Fruit Pie Time, French Laundry Luxe Gift Cards & More

Adorable little cherry pies at Madera restaurant in Palo Alto. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Fruit Pies Around the Bay Area

There are cake people. And there are pie people.

For pie lovers, you can’t ask for a better time to indulge than summer when fresh fruit ones abound.

At Madera restaurant in the Rosewood Sand Hill resort in Palo Alto, get a taste of warm tart cherry hand-pies with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream ($10).

At San Francisco’s Bluestem Brasserie, enjoy more hand-held pies. Its “Happy Camper Pies” ($9.50) are filled with fruit-herb jam and seasonal fruit. A scoop of vanilla bean ice cream accompanies, as what’s pie without ice cream, right?

Perfect for one -- "Happy Camper Pie'' at Bluestem Brasserie. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Crisp peach fry pie at Prospect restaurant. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Prospect in San Francisco get a load of peach fry pie ($9.50) — little pies fried up crisp with a filling of Blossom Bluff peaches, then garnished with raspberries, tayberries and Bavarian buttermilk ice cream.

Traditionalists will revel in the apple pie with brandied cherries and cheddar tuille ($10) at Epic Roasthouse in San Francisco.

French Laundry and Per Se Launch “Experience Cards”

These may very well be the ultimate gift cards.

No longer will Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in Yountville and Per Se in New York issue issue plain ol’ gift certificates made of paper. Nope, now you can purchase “Experience Cards,” made of sleek metal and sent in an elegant bow-wrapped box.

Geared for two people to dine, the cards allow for dinner with extras. The normal French Laundry prix fixe is $270 per person. But with the silver card ($750), dinner for two begins with a glass of champagne, followed by a nine-course chef’s tasting menu or “tasting of vegetables.” The gold card ($1,500) includes all of that, plus a selection of canapes and personalized service from the team of sommeliers. The black card ($2,500) includes all of that, plus a more extensive array of canapes, exclusive wines customized by the sommeliers, and a special gift at the end of the meal.

The new "Experience Card'' from Thomas Keller. (Photo courtesy of the French Laundry)

Per Se offers similar cards: silver ($800),ย  gold ($1,550), and black ($2,500), as well as the salon one ($250) for a la carte dining in the salon.

Of course, being the fortunate recipient of one of those glam cards doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to dine there. You still have to land a reservation at either restaurant, never an easy feat.

“Eye on the Bay” Chef Demos at the Ferry Building in San Francisco

Liam Mayclem ofย  TV’s “Eye on the Bay” invites you to a series of chef demos he’ll be hosting at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco in conjunction with the upcoming SF Chefs event in August.

* July 7 at 2 p.m.: Learn to work with dough with Sour Flour’s Chef Danny Gabriner. Tickets are $45 each.

* July14 at 2 p.m.: Enjoy a lamb and beer pairing. Tickets are $35 each.

* July21 at 2 p.m.: Pastry Chef Francis Ang of the Fifth Floor demonstrates a host of sweet treats. Tickets are $35 each.

* July28 at 2 p.m.: Learn how to make pickles with Wise Sons’ chefs Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman, who will be joined by Dennis Lee of Namu Gaji. Admission is $35.

Reserve a spot to any of the demos by clicking here.

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  • I feel like the French Laundry gold card should come with concierge services to help you make reservations! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Oooh those hand pies are making me hungry. They are adorable and now I want to bake a pie. And wow who pays that for a dinner… okay, so we did pay about $450 for dinner for two and that was only with a half bottle of wine (we had to drive)… but $750, $1550 or $2500? Wow. Now if I was invited…

  • Hah, I agree with Ben. That and limo service, a private VIP room and violinist in the background as you sip delicately on the expensive wine. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Carolyn, it is SO pie weather here at the moment and now I just want pie for breakfast! ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Oh my Carolyn! I really love how these pies look!! So delicious! Yay for summer and cheaper fruits!! I can’t wait to make more fruit pies! Gotta start looking into some yummy recipes! Thanks for the beautiful inspiration my dear! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dear Carolyn,

    Summer berries always seem to bring so much colour to desserts and pastries. That peach fry pie is a steal at $9.50 and I doubt any Sydney restaurant can replicate it at that price ๐Ÿ™

  • Summer is the season for pies! Mmm, love fruit pies. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Oh I am a real pie person so this just look delicious!! Those demos sound like so much fun.

  • I’ve driven by that Sand Hill resort so many times and I was always so curious to stop in. Now you’ve done me in!! Those pies are gorgeous. I just made a peach pie, and with all the amazing farmers market fruit lately, I might be on a new pie kick. I love the idea of making mini ones instead. That would be something new for me!

  • those cherry hand pies look like my idea of heaven!

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