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Oak & Rye and Oh, Those Pies!

Friday, 24. October 2014 5:25

The "California 2.0'' at Oak & Rye.

The “California 2.0” at Oak & Rye.

 

It’s taken me nearly a year to finally make it to Oak & Rye, the much lauded pizza joint in downtown Los Gatos. But it was well worth the wait.

You see, the restaurant does not take reservations unless you come with an army of 10 people. That means you have to play the waiting game. And given how popular the place is, the wait can be extensive.

But finally, I cleared my schedule, and arrived with my husband around 5:30 p.m. on a recent Saturday. Good thing we got there when we did, too, because while we were seated immediately, a mere half hour later the place was packed.

It’s easy to see why. It’s a loud, lively place with creative cocktails and a menu sure to please most any palate. It’s got an idiosyncratic vibe, what with its framed vintage album covers from the Blues Brothers and Culture Club on the wall, not to mention a gleaming bronze boar head mounted as if it’s keeping an eye on the kitchen.

The mascot, perhaps?

The mascot, perhaps?

Old album covers grace the walls.

Old album covers grace the walls.

Our table was right next to the open kitchen, whose centerpiece is the copper mosaic wood-fired oven.

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Category:Chefs, General, Pizza, Restaurants | Comments (1) | Author:

Join the Food Gal and the Chef of Plaza Garibaldi for a Macy’s Cooking Demo

Wednesday, 22. October 2014 5:26

MacysPlazaGaribaldi

On the heels of Hispanic Heritage Month, Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara is proud to present a cooking demo with Plaza Garibaldi in San Jose.

Join me at 6 p.m. Oct. 30, when I’ll be hosting Kenneth Payne, executive chef of this popular, family-owned Mexican restaurant known for its home-made tortillas, mole poblano, fish tacos and other specialties.

Payne, who previously cooked at the Hayes Mansion in San Jose and Hyde Street Bistro in San Francisco, will show you how to make one of his signature dishes.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, More Food Gal -- In Person, Restaurants | Comments (1) | Author:

A Spook-A-Licious Halloween with Woodhouse Chocolate

Monday, 20. October 2014 5:26

Woodhouse Chocolate says "boo'' in the sweetest way.

Woodhouse Chocolate says “boo” in the sweetest way.

 

Woodhouse Chocolate in St. Helena has long been one of my favorite chocolatiers.

First off, its chocolates are incomparably smooth and creamy.

Second, its shop on Main Street is like the Tiffany’s of chocolates. They are displayed like precious jewels, making enjoying even one bonbon feel like such a special indulgence.

When samples of its Halloween offerings arrived on my doorstep to sample, I couldn’t wait to dig in.

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Category:Chocolate, General, Great Finds, New Products | Comments (2) | Author:

LV Mar — A Latin Party in Downtown Redwood City

Friday, 17. October 2014 5:26

A party on the plate -- and in the dining room -- at LV Mar.

A party on the plate — and in the dining room — at LV Mar.

 

Most nights, LV Mar in downtown Redwood City, offers up a taste of modern pan-Latin cuisine in small and large plates.

But once a month, Chef Manuel Martinez throws a veritable party — offering a prix fixe dinner themed to a different Latin cuisine, complete with a band, dancers and singers.

A couple weeks ago, I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant to experience October’s showcase on the Caribbean.

Martinez, who has cooked at Left Bank and One Market restaurants, also owns the more casual La Viga in Redwood City. LV Mar is his newer restaurant, which opened in November 2013. He’s been throwing these themed-dinners almost from the get-go.

Chef Manuel Martinez adorned for the occasion.

Chef Manuel Martinez adorned for the occasion.

When you check in at the hostess stand, you’re welcomed with Mardi Gras-like beaded necklaces to wear. All the tables are strewn with colorful star confetti to put you even more in the mood.

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Category:Cheese, General, Restaurants | Comments (1) | Author:

Baked Therapy

Wednesday, 15. October 2014 5:26

Nothing can keep me from baking a batch of these scones.

Nothing can keep me from baking a batch of these scones.

 

I can be swamped with work…

I can be sleep-deprived…

It can be 100 degrees that day…

But when I feel the urge to bake, I can’t be stopped.

What can I say? It’s my therapy. It’s my relaxation. It’s my treat to myself and others.

So when a review copy of the new “Baked Occasions” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) landed in my mail, I immediately dropped everything else and started leafing through it.

BakedOccasions

This is the fourth cookbook by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, the owners of the popular Brooklyn baker, Baked. It includes 75 recipes perfect for holidays, special events and just any day that is an occasion of any sort. Find recipes from “Toffee Coffee Cake Surprise” to “Easter Coconut Sheet Cake” to “Peppermint Chocolate Meringues.”

“Chinese Five-Spice Sesame Scones” caught my eye from the start because I love the intoxicating fragrance of five-spice in stir-fries.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (6) | Author: