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Michelle Grinnell's Profile

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Where should I get a drink before Ad Hoc?

I would also suggest REDD. You might also try Bouchon. The bar is not very large but if the weather is nice there are tables outside where you can enjoy some cocktails (and some oysters if you would like). Pacific Blues is great for beer but is is very casual spot.

Other Than Wineries Suggestions for Napa/Sonoma

As Kresge86 mentioned, Napa valley Olive Oil Comany and Long Meadow Ranch are both great spots to consider for Olive Oil. I would also encourage a visit to Round Pond for wine and olive oil tastings (located in Rutherford just south of St. Helena).

For chocolates, you must consider making a stop in at Woodhouse in St. Helena, where the chocolates are handcrafted there in the back of the shop. You won't be dissapointed - they are truly incredible.

Drive and Dine out of SF

Sorry - I didn't realize Manka's was closed! I skipped over the last part of your post.
One more to try: The Olema Inn

Drive and Dine out of SF

How about Manka's just outside SF?
Or perhaps Cetrella in Half Moon Bay?
This is more of a jaunt, but Sea Ranch Lodge is a gorgeous drive, and the dining is very romantic:

Restaurants and a Celebration Activity for SF/Sonoma

For her gift - what about a balloon ride followed by brunch, or a lunch/dinner on the Wine Train?

Wineries with good wine + picnic area

One of the best picnic spots is V. Sattui in St. Helena, however their wine is sub-par, so I wouldn't recommend it. Try either of the following:

Rutherford Hill:


Buena Vista

Best Croque Monsieur in SF?

I don't know if my suggestion is the absolute best in SF, but the Butler and the Chef in South Park make an excellent one.

Breakfast in Napa?

ABC Bakery is a great choice. I would also recommend Fume Bistro for Sunday brunch:

I love Boon Fly but agree that the number of toursits can make it hard to get in.

Looking for Italian Restaurant in Napa

I have to agree with poster bobpantzer and say that Don Gio's is terrific. It is your best bet for Italian food in town, although I would definitely not classify many of the dishes as "authentic Italian." Uva has declined GREATLY and I would not suggest it.

1 Day in Napa

REDD is a good bet. So is Angele. I am surprised to see that no one has posetd about Ubuntu yet, as I have noticed a lot of people are die-hard fans and continue to recommend it. I truly think your best bet is REDD, but you should look online at the menus for Angele and Ubuntu to see if either might strike your fancy.

Please help me narrow down my choices for Sunday Brunch/Lunch in Napa area

REDD and Boonfly are both excellent choices. Don't bother with Wappo, and Farm is good, but your first two selections are certainly the best. One thing to note - Boonfly does not accept reservations, and you may be forced to wait a long time before getting a table, depending on when you show up. If your day is already pretty structured Sunday I would go with REDD, so you know you won't have to wait. Both are fantastic however.

Best Macaroni and Cheese

I second the vote for Boonfly Cafe in Napa:

Out of town hound looking for anniversary dinner...

La Toque or Terra are wonderful for a special night

Wine Bars in SF

Cav is great. Also try Nectar Wine Lounge on Steiner St.

Sonoma County - Outdoor Dining and Patio recs

Not quite Sonoma county - but since I see you have come to St. Helena for Taylor's Refresher I would also suggest Pizzeria Tra Vigne. It has a nice outdoor patio, excellent pizza and pastas, and is a great spot to bring kids. Another perk - should you choose to bring a bottle of wine to enjoy, there is no corkage (a rarity in these parts).

The Swiss Hotel on Sonoma Square is another fun spot. Good food (Country Italian) and lovely outdoor patio.

Your favorite place for steak in the Bay Area?

Cole Chop House without question...but come prepared, it is expensive (but worth it).

Wine Country: Ubuntu or Bistro Don Giovanni for dinner?

Bistro Don Giovanni by far! Ubuntu is great, and the food is wonderfully prepared and creative, but portions tend to be very small, and unless you plan to order large quantities of food to share, you have a good chance of leaving hungry. Don Giovanni's is one of those places in the Valley that you can always count on for an incredible meal. The food is fantastic, and regularly receives great reviews. Michael Bauer, food critic for the SF Chronicle regularly includes Don Giovanni's in his yearly top 100 list: This has been a local's favorite place for years, and it remains one of my favorite spots to recommend to tourists as well, as I know they will not be disappointed. For more info you can visit their website:

looking for great bar food in vegas

Wolfgang Puck's Bar and Grill in the MGM has great food with a slightly more casual atmosphere. They have wonderful pizzas, and incredible truffled potato chips with Maytag blue cheese. Prices range from $15 - 25.

Apr 14, 2008
Michelle Grinnell in Southwest

Foody Date Place in SF?

You may have already enjoyed your date, but if not, 1550 Hyde Cafe & Wine Bar is a wonderful place for a date night. The dining room is intimate, and includes a wonderful selection of appetizers, cheese selections, main courses and a great wine list. This is also a good place to stop in for a pre dinner glass of wine, should you choose to dine elsewhere. Prices are reasonable, and they use local producers that practice environmentally sustainable agriculture.

Planning a trip to NZ - what's good to eat?

I would also highly recommend Allan Scott Winery, for dining, and Hapuku Lodge, in Kaikoura. Enjoy your travels!

Planning a trip to NZ - what's good to eat?

For a special splurge, you MUST visit Herzog Estate, located in Blenheim on the South Island. Beautiful wines are paired with a carefully selected menu of fresh local ingredients. The service is excellent, and since the weather should still be warm when you are traveling, be sure to dine outside if possible. The ambiance cannot be beat. For more information you can visit their website:

Pasta with Artichoke Pesto

This was excellent paired with Charles Krug Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Apr 11, 2008
Michelle Grinnell in Recipes