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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