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skwid's Profile

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San Francisco in December

The pork ragu at Incanto is absolutely to die for (and this was the case long before Costentino started starring on TV shows, and is still the case). Get the pasta with the pork ragu and the duck egg if they have it.

If you can round up 16 of your closest friends do the whole pig dinner in the dante room. A fun time and great food (and plenty of it).

Oct 26, 2012
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Need help with a few meals---staying near Union Square

I've quite liked Flour and Water which is an easy cab ride away from Union Square. I've also liked Prospect but haven't been for awhile (I think the same chef is there but I know the pastry chef left).

Jun 19, 2012
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Advice on SF/Napa/Big Sur my dining choices?

We were just in big sur and I would definitely recommend Sierra Mar for one meal. Big sur bakery is nice and casual with good food. For napa morimoto's is a bit out of the way and there are plenty of good eats in Yountville. Don't forget bouchon bakery in the morning.

May 31, 2012
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Best restaurant view of Golden Gate Bridge fireworks

True, but the Claremont has elevation on its side (the Claremont is the big white building on the hill) while HKEO and Skates are at the level of the bay.

May 13, 2012
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Best restaurant view of Golden Gate Bridge fireworks

I think the restaurant in the Claremont Hotel in Oakland should have views, not sure about every table.

May 13, 2012
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Root Beer -- housemade or good bottle selection??

Pacific Coast Brewing in Oakland on Washington usually has a house made root beer available.

May 12, 2012
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Food trucks recommendations for our wedding?

We had a taco truck the evening before our wedding for a pre wedding party. We used the El Ojo de Agua guys and were very satisfied. They did limit the menu a bit but I'm sure that is negotiable. Details are at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/504380

Mar 31, 2012
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

El Ojo de Aqua [Oakland taco truck]

el ojo de agua is in the south west corner of Derby and International. The building there is painted with an el ojo de agua logo and the truck in the parking lot still has the old address and the great tacos and horchata's. It looks like el ojo de agua has found a permanent home a couple of blocks from their old place. Not quite as convient as the original but not far away

Dec 22, 2011
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Annual birthday dinner dilemma

What about Gather in Berkeley? We took my in laws and they seemed to like it

Feb 17, 2011
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

La Tur cheese at Costco for only $5.89 each!

Nope, the Vintage Olive Oil is in Glass bottles.

Jan 20, 2011
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

La Tur cheese at Costco for only $5.89 each!

That's true. The 2010 Vintage oil was picked in October/November of 2010 so the oil is pretty fresh (as far as imported oil goes).

Jan 19, 2011
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

La Tur cheese at Costco for only $5.89 each!

Costco now has the 2010 Vintage Olive Oil out. highly recommended.

Btw, back to La Tur. It is entirely possible that some of the wheels could last beyond the "best by" date. I've also had wheels that were spoiled before the "best by" date. Cheese is a perisible item and as such can and will go bad before it should (or stay perfect long after it should have gone bad), just depends on what bacteria inhabit the cheese wheel.

Jan 19, 2011
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for a restaurant with an exceptional cheese plate.

Nice cheeses there but the carts I got in France had two levels on which the cheeses were placed. Just not enough cheese in those pictures. You pretty much have to say "some of everything please" to the Manresa cart.

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Manresa Restaurant
320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

Jan 19, 2011
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for a restaurant with an exceptional cheese plate.

I don't think you will ever be able to get a cheese course like they have in France. I was amazed that they would roll out this cart with 20 to 30 cheeses and just let you pick to your hearts content. I really liked this part of French meals :)

All that said IIRC The Dinning Room at the Ritz Carlton hotel in San Francisco had something like this. You should call to make sure they are still doing it though.

Jan 19, 2011
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Commis equivalent, open on Monday/Tuesday?

In Oakland Plum is probably the closest thing to Commis and I would highly recommend a meal at Plum.

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Commis
3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

Jan 19, 2011
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

La Tur cheese at Costco for only $5.89 each!

This is a great price. However be careful as the La Tur can spoil and become amoniated in which case the cheese is worthless.

Dec 27, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Where else can I sit at the counter and watch the magic?

You could go to Canteen and sit at the counter as Canteen's kitchen is almost as small as Commis'. Most restaurants have a much larger kitchen than Commis so you don't get to see quite as much. At A16 you can watch the pizza guy and the meats getting cooked (two different stations) if you sit at the counter. We did that a few weeks ago.

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A16
2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

Commis
3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

Dec 13, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Commis - Chef Counter or Regular Table?

The menu is the same at the counter as at the tables. They at one time did a single seating at the counter with a different menu but have stopped that.

The four course menu is $68 and we got three amuse's in addition to the four courses (and they will modify the amuse if you have a food alergy as they did for us this past thursday).

Dec 13, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

How far in advance for reservations for popular restuarants?

other than a very few restaurant I haven't had problems getting reservations if you plan ahead of time. Most restaurants will accept reservations either one or two months in advance if you are planning that far out. Frances and The French Laundry are the two places I can think of off the top of my head that are difficult to get reservations even when planning ahead. I will disagree with tvham about the weekend reservations and opentable. I haven't had problems getting reservations on weekends via opentable.

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The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Nov 23, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

K&L Bistro, Sebastopol

We went at the end of October for Lunch and had a very nice lunch. It was three weeks ago so I don't remember what I had but it was pretty tasty. Everyone in our party came away very satisfied.

Nov 22, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Advice please...1st wedding anniversary in SF

Chez Panisse is quite a bit different than The Dinning Room in both food and setting. I've never been to Gary Danko so I can't speak to that. The problem here is that places like Ubuntu typically aren't very romantic (someone mentioned Frances).

Note that I've been to Ubuntu (not with the new chef though) and for a wedding anniversary The Dinning Room should blow Ubuntu away, particuarly in the ambiance part of the meal as long as the original poster isn't averse to formal settings (I will say I thought Ubuntu was good but not spectacular for food).

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Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

Gary Danko
800 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Nov 18, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Advice please...1st wedding anniversary in SF

You should be able to get something really good at The Dinning Room at the Ritz Carlton and I think this would be the most romantic of any of the restaurant mentioned. Ron Siegel is an excellent chef (if there is lobster on the menu by all means get it and see why Mr. Siegel won Iron Chef Lobster on the original show in Japan).

Nov 18, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Foods that are better made in SF than NYC?

You would be suprised how many Argentine wines are only available in the eastern part of the USA. There are tons of wines from Argentina, but several wineries we went to only had representation on the east coast which really suprised us (Dollium being one that springs to mind immediately).

Nov 11, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Foods that are better made in SF than NYC?

It is likely that any of the beers available in cans are made at larger breweries as the equipment to put the beer in cans is quite expensive initially (I've never seen a craft brewery with equipment to put beer in cans). It isn't unusual for brewpubs to get someone else to make their beer if it appears on retailers shelves in bottles or cans. I know the Buffalo Bills Pumpkin Ale was made in New Ulm MN at August Schell Brewing Company. The only brewpub I know which had bottles available retail that bottled themselves (SF Bay Area) was Marin Brewing and Moylans.

Nov 10, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Truffle Season

Oliveto will be having their Truffle dinners starting on November 17th through the 20th. Truffles are brought in fresh from Italy by the owner (hand carried).

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Oliveto Cafe
5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

Nov 08, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving - pre-brined turkeys or other take-out options for 10-12 people

Looks like Williams and Sonoma has Williebird pre brined turkeys

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

Nov 04, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

What is the most expensive restaurant in the Bay Area?

Outside the bay area I know Guy Savoy was $295pp plus tax and tip when my wife and I went a few years ago. Quite a good meal too. I think Joel Rubechon in Las Vegas was $395 when it opened.

As far as The French Laundry, the regular menu is $250. There are addons for Foie Gras and other items (depending on the season, soon there will be black and white truffles available, sometimes there is Wagu beef, ...). The Foie is typically about $30 and the Wagu and Truffles are about $100 each IIRC (never had the truffles but have had the Wagu).

At times it is possible to get an extended tasting menu which the last time I went and got it (about 3 years ago) was $450 before addons. However they can't/won't always have this option available.

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The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Nov 04, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Where to Grab Picnic Lunch on Way to Pride Mountain Winery?

I would go to either Dean and Deluca or Oakville Grocery. Note that early Oakville Grocery will be quiet but by 11:00 a.m. it will get pretty crowded. Dean and Deluca can be a bit the same way. So you might want to get something down in Los Gatos and just put everything in a cooler and avoid the crowds.

Nov 04, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

SF Michelin Stars 2011

Oct 26, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area

Restaurants that take reservations but not through OpenTable

The no availability link means a couple of different things, they might be booked out or they could be having problems with their connection to opentable (i.e. their DSL is down).

Oct 22, 2010
skwid in San Francisco Bay Area