Brunch Time At The Incomparable Clove and Hoof

Now, that's a burger -- at Clove and Hoof.

Now, that’s a burger — at Clove and Hoof.

 

What’s better than a neighborhood artisan butcher shop that takes care to sell sustainably raised beef, pork, lamb, chicken, rabbit, and duck?

One that also spotlights its prime products in delicious dishes for brunch, lunch and dinner.

Clove and Hoof in Oakland is such a place. The light-filled, hip butcher shop and restaurant is owned by John Blevins and Analiesa Gosnell. It’s the kind of place you wish every neighborhood could be so lucky to have.

The casual spot gets crowded at brunch, so be warned that you may have to wait in line. My husband and I lucked out when we arrived on a Sunday morning, right before the crowds. You order at the counter, find a seat, and wait for the food to be brought out to you.

Place your brunch order at the counter -- or pick up provisions to cook at home.

Place your brunch order at the counter — or pick up provisions to cook at home.

The C&H signature burger ($14) is a whopper, weighing in with two four-ounce patties, caramelized onion jam, pimento cheese, chopped romaine, bread and butter pickles, and pickle mayo — all wedged inside a soft potato pepper bun.

Be sure to get plenty of napkins because this is a dripper — loaded with deeply beefy juices.

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The 34th Annual “Taste of Yosemite” — Plus A Change to the Next Scheduled One

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel in all its majesty.

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel in all its majesty.

 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA — There may not have been snow here last week, but there was plenty else to ignite the senses.

A bevy of celebrated chefs took to the stage and kitchen in the 34th annual “Taste of Yosemite” at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (ahem, yes, the Ahwahnee to sentimental folks like myself).

I was thrilled to be the guest moderator/host at the first two sessions of this winter-time bonanza that features cooking demos and grand gala dinners.

Chef David Bazirgan of Bambara in Cambridge, making a return to California, where he cooked for 13 years.

Chef David Bazirgan of Bambara in Cambridge, making a return to California, where he cooked for 13 years.

Chef David Bazirgan's tasting of hummus, eggplant puree, and cashew romesco.

Chef David Bazirgan’s tasting of hummus, eggplant puree, and cashew romesco.

For 34 years, the event has taken place throughout January. But look for the 35th one to break tradition.

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Join the Food Gal and the Team From Menlo Grill & Bar For A Cooking Demo

MacysSalRomero

 

Come hungry, thirsty and inquisitive to Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara, 2 p.m Jan. 20, when the team from Menlo Grill & Bar joins me for a cooking demo.

Executive Chef Saul Romero, who heads the restaurant at the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park, previously cooked at the tech cafes at Google, eBay, and PayPal. He’ll be showing how to jazz up wild King salmon with walnut chimichurri and roasted butternut squash.

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Three New Places To Check Out in 2018

he famous Doughnut Wheel at Charlie Palmer Steak Napa. (photo by Paige Green Photo)

The famous Doughnut Wheel at Charlie Palmer Steak Napa. (photo by Paige Green Photo)

Charlie Palmer Steak

Just before Thanksgiving, Chef Charlie Palmer opened the first California location of his American steakhouse concept. Charlie Palmer Steak Napa marks his fifth steakhouse across the country.

Housed inside the new Archer Hotel Napa, the 4,000-square-foot restaurant is headed by Executive Chef Jeffrey Russell.

Enjoy raw bar specialties; pig ear pad thai ($16); a 21-day dry-aged, bone-on tomahawk chop for two ($130); and A5 Wagyu from Japan at $100 for 4 ounces.

The Bottomless Brunch ($38) per person includes unlimited Bloody Marys and Mimosas for two hours, the choice of a main course, and either a charcuterie board for the table or a “doughnut wheel.” The latter is sure to become an Instagram sensation with its cinnamon-sugar, chocolate-glazed, and almond-chocolate doughnuts stacked on a wheel with caramel and raspberry dipping sauces.

New Pastry Chef for Bacchus Management Group

Bacchus Management has hired its first executive pastry chef to head all of its restaurants and bakeries.

The new Nutella baby cake at Mayfield Bakery & Cafe, and the Village Bakery & Cafe. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

The new Nutella baby cake at Mayfield Bakery & Cafe, and the Village Bakery & Cafe. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

For the first time, one person will oversee the baking and dessert programs at The Village Pub in Woodside, The Saratoga in San Francisco, Spruce in San Francisco, Mayfield Bakery & Cafe in Palo Alto, The Village Bakery & Cafe in Woodside, and four Pizza Antica outposts in the Bay Area.

Janina O’Leary grew up in Texas, graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York, and went on to work in such top-tier, fine-dining establishments in Manhattan as Per Se, Del Posto and Restaurant Daniel. She also worked at Bouchon Bakery in New York. When she moved to Austin, she became famous for her doughnut pop-ups, whimsically named Play Dough.

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San Mateo’s Viognier Undergoing Changes

Scallops with bacon vinaigrette at Viognier.

Scallops with bacon vinaigrette at Viognier.

 

San Mateo’s Viognier restaurant sometimes gets forgotten about.

It’s only when someone brings up the name that you think, “Oh, yeahhhhh, I remember that place…”

After all, when it debuting in 1997, it was a big deal. It made a statement by opening on the second floor of a grocery store, of all things, albeit the uber gourmet Draeger’s. And it made an impression when it lured the illustrious Gary Danko from the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco to open the restaurant.

After Danko left to open his eponymous Michelin one-starred San Francisco establishment, Viognier went through a succession of chefs.

Executive Chef R.J. Subaba in the kitchen.

Executive Chef R.J. Subaba in the kitchen.

The latest one comes with impressive credentials, too. Executive Chef R.J. Subaba has cooked at the Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, Murray Circle at Cavallo Point in Sausalito, Madera at the Rose Wood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and the Village Pub in Woodside. He’s joined in the kitchen by Executive Pastry Chef Katelyn McCulloch, formerly of the Plumed Horse in Saratoga.

When I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant in December, the restaurant offered only tasting menus. But Subaba says a la carte options will debut soon. A new wood-fired grill also was recently installed.

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