Category Archives: Restaurants

Joanne Weir’s Easy, Elegant and Festive Endive Salad

The salad you need to make this holiday season.

The salad you need to make this holiday season.

 

Holiday dishes don’t get better than this.

It’s festive, chic — and unbelievably effortless. In short, everything you want when you want to impress, but are loathe to break out in a sweat to do it.

Leave it to the Bay Area’s Joanne Weir to come up with this dazzling “Endive Salad with Lemon Creme Fraiche and Salmon Roe.”

It’s from her new cookbook, “Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories From A Lifelong Romance with Food” (Oxmoor House), of which I received a review copy.

The cookbook is filled with the dishes that most influenced the life of this long-time PBS cooking show host, who cooked for five years at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, and now owns Copita in Sausalito.

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Three Things To Make the Holidays Easier and Tastier

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Apple-cranberry galette ($32) from Manresa Bakery. (Photo courtesy of the bakery.)

Pre-Order At Manresa Bread Bakery

Yes, Manresa Bread Bakery in Los Gatos is now taking online pre-orders for breads and pastries up to two weeks in advance.

For Thanksgiving orders, you can pick up your items anytime from Nov. 20 to Nov. 25. Just note that the bakery will be closed on Thanksgiving and the day after that holiday.

For those of you in Santa Cruz, you can even choose to pick up your items Nov. 25 at the bakery pop-up at Assembly in Santa Cruz.

The super-sized kouign-amann. (Photo courtesy of Manresa Bakery)

The super-sized kouign-amann. (Photo courtesy of Manresa Bakery)

Items that can be ordered ahead include baguettes, brioche rolls, almond croissants, apple-cranberry galettes, pumpkin loaves, pumpkin pie, and even a giant version of the kouign-amann ($28) that feeds 6 to 8 (or probably one in my case).

Stock Up on Pies and Cakes To-Go at Presidio Social Club

Up in San Francisco, Presidio Social Club is also making it easy to enjoy fresh-baked pies and cakes this holiday season.

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Splendid Squash

Imagine setting this dazzling dish down on your holiday table.

Imagine setting this dazzling dish down on your holiday table.

 

Come closer. Closer still. Come on, put those peepers right up to the screen.

Because This Is Squash. From “This Is Camino.”

Of course, that’s not the actual name of this gorgeous dish. But it might very well be because this is the only squash recipe you’ll need this season.

That’s how delicious it is.

The recipe for “Kabocha Squash and Grilled New Onion Salad with Yogurt, Pomegranate, and Almonds” is from the new cookbook, “This Is Camino” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.

The 100 recipes draw from the cuisine of Camino, the soulful farm-to-table Oakland restaurant run by Chef Russell Moore, who cooked at Chez Panisse for 21 years, and his co-owner and wife Allison Hopelain.

Much of the cooking at Camino is done on a wood-fired hearth in view of the dining room. The crackling flames kiss dishes such as “Grilled Squid with Tomatoes and Korean Perilla,” “Grilled Chicken Ballotine with Green Lentils and Parsley Root,” and “Grilled Fig Leaf Ice Cream with Grilled Figs.”

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Trokay — A Fine-Dining Surprise in Truckee

Kauai shrimp sizzling away on searingly hot granite at Trokay.

Kauai shrimp sizzling away on searingly hot granite at Trokay.

 

TRUCKEE, CA — In my youth, trips to Lake Tahoe didn’t involve sophisticated fare. Instead, it was all about burgers, pastas and Mexican food — hearty and inexpensive eats that filled you up after a hard day on the slopes.

But truth be told, it was also because those simple dishes were all that could be found then.

Not anymore.

Imagine my delight to find Trokay in Truckee, a fine-dining establishment versed in molecular gastronomy and true attention to detail that would be right at home in San Francisco or New York.

In fact, owners John and Nyna Weatherson are from New York. She was the head cheesemonger of the landmark Murray’s Cheese in the West Village. He is a Culinary Institute of America graduate, who was the top-ranked student in his class, and went on to be chef de partie at Restaurant Daniel.

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S’Mores and More at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe

Warm up with a gourmet s'more at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe.

Warm up with a gourmet s’more at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe.

 

TRUCKEE, CA — After a four-hour drive, what better way to stretch the legs (and arms)  than by making and devouring a gourmet s’more?

That’s just what my husband and I did after dropping off our bags in our room at The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, where I was invited to be a guest for its Epicurean Weekend two weeks ago.

We made it to the resort just in time, too, for its daily, early-evening “Marshmology” event on the terrace, which is not to be missed. After all, who can pass up house-made marshmallows in flavors such as caramel apple, orange, and pumpkin spice?

Marshmalogists are on hand to help you thread your chosen marshmallow on a long steel skewer, which you then hold over the nearby fire pit until it’s as gooey and charred as you like. Then, your Marshmalogist will help you squish the toasty marshmallow in between graham crackers and a piece of chocolate. Press down and take a sweet, messy bite. If that doesn’t make you feel like everything’s right in the world, nothing will.

Your friendly marshmalogist.

Your friendly marshmalogist.

Where all the action happens.

Where all the action happens.

The finished product. Oh, yes!

The finished product. Oh, yes!

Epicurean Weekend, the first weekend in October, is a slower time for the resort. It’s not yet winter, when the slopes are packed with skiers and snow-boarders (snow, notwithstanding). And it’s past summer, when hoards of mountain bikers aren’t careening down the barren slopes of next-door Northstar, though there were still a fair number that weekend.

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