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Calistoga dinner for 19...please help, Chowhounds

Moderate. Entrées up to $25.

Having a place where the two children (1 and 7) will be OK is important. And I can't imagine that there won't be various food restrictions with 17 adults.

about 8 hours ago
Discerning1 in San Francisco Bay Area

Calistoga dinner for 19...please help, Chowhounds

We're having a multi-generational birthday dinner in Calistoga soon on a Saturday night. 17 adults and 2 young ones.

Where to go? Has anyone been to 1226 Washington in the old Wappo Grill space?

Please, please help.

Apr 13, 2014
Discerning1 in San Francisco Bay Area

Recipes for non-traditional ice cream flavors?

Woodchuck?!? Please explain.

Apr 02, 2014
Discerning1 in Home Cooking

Chick-fil-A kickin' the Colonels butt

Is it really chicken that KFC serves in the US?

Apr 02, 2014
Discerning1 in Chains

Chick-fil-A kickin' the Colonels butt

Regarding the boycott, I just found this disappointing quote in the 3/14/14 Atlanta Constitution from the Chick-fil-A CEO:

"When the Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked how he feels about anti-gay measures that would allow business owners to turn down LGBT customers in the name of religion, Cathy said:

"I think that’s a political debate that’s going to rage on. And the wiser thing for us to do is to stay focused on customer service"

Apr 01, 2014
Discerning1 in Chains

Recipes for non-traditional ice cream flavors?

Yum!

Apr 01, 2014
Discerning1 in Home Cooking

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: January 2014-June 2014

Yes, I saw it today at the Santa Cruz, CA store. The onions were darker. I didn't buy it because I've been hoarding the old stuff in case of disappearance.

Mar 28, 2014
Discerning1 in Chains

Updated Santa Cruz restaurant reviews/opinions, please!

So is Berkeley. But our dinner last night at Assembly was a hopeful sign.

Mar 16, 2014
Discerning1 in California

Updated Santa Cruz restaurant reviews/opinions, please!

We ate at Assembly tonight and it was terrific. Sophisticated, attractive, flavorful, excellent ingredients, beautifully plated. The servers were attentive and helpful.

The dinner started with slices of an outstanding levain-type bread. For mains we had the slow-cooked chicken with house made chorizo, white beans, artichokes and green olive relish. And we had the braised pasture-raised beef with roasted turnips, celery root puree, caramelized onion broth and fresh horseradish.

The chicken was a knock-out and the chorizo added good flavor. The beef and accompaniments were also tasty. I like to braise at home, and ordering braised foods in a restaurant is my test of the cooking chops of the place. Both of these dishes passed with flying colors.

There is a good wine and beer list, but a highlight for me was the presence of Navarro varietal pinot noir grape juice, an excellent non-alcoholic option.

For dessert, we had the milk bread with caramelized bananas, house made yogurt, candy cap mushroom ice cream and hazelnut praline. And we had the Bearss lime tart with jasmine meringue, lime confit, white chocolate ice cream and lime gelée.

Both desserts were extraordinary. Each component was perfect and set off the other components beautifully.

The desserts reflect the talent of co-owner Kendra Baker, former pastry chef at Michelin-starred Manresa in Los Gatos. Zach Davis and Baker own Penny Ice Cream too.

The portions are moderate, so we probably would share a starter next time and share one dessert as well.

Everything was well-executed. The only quibble was that the roasted turnip was a little tough on the outside.

It feels like Santa Cruz has arrived.

Mar 16, 2014
Discerning1 in California
1

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: January 2014-June 2014

Oh, no! I love that stuff.

Mar 12, 2014
Discerning1 in Chains

Updated Santa Cruz restaurant reviews/opinions, please!

Well, I liked Bonny Doon Cellar when it was open...but it's gone. I tried La Posta; it was good but not memorable.

Haven't been back at Au Midi in years, but enjoyed it when we were there.

Honestly, my favorite place to eat in Santa Cruz is from the Roli Roti truck at the Farmer's Market. The pork knuckles are very flavorful and the chicken is good.

Haven't been to Bantam yet and will try it. But I was let down by the Picnic Basket. The porchetti sandwich was serviceable, but we were looking for bold and daring.

Laili's is another one that I find good, but not great.

Not trying to make "nasty blanket statements," but Santa Cruz seems to be too insular to sustain outstanding cuisine.

It continues to amaze me that excellent Vietnamese food lies over the hill, but hasn't migrated to Santa Cruz. Nor has good Middle Eastern made its way from San Jose.

And we live in a paradise of locally grown produce, fish and seafood, and pasture-raised meat. Why is it not translating into outstanding local cuisine?

Produce grown in the Santa Cruz mountains fuels Michelin-starred Manresa in Los Gatos. Will Santa Cruz not support a restaurant of that caliber?

Mar 11, 2014
Discerning1 in California

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: January 2014-June 2014

Yes, it's seasonal. I needed some to make onion tarts last week and was so disappointed.

But Whole Foods had a very expensive and high quality product by DuFour that I used.

Mar 11, 2014
Discerning1 in Chains

Updated Santa Cruz restaurant reviews/opinions, please!

I'll have to try these places, because in my not-so-humble opinion, food in Santa Cruz is pretty bad.

Mar 10, 2014
Discerning1 in California

Freezer phobia - what freezes well and doesn't compromise quality?

Thank you for explaining this.

I'm part of a seafood CSA and I've noticed the flat fish are yucky after I freeze any extra fish, but the firm fish are fine.

Mar 09, 2014
Discerning1 in Home Cooking

Local Catch Monterey Bay - Community Supported Fishery

I appreciate your notebook of fishes and dishes. As for me, I can barely remember last week, let alone months before.

Last week my friend got oysters (part of the new system; she's "Full Bounty" and I'm "Classic") and I got Dungeness crab. We swapped half of each and each made cioppino. I added some extra lingcod I'd frozen.

Good dish.

Mar 08, 2014
Discerning1 in California
1

Local Catch Monterey Bay - Community Supported Fishery

I confited the albacore in olive oil, garlic, shallots and rosemary and used it for pan bagnat sandwiches and salades niçoises. It was really good.

Mar 08, 2014
Discerning1 in California

What Really Happened to the 24th St. Real Foods [San Francisco]

Thanks, Robert. My brain read 2013 instead of 2003.

Mar 03, 2014
Discerning1 in San Francisco Bay Area

What Really Happened to the 24th St. Real Foods [San Francisco]

Hey, hey, hey, Celeste. I just saw this months later. I beg to differ.

I greatly admire Rainbow...excellent spices and herbs; a better cheese department than many gourmet places; good organic produce; great olives, miso, olive oils, imported and domestic condiments, etc., etc.

Plus Rainbow is an essential component of SF life. Read the history http://www.rainbow.coop/about/history/.

Mar 03, 2014
Discerning1 in San Francisco Bay Area

Restaurants in Tarn region

I'll be in Cordes this summer for a month. I'm interested in updated recommendations from posters on this thread.

Feb 19, 2014
Discerning1 in France

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn

Thank you.

Feb 19, 2014
Discerning1 in France

Freezer phobia - what freezes well and doesn't compromise quality?

I like the frozen cubes idea.

When there's still wine in a bottle (especially red, which doesn't refrigerate), I put it in an uncovered saucepan and reduce it until it's syrupy.

Stored in a jar, it is a wonderful base to add tarragon and butter for a steak or for other sauces.

Feb 17, 2014
Discerning1 in Home Cooking
2

Freezer phobia - what freezes well and doesn't compromise quality?

Living in the country, several miles from the nearest grocery store, I keep the freezer stocked with nuts; bones of various genres and shellfish shells for stocks; slices of galangal; frozen cubes of coconut milk; portioned raw meats, seafood, and poultry; portions of soups and stocks I've made; cooked brown rice; Thin Mints in season; and the bowl of my ice-cream maker.

The freezer serves as part of the pantry.

For things like brown rice I spread cooked brown rice over a baking sheet and freeze the grains. When they are frozen this way, they are more separate and not in clusters. Then I put them in a freezer bag to scoop some out as needed (I've done this with quinoa too). I decided if Trader Joe's could do it, I could do it myself!

Likewise, I "individually quick freeze" portions of raw meat, fish or poultry and then chuck them into a large freezer bag to use for individual meals.

Feb 16, 2014
Discerning1 in Home Cooking

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn

The book arrived this week. Thanks for the tip!

Feb 09, 2014
Discerning1 in France

Best place for Dim Sum in Chinatown, not touristy [San Francisco]

I haven't been at City View in years, but when we went, we enjoyed it thoroughly. A hotel concierge recommended it and we found it to have small plates as well as traditional dim sum.

Feb 03, 2014
Discerning1 in San Francisco Bay Area

The Calistoga Kitchen

We're looking for a place to dine to celebrate a birthday in late April in Calistoga. Any feedback about the Calistoga Kitchen? It will be an eclectic group of foodies and non-foodies (practically non-eaters!).

JoLe may be too precious for this mix. Advice?

Feb 02, 2014
Discerning1 in San Francisco Bay Area

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn

I'm going to be spending several weeks in Cordes, France this summer. Does anyone have restaurant, market or general food recommendations for Cordes and the surrounding area?

It is about 50 miles from Toulouse.

Jan 09, 2014
Discerning1 in France

Christmas Day Dining in LA

Yes, we're looking for a Westside Chinese restaurant for Jewish Christmas Day (after movie, of course).

Dec 21, 2013
Discerning1 in Los Angeles Area

Good Westside Chinese restaurant open on Christmas Day

Looking for a place to eat Chinese food on Christmas Day for a party of 8.

Dec 21, 2013
Discerning1 in Los Angeles Area

LEMON GRASS

Yes, it grows well in temperate climates, but not for those in frosty climes. I live in the Monterey Bay of CA and need to keep it sheltered against a west-facing wall to help it survive.

I have read that it can be moved inside in cold weather.

Dec 21, 2013
Discerning1 in Home Cooking

SURVEY: Glass-ceramic or coil stove?

I'm confused; are you looking for cooktops or oven/cooktop combo?

I am glad I got a convection oven. My father always roasted the most succulent chickens in my parents' convection oven so I was a believer.

Dec 20, 2013
Discerning1 in Cookware