Relax with Spiced Wine — hot, cold or room temperature. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)
If all that cooking, entertaining and shopping over the holidays has run you ragged, it’s time you gave yourself a little present, don’t you think?
Here are a few definitely worth considering.
There’s little that’s more relaxing than kicking off your shoes with a glass of red wine after a long, hard day.
Imagine one crafted from Zinfandel, Syrah, Petit Syrah, Granache and a bit of Sauvignon Blanc brandy, and imbued with heady spices to snuggle up with.
That’s what you’ll discover in Spiced Wine by Spicy Vines, which Bay Area founders Crystalyn Hoffman and Anders Pederson modeled after mulled wine or glogg.
Surprisingly, the sample I tried was not the over-powering, ultra-alcoholic, hit-you-in-the-face sweet mulled wine I’m accustomed to. Instead, it’s quite balanced and enjoyable.
At room temperature, the orange, clove and cinnamon are quite evident on the nose. It’s a festive-tasting drink with good structure and flavors of warm baking spices and deep, dark fruit.
When warmed — which you can do easily in the microwave — the citrus become more muted and the tannins more present.
Randall Grahm’s latest endeavor sparkles.
Randall Grahm, the visionary behind Santa Cruz’s Bonny Doon Vineyard has always followed his own path.
When Chardonnay dominated, he fostered a thirst for lesser-known Rhone varietals.
When he opened his tasting room, it wasn’t in the faux Mediterranean style so en vogue, but a most quirky spot adorned with spaceships.
Now, leave it to him to think outside the box again by veering into the realm of hard-cider making.
His Bonny Doon ¿Querry?, which I had a chance to sample, is not your usual sparkling alcoholic apple cider.
The one and only Ramen Burger. (Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Grand Hyatt)
Ramen Burger in San Francisco
Yes, it sounds crazy. But you know you want it.
The Ramen Burger, the trend that got its start in Los Angeles, is now in San Francisco — but only for a limited time.
The Grand Hyatt San Francisco’s OneUP Restaurant & Lounge is serving this mash-up for lunch and dinner, but only through the end of September.
The bun is indeed made out of fresh ramen from a local noodle house. It holds a beef patty topped with mustard greens, cheddar cheese, smoked bacon and sriracha mayo.
The Ramen Burger is $18 and comes with fries.
Cook St. Helena Debuts Brunch Offerings
A favorite of locals and visitors alike, Cook St. Helena has debuted a Sunday brunch with Italian influences.
The nine-year-old restaurant waited this long to serve brunch because it wanted to get its liquor license first in order to offer Bloody Marys and other brunch cocktails.
Peach melba at Hopscotch in Oakland. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
New Sweets at Hopscotch
Hopscotch, the upscale diner in Oakland famed for its fried chicken, aims to satisfy your sweet tooth, too.
The restaurant, which serves American classics with Asian influences, just debuted a new dessert menu.
Among the treats to enjoy are: Peach melba with Greek yogurt sorbet, fresh raspberries and chervil; fig and almond tart with red wine sauce; and chocolate ganache cake with arare rice crackers and caramel sauce.
All desserts are $8.
Chocolate ganache cake. (Photo courtesy of Hopscotch restaurant)
The Mandarin Oriental Celebrates the Upcoming Moon Festival
Join in the commemoration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, typically held during a full moon close to the autumnal equinox, at a special event at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in San Francisco, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 20.
Try the frozen Fosters waffle from Waffle Amore at the upcoming Beta Tasting. (Photo courtesy of Waffle Amore)
Come Hungry to Beta Tasting in the South Bay
Dishcrawl, the creator of tantalizing foodie meet-ups around the Bay Area and beyond, is introducing a fun new event on May 2.
At “Beta Tasting,” folks will get a chance to vote on their favorite eats from 20 experimental dishes created by more than 10 food trucks from the Bay Area. The event will take place at a secret location in the South Bay that will be disclosed closer to the May 2 date.
Some of the new dishes to be unveiled include: ice cream taco by Treatbot, frozen Fosters waffle from Waffle Amore, lemongrass slider from Yummi BBQ, and veggie musubi from Rice Rockit.
Tickets to the event are $2 per person. Dishes will be priced from $3 to $5.
Lemongrass slider from Yummi BBQ. (Photo courtesy of Yummi BBQl)
Proceeds will benefit the Bay Area Mobile Food Vendors Association, a non-profit organization that helps support food trucks.
GIVEAWAY: Dishcrawl is generously giving away free tickets to any Food Gal readers who would like to attend the event. Just use coupon code: foodgalfriends.
Get Ready for Blind-Tasting Bingo
Yes, that would be playing bingo while blind-folded. How much goofy fun is that?
The San Francisco Cooking School and Edible San Francisco invite you to an evening of just that at 7 p.m. May 1.