Though only a few miles across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, the Lodge at the Golden Gate—aka Cavallo Point—is worlds away.
Lounging in the settees, wrapped in fuzzy warm blankets under heat lamps if necessary, on the patio outside Farley Bar and Murray Circle Restaurant, the world’s cares slip away as you sip some lovely Sancerre and munch on freshly popped truffle popcorn all in view of the Golden Gate. The burgers and seasonal cocktails are pretty great too. Your only regret will be that you didn’t book a room or a massage at the spa and now have to drive yourself back to reality.
Coming in at less than six months after our three-week trip wining and dining our way through France, it was going to be difficult for Charleston, South Carolina to impress. Nonetheless, our expectations were high given all the press that Charleston was getting. Continue reading “Chuck town, South Carolina”
Pisco, a brandy from Peru, became readily available in San Francisco in the 1830s, where it fueled the debauchery of the Barbary Coast.
Nowadays you can enjoy it in a more civilized setting, including the lounge at La Mar, which features Peruvian cuisine. There, you can sample a pisco sour, which was created by a gringo bartender who had moved to Peru in 1904.
If you prefer something that harkens back to the Barbary Coast, try the pisco punch, which was created in 1853 when the Bank Exchange & Billiard Saloon opened on the spot where the Transamerica Pyramid now stands.
We certainly did!
We were watching television one night when a commercial came on offering a “Recession-Blues Buster” weekend package that included a couple of nights at the Hilton Garden Inn in Napa, a gourmet lunch on The Napa Valley Wine Train, and a tasting at Domaine Chandon in Yountville.
We both turned to look at the other trying to mask our interest with the disdain that we knew we should have felt toward the encouragement to spend so freely during the depths of the recession that followed the crash of 2008. But we were too gluttonous to let the opportunity pass by. So we booked it. Continue reading “Napa Valley Wine Train”
I used to dislike oysters. More accurately, I never knew that I liked oysters. For whatever reason, oysters fell into that category of food that I had never had but nonetheless didn’t like. Burritos and Thai food used to fall in that category too.
I finally first had oysters at a get together at a friend’s 35th birthday at Ti Couz, which has since closed. We were all a few drinks in having waited for a table to be set, so when the suggestion arose that we order some raw oysters, I went along. All eyes were on me as I slurped my first, fully expecting that it would be like eating snot from a rock. I could not have been more wrong.