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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Osso Steakhouse-San Francisco Nob Hill

In an effort to eat all all 3000 San Francisco restaurants and having been to over 500, my wife Linda and I recently experienced Osso Steakhouse. Osso which means bone opened about 18 months ago and is located on Nob Hill across from famous Grace Cathedral. Valet parking is offered and it located next to the swanky 18 story Gramercy Towers Building.

  As you enter this restaurant, you are impressed by the elegant art deco design, open bar and  large black swivel chairs with views of Grace Cathedral. The open kitchen has regal smells that enhance your appetite from their magical food creations.

The service staff are very knowledgeable and dressed in black tuxedos giving you that noble Nob Hill feeling. The wine and drink list is extensive and mirrored bar is a great place to have a drink and appetizer.

We brought our own vino and the corking fee is $15.00. Our waiter Jack decanted our 06 Library bottle of Silver Oak and recommended we start with their famous pan roasted chorizo cheese bread. That was a great compliment to the wine and was served steaming hot in the pan and seasoned perfectly. The proportion is quite large and could easily be shared with 4 people.

For dinner Linda and I ordered their dry aged petite filet mignon.  From their web site, " A great steak must be dry-aged four to six weeks in a large, specialized facility that provides a sanitized and closely monitored environment; the temperature must be maintained at 33-34 degrees (F), the humidity must be precisely 82% and there must also be a constant air flow of fifteen feet per second around the open meat at all times, all of which takes place under the watchful eye of a highly-skilled butcher. The texture and taste of the meat becomes richer and more buttery."

The steak is then pan seared in its own juices with a hint of garlic and rosemary and then deglazed. This process sets Osso apart from other steakhouses producing a "Oh So Good" results. There are larger size steaks for the bigger appetites with or without the bone and also specials served with fresh crab.

I also had the asparagus soup of the day that was sensational. For sides we chose the twice baked potato and mushrooms that were royal compliments to our steaks. The deserts are also works of art and interesting choices. We shared the sorbet of the day dipped in white chocolate that was a fitting ending to a great foodie experience.

It is no wonder that this steakhouse has been rated in the top ten in the country. After dinner, you are just a short walk to see your favorite show at the Curran Theater or visiting famous Grace Cathedral perked proudly on Nob Hill. We saw the eternal I Love Lucy Show after dinner and brought back many good memories.  We will definitely return. As a matter of fact, we are going back Christmas Eve with friends and attend Midnight service at Grace Cathedral.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Johnny Prep Brings Food Expertise to Famous Mr. B's Sports Bar and Pub

 In an effort to dine at all 3000 San Francisco restaurants and having been to over 500, Linda and I recently had the pleasure of expanding our foodie experience to our roots in the Motor City at a long time favorite pub called Mr. B's Pub Sports Bar. Mr. B 's is located in the suburban town of Royal Oak right on Main Street where there are many choices to wine and dine. Recently, food author and passionate chef Johnny Prep took ownership of Mr. B's. Changes are happening quickly to this large pub that offers lots of fun for everyone. The place rocks with energy with over 40 TVs, pool tables, video games, music, private party rooms and a new wine/jazz section that will debut at Thanksgiving.  Grand Opening headliner features Detroit Blues Star Thornetta Davis Saturday, November 22, 2014 NOT to be missed!

The menu has also changed offering a variety of appetizers, micro beers, and wine. We especially enjoyed the buttermilk based calamari and avocado spinach dip with savory and lightly toasted bread chips.

For the entree everything looked great but Johnny recommended his fresh burgers. I had one of his newest creations a five ounce burger with smoked pastrami and a special sauce on a fresh bun that was better than fantastic. Linda ordered the salmon salad that was very fresh and presented picture perfect. Our son MJ was with us and had a personal pepperoni pizza that was generous in size and served steaming hot.

Johnny Prep has Mr. B's rocking with a his new menu filled with fresh passionate creations. We look forward to returning to the live jazz and wine bar grand opening that will add another dimension to this very fun pub. 

Also check out Johnny Preps website for great recipes and other food ideas at

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Great Place To Dine Since 1949- House of Prime Rib


In our quest to eat at all 3000 San Francisco restaurants and having been to over 500, my wife and I recently had the pleasure to experience one of the "great city by the bay's" finest establishments --
"The House Of Prime Rib".
Many friends highly recommended this restaurant.  We were not disappointed!   Since 1949, they have been serving happy patrons their famous Prime Rib dinners. As you enter you are immediately soothed by the smell of the succulent prime rib serving carts making the rounds to a full house of happy foodies. The fireplaces throughout the restaurant warm your soul as you prepare for a unique eating experience. The atmosphere is bubbling and loud which reminded of Old San Francisco.

The bar serves a wide selection of drinks and the wine menu is extensive and reasonably priced. If you decide to bring your own, the corking fee is $25.00. The wine cellar is quite extensive filled with many bottles of old French wine as well as well known California wine.  We were fortunate to have a tour of the cellar by the manager, where he shared stories about the wine.
In case you are not a Prime Rib fan, you can also order their fresh fish. Our server was knowledgeable and full of energy to make sure the experience will be forever locked  into your foodie memory bank.

We began with a steaming loaf of sour dough bread and fresh butter that went well with our decanted wine. We both ordered the city cut prime rib that is the smallest  size of the prime rib selections. For the hearty eater there are larger sizes you can order. Our size was a generous proportion that would satisfy most appetites. The meal began with their table side salad preparation that was drenched in their famous sherry dressing. It was like it was just picked out of your garden and was delicious. The dinner also includes either mashed or a baked potato, corn or spinach and Yorkshire pudding. Linda ordered the baked potato that was also served Hollywood table side style and dressed with your choice of items.

The prime rib is cut at table side and was savory and tender. They are 3 types of horseradish that include mild, medium and hot, to compliment the prime rib. For dessert, we shared a generous proportion of vanilla ice cream drenched with warm hot fudge. The ice cream was like eating sugary velvet and the hot fudge was decadent and delicious. We highly recommend this San Francisco treasure and look forward to our return. Additionally, this restaurant gives an incredible amount of value for the dinner price.  For more information go to

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Robin Williams Lives On At Bridges Restaurant In Danville

In an effort to eat at all 3000 San Francisco restaurants and having been to over 500, my wife Linda and I culinary travels took us back to Bridges in our hometown of Danville. Having been here many times, the food, service and ambience is always excellent.
The memory of Robin Williams lives on as an empty table with roses and candles is displayed in the entrance as you check in for your table . A  large friendly Mrs. Doubtfire poster also hangs on the wall between the men and women restrooms as a reminder of when the movie was filmed here 20 some years ago. Fresh flowers were placed below the picture by many patrons honoring Robin's memory and recent death.
The restaurant has the feel of a San Francisco bistro with a happy hour menu that runs all night long and a outdoor patio that is comfortable and soothing to your soul with live music playing on warm summer nights.
 We began our Bridges experience  with the shrimp and chicken spring rolls that were hot, tasty and a favorite of  many loyal foodies. We then ordered the mushroom pizza that went well with the Silver Oak wine we brought. The corking fee is 20 dollars and if you don't bring your own wine they have  an extensive selection of wine and specialty drinks.
For the entree, I ordered the panko crusted pork filet over a bed of mashed potatoes and vegetables that was served steaming hot. Linda ordered the famous Bridges burger with french fries that brought an eternal smile to her face. For dessert we split the chocolate carmel tart that was decadent and a excellent ending to a very pleasant dining experience. 

We would highly recommend this famous Danville restaurant for lunch, dinner or any special occasion. For more information and to make reservations go to: Click here: Bridges Restaurant

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Experience the Kind, Irish Way at Bodega Bay

In an effort to dine at all 3000 San Francisco restaurants and having been to over 500, my wife Linda and I recently had the pleasure to visit Bodega Bay.  Located about a hour and a half drive from our home in Danville, we enjoyed the total experience of Bodega Bay which reminded us of the warmth and magic of Ireland complete with Irish Mist overlooking the deep blue Pacific. 

We began our day with Bloody Mary's and a breakfast sandwich before we played the Bodega Links. The golf course is an Irish like setting of rolling hills and ocean views from every hole. There are tees that are challenging for the skilled to beginning golfer. The ladies tees are also very friendly. We had a wind friendly day but when it gusts from the ocean we heard it can be even more challenging with Irish like

After golf there is a spa that offers a full menu of soothing options. The rooms all have ocean views and fireplaces with a heated swimming pool, large hot tub and outdoor fire pit that overlooks the ocean. Each night at the Lodge all the guests are invited to a wine and cheese happy hour before your dinner plans.  We ate at the Duck Club Restaurant and Chef Jeff Reilly and Food and Beverage Director Bill Govan are an outgoing team that pride themselves in making your dining experience special. There are some magical drinks on the menu including an Alfred Hitchcock as the famous movie The Birds was filmed nearby. 

The wine menu is filled with great vino from many local winery's and you can also bring your own for a 15 dollar corking fee. Chef Jeff recommended that we start with the Tomalis Bay oysters that were fresh and tasty. There is also a great selection of artesian cheeses to choose from and fresh  baked bread served warm from the oven. For the entree Linda ordered the Crispy Mary's organic half chicken with panzanella salad, sautéed bloomsdale spinach with rich chicken jus that was fresh and tender. I ordered the pan seared liberty duck breast with baby carrots, basmati and wild rice, fresh cherry almond relish and port wine sauce that was savory and delicious.
 For desert we ordered Jeff's Mom's Chocolate cake that was very special. It was so good that Linda asked him for the recipe that he graciously gave to her. So for a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life we highly recommend this special refuge. It is like experiencing Ireland without having to take the long trip to the Emerald Isle. For more information and to make reservations go to:
Click here: Bodega Bay Lodge | Sonoma County Hotel | Bodega Bay Hotel

Friday, August 15, 2014

Recapturing the Magic of San Francisco- The "Big 4"

In an effort to dine at 3000 San Francisco restaurants and having experienced over 500, my wife Linda and I recently had the pleasure of dining at the "Big 4" in San Francisco.

Located on famous Nob Hill,  your soul is immediately soothed at this newly remodeled restaurant by the live streaming music from the bar's grand piano, dark wood decor and elegant green leather chairs, white tablecloths impeccable service and the fireplace in the bar capturing the magic of San Francisco past. Perfectly mixed drinks and a reasonably priced bar menu is also available for those with lighter appetites in the old school bar filled with pictures and artifacts from California's rich past.

From the web site" Established in October 1976, Big 4 Restaurant at The Scarlet Huntington was named after the reputed “Big Four” industrialists – Collis P. Huntington, Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford and Mark Hopkins – famed railroad tycoons of the nineteenth century who played a vital role in San Francisco’s history and early development. The renovated restaurant pays tribute to the grandeur of earlier eras, retaining its elegance and impressive collection of original artifacts, historical photographs and memorabilia from California’s unique history. Loyal patrons and first-time guests will continue to enjoy the live piano entertainment that fills this one-of-a-kind destination with a refreshing soul."

Chef Kevin Scott brings more than a decade of culinary experience with a beginning at Traci des Jardin's Jardiniere another San Francisco favorite.

Service is impeccable and our waiter was very knowledgeable. You can bring your own wine and the corking fee is $25.00. Like everything else at the charming eatery, the wine decanters are v shaped  and sit in a silver base that allow the wine to breathe perfectly as you prepare for your dining experience.

We had our own Big 4 experience as we dined with some special friends and celebrated my wife Linda's birthday. They have daily specials and Linda chose the Loch Duart Salmon that was delicate and delicious. She also ordered the crispy artichokes with fried mint and aioli that was graciously shared with all of us. Our friends started with the bibb lettuce salads and ordered the aged rib eye with sour cream mashed potatoes and bordelaise sauce that was cooked to buttery perfection.

I started out with the soup of the day which was minestrone which was the best I had ever experienced. Of course the Caymus and Shafer wine along with some fresh sour dough bread complemented the perfectly seasoned work of art.

For my entree, I ordered the herb-roasted lamb shank with butter beans and mint salsa that also was fantastic.

There are many assorted desserts and after dinner drinks to complete your divine dining experience. We chose to share the crème brulee with the birthday girl that was served with a candle.

The four of us have already made plans to return to rich historical San Francisco bistro for dinner and Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at famous Grace Cathedral which is located within walking distance.
For more information and to make reservations go to: Click here: Home | Big 4 Restaurant | San Francisco

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Happy Landing Inn-Carmel By The Sea-Established 1926

Recently my wife Linda and I visited Carmel By the Sea with friends.  Famous actor, director and former mayor of Carmel Clint Eastwood still roams around the town that is a special place to enjoy golf, food and wine. Located on the deep blue Pacific, we stayed at the newly remodeled Happy Landing Inn that was established in 1926. The charm and peace of this great B and B is dog friendly and offers charm and class that is second to none. Located in downtown Carmel one block from the ocean, it has 7 suites named after famous people like Clint Eastwood and Marilyn Monroe. We stayed in the Marilyn Monroe Suite complete with fireplace and sitting room that is stocked with a fine bottle of sherry to warm your spirits when you arrive. Owner and manager Dawn, also brings breakfast to you each morning to begin your day.

It is located near famous Pebble Beach and many shops, art galleries and restaurants.  The fresh ocean air warms your spirits as you enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Carmel by the Sea.

We enjoyed a new restaurant named La Balena that featured an extensive wine list and special dishes which included deep fried cauliflower, meat balls, ravioli and osso bucco that was savory and sensational.  The word is spreading fast on this new place and reservations are highly recommended.

We also enjoyed Cafe Dametra that offered a vibrant menu of Mediterranean food and one of the few restaurants open late at night.  We enjoyed a delicate and delicious dish of mousakka and homemade hummus.   Having eaten at over 500 San Francisco restaurants, this was the best mousakka that we have had. The staff was very attentive.   The highlight of the evening was when the owner and chef entertained the packed crowd with singing and music during our dining experience.

After dinner, a "must do" is the Karaoke piano bar at Mission Ranch owned by Clint Eastwood and only 5 minutes from downtown Carmel.  The Ranch offers 41 rooms and a great restaurant. It sits on 22 acres with a large deck complete with rocking chairs and views of Point Lobos and sheep roaming the property.  Clint is usually around to talk to the patrons and play the piano in the center of the circular bar.  He was there that night and the star gazers enjoyed his warm personality and musical skills. It is one of the few places in Carmel that offers karaoke and singing each night to the late hours. It is definitely "must do" fun experience and as Clint says, "makes your day" complete.


Carmel By the Sea Rocks!


For more information and to make reservations go to:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bix "A Longtime San Francisco Foodie Fix"

In our quest to eat at all 3000 San Francisco restaurants(500 plus and counting), my wife Linda and I recently had the pleasure of dining at Bix in charming Jackson Square. Owner Doug "Bix" Biederbeck founded it in 1988 and his passion for jazz, art and quality service fills the restaurant with joy and elegance.  Each night there is jazz playing in the bar area and Bix's famous Martini's are served with perfection. Biederbeck is also the owner of Florio in Pacific Heights and Market Bar in the famous Ferry Building.

From the website, "BIX’s elegant, two-story interior is distinguished by a graceful mahogany bar, fluted columns with ornate capitals, stunning original art, plush banquettes, cozy booths, starched linens, glittering glasses and polished flatware.

Through the years, BIX has been featured in movies, magazines, books and commercials as the quintessential San Francisco restaurant. The ambiance is pure 1930s and ’40s — tasteful art modern reminiscent of the glory days of Cunard and French Line ships. Fashionable and glamorous are the hallmarks. Trendy is simply not a part of the BIX culture."

We were celebrating a birthday with good friends and sat in the upper level of this warm and friendly restaurant admiring the large piece of art over the bar and smooth live  jazz resonating throughout  the restaurant.

We brought our own wine. Corking fee is 30 dollars per bottle with 2 maximum bottles. They also have an extensive wine list and known for their great drinks. As a matter of fact, Bix wrote a book called Bixology that has many of their drink recipes in it.

Our server was very knowledgeable and recommended we start with an appetizer plate of deviled eggs, pork belly sliders, cheese pinwheels and salmon mouse, which were fantastic. They also offer steak tartar prepared table side and fresh oysters. 

 I ordered the Zuckerman's  Asparagus soup with saffron aioli and toasted briochi that was steamy hot and very flavorful.

For the entree, Linda and our friend ordered the Pacific Halibut with spring vegetable ragout, yuzu butter and mint that was delicate and delicious and like eating food from heaven perfectly prepared by angels.

The birthday gal and I ordered the Goodman Ranch Veal chop pounded with king oyster mushrooms, garlic and parsley that looked like a handmade Japanese fan on a plate.  The pounded preparation made it very unique. As a sidenote, if  I ever won the famous Masters Golf tournament,  I would serve this Veal recipe for the main course at the Champions dinner.

There is a wide of variety of desserts to choose from.  We ordered  the coconut and pineapple sorbet, creme brulee and a rhubarb tart for the birthday girl.  They all topped off this outstanding dining experience.

Definitely, put this on your "foodie future" stops.   Enjoying the great live jazz playing every night makes the food and drinks taste even better.

For further information and to make reservations, go to:
Click here: Welcome to BIX Restaurant

Friday, March 7, 2014

Highway to Heaven-Healdsburg 2014

Having traveled around the world, my wife Linda and I appreciate the San Francisco Bay area restaurants, wine and food experience. Our goal is to hit all 3000 San Francisco restaurants and we have been to over 500 of them.

Recently we had the pleasure of taking a 2 day getaway on the "Highway to Heaven" to the charming town of Healdsburg, California.   General Manager Nicole Abela of Les Mars Hotel in downtown Healdsburg organized a full 2 day experience for us to two Foley owned winery's that specialize in red and white wines and the Chalkboard restaurant located in “Les Mars” the European style boutique hotel. Their motto of "exceeding excellence" made our experience opulent and outstanding.

A 2 hour ride from our home In Danville, California, we enjoyed the enchanting ride thru the famous Napa Valley, St. Helena and Calistoga to Lancaster Estate Vineyards...   Lancaster is a breathtaking piece of property that specializes in red wines. We were welcomed by our knowledgeable and passionate wine host Luke Hricik with a glass of 2012 Samantha's Sauvignon Blanc that was a perfect way to begin our Lancaster wine experience.

Lancaster Estate Tasting Room

After touring thru the caves and receiving lots of information about the wines including the young and worldly winemaker from Screaming Eagle Jesse Katz, we stopped at their elegant tasting room located in the cave. Luke had 4 glasses for us to sample of their perfectly blended red wines. We sampled the 2010 Sophia's Cuvee that was 83% Cabernet and 17% Cabernet Franc, 2008 Cabernet 92% Cabernet, 4% Malbec, 2%Merlot and 1% Petite Verdot, 2009 Cabernet 85% Cabernet, 7% Malbec, 1 Cabernet Franc and 1% Petite Verdot and Nicole's Propriety Red 85% Cabernet, 8% Malbec, 5%, Petite Verdot, and 2%Merlot.

All of the wines were fantastic with the 2008 Estate Cabernet and 2010 Nicole's Proprietary Red being our favorites.

The non rushed tasting was generous and a great way to begin our day. We also enjoyed a wine lunch with picnic tables that overlooked the vines and hills of this serene setting.

Our next stop was Les Mars Hotel in downtown Healdsburg. The charming hotel is about a 20 minute drive from Lancaster. The 16 room gem is located near the famous Healdsburg Square filled with many wine tasting rooms, restaurants, clothing and olive oil shops and art galleries. Michael greeted us and we checked into an elegant appointed room complete with fresh flowers, handwritten welcome note, wine and cozy fireplace to warm your spirit.    
Les Mars Hotel

Included is a continental breakfast served in your room and wine and cheese happy hour in their elegant library complete with fireplace. It is a fun way to meet guests from all over the world and enjoy some great wine before dinner. We met some interesting people from Manhattan and shared information about our wine, food and travel experiences.

For dinner we ate at Chalkboard located in the hotel. Chef Shane McAnelly and General Manager Sean Coleman, formerly of Va Da Vi in Walnut Creek, California, have created a small plate menu of daily changing specials and are highlighted by superb service.  Our waitress Jocelyn was very knowledgeable and full of passion about the food that insured our experience to be very special and memorable.

They have an extensive wine list, but if you bring your own, the corking fee is $15.00 dollars. It is located in the same place as the former Cyrus restaurant and has been open for a little over a year and already has received many culinary kudos. 

Chalkboard Restaurant

We started with the warm pretzel and three sauces and a shot of cauliflower soup with beer/cheese foam that was fantastic. Linda had the Yellowtail Jack Crudo with blood orange/jalapeno/fennel basil that was delicate and delicious. I had the chopped salad with cauliflower/romanesco/radish/carrot/feta and mustard vinaigrette that was a generous proportion and very good.

For the main course, Linda ordered the horseradish crusted bistro filet with baby carrot/kohirabi/sauerkraut/bordaise that paired perfectly with our Caymus Cabernet. I had the patron favorite buttermilk fried quail with parsnip puree/spinach/chestnut honey that was seasoned perfectly.

For dessert, Sean insisted on the famous candy bar: brownie/carmel/roasted milk chocolate creameaux/nougat ice cream/peanut crunch that did not disappoint and a great ending to an elegant dinner in a casual, friendly atmosphere.

The next day we had our favorite newspaper and continental breakfast delivered to our room and then took a walk around Healdsburg Square. 

We then departed for Chalk Hill Winery about 20 minutes away. This winery is located on 1300 stunning acres of rolling hills complete with chapel, buffalos, equestrian center and dining on the top of the hill for weddings and private lunches and dinners. It is also the home of Bill Foley proprietor of Les Mars, Lancaster and Chalk Hill as well as several other properties in the Napa area.  

Chalk Hill Winery
Our hostess Nicole greeted us and we had our wine tasting outside overlooking the spectacular beauty of the rolling hills and vines. Chalk Hill specializes in white wine. The estate Chardonnay is very popular and very good. We also sampled the 2010 Estate Red and Malbec that was added to our collection for our trip back to Danville. After the tasting, Nicole drove us around this property in a large SUV to experience the private gardens and winding road to the chapel and wedding facility. You definitely felt you were on the "Highway to Heaven."

We look forward to our next visit to Healdsburg and to Les Mars hotel. For more information go to:Click here: Hotel Les Mars - Relais Châteaux

Monday, January 20, 2014

2014 RoseBowl-MSU 24-Stanford 20

Golf Writers Dinner

MJ Mc Colgan National Special Olympics Champion and San Ramon High School Halloffamer has been nominated for the Northern California Hall Of Fame. MJ has also been inducted into the Tri Valley San Francisco Hall Of Fame and Michigan Hall Of Fame having been born there for his many accomplishments on and off the golf course. The inductees are honored at the Annual California Golf Writers Dinner that takes place at Pebble Beach each year during the ATT at Spanish Bay. This year the 55th dinner will be February 4th. Rocker Kid Rock and John Daly have announced they will be playing together in the tournament. This pairing is sure to draw lots of fans.