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Bastille Day Feast

By   /  June 21, 2012  /  Food, Travel  /  No Comments

This announcement came to me through Georgeanne Brennan, a fellow member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. A Bastille Day Feast Saturday, July 14, 2012 Wolfskill Ranch 4334 Putah Creek Road, Winters, CA Gathering time: 11:30 a.m. Tour of historic Wilfskill ranch:  11:45 a.m. Aperitif:  12:30 p.m. Feast:  1 to 3 p.m. All participants bring their own [...]

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Special dinner at Heirloom Cafe

By   /  June 21, 2012  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

We food fanatics are barraged by announcements of special events, but two came along today that grabbed my attention. On Sunday, July 1, Heirloom Cafe is offering a mouthwatering six course summer menu with wine pairing for $75 including tax and tip, an amazing price considering that  sommelier/owner Matt Straus is a great curator, and [...]

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Haven

By   /  June 21, 2012  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Jack London Square, a scenic and historic piece of real estate along the Oakland estuary, has had its ups and downs over the years. Those of us who lived in Berkeley during the 70’s and 80’s remember JLS as a down market Fisherman’s Wharf of chain restaurants, bars and schlock shops.  But over the last [...]

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Cold Soba at Nojo

By   /  June 15, 2012  /  Food, Restaurants  /  No Comments

We’re feeling the summer in Hayes Valley. While not quite as warm as the Mission, the sun is hot and people walk around in shorts. The urge for cold soba, buckwheat noodles, a summertime favorite in Japan, propelled me into Nojo, Greg Dunmore’s farm inspired izakaya. His chilled soba salad ($8.50), like nothing I’ve ever [...]

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Etxebarri: The Best Restaurant in Spain and Maybe the World

By   /  June 14, 2012  /  Restaurants, Travel  /  No Comments

This simple asador in a restored farmhouse  in Axpe, a tiny village tucked into a velvety green valley in the Cantabrian mountains near Bilbao, embodies everything I love about food. The menu is just a list of ingredients: most local, some rare, all sourced to be the most exquisite examples of their kind. All the [...]

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Chez Hugon, Lyons

By   /  May 17, 2012  /  Travel  /  1 Comment

I was following my own footsteps in Lyons using a printout of an article I had written ten years ago.  Some things had changed, like my favorite cheese stall in Les Halles, the best indoor food market in town on the Cours Lafayette, a fifteen minute walk from The Globe and Cecil.  Small, oozing rounds [...]

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Lyons

By   /  May 11, 2012  /  Travel  /  No Comments

Arrived at the Globe and Cecil, my favorite hotel in Lyons, at 11:30 p.m. after a long trip from San Francisco, and immediately set out on a balmy night to find something to eat.  Not much stays open late though on the rue de Merciere, in a district of bars,  a bouchon called Les Enfants [...]

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Contigo

By   /  May 9, 2012  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Tucked away in a small storefront on Castro, three year old Contigo casts a net much wider than its immediate Noe Valley neighborhood.  Eaters from all over the city make the pilgrimage to this smart little dining room, aglow with hand crafted natural wood furnishings, including stools in front of the open kitchen and a [...]

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Source

By   /  May 2, 2012  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

It takes a special effort to get me to a vegetarian, let alone, a vegan restaurant.  So many of them have been so unsatisfying.  But I trust one vegetarian I know, Alma Hecht, who happens to be a certified arborist and sustainable landscape designer, a woman attuned to plants.  She turned me on to Cha-Ya [...]

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Nibby Buckwheat Cookies

By   /  April 30, 2012  /  Food  /  No Comments

One of the best professional cooks I know, Catherine Pantsios, gave me a few of these understated butter cookies, the recipe for which she she found in a dessert book by Alice Medrich.  They hit me hard. I fell in love. Almost savory and kind of Russian, the cookies are made with buckwheat flour and [...]

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