Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

fine wino's Profile

Title Last Reply

dinner before Bourbon and Branch?

Cortez and Le Coloniel are both within walking distance (in flat shoes) and you can probably get into either on Sat still.

Any recommends in Marin County?

What towns do you plan to visit in Marin County?

Where can I buy peperoncini macinati?

Did you try Penzys for an online source?

Which of these wineries would you go to?

A good piece of advice, indeed. I've also found some of my favorite wineries by asking the folks working the tasting rooms (as well as restaurant people). If you like the wine at one place and hit it off with the person doing your tasting, ask them what places/wines they like in the area. There are wine road maps at every winery so they can show you how to get there...and then you can check out some other places on the way! Have fun!

Best Dry Creek Valley Wineries

Duh! I can't believe I forgot Bella. Awesome zins and a very pretty stop. They usually do tasing in the cave as well as the regular tasting room on the weekends, which is cool.

Thanks for the pinot recs above. I haven't been to any of those.

Best Dry Creek Valley Wineries

Hit Moshin and Arista for Pinot...Russian River Valley but close enough and a nice drive.

I love Wilson, Unti and Nalle for Zin. Beautiful view at Wilson. You usually need an appt for Unti. No frills "tasting room" but buy it and drink somewhere else.

Neighboorhood lunch in SF

I vote for Zazie in Cole valley, especially if you're going during the week. The food is great, service friendly and they have a nice patio in back. A bit more casual than Zuni, which is a nice option too, but more "neighborhoody".

Healdsburg for a night

The HH will run you 300.00+ a night and you have to stay 2 nights on most weekends. Cyrus is about that much for dinner for two. Totally special occasion for me. I haven't tried Cyrus but there are may wonderful (and a few not so wonderful) reviews on this board.

Another upscale lodging option is hotel Duchamp. It's right in town and you have your own private "modern cottage." We're staying there on our wedding weekend in May.

Please go to Downtown Bakery for breakfast on Sunday morning where ever you stay.

Healdsburg for a night

Whenever I stay in H'burg, I stay at the good 'ol Best Western Dry Creek Inn. I guess it depends on what you're looking for in a hotel, but it's clean and quiet and inexpensive. I like to save my money for wine purchases and going out to dinner so it works for me.

Geyserville Inn is another lower budget place I stay. A bit more $ than the BW but you get bathrobes and the pool is nicer (last month when I was there it was 80 degrees and I wished I'd had my suit, so you never know).

I've eaten at Ravenous, Manzanita and Willi's and thought all were just good. Willi's was the best of the three and, honestly, Manzanita was pretty uninspired.

I suggest Santi in Geyserville or Mirepoix in Windsor. Santi is Italian style with local ingredients (and is right down the road from Geyserville Inn) and Mirepooix, where we ate a month ago and LOVED it, is a french brasserie. The food is great at both places.

Lots of places have just released wines last month so it's a great time to visit. Enjoy.


I don't really understand how brussels sprouts, which are pretty robust little veggies, could get overpowered by some capers and shaved parmesan, frankly. It sounds pretty good to me, though easy to do at home if you're inclined.

I've only been once and really enjoyed Frascati. The service was outstanding, the wine list was interesting and not too expensive and the food was way above average.

We tried the gnocchi too, which were light, but had a nice bite to them and perfectly sauced (I think the sauce changes with the seasons) and a wonderful roasted duck breast with nice, crisp skin.

The space is comfortable and intimate and a perfect place to celebrate a birthday (or an engagement as we did)!

PPQ First Timer - report


New pizza place in Glen Park

Went last night around 7:30 and thought it was pretty good, though we too were served pies that should have stayed in the oven another 5 min. Yes, it was packed and our server was a bit harried but friendly and not too busy to offer suggestions, which was nice because I took her advice and got the Atomica. But before we got to the pie we had a perfectly dressed Mixed Chicories with grated egg and a little parmesan. The salad for two was enough for four when we ordered that plus a nice little Antipasto, which was mostly veg with some Framani salumi and a burratta or fresh mozzarella "spread" that had some herbs mixed in. It also had some white bean salad, olives and roasted, marinated mushrooms.

Unfortunately, all our pies came with very "blonde" crust. When we were waiting for our salads, I started noticing pizzas coming out and they all looked very light in color. Of the four pies we got, all four had absoltely no color on the top or bottom of the crust. The edges had a crackle to them and were nice and chewy but these pies were not crisp at all and one was plain soggy.

I think the Atomica is described above so I won't go into toppings but I did really enjoy the flavor of this pie and it's nice kick of heat. My peeps got the Three Cheese, which was nicely balanced and not a gooey cheese pile that can often become of this type of pie, and the Dandelion/Sausage, which I thought had too much greenery as well. The greens pretty much took over the pie and it was also very soggy in the center due to the added moisture of the dandies. The fontina on that pie is real Italian fontina and the sausage was good quality as well. Again, I liked the flavor of this one, but it needed more oven time and less toppings to make it work.

We waited a good half hour between salad and pizza time but it wasn't really a problem for us since we were with friends we hadn't seen in a while. But we were starving once the pies came and there was no way any of us were going to send back anything for more oven time. All in all, it was pretty good and I'd probably give it another chance sooner then later if I lived near by. For now, I'll wait 'til I hear better things about that crust.

New pizza place in Glen Park

You bet I will! :-)

PPQ First Timer - report

OK so after living in SF for over a year I finally tried the much talked about Crab and Garlic Noodles at PPQ Dungenous Island on Clement. Last night was the first time I've ever tried this dish so I want to know if the basic prep really varies from place to place.

I got the Peppercorn Crab, which is lightly batter fried and served "dry" (no sauce) with about 20 bulbs worth of fried garlic. Wow! I really enjoyed this dish but it was so salty that it was difficult to get though the whole dish. Yes, I ordered a crab all for myself and almost conquered it so it wasn't inedible but there was too much salt IMHO. I like salty food and use salt in my own cooking so I'm not sensitive to the seasoning. So is this crab preparation always so salty at other places?

The noodles were really nice and chewy, round and panfried. The only other Vietnamese garlic noodles I've had were at Bodega, which are a more delicate, flat noodle. Which version is most commonly served with dungenous crab?

Thanks for any input. I'm excited to "get cracking" again soon...hopefully with less salt!

New pizza place in Glen Park

Damn. Undercooked crust is a pizza lover's nightmare! I'm going tonight with friends and hopefully we'll have a better experience. I'll report back.

New fast-food dim sum place on Larkin

Thanks for the report. I guess it joins Lee's Sandwiches in the new but mediocre chow on Larkin category.

There's another new dim sum place opening soon in that area as well. I can't remember the name but it's on O'Farrell at Leavenworth right next to Lahore Karahi. There's been a coming soon sign on the window for a month now but I'll try it and post once they finally open.

Best Sushi in San Francisco?

But there are a lot of Chowhounds that love sushi and report on places often. I suggest doing a search to see the most recent reports.

I haven't been to Kiss Sushi yet but it certainly gets high marks on this board.

Anyone have a copy of the Bourbon & Branch menu?

Yes, Pearl's has been there maybe 5 mo. or so. Same owners as the Mill Valley shop. Someone on this board recommended ordering the buffalo burger rare and now it's my regular order. Of course the beef burgs are nice too. And I love their fries - crispy on the outside and tender on the inside every time.

Anyone have a copy of the Bourbon & Branch menu?

I do agree that it's up to the individual to decide how safe they feel anywhere. BUT I'm a woman (of small stature) and live "past the Clift" so I walk that route at least twice a day, including at night. Yes, I get panhandled a lot but I've never felt unsafe. Though I would not advise walking around alone after 2:00 am...anywhere really. I heard about 2 near abductions of young women walking home alone in Pacific Heights so ya never know.
I was just at B&B, where I stood outside alone while waiting for some friends. Yeah the usual cast of crazies were milling about but I really don't think that any of the folks that you encounter are out to rob or hurt you.
I'm a big fan of the TL and all the cool little shops and restaurants that are in my hood. I tend to be a bit defensive when I hear people say how "bad" it is.
I understand your point of view as someone that doesn't know the area as I do but I wanted to share my perspective too.

Wine Country reception locales

My sister was married at Trentadue Winery in Geyserville and it was beautiful. Nice because they have an outdoor space for the ceremony, a big side yard for photos and a large indoor area with a stage for the party. They can probably accommodate 200. I think they have an exclusive arrangement with Pacific Connections, which is one of the most regarded, upscale caters in the area. The food was excellent.

People also like Elaine Bell for catered events. Both she and PC have websites.

Embarcadero Theater vicinity?

The new Osha in EC 4 serves dinner. I fianlly got in there for lunch the other day and I enjoyed my spicy sauteed shrimp salad. It's not cheap but I'm sure most dinner entrees are under 20.00, for sure.

Best Chow Fun in Financial District

Good suggestions (a few I haven't been to, so thanks) but none of those places serve chow fun.

Odd question - How is Perbacco's background music?

Oh my goodness, I was there last Friday night and the place is loud! I can't remember the music...they had something playing but you couldn't really hear it with all the loud talking. I had fun there because I like places with energy but I was meeting to future in laws for the first time and it was a little awkward.
I'm sure it's more tame on a week night.
I liked the food, especially the beet salad with truffle vinaigrette. But I was disappointed that the pasta came on flat plates rather than in bowls. It cooled off really quickly...

NYC guy visiting SF this weekend

I had a great meal and equally great service at Frascati (Hyde Street, Russian Hill) recently. It was my first visit, so I'm not sure if all the servers are as professional and knowledgeable about the menu as ours was but I really recommend this place.

"Chef's Table" at Myth?

I'd call the restaurant and speak with the manager...though you'll probably get better excecuted food and service going with the pre-fixe, which is why they have that policy.

Friday Dinner in SF Chinatown and Sat Breakfast near Union Square

Maybe Cafe de la Presse does b'fast better than lunch but I wouldn't recommend it. My BF and I went for lunch a few weeks ago and it was so blah! None of the veggies were fresh and when you order a salad that's a real disappointment.

I would second the Dottie's recommendation and also suggest Canteen, especially if you do get up early. Easy walk from Union Sq.

However, my fave Saturday morning breakfast plan is to walk to the Ferry Bldg Farmer's market and get a good muffin from the Downtown Bakery stand and a coffee from Blue Bottle (or Pete's if the BB line is too long). The FB is really only a 15-20 min walk from Union sq. This is only fun if the weather is good though....


Good quick food in San Rafael?

Capannina on Union Street

I just did a search and found a few recent reviews...even one called "A16 Alternative" which, from another of your posts, sounds like what you're looking for. Just try the search feature above.

Pier 39

Take the Powell/Hyde cable car from the bottom of Hyde near FW and go up to either Frascati or Luella. Actaully a cab would be cheaper since the cable car is 5.00 bucks a person. It's probably not even a 10.00 cab ride.
Both are lovely neighborhod restaurants in Russian Hill on Hyde Street and you can find many positive posts about both if you do a search.
I just ate at Frascati and had a wonderful experience. Great food, wine and service.

Sonoma wineries-any free tasting wineries?

Unti doesn't but you need a res during the week. Preston charges $5.00 but they deduct that if you purchase a bottle. Pretty sure most of the places on Dry Creek Road and Westside offer free tasting.