Thursday, November 19, 2009

Arrival in San Francisco

As I wrote here the other day, I’m in San Francisco for the Harlan 25th anniversary dinner at the restaurant Poggio in Sausalito tonight. But, of course, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t had the chance to experience some of what else the Bay Area has to offer beforehand.

After getting settled in my beautiful suite at the historic (and just renovated) Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, I headed downstairs for drinks and snacks at Five, a fantastic new restaurant helmed by Executive Chef Scott Howard. If there’s a better way to relax in a new city than with a refreshing basil gimlet, orzo macaroni and cheese with tomato jam and crab, and chicken and waffles, then I haven’t found it yet. This was as comforting and satisfying after a cross-country flight as anything I’ve ever had.

Afterward, I met two friends for dinner at NOPA and, as always, was just blown away by the Pinot Noirs of Dutton Goldfield. In particular, the 2006 Devil’s Gulch bottling, with its deep cherry notes and gentle hint of smokiness on the finish worked perfectly with grass-fed-beef burgers topped with bacon and Gruyere cheese. The wine was light on its feet despite its concentration, and, after a brief stint in the decanter, just sang in the glass.

Friends, excellent wine, and fantastic food—what a great way to start the trip.


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