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Ripe Figs in the South Bay/Peninsula??

I've been getting some tasy figs at Bianchinni's market on Laurel in San Carlos. I think I paid about $2 or $2.50 a basket. IMHO I liked them better than the ones I got at the farmers' market.

Sep 14, 2009
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

gator's closed

Read in the local rag today that Gater's in San Mateo is closed, but may reopen elsewhere in the future. The restaurant was doing well, but the rent got raised too high for them. The wife is opening a southern cooking establishment in August, where The Dining Room used to be.

Jul 01, 2009
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Best stuck-in-the-past restaurants?

My vote also goes to Iron Gate in Belmont. They have various table -side preps and flaming dishes. You might want to dress up just a bit. BTW, The Accorn left Menlo Park some time ago and hasn't been seen since. Its decline had been sad to witness.

Jun 17, 2009
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

What to eat at Great American Music and Food festival at Shoreline Sat?

The Bobby Flay,etc. event at the Shoreline will present some tough choices. I want to make sure I eat something I can't normally get around here. I can't handle more than 2 entrees, plus somethings to go. May be budget challenging as well. I need help narrowing down my choices (nothing too hot, spicy). Thanks for any input.

Jun 11, 2009
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Unable to post reply

I've gotten as far as logging in, but can't seem to post a reply. Have clicked on "reply to original post" and "reply." Having a heck of a time. It used to be easier about a year ago.

Apr 18, 2009
vivian in Site Talk

Review of Azuze in San Carlos-- Two Stars

I can't believe you speaking so negatively aabout Azure. We were there last weekend, and all three of us were impressed with the great service and yummy food. The waiters couldn't do enough to please us, including splitting a lovely salad without charging extra. My ravioli and scallops with lobster sauce was beautiful to behold and to eat. The others in my party were very happy with their entrees. Two of shared a made-to-order very good choc. souffle.

Hope this balances out the negative comments.

Jul 26, 2008
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Portland CH needs help for three nights in Burlingame

About a year ago, I had a very tasty Italian dinner at Sapore on Burlingame Ave. A hot dish with prawns. Pleasant service. If you sit by the large open window, it might be fairly quiet. If you want really quiet, Ecco has nice food and ambience. On a side street off the Ave., maybe Lorton?

Jul 23, 2008
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Fried Chicken in South Bay? Peninsula?

Lil' Biscuit House on 37th Ave. in San Mateo. Their not so "lil" biscuits are terrific too, served with butter and honey. They have quite a selection of southern dishes, including mashed potatoes and gravy, spinach with bacon, barbeque, etc. I believe you can choose two sides with your entree. And, yes, I love their fried chicken. Not overly spicy.

May 17, 2008
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Recs for a Very Special Dinner- San Mateo Area

Had a marvelous birthday dinner about 3 weeks ago at Voignier. Food and service are excellent and there is a warm and pleasant atmosphere. It is interestingly located on top of Draeger's Market, an unscale grocery store. It is fun to browse the gifts and cookbooks and the downstairs has a tempting bakery as you walk in. See the link already given.

Feb 29, 2008
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

sort by date ?

It drives me nuts to follow a thread (on the S.F. bay area board) and have the dates of responses all mixed up. Can't you put them in order of date, either most recent to least recent or the other way around?


Dec 31, 2007
vivian in Site Talk

Best Peninsula Dining

I've had a few very good meals at mid-peninsula restaurants that you could hit on the way home. Had an excellent experience tonight and previously at Yan's Garden on Laurel in San Carlos. It is very satisfying, if not authentic Chinese with average prices and very pleasant service. Not a hole-in-the wall place. Nice atmosphere.
We've been to La Tosca several times, and it has always been really delish for Italian. One of their especially yummy items is gnocchi with sage-tomato sauce. Very light yet substantial enough. . Also recently visited Casablanca in Redwood City on Broadway. It is middle eastern with nice atmosphere and service. Had a puff pastry stuffed with shrimp and other items, which was an appetizer but meal-sized for me. Quite tasty and filling. Very good bread as well.

Dec 25, 2007
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Private Dining Room for 10 people

You didn't mention a location. Please indicate if just SF or other bay area location?

Oct 17, 2007
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Room with a sense of privacy on the Peninsula?

Oops -- I just re-read your post and see you are no longer in San Mateo. However, the parameters still work for my just-posted suggestion.

Aug 19, 2007
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Room with a sense of privacy on the Peninsula?

You didn't mention the number in your "small" group, but since you are in San Mateo, I'm surprsed you haven't considered the Left Bank in the shopping center near 10l. I had a wonderful birthday party there and was assisted ably by the private party planner. We only had about 11 people, but we got the smaller of their two private rooms. They have another such room that is considerably larger for at leat 25 people I believe. Both rooms can be closed off. The food, wine and service were all delightful.

Hope you have a great reunion wherever you end up, and report back!

Aug 19, 2007
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

What places do you go to because of chowhound?

Old Port Lobster Shack, Beard Papa , New Kapadokia - all in Redwood City.

Jul 09, 2007
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Slow website

Wondering what is wrong with your site. Lately, it takes FOREVER to change web pages. This is discouraging me from using the site as it is so frustrating.

Hope this problem can be corrected. Thanks

Jul 05, 2007
vivian in Site Talk

Recent experiences at 4 Seasons Quattro?

After reading widely disparate reviews after opening last year, I'm wondering if they have settled into some consistency, hopefully with wonderful food and service. Anyone have the recent scoop? We're thinking of finally giving it a try for dinner in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for any input.

May 31, 2007
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Peninsula Recommendation: Party For 70

Hope I'm not too late, but I heartily endorse the recommendation of Left Bank, San Mateo. I recently hosted a smaller group for a birthday, but they also have a much larger private room. Service and food outstanding, and their private dining manager is a pleasure to work with. Oodles of parking too.

May 09, 2007
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

What's in the old Cala at Geary & 27th Ave?

There is a Nob Hill (Raley's) in Redwood Shores, on the east side of 101 closer to San Carlos than Redwood City which it is officially a part of. Nice, large store. Produce pretty good, some good buys on seafood. Normal prices are pretty high, but selection and specials are very satisfactory.

Mar 07, 2007
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Azure - new - San Carlos

Finally had our long-awaited visit to this lovely place. Yes, it is "high-end", but excellent quality. If I had to nit-pic, I did have a little problem with either too much (my friend's babyback ribs and my dayboat scallops), or too little salt(my otherwise perfect lobster bisque). I noticed they did not have salt or pepper on the tables., and I missed having a vegie along with the entree. (You have to order a la carte and it is already expensive.) That being said, the scallops were the largest I have ever seen, and the truffled risotto that came with them was yummy. Also, the frites were perfect (came with the ribs). We also shared a wonderful trio of desserts, profiterole, molten chocolate cake and lemon tart which had a fabulous crust and brulee type topping.

The restaurant is very tastefully decorated. I love their flatware, and I really liked their attractive and comfortable chairs. They are now open for lunch, I believe Tues thru Fri.

Jan 15, 2007
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Surprisingly good pizza at Pronto in Redwood City

Glad you mentioned this place, have always wondered about it. It has an attractive facade, but I never had the nerve to wander in. I just checked the site (thanks for the link and the comments.) It sounds and looks good. Did you notice that they have a coupon page? Worth printing.


Jan 10, 2007
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Sancho's closed for expansion

When checking out the new Emerald Market in Redwood City, I noticed that Sancho's Tacqueria was closed. I learned from the locals that they were expanding due to huge popularity. Re-opening date unknown. They have received so many positive reviaews, I had wanted to try it when I went to the new grocery. It, by the way, is very nice, very upscale with prices to match. I wish they would label their baked goods which look good in their single serve containers, but you have to guess at what they are. The staff had no idea either.

Jan 01, 2007
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

65th birthday party in semi-private or private room in mid-peninsula

Recommendations would be greatly appreciated for a very pleasant space with good American or Meditteranean food, as close as possible to San Carlos for dinner, about 10 - 15 people on a Tuesday.

Thanks so much!

Dec 29, 2006
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

new restaurants in San Carlos, Redwood City

Thanks, Melane, for the links to Mandaloun. Will have to try.

Re, Azure, it is open. I have found two people who have been there. Pricey, but some items very good, especially the scallops and the rolled salmon. Lamb was reportedly not good (too fatty). I plan to check out this San Carlos place soon. Their menu is posted outside the front door. Supposedly they were planning a website, but, so far, no sign of one.

Now for a new rec on an old place. The Uptown Cafe on Laurel in S.C. was recently taken over by a new owner who has turned dinnertime into a very enjoyable full restaurant experience. Not to be missed, their homemade parmesan bread and baklava. Our entrees were very good, especially, mine which was fettuchini with salmon and prawns, on the nightly specials list outside as you enter. The ambiance hasn't changed and, on cold nights, can be chilly, but just dress warm and get a glow from the food.

Dec 12, 2006
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

new restaurants in San Carlos, Redwood City

Has anyone tried either Azure on ElCamino in San Carlos or Andaloun on Broadway in RWC? Would love to hear about them as their menus sound tantalizing.


Dec 09, 2006
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving recommendation for the Peninsula?

Suggest you take a look at They have several Peninsula T-Day listings. I noticed that Creo-la is featuring Turducken, which seems to be the latest sought-after version of foul.

Nov 16, 2006
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Recs lunch or early dinner near San Mateo Fairgrounds

For old-fashioned Italian, just on the other (west) side of El Camino is Luceti's with good quality food and full bar. Warm, casual ambience.

Oct 20, 2006
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Disappointing Dinner at Divino on Sunday

First time at the highly touted (Michael Bauer) Divino in Belmont. Perhaps our expectations were too high, but everything was just mediocre or a touch above. Certainly not worth the prices. Our small, pretty, composed salad of heirloom tomatoes and about one quarter, if that, of a thinly sliced avocado with an odd-tasting (tho not bad) dressing was $9.50. We shared the home made chard, ricotta, and pine nut ravioli,$14.95. The filling was very good but the pasta was way under-cooked, hard and very chewy edges. More dough than filling. Quite good walnut sauce, tho the nuts were finely ground and not recognizable but imparted a nice flavor. We also had the supposedly home-made gnocchi with tomato sauce and fresh mozzarrella,$14.75. The gnocchi looked mass-produced and were leaden. A bit more sauce would have helped swallow these doughy pellets. Obviously, these couldn't be the same light and airly pillows described in other reviews.

We could have dealt with the so-so food, if it weren't for the discomfort we felt at this restaurant. We have never felt so rushed thru a meal. We had to grab on to the plates and platters so we could finish off the last morsels. We weren't asked if we were through. Everything happened fast. We barely had a chance to puruse the menu before the waiter was there to take our order. Table was cleared between dishes before we had finished eating. The man was so eager to rapidly clear the table that he almost took my glasses case. It wasn't as if they needed the table. The place was busy but not full. The noise level was uncomfortably high. When presented with dessert menus, we were already so disillusioned that we declined, which is very unusual for us.

Our hopes have been dashed, and we won't be returning.

Sep 25, 2006
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

Da Flora's gnocchi

so where is this yummy place?

Sep 20, 2006
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area

best "vintage" restaurants on the Peninsula

Absolutely the Iron Gate on El Camino in Belmont. It has been a fav of mine and many friends for decades. They have waiters in tuxes who flame several dishes tableside. The food is great. It is a special occasion place or just when you want good, old-fashioned service and yummy food.

Sep 13, 2006
vivian in San Francisco Bay Area