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A few good days in the Bay Area

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Deb and I spent last week down in Monterey/Carmel for Car Week. Monday morning we drove to SFO, returned the Corvette rental to Hertz and took the BART to the FiDI. Here are some short takes:

Yank Sing was a fun way to reintroduce ourselves to San Francisco. Dim Sum at 11:30 always works for me.

Barbacco on a Monday night is relatively quiet and relaxed. Sit at the bar, sample the braised squid, testa and whatever else piques your curiosity. You can always add more plates depending on your mood. Wines are good. Have your waiter help with pairings.

Anchor Brewery has a tour that starts at 10 a.m.. It sounded like a fine way to kick off a Tuesday. We spent close to two hours there gawking and sampling. W.C. Fields once said he would drink nothing stronger than beer before breakfast. I think he was on to something. Deb and I later regrouped at the Waterbar's lovely zinc bar to discuss the morning's events.

Tuesday's lunch was at Zuni Cafe. Burger for Deb, Oysters (Pacific Hog Island guys) and a Gibson for me. I followed that up with a pizza from their wood-fired oven. It was a ricotta salata pie whose crust was stunningly thin and properly charred. It was very good. Later, we took the "F" on Market to the Coach store so Deb could select a new purse and wallet.

Bar Crudo was our Tuesday dinner destination. I hadn't been to the new shop on Divisadero before but I knew small plates were in order after the day's events. We weren't disappointed. The crudo sampler was superb, I can still taste the arctic char and roe. The dash of wasabi was perfect. I can't say enough good about the head-on "devil prawns." The lobster salad was a generous plate. All-in-all, this was one fine experience. Wine selection was up to the task.

Wednesday's lunch was a pulled pork sandwich and beer at Oakland Coliseum. It was a gorgeous day for a game. The A's squandered an early lead but pulled it out in the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off single. Temperature was 68 degrees, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Nice.

Wednesday's early dinner was in Berkeley at Robert Lauriston's Locanda da Eva. The restaurant is an absolute gem: barrel-vaulted ceiling, original art hanging on the walls, soft tones, fabulous music (I swear he cribbed the playlist from my iPhone) and so on. Service was prompt and attentive. Food from the modest-in-size menu was very good. Deb and I shared the house-made bresaola and the pork trotter fritters. Deb's pasta, a rigatoni with pork/chicken ragu and mustard greens, was a home-run. We asked for the recipe. My pizza from the wood-fired oven was anything but traditional (braised pork with roasted gypsy peppers, mozzarella, Grana Padano, and chiles). It was, however, very good. Dessert was two scoops of gelati: chocolate and blackberry. I finished with a good-quality espresso. Let the record show that the wine list is well above average. Take some time and explore it. Ask for advice and you'll receive informed opinions. I like that.

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Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Bar Crudo
655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

Yank Sing
49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

Barbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Locanda da Eva
2826 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

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  1. Thanks for taking time to post. Though I live in the area, I've never visited Locanda de Eva and Bar Crudo and I've been wondering whether they'd be worth the drive from mid-Peninsula.

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    Bar Crudo
    655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

    1 Reply
    1. re: pilinut

      Both are worthy destinations. Give them a shot.

    2. You know you're on holiday when you have oysters and a Gibson for lunch. Then a nap :)

      Sounds like a great few days. Need to give daughter Amanda her marching orders. She always picks out something good for us --- and where we don't feel like the old fogies that we are.