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Tentatative Napa/S.F. itinerary - looking for suggestions and advice

Tentatative Napa/S.F. itinerary - looking for suggestions and advice

Old Jan 20th, 2004, 01:52 PM
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Tentatative Napa/S.F. itinerary - looking for suggestions and advice

Hi,

with our trip approaching, I thought I would post our itinerary with the hopes that some of you could offer some advice on our undecided issues.

Saturday 2/14 fly into Oakland, pick-up rental car and drive to Napa. Check-in at Blackbird Inn. Have 6:30pm reservations at Celadon.

Sunday 2/15 breakfast at the Inn and then hit the road with a map of the wineries. No specific ones we plan on visiting. (Are there any that are "can't miss"). Open for dinner - suggestions?

Monday 2/16 Balloon flight with Balloons above the Valley (tentative depending on the weather) then check out of Inn. Spend some time in Napa or drive over to Sonoma for a couple of hours and then head to San Francisco to return rental car by 3:00. Check-in at Grand Hyatt. Dinner at First Crush - suggestions for after dinner drinks?

Tuesday 2/17 Breakfast at Sears or Ella's or Lori's Diner (comments?) and then walking through Chinatown. Lunch on Dim Sum either Ton Kiang or Yank Sing. Splurging on dinner at Gary Danko's to celebrate 20th anniversary.

Wednesday 2/18 Breakfast (again, open) and then visit Fisherman's Wharf, Ghiarardelli Square, The Cannery. Dinner at Moonstar (asian buffet style restaurant near theatre) and then on to the Orpheum for The Lion King. Stop at Martuni's after the show.

Thursday 2/19 Breakfast followed by visit to Pier 39, Cow Hollow, try to lunch in Castro (Cha Cha Cha?). Grab some dinner (suggestions?) before heading to Beach Blanket Babylon.

Friday 2/20 Breakfast and then head to pier to catch ferry ride to Sausalito. Spend some time walking around and getting lunch. Ferry back and spend afternoon walking around Union Square. We are still trying to decide whether or not we want to get tickets to see Teatro Zinzanni (looking for advice). If we decide not to, we will probably do the Alcatraz at night tour Friday night.

Saturday 2/21 fly home.

I know this is long and detailed but I want it to be a great trip.
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 03:07 PM
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I hate to tell you this, but Sears Fine Food closed about 2 weeks ago. Very sad after all those years.

For the wine country, the Mondavi winery does a good tour, and Domaine Chandon is quite interesting--also Mumm Napa Valley. Up toward the top of the valley is Sterling Vineyards, where you take a cable car up to the winery itself. An excellent small winery, Heitz Cellars, is a very good stop also. St.-Supéry does good tastings, and the Taittenger champagne cellars in the Carneros region is very elegant and offers hors d'oeuvre along with the champagne tasting. Chateau Montelena, near Calistoga, has beautiful grounds; Clos Pegase has fine artwork. Domaine Carneros has wonderful pinot noirs.

In St. Helena is the excellent Napa Valley Olive Oil Mfg. Company, a good source for things to take home.

I would suggest making dinner reservations at Mustards (California cuisine) or the excellent Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. For something fancier there's the restaurant at Domaine Chandon or Auberge du Soleil; for Italian, Tra Vigna. There's a very popular Italian restaurant quite close to Napa, but the name escapes me at the moment.

You have the San Francisco portion of the trip well planned--especially the dim sum. One other place that we are taken by Chinese friends is the Mayflower, out on Geary not far from Ton Kiang. It also does excellent fish dishes.
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 03:11 PM
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One other dinner possibility, right in Napa: Julia's Kitchen, at the Copia Center.
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 03:26 PM
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Bistro Jeanty is very good, located right in Yountville. I second the suggestion for Tra Vigne. www.travignerestaurant.com It is one of my favorite places in the area. It is a bit noisy, a lot of commaredarie always going on, but that's what makes it fun to me.

Martini House, www.martinihouse.com has received very good reviews. We also like Terra located in St. Helena. They serve dinner only. It is excellent.

Your itinerary looks very good and carefully planned. Once you decide on a Napa restaurant for dinner, make reservations so you're not disappointed.

Of course, there is always the French Laundery, set to open again in March, but you already have your anniversary dinner spot picked out. I think you will have a very memorable, fun time. Let us know how it goes! We're set to go in May to this area. I can't wait! ***kim***
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 03:31 PM
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Underhill is spot on about St.Supery and Clos Pegase. I would add to these with Robert Sinskey and Turnbull. I think the Italian restaurant that Underhill refers to is Don Giovanni-tough choice between DG and Tra Vigne!
Truly sad about Sears closing-such nice folks! Gary Danko's is a good choice-Happy 20th! I was thinking about your dinner prior to Beach Blanket Babylon-
perhaps someone knows about the re-opened Washington St. Bar and Grill
(Washbag to locals).
Other than that I think I might choose the night tour of Alkatraz-that's just me!
Have fun!
R5
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 03:37 PM
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OOps-Washington Square Bar & Grill
R5
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 04:19 PM
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Hey underhill, kim and R5

Thanks so much for responding to my call for help I will check into those restaurant recommendations right away.

Roxanne
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 05:01 PM
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Only one minor suggestion that you combine Pier 39 with Wharf, Cannery visit (in my mind they are thematically the same) so that when you visit Cow Hollow you have opportunity to visit Crissy Field.
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 06:19 PM
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RIP: Sears Fine Food. Many a breakfast I enjoyed at this place. I am sorry to hear of its demise. LMF
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 06:29 PM
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Terra, Bistro Jeanty, Tra Vigne -- all fantastic restaurants.

Me, I'd go to Teatro Zinzanni. We really loved it and thought it was one of the most entertaining evenings we've ever spent.
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 09:55 PM
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Cha Cha Cha is a great place for tapas and has a terrific sangria; however, it is on Haight (cross street is Shrader, one block from GG Park). It is not in the Castro district.

In addition, if you are planning on having dim sum in Chinatown, neither Ton Kiang nor Yank Sing are in Chinatown. Ton Kiang is way out on Geary and 22nd. There is a branch of Yank Sing near Chinatown in the Financial District. Believe the street is Battery. Within Chinatown itself, there are two dim sum restaurants: Miriwa and New Asia Garden, both on Pacific Street. Neither one is as good as Ton Kiang or Yank Sing. In Chinatown there are other dim sum houses; I can't truly recommend any of the others. There are always new places springing up or old ones I haven't tried yet. Judging by the other restaurants you have selected, I would recommend you walk a few blocks to Yank Sing. You will not be disappointed.

In Sausalito, on a nice weather day, try the Spinnaker Restaurant for lunch. Sit right over the water with a fantastic view of San Francisco and the rest of the Bay.

Happy dining!
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Old Jan 21st, 2004, 04:49 PM
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Have you eaten at Moonstar before? I can't recommend it. I would eat somewhere in the Hayes Valley area before the theater. Absinthe is good or the Hayes Street Grill. If you are going to Beach Blanket, try eating in North Beach before the show. There are lots of great cafes within walking distance.
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Old Jan 21st, 2004, 04:58 PM
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I loved The Girl and The Fig in Sonoma. We did a late lunch and it was truly fantastic. Mustard's was not as great as we'd heard.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 05:36 AM
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Thanks again for all the great advice. No, I haven't tried Moonstar and I was looking for advice on that so I think we'll pass and tried someplace different. Just chose it because of its proximity to theater.

Roxanne
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 06:09 PM
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Moonstar is close to the theater but it isn't anything special. There is a Muni metro stop right in front of the theater so you can eat in another neighborhood and get there easily. I love the restaurants and shops on Hayes though. It's a great neighborhood & you can walk to the theater.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 06:22 PM
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There's an Italian restaurant on the corner of the same side of the street prior to heading down the street to the Beach Blanket Babylon theater. Can't remember the name -- it was one that was recommended on this board. Their menu looked great, it was packed, and because I didn't make a reservation (darn it), I couldn't get in. We ended up eating down the street at an Irish pub, which was just OK.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 09:39 PM
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Just a few comments. I have eaten at most of the major Napa restaurants and must say that I keep going back to Mustards. Good food, and decent prices. Also enjoy Terra and Bistro jeanty although B.J. seems to have problems getting people in on time with their reservations.
I no longer enjoy the napa valley wine scene very much as I find most of the wines overpriced and over hyped. Some of the smaller appoinment only wineries are still fun.
Other rambling thoughts include a pass for both Lion King and Yank Sing for my tastes. Saw Lion King in london last year and was bored to death. Interesting costumes and dance routines but "no soul". Perhaps we have seen the movie too many times. Yank Sing has terrific dim sum but the prices have really gotten out of hand over the last few years. We now go into china town for dim sum as the food is very close in quality but at 1/3 price.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 06:17 AM
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Thanks again to laurel, budman, and mjs. I have read that Yank Sing is overpriced for what you get so will probably head for Ton Kiang to be on the safe side. Lion King tickets already purchased since it is my husband's favorite Disney movie. Should I pass on Celadon in Napa?

Roxanne
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