plate shop.

had the privilege of assisting the gf on a recent shoot of sausalito’s new plate shop, followed by dinner and drinks with friends. we turned control of the meal over to the chef and she sent out a tasting meal so amazing we couldn’t get through the full meat course we were so full. guess that just gives us a good reason to go back sooner than later!

the decor recalls sausalito’s shipyard days.

smoked risotto was a standout for me and the first time i’ve actually enjoyed sea urchin!

we tasted four of the five specialty cocktails and i’d easily go back for any of them.

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rainy day barrel tasting.

made the most of a rainy sunday and took a drive up to guerneville with the gf, friends from out of town and the pup for a day of adventure and barrel tasting.

prepared for our trip with a stop at blue bottle for coffee, then la boulange and safeway (bleh) for edible provisions. our first stop along russian river’s westside road was thomas george estates where friends were pouring and we did an abundance of wine tasting, plus a little back room tequila, absinthe and art in the age’s new liquor, root.

from there made stops at arista for more amazing pinot noir, porter creek vineyards where huddy enjoyed a romp in the rain with the vineyard dogs and moshin. and don’t forget a stop at the russian river pub for a mixed drink on the way back into town…

as you can imagine, our day trip quickly turned into an overnighter and we had the pleasure of staying at boon hotel and spa (again), ending a long, wet and boozy day with a dip in the hot tub and warm fire in the room, not to mention a delicious meal at the restaurant.

Jones.

took advantage of failed saturday afternoon plans to check out the newly opened jones in the tenderloin. the space is what really makes this place appealing, there are two huge bars inside and gorgeous (and huge) outdoor patio that looks out over geary street.

we spent a few early evening hours there and the place was mostly empty. ordered just about everything on the menu which was tasty and super reasonably priced. i had an old classic gin cocktail called the corpse reviver, and it definitely made it to my default cocktail list!

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adendum:
went back to jones the following friday night for the gf’s birthday dinner/drinks celebration and had a less than enjoyable experience. the food was so-so and the service was terrible enough that we actually let the manager know. hopefully they’re still working out their “new restaurant” kinks, but this definitely put a dent in my (and the 20+ friends who joined us) perception of the place. a note to the staff there, it’s probably not a good idea to give your customer excuses as to why their meal and experience were total shit, you’d be better off saying sorry and trying to make it better. won’t be referring this place to anyone for a while.

finally, street food!

for years i’ve said that what the US is missing is more street food and lucky for me food trucks/carts are all the rage these days. off the grid is a multi-location weekly gathering of street food vendors around the city and the perfect spot to stop for an easy and quick bite.

passed through with some friends on a saturday afternoon and enjoyed many tasty treats: korean tacos, patty melts, shoyu pulled port sandwich and chicken-rice plate, YUM!

eating and drinking… part 3

day two started with the previously blogged about room-service breakfast at bardessono and forcing ourselves to sadly check out of the hotel.

we stopped into bouchon for a grapefruit mimosa at the bar, accompanied by french onion soup and lobster bisque. from there we strolled through yountville before hopping in the car for a drive through napa. made a stop at dean and deluca before going to napa proper where we visited the oxbow market for a shrimp taco and mini cupcakes from kara’s cupcakes. closed out napa with a (not so good) drink at the celadon bar: cucumber-lemon infused vodka, sweetened lemon juice and ginger syrup.

on our return to the city we took advantage of having a car and got take-out from borobudur, the best indonesian restaurant in the bay! their soto ayam (chicken noodle soup) was as amazing as always; and the rijsttafel, a traditional dutch-indonesian meal that pretty much gives you a sample of everything so you don’t have to choose what one thing you want to eat is pretty much my dream meal solution!

eating and drinking… part 2

day one in yountville continued on the very good note it started on. i was treated to a little surprise in the form a visit to the quixote winery that was designed and built by the artist hundertwasser (one of my faves!) and is his only building in the US. their wines were nothing to write home about, but the place was totally worth the visit!

made a late afternoon pit stop at chandon for a little sparkling pinot noir rose, followed by pre-dinner champagne and chocolates in the tub at the hotel. and finally, dinner at redd.

we enjoyed several cocktails (read: i enjoyed them so much i can’t remember which or how many i had) and dinner was pretty spectacular. we ordered several things that don’t usually grab my attention and i think i’m forever changed. the lobster rissoto and duck confit with foie gras meatballs were so delicious that i could have ordered two servings of each and eaten nothing else! scallops w/ cauliflower, sea base, and skate were also delicious and i’d happily revisit them any day.

we were treated a little anniversary dessert of housemade icecream sandwiches which despite our fullness we ate all of, and an espresso martini that the tablecloth got to enjoy more of than we did. all in all a meal worth writing home about.