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Joe's Stone Crab

Hash browns! Coconut shrimp too.

Feb 19, 2013
cherie in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Date night in Delray?

My husband and I just spent a considerable amount of time in Delray Beach. Max's Harvest was probably our favorite restaurant, and it has a lively and nice bistro vibe. However, it can get very loud if you are seated inside. The Grove is also excellent--very small, classy and modern decor, and quite romantic in a minimalist way. We had a great dinner at 32 East, but as far as ambiace I would rate it behind Max's and The Grove. Completely different--we had an outstanding dinner at the trendy and bustling Cut 432 on Atlantic Ave. (pricey though). You could also check out Joseph's Wine Bar in Pineapple Grove (near Max's Harvest and The Grove)--wonderful food with a Mediteranean slant and run by a father and daughter. We had a great dinner at Joseph's, but not knowing your age, I might mention that the night we dined there, we were clearly the youngest guests (we are in our mid/late 40's). Good luck! Delray Beach's dining scene has a lot to offer!

Jan 27, 2013
cherie in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

San Jose/San Francisco business trip

I will be in San Jose and San Francisco for a short business trip with two others.

In San Jose, I am looking for a nice, solid dinner place on Santana Row or very conveniently located. I was thinking LB Steak or Citrus. Any comments or other suggestions?

In San Francisco, I was initially thinking Perbacco. But Parallel 37 would be most convenient and seems to fit the bill. Any thoughts on Parallel 37?

Thanks in advance.

Nov 09, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Big money to spend! Metro Detroit

If it were me, ...
The Lark, Cafe Cortina, Bacco, or Rugby Grill

Nov 09, 2012
cherie in Great Lakes

Short and Sweet Yountville/St. Helena Itinerary. All suggestions welcome.

Oh yeah, and the cocktail menu at Redd was really interesting too. Both my husband and I tried the "Stone Fruit Cooler:" Buffalo Trace bourbon, iced tea, mint, lemon, and peach bitters. It was a light drink, which suited us fine because we wanted to enjoy some wine too. It was really tasty and I was impressed that my taste buds could pick out each separate element of the drink.

Sep 07, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Short and Sweet Yountville/St. Helena Itinerary. All suggestions welcome.

We really liked everything we had at both places. I would say my husband's entree at Redd was a standout: Spiced pork tenderloin, cranberry beans, kale, fresh figs, whole grain mustard jus. Really yummy. But I think lots of things were great, and it depends a lot on what and how you like to eat. We also shared an appetizer of summer melon, gulf shrimp, avocado, padron peppers, fennel, yuzu vinaigrette. It was fresh, clean, light, delicious. For my entree: Caramelized diver scallops, cauliflower puree, capers, almonds, golden raisins. Very nice, and right up my alley.

At Bottega, I had a really tasty grilled octopus and arugula salad, again right up my alley. I had a charred octopus starter a couple days earlier in SF which slightly won out in texture, but I would still recommend Bottega's version too as it was really a nice pairing of flavors. My husband had short rib meatballs that were velvety and tasty. Our entrees were very good too--whole branzini for him, and for me a tomatoey shellfish soup/stew with prawns, mussels, clam, and calamari, and a large decadent olive oil crouton topped with aoli. It was all very good. It just so happens that both nights we were too full for dessert, but I do remember drooling over the appearance of the desserts at the next table at Redd.

Sep 07, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Short and Sweet Yountville/St. Helena Itinerary. All suggestions welcome.

During our 2-night Yountville stay a couple weeks ago, we dined at Redd (excellent). I think you are correct--$25 corkage, but I vaguely remember seeing on the menue that the price goes up for any additional bottles past the first. (I might be wrong about that though.) So I also wondered if there were trying to discourage this practice. However, the table next to us brought their own wine and I did not observe any judgment by the restaurant. The staff attended to their wine in a very attentive and professional manner.

I did not visit Larkmead or Hall-Rutherford, so I cannot compare them to Joseph Phelps. But we did a tasting outdoors at Joseph Phelps, and it was an extrememly beautiful setting. It was a favorite for me.

As for Bottega, we had a great time dining there, and enjoyed everything we ate very much. I have no complaints about Bottega. But I would rate our experience at Redd much, much higher. They are just very different experiences. But in no way do I regret dining at Bottega.

Sep 07, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Some Options

I vacationed in Northern California last month and was also always on the lookout for Octopus! In SF, the charred octopus starter at Quince was wonderful.

Sep 07, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Feedback on Napa itinerary (Jeanty vs Cindy's)

I went to Bottega and Redd last week on my vacation too. We had a fun time at Bottega and enjoyed our evening and the food. But Redd we LOVED. We found everything to be spot on.

Sep 06, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Trip Report Part 2: Napa

That is a strange story! I can see how it would leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

We had another lovely day. Breakfast at Lucy, the Bardessono Hotel restaurant. Really nice and interesting design and architecture at the restaurant, and the entire Hotel. We both had Peets French press coffee along with spinach, mushroom and goat cheese omelets that came with really good toast and tasty roasted potatoes. Housemade ketchup, and little muffins with strawberry puree were nice touches. The food was good and the service very attentive. When my dish came wrong and had to be re-made, the server actually took my breakfast off the bill and brought us some complimentary fruit. None of that was requested or necessary, but it was certainly appreciated.

After breakfast, we rode the hotel's bikes around Yountville, before heading to Joseph Phelps for a reserved patio tasting. A very beautiful place, some really great wines (especially the Chardonnay, the Insignia, and the Library Insignia!) and a nice and helpful staff. Definitely a highlight.

Then, a light lunch at Cook in St. Helena, where my husband had the BLT with heirloom tomatoes and aoli on focaccia, which he labeled excellent, and I had a very nice green salad with flavorful and tender chicken and goat cheese. We then stopped in at Plumpjack for an unscheduled taste and a wander around the property. Nice wines, nice staff, nice little gift shop, very beautiful grounds.

More to come!

Aug 28, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Trip Report Part 2: Napa

So, after leaving San Francisco, we headede to Napa for 1 night at the Carneros Inn. This is a beautiful top notch property, and we loved our short stay here. We visited the nearby Domaine Carneros Winery and enjoyed a flight of a few sparkling wines and one Pinot Noir, along with nuts, cheeses, and a smoked salmon platter. It was all plentiful and delicious, the property is lovely, and the service was very friendly and helpful.

Later, we dined at the Inn's restaurant, Farm. We shared a tuna crudo, which was delicate and super fresh. I absolutely loved my king salmon entree, which was plated with eggplant purée, cherry tomatoes, and pole beans. My husband had the filet, which he enjoyed as well. For dessert we shared an interesting trio of sorbet/ice cream: watermelon sorbet (icy and refreshing), chocolate cardamon ice cream (good flavor but chalky in texture), and corn sorbet (creamy and tasted just like corn). I also had a great glass of Anaba Pinot Noir. A very nice restaurant, for sure. Service was very competent, although we did catch an extra glass of wine on the tab.

Yesterday we moved on to Yountville for 2 nights at Bardessono. Another stunning property, simply beautiful. We had an afternoon tour booked at Jarvis which was fantastic--the winery, the tour, the wines--I honestly cannot imagine topping that experience. We stopped into Darrioush afterwards and tried a little wine. Th property is majestic and pretty and Darrioush has some great wines.

Dinner was at Bottega, which we enjoyed a lot. I started with a very nice grilled octopus and arugula salad, and my husband enjoyed velvety short rib meatballs. My cucumber gimlet was a little sweet despite my instructions to go light on the simple syrup. Our entrees were very good--whole branzini and a tomatoey shellfish soup/stew with prawns, mussels, clam, and calamari, and a decadent crouton topped with aoli. We also drank some really nice Frank Family Chardonnay.

And that brings us up to date. We are having a wonderful time and look forward to continuing our exploration of Napa today/tonight. Stay tuned for supplementation of this thread, if you wish. :)

Aug 28, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Trip Report Part 1--The San Francisco Treat (Chaya Brasserie, Farmers Market, The Plant, and Quince)

Thanks everyone! I never mind changing things up and having a really early dinner to better accommodate a plan, but in this case the plan worked especially well since we had just gotten off the plane, eager to start our vacation, not to mention the fact that our bodies were operating on East Coast time.
A great start to the Napa portion of our trip! I will report soon.
Have a great day.

Aug 27, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Trip Report Part 1--The San Francisco Treat (Chaya Brasserie, Farmers Market, The Plant, and Quince)

After months of hotel, restaurant, and sight research, part 1 of our trip is just concluding---San Francisco. We spent a wonderful 2 nights at the Hotel Vitale on the Embarcadero in a room overlooking the water, Ferry Building and the hotel restaurant, Americano's, bustling outdoor patio scene. We are very happy with our hotel choice.

We arrived late Friday afternoon, and had just enough time to freshen up before heading to an early happy hour/dinner before the Alcatraz night tour. I spent a considerable time researching the best options for nearby happy hours starting as early as 4:30, and selected Chaya Brasserie right by the hotel. It worked out very well. We scored a front table in the bar along the window, allowing us to sit side by side and watch the water and the world go by. We had a couple of well made cocktails, and numerous tasty appetizers including spicy ahi tuna on rice cakes (our favorite), salmon tartare, tenderloin skewers, short rib crostini, and a dragon roll. Nice atmosphere, lively happy hour scene, tasty food, and decent service, Chaya was a good choice. We headed by foot to the Pier for the Alcatraz tour which was an interesting and enjoyable way to spend our first evening. Very eery at night as the sun descends, especially with all the very vocal (and huge) seagulls constantly screaming.

Saturday morning (my husband's birthday!) we hopped across the street to the Ferry Building Farmers Market and headed directly to Blue Bottle for a nice cup of coffee. He tried the famous Roli Roti Porchatta sandwich which he liked a lot (I liked my bite too). And for a special treat for the birthday boy who is a 1st timer in Sf -- the owner fed him a big chunk of crispy pork skin; a very nice gesture. We also sampled a chocolate brownie from another outside vendor, which was good but nothing exceptional. We had a great morning wandering around and exploring all the outdoor goodies and the shops inside that I've been reading about for so many weeks. A truly enjoyable morning.

In the afternoon we tried to take the cable cars from Market to Hyde but the cars were out of service so we ended up on a shuttle to another cable car location, which got us on the wrong cable car route and we inadvertently wound up on Fisherman's Wharf. I had no intention of us visiting the Wharf, but it turned out to be a happy accident as we enjoyed wandering around and just taking in the touristy carnival-like atmosphere for a little while. After that, we stopped into The Plant for lunch, where I got a very tasty, fresh, and healthy salad with a tangy lime dressing and shredded chicken which perfectly fit the bill. Still, I cannot recommend this restaurant based on our experience as the service was very slow and poor. The staff was pleasant enough, but my salad took forever, and still came before our drinks...and the salad came wrong. While they got me a correct salad, my tea(pot) came, but I waited 10 minutes for a cup from which to drink it. To add insult to injury, when the bill came, they had charged me for 2 salads. More waiting while the bill was corrected. Late afternoon, I sent my husband off for a birthday foot massage at the hotel (called the "San Francisco Treat") while I did a little cardio at the gym. We then spent a spontaneous and excellent "happy hour" on the banquette in our hotel room overlooking the Embarcadero, drinking wine, and watching the bustling (official) happy hour below on the Americano patio, the boats moving across the Bay, and the joggers and dog walkers traveling the streets.

And then, finally, an outstanding birthday dinner at Quince. I spent a ton of time selecting this restaurant, and we are both glad I did. We found the ambiance to be Beautiful, elegant, and sophisticated, but not stuffy. The service was spot on--friendly, helpful, professional, attentive but not overbearing. Cocktails are mixed tableside, a fun and interesting touch which we have never seen. I enjoyed my Widow's Kiss, made with a smoky calvados and yellow chartreuse. We enjoyed some Champagne and wine, but i did not focus on details aside from taste. The food was wonderful, and the chef sent out numerous amuse bouches which all entailed interesting flavors and textures such as basil Madelines, a fruit/almond/cucumber gazpacho shooter, halibut ceviche (excellent), petit fours, etc. There were 2 breads brought around--a buckwheat roll which was nice, and a sea salt and rosemary white roll which was soft and sweet and out of this world. We both loved our starter courses, the charred octopus which was perfectly textured, and the tomato/mozzarella/prociutto dish which was melt in your mouth delicious. We both enjoyed the silky and tasty tagliatelle with plump clams, meyer lemon, olive oil and black garlic which imparted a delicious sweet flavor to the dish. We shared the Dover Sole with lobster mushrooms, spinach and earthy little potatoes, which was light and flavorful all at once. Dessert for me was a blackberry "bomba" sorbet with basil vanilla ice cream, cartelized meringue, and red verjus which was a highlight for me, with the crunchy meringue "flower" and especially the vibrant basil taste. My husband had the chocolate parfait with dark chocolate ice cream, strawberry and pistachio which he enjoyed. We had a truly lovely experience at Quince and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a special and romantic night out.

And today, we are on to Part 2--Napa. More later!
A thanks to all who helped me with my selections. :)

Aug 26, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Big Sur dining

Yes! Saw that too. These are (some of) the negative comments I was referring to. Yelp is full of them, mostly referring to rude and/or poor service.
Still...was hoping for some new input or other dinner recommendations from Chowhound folks. At this point, I am thinking we will give it a try...I called and requested a reservation for 7:00 p.m. (but no one has confirmed yet). Do you think that is too late given their tendency to run out of stuff, or is that issue more pertinent to baked goods?
Thank you for the advice, much appreciated.

Aug 01, 2012
cherie in California

Big Sur dining

Thank you, I did already read that. :) Most of the posts in that thread are a couple years old and largely involve breakfast/brunch/pastries. The one more recent post in the thread that does touch upon dinner is a year old and simply says the food was decent enough, the service was brutally slow, and that they might try again some time.

I was hoping maybe a Chowhound or two had been there within the past year for dinner, or had any other suggestions for a great dinner in Big Sur...?

Aug 01, 2012
cherie in California

Big Sur dining

My husband and I will be spending two nights in Big Sur for the first time.

One night we plan to dine at Sierra Mar in the Post Ranch Inn.

I was somewhat set on Big Sur Bakery for our 2nd night, but I have read so many negative reviews lately, I just don't know...

Thoughts and/or suggestions?

Jul 30, 2012
cherie in California

Tequila bar west side of Detroit?

Also not close...but Barrio in Birmingham has over 125 different tequilas and about 15 mescals.

Jul 11, 2012
cherie in Great Lakes

Detroit Dinner before the Opera House

+1 for Roast.
I love Joe Meuer too.
Ronin and Pizzeria Biga are fun places in Royal Oak.

Jul 11, 2012
cherie in Great Lakes

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

Thanks BAnders, I will keep that in mind. We have 2 nights in Big Sur. Do you think Big Sur Bakery and Sierra Mar are good picks for our dinners?
(...By the way...in regards to the remainder, I ended up booking Bottega and Redd for our 2 Yountville nights.)

Jul 03, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

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

bbulkow--Thank you for the suggestions for Friday night! Our plan has totally changed for Friday--we are now taking the Alcatraz night tour--so we need an early place (4:30) with a great happy hour menu convenient to Hotel Vitale and/or Pier 33. I was actually thinking Chaya Brasserie so I am glad you have suggested it, or possibly Americano in the Hotel as a back up plan. For my husband's birthday on Saturday, we'll hit the Ferry Building/Farmer's Market in the morning, maybe check out a cable car ride and/or walk around Chinatown in the afternoon, and I'm thinking I will take him to Quince for dinner...

Jul 03, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Atelier Crenn--please clarify menu options for me

Thanks everyone for the valuable feedback. For now, I am pretty sure we will go with Quince. ...Though I am not completely ruling out Acquerello or Atelier Crenn.

Jun 26, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Great Friday happy-hour/dinner location before Alcatraz tour?

In late August, my husband and I are scheduled for a Friday night Alcatraz tour starting at 6:45 p.m.

This will be the day we arrive into SF from the Midwest, and we would like to go someplace great for drinks/wine and a light meal/appetizers before the tour, say, around 4:30-ish.

Ideally, the location would be somewhat convenient to our route (the Four Seasons on Market Street to Pier 33/Alcatraz ferry).

Before we decided to take the tour that evening, we originally planned to have dinner at Bar Agricole, but that's out because they apparently do not open until 5:30 p.m.

Any suggestions??

Thanks in advance. :)

Jun 26, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Atelier Crenn--please clarify menu options for me

I am really intriged with Atelier Crenn--the food looks so lovely and special. But I think I am going to switch gears to Quince for our birthday celebration. We much prefer an Italian slant over a French one, and we also prefer to have some degree of choice between courses. It also seems that the atmosphere at Quince has a little more of an intimate or romantic/special occasion vibe.

Jun 22, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Atelier Crenn--please clarify menu options for me

Thank you. :)

Jun 21, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Atelier Crenn--please clarify menu options for me

I am unclear about the menu options at Atelier Crenn, and their website is very mysterious. Experienced SF Chowhounds, Please help! :)
I understand from my research that the restaurant has a smaller tasting menu and a larger tasting menu, and also a vegetarian tasting menu (and now a dessert tasting menu as well). My question is this: are there choices within the different tasting menus, or is it a "you get what you get" situation?
Finally, is there an a la carte option as well?
Thanks in advance.

Jun 21, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Help me with my SF, Napa, and Big Sur dinner picks?

Such great advice! Thank you all.
Rubadubgdub.--I like your thinking...Now I'm thinking Atelier Crenn for Saturday's birthday dinner. It is definitely the most unique and I would love to wow my husband. For Friday, I will have to think more about AQ v Bar Agricole. I have read great things about both. Would consider Italian too if it's somewhere casual and not too far from our base...hmm.
Cortez--Redd for sure, then, and I will look at Bouchon as a possible substitute for Bottega. And for The Farm--We'll make a dining room reservation, and make an on the spot decision as to whether to sit in the bar instead. We love at-the-bar dining, and do it often. And thank you for the breakfast suggestions!!
Dustin--Do you have any other suggestions for our last night in Big Sur (if not Sierra Mar)?
Thanks again, all, you have been very helpful. :)

Jun 20, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Help me with my SF, Napa, and Big Sur dinner picks?

Thank you. :) Based on your comments, I am inclined to pick AQ for Friday, and Quince for Saturday. But I have been very intrigued by Aziza and would consider it for Saturday's birthday dinner...would you consider it a special occasion place?

Jun 20, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

Help me with my SF, Napa, and Big Sur dinner picks?

I have narrowed down dining choices for a special trip in August with my husband, and would love input!

Preferences: Healthier, lighter food (Californian/Italian/Mediteranean/Japanese--yes. French/Chinese--not so much). Great food is a must, but ambiance is important too. We don't want places so loud we cannot hear each other. Sitting next to each other is a huge bonus (but not a must). I would like to mix things up somewhat, while still staying true to our preferences.

Friday/SF:
AQ or Boulevard.
Would also consider Prospect or Bar Agricole.
*We would prefer to be conveniently located to the Market Street & 3rd/4th Street area this evening--either walking distance or a brief cab ride.

Saturday/SF:
Quince for a Birthday Dinner.
Would also consider Perbacco or Atelier Crenn.

Sunday/Napa:
The Farm at Carneros Inn.
*(Probably not subject to change unless somewhere else very close to the Inn.)

Monday/Napa:
Bottega
*We prefer a Yountville restaurant for this night.

Tuesday/Napa:
Redd
Would also consider Redd Wood.
*We prefer a Yountville restaurant for this night.

Wednesday/Big Sur:
Big Sur Bakery

Thursday/Big Sur:
Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn

Thanks!

Jun 20, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

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

Thanks everyone so far!
sfbecky--I really like the idea of Big Sur Bakery one night and SierraMar the other! Thank you.
Goldangl95--Morimoto is right up our alley and I was considering it (we love Japanese/sushi/Pan-Asian) but we were hoping to stick around Yountville. Plus we do a lot of that at home, and have already been to Morimoto in Florida. We will have to mull it over.
As for Brassicas, CarrieWas218--we were hoping to dine within walking distance those 2 nights in Yountville--but man that place looks so good and we do want to visit St. Helena at some point. So I we will have to think about that too.
I am leaning towards Crenn for my husband's birthday... But I'm not sure. Does anyone have anything to say about Quince?

May 30, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area

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

I would love some feedback on my preliminary dining choices for a special trip with my husband in late August to San Francisco, Napa, and Big Sur. We like most types of food, but prefer healthier, lighter food.. We are in our mid-40’s and we like bistro-type places (but prefer to sit next to each other and to be able to hear each other), and also places with a unique, lively, stylish, and/or romantic ambiance. We love to eat outdoors and/or waterfront (but don’t really want to sacrifice food quality for it). Here is what I have so far for dinner choices – we are fully open to input/suggestions.

2 nights in SF: (we will be staying on Market Street in SoMa area)

~Friday night: Boulevard, or maybe Zuni Café (note: we don’t get very excited by roasted chicken).

~Saturday night: (my husband’s birthday): Quince or Atelier Crenn or Farralon.

3 nights in Napa:

~Sunday night (staying at Carneros Inn): the Farm at Carneros Inn.

~Monday and Tuesday nights (staying in Yountville and would like to dine in Yountville): 1 night at Bottega, and 1 night at Redd or Redd-Wood…or maybeBouchon or Bistro Jeanty, if not too heavy.

*2 nights in Big Sur:

~Wednesday and Thursday nights: dinner 1 night at Post Ranch Inn’s Sierra Mar, and the other night at the Restaurant at Ventana Inn, or maybe something more casual for 1 of the nights.

*Last night in SF: dining with friends (and their children) and will leave the choice to them.

Thanks to all in advance!

May 30, 2012
cherie in San Francisco Bay Area