceptional and I just had issues with the service. Service can always be a fluke but food quality and prep needs to be consistent. Also if it's a chain restaurant, I probably wouldn't go back, I always make exceptions for mom and pops.

Jul 02, 2011
OenoV in Not About Food

Honeymoon in Napa/Sonoma need help planning!

Well when I think of Romantic, dining on the terrace at Auberge Du Soliel comes to mind (even if it's just for dessert and champagne). You will enjoy sweeping views of the Napa Valley. I also recommend the less traveled Spring Mountain for wine tasting (Pride, Robert Keenan, Graeser etc). Sonoma has so many wonderful wineries, it's difficult to choose but I'll name some Limerick Lane, J. Rickards Winery, Passalacqua, Talty Vineyards, Stuhlmuller Vineyards. Here are some best kept secrets and hidden gems www.oenoventures.com

-----
Limerick Lane
1023 Limerick Lane, Healdsburg, CA

Jun 05, 2011
OenoV in San Francisco Bay Area