start of summer!

had an amazing monday off in the city. took the pup to the dog park and on the way managed to pick up a new coffee table from a garage sale that the gf and i both instantly fell in love with. made roasted halibut fish tacos with mango salsa and red cabbage slaw for an early dinner.

thanks to our csa (farm fresh to you)¬† were able to make some infusions inspired by last week’s farmer’s market happy hour, to hopefully recreate our favorite cocktail. made our very own rhubarb simple syrup (and rhubard compote as a byproduct), and cilantro and toasted coriander infused tequila. definitely the right way to kick-off summer!

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northern california, i love you.

had one of those perfect sundays that reminds me why i can’t imagine ever leaving the bay area. did an amazing coastal hike in bolinas with a serious sf foodie picnic lunch midway. a bottle of white, bi-rite goodies galore, spanish sardines, amazing cheese (brillat savarin triple cream, one of my faves!) and a baguette.

the thought of a second bottle of wine and point reyes oysters got us through the hike back in a hurry. stopped in olema after being those people who think its possible to drop in for a quick bite in point reyes on sunday evening of a three day weekend. oops. the olema inn was delicious and we still got our oysters, wine, and then some.

my dream event.

the ferry building farmer’s market happy hour is pretty much my dream event, you get to have a taste everything! the theme this time around was pacific rim meets the pacific coast and featured seasonal cocktails from 14 bartenders and bites from 8 restaurants.

a highlight was definitely alicia walton of elixir’s “savage garden.” with so many sweet cocktails it was perfect to find something savory and totally unique. and cilantro infused tequila is pretty much genius!

food highlights included rabbit sausage from venus and revival, bourbon braised brisket from 15 romolo, shrimp and pork shu mai from the slanted door and chicken liver pate with onion marmalade from starbelly. i can’t believe i’ve never been to this before and can’t wait to go again!

oh san francisco, just another reason i love you so…

vegas.

the only appropriate way to start a trip to vegas is with a 7am mimosa at SFO’s swanky new terminal 2.

in less than 48 hours we managed to: eat and drink at celebrity restaurants. ride the rollercoaster at new york new york. dodge drunk people. go to a wedding. climb into the displays at our hotel. go up and down many escalators and in and out of many hotels. eat at a buffet. lay by the pool with a beer. have a near death experience. and fall in love with the chandelier bar that sits across three floors of the cosmopolitan hotel.

gambling and a show are all we missed (that and being blacked out, peeing in a completely inpropriate place and puking on ourselves), but i’m sure my wallet (and ego) came home¬† fatter because of it. i’d definitely call the trip a success, and i think i got my fill of vegas for another ten years.

breakfast burger

a fried egg really does make anything better, including the already delicious mission beach cafe burger. nothing says brunch like egg yolk running down your hand as you try to get that perfect bite of burger, sauteed mushroom, bacon and aged gouda.

and don’t forget the blue bottle coffee and super sized grapefruit mimosa…

when (not) in rome…

go to locanda!

delfina’s brand new sister restaurant is equally delicious but a wonder all its own. had the good fortune of snagging a primetime thursday night reservation and maximized by ordering half the menu and several cocktails.

my highlights:
jewish style artichoke, apparently very typically roman: fried artichoke with squeeze of lemon
pizza bianca: like a flat bread with mortadella (one of my true food loves)
oxtail: perfectly seasoned and tender!
spaghetti with fava beans and leaves, ricotta salata
cuscini: like a dumpling, with gulf shrimp, burrata, and a light broth at the bottom of the plate (i could seriously eat an enormous pot of this!)
lamb ragu with pecorino and mint (which gives it a nice light freshness)
snap peas w/ mint and spring onion (i want to make this at home everyday)
molten chocolate cake: you really can’t go wrong
ricotta fritta: light, donut-like balls, filled with ricotta

as far as cocktails, i was totally won over by the nona del diavolo: rye, strega (an herbal, italian liquor with light fennel flavor), ginger, lim, seltzer w/ candied ginger. it’s refreshing, in that mule kinda way, with a nice spicy edge from the ginger that’s bold but not overpowering.

next time you’re craving a taste of rome, or just have a craving for an amazing meal, head on over. i’m already ready to go back and try the other half of the menu!

indoor burger

tried out a new, grill-less, burger recipe with some friends last night. used a mixed ground beef, 20% fat, seasoned with just some salt and pepper. no cast iron skillet so we used a heavy pan. first set of burgers didn’t go so well, but the last two were perfect! the burger is topped with stilton blue cheese and a port reduction sauce, on a brioche bun. yum!