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Feb 16, 2010 08:33 PM

Check A San Francisco / Napa / Sonoma

Hello Hounds -

I'm repeating a trip I did down to your fair area last year, for a week of relaxing, reading, and eating ridiculously good food. Last year I read a lot of your reviews, but ran out of time to get feedback, and kept forgetting to post my reviews. This time I'm going to do better. :)

I'll be getting in mid-morning this Sunday, Feb. 21st, and leaving the following Friday afternoonish. I'll be headquartered in Yountville the whole time. You'll see a lot of driving below; I understand that. I don't own a car, so I find driving a rental a novelty. :)

So, without further ado, pending suggestions from y'all and my ability to get seats:

Sunday brunch: Top of the Mark
Sunday dinner: Something light I find at a market / bakery

Monday lunch: Shanghai Dumpling King
Monday dinner: Commis

Tusday lunch: Grazing from the Oxbow Market and friends
Tuesday dinner: Redd

Wednesday lunch: ?
Wednesday dinner: Auberge du Soleil (best meal I had in my life, last time)

Thursday lunch: Fremont Diner
Thursday dinner: Cyrus

Friday brunch: Yank Sing

A couple thoughts:

You don't see Brix or Bouchon here; that's because these were (by a considerable margin) the worst meals I had the last time I was down there. Bad service, too.

You don't see Ad Hoc on there. I'll look up their menu when I get in town, but so far, the times I've looked, it hasn't been inspiring. Also, is it a communal dining place? I got the impression it was (so it got crossed off for that), but maybe this is a mistaken memory?

Oh, and as for the un-foodie-ish Top of the Mark: I have a weakness for big, opulant, over-the-top brunch buffets. A defect in my character, I suppose. If you know a better one, though, I'm open to suggestions.

Last thing: wearing a tie on vacation is against my religion. I didn't find this a problem last year, though, and my memory was that the area was about as relaxed as Portland in that regard. Just a thought, though.

Thanks for any comments or suggestions!

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  1. You've done us a disservice by not stating where you went on your last trip. It would be silly to recommend places you've been, like or no.

    I would recommend replacing one of Redd, Cyrus, Auberge with Ubuntu, if the old crew will still be cooking there in a few weeks. Ubuntu is now a short-timer, and the three you've picked are all quite similar.

    5 Replies
    1. re: bbulkow

      Ah-hah. Good point. Last year, I went to: Top of the Mark, Yank Sing, Redd, Bouchon, Auberge, Bund Shanghai and Brix. I also stopped at Oxbow, Tartine, and the Bouchon bakery.

      1. re: bbulkow

        Perhaps Ubuntu should be put on the back burner for now.

        1. re: wolfe

          Or get it just before it's gone.

          Since you have an interest in Asian, I'd consider Jai Yun, search the boards. You'll get a more interesting slice of China than you had at Bund Shanghai or Yank Sing.

          Regarding over the top brunches, you should look at whatever the Ritz has. The Ritz generally has better food than the Mark Hopkins.

          1. re: bbulkow

            I don't think the Ritz is doing brunch any more. I think only the Palace and the Top of the Mark are doing big over-the-top Sunday brunches.


            1. re: waldrons

              I haven't had brunch at the Palace in a long while, but I was thinking of suggesting it just because I love the room....

      2. Commis is closed Monday and Tuesday.

        If you don't go to the French Laundry, you won't need a tie.

        1. Ad Hoc has "regular" tables.

          If you change your mind, go on a Monday night.