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Three Places to Pick Up Holiday Sweets

Three types of holiday bredele are offered at Vitrine at the St. Regis in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Bredele at the St. Regis in San Francisco

When he was growing up in Alsace, France, Executive Chef Romuald Feger remembers his grandmother baking up to 50 pounds of bredele every holiday season.

These tender cookies are a cherished tradition that he continues to this day at Vitrine restaurant in the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco.

He makes three varieties: Anisbredele with green aniseeds for a distinctive taste; cocosbredele, made with dried coconut; and Basler Leckerli, a Swiss take on the delicacy featuring honey, candied orange and lemon peel, almonds, ground cloves, and cinnamon.

The bredele are served complimentary at the end of each meal at Vitrine throughout winter.

But this year, you also can purchase them through Dec. 31 to take home or to give as a gift. A package of $13 is $16; a pack of 26 is $32. Each pack is accompanied by the story of how Feger came to make them. Order them 24 hours in advance by calling (415) 284-4049.

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. Oh my! (Photo courtesy of the Cheesecake Factory)

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory

Indulge in a massive wedge of white chocolate cheesecake swirled with chunks of chocolate peppermint bark, and topped with white chocolate mousse and chopped peppermint candies.

It’s the latest seasonal offering from the Cheesecake Factory, available in its restaurants, for take-out and through online orders.

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Afternoon Tea at Craftsman and Wolves, Boozy Otter Pops & More

Not your ordinary afternoon tea at Craftsman and Wolves. (Photo by William Werner)

Craftsman & Wolves’ Spin on Afternoon Tea

When the very creative Pastry Chef William Werner decided to offer up a new afternoon tea at his Craftsman & Wolves patisserie in San Francisco, you knew it wasn’t going to be the usual staid cucumber sandwich affair.

Instead think apple gruyere scones, buckwheat crumpets, clotted cream and olive oil curd.

Not to mention beet root madelines and salt cod with brioche.

Choose either a pot of Naivetea’s oolong or tisane to go along with it all.

The menu will change with the seasons.

Afternoon tea, available Monday through Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., is $22 per person or $40 for two. Reservations are recommended by calling (415) 913-7713.

Some of the creative sweets and savories served with tea at Craftsman and Wolves. (Photo by William Werner)

Veteran San Francisco Chef Carlo Middione Hosts Two Special Dinners

Long-time Chef Carlo Middione and art connoisseur Daniel Friedlander are teaming up for two nights of wining and dining amid magnificent artwork in an 1908 landmark building in San Francisco, Oct. 18 and Oct. 20.

Middione who for decades owned the stellar Vivande and Vivande Porta Via, both in San Francisco, lost most of his senses of smell and taste four years ago following a car accident in which his small sedan was broadsided by another vehicle. Despite that, he’s still able to cook rather magnificently, as evidenced by the lunch he cooked for me when I profiled him two years ago for a story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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