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Goat Cuisine in the Bay Area

It is very worth trying! Call ahead as it's usually only available for a couple months during the summer. A warning - there's a lot of bones. Also, if one doesn't like goat they do a chicken version as well.

about 7 hours ago
goldangl95 in San Francisco Bay Area

Carneros (Napa) Tasting and Snacking Tips

MacRostie I believe is tasting out of Healdsburg now. If I'm correct, I'd definitely do Ram's Gate over heading to MacRostie in Healdsburg. Healdsburg is a pain to get to from Carneros.

I hesitate to suggest it to a visitor since I haven't been yet, but throwing out Donum Estate (in Carneros) to the board =) Would love a report - it's appt only.

Also attran99 I really appreciated your feedback from when you headed to Napa last time!!!

Carneros (Napa) Tasting and Snacking Tips

Consider stopping by Ram's Gate either on the way in or way out. I believe they've switched to appt only.

SF Bay Area Wedding catering recommendation?

A friend is working with Miraglia and is happy with them (though the event hasn't happened yet). The food isn't super amazing (but really that never happens anyway) but they seem very on top of things.

Have you considered food trucks with people to bus? It's much cheaper and the food tends to be better - it does make things more casual.

The best food I've had is ethnic catering eg enchiladas or Indian food.

Girls lunch pre-Union Square shopping [San Francisco]

Zuni's lunch is pretty much the same as dinner, they don't do a bunch of cheaper menu items for lunch. Appetizers around 10, pizzas and salads around 15, mains in the high 20s. Basically, you could eat for under 30 pp but only if you watch what you are eating. If you just order blithely off the menu I'd say 40 pp. (Assuming people don't go wild ordering off the raw bar or with alcohol).

Girls lunch pre-Union Square shopping [San Francisco]

If you do end up jumping neighborhoods, Cotogna, Zuni or Waterbar for lunch really fits the bill.

You may want to look into Cafe Claude, Gitane, The Rotunda (old school but convenient if you'll be shopping there already!) or Campton Place. The Nordstrom Cafe is actually not bad but is hectic during lunch.

Tamarind pulp (not sauce)

A lot of South Asian grocers have the dried version in big blocks -it's a bit of a pain to work with.

SF / Napa without Kids!

In the mission, Tacqueria Cancun and La Taqueria are the huge favorites. But there's a bunch of other ones. I would say the flavors are very different from say Chipotle and are worth checking out. LA does better tacos, and San Diego does better unconventional stuff, but the SF burrito is still a work of art.

Higher end Mexican in SF does OK and is probably better than anything in NYC but Southern California and the Southwest + Texas do it better. Place to check out would be: Nopalito. I am intrigued by Californios - but haven't tried it yet and would love a report.

There's some fusiony fun places that are great if you don't take them too seriously and can't get to the restaurants mentioned above: Nick's Crispy Tacos, Garaje, and Tacolicious come to mind.

Other cuisines to think about:
Lolinda, La Mar, or Limon Rotisserie for South American
Dosa on Fillmore for high end South Indian
Kin Khao for high end Thai

Festive restaurant for a group of 10-12 in SF

It has good options for vegetarians but it's not like Asian food where there's tons and tons of stuff for vegetarians.

If the group would be open to Indian, Dosa on Fillmore could work well.

Festive restaurant for a group of 10-12 in SF

Lolinda

Great places near AT&T park [San Francisco]

Cockscomb isn't too far.

Great Eats within a mile of Union Sqaure [San Francisco]

Second Kin Khao.

Napa/SF split week?

I would drop Sterling (very mediocre wines at this point imho).

Phelps has a beautiful setting and a solid tasting experience, I would definitely prioritize that one.

All of your wineries are off the Silverado Trail, some others in that area to look into:

Shafer, Rudd, Vine Cliff, David Arthur, Chappellet

For something a little different, Round Pond offers both a wine tasting and/or an olive oil tasting.

Napa/SF split week?

Going on the weekdays will make Napa much less crowded (look into making appointments as some wineries don't keep their tasting rooms open on random Tuesdays).

I would do at most 2 guided/tour type tastings a day (the ones that take an hour). Then you can do as little or as many drop by the counter tastings as you feel up to.

I would do a mix of big and small producers. It's hard to have an intimate experience with the big producers, plus their wine is so largely available that it's hard to justify the time/price on a vacation.

Which big producers do you want to hit up? If you give us a list we can suggest smaller producers that are convenient.

Kid Friendly in Napa

Addendum if the weather is sunny (check before going to make sure they're open)

Redd Wood is competent

Palo Alto rehearsal dinner

Reposado is competent, fun and can take big groups.

I am not a huge fan of NOLA but they often host big groups there and would also be a good choice.

For something more formal maaaaybe Tamarine?

Monsieur Benjamin (Hayes Valley, San Francisco)

I was there in the last couple weeks and I thought the food was executed wonderfully. the quail is a work of art though frustrating to eat, their fish dishes are perfectly cooked and the butter sauces are flavorful without being heavy.

The cocktail program is a little weak but overall highly recommend.

Moving to North/East Bay

Unfortunately, the hill ridge that separates Berkeley/Oakland from Lamorinda has been a psychological "barrier" for a long time. Lamorinda could easily fit in as the wealthiest suburb of any midwestern city and the city planning/councils/population are determined to keep it that way.

Public schools are great and it's an easy 25 min. commute on BART (though one will have to stand and get to the parking lot early). There's also a lot of rideshare options.

Lots of parks and open space. There's some solid theater/playhouses but otherwise not much in the way of city culture or diversity (and as a result, it's a pretty hopeless food area with only a handful of standouts).

Residents like it that way - and even though Oakland and Berkeley are really vibrant city areas esp. for food, most of the residents feel much more comfortable in Walnut Creek (which could be the main shopping drag in any wealthy suburb in the country).

Girls Weekend Wine Etiquette

I don't see how what they spend on other things matters? If they budget x amount for this wine trip - and it's totally off - that's economics. Some people cannot swing surprise/unexpected swings in their budgets. It doesn't matter if they are currently spending $5000 a month in rent.

It's not mooching if no one is told what the expectations are. Mooching is being told the amount to spend on the wine they bring if they want to come on the trip - and they ignore it.

You need to set explicit expectations and guidelines for the type of wine bought for the trip. Another option is to ask everyone to give you the money and you buy the wine.

Or you can just be upset every trip. It's your choice.

Mar 30, 2015
goldangl95 in Wine
1

Moving to North/East Bay

These aren't necessarily the best - but they give you the best idea of the area:

Lamorinda (Orinda and Lafayette are both very sleepy. Walnut Creek is where most residents go to shop/hang out, but it's also easy to get to the Berkeley/Oakland area):

Peet's Coffee in Orinda/Lafayette/Walnut Creek

Orinda:
Village Inn Cafe (breakfast and lunch, sunday is breakfast only)
Loard's Ice Cream

Lafayette:
Pizza Antica
Chow

Walnut Creek:
Morucci's (sandwiches)
Tender Greens
Pyramid Brewery
Caffe La Scala (coffee)
The Old San Francisco Creamery (Ice Cream)

Girls Weekend Wine Etiquette

Oh dear. I would not go on a group trip that was organized that way - where there were two clear economic classes of people.

I would hate to go on a trip that has no organized budget and then be shamed by the other people for not being able to afford the $40-60 bottles. Let me know beforehand that that's the budget expectation - and I just won't go.

Girls Weekend Wine Etiquette

I like the pitch in on an agreed selection of wines. It's how most group things I've organized work - we agree on a budget (or someone dictates the budget) - and then a trusted person goes shopping on that budget.

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What is horrible - is not stating the budget up front - and then shaming people who can't afford it. If you want the budget to be $40- 60 per bottle than say so explicitly from the beginning.

Mar 30, 2015
goldangl95 in Wine
1

Takeout ideas for bar party (San Francisco)

Bi-Rite caters things like this if more creative options don't come through.

Robert Parker: High wine prices creating ‘caste system’

Robert Parker's point was he thinks professional wine appreciation may be dying with the millenials because they cannot afford the best/top wine producers in the world even if they were to try and split a wine bottle between 2 couples (unlike basically any other alcohol). The question is has the transformative, life changing wines priced themselves such that a new generation will never taste them?

I cannot recall a transformative $5 bottle wine ever. Transformative as in ah! What was that taste? How do I get more wine that tastes like THAT. I can't imagine converting people to oenophiles with $5 -10 wines. If you have been able to, I would genuinely love a list.

Mar 25, 2015
goldangl95 in Wine

Robert Parker: High wine prices creating ‘caste system’

Agreed. I am sorry if I implied that no economic rules applied. I just meant the supply and demand curve for basic goods that you first learn doesn't apply.

Mar 25, 2015
goldangl95 in Wine

Robert Parker: High wine prices creating ‘caste system’

I'm sorry but a 5 dollar bottle of wine in the US is not going to be any good compared to a 5 dollar pour of bourbon or a 5 dollar bottle of beer.

The coca cola experiment is not how we conduct our normal lives. No one is priming me in a blind taste test when I drink wine with dinner. Without priming people who know and appreciate wine can tell the difference between a 5 or 50 dollar bottle assuming no tricks ( eg the 50 bottle has a known flaw). Now that breaks down pretty quickly as you go higher in the price points due to wine pricing no longer being tied to production methods and grape quality. But at 5 vs 50? Yeah you can tell.

Mar 25, 2015
goldangl95 in Wine

Robert Parker: High wine prices creating ‘caste system’

Really? I find that hard to believe - most populous centers in say France don't have many drivers. Plus consumption of other alcohols are rising.

Mar 25, 2015
goldangl95 in Wine

Robert Parker: High wine prices creating ‘caste system’

They are trying to maximize the brand name but the Birkin bag itself may actually lose money. For example I believe all the couture lines lose huge amounts of money for the brand.

Many wineries are even worse than the Birkin bag as they are not profitable but are maintained as a vanity/prestige/luxury by the owners. That or while the luxury producer is not profitable they are part of a larger conglomerate that offsets the loss with more profitable products.

Mar 25, 2015
goldangl95 in Wine

2 wine pairing questions

Yeah for me it won't matter either way. Because of how slow I drink wine, I am nursing that pour for a good 10 if not 15 mins. On the other hand, I inhale a course in about 3-5 mins.

I am definitely going to taste the wine without the food, but unless I consciously prioritize it, I won't taste the food without the wine.

Mar 25, 2015
goldangl95 in Wine

Robert Parker: High wine prices creating ‘caste system’

Luxury goods do not follow your basic Econ 101 for supply and demand. Hermes could make more Birkin bags a year but does not. They also could charge even more for the bags then they currently do to cut down the waitlist but they do not. The goal is to keep an elitism and mystery around some of their products even if they don't make great profits.

when the wines we are talking about are priced they are priced high enough to convey a message but low enough that they will have far more willing buyers than supply. Even if yields are high in a particular year they are not going to change their pricing strategy and may sell off grapes instead of making more wine under their own name. They want to always stress scarcity and inaccessibility.

Parker is pointing out that wine, even in the great Bordeaux producers, used to be priced and made for consumption (like say cheese) but now the price and availability is more like a Birkin bag.

Mar 25, 2015
goldangl95 in Wine