Category Archives: Meat

Rockridge Market Hall Foods Celebrates 30 Years

Top-selling Italian ricciarelli cookies at Market Hall Bakery.

Top-selling Italian ricciarelli cookies at Market Hall Bakery.

 

More than three decades ago, this lot on College Avenue in Oakland sat empty except when it transformed into a pumpkin patch every Halloween.

But siblings Sara, Tony and Peter Wilson had a vision that it could be so much more.

The New Zealand natives set to work to turn it into the first European-style food court in the Bay Area.

This year, Rockridge Market Hall Foods celebrates its 30th anniversary, a remarkable achievement in this day and age when fewer and fewer family-owned markets seem able to survive yet alone thrive.

The bakery case.

The bakery case.

A wide assortment of cured meats for sale at Market Hall Foods.

A wide assortment of cured meats for sale at Market Hall Foods.

Just part of the cheese selection.

Just part of the cheese selection.

To celebrate, the marketplace is hosting monthly events all this year that feature fun free activities and treats. To see what’s upcoming, check out the calendar here.

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Wine — And A Whole Lot More — At Wente Vineyards

Blue Jade corn growing in the Wente Vineyards produce garden.

Blue Jade corn growing in the Wente Vineyards produce garden.

 

That Livermore’s Wente Vineyards makes first-class wines is a given.

But the oldest, continuously operating family-owned winery in the United States makes so much more on its 2,000 acres in Livermore, as I found out when I was I was invited for a tour recently.

Extra virgin olive oil. Herbs, fruits and veggies galore grown in its own garden. And even beef.

Yes, The Restaurant at Wente gets 12 steer a year from its own herd that graze on the hillsides. Like Japan’s famed Wagyu, these Black Angus cows get some special treatment, too: two glasses of its Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon daily for the last 90 days of their life.

Chef Mike Ward.

Chef Mike Ward.

Master Gardener Diane Dovholuk.

Master Gardener Diane Dovholuk.

“We don’t get them drunk,” Wente Chef Mike Ward says with a chuckle. “It helps them metabolize food better so they can eat more.”

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Humane, Pasture-Raised Veal From Marin and Sonoma

Rossotti Ranch's veal rib eye grilled with herbs and spices. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Rossotti Ranch’s veal rib eye grilled with herbs and spices. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

 

For decades, veal has been shunned by many.

For good reason, what with horror stories of calves snatched from their mothers, only to be confined in crates so minuscule they couldn’t even turn around.

But just as some farmers now have instituted more humane treatment of chickens, pigs, and full-grown cows, so too have they done so with calves.

Rossotti Ranch is a ninth-generation, family-owned ranch on the border between Marin County and Petaluma, that is committed to raising 100-percent pasture-raised goat, chicken, duck, and veal. It was established by husband-and-wife Tony and Julie Rossotti, who hail from ranching families originally from Switzerland.

Ranch Co-Owner Julie Rossotti (photo by Kristina Franziska Haas).

Ranch Co-Owner Julie Rossotti (photo by Kristina Franziska Haas).

They recently just started selling their meats nationwide through their Rossotti Ranch Web site, where you can purchase different packages, such as the Rancher’s Box, 5 pounds of premium veal cuts, plus 2 pounds of ground or stew veal meat, a jar of seasoning, and a cookbook — all for $125. Or create your own custom box of products.

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Le Marché At Santana Row

Cardamom snail and sticky bun from The Midwife & The Baker stand at the Santana Row farmers' market.

Cardamom snail and sticky bun from The Midwife & The Baker stand at the Santana Row farmers’ market.

 

If you haven’t yet checked out the new summer farmers’ market at Santana Row, you’re missing out.

Le Marche takes place every Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., through September. The main Row is closed off to cars, so you can stroll both sides of the street easily to check out the wares of more than 50 vendors.

A bevy of stands to check out.

A bevy of stands to check out.

Beautiful summer tomatoes for sale.

Beautiful summer tomatoes for sale.

There’s everything from organic produce to fresh seafood and meat to cheese to baked goods.

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Alfred’s Steakhouse — Where Old-World Meets New World

Flames tableside at the landmark Alfred's in San Francisco.

Flames tableside at the landmark Alfred’s in San Francisco.

 

Walking into Alfred’s Steakhouse in San Francisco is like stepping back into another era.

To a time when dining rooms weren’t cloaked in reclaimed wood and Edison lights, but in crimson walls, sparkling chandeliers and oxblood-hued, tufted leather booths; when cell phones didn’t exist (as there actually isn’t cell service available there now); and when people actually dressed for dinner (save for the table of tourists decked out in shorts that night, not realizing summer in isn’t all that in San Francisco).

The venerable restaurant, which opened in 1928, still exudes classic bygone mores, and that’s a testament to Chef Daniel Patterson, whose Alta Group took it over in 2015. He spiffed it up, but wisely kept the cherished old-school atmosphere.

It’s a place you walk into thinking: They don’t make ’em like this anymore. And thank goodness it’s still around.

Located on a side street in the Financial District on the edge of Chinatown and North Beach.

Located on a side street in the Financial District on the edge of Chinatown and North Beach.

The old-world dining room.

The old-world dining room.

At least that’s what I felt when I visited recently as a guest of the restaurant. Even though I’m a native San Franciscan, I’m embarrassed to admit this was my first time at the restaurant.

As we slid into the roomy booth in the old worldly elegant dining room, my husband, who normally orders a glass of wine or a beer at dinner, declared out of the blue, “I’m having a martini!”

Because these surroundings just inspire a thirst for that.

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