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Osetra The Fishhouse, the name says it all. If you love Caviar and seafood, you are in for a real treat in the heart of Gaslamp district. I've been frequent San Diego because of my BFF recently became a 1/4 resident here.
I'm in love with San Diego weather, the beach and the lifestyle. The food is no where near NYC, SF, Chicago or Vegas, but it's warming up to me.
Osetra is 1 of them, with the Wine Tower, and if you catch the Wine Angel, flying up and down to get a bottle of wine for you, it's quite a view. Osetra offers beautiful ambiance, gorgeous space, white tablecloth, good service, and a Wine Spectator Award winning wine list.
For private dining, Osetra The Fishhouse offers a few private dining rooms on second floor.
Happy Hour - 4pm - 6pm - live music on Fri and Sat 9pm-midnight, happy hour price on wine, beer, sake and small plates.
- Caviar service - Crostini, bellini, capers, crème fraíche, egg yolk, egg white, chives, red onion in a beautiful platter, a MUST ORDER, 1 of my favorite dishes.
- Oysters are fresh here - Half-dozen, 3 mignonette sauce - Dress up your oysters: green onions, jalapeño, ponzu sauce, mango
- Seafood Napoleon - Lump crabmeat, spicy tuna, avocado, wasabi oil, their best seller, quite nice.
- Ahi Tuna - Cajun crusted, wasabi mashed potatoes, ginger soy sauce reduction, tobiko caviar, ORDER this dish!
- Lobster Bisque - Tobiko caviar, crème fraiche was my BFF favorite.
- The lobster, clam, mussel pasta, special of the day was GENEROUS portion, the pasta was al dente, we enjoyed it very much.
- Chilean Sea Bass - Fennel risotto, grilled asparagus, pomegranate reduction, I feel as the risotto just wasn't a good pairing with the bass, it's a bit over powering the sea bass. However, we enjoyed the bass itself very much.
Besides seafood, I was surprise with the meat selection here:
- Lamb Ossobuco - Lamb shank slowly braised in a red wine
Cijjo is the newest addition to the popping strip of Castro, downtown Mountain View, former spot of Pho Garden once was.
Cijjo offered nice international tapas dishes and international wine list was well crafted to pair with the dishes.
All the dishes are under $20 and happy hour from 4-6PM Mon-Fri offers nice dishes and wines for $5, best on this Castro strip.
About 45 wines by the bottle, 12 by the glass, majority of wines are between $28-$70, very reasonable wine list from old world to new world.
This beautiful, elegant and modern setting restaurant is surely will be a hit in Mountain View. Service has room for improvement, but since they are still soft opening. Hopefully, it will be a smooth sailing a few months from now.
A few dishes I love, remember all the dishes are smaller, tapas style so it's meant to share.
- Spicy Ahi Tuna Trio - Cijjo' Cone, Japanese Red Miso Tuille, Wasabi Tobiko, Daikon Sprouts
- South American Passion Fruit Ceviche - Wild Shrimp, Scallop, Avocado, Passion Fruit Marinade
- Braised Ox Tail - Curried Orange Lentils, Mushroom Ragout
- Moroccan Tangine - Spiced Rack-of-Lamb Cut, Harissa Bean, Smoked Paprika, Yogurt Drizzle
- Sao Paulo Hanger Steak - Smoked Paprika, Sherry Vinegar, Chimichurri
- Sao Paulo Hanger Steak - Smoked Paprika, Sherry Vinegar, Chimichurri
How many steakhouses that I've been to across the country? I lost count, but this Cowboy Star is 1 NOT to miss when you visiting San Diego. Especially just this Summer, Cowboy Star smart moved to get chef de cuisine Chris Osborne on board, the menu has been NOTHING traditional but gastronomy up big time.
The place is warm and charming. I love the decor, the ambiance, and the open kitchen.
Chef Chris Osborn with Michelin star experiences under his belt, from East Coast to under chef Trey Foshee as Saucier for 3 years. You can see his technique and skills transfer to the dishes we tried recently at Cowboy Star.
- Oyster, spot prawn egg, champagne ice, love.
- Sonoma lamb tongue - cauliflower, charred onion, chickpea emulsion, pickled mustard, watercress, chef pour the emulsion tableside = priceless action shot - delicious.
- Japanese kampachi confit, uni, marmalade was delicious. My BFF ate it all in 1 bite, before the rest of our table got their plates :-)
- Steamed mussels and clams, chardonnay, shallot, fresh herbs, simple but perfect.
- Grilled local octopus, romesco, wilted escarole, cucumber, quince, marcona - love the plating presentation, love.
- Roasted bone marrow, grilled toast, parsley, fleur de sel - tasty
- Seared amberjack - roasted carrot, textured of pear, blood orange, cilantro salsa verde, I love this dish. Even we just had amberjack for sushi at lunch :-)
- Roasted wild mushroom and mashed potato were all tasty.
All of their steaks are hand cut in our butcher shop to maximize quality and consistency. They have selected only "Natural" programs which means antibiotics and growth hormones are NEVER used. Cowboy Star is also recognized by Humane Farm Animal Care for our support and dedication to the Certified Humane Raised and Handled program. Nothing but the best. I love this!
- American Kobe style 10 OZ - only $37
- Porterhouse for 2 - with rosemary how my best friend love it - perfectly med rare more on the rare for her.
- The rib eye 14 OZ - only $37
I've never eaten an American teak this CHEAP! I was in shock! All the steaks were perfectly cook to our liking. WOW, from NYC to Chi town, from LA to SF, now San Diego, Cowboy Star has become my FAV steakhouse in San Diego.
Our server Adam was awesome and trust me it wasn't easy to serve 3 mouthy Asian girls, my BFF and I :-) plus 3 gentlemen. But Adam did a great job. Bartender Doug was pretty cool too, he did some magic for our table.
Chef Chris was AWESOME to all of us. I've been following him on Twitter and IG for a while, to see his magic transformed to the dishes in person is so cool!
Follow him: @chfosborneknife - Thank you chef for an amazing meal. We will be back real soon :-)
Forget about other steakhouse, you want real food, great service, inviting ambiance and great cocktails, come to Cowboy Star, please tell chef and bartender I send you :-)
The best steakhouse in San Francisco with amazing steak selection of Japanese Wagyu and A5 Kobe.
They also offer a good selection of finest seafood such as Nantucket Scallops, Alaskan King Crab, oysters, Japanese fishes, caviar.
Fall and winter, truffles from Italy and France are always on the menu.
Great food, impeccable service, impressive wine list, a must stop by when you visit San Francisco.
Beautiful estate and winery now called Inglenook Estate as of 2013, located in the heart of Napa Valley on HWY 29.
Remember the movie 'Interview with the Vampire'? It was filmed here by Francis Ford Coppola, the famous water fountain at sunset is breathtaking view. The movie memorabilia room upstairs from the tasting room is a must visit for movie geeks.
The wine here is good, especially the Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and the red blend. Service is always good here, although it gets crowed on the weekend, so plan according.
We love to come here on the weekday or Sunday afternoon when it's more quiet, you get the whole garden by the water fountain for yourself, beautiful vineyard, so peaceful.
A must visit winery when you visit Napa Valley.
The best selection of Champagne in the South Bay Area, from small producers to rare finds, this is the place to be.
Vintage Wine Merchant also offers wine by the glasses, small bites and hundreds of wines to take home with you at reasonable price.
Beautiful and modern setting communal bar and restaurant located right in downtown San Jose.
SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant offers a nice happy hour menu till 7 PM, over 20 cocktails, 15 draft beer, and 16 wines by the glass.
The menu offers plenty of choices of salad, seafood, meat as well as wood fire oven and pasta, a little bit for everyone.
A few dishes that we love:
- Spiced ahi tuna, hearts of Palm, radish, fingerling potato chips, and green vinaigrette .
- Grilled Atlantic salmon, fennel confit, green olive vinaigrette was perfectly cooked, soft and pink inside.
- Mussels with white wine , shallot, garlic, basil, the broth was nice and tasty.
- Roasted shiitake and brussel sprouts was a generous bowl for only $6!
SP2 is a cool place to chill and hang out with friends, good cocktails, food, reasonable price and lovely ambiance.
WaterBar offers a Gorgeous view of the Bay Bridge, spacious restaurant, nice ambience, outdoor sittings are perfect for a nice day.
$1 oysters from 11:30 AM- 5:30 PM, you can't beat that. The food is always good and consistent here, brunch on the weekend is awesome. The wine list is very reasonable mark up, good selection. The service is quick and efficient here.
1 of my favorite happy hour spots and picturesque view of the water and the Bay Bridge, you can't get a better view than this I'm San Francisco.
So many things have changed here at Arcadia restaurant, chefs shuffled, GM changed, the restaurant got a makeover, and the menu got improved so much. With the new chef Evan Perlick, former sous chef at RN74 in Seattle on board recently, the menu looks fantastic and the food has been so consistent with quality and better price point.
The service has been improved tremendously under the new management of GM Kevin Clark, (the former GM of Alexander's Steakhouse in Cupertino). Service to me is so important, most restaurants forget how to serve their patrons right and wonder why they never return.
Of course the food has to be good first, but the service can ruin everything. I dine out enough in my life that when I receive good service, I always return and recommend business to the restaurants. World of mouth is the BEST compliment and marketing tool that the restaurant can ever have.
I've been frequent here at Arcadia Steakhouse with my friends and business associates, especially on MON night, 50% all wine bottles, you can't beat that. Their wine list is impressive with some French such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Chablis, and with the HALF OFF price, totally worth it. Unlike other wine bars when they have 50%, their wines list only offer new world wines, nothing in this caliber in the South Bay.
And if you don't like wines, guys, come here on TUE, 50% OFF beers as well, now that's a real treat!
A few dishes that we've tried recently and loving it on the bar menu:
- Tuna popper - little ahi tuna on the crispy rice cake, hit the spot every time.
- Border Springs Farm Lamb Sliders - Pork Belly, Confit Tomatoes, Arugula is quite yummy the Rioja wine they have on the list.
- Braise beef potato skin - grilled onion, horseradish, creme franche - fattening good but it is so good to share with friends.
- Main lobster pot pie, a Michael Mina signature dish - with baby vegetable, truffle cream, so worth it.
- Mushroom soup - foraged mushrooms, sherry, chives, creamy and delish. They even serve this at lunch menu with sandwich and burger.
- Ahi tuna tartare - chile pepper, pears, quail egg, sesame oil, serve at the your table side, always consistent, a MUST TRY dish.
- The Scallops with Meyer lemon, thumbelina carrot, caviar has always been 1 of my FAV dishes here as well recently.
Beside a good menu for seafood, Arcadia also offers prime filet mignon, American Wagyu flat iron, Prime New York, Cowboy Ribeye, and also rack of lamb, they all serve with sauce on the side to your liking: Pinot Bordelaise, Arcadia steak sauce, classic Bearnaise, or Chimichurri.
A few sides dishes we also enjoy are: roasted wild mushrooms, crispy smashed red bliss potatoes & horseradish, the celery root puree and the duck fat fries!
Arcadia Steak has become 1 of my FAV restos in San Jose for business meeting lunch and dinner as well as for my @1MandaBear @SVWineList and @DiningOutSF foodies destination venues. Chances are you will catch me on a that 50% OFF wines on Mondays here, don't forget to say hi to me at the bar! And please kindly say hello to the GM, tell him I send you :-)
So RN74 has always been 1 of my FAV spot in Soma for Happy Hour and amazing wine list, even my parents enjoyed the food here before, but now it's all changed for the BETTER.
It was on WED I took mom and friends here; at 6 PM, RN74 was so jam packed. It's amazing how well RN74 is doing, better than ever now that chef Adam Sobel is here.
People often ask how do I get the passion with food and wine, beside my parents, the newest chef/partner of RN74 Adam Sobel (from Bradley Ogden, Guy Savoy, Rick Moonen Las Vegas, Charlie Trotter Chicago, then Bourbon Steakhouse by Michael Mina in DC), finally chef Adam Sobel is here back to the Bay Area where he first started over a decade ago.
Chef Sobel is so talented and cook with a passion, precision and creativity like no other chefs of his age that I know. I'm so lucky to call him a friend and I've been followed him to every single restaurant that he worked with before! So you see, I've been stalking him all these years! He also just won GRAND COCHON 2013 in Aspen Food & Wine Classic - he's now KING OF PORC.
He just started here at RN74 not long ago, so the menu went through major changed as of OCT 2013. I'm so lucky to get try some of these amazing new dishes this last few times I was here. My mom and friends were enjoyed the dinner so much.
- FORT BRAGG SEA URCHIN - Vichyssoise, Trout Roe, Melted Leeks - OCT 2013 menu, delish.
- MAITAKE MUSHROOM TEMPURA - a good snack if you like fried food.
- The amuse bouche - puff with prosciutto, quail egg, and black truffle only for VIP guests, oh we're LOVED. OCT 2013 menu
- FROG LEGS "A LA TROIGROS" - always love this dish. OCT 2013 menu
- HARISSA SCENTED LAMB TARTARE - this is a spicy dish, so be ready, if you want to kick it up a notch, other this dish! Not many places in SF serving this, in fact I can only think of 1 other resto.
-The Maine Lobster Tartine was so perfect. OCT 2013 menu
- CHESTNUT AGNOLOTTI - Grilled Quail, Dates, Sage Butter - Mom loves it! OCT 2013 menu
- Grass fed STEAK TARTAR E - Vietnamese Style, Lobster Cracker - fascinating to see beansprout, cilantro, chili, all PHO garnish, this was really good. Make me proud to be Vietnamese :-) OCT 2013 menu
- The Fried Pached Egg with romanesco, and ALBA white truffle, so decadent, so perfect. OCT 2013 menu
- Mussels and fries - Fennel Sausage, White Wine, Dijon Butter - classic and goodness, perfect broth for dipping.
- Risotto and black truffle, oh how I love the FALL, especially OCT, my birth month, truffle season! OCT 2013 menu
- H E R I TAG E PORK - Toulouse Sausage, Braised Short Rib, Crispy Belly, Apples - Chef Adam won GRAND COCHON, so he knows what he's doing - MUST TRY! OCT 2013 menu
- Roasted Duck Breast - Carolina Gold Rice, Dried Autumn Fruits, Matsutake - love! OCT 2013 menu
- Flat Iron steak was perfectly cooked to mom liking.
- Crispy brussels sprouts - gotta love this!
- Roased Farmers Market Vegetables - Onion Tarte Tatin, Trumpet Royale, Celery Root - my girlfriend loves it.
For cocktails, Barman of Michael Mina group: Carlo Splendorini, we were lucky he was here the last few times we visited. Everything he made was fantastic. And if you don't have time to RSVP the dining room, be like me, sit at the bar with their awesome happy hour 4-6 PM MON-FRI:
- $5 glass of wine, cocktail,
- WEST COAST OYSTERS $1.50 EACH
- $7 for some savory and dessert dishes, what else do you ask for?
And don't forget their amazing Burgundy wine list by no other than the Master Somm and winemaker Rajat Parr of Michael Mina group, reasonable price point, some of the rarest wines that you will ever see. You will rarely see him anymore here, but Sommelier Chad Zeigler was 30 under 30 in 2103, is quite talented as well as Somm David Castleberry - my friends and I love Somm Castleberry here, anything he recommends, always on the spot!
I know chef Adam Sobel can't get rid of me, I'm his biggest fan ever ;-) And now he's back in San Francisco, my parents love him for 12 years as well. My mom and friends had such a great time this week, can't wait to bring my parents back again soon!
P.S. Please don't forget to tell chef I send you :-)
A big wooden door, a row of greens, and no sign to be found, that's The Lexington House. It's small, charming, about 8 seated bar, 6 tables in the entire restaurant.
The former bar manager and bartender at Cin Cin Wine Bar, are now running this front house, chef Philippe Breneman, former sous at Dio Deka, once staged at Manresa in 2010, is a head chef here now.
THE COCKTAILS - 8 choices - we got to try out 3, all strong and good.
- THE HERB SLINGER by barman/co-owner Stephen Shelton - Blade gin, Dolin dry vermouth, rosemary
I decided to take my girlfriends back here for some serious cave tour. It was an in-depth winery tour begins at Pine Ridge estate vineyards, proceeding through our wine production facilities and continues into our wine caves for an exclusive barrel sample. The tour concludes in our caves with a hosted, seated wine and cheese pairing. We drank at least 7,8 wines, include their most expensive wine Fortis ($150 per bottle).
For $50 per person. Tours commence daily at 10:00 am, 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm and last approximately 90 minutes. Each tour is limited to 8 people. Reservations are required. Our tour was 6 people, and we had a blast with our tour guide Jackie. She was kind and cool, and her love for wines shine through her voice and personality.
The service surely 100 times better than our last visit. My 2 girlfriends enjoyed the visit tremendously and we all bought a bunch of wines to bring back this time.
We enjoyed the beautiful Dale Chihuly glass art works, the story behind that famous wall in the back. The cheese, nut, cracker selection was really nice and paired nicely with all the wines we tasted. We love the barrel tasting as well, that was a lot of fun.
Some of the wines that I got to try on this tour:
- 2008 Cabernet Saug. Oakville appellation, Pine Ridge Napa Valley - you see this wine at higher end restaurants.
- 2007 Howell Mountain Cabernet Saug. Interesting differences in taste than any other appellation, I love this wine.
- 2008 Cabernet Saug. Stag's Leap appellation, Pine Ridge Napa Valley - you see this wine at higher end restaurants.
- 2008 FORTIS Cabermet Saug. Napa Valley, their highest end bottle, full body, powerful, and you can easily save this bottle for quite sometimes.
- 2011 Chenin Blanc and Viognier - refreshing and I enjoyed this, perfect for a warm afternoon.
- 2010 Dijon Clone Chardonnay of Pine Ridge Vineyards, Carneros District, Napa Valley, great chard, beautiful wine.
- 2008 Charm Stone of Pine Ridge Vineyards, Napa Valley - a nice blend red. Unlike typical wine drinkers, I don't like 1 grape, I'm a Bordeaux girl at heart, I love any blend of 3 or more grapes. Sometimes it makes the wine more structure and unique.
- 2008 Onyx Red Wine of Pine Ridge Vineyards, Napa Valley. My FAV bottle of this tasting round. Definitely see my future with this blend :-)
With so many award winning wines that they have releases over the past 3 decades, Pine Ridge Vineyards is one of the place that you need to stop on this Silverado Trail winery tour. It's definitely worth a detour if you ask me.
I love this ranch, the garden, the olive oils, the wines, and the restaurant, also the farmer market on Sunday!
Walking in, we saw pomegranate trees, apple trees, herbs, then we got to see the garden, so beautiful, peaceful, and loved. I love the garden and how spacious this place is.
We got to try executive chef Stephen Barber food at SF Chefs food event in San Francisco AUG 2013, then we decided to stop by for some yummy food and olive oil tasting. Little that we know, we had quite a tasty meal here.
- Cheddar biscuits with honey butter - this was freshly baked, so good!
- Salad of lacinato kale with chile pequin, lemon dressing and toasted parmesan - this was a very generous order. The kale was perfect thinly sliced, tasty dressing, so fresh, we loved it.
- The heirloom tomato with burrata - it was delicious, and all tomatoes are from the Long Meadow Ranch garden, fresh, organic and lots of love.
- Steak tartare - with arugula, fresh egg from the garden, the steak is from the ranch, how fresh egg can you get?
- Grilled california rainbow trout with wild mushrooms, fennel, almonds and bacon vinaigrette - this was so good, we finished it up in a heart beat.
Later, we got to meet the chickens that lay the fresh eggs for us to eat. Wow, I was in love with Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead restaurant. This is California, this is how lucky we are to have the freshest produces and ingredients. I grown a garden myself. I got all citrus tress, tomatoes, opo, herbs in my backyard. I appreciate this kind of freshness food and responsible farming here.
Our server was attentive and nice. We also got to talk to chef again and he told us about the ranch, the garden, and all the love he puts in the kitchen. It surely shows through his dishes.
We can't wait to come back again soon. 1 of my FAVORITE restos in Napa Valley now, as of Summer 2013!
Cute little French restaurant on the edge of the Riverfront in the historic 1890's ship Chandlery, the Hatt Building in downtown Napa, adjacent to the riverfront side, you can get a glimpse of the water from the main dining room, or nicer if you can score the back patio on a nice weather day.
Angele serves French bistro fare, wine and cocktails. It's a really cute place, spacious, white table clothes, little plant as centerpiece, a chili plant at the entrance to welcome guests.
- Pâté de Campagne - Prosciutto Wrapped Country Pâté, Pickled "Angèle Garden" Vegetables, Violet Mustard Vinaigrette - perfect with a glass of Merlot.
- Ris de Veau - Crispy Veal Sweetbreads, Cauliflower Polenta, Golden Raisins, Almonds, Capers, Brown Butter Emulsion - We enjoyed this dish and it went so fast out of the plate.
- Ventrêche de Porc - Oatmeal Crusted Pork Belly, French Plum and Mint Compote, Napa Cabbage, Mirabelle Plum Jus - fascinating taste - crispy skin, lighter side, well balanced with the jus. Such a good dish, MUST ORDER.
- Petite Laitue - Salad of Little Gem Lettuces, Lollo Rosso Greens, Stone Fruit, Fines Herbs, Banyuls Vinaigrette - light and fresh.
- Pavé de Bœuf Haché - Classic Hamburger with French Fries - generous portion. So not FRENCH, but some American wants it. It was a bit on the well side.
- Moules - Prince Edward Island Mussels, Fish Fumé, Fennel, Red Onions, Toasted Baguette - smaller portion side to share. The mussels were not plumed. We had it better.
Service was good and friendly. The menu has reasonable price point for this part of town. Surprising with the options on the wine list. We saw quite a few Sancerre, Vouvray, Muscadet, and Champagne. Agele Napa surely stays true to their French style. I like it! Corkage fee $25, and $35 for second bottle, although it will be waived if you purchase a bottle.
Angele Napa is a cute spot to stop in if you are here for wine tasting, layer that stomach before you can indulge some more wines.