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food and wine-a visit to San Francisco and Healdsburg

food and wine-a visit to San Francisco and Healdsburg

Old Oct 10th, 2010, 08:53 AM
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food and wine-a visit to San Francisco and Healdsburg

Two weeks ago DH and I spent a total of 10 days in San Francisco and Healdsburg--7 in the City and 3 in Sonoma Valley. The San Francisco part was a business trip for us with plenty of great restaurants and a couple of art museums fitted around business meetings. Healdsburg was just for fun and food and wine.

The hotel for the meeting was the Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf. A pretty standard Hyatt--so nice with no surprises.

As to activities in San Franciso--we saw the post-Impressionist paintings from the D'Orsay Museum (Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, etc) collection that are being shown in the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park plus took a walk through that museum's modern collection. The post-Impressionist show was crowded (of course) but well worth doing. Hubby went to the SFMOMA to see their 25th anniversary show--which he said was quite impressive--of many works of art from their permanent collection (I was in a meeting-boo hoo).

In Healdsburg, we stayed in a lovely apartment I found on VRBO in the Dry Creek Valley. It was comfortably furnished, had a big screen TV, a kitchenette with a hot plate- so simple breakfasts could be prepared, king size bed and a lovely balcony overlooking vineyards. We stopped at the Whole Foods in Petaluma and bought supplies for breakfasts and snacks and wine on the balcony in the the evening http://www.vrbo.com/68270

We visited four wineries and tasted wines (we always are going to visit more but never seem to do so)

Rodney Strong--good cabs, and a wonderful port http://www.rodneystrong.com/

Mayo Family--did their food and wine tasting for $35--well worth it--http://tinyurl.com/cjdcl8

Imagery--looked at their art collection -- didn't taste the wines--was late in the day when we were there http://www.imagerywinery.com

Ferrari Carano--liked their zins and cabs--also had a big well-kept flower garden with water features--a lovely respite http://www.ferrari-carano.com/

Quivera--use biodynamic methods to grow their grapes--we liked their sauvignon blanc and enjoyed walking through their beautiful vegetable garden--http://tinyurl.com/2fszs86

Also visited Olive Press--http://www.theolivepress.com/ and Dry Creek Olive Oil Company-http://drycreekolivecompany.com/contact/ --tasted olive oils and bought a bottle at each place.

Now as to restaurants--great fresh tomatoes were available when we were there, so I had a fresh tomato salad many of the restaurants.

Perbacco-http://www.perbaccosf.com/ in the financial district--had lunch there--charming waiter--great pesto with grissini to start (pesto is sometimes not my favorite thing)--fabulous heirloom tomato salad, herb stuffed pansoti with walnut sauce and hubby had the truffle, herb, ricotta ravioli

Restaurant Gary Danko--http://www.garydanko.com/site/index.html -our second time there--did 5 courses with wine pairings--perfect service--not too stuffy--stand out dishes--the glazed oysters with osetra caviar and the poached egg rolled in crumbs and deep-fried, with polenta, mushrooms and pancetta; my lamb loin was fantastic--not gamy at all-love the cheese cart from which you pick the four cheeses you want-the wine pairing were spot on-and was it expensive?--yes, but worth every penny

Eagle Cafe--http://tinyurl.com/2buna9k--breakfast--it was abut 5 blocks from the hotel--loved the dungeness crab benedict--the breakfast potatoes-not so much--greasy not crispy

Bia--http://www.biasrestaurantandwinebar.com/ had lunch there after the De Young show--DH is an old hippy so having lunch on Haight St on their funcky back yard patio fulfilled a fantasy for him

Jardiniere--http://www.jardiniere.com/ dinner--food was delicious - had some wonderful hors d'oeuvres--oysters on the half shell, cavier with blini--I had the pistachio cake with sweet corn ice cream--which I thought was delicious

Yank Sing--http://yanksing.com/about-us/index.html--this was a 10 course banquet for all the people at the business meeting--great service--delicious dim sum and other Chinese delicacies--a lot of fun

Boulevard--http://www.boulevardrestaurant.com/--lunch-beautiful restaurant--wonderful tomato salad with burrata, and haibut brandade stuffed squash blossoms with romesco sauce--my husband had the soft shell crab special for his lunch--he said it ws spectacular

Fleur de Lys--http://www.fleurdelyssf.com/ dinner for meeting attendees--set 5 course menu--crab salad, swordfish, lamb or beef tenderloin, cheese course, fleur burger for dessert (ganache stuffed beignets, fennel ice cream 'fries')--wine pairing for all courses--very professional non stuffy service--a lovely evening for all 80 of us

Spruce--http://www.sprucesf.com/ lunch--extensive wine list--fairly priced--delicious heirloom tomato salad, good fresh tuna Nicoise salad, addictive beignets with chocolate and creme anglaise dipping sauces the rest of the people at the table and basil ice cream for me for dessert

Quince--http://www.quincerestaurant.com/--dinner-- service a little spotty--there were 11 at dinner and they kept getting the orders mixed up--two dishes I really like--sformato of stinging nettles--lovely, light; and the best bolongese sauce I've had in a restauant served over fresh tagliatelle

Chez Panisse Cafe--http://www.chezpanisse.com/intro.php--stopped in Berkeley on the way to Sonoma--a little detour--but, hey, Chez Panisse--again--heirloom tomato salad (the best one on the trip)--I had the papparadelle with tomatos and herbs and DH had the quail with fried green tomatoes--the food was so fresh - a real joy - I love that place

Healdsburg Bar and Grill--http://www.healdsburgbarandgrill.com/ a block from the square--after all the chef-y, foody places--we wanted something simpler--this place provided great burgers and truffle fries--a couple of glasses of zin--nice outdoor patio--perfect

Zin--http://www.zinrestaurant.com/ we wanted to eat in the bar at Cyrus, but it was closed for a private event--so one block away was Zin--very nice casual place with much locally grown produce etc--the fish (locally caught, of course) special with calabacitas was heavenly--hubby had fried green tomatoes and a fresh corn soup--we both had some excellent pinot noir
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Old Oct 10th, 2010, 09:07 AM
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Sounds like a great trip with some fabulous meals. Thanks for the site for the apt in Healdsburg.
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Old Oct 10th, 2010, 09:20 AM
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you're welcome
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Old Oct 10th, 2010, 09:27 AM
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I hope someone else was paying for all your dinners at these high-end places.

Stu Dudley
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Old Oct 10th, 2010, 10:00 AM
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For some of them, thank goodness
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Old Oct 11th, 2010, 10:26 PM
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Great report! I'll be in San Francisco and Healdsburg in November. You have given me some great restaurant ideas, thanks!

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Old Oct 12th, 2010, 03:41 AM
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Some very interesting restaurants. I put a few on them on my growing list . Thanks for the info
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Old Oct 12th, 2010, 04:15 AM
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Old Oct 12th, 2010, 09:58 AM
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Wow, you did eat well! Ditto what Stu said
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Old Oct 20th, 2010, 03:28 PM
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We are going to be there in November too, so we'll try some of your Healdsburg suggestions - thanks!
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 06:11 AM
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 06:57 AM
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bookmarking too ~
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