Wine Club Newsletter - February 2018
♫ I Left My (credit) Card . . . ♪ in San Francisco ♬
The first week of January is one of our slowest of the year, as we have ended our busy holiday season of November and December. This year, Lori and I decided to make a quick sojourn up to San Francisco to catch up on some restaurant action.
We were initially excited when a trade publication came out with its top 50 restaurant and wine bars to visit in San Francisco, written by six different journalists and food critics. Cool, we thought. We spent an hour or so pouring through the listings. Of course we knew we couldn’t visit all fifty locations in three days and two nights, so we made a plan.
The restaurants were listed alphabetically, so we decided to rank the potential stops on our own five-point scale, based on what we thought we wanted to experience. We picked out about a dozen places to visit, but found our plans changing after touchdown.
Over the years, on our travels across the globe, we have spent a significant amount of money in restaurants on fine food and wines. And happily so, for the most part. But after making a few stops in the city, I was becoming disenchanted with the amount of money restaurants were charging for wine.
Simple wines like Italian Pinot Grigio that I know cost about $10-$12 a bottle, were listed at $60. In fact, $60 seemed like a starting point of many wines on wine lists. There is something taken away from the joy of dining out when I have to pay exorbitant prices, even though I sympathize with the restaurant owners suffering from the high rents they have to pay.
But they knew that going in. I am not sure how sustainable wines in restaurants can be when they are priced in the stratosphere like this.
OK, so enough of my sniveling. Here are some fun spots we enjoyed and wish to share with you:
This was fun for its quaint feel, very small and intimate. You have to get there early or you’ll get shut out. It is an old record store turned into a sort of wine bar and restaurant. They play vinyl records as a nod to the old tenants, and the sound system is really nice. Very interesting food, they are known for their deviled eggs.
We were excited to go here after conducting our recent wine tour to Portugal. It was a good stop, as we enjoyed some octopus and crispy polenta cake, and from one of our favorite winery visits in Portugal, an Alvarinho from Soalheiro.
August 1 Five
Great stop for lunch. Modern Indian cuisine using the fresh ingredients and influences of the Bay Area. We found the food, service, and wine list all attractive. We ordered a number of appetizers and an entrée, and were delighted.
The Slanted Door
2nd time visiting this contemporary Vietnamese restaurant on the Embarcadero, and it is well worth the effort to get in here. First time we had lunch, this time was in between hours so we sat at the bar and had appetizers with a bottle of well-priced wine. A great wine list, and one of the most reasonable in the city. Highly recommend.
A favorite stop for the trip, a lunch before we flew back home. Featuring foods from Spain, with focus on paellas, seafood, wood-fire-grilled options, all Spanish wine list (nicely priced), with sherry on tap (had to have), it was a great send-off for us. Highly recommended
Hotel Sir Francis Drake Kimpton
Got a fabulous rate to this centrally located, well-appointed hotel. Sumptuous bar area, and we had two meals at their bistro Scala, as the food was excellent, and wine priced very well. Recommend highly!
California Dreamin’ Walk-Around Wine Tasting
February 24, 3:30 to 5:30pm
We’re dreamin’ of California (wine) on such a winters day. Our state produces close to 89% of the wine made in the United States. Join us as we taste through over 15 hand-picked selections.
$35 per person, $30 Club Members
Call (858) 450-9557 to reserve your spot, or go here
Portugal Wine Dinner with Gary Parker
I am hosting a dinner here at The Brasserie highlighting some of the wine finds we discovered while in Portugal last year.
Menu & Pricing Coming Soon!
Call (858) 450-9557 to reserve your spot!