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Rockridge Lunch Spots (Oakland)

Glad to hear it's still available! I'll have to plan a visit. Perhaps pineapple martinis for dinner then dessert at Bittersweet.

Rockridge Lunch Spots (Oakland)

I have only had dinner at Citron but have always been very happy with only a couple small exceptions and I did the tasting menu last time so I can understand I might not love every last thing. Overall I think the food is very good and it's VERY quiet. I have always thought it would be the perfect place to take my MIL as a matter of fact. I also think the food downstairs at Oliveto is very, very good. I think they cure their own olives (somebody on this board would know) and they are just the best thing I have ever tasted, almost. Wonderful pasta, wonderful produce (had the best caprese salad of my life there last October). I don't think they take reservations there though and the tables are close together so it wouldn't work for my MIL, not sure about you. I think Citron is a solid choice if you have to stay in Rockridge. Garibaldi's was well liked by my grandmother and my mother loves it so it might be a solid option in that way but I'll say the last few times I have been significantly disappointed in the food. Unless you plan to have pineapple martinis for lunch (do they still have those? I stopped eating there) in which case it might be workable. Good luck!

Bakery or Cake in Cabo

I am in charge of the cake for a friend's 40th birthday in Cabo (to serve 10 to 12). She is very discriminating so I need to come up with something good, ideally one that can be delivered although I suppose I could take a cab to go get it. Tres Leches perhaps since it would fit the location and she happens to love them. At home, she likes La Farine in Berkeley, California and also Katrina Rozelle (to give you an idea if you know cakes) although I don't know where she gets her tres leches cakes. Thanks in advance

Feb 26, 2008
rockridgechow in Mexico

Impressing our Spaniard Guests

I am a little embarassed as I don't think I ever reported back on my original post. Or maybe I did and I don't see it? I have a new baby, am sleep deprived, I plead temporary insanity. Anyway, A Cote was a big hit with the Spaniards from La Mancha. Favorites were the ricotta-stuffed (lightly fried) squash blossoms with pesto and a shrimp with chorizo-type sausage combination (I can't remember exactly). They also went nuts over the dessert -- coupe a cote -- which is indeed amazing (triple bittersweet chocolate ice cream, hot fudge, caramel cream, pecan praline and brownies). The atmosphere was great (we sat on the back patio at the large table) and my brother told me it was their favorite meal in the states.

Asian Fusion SF Mid-Priced and "Hip" Riddle

Thanks, she is pretty demanding about food but a dear otherwise. It's hard because she has such limited time in the states and fantasizes about perfection then works hard to try to achieve it. She was probably trying to make me feel better but she did comment that she loved the vibe at Le Cheval (very warm, great buzz). The restaurant choice also spurred lots of questions about the number of restaurants in downtown Oakland, both my dinner companinos were impressed with the overall activity in the area.

Asian Fusion SF Mid-Priced and "Hip" Riddle

Just reporting back that my Noe Valley friend nixed Dosa. I wanted to blow my brains out. I am going to go one night early with my whole fam, can't wait to try Dosa. We ended up at Le Cheval in Oakland because I had recommended it for a different night and we never went. It was fabulous except the cubed beef was just OK (a little overdone and just not as good as shaking beef at Slanted Door). The soy marinated sole and lemon grass prawns were wonderful.

Asian Fusion SF Mid-Priced and "Hip" Riddle

oops no reservations. I am no longer cool enough to think of these things. We can try to walk in (three of us actually but the third lives in noe valley so I can send her ahead if need be). Since I'll be leaving my husband with two screaming children and every minute counts from his perspective, I should ask: do you think we'd get seated within a half hour or so?

Asian Fusion SF Mid-Priced and "Hip" Riddle

That is absolutely PERFECT. Calling right now

Asian Fusion SF Mid-Priced and "Hip" Riddle

Hi all. I try not to be a bother and post as little as possible but I couldn't get what I need from searching the archives so today I need your help. I am hosting a dear friend who has lived over seas for years and who always, with each visit, likes to work in some SF eats. I am sadly "behind" on the SF scene and having trouble landing a spot for tonight. She is pretty particular. She is looking for asian fusion but not sushi, and not too expensive (I had her look up Ame and Azie and Bushi-Tei and all were too expensive). Plus, she'd like it to be a pretty happening destination since she enjoys that SF energy and generally lives in boring places (although right now she lives in Beirut which is pretty happening but it's a different scene as I am sure many of you know). On past trips we have always gone to Slanted Door. Initially, when we were planning her visit she said she's sick of it but of course now that we are in a fix she'd gladly go but of course it's too late to get a reservation. And I detest the competition of lurking behind people eating at the bar, jockeying against fellow food lovers to get a seat without a rezzie. We did that one year and I swore never again. Any ideas? (or maybe the bar at slanted door is less crowded now that people are tiring of it??) She isn't hung up on having authentic food and she actually cares about atmosphere and vibe (I'd otherwise do maybe Vietnamese in the tenderloin or indian somewhere). To get us below that Ame pricepoint I'd say "House" but she declined because we've been there before and apparently she didn't love it (I still love house). My fallback is to convince her to go for vibe and pricepoint and abandon the asian influence thing because really nearly everything around here has some asian influence. In this spirit, I decided to just give up and make a reservation at Canteen but apparently they are closed. So I decied to post. She loves Zuni and I might just play the Zuni card but I know it's more than she wants to spend. What to do? Thanks in advance for any help

Stroller/baby friendly high-end restaurants

Not sure if you're all done but I took my son to slanted door when he was 3 months and we just put his car seat on an extra chair at a table for 4 (we had 3 adults so they put us at a larger table), then we left the stroller with the hostess. He did SCREAM at the end of dinner but, as another poster pointed out, it's so loud there that nobody really noticed. Enjoy your wonderful line up . . .

Best delivery in East Bay (Oakland/Berkeley)?

I know, it's pathetic, isn't it? I will watch the responses with interest as I gave up a while ago and started ordering chef-prepared meals for delivery for some of my crazier work nights (which is really breaking the bank). For what it's worth, you might try ordering the jerk chicken from Rustica. Baked beans are also good and spinach salad OK. I definitely get sick of this order (don't get me wrong) but it's a nice change from pizza.

It's hot chocolate season - favorites?

Yes! Was wondering if somebody would mention Town Hall. Very nice outing to sit at the bar and have a hot chocolate. For day to day, I really like Bittersweet though. Glad to know there are so many options, I am so stuck on Bittersweet I just didn't realize . . .

Impressing our Spaniard Guests

Yes, you are right. It did work out.

Impressing our Spaniard Guests

YES! I have eaten MUCH pisto on past visits to family. (I did actually enjoy it) There also is a dish with whipped cod and potatoes that is actually pretty good. That's about it. Lots of jamon serrano and queso manchego. At any rate, I digress. We opted for A Cote and it was ideal. Our rural Spanish guests most appreciated the ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms (which are SO good) and the linguisa with prawns and clams. Fries also were a hit. In an effort to showcase American desserts, I ordered a couple of Coupe de Cotes (triple bittersweet chocoloate icecream, including bittersweet chocoloate chards, hot fudge, caramel infused cream and candied pecan bits). They were blown away. They also like the atmosphere commenting that American's pay a lot more attention to details when they design restaurants. Thanks all!

Impressing our Spaniard Guests

You have me thinking. Perhaps my issue is that they are from a small village outside a small town in the La Mancha region and they just haven't traveled at all, not even in Spain. They did live in Valencia for a while but that's it. I am not even sure how many times they have dined in Madird despite being a 2.5 hour train ride away. And I think hubbie is just plain picky. Like many Americans I know. :) I am leaning toward small plates so that he can be picky but not be embarased about what he does/doesn't eat since it won't be too obvious. My brother tells me he likes junk food so maybe he can dine on pommes frites and white wine at A Cote while the rest of us have a meal?! I have been dying to try Ajanta and even printed a recommended menu from a chowhound many months ago (perhaps it was you?). I plan to take my sister in law there (the one who lives in the states) and will definitely do that eventually but maybe not with her family.

Impressing our Spaniard Guests

Oh, and great analogy to steakhouse in Paris. I am still not going to take them to Cesar but might go for a more diverse tapas experience since I think that represents CA cooking. Thus the A Cote option.

Impressing our Spaniard Guests

You put a smile on my face. Yes, yellow mustard is in fact nasty. We have it only because my husband likes it. I offered both yellow and dijon for our burgers and didn't get any takers on either one. My sister in law presented them as "less spicy" and "more spicy" respectively so perhaps that was the issue. :)

Impressing our Spaniard Guests

Sea Salt is a great call. I love that place so I am not sure why I didn't think of it. Also, it has a nice, hip vibe. T-Rex is brilliant. I wouldn't have thought of it (and actually haven't tried it) but they love BBQ apparently so that could be a big winner. Plus, I really am on a budget! I'll look into it. . .

Impressing our Spaniard Guests

So true, you know the Spanish palate. Even if it doesn't work out for the group, I think my brother would like to take his wife here. He is trying to introduce her to the variety of asian cuisine SF (/the world) has to offer.

Impressing our Spaniard Guests

So true, you know the Spanish palate. Even if it doesn't work out for the group, I will recommend this for my brother to take his wife (they live in Russian Hill) as he is trying to get her to appreciate the variety of asian fare SF (/the world) has to offer.

Impressing our Spaniard Guests

Wow, just read some details on Sebo, looks FANTASTIC! Either way, my husband and I will try it. Thanks again!

Impressing our Spaniard Guests

My Spanish sister in law absolutely LOVES sushi but I believe it was an acquired taste, esp. due to the role of wasabi. :) And I think she may have already forced her sister to try sushi this week. If not, we'll check out Sebo. Hayes Valley would be a great location for an outing.

Impressing our Spaniard Guests

I am looking for a spot in SF or Oakland/Berkeley to take my sister-in-law's relatives who are visitng from a small town in Spain. They are very picky eaters and, essentially, just like Spanish food although we had a BBQ and learned they also like burgers and junk food! We want to take them out to a relatively nice dinner before they go, something they will really enjoy and remember as their experience of the states. The trick is they don't like spicy food AT ALL (like yellow mustard is too spicy for them) and, I just learned, don't like a lot of standard stuff we do (don't like rice and beans). For those of you who know the Spanish palate, any ideas? My thoughts so far are Dopo (it's just so good, how can we go wrong?!), Pizzaiolo (pizza, polenta, pork), A Cote (plenty of non-spicy options and the plates are small), and House (risky, but we could hit the jackpot). They don't drink that much so we could swing any of the above pricepoints. But you'll see I am not listing the likes of Chez Panisse or Oliveto because we just couldn't swing the bill for 6 people. I think Zuni would be too expensive but that could be good because as picky as they are about food they are pretty hip and I think they'd enjoy the atmosphere. I welcome any ideas. Thanks in advance.

Kids & Adults Dinner Party -- Did I Strike the Right Balance?

You guessed correctly. After getting "permission," I was glad to go the antipasto route. My husband picked up some olives and nuts from Berkeley Bowl and I, on my way home from work, picked up some cured meats and hard cheese from Market Hall. It looked great and tasted even better. thanks again

Jun 09, 2007
rockridgechow in Home Cooking

Kids & Adults Dinner Party -- Did I Strike the Right Balance?

I steamed some broccoli for the kids only and everybody was grateful . .

Jun 09, 2007
rockridgechow in Home Cooking

Kids & Adults Dinner Party -- Did I Strike the Right Balance?

Home baked chocolate chips cookies worked out splendidly. With 8 adults and 7 children under the age of 5 it was chaos at our house. I actually forgot I had made the cookies so I ended up serving the berries with creme fraiche/ice cream then, about an hour later (it was a big drinking crowd) I passed out the cookies. It couldn't have worked better if i had planned it. Thanks for the suggestion . . .

Jun 09, 2007
rockridgechow in Home Cooking

Kids & Adults Dinner Party -- Did I Strike the Right Balance?

Great suggestions! Just writing in to report that I did the asparagus and baby bok as per your suggestion (plus some garlic that I included in the stir fry and it was a HUGE hit. I also did a platter of heirloom tomatoes with olive oil and white balsamic and we were totally set. I bought the ingredients for your crostini spread by ended up sacrificing it (limited time) in favor of making some chocolate chip cookes the night prior per the suggestion of hotoynoodle. Also a great call.

Jun 09, 2007
rockridgechow in Home Cooking

Kids & Adults Dinner Party -- Did I Strike the Right Balance?

I love to entertain and love to cook and always have. But I haven't fully adapted to making room for adapting my menu planning and prep now that I have a 2 year old -- I am now short on time, energy and money, none of which used to be an issue. The second recent challenge is adapting menus to kid guests. Plus I am 6 months pregnant and all around a bit lazy side at the moment. (!) So those are my obstacles. I am having a dinner party on Friday night (a work day for me) for 8 adults, 4 of whom have very high culinary standards, plus myself and I do like to impress plus I am food-obsessed and can't serve anything that doesn't taste GREAT. There will be seven (7) kids between the ages of 2 and 5. I have a draft menu already and am hoping you can help with creative salad ideas that are in line with Chowhound standards and might reflect some of the variety of produce available in CA this time of year, and balance my relatively heavy entree and side. Frankly, I'll take any ideas. The menu so far is:

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Goat-Cheese Thyme filling (from the Cook's Illustrated Best Make Ahead Cook Book) which, while theoretically a little pedestrian and looks a little like something that was served at my swim team banquets when I was a kid, is REALLY GOOD and highly kid friendly. Another plus - it is a relatively inexpensive way to feed 15 people and I can make them the night before.

Homemade Mac N Cheese (another solid recipe). I wouldn't serve this but for the kids but it really is excellent so I think the adults will enjoy. Also economical.

Roastesd Asparagus? kind of lazy I know but it will be fresh lovely asparagus and you can't go wrong, right? Any other ideas? Maybe I should steam some broccoli with lemon to counter the heavy entree and side so far? I could mix it up with baby bok choy or something?

A colorful salad. Something light -- hoping for chowhound to save me on this one. I am better at winter salads because I like to do candied nuts and the like. Also, I am big on cheese in salads but given the chicken and mac I don't think this salad can call for cheese. Note that I can get really good stuff locally and since I am doing literally everything else ahead I can do this relatively last minute. I don't care if this is kid friendly since most kids won't touch the salad anyway. What do you think?

Dessert: Fresh berries with creme fraiche and (of course for the kids and whomever else) vanilla bean gelato.

As you may have noticed, I haven't sorted appetizers out yet (originally I was going to do empanadas when I had an entirely different menu). I'll do a separate search on this site for some ideas. Thanks in advance for anyone taking the time to read all this and ponder my dilemma.

Jun 04, 2007
rockridgechow in Home Cooking

Venue for Bridal Shower (Tea?) in SF??

I second Lovejoy's, no question that would be my first choice. They make your group feel like it's a private party in how they arrange the tables. It's also got a laid-back atmosphere that mititgates againts the negative perceptions some partygoers might have about attending a "tea."

Gourmet Casserole/Make Ahead Dish for Friend with New Baby (recipe request)

Fyi, Cooks' Illustrated is coming out with "Best 'Make-Ahead' Recipe" cookbook in March. Most of the time, I REALLY like my Cooks Illustrated recipes so I am definitely going to watch for it.

Jan 13, 2007
rockridgechow in Home Cooking