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When good cheese goes bad...

I'd like to counsel the book by Gordon Edgar, 'Cheesemonger: life on the Wedge'. It has so much for a cheeselover. Chapter 2 has a nice description of taleggio that would answer your question, roughly: follow your senses, nose, eyes.

Aug 21, 2011
lamoufette in Cheese

SF Dogpatch & Bayview places to eat

Our wonderful dinner at Serpentine prompted this positive report.
Warm greeting from hostess, 8:30 reservation, seated immediatedly in a chic urban loft-like space, high ceilings but very warm yellow light. Everyone eating, laughing, enjoying, good energy in the room. Passed the bar (where I would feel comfortable eating alone) and were seated in the dining area, friendly busser as well. Some really great little Sonoma and Anderson Valley wine producers. Chose a Meyer Cellers Syrah (Yorkville), very small markup. Awkward clipboard menus, hard to read small font, not sexy. Lots of interesting choices for starters, padron peppers, stone fruit salad, homemade pickles, roasted corn, I had the grilled chicken livers. Main course was classics, salmon, steak, etc., done with a gentle spicing that didn't feel Asian or Indian or really out of anywhere, just vaguely yummy and well thought out. I had the roasted chicken, moist and crisp on a bed of corn, spinach and cherry tomatoes, lovely grilled fig on top. Companion had gnocci, delicately spiced cream sauce, light and firm gnocci with peas. You can get it with or without bacon. Very nice. So much care was taken to think about the eater, that for me is the measure of a good restaurant, who will eat this? what will it taste like to them? Everything was balanced.
The servers were friendly on a full house Saturday night, lots of generous smiles for everyone, no one kept waiting, no one rushed away. They were still seating people after 9PM. Service was correct, water glasses filled, plated cleared appropriately, and the best service line I've heard in a while. Instead of asking "is there anything I can get for you" which makes it seem like the server is doing you a favor, she asked something along the lines of "Is there anything else you might desire now" which sounded like she could just make it magically appear. Very smooth. The price was right for 2 apps, 2 entrees, bottle of wine and 2 dessert wines, a fair 120 bucks. Nice dessert wine menu (Beaumes de Venise, Walnut liquer). Great place to get a city vibe minus the city 'tude, and stress (ez parking). Will be going back with friends soon.

Aug 10, 2011
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Lyon Trip Report - Part 2 - Léon de Lyon and Daniel et Denise

A note on beef: if you really like your steak rare, you can ask for it 'bleu' - it should come seared on the outside and nice and red inside.
'A point' really means medium in most French restaurants.
Hope this helps

Jun 01, 2011
lamoufette in France

New Japanese Place in Petaluma: Gohan

Just went to Gohan for the first time - interesting specials, delicious udon, surely the best most delicate sushi in Petaluma. Service was a little clueless, but very friendly. I would definitely eat there again, and will bring my family along.

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Gohan Japanese Restaurant
1367 N McDowell Blvd Ste 150, Petaluma, CA 94954

Dec 08, 2009
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Ritual Roasters

wow - just had my first cup of Ritual coffee at the Oxbow in Napa - It was amazing stuff!

Aug 10, 2008
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO Russian River Family Eats Recs

here's some from a russian river local
Graton is the way to go - Underwood Bar and Grill will accomodate kids on Patio, if not Willowwood for breakfast.
Please enjoy Guerneville! groceries - hippie grocery in Guerneville next to Safeway will satisfy -- not foodie, but great produce.
dinner - Bistro des Copain in Occidental is food paradise - have bottle of Wild Hog Carignane or the Baux de Provence!
riverside - Rio's Thai food is right on the river, eat good thai and watch the river flow, in Rio Nido/Guerneville.

Be sure to drive Westside road into Healdsburg to see the beautiful vineyards, lots of nature, scenery, lovely, and the kids will like Preston Vineyards because it's funky and has lots of cats.

Aug 10, 2008
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Graffiti in Petaluma

No, it's fine food. it's just one of those restaurants that spends more time thinking about the look and feel of the place than they spend thinking about the food that will hit your mouth. I would love to hear what others have had there.

Feb 15, 2008
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Graffiti in Petaluma

graffiti really is very 'cruise-ship' food. A nice place to take the family when they visit from Nebraska. Not too 'freak/moderne' for your cousins from Tuscon, AZ, and you can still find something on the menu you're willing to eat. Otherwise, avoid, avoid.

Feb 15, 2008
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

New Blue Bottle Cafe opening 1/23/08 @ 8am

I hope some of you Blue Bottle fans will check out the new BB in Rohnert Park next time you're heading North. It's in the DoubleTree shopping zone, near Mary's Pizza. It's called the Golden Bean.

Feb 15, 2008
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Blue Bottle Coffee now in Rohnert Park

A small cafe called Golden Bean, in the Rohnert Park Double Tree shopping zone, across from Mary's Pizza, serves Blue Bottle and has it for sale by the pound. The woman in charge, Leosara, is lovely. She made me a delicious latte. The cafe looks out over the golf course and the hills behind RP. Open M-F 7-3, Sat 8-1, Closed Sun.

Has anyone else been?

Feb 13, 2008
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Ferry Bulding Market Report: Fatted Calf Foie Gras, Primavera, Andante, Boulettes, Cowgirl, Prather Ranch, Downtown Bakery

Ferry Plaza FYI - if you love the BlueBottle Coffee, but hate the line - go to boulettes larder - they sell it by the pound and by the cup.

Dec 23, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Santa Rosa: New Oliver's Market outpost finally open

I shop WF and Olivers regularly - Olivers wins hands down, better quality produce, less ridiculous pricing. Olivers has much better selection of 'normal' food at everyday prices, and the Strauss Eggnog I bought there for $4.99 was $6 at WF. Besides Olivers is local, so the vibe is more 'real'

Dec 23, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Getting Over the Sommelier

I honestly sympathize with you, and I do hope that you can see that the sommelier is just a tool, a service the restaurant offers. Pick his brain! Ask for pairing ideas.
I must post in defense of the sommelier at Cyrus, who is a handsome man, easygoing, efficient, and turned us on to a wonderful 'midrange' wine from a 'local' winery: RadioCoteau Syrah. A delicious wine!! If you can get a bottle try it. I have also had a good Pinot from Radio Coteau.
A lot of the wines that Cyrus pours on their pairing menu really aren't that 'fancy' - they are good wines that serve the needs of the dish being served.

Oct 17, 2007
lamoufette in Features

Seaweed Cafe (Bodega Bay) Worth the Trip

The service is meant to be slow - they have 1 chef cooking for the whole restaurant turning out wonderful, heart-food, sooooo wonderful. I go there when I need to SLOW down, so please, if you go, know that the owner is French (the good kind of French) so food lovingly prepared, the way you wished it tasted when you cook it, but give yourself over, don't go there starving and don't go with anything but the very best company, because it is a place to linger, talk, eat, linger.

Oct 16, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

On First Encountering Cyrus Restaurant

Cyrus was wonderful. Lean back and let the food gods take over. Needs to be done once, but not after a long busy day,and not at the bar. The bar end is rude and overly efficient. But once thru the magic portal of the restaurant, you are in heaven. The wines were divine. Sometimes the service smacked a little bit 'Cruise Ship' as in too slick and repeated and rehearsed. We called it 'dinner theatre' for a special occasion. You have to be in the mood. One area that needs improvement is "The Welcome" - no one in particular greets you and no one is in charge of what happens to you until your reservation comes due. We wound up standing in the lobby because the bar was full of casual dinners and hotel guests.

Aug 09, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

3 dinners-Zazu, Ad Hoc or Redd, & La Salette?

In Napa I would recommend Bouchon if you haven't been already. If you have time to do the tour the art at the DiRosa preserve, it is pretty amazing. You would be in a breathtaking environment with all the heavy hitters of contemporary California art.
Re: Zazu. It is tasty and earthy (a bit funky) but Driving from SR to Sonoma is TOO far to enjoy.

Aug 09, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Bestest Yogurt [Moved from The Best]

STRAUSS is not only mega - delicious, try the plain with fruit on toast, it is organic, sustainable, made in small dairies by happy cows. They are helping work to preserve our open space in West Marin, no BS factory cow / fake organic. this is the real deal.

May 28, 2007
lamoufette in General Topics

New to Santa Rosa

you have never been better! good restaurants abound, but leave the city limits for the BEST. K and L Bistro in Sebastopol is the place to start. Pho Vietnam on Stony Point will wipe away years on Texas in one sitting. If you need an infusion of cool, go to the Underwood in Graton. Explore the County, good things are happening here.

May 28, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Bay Area Rabbit Recommendations?

I've had rabbit 3 ways at the Farmhouse and it's good! Have it with whatever Pinot Noir the sommolier recommends.

May 09, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

What to order at Absinthe?

when going french, go french, with french onion soup - one of those ethnic foods best eaten in a restaurant that makes a proper version.

Apr 25, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Farmhouse Inn, Forestville - Report

I had the same experience at the Farmhouse you did, lovely food, lovely wine to pair. A meal to remember. A small hitch, that I experienced at Cyrus and Farmhouse, is when you have a reservation for 8pm but they can't accomodate you yet, and they have 4 or 5 other tables that are also 'backed up waiting' in the lobby, one wonders where to stand as there is no where left to sit. A feeling that is always a bit awkward at a restaurant of that level.

Apr 25, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Smithwicks beer on tap in SF/Marin/Sonoma?

I am looking for Irish pubs with Smithwicks on tap. Any Smithwicks fans out there with a suggestion of a bar?

Apr 24, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Cole's Chop House--Napa

There is a humorous photo in this week's Bohemian newpaper, our local independent paper, of the gigantic statue of a serving wench in bronze . . . be sure to bring your camera. The Bohemian also said the food was great. Try to pick up a Bohemian while you're in Napa as a souvenir - they're in all the cafes, etc.

Mar 23, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Bouchon-Service any better?

Our service was remarkably good! We had a catatrophe - tight table + too much wine = whole table flipped over when I went to bathroom! The servers were so gracious and rapid, we hardly knew anything had happened. All of our glasses of wine, red and white, and water (6 glasses in all) were replaced instantaneously. Fortunately no food had been on the table . . .

Mar 23, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Is there anything that tastes BETTER with HFCS?

There really is no call for HFCS in any food! We went to buy Whole Wheat bread by Orowheat, which I thought was a healthy brand. All their breads have HFCS. Why does bread need corn syrup.

Mar 21, 2007
lamoufette in General Topics

$1 oysters

Wednesday nights in the small West Sonoma County town of Occidental, the French restaurant Bistro des Copains offers $1 oysters.

Mar 21, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Mendocino Question Again: Rendevous Cafe, Albion River Inn or Mendo Bistro

The cool thing about the Mendo Bistro, if you've never been, you can get chicken done a bunch of different ways (roasted, braised, broiled, fried, whatever) with a bunch of choices of sauce (barbecue, morrocan, creme, etc.) It is sooooooooooo good, and only $11 for some seriously tasty chicken. Locals can afford the $5 glasses of wine. Low-key scrumptious, unpretentious. Not top-notch cuisine, oo la la, but great afforable grub worthy of a fussy chowhound.

Mar 13, 2007
lamoufette in California

Asparagus Time

Asparagus boiled 4 mins, then squeeze lemon, drizzle olive oil, salt, and grate hardboiled eggs over the top of it all. Delish!

Mar 11, 2007
lamoufette in Home Cooking

Is Slanted Door better at lunch or dinner?

Lunch, of course, for the view which is tdf.

Mar 11, 2007
lamoufette in San Francisco Bay Area

Do Calories on Menus Really Help?

Thank you for posting the NY times article. Really their descision came down to money - the city is the one who will pay for the health care of its citizens made ill by these restaurants. The city is trying to help reduce the obesity epidemic in an effort to save the precious city resources it will have to spend providing insulin and syringes to uninsured diabetics. It's not about whether it is 'cool' with us or not. The city has a job to do, and is trying to do it. http://travel.nytimes.com/2006/12/13/... If they raise a few citizens awareness, bravo!

Mar 10, 2007
lamoufette in Not About Food