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Friday, August 28, 2015

Absinthe...Rockin Strong in Hayes Valley

In an effort to eat at all 3,000 San Francisco Restaurants(700 and counting) and all 600 Napa Valley Wineries (300 and counting), my wife Linda and dined at Absinthe Brasserie & Bar in the Hayes Valley area of  the "City by the Bay".

We were recently in France and our foodie friends recommended this San Francisco restaurant claiming the Croque Monsieur as the best in the world! Since we were rather disappointed with the Paris version of the dish, Absinthe was high on our "to visit" list.

It is no wonder that loyal patrons have come to this Hayes Valley Gem for many years. With its lively, informal décor evocative of turn-of-the-century France, Absinthe Brasserie & Bar is the perfect place to dine. The restaurant is full of energy and tables outside provide for a fun way to enjoy this vibrant section of the city. It is a great area to people watch and has the feel of an European village with a mixed crowd, everyone from “young hipsters” (from nearby Twitter) to “Civic Center” attendees.

We were not disappointed as the Croque Monsieur was presented eloquently with crunchy bread and a fresh egg on top. We also had the French Onion soup and ceviche that was very fresh. The ceviche tasted like it was just pulled out of the deep blue sea and quite possibly the best we have ever experienced.  To top it off, the Foie Gras was smooth and every bit as good as our French experience.  It is no wonder that loyal patrons have come to this Hayes Valley Gem for many years.

Manager Brian Gavin runs a first class show. He gave us an elaborate explanation and demonstration on how to drink Absinthe which is a licorice tasting liquor.   It is no wonder the restaurant is buzzing with energy as this drink is 65 per cent alcohol and very good. The drink menu is also extensive with many choices of fun and creative concoctions. If you want to bring your own wine the corking fee is $25.

Absinthe Brasserie and Hayes Valley rocks with great food and excitement. We would highly recommend that you put it on your "foodie must do" list.
Experience "Paris in San Francisco" at this Hayes Valley French-Med Brasserie!

We will be going back often!

For reservation:  Click here: absinthe.com

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Paradise Beach Grille--Capitola's Best

In an effort to eat at all 3000 San Francisco restaurants(700 and counting) and visiting over 600 wineries(300 and counting), my wife Linda and I recently traveled to the Beach and Capitola's finest Paradise Beach Grille.

Owner Gary and Leslie Wetsel  have been serving great food to many happy patrons for 17 years. From the web site:

 "From day one, we have not wavered from our original concept of providing quality service and food in a fun environment for our customers, employees and owners. Paradise has become a popular meeting place for local patrons as well as a favorite restaurant for tourists. We also have many regular patrons from over the hill in the Bay Area. We have been voted the Best Restaurant in Santa Cruz County for five years and in Capitola for the last seven."

Linda and I loved the energy that you felt the minute you entered the restaurant. There is live music playing and happy customers enjoying a large selection of local beers, wines and fabulous ocean views.

Monday thru Friday from 4-6 there are happy hour drinks and half price on all the appetizers. Monday is Gary's Rib night and you can get a full rack for $20. For $30 you can enjoy lobster and filet mignon ala surf and turf on Wednesday nights.

We sat on the patio and met some fun people from San Jose who were celebrating a birthday. They have been loyal patrons for many years and brought an almond butter birthday cake from Dick's Bakery in San Jose. It was also my birthday so they shared a generous piece with us. Since we started with this fabulous dessert, we decided to just order appetizers. We enjoyed the famous coconut shrimp and mussels as we watched the sun set over the deep blue Pacific.

For dessert, we were talked into some fabulous Mud Pie that we shared with our new San Jose friends.

We stayed close by at the Capitola Venetian Hotel. It is a boutique hotel with ocean views. Our room also had two balconies, fireplace and view of the action going on at the patio of Paradise Beach Grille.

We highly recommend this restaurant.  It is no wonder that it has been selected the "best" in Capitola for the last 7 years.
 For more information and to make reservations at the restaurant or hotel go to:

Click here: Capitola Venetian Hotel - Capitola - US

Monday, August 24, 2015

CordeValle "World Class Charm and Comfort"

In an effort to eat at all 3000 San Francisco restaurants(700 and counting) and visit all 600 Napa wineries(300 and counting), my wife Linda and I recently traveled to CordeValle in San Martin, California.

CordeValle derives it's name from the Spanish phrase "el corazon del valle" meaning heart of the Valley. It is about an hour drive from our home in Danville and sits on 1700 acres of magnificent beauty protected by the surrounding Santa Cruz mountains.

Since it's opening in 1999, travelers have come from all over the world to enjoy this hidden gem. It is a refined refuge from the hustle bustle of everyday day life and and the stress of Silicon Valley business located nearby. The resort features golf, spa, tennis, fitness room, outdoor pool, restaurants, art collection and a winery on the property. Clos LaChance winery exists alongside the resort on 85 acres and guests can ride to the winery in a golf cart for wine tasting, attend a summer concert or play bocce ball. We enjoyed the wine tasting and took back to Danville the 2013 Reserve Meritage to share with our friends.

The world class golf course designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. has been the host of the PGA Tour Fry's Open and many USGA events and college competitions. In July 2016, it will host the US Women's Open. However, it offers a fair challenge for all golfing skills with tees that range from 5385 yards to 7300 yards.

The service staff is very attentive and warms your spirits from the rigors of life as you check into three choices of luxury accommodations. Guests may choose a elegant Fairway Room Bungalow, Villa Suite, or Fairway home. All have goose down comforters, fireplaces, original paintings and breathtaking views of the heavenly valley.

Executive Chef Tim Wetzel creates world class food at their 3 restaurants. Il Vigneto offers classic Italian cuisine. Lions Peak offers casual dining in an outdoor patio setting and One Iron Bar has contemporary cuisine with an extensive drink selection.

The Art Collection at CordeValle is a focus point of the property. From the web site, " the art provides a source of inspiration and the common theme of the collection is the Celebration Of Life--Spiritually, as depicted symbolically in the sacred traditions of Tewa-Hopi tribe in Dan Namingha's works; the profound joy of Relationship celebrated in the John Kennedy bronze sculptures; Vibrancy of life as captured on a city street in William Clutz's oil paintings and expressed as an emotion in John Ferren's works; Reflection of the H. Joe Walfrum paintings of New Mexican morades."

The spa is a great way to unwind after a day of golf and offers a full menu of services. Also, there are 4 tennis courts for the non-golfers and outdoor pool to relax after your spa treatment, golf or tennis.

Linda and I enjoyed the golf course and the magnificent wide open Wyoming like views that are amazing especially being located so close to the heart of modern business Silicon Valley.
We enjoyed dinner at the One Iron Bar. It offers a great selection of drinks and wine. If you choose to bring your own wine there is a corking fee. The menu has a variety of great choices including turkey meat balls, osso bucco, steaks, fresh fish and a smoked pork chop. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and overlooks the golf course. 

For the appetizer, we selected the coconut shrimp that were very tasty. For the main course,  Linda enjoyed the Shrimp Pasta with Zucchini Noodles. I selected the smoked bone in pork chop with barbeque chili beans and rustic mashed potatoes that was cooked to perfection. Linda loved the zucchini noodles and will add it to our home menu
in the future.

A "must do" dessert is the warm beignets with cinnamon sugar, chocolate, raspberry and carmel sauce. It is a fitting ending to a fabulous meal.

In conclusion, we would highly recommend that you visit and enjoy this classy and charming resort located close to many Bay area towns. It is a great way to escape from the stress and strain of everyday living.

The world will be watching next July as this wonderful resort will be the host of the 2016 US Women's Open.

For more information and to make reservations, go to:

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Magical Martis Camp with a Silver Oak Wine Dnner

In an effort to eat at all 3000 San Francisco restaurants(700 and counting) and visit all 600 Napa wineries(300 and counting) my wife Linda and I recently traveled to Magical Martis Camp in Truckee, California. We were guests of our good friends Tom and Lisa Morgan for the 7th annual Martis Camp Mountain Muster Golf Invitational.

The 3 day sold out tournament was very well organized with a chance to win a $280,000 Lamborghini, lunch and putting contest for the spouses on the well manicured 1 acre 18 hole putting green and lots of libations food and fun. The final night concluded with a Starship Summer concert on a warm crystal clear star studded Lake Tahoe evening.

The tournament kicked off in style with a elegant Silver Oak Wine dinner on the lighted balcony of their 50 million dollar club house on the Tom Fazio designed signature 18th hole with a stunning views of the Sierras and an unforgettable mystical mountain sunset.   Chef Brett Moseley started the Silver Oak dinner with Alaskan Halibut Cheeks paired with 2013 Twomey Pinot Noir from Alexander Valley that was very refreshing.  Next was Sonoma Duck, buttered corn, sugar snap peas and cilantro paired with a full bodied 2006 Library Selection Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley.  The third course was paired with 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  It  was perfectly paired with a Wagu Rib eye, smoked carrot purée, grilled rapini and huckleberry Demi-glacé.

The stunning meal was capped off with a Lemon Mousse Tartlet, spiced cake, and smoked honey ice cream. 
Viva Martis Camp!

For more information, go to www.martis.com.