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Chilanga's Profile

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Quick Help With Cooking Frozen Tourtiere (Meat Pie)

My tourtiere recipe has make-ahead instructions that say to freeze the unbaked pie (with filling already cooked), then defrost in the refrigerator for 6 hours until the pastry gives under a little bit of pressure, then bake normally.

Dec 22, 2011
Chilanga in Home Cooking

Modest-priced Sonoma restaurant for a small group

Can you tell us what you mean by "least offensive"? Are you looking for lower prices? Or a different kind of food?

I had dinner at the Depot Hotel about two months ago. It's not cutting edge Italian, but our salads and pastas were fine and service was good. We commented that it would be a good place to bring some of our visitors who are generally shocked by the high prices in Bay Area restaurants.

Sonoma Dinner Recommendations Please

I'll second Cafe LaHaye and La Salette and Gril and the Fig. I haven't been to El Dorado Kitchen in ages but a friend had dinner there last week and really liked it.

The only place in Sonoma coming close to the fanciness of Cyrus is Sante at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. I've only been once, last month, and it was a lovely experience. Beautiful place, nice service, good food, great wine list. Much, much more formal than anywhere else in town. You'd need to drive from your hotel.

You can also drive to downtown Napa within your 25 minute time limit. Not Yountville or St. Helena, but Napa would work.

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn
100 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma, CA 95476

Spending a week over Christmas in Central Sonoma; looking for all recs

A few weeks ago we had an excellent lunch at Olive and Vine, in the same complex as Raymond & Co. I had a corned beef ruben and lentil soup, both very tasty.

Olive & Vine
14301 Arnold Dr Ste 3, Glen Ellen, CA 95442

Spending a week over Christmas in Central Sonoma; looking for all recs

I highly recommend Sonoma Market for groceries and they have a good selection of wine as well. If you plan to have oysters or crab for Christmas Eve/Day, go a few days ahead of time to preorder. There is also a Whole Foods in town, and a large Safeway for staples.

Sonoma: La Dee's Diner - Texas chili, BBQ, cornbread and fried pickles

We had lunch at La Dee's on Saturday, the patio was nice on such a hot day.

I learned that I do like fried pickles. They'll let you have them as a side for $1.95. My grilled chicken sandwich with BBQ sauce was good and very large, my husband's club sandwich was also good but not overly large (not a triple decker, which is what I think of as a club sandwich). Onion rings were tasty but messy and the PBR was cold.

We'd definitely go back and try some BBQ.

Thanksgiving Dinner in Sonoma? party of 16, ideas? price range~$50/head?

In addition to the three restaurants mentioned by cyberroo, last year Estate and Saddles served Thanksgiving dinner. this article from the Sonoma Sun newspaper will give you an idea of prices and menus. (Note that Deuce is closed, replaced by Emmy's Spaghetti Shack.)

Workday Lunch in southern marin

And the Corte Madera Town Center (the one on the west side of the 101) has a Farmer's market on Wednesday at lunchtime, there are a few vendors selling prepared foods - Thai summer rolls and salad, a ceviche stand, and an Indian place.

Workday Lunch in southern marin

A few from our regular rotation:

Saigon Village in San Rafael. Good pho and vermicelli. They take your order quickly and food arrives quickly. When you finish eating, walk up to the cash register to pay, it can take forever to get a bill. Street parking only, but we never have trouble finding a spot.

Taqueria Mi Familia in San Rafael. I like the tacos, my coworkers like the burritos. Lots of parking.

Michael's Sourdough in San Rafael. Google for directions, it's in an odd location. Great sandwiches, especially when the bread is still warm from the oven.

Sushi-ko in Larkspur Landing. Decent japanese, not expensive, the lunch specials are often very good.

In Corte Madera, Paradise Market will make sandwiches the way you want them and have a good selection of prepared salads. The prepared sushi isn't bad either.

Also in Corte Madera, our favorite recession lunch is a slice and a drink at Stefano's Pizza for $5. You can sit outside.

Saigon Village
720 B St, San Rafael, CA 94901

Michael's Sourdough Sandwiches
3095 Kerner Blvd Ste L, San Rafael, CA 94901

Sushi Ko
1819 Larkspur Landing Cir, Larkspur, CA 94939

Taqueria Mi Familia
55 Bellam Blvd, San Rafael, CA 94901

Paradise Market
5627 Paradise Dr, Corte Madera, CA

Stefano's Pizzeria
225 Corte Madera Ave, Corte Madera, CA 94925

Good, Cheap, Basic Food for Parents - need rec.

It isn't basic American or Italian, but some of our plain-eating visitors have liked Bistro Aix for steak frites or chicken. Prices are in line with Mescolanza, and they have a prix fixe some nights that is a good deal. If you think they might be headed to wine country I have more ideas.

Bistro Aix
3340 Steiner St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Healthy Restaurants in Napa Valley and Sonoma?

I really like Shiso in the town of Sonoma, primarily for sushi but I like the cooked dishes, too. In Healdsburg I've had sushi at Sake'O, although it's been a while. And it doesn't get a lot of support on this board, but I think the sushi at Go Fish in St. Helena is good. There is also a new Hog Island Oyster Bar in the Oxbow Market in the city of Napa.

522 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476

Sake O
505 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448

Go Fish
641 Main St, St. Helena, CA 94574

Hog Island Oyster Co
610 1st St, Napa, CA

Foodie holiday present help - way out of the box!

Avedano's has a 3-hour butchery class that sounds really interesting. I see classes listed through the end of the year, so you'd need to call them about 2009.

235 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110


We had a very good meal there last week. The standout dishes were flatbread with feta cheese & pomegranate molasses and a pasta (gemelli? I don't exactly remember). And those fried onions are addictive. Interesting selection of wines by the glass. The server didn't mind that we ordered dishes two at a time rather than all at once. We 'd been there once before, maybe 6 months ago, and this time was just as good.

Sonoma- El Dorado Kitchen, girl and fig, La Sallate, Shiso?

I really like Shiso, we've eaten there 5 or 6 times. Everything's been very fresh and well-prepared. Don't shy away from the cooked small plates, they're as good as the sushi and rolls. Service is very nice, if a little on the casual side. It's a very modern looking room, not at all wine-country in style. There are sake flights, cocktails and a short wine list. And if ginger creme brulee is on the dessert menu you must have it.

I've been to El Dorado Kitchen once and also liked that a lot. Great cocktails, excellent food and a more urban atmosphere.

Marina Inn

I'll add Hime for Japanese food in a trendier setting (on Lombard near Cafe Maritime), Isa (Steiner at Lombard) and Terzo (Steiner at Union) for small plates, both doable in your price range if you don't have expensive wine. Mezes (on Chestnut) has decent greek food. Pane e Vino (Union near Gough) for pasta and pizza.

If you don't mind walking somewhat uphill on the way there, on Polk street I like Yabbie's Coastal Kitchen for seafood, Pesce for small plates, Antica Trattoria for Italian, and Petit Robert is pretty good for neighborhood french. If you don't mind a steeper uphill walk, Luella, Frascati and Sushi Groove are on Hyde Street, near Union.

If you want to splurge, Plumpjack Cafe (Fillmore St.) has gotten good press lately, although I haven't been there yet. And Gary Danko really is within easy walking distance :)

There are Boulangerie bakeries on Union and Polk street for breakfast and snacks and Nectar wine lounge on Steiner for interesting wines by the glass.

hyde street pier

For Japanese food, there is Grandeho's Kamekyo on Hyde Street between Beach and North Point. It's casual, the service has been friendly and the food we've had (appetizers and sushi) has been good.

ISO Brazilian crowd pleasers - Help!

Will she eat Bahian food? My first thought would be a shrimp moqueca, it's easy to do for a crowd, you can make it spicy or not, and it would make a good counterpoint to the usual Thanksgiving food.

Many of the popular Brazilian snacks are deep-fried and really don't work unless you have the Brazilian secret weapon....a kitchen staff to keep the batches coming all night.

Do you have access to an outdoor grill? Most of the parties I attended were feasts of sausage and beef with rice and big bowls of vinegareta (I'm sure that's spelled wrong).

To keep the Brazilian theme you can serve caipirinhas and caipiroskas. In addition to the regular ones with lime, many people liked them with different fruits (strawberry, mango) whizzed in the blender.

What about something Italian or Japanese, maybe a big bowl of yakisoba?

I have some Brazilian cookbooks if you need ideas.

Nov 01, 2006
Chilanga in Home Cooking

Coi Review

Even if you don't do the whole tasting menu you'll still get a good overview. We ate at Coi two nights ago and in addition to the three courses plus dessert on the "dinner" menu we also had two amuses and the cold/hot chocolate 2nd dessert. Between us we tried all four of the fish courses, the duck and the lamb, so there was enough variety. Everything was delicious, service was nice and I thought the room was very comfortable. $75 per person for food ($105 for the tasting menu) definitely makes it a special occasion place, though.

Portions from the dinner menu are larger than those from the tasting menu but still small enough that you are wondering half way through if you will need to get a pizza at the end (you don't). I wonder if the 2nd dessert is for those who have been cleaning their plates all evening?

The wine list was short but looked interesting. I always hope that when the list is full of things I don't recognize it means that someone is doing some serious tasting before deciding what to put on the list. I think that's the case here based on two glasses to begin (a rose and a Sancerre) and on a bottle of red burgundy that I can highly recommend - 2003 Earl Camus Bruchon Savigny-Gravains. $60 seemed very reasonable and it went will with most of the food.