The Fremont Diner — As Good As It Gets

Wednesday, 7. January 2015 5:25 | Author:

Grilled cheese and tomato soup perfection at The Fremont Diner.

Grilled cheese and tomato soup perfection at The Fremont Diner.

 

Sure, I have an appreciation for pull-out-all-the-stops tasting menus in which chefs maneuver and manipulate food into high art.

But it takes a place like The Fremont Diner to remind us all how wonderful the simple, the bare bones and the pared down can be.

I’m talking the perfect crumbly buttermilk biscuit you can’t wait to tear into, and a thick, spicy tomato soup served in a heavy coffee mug with a spoon — all enjoyed on a picnic table underneath a tented patio.

Surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards on the Sonoma side of the Carneros wine region, The Fremont Diner evokes nostalgia from the get-go with its rusty pick-up truck parked outside and its wood-slatted building with its swinging front-porch door.

Like stepping into the past.

Like stepping into the past.

The exterior.

The exterior.

The tented patio.

The tented patio.

My husband and I dropped by a few weeks ago, paying our tab at the end of a most soul-satisfying meal.

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Baby, It’s Stew Weather Out There

Monday, 5. January 2015 5:26 | Author:

Dig into a bowl of tender chicken, squash, pomegranate seeds and kale. What more could you want?

Dig into a bowl of tender chicken, squash, pomegranate seeds and kale. What more could you want?

 

Brrrrr. The perfect time to turn up the stove is when the temperatures dip.

After all, you not only warm up the house, but yourself, as well.

Especially if it’s with a one-pot dish that’s simple, comforting and loaded with good-for-you ingredients.

Let’s face it, we probably all over-indulged over the holidays. What better way to start a new year then with a cookbook that spotlights the nutritious ingredients of “Greens + Grains”? The cookbook (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy, is by my friend Molly Watson, a former staff writer for Sunset magazine. I’ve always loved Molly’s snarky sense of humor and no-nonsense way of doing things.

Greens + Grains_Cover.jpg.rend.sni18col

In her debut cookbook, she takes you through the world of grains and greens, giving advice on how to choose, store and cook them. Learn all about purslane to stinging nettles, buckwheat to millet, and everything in between. There are plenty of vegetarian recipes, but enough meat-based ones, too, to make this an ideal cookbook for anyone wanting to expand their plant-based eating in the new year without feeling deprived in any way.

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EXO — An Energy Bar With A Little Something Different

Friday, 2. January 2015 5:26 | Author:

There are about 40 crickets in each bar.

There are about 40 crickets in each bar.

 

Unwrap an EXO protein bar and you’ll find something unusual lurking inside.

Crickets.

Yes, these bars have an unlikely ingredient — flour made from ground crickets.

Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz got the idea for these unusual bars when they were in their final year at Brown University after discovering the health and environmental benefits insects have. Indeed, according to them, insects are a source of protein in 80 percent of the world. Moreover, crickets are low in saturated fat and contain more iron than beef.

They figured the easiest way to entice people to eat insects would be to put them in a form they readily understood — a bar. So, they enlisted the help of Chef Kyle Connaughton, former head chef of R&D at The Fat Duck in England and former culinary director of Chipotle, to develop the bars.

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Category:Chefs, General, Going Green and Sustainable, Health/Nutrition, New Products | Comment (0)

My Top 10 Eats of 2014

Wednesday, 31. December 2014 5:26 | Author:

Sokol Blosser Top 10

As we near the end of one year and ready for the start of a brand new one, allow me to toast my favorite dishes of 2014.

It’s never easy to narrow the list to just 10. But these are the tastes that lingered the most; the ones I’d want to eat all over again in a heartbeat.

Here’s my Top 10, listed in no particular order. I raise a glass from a lovely sample bottle of Sokol Blosser Evolution Sparkling, a blend of nine white wines, which give this method champenoise bubbly the complex flavor of apple, pear, peach and lemon. Here’s to all the chefs and restaurants that made 2014 so delicious and delightful.

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An Amuse Bouche to the 2015 Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Monday, 29. December 2014 5:26 | Author:

Southern ham done in the style of Iberico jamon -- served on a magically appears during a hiking tour of Post Ranch Inn.

Southern ham done in the style of Iberico jamon — magically appears during a hiking tour of Post Ranch Inn.

 

When you get a group of esteemed Master Sommeliers together, you know there’s going to be an abundance of fine wines uncorked.

When you get them together at Big Sur’s gorgeous Post Ranch Inn as a prelude to next spring’s Pebble Beach Food & Wine extravaganza, the drinking and dining are of the highest order and pretty much go on non-stop.

That’s what I was lucky enough to be privy to when I was invited as a guest to the soiree and to Post Ranch Inn a few weeks ago.

A room with a view at Post Ranch Inn.

A room with a view at Post Ranch Inn.

The Nest -- a sculpture that you can cocoon away in.

The Nest — a sculpture that you can cocoon away in.

Sierra Mar restaurant.

Sierra Mar restaurant.

Among the other guests at the two-night affair were: David Bernahl, founder of the Pebble Beach event; Lara Sailor Long, executive wine director for the event; Kim Beto of Southern Wine & Spirits; Shayn Bjornholm, education director for the Court of Master Sommeliers; Ian Cauble of SommSelect; Dominque DaCruz, wine director of Post Ranch Inn; Christie Dufault, former wine director at Restaurant Gary Danko; Seth Kunin of Kunin Wines; Jordan MacKay, wine and spirits writer; Carlton McCoy, wine director for The Little Nell in Aspen; and Larry Stone, estate director of Huneeus Vintners in Rutherford.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, Great Finds, Restaurants, Travel Adventures, Wine | Comments (4)