Foodie thank you present-best foodie day ever
So I need some guidance as to how to splurge on a foodie pal, she referred me to a wonderful job and she went out on a limb for me and I really want to give her a great night or weekend on the town.
Food is her thing. She enjoys small plates and organic food. I am not as aware of options. I need your help.
Dinner would be nice, but I would love to pair it with something, like a cooking class, or some type of food event. I am pretty out of touch in this arena. But this should be fancy..maybe a tour of some kind....I just don't know.
I want to thank her soon, so at the latests, the end of this month or early December. WE are located in Oakland but would be eager to go outside of the area. I am open and willing to drive 3-4 hours. I would be happy to do an overnight thing if it means she gets the best food experience of her life.
-She has taken her friends to wine country many times and sampled some great food, but I don't just want to copy what she has done for others.
I was thinking to spend between $150-$350, but could go higher.
I was considering
having us take a class at -Cheese School of San Francisco - www.cheeseschoolsf.com
or simply dinner at Chez Panisse
but that just doesn't seem good enough. So if you could have a great "foodie day" what would it be?
I am a creative person, but this is her area so I don't want to bust out black angus on her. Thank you for reading and I really do appreciate your help.
I recently took a friend on a 40th birthday foodie day in Berkeley. Not super fancy, but I did earn a "really fantastic birthday" note ;-)
here is what we did:
Bakesale Betty to share a fried chicken Sandwich and scones (get there by 11:15)
Cheeseboard Collective to try cheeses for a cheese course the next evening
Slice of pizza at The Cheeseboard Pizza
Shopped on 4th street and had ice cream from Sketch
Drinks and snack at Caesar
Light, early dinner at Chez Panisse Cafe (get on the list before drinks)
I wanted to take a class at Kitchen on Fire, but they didn't have anything that weekend that worked (http://www.kitchenonfire.com)
5098 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709
The Cheese Board Collective
1504 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709
Sketch Ice Cream
1809 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710
Kitchen On Fire
1509 Shattuck ave, Berkeley, CA
What about a food/farm tour culminating in a meal?
1) Hidden Villa Farm (Los Altos Hills) does a mushroom hike every month during the fall/early winter-- The next one is Dec. 1, and always sells out
Saturday, December 1, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Learn how to identify common families of mushrooms. Wade Leschyn of the Mycological Society of San Francisco discusses edible and poisonous varieties. If desired, bring a small basket for collecting specimens and a small knife. Hike contingent on weather. Space limited -- register early! Ages 10 and up only.
Location: Kiosk by the main parking lot
$10.00 per Person
2) Close by is Craig Murray's farm & stand with beautiful nightshades--you can walk through and pick your own produce as well as buying from the stand-- here's a link to the farm location: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&time=&date=&ttype=&q=Dori+Ln+%26+Robleda+Rd,+Los+Altos,+CA+94022&sll=37.36491,-122.13747&sspn=0.00955,0.018497&ie=UTF8&ll=37.367548,-122.13722&spn=0.00955,0.018497&z=16&iwloc=addr&om=1
3) About an hour away in Pescadero you'll find Harley Farms (delicious goat cheese)--from Los Altos it's a beautiful drive up Page Mill Rd and Alpine Rd towards the coast http://www.harleyfarms.com/
4) Drive up the coast and stop for fresh fish from the docks in Half Moon Bay. There are other good farms stands in the area for other veggies as well
5) Stop and pick up some wine at a local winery--perhaps Thomas Fogerty in Woodside or La Nebbia (formerly Obester) in Half Moon Bay
6) Prepare and enjoy your super fresh, local meal
There's also some great hiking around this area if you enjoy that sort of thing
that sounds great. I like the idea of a full day event that leads into a great meal. These are all such wonderful ideas and really fit within the budget and driving restraints. I am not 100% yet, but heading toward Ramekins. I really appreciate the amount of time everyone who has posted, is taking with my question.
How about a class at Ramekins in Sonoma -- some of their weekend "brunch" classes look like a lot of fun (chocolate with Alice Medrich!). Maybe for the afternoon you could arrange a tour of a winery in the area that's not usually open to the public, and then have a nice dinner. I'd be thrilled with a day like that!
re: Ruth Lafler
I have taken many classes at Ramekins and have liked them very much. They also offer special Chef's Table dinner/classes that sound really good -- they've been out of our budget range, but are within yours. The classes that we've liked have included sausage making (Bruce Aidells,) mozzarella pulling and forming (Cat Cora,) dim sum making (Joyce Jue,) danish pastries (Linda Sullivan,) breakfast breads (Craig Ponsford,) Mardi Gras foods (forgot teacher's name,) and turnovers, tarts and gallettes (Jennifer Millar.)
The facility is really nice and the price usually includes a small meal (usually the food you prepared) and two glasses of wine after the class.
The Chef's Tables are different -- they are smaller and include an elaborate dinner.
You may also want to look at a new cooking school in Healdsburg that I've just read about (never took a class there) and which looks quite interesting.
There's nothing until January, but June Taylor does Marmalade classes in Berkeley:
You could start the day with breakfast someplace nice (perhaps 900 Grayson, which opens at 8:00 on Saturdays) and then head over to the Still Room.
If you want to do something totally over the top, you could try: http://www.philoapplefarm.com/cook.html A mere $1,500 for two, but it is an entire weekend of food, cooking, and wine. The wait sounds prohibitive, but you could try for a cancellation.
I've taken her conserve class, and it's really wonderful (actually gave it as a gift to my best friend). The marmalade class is the one to do from what I've heard -- could be a terrific gift.
Cheese school SF isn't special enough IMO.
A food-loving friend really loves the classes at Tante Marie and I value her opinion.