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California Cuisine
31st Union Restaurant- San Mateo- Great Neighborhood Restaurant

31st Union Restaurant
We always enjoy dining on the Peninsula and normally go to Redwood City, Palo Alto or Half Moon Bay. We learned that a new restaurant, 31st Union, had just opened in San Mateo which featured ingredients and wines from California.It is a stylish cozy restaurant in Downtown San Mateo which celebrates the bounty of California, the 31st State in the Union.

The town of Healdsburg surrounded by over 100 wineries is a great Wine Country destination for both dining and shopping. Some of the best restaurants in the Bay Area are located here, as well as some of the most interesting specialty shops.
Aubergine Restaurant
We love staying in Carmel-By-The-Sea on weekdays when it is a bit quieter and especially on rainy days. The town looks quite quaint and the ocean is rougher and even more beautiful. We had heard that the cuisine at Aubergine which is in the classic L’Auberge Carmel Hotel was exceptional and decided that we had to see for ourselves.
Auberge du Soleil
We loved the Verjus Roasted Apricots, lemon brioche, pistachio frangipane with noyau ice cream. Superior service, excellent cuisine with lovely presentation and a spectacular view makes Auberge du Soleil a must for dining.
We are big BBQ fans and are always happy to hear that a new BBQ restaurant has opened in The Bay Area. We were particularly interested when we were told that Chef-Restaurateur TanyaHolland, from the very popular Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland,  had recently opened a sister restaurant on San Pablo Avenue called B SIDE BBQ. 
The Barrel Room Restaurant, Wine Bar, Retail Wine Sales
We are Wine Lovers but must admit that we haven’t been to a Wine Bar since our favorite, Rick’s Wine Cellar, in Marin was sold about a year ago. We really enjoy learning about and finding new wines to enjoy, so we ventured to The Barrel Room. They have a location in San Francisco and just opened on College Avenue in Oakland and offer 50 wines by the Glass and over 200 by the Bottle.
Bardessono Restaurant
Yountville in the Napa Valley continues to be the center of the universe for fine dining in California. A new contender for world class wine country cuisine, Bardessono, opened in 2008 with talented veteran Executive ChefSean O’Toole and Sous Chef Roger Eggleston. They use the best fresh, sustainable, organic ingredients most of which comes from their own garden, local purveyors, and the farmers market where they go twice weekly.

We loved this appetizer and would return just to have it alone. The entrees that we enjoyed were the Skate Wing with Bloomsdale Spinach, Niman Ranch bacon, sweet potatoes puree and brown butter Hollandaise and the Coca Cola Braised Short Ribs with spring peas and red onions.

Grilled Sea Scallop-puree of eggplant, endive-leek-watercress salad, and lemon lime butter-the scallops were tender and the puree accented it perfectly.
We love our trips to L.A especially dining and shopping in Beverly Hills. There is nothing like a late lunch at The BLVD in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for excellent cuisine and of course people watching.

Bocadillos Tapas and Wine Bar
We love dining in San Francisco as there are so many excellent restaurants. We were in the mood for a light dinner and wine and had always wanted to try Bocadillos Tapas and Wine Bar which features a Spanish inspired Tapas Menu using predominantly organic and sustainable ingredients. Bocadillos is owned by Chef Gerald Hirigoyen who is also known for his popular Basque Restaurant Piperade.

Pea soup is a great test of how all soups at a restaurant will be. We found this to have a great consistency and delicious especially because of the duck.
Brassica has a large open dining room with comfortable well-spaced seating, a large bar area for cocktails and dining and offers outdoor patio dining weather permitting. The décor features large whimsical poster art and windows all around overlooking the lovely Napa Valley as well as a beautiful antique marble topped bar. We ordered Pellegrino Italian Sparkling Water and enjoyed marinated olives, as we reviewed the menu.
Roasted Chioggia Beets with Carmelized Belgian Endive, Crisp Ginger & Walnut Vinaigrette. This salad was truly unique and just wonderful! We highly recommend it!
Café Pinot
We asked the concierge at our hotel, The Westin Bonaventure, where to have dinner in walking distance? He recommended Café Pinot. It is located in the heart of downtown adjacent to the historic L.A. Central Library overlooking Maguire Gardens.
The Entrees are all right-sized portions and all feature fabulous vegetables. Our favorite was the Grilled Sonoma CK Lamb Sirloin with lamb sausage stuffed gypsy pepper; eggplant relish and Italian frying pepper aioli.

Carnegie Deli
It was a sad day when the Carnegie Deli closed in Manhattan but we are pleased to report it is alive and well in Las Vegas at The Mirage Hotel. We had dined at the venerable New York Jewish Deli many times and on every occasion had too much LOVE…

Central Market
We really loved the Organic Red Jewel Beets with Shaved Onions and Ricotta Salata Cheese. This was an amazing starter as the beets were sweet and the combination of vegetables and cheese worked well together.
Circa 59 Restaurant-Palm Springs
We love our short trips to The Desert where we always enjoy the heat, great food and poolside living. We normally stay at small B&Bs but this time decided to stay in the heart of old Palm Springs at The Riviera Resort. It can only be described as an Ultra Chic, glamorous 1960’s inspired Rat Pack swanky Hollywood glam Resort and Hotel.
Cocina Poblana
We loved the Quesadillas Vegetarianas which consisted of two corn tortillas cut in half with Mexican and Jack Cheeses and rajas con crema served with salsa. We also loved the Camarones al Chipolte which was Chipotle and queso fresco spicy Jumbo prawns sautéed in Chardonnay garlic and mushrooms with a creamy Chipolte sauce.
Copita Taquileria Y Comida- Excellent Mexican Cuisine in Sausalito

Copita Taquileria Y Comida
We love Sausalito and always enjoy taking the Golden Gate Ferry from the City especially on a beautiful sunny summer day. Our destination was Restaurateur-Executive Chef Joanne Weir’s new Mexican restaurant called Copita Taquileria Y Comida which is right in the middle of town on Bridgeway. Joanne has extensive culinary credentials as a T.V.Celebrity Chef, author and leader of culinary tours.

Cortez Restaurant
Executive Chef Jenn Puccio, who graduated from The New England Culinary Institute and has worked at some of the best restaurants in San Francisco, has taken over the kitchen at Cortez near Union Square.
Crab House at PIER 39 – Killer Crab in San Francisco
We are very fortunate to live in the San Francisco Bay Area where Dungeness Crab is a staple. It is a symbol of the Golden Gate fishing industry and is caught seasonally in the nearby Pacific Ocean as well as all year long along the coast from Southern California to Alaska. We needed a crab fix and decided it was time to venture to the Crab House at PIER 39 which is on the upper level with great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay.
Dining Around the Bay
We had a fabulous seared Diver Scallop appetizer which had a lovely presentation, arrived piping hot and was fresh and tender. Next, we had the Grilled Chateau Steak au poivre served with sautéed spinach and garlic pomme frites with sea salt and aioli which was prepared medium rare as ordered and was quite delicious. Sorbet was the perfect light dessert.
Digs Bistro
Berkeley has a new restaurant that is casual and cozy and has a small focused menu serving New American Cuisine with Mediterranean influences. It is so cute inside you feel like you are away for the weekend in Carmel or Mendocino.
Dining in The O.C.
We had the opportunity to be in Orange County just south of Los Angeles for a day and made the most of our dining and shopping opportunities. We shopped at the ultra-upscale South Coast Plaza and had some excellent Italian Cuisine at Quattro Q4 Caffe, which is located between Emporio Armani and Jimmy Choo.
District Wine and Whiskey Lounge
The Chipotle Deviled Eggs with pickled radish and baby arugula and sprouts were excellent. Next, we enjoyed the tasty Braised Oxtail Sombreros served on crispy corn tortillas with radish, lime and cilantro. The meat was very succulent and the presentation was fun. The Warm Local Asparagus with truffled poached egg, crispy house made pancetta and banylus vinaigrette was simply amazing and definitely a must! We loved the Ahi Tuna Tartare with Peruvian rocoto chili, cucumber and Meyer lemon dressing.
Dobbs Ferry
San Francisco has wonderful neighborhoods for dining and shopping. We always enjoy Hayes Valley as there are quite a few quality “Specialty” stores and some excellent restaurants. On a recent evening we bought Holiday gifts and beautiful Mexican Christmas Ornaments at Polanco. then decided to try a new restaurant call Dobbs Ferry.
The Dish
The Boise area is truly becoming “Boomtown” as more and more people find out how nice it is the live here in the Treasure Valley. Over the past few years, new restaurants have been opening to accommodate the tastes of both newcomers who are relocating from both the West & East Coast, as well as those who have lived here for their entire lives.
The Dorian
We love Chestnut Street in San Francisco’s hip Marina District. The restaurants and shops are always very active and the people watching is great. We recently learned that the popular Dorian restaurant at the corner of Chestnut and Fillmore had added Brunch so we knew we’d better check it out!
Doukkala Restaurant
The Temescal neighborhood in Oakland continues to grow and thrive as a dining destination. Doukkala Restaurantrecently opened on Telegraph Avenue serving Moroccan inspired California Cuisine. Talented Executive Chef Eric Lanvert uses French techniques and local and sustainable ingredients to create interesting and tasty dishes.
We had a fabulous seared Diver Scallop appetizer which had a lovely presentation, arrived piping hot and was fresh and tender. Next, we had the Grilled Chateau Steak au poivre served with sautéed spinach and garlic pomme frites with sea salt and aioli which was prepared medium rare as ordered and was quite delicious. Sorbet was the perfect light dessert.
Eldorado Kitchen
Our overall favorite was the Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut. It was served with fingerling potatoes, fennel, calamari, nicoise olives and roasted peppers. The fish was moist and perfectly prepared. It was a very healthy meal that was also tasty.
Faith & Flower-Upscale Dining in Los Angeles
We Love L.A. and were pleased to spend a few nights recently downtown at the Omni Hotel. Los Angeles has truly transformed over recent years to become more vibrant than ever. The economy is booming again and the streets were filled with happy people stylishly dressed out for the evening.
Flavor Napa Valley
We were pleased to attend the second annual Flavor! Napa Valley Appellation Trail Tasting at the historic Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. The Sold Out event was attended by 1500 wine and food lovers. It showcased more than 100 Napa Valley wineries and 25 Napa Valley restaurants, many with Michelin Stars.
Fog City-Excellent New American Cuisine in San Francisco
Fog City has been a Dining Icon on the Embarcadero in San Francisco for more than 25 years but as with all great restaurants it was time for an update. The “Diner” was gutted and a new concept was created. The décor is welcoming with an Oval Bar in the center, an Exhibition Kitchen with Wood Burning Fire Pit and Oven up front, new booths, and both regular and high tables for drinks and dining. Every seat has big picture window views of the Embarcadero and Battery Streets.
Fog Harbor Fish House
Fall is a great time of year to enjoy the best that San Francisco has to offer. The Summer crowds of cold tourists in shorts with recently purchased Alcatraz sweat shirts are gone, as are this year’s hard partying America’s Cup attendees. So we thought it was time to enjoy what the tourists have been enjoying! We hadn’t dined at PIERS 39 in years and decided it was time to try Fog Harbor Fish House.
Fog City Diner
A Classy Classic American Diner
Small Plates:Crab Cakes with Sherry- Cayenne Mayonnaise-Spicy and fluffy, you can’t find better Crab Cakes anywhere; we also enjoyed the side of Black – Eyed Beans.
Gather Restaurant
Downtown Berkeley now has a great new restaurant that features seasonal farm fare and organic fruits and vegetables that are carefully sourced and thoughtfully prepared by Executive Chef Sean Baker who honed his culinary skills at Millennium. They serve Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in a comfortable environment which is very active and lively.
Glen Ellen Inn Restaurant
Where Food and Wine Are Truly Beautiful Things
Fire– Roasted Rack of Sonoma Lamb in Rosemary- Cabernet Reduction With garlic flan, and vegetable confetti- This is a large meal; even the heartiest of eaters will be pleased.en Inn
Goose & Gander Restaurant– Wine Country Dining in St. Helena

Goose & Gander Restaurant
It was a beautiful summer day and we decided to enjoy a drive to the Napa Valley. The views of the hills and vineyards were “postcard perfect” and the weather was cooler than normal which was fine with us. We were headed for St. Helena which is one of our favorite historic towns on Highway 29 where we love to shop and dine.

Gott’s Roadside
We always enjoy the breathtaking ride north on Highway 29 through the Napa Valley Wine Country and frequently go to Saint Helena to dine and shop. We have driven by Gott’s Roadside Tray Gourmet which was formerly known as Taylor’s AutomaticRefresher and seen people lined up to order and dining at picnic tables but had never stopped to eat.
We had Blue Point Oysters with chive and rice wine Mignionette. The diced red peppers in the Mignonette were a great addition. The Mulligatawny with grilled lobster tails was also excellent! Another crowd-pleaser was Dungeness Crab Cakes with micro greens and Crème Fraiche over white corn liqueur. They were entirely crab with no filler, which put them a “cut above”
Guaymas Restaurant
Tiburon has always been one of our favorite towns. The spectacular views of The City and Angel Island are incredible. Sailboats, power boats and ferries coming in and out make it quite an active harbor. The shops in Tiburon have become more upscale in the last year, which adds to the overall charm of the town.
Homestead -Fine Dining on Piedmont Avenue
We love to hear that hard working ultra-talented chefs after honing their skills in great kitchens for many years finally get their chance to open their own restaurants. Homestead on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland was just opened by Co-Owners Elizabeth Sassen and Executive Chef Fred Sassen who both enhanced their culinary skills at fine restaurants including Farallon in San Francisco and Camino in Oakland.
Home Restaurant
The Deviled Eggs with honey cured ham, red peppers, Dijon mustard, chives, parsley and aioli are also delicious, fresh and light. You must try the soups. We loved the Italian Butter Bean Soup with bacon and sausage in a tomato broth! The cornbread with honey butter was very light and the best we have ever tasted

Hyatt Regency Eclipse Restaurant
The Eclipse Restaurant which is located in the Atrium of the Hyatt Regency San Francisco is now offering an Alcatraz Prison Commemorative Dinner Menu for ($28.00) which includes a starter, entrée with side dishes and dessert.  It is an interpretation by Executive Chef Victor Litkewycz of a modern day version of what might be served today if Alcatraz was still open using modern cooking styles, locally sourced mostly organic ingredients and modern presentation.

Ironside- West Coast BBQ in San Francisco
Baseball season is coming up so we thought we’d better do some recon to see where we could eat or get take out before a game. We had heard that Ironside which is located in the Historic Chronicle Books Building right near A T & T Park in San Francisco’s South Beach/SOMA neighborhood had just updated their dinner menu and decided to check it out.
Jerome’s Mesquite Style BBQ is Texas Style as per new owner Brian Kaplowitz. Jerome’s has been a successful restaurant for 18 years. The food we tasted included BBQ Pulled Pork, BBQ Ribs, sliced beef Tri-Tip and potato salad. Jerome’s BBQ Pulled Pork was a crowd pleaser.
John Ash & Co. At Vintners Inn
Elegant Setting-Classy Atmosphere
World Class Cuisine and Wine Sonoma Duck Confit—with scallion pancakes, green onions, arugula and an Asian dipping sauce.
Jordan’s Restaurant
Fine Dining with a Great San Francisco Bay View
Jordan’s Spicy Crab Cake- Carrot, Daikon & Orange Salad with Sweet & Sour Chile Vinaigrette- Almost all crab which is unheard of these days and absolutely fantastic!! This was the Best Crab Cake we have ever eaten!
Hawk’s Tavern- Mill Valley-Soars to new Heights!
Hawk’s Tavern- Mill Valley
Hawk’s Tavern in Mill Valley is quickly approaching their one year anniversary. They started out with a small plate menu but found that their clientele preferred the traditional Starter Entrée Dessert format and recently hired a new Executive Chef Safir Rezzoug to make the change. Don’t let the name Tavern fool you, as this not a Bar but actually a very comfortable and inviting Restaurant with a local neighborhood feel.

Las Vegas Tequila Patrol visits Hecho En Vegas
The Las Vegas Tequila Patrol is on a never ending quest to find the best Bars and Restaurants in Las Vegas to learn about and of course drink Tequila. We recently joined a trek to Hecho EnVegas where we found over 100 Tequilas available including 7 Siete Leguas, Don Julio, Jimador, Partida, Patron, Casa Noble, Ocho, Calle 23, Herradura and Jose Cuervo.

Homestead -Fine Dining on Piedmont Avenue
We love to hear that hard working ultra-talented chefs after honing their skills in great kitchens for many years finally get their chance to open their own restaurants. Homestead on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland was just opened by Co-Owners Elizabeth Sassen and Executive Chef Fred Sassen who both enhanced their culinary skills at fine restaurants including Farallon in San Francisco and Camino in Oakland.
Honor Bar
Emeryville is home to many Hi Tech, Bio Tech and Entertainment Companies. Today, with the stress associated with business there’s always the need for a cocktail and as we all know American’s can surely use a stiff drink right now. Honor Bar fits in perfectly, serving interesting Specialty Cocktails made with Housemade Syrups created by Bar Manager Alex Smith and Gourmet “Bar” Cuisine created by Chef Jordan Grosser.
Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill
We were very excited to hear that the Lake Merit Municipal Boat House in Oakland had been restored and the Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill was now open. We appreciated that valet parking was available in the evening, as parking can be very difficult around the lake.
Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant

We ordered The Tasting Flight of European Rieslings and were pleased to see that they use Riedel wine glasses which make a big difference in the taste of wines. . We started out by ordering a delicious Pear and Cheese salad that consisted of Caramelized Bosc pears and local Point Reyes Blue Cheese with Black Pepper Gastrique.


La Mar -Weekend Brunch-PeruvianCuisine
We have always loved dining at La Mar which serves fabulous Peruvian Cuisine and has a beautiful location right on the San Francisco Bay near the Ferry Plaza on Pier 1.5. We learned that they recently added seven additional items to their Weekend Brunch Menu and decided we’d better check it out.  It was a beautiful sunny Saturday and we were seated on the all-weather outdoor dockside Patio overlooking the Bay and soon were enjoying their habit forming Sweet Potato and Plantain Chips and excellent Pisco Cocktails.

Last Day Saloon
Our favorite was definitely the Chicken Marsala. This entrée was served piping hot. The skinless, boneless chicken breast was prepared with fresh basil, shallots in a Marsala and mushroom wine sauce.
The most impressive of the Starters was the Goat Cheese Fritters with “Andate” Goat Cheese, Phyllo, Watercress and Pistachio Dressing. The presentation and flavors were superior, so we knew this was just the beginning of a Fine Dining experience.

Luma Restaurant
The Petaluma dining scene continues to evolve to accommodate the seemingly never ending appetite for quality cuisine. Luma Restaurant in the Riverfront Warehouse District at the corner of First and G. Streets was recently opened by Restaurateurs Timand Kate Tatum to be a local friendly neighborhood dining destination.

Machka Restaurant- San Francisco-Excellent TurkishCuisine

Machka Restaurant
We’ve always enjoyed Turkish cuisine and when we heard that Machka had just opened in San Francisco’s Financial District we knew we had to try it. Located directly across the street from the Transamerica Pyramid Center, the new restaurant exudes an active lively “after work” friendly business vibe. The Décor features an exposed brick wall lined with high top tables, a beautiful chandelier, interesting suspended spot lighting, a communal table, vintage Turkish photographs, and sidewalk seating.


Maguire’s Irish Pub- Petaluma
Maguire’s Irish Pub which recently re-opened on Kentucky Street in Downtown Petaluma is a perfect example of the classic Irish Pub. The décor has a lot of character and is pure Pub featuring a long mahogany wood bar, high tables with bar stools with tables nicely spaced downstairs for dining, as well as upstairs. The walls are filled with all types of Irish Memorabilia including classic framed beer posters of Guinness, Beamish Irish Stout and John Courage Amber.

Meadowood is a World Class Resort which exudes casual sophistication, nestled in the hills of St. Helena just off the Silverado Trail It is very woodsy and secluded and our dining experience was much like being on a country estate. We enjoyed an exquisite perfectly paced fine dining experience at The Restaurant at Meadowood.
Meridian International Sports Café
The Truffle Deviled Eggs with crumbled bacon, tomatoes and chives had a Dijon kick and were a wow!! We ordered the Chefs Dinner for two which included two entrée and a bottle of wine which was very value priced. We loved the Moroccan Barbeque Wild King Salmon with Jasmine Tea infused rice, spice rubbed vegetables
Moss Beach Distillery
The Moss Beach Distillery is located a short drive down the coast from San Francisco, just north of Half Moon Bay off of Highway One. Built in the 1920’s the restaurant is rich in history and folklore, as it was supposedly a Speakeasy during prohibition and some contend that it is haunted as well.
McCormick & Kuleto’s
We learned that all of their salmon was flown in on ice daily from Alaska and that there are five species of wild Salmon. We also learned that salmon can be prepared grilled, broiled, poached, baked, smoked or sautéed. It is filled with Omega 3 Fatty Acids which makes it a heart healthy meal and that the high oil content contributes to the rich and intense flavors.
MacArthur Park
Real American Food!
World Famous MacArthur Park Oakwood BBQ Baby Back Ribs- slowly smoked to perfection grilled over mesquite and served with housemade coleslaw, French fries and "Mac Park" barbecue sauce.
Maguire’s Irish Pub
The Starters were all lighter than expected and tasted healthier than standard “Pub Food” without sacrificing flavor. We enjoyed the Calamari which was lightly breaded, fried and served with both tarter and house cocktail sauce. The Potato Skins with cheese, bacon bits, green onions and sour cream are also a good choice and not too large. The most unique starter was Maguire’s Delight which were tasty Won Tons stuffed with corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese served with Thousand Island dressing.

The appetizers and small plates were all quite fresh and tasty. We enjoyed the Little Moroccan Cigars Phyllo stuffed with chicken and Crispy Flatbread Zattar and roasted garlic hummus.

Marin Joe’s
A North Bay Tradition
The Della Santina family, originally from Lucca in Tuscany, has owned and operated the restaurant for half a century, serving great steaks, pasta and Italian specialties in a pleasing upbeat atmosphere. This  is a great place to dine! Read the review for all the details.
Market & Rye
Market & Rye opened in 2012 and quickly became known as a great casual San Francisco Potrero Hill neighborhood restaurant, which serves tasty and reasonably priced Breakfast, Lunch and Weekend Brunch. Beer and Wine are also available all day at very reasonable prices, as well. As you enter, you see that you order at the Register.
Mexico DF
When it’s time for a Margarita and some authentic Mexican Cuisine in an upbeat lively and friendly atmosphere Mexico DF is the place to be. Start with their Margarita Tepito on the rocks with 100% Agaves Tequila but beware that one might not be enough as they are habit forming.
McCormick & Kuleto’s Seafood Restaurant
We always appreciate being invited to dinners where Chefs try out new dishes on us and welcome our feedback before they put them on the menu. McCormick & Kuleto’sExecutive Chef Liz Ozanich’s Halibut Dinner was one such recent occasion.
A Friendly Grill
Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs with Garlic Mashed Potatoes-This hearty dish is prepared to perfection….the meat was so tender and flavorful. Great comfort food and our favorite entrée!
Great Food and a Good Time
Housemade Gnocchi, Shaved Alba White Truffle, Creamy Leeks. This is a very rich and special dish that will please true Gnocchi lovers.

Mosaic Restaurant & Wine Lounge
We took an overnight trip to Healdsburg and asked around to find out where we should dine. Mosaic in nearby Forestville, which has been open since 2005, was the choice of almost everyone we spoke with. So, we were sure that we were in for a great dining experience. Chef / Owner Tai Olesky is quietly becoming famous for his Global Cuisine.

We knew about a hip, trendy restaurant just off of Oakland’s Broadway Auto Row called Mua but had never had a chance to go. A recent tweet from @1skinnychef alerted us that experienced Executive Chef, Brandon Peacock, had recently joined them so we decided to see what this Oakland Hot Spot was all about. The décor is SoHo warehouse chic industrial with wood beam ceilings, skylights, cement walls and ceiling fans. Large wild edgy Art paintings by Kimlynh E. Chun and Hi-Suk add to the fun Artist’s Loft statement.

Nob Hill Grille
One of the desserts that we loved was Peaches and Cream Crepes which consisted of bourbon macerated peaches with hand whipped cream in homemade sweet crepes. The team of Fabio Stefani, Rich Paez and Executive Chef Heli Samaniego has created a focused menu with something for everyone.
Noe Restaurant - Los Angeles
We took a short trip to Los Angeles and decided to stay at The Omni Hotel on Bunker Hill, as it is in the heart of Downtown. We were also interested in dining at their restaurant, Noe which features California Cuisine with French techniques and Japanese influences. We like to dine where we stay as it adds to our enjoyment of the hotel and is also very convenient and extremely relaxing.
Netties Crab Shack
To start you must try the fresh, just shucked Raw Oysters which come with a tasty light minuette sauce. Next we had a near perfect New England clam chowder, with smoked bacon. It was lighter than most and we loved the taste and consistency.
Nick’s Cove
Nick’s Cove is located on the beautiful shores of Tomales Bay in Marshall which has been a scenic coastal fishing community for over a century. This hundred year old restaurant was a cornerstone of the community and now has been totally renovated.

The hearty portion of Steak Frites was very tender. This Grilled hangar steak was topped with herb salsa verde, a side of crisp frites and fronds of fresh Sausalito watercress. We saved room for dessert which was called Chocolate Milk and cookies. 

The Roast Filet of Beef Rossini with seared Foie Gras and mushroom potato cake and red wine reduction was so tender you would have not believed that it was beef. The Foie Gras melted in your mouth. I can’t remember a better Filet Mignon period.
Nonni's Bistro
We enjoy our day trips to small towns in the Bay Area and are always looking for new and interesting dining destinations. We went to Downtown Pleasanton for their Annual Antique Fair a few weeks ago and noticed that there were quite a few restaurants with both indoor and outdoor dining options on Main Street. Nonni’s Bistro which recently opened in July 2010 was quite charming and inviting so we decided to sit outdoors and have Brunch which is served on weekends from 8:00 A.M to 3:00 PM.
Oola Restaurant & Bar
Our first course was the Caesar Salad with Boquerones. The White large anchovy and the fabulous lemon anchovy dressing, basil and parmesan cheese made it a superior salad. Next, we had an order of Hamma Hamma and Kumamoto Oysters on the half shell which were fresh and tasty.
Olema Inn
Delicious California Mediterranean Cuisine
The Olema Inn is an historic landmark that first opened on July 4, 1876. The Inn has been meticulously and lovingly restored with 6 luxurious Guest Rooms upstairs and a comfortable Bar and lovely Dining Room downstairs.
Olema Farm House
The Starters that we really enjoyed included the fresh, local Oysters. We had all types including Hog Island Oysters served three ways , grilled with herbed garlic butter, tangy citrus Barbeque sauce and fried with tarter sauce and Marin Miyagi Oysters from the Cove Mussel Company served raw on the half shell with classic cucumber mignonette.
Out and About
The Dining Detectives have been Out and About and have found some restaurants that you would truly enjoy. Spring of 2008.
Palo Alto Grill- Modern Steakhouse Cuisine
We always have fun strolling down University Avenue in Palo Alto and popping in the interesting upscale shops and enjoying the diverse dining scene. We were pleased to hear that accomplished Executive Chef Ryan Shelton is now working with popular Restaurateur Bruce Schmidt at the his new restaurant on University Avenue, the Palo Alto Grill.
American Brasserie-Restaurant & Bar
King Salmon Roasted With Charmoula With a Ragout of White Beans, Calamari and Manila Clams. The clams were stacked on top of the lucious King salmon. Just Great.
It is always fun dining out on warm San Francisco nights, especially in October. Everyone was so happy that the Giants were in the Playoffs and Won the World Series! the 49ers were winning and a few even remembered that it was the 23rd. Anniversary of The Loma Prieta Earthquake.
Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2013
One of our favorite annual Food Events now in its sixth year is Pebble Beach Food & Wine which was held April 4-7, 2013. This year featured 300+ Wineries, 75+ Celebrity Chefs, Cooking Demonstrations, Dinners, Celebrity Golf as well as Wine and Spirits Tastings. The weather is always spectacular in April and the coastal views are magnificent at Pebble Beach as well as on our drive from San Francisco.
Pete’s Tavern
Pete’s Tavern which is directly across from A T & T Park is San Francisco’s new favorite Sports Bar. Peter Osborne who also owns Momo’s right down the street just opened this classic Tavern that combines reasonably priced food and a fun atmosphere.

There is a consensus among food lovers that Basque cuisine is some of the best in the world and that Piperade is one of the best restaurants in San Francisco. Piperade is owned by acclaimed Restaurateur/Executive Chef Gerald Hirigoyen. He was named one of the ten best chefs in America, co-owns a vineyard called Arrels in the Priorat region of Cataluya, Spain and the Clos Pissarra Winery.

The Plant Cafe Organic
Chef/Owner Khai Duong who is also the Executive Chef at Ana Mandara and graduated first in his class from the Le Cordon Bleu Academie De Paris creates the Pho and other dishes from family recipes. The décor features a 1960’s era Pho Street Cart adorned with colorful depictions of Vietnamese mythology, bird cages and scenes of Vietnam on the walls.
Pres a Vi
We started out with a delicious Beet Salad with red and yellow beets, baby arugula, Cypress Grove “Bermuda Triangle” chevre and excellent sherry vinaigrette. Next, we enjoyed the soup of the day which was a delicious Sweet Corn Bisque. A favorite appetizer that was just as good as on our previous visit was the steamed Duck Buns with Peking duck confit, hoisin, watercress and cilantro.
Rosa Mexicano
We have always enjoyed Mexican Cuisine and of course Tequila. So, we were very interested when we learned that Rosa Mexicano had opened a new location in San Francisco. Rosa Mexicanofirst opened in New York in 1984 and they now have locations around the globe serving farm fresh traditional and contemporary Mexican food, using seasonal fresh ingredients from local purveyors.
Partners Marco Palmieri and Chef Fabio Flagiello -- both originally from Trieste, Italy-- have created a fabulous new destination restaurant in Petaluma.? The cuisine features modern interpretations of Mediterranean, French, Italian, Californian and Spanish dishes.
Riverside Grill and The Sapphire Room
Delicious Dinner and Fun Music Venue at the Riverside Hotel!!
Boise has a wide variety of restaurants and bars and we are always looking for something new that we haven’t tried yet. We have enjoyed lunch several times outdoors at the Sandbar Patio Bar & Grill at The Riverside Hotel and have also attended events where the food was very good.
Revival Bar and Kitchen
Executive Chef/Owner Amy Murray offers a seasonally inspired menu using locally sourced and mostly organic ingredients. They are proud of their close relationships with local producers, farmers, ranchers, coffee roasters and winemakers and Chef de Cuisine / Master Butcher Travis McConnell makes all of their Charcuterie, sausage and bacon in-house. There is a large bar area where Head Mixologist Nat Harry loves to create Modern Interpretations of classic cocktails.
Riverside Bistro
There are great views from the dining room and their covered patio overlooking the Petaluma River. The dinner menu features just enough choices for everyone and the prices are very reasonable with entrees all under $20.00 and a $5.95 Kids Menu. We were seated on the patio right next to the river and settled in for an evening of river watching and dining.
Rocker Oysterfeller's
The whimsical oversized teak rocking chairs on the front porch of the Valley Ford Hotel were a good indicator of the sweet and sincere hospitality that we were about to experience at Rocker Oysterfeller’s Kitchen & Saloon.

Rouge et Blanc
San Francisco is known for quality establishments where one can enjoy a beverage and light fare. We had heard that Laurent Manrique’s Rouge et Blanc on Grant Street had added some new menu items and Whiskies to their food and wine offerings and knew we needed to stop by to check it out. Rouge et Blanc has been open for four years serving light breakfast, lunch salads and sandwiches and afternoon/evening finger foods including cheeses, charcuterie and pate

Salito’s -Sausalito’s Crab House & Prime Rib Restaurant
We lived in Sausalito for many years and particularly enjoy it on all those warm sunny days. We also love to dine where there are fabulous Bay Views, so we were excited to try Salito’s Crab House & Prime Rib. The restaurant, which is now three years old, is very inviting as there are multiple levels and bar areas for Dining and Drinks including an outdoor deck overlooking Richardson Bay. This beautiful view can be seen from almost every angle in the restaurant.
Sassafras Restaurant & Wine Bar
Fresh and Sassy Modern American Cuisine
The tomatoes were luscious and the Goat cheese was milder than any we had ever tasted. These were definitely some of the best appetizers and salads we’ve had all year!
Sauce Restaurant
San Francisco is known for interesting urban neighborhoods where you can find great restaurants. One such area is Hayes Valley , where we recently dined at Sauce Restaurant which has been open since 2004. Executive Chef Ben Paula serves innovative American Cuisine made with fresh, local and sustainable ingredients.
Scoma’s Restaurant Fisherman’s Wharf
We love to dine at trendy, upscale, nouvelle cuisine restaurants in San Francisco but we also have a soft spot in our hearts for the old school “tried and true” as well. Scoma’s Restaurant has been serving fresh right off the boat seafood for almost 50 years at Fisherman’s Wharf.
The Sea
We have dined at Alexander’s Steakhouse in San Francisco many times and always enjoyed the steaks and prime rib. They recently opened a seafood restaurant called The Sea by Alexander’sSteakhouse in Palo Alto which features fresh sustainable seafood and wild fish with seasonal, quality ingredients prepared with a Japanese flair.
San Francisco Chefs 2013 - Celebrating Bay Area Cuisine
It’s been quite interesting to see the evolution of SF Chefs, since it first began five years ago. It has always been well produced and allowed the “Foodie” Public to have access to great Chefs, Cuisine, Wine and Cocktails, as well as allowing the Food industry to celebrate the San Francisco Culinary scene. Now, there are many more events and dinners throughout the year but the highlight is still The Grand Tasting Tent on Union Square.
SF Chefs 2012
The tent was up in Union Square and the Chefs had prepared fabulous tastes. The Wine was being poured and this year the Cocktails were flowing. For the fourth year in a row San Francisco shined! As advertised there was Tasting, Pairing, Mixing, and Engaging as thousands celebrated local flair & regional flavor in the epicenter of culinary innovation in San Francisco.
SF Chefs 2011
There were five Charities that benefited from the proceeds including Meals on Wheels, SF Food Bank, Open Hand, Feeding America and GGNRA Scholarship Foundation. The festivities started on Thursday night with Chef and TV personality Tyler Florence as M.C. for the ribbon cutting ceremony with San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom.
Palo Alto now has a new restaurant to serve the discerning diners on the Penninsula called Shokolaat. It was recently opened by Executive Chef/ Owner Shekoh Moossavi and Pastry Chef/ Owner Mark Ainsworth and serves Contemporary European Cuisine in a modern, sleek and inviting atmosphere.

Siena Restaurant at TheMeritage Resort and Spa
We love the Napa Valley. The Vineyards are beautiful, the Cuisine and Wines are World Class and it is only an hour drive from San Francisco. We recently learned that The Meritage Resort and Spa had just hired Hungarian born and raised Executive Chef, KrisztianKarkus, who brings a wealth of experience having worked at resorts around the world.

Sonoma Mission Inn
House-cured Salmon and crème fraiche on scallion and leek flatbread-this was definitely the best choice of all the appetizers we tasted-This could be your main course-just add a Baby Spinach Salad.-True Heaven. Sonoma Mission Inn

Social Club Restaurant & Bar
We have been writing about Petaluma restaurants for quite some time now and the only constant is that the restaurant scene continues to change and grow to accommodate the ever changing population. Social Club Restaurant & Bar which features sophisticated American Cuisine, a Full Bar with over 100 options including rare Whiskey and Scotch and Local Craft Beers on tap and by the bottle is quickly approaching the celebration of their one year anniversary!

Southern Pacific Smokehouse- Excellent BBQ
The Starters are all generous servings and well priced. We loved the Garlic and Herb Flatbread which was finished with parmesan and extra virgin olive oil. The Crab & Shrimp Cakes with fennel and arugula salad and lemon-cayenne emulsion were tasty too. You must have the New Orleans style Shrimp and Grits with glazed shallot cream sauce.
Our choices for entrees included a beautiful house cut of Prime Rib with a light Au Jus and Creamed Horseradish. It was perfectly prepared rare as ordered. The vegetables which included delicious broccoli and carrots and the mashed potatoes were topped with red and green pieces of peppers
Spenger’s has always drawn a fun crowd. Such luminaries as Clark Gable, Carol Lombard, Errol Flynn, Ernest Hemingway, Robin Williams, Al Rossi and Tom Hanks have been known to dine at this historic restaurant. So much history, but now its time to move on to the main attraction---THE FOOD.
Sun Valley Harvest Festival 2014
This was our first trip to Sun Valley and we were excited knowing that it was a World Class Resort Area. We knew that this was the perfect time to go as The SunValley Harvest Festival was happening featuring four days of Foodie Events.
Blowfish Sushi To Die For
has been open for over 15 years in San Francisco serving Japanese Fusion Cuisine with European and California influences. Executive Chef Ritsuo Tsuchida who is originally from Japan, recently saw the palates of his customers start to change and decided to revise the menu keeping “Favorites” but adding new menu items to stay ahead of the curve.
Terrapin Crossroads
San Rafael feels like it is really happening again with the addition of Terrapin Crossroads. They offer a fun varied menu featuring fresh seasonal ingredients and daily specials plus have a Taproom and Lounge and a new Music venue. The owner is Phil Lesh who is one of the founders of The Grateful Dead and you will see great photos of Jerry Garcia and The Dead on the walls from “back in the day”.
Our favorite Entrée was the Grilled Marinated Lamb Chops with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, lamb jus and fried onions. They were prepared rare as ordered and a huge portion. The wines we enjoyed were the Sorelle Bronca Prosecco di Valdobbiadene and the 2007 Haraszky Solus Sto Amador County Zinfandel paired well with the lamb chops.
Restaurateur Tracey Berkner and her husband Executive Chef Mark Berkner have a passion for food,feature fresh, seasonal local ingredients and offer a memorable dining experience. The décor is very inviting with red interior, pendant lighting, hardwood floors and nicely spaced tables where you can choose to visit or not.
The table was elegantly set with stylish floral arrangements and the room with softly lit. Executive Chef Wayne Van Akin has designed a menu to reflect the bounty of Sonoma County.

Our favorite entrée was the Iman Bayildi which is a fabulous Eggplant sliced lengthwise, stuffed with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic and parsley, cooked with olive oil and served with rice. The dessert we found to be truly exceptional was the Kunefe. 

Urban Tavern
Happy Fourth Birthday to Urban Tavern in San Francisco!! We’ve been there many times to dine and for cocktails and were pleased to hear that they had just added a weekend Brunch Menu which is available from 11:30 A.M. until 2:30 P.M. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Verbena Restaurant-Fine California Cuisine in San Francisco
The Restaurant Business is thriving in the San Francisco Bay Area and the trend is for successful and talented Chefs to open second locations. Executive Chef SeanBaker, who was Esquire Magazine’s 2010 Chef of the Year, opened a very successful vegetarian, vegan, omnivore restaurant called Gather in Berkeley near U.C. Berkeley about four years ago.
Victorian Diningroom Restaurant
We really enjoyed their signature starter which was the Crab and Oysters Mendocino which is their rendition of Oysters Rockefeller but made with Dungeness Crab, local oysters, scallop, rock shrimp, smoked prosciutto, spinach and Grana Padano Pernod cream.
Restaurateur Pat Kuleto and Executive Chef Mark Franz created this wonderful restaurant with its modern playful décor including huge fish tanks in the dining room and casual outdoor patio dining. Both indoor and outdoor dining allows you to enjoy watching the world go by including sailboats, joggers, walkers, skaters and incredible Bay Bridge views.
We were especially happy that we decided to try the Fish Special of the Day. It was mouth-watering Potato Pesto Crusted Baked Halibut topped with a tomato basil cream sauce.
William Tell House
The Shrimp Cocktail was our favorite and is as pleasing to the palate as it is to the eye. We also enjoyed the Deep Fried Coconut Shrimp, perfectly crispy and accompanied by a tasty mango sweet chili sauce.
Wolfdale's Tahoe City
Lake Tahoe is beautiful year round and a great getaway from the Bay Area. Hikers and boaters love it in the spring, summer and fall and skiers love it, as it affords them a spectacular winter wonderland. All visitors and locals have one thing in common and that’s right, they appreciate excellent cuisine. Wolfdale’s in Tahoe City has been open since 1978 serving East-West Fusion Cuisine created by Restaurateur/ Executive Chef Douglas Dale using fresh, seasonal, local ingredients
The Starters included a fabulous Soup of the Day. It was a Red Curry Squash with lentils, coriander, tarragon and scallions on top. This was a great way to begin our meal and with its unique taste we knew we were in the right place.
Zagat Survey 2008
Gary Danko won two 2008 Zagat Survey Awards including Most Popular Restaurant and Top Food Restaurant in San Francisco. Tim and Nina Zagat announced the results of their 2008 San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants Survey.
Zoom Roadhouse Grill
Zoom Roadhouse Grillis located in the Union Pacific Depot that was originally built in 1886 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Zoom was opened in 1995 by Robert Redford and the décor features posters of Sundance Film Festivals, as well as photos of actors.

We were pleased to hear that Zut! had hired successful and accomplished Executive Chef Jim Wimborough who is a graduate of The California Culinary Academy and has great local experience. As we entered the newly renovated space, we could tell that the vibe was more welcoming than previously.


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