Ahwahnee Dining Room, Yosemite National Park, CA

You don’t go to National Parks with dining and hotels as the focus. They shouldn’t be. National Parks are about re-connecting with nature at destinations of unspeakable beauty, where wildlife and breathtaking vistas captivate the senses, forcing us to effortlessly forget about the troubles back in reality. They are the place to camp, and dineContinue reading “Ahwahnee Dining Room, Yosemite National Park, CA”

Wine of the Week: 2010 Arneis from Giovanni Almondo Roero, Piemonte, Italy

More and more wines from the Piemonte region are making their way to wine lists nationwide as sommeliers eschew the traditional France, California, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay route. This arneis provides a touch of sweet, a touch of mineral, but also a full body of a chardonnay without the oak. It is right at its prime,Continue reading “Wine of the Week: 2010 Arneis from Giovanni Almondo Roero, Piemonte, Italy”

Cocktail of the Week: The Promissory Note at The Alembic, San Francisco

The Promissory Note is an appropriate name for a cocktail in this economy, as the paragraph long description of this drink at the Haight District’s go to cocktail spot from the folks behind the nearby Magnolia Brewery explains. The bar writes, “In these economic hard times, everyone needs a little bailout. We’ve concocted a littleContinue reading “Cocktail of the Week: The Promissory Note at The Alembic, San Francisco”

Beer of the Week: Mammoth Brewing Co. Tuolumne (Epic) IPA

As mentioned in the upcoming review of the Ahwahnee Dining Room in Yosemite National Park, you don’t exactly plan to expand your food and drink horizons while at a national park. That being said, you will eat and drink plenty of rewarding tastes at Yosemite. We had intended to have lunch at the Wawona LodgeContinue reading “Beer of the Week: Mammoth Brewing Co. Tuolumne (Epic) IPA”

Le Plat du Jour: Thursday March 29, 2012

This last Thursday of March brings sunshine to the west coast before another forecasted winter storm, all of this rainfall absolutely necessary after the summer-like winter we’ve been having. Showing a visitor around San Francisco yesterday, we spent some quality time waiting in line and then enjoy excellent Dungeness crab louie and smoked salmon onContinue reading “Le Plat du Jour: Thursday March 29, 2012”

Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco

It is seldom seen today in 2012 for chefs to open restaurants with their name as the restaurant’s name, unless perhaps there is some clever twist (here’s looking at you Baker & Banker). To name a restaurant after yourself takes courage for chefs. It means you are the destination. Your cooking will be evaluated byContinue reading “Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco”

Tuesday Project: Orange Chicken with Golden Raisins and Figs

Today we head to Syria for an outstanding orange chicken, studded with sweet golden raisins and figs, more sweetness from caramelized onions, and a very pleasant blast of curry spice. The dish is very balanced, not too sweet nor too much kick to dull the palate. The recipe comes from Jennifer Felicia Abadi in herContinue reading “Tuesday Project: Orange Chicken with Golden Raisins and Figs”

Le Plat du Jour: Tuesday March 27, 2012

Lots of rain in the San Francisco Bay Area recently, which makes you think of hearty comfort food. Filling food to keep you warm…and of course a pint of beer to wash it down. That must mean we are thinking of Czech cuisine! O.k., well most people don’t exactly think of Czech food with ItalianContinue reading “Le Plat du Jour: Tuesday March 27, 2012”

Monday Neighborhoods: 5th Ave. and Stetson, Scottsdale, AZ

The Phoenix metropolitan area is truly fascinating, rapidly becoming Los Angeles in everything from freeways and sprawl to a city so focused on suburbs that now has re-connected with its actual downtown core years later. Often when people imagine Phoenix, they actually imagine the cactus and palm tree landscapes of the resorts in Scottsdale. ScottsdaleContinue reading “Monday Neighborhoods: 5th Ave. and Stetson, Scottsdale, AZ”

Le Plat du Jour: Monday March 26, 2012

Back from a weekend jaunt to Yosemite, taking my 86 year old grandmother (who doesn’t look or act a day older than 26!) for the first time. More on Yosemite dining later this week. It’s not Paris, but it’s also not like camping. O.k., well, you can camp at Yosemite and eat freeze dry scallops,Continue reading “Le Plat du Jour: Monday March 26, 2012”