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Where to pick up our picnic food in Napa (heading up from SF to Calistoga)

You can pick up sandwiches and pastries at Bouchon Bakery. If you stop in Yountville, you can also get food at Michael Chiarello's Napa Style.

Bouchon Bakery
6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

Calistoga, Napa, SF - Itinerary Critique Please!

It's too bad that chowdog21 has not had a memorable experience at Redd. I have been going practically every Sunday for the last year and have never had a bad experience. Sit at the bar to get the best service. Plus, the chef is always in the kitchen cooking.
Bottega is very good and a beautiful restaurant, but for some reason it feels a little bit like an L.A. restaurant.
Don't even think about Del Dotto, it's a phony. They claim to have caves but it's just a building with dirt and grass on the roof. Notice there is no hill or mountain around the building so there can be no real caves.
Alpha Omega is a great reccomendation. To avoid the heaviest traffic try tasting rooms on the Silverado Trail. A personal favorite of mine is James Cole.

Good Wine list in D.C. restaurants?

I am very excited about their wine list. They have 7 different bottles of our neighbors' wine on their list. Not even our local restaurants have that many.

Good Wine list in D.C. restaurants?

Thanks for your help. It looks like I have a lot of homework to do.

Does anyone have an opinion of Mio. A friend recommended it because he thinks my bf is a food and wine snob(which he is not) but when I went to the website, the food looked kind of boring.

Good Wine list in D.C. restaurants?

Citronelle is on the list of maybes'. As I stated in a reply to Gigi007 there is going to be a very large doctor/pharmaceutical convention, and we want to steer clear of the restaurants everyone else will be going to.

Good Wine list in D.C. restaurants?

Sonoma County is HUGE. Whereabouts will you be going?

Good Wine list in D.C. restaurants?

We are definitely going there. I saw it in the NY Times a few weeks ago. Is it more of a local crowd? We're going with a large converntion and I would like to stay out of the "regular" places that tourists visit.

Good Wine list in D.C. restaurants?

My boyfriend and I will be in D.C. in mid-March and need some restaurant suggestions. We live in the Napa Valley and really enjoy places with great food and great wine lists. The food does not have to be organic or anything like that. Preparation and uniqueness is more important. As far as wine lists go, we would like a place with a strong wine by the glass list: A good combination of reds and whites. We are not interested in Asian or Mexican food. So far we've booked one night at Mio.

We'll be staying at the Grand Hyatt on H street NW but can easily walk a few miles, take public transportation or cabs. We are willing to spend upto $200/person.

Thanks for you help. I look forward to answering your questions on your next trip to the Bay Area.

Need suggestions for appetizers for 30+ people

My sister's mother-in-law is hosting a graduation party and supplying the main courses but has asked us to bring nibbles for people to munch on while everyone mingles. I would like recipies that are more like cocktail snacks. It will be very informal.

The main part of the meal will consist of turkey, baked ham, and what has been described to me as "some kind of carved meat". The sides will be assorted vegetables and mashed potatoes. The party is in a smallish city so the ingredients need to be pretty basic. The guests are mainly Mexican so anything spicy will be ok.


Dec 10, 2008
rocio415 in Home Cooking

Visiting from San Francisco Need lunch and dinner suggestions

My boyfriend and I will be visiting in 2 weeks and need some really great restaurant suggestions. Usually when we travel, we grab a Michelin Guide and have lunch at places "mentioned" (but have no star) and dinner in 1 or 2 star restaurants (may splurge on a 3 star). Mainly what we look for is not only good food, but good atmosphere, and good service. A place with a large wine list is a plus since we are involved in the wine industry in Napa Valley. As far as price we would preffer to keep dinner at about $100 per person and lunch under $50 per person (including wine). We will be staying in the old town in both cities Le St. Sulpice in Montreal and Chateu Frontenac in Quebec. We will not have a car so we would like places that we can walk to (can walk a few miles). Finally my bf is in his 60's and doesnt particularly like loud places or ethnic (mexican, chinese etc.) food. He prefers French.

Thanks for your help! We're looking forward to visiting these beautiful cities.

Lunch for 20 in Napa Valley

My choice would be Bistro Don Giovanni or Celadon though keeping things under $30 pp may prove to be a little difficult in a restaurant. I tend to average about $40-50 pp including wine.

Alternative to French Laundry?

Gary Danko is a Michelin 1 star and French Laundry is a 3 star so (if you believe in the judgement of the Michelin) there technically is no exact French Laudry alternative. The closest would be Meadowood (2 star) though as stated before has changed chefs. Terra and La Toque are both 1 stars and probably the best and most romantic. The Auberge du Soliel is worth the view and might be a good place for lunch.

Michael Mina, Boulevard, Quince, Delfina.........

Another great place for lunch is Jeanty at Jack's. It has a beautiful dining room and great French food. For dinner, I would definitely skip Michael Minna and head to Aqua, Boulevard, and Quince. I liked Coi it has a great dining room and most of the food was good, but the waiter with the fake French accent gave us incorrect information on both food and wine and had too much attitude for my taste.

Visiting from Toronto and looking for the best affordable eats

Lately most wineries require reservations so make sure you call in advance. If you'll be in the Yountville area (where the restaurants I recommeded are located) there are a few great places. Right next door to Bouchon is Hope & Grace, further down the street is Jessup Cellars both which have a small tasting room and not super touristy despite the location. About a 10 minute drive away is Robert Biale which focuses on very strong Zinfandales so make sure you eat before going there, also make sure to get the story about "Black Chicken". Last but not least is Elyse winery off of highway 29 does really great red wines particularly Cabernet Sauvignon. Have a fabulous time.

Jessup Cellars
yountville,ca, yountville, ca

Elyse winery
yountville,ca, yountville, ca

Robert Biale Winery
4038 Big Ranch Rd, Napa, CA

Visiting from Toronto and looking for the best affordable eats

Which celebrity chef in Manhattan? I read the owners and chef are from Mexico DF hence also the owners of Mexico DF. Regardless, it is the best Mexican food I have had in SF not necessarily the best Mexican food I've ever had.

Visiting from Toronto and looking for the best affordable eats

ha the Frontera Grill comment. I've been there and have no idea why it's so popular.

You have made a great choice in going to Swan's try to go during the week so you don't have to wait in line too long. If you'll be in town for the evening skip the wharf for chowder and instead go to Bar Crudo for their seafood chowder (and everything else).

If you want to try some good Mexican food go to Maya. It's the most authentic I've found in the city. It's a little bit more of an upscale restaurant similar to Frontera Grill.

In Napa you can't go wrong with French food. Try either Bouchon or Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. Will you do any wine tasting there? I taste there at least once a week if you need any suggestions.

Has anyone tried the new Chez Papa Resto in the Mint Plaza?

I also live near by and am dying for a GREAT new restaurant. I've never been to the Portrero location but been to the new location twice in the last 10 days. The first time I made a reservation 1 hour before we were to show up and they were very accomodating. Staff is super friendly, great server, and the owner went around to everyone's table multiple times to ensure everyone liked their food. We tried the crab salad, sweetbreads, steak tartare and pomme frites. With the exception of the pomme frites I thought everything was great.

The second time the service was equally as wonderful but sat at the bar this time and I thought the bartender was a little overwhelmed and a bit slow. This time we had the steak tartare and sweetbreads again, and the lamb chops for appetizers. I thought the tartare could use a few less ingredients but you DO get to choose what goes into it, so I guess it was my fault. For entrees I ordered the Halibut which was overcooked (mushy not flaky) and my friend ordered the filet mignon (medium rare) which was undercooked. I sent my food back and received a very sincere apology from the manager who insited on fixing the problem.

Overall I think the appetizers are great, good wine list, and AMAZING service. Entrees fell short but I did promise to give them one more try.

Wine tasting in Napa Valley

If you are in Yountville for lunch try Jessup Cellars. It is on Washington street directly across from the (now closed) P.J's Steak. Don't be fooled by the location the wine is great and they rely on word of mouth so it's not a tourist trap.

Wine tasting in Napa Valley

My recommendation is to skip really touristy places such as Mumm and Duckhorn because you don't get a very authentic experience. Also, places that require appointments are great because the tasting room isn't ridiculously full.

Do not miss Caymus. Elyse is great for red wines it has easy access off of highway 29 but far away enough to feel secluded. If you want a great setting for sparkling wine Domaine Carneros is exquisite though touristy, but you sit down and have table service so you don't have to fight the crowds. Last but not least, McKenzie Mueller has been one of my favorite experiences. Mrs. McKenzie was waiting for us in the parking lot, took us to a back room (no formal tasting room) and proceeded to let us taste 12 wines. It was quaint and highly enojoyable. The last two are in Carneros and I strongly advise that you go there, at least for the view.
I've heard great things about Del Dotto and Fleury which I will make plans to go to this coming weekend so I'll keep you posted.

Happy Tasting!!

SF CH's, help a Philly hound out!

I was in Philadelphia 2 weeks ago and went to El Vez so, I know what you mean when you say the Mexican food there is no good. The best mexican food I have found so far is Maya.
There is a great Vietnamese sandwich shop in Chinatown called Little Paris. You can get your lunch then walk to the park in North beach if it's a nice day.
For sushi I like Ryoko's. The food is good and the restaurant a little quirky. For a gastro pub, my choice is the Irish Bank. These are all pretty close to Union Square.

Maya Restaurant
303 2nd St., San Francisco, CA 94107

Irish Bank Bar and Restaurant
10 Mark Ln, San Francisco, CA 94108

Little Paris Coffee Shop
939 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108

Ryoko Restaurant & Bar
619 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94102

03/08 Wine Country: Plse. Help Complete Our (Picky)Quest!: Ubuntu,Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, Mustards, Zuzu,____,____?

My favorite restaurant in Napa is Bistro Don Giovanni. They have a great hamburger. All of the condiments which, I believe, change daily are a great compliment to it. The menu may be a little simple but it is really delicious. They have their traditional dishes but they add new items to the menu every day. As an added bonus, Mrs. Scala who is the mastermind behind the the restaurant (or restaurant's if you count Scalas), is usually there on Saturdays and is always willing to chat. Also, this is THE locals place so if you are not with a large group sit at the bar. On any given day you can get to meet some of the valley's best wine makers.

What is it about Perbacco?

I had the octopus salad and still found it unimpressive. I'll try the pork shoulder and ravioli next time.

Sat, nite dinner for a large group

Sounds like fun! Try Puccini and Pinetti or if you can get everyone out of Union Square Palomino can surely accomodate all of you.

Puccini & Pinetti
129 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

345 Spear St., San Francisco, CA 94105

3 Wine Biz Girlies Looking for Great Bar in the Marina Area

East Side West has a great Happy Hour and a wonderful Bloody Mary. If you go there you can also grab a great burger across the street at the Balboa Cafe. Sit at the bar instead of a table the service is usually better.

What is it about Perbacco?

I have now tried it 3 times and fail to see what all the rave is about . The service is really wonderful, I love the bartenders, they have some great wines, but it seems to me that the food is lacking in flavor not quality. Am I alone on this?

What restaurant has most impressed visitors?

For big city foodies, my recommendation is Kokkari. That space is so striking, even going to the bathroom is an adventure. I also think Frisson is a great space but the food was not memorable.
I would take Aunt Maude to Townhall at about 5:30 before it gets too noisy or Scala's. In Napa, Bistro Don Giovanni is, in my opinion. an absolute MUST as is Bouchon.

Lunch near Convention Ctr. or MOMA?

Thanks for all the advice. I got sick during my stay so we ended up dining near the hotel. We went to a great wine bar and restaurant called Vintage, Reading Terminal Market, El Vez, but my favorite was dining at the Bar Lyonnaise at le Bec Fin.

Also, I thought the Philadelphia Art Museum was part of the museum of modert art because there is a MOMA in SF which will be showing the Khalo exhibit soon. So YES, I was a little confused.

Mar 18, 2008
rocio415 in Pennsylvania

Lunch near Convention Ctr. or MOMA?

Coming into town from San Francisco and need some really great reccomendations. I just want some great food, fun atmosphere, with a wine list perhaps. Are most places BYOB? Also, I have to have a great philly cheesesteak. I'll be at the Mariott on Market St. and going to see an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art and don't mind walking around.

Mar 13, 2008
rocio415 in Pennsylvania

LA to SF: Need some great recs (relatively) accessible from Omni

The problem with your location is that it's in the Financial District and the good restaurants are a little pricey and may not be open on the weekend. Here are a few of my suggestions but you would have to take a cab.
Fisherman's Wharf- Scomo's
Nice dinner/affordable/not Italian or French- Iluna Basque in North Beach
Sushi L.A style- Blowfish (a little far away near Mission)
Chinese food- Yuet Lee on Stockton and Broadway
Steak- El Raigon (delicious Argentine steak)
Seafood- Bar Crudo (a little gem)

Hope you guys enjoy your stay!!!

Brunch w/ BF's Parents - has to be more old school than trendy

Moose's seems like it would be nice. It's historical and a great location. I read that they will be changing owners soon, so it may be the last opportunity to go. Town's End is a little informal. It seems like more of a cafeteria place. Plus, I didn't think the food was any good.