A Swedish Princess hits San Francisco for the first time
Dear fellow chowhounds! It is this time of year again. My medical conference looms up at the horizon, this time in San Francisco. My Princess accompanies me. This gentle creature is very amenable to good food, romantic surroundings, tons of useless luxury and shopping. I will transport her in style-International First, but that is on airline miles. Pickup w white camellias and bubbly in a s500L. Grand lodgings in a fireplace suite at the Marines Memorial Club. But that is tax deductible. Food and shopping is not. And I am poor. So I have compiled the following list of activities that I very much want my fellow peers´views on:
may 17th: Princess arrives late in the evening, gorged on First Class food and bubbly.
I arrive earlier and grab the happy hour at Farallon´s for food and the free happy hour at the Club for drinks.
may 18th: Have rented a mustang. Trip to the Polo outlet store in Gilroy. See my bank account drain. Arrive back for an early meal at happy hour prices at Farallon´s since it is close to the Club and princess possibly is jetlagged and hungover.
may 19th: Tour to Sonoma county and wines. Oyster happy hour at Waterbar until 6 PM Dinner at Alfred´s.
Then my conference starts 08-18 every day...
may 20th; Would love to go to the Reform Club at Specchio´s. Does anybody know if they hold court there that sunday?
may 21st Classical Tadich Grill for dinner
may 22nd: Canteen for dinner
may 23rd oyster and stout at Anchor and hope to 430, Grand Finale w tasting menu at Acquerello
may 24: Fly home. Broke again.
Could we do better when it comes to price/quality/amount of food ratio? Should we try the Club dining room instead of Tadich? Gitane instead? Suggestions for small off-the-beaten track romantic good wineries to visit in Sonoma?
Kindest rgds and tks. Promise to review our choices when we return.
Yes too far between those three(if they are where Google maps says they are). It will be an hour from Ravenswood to Healdsburg, and another hour to get out to the coast. I would advise dropping either Ravenswood or Wild Hog.
Some big, bold red recs off the top of my head:
Ridge (not a small winery, but very good, bold reds with balance and no "circus" atmosphere)
Zichichi (small and not very well known, very plum/dark fruit zinfandels)
Papapietro Perry (smooth cherry, fruit forward, full bodied pinots with balance)
Sbragia (out of the way near the top of dry creek, but nice smooth bold cabs and some zins, the most scenic winery of these recs)
Williamson - makes nice bold cabs and cab blends
Copain - (picturesque has different wines, some bold some not, but their Rhone varietals have nice smooth dark fruit)
Dutton Goldfield - rich, smooth fruit forward pinots with balance (just a tasting room though)
Lynmar - very nice grounds, pinots aren't heavily rich or fruit forward from what I can remember
Alexander Valley -
Robert Young - good cabs and whites
South Alexander Valley/Glen Ellen -
Deerfield - Bold red cabs and Cab blends(tasting room in caves)
Audelssa - Bold red cabs with balance (just a tasting room)
Tks a lot for the lovely suggestions-the sheer amount of wineries have blocked my thought process and to many of us Europeans our knowledge of what is good or not is extremely limited since we do not get that many californian reds here. We can have hundreds of different South Africans, but Sonoma is more difficult. 273 reds from California altogether, mostly Cline Ravenswood etc etc. We had Gemstone and Hirsch as well, but curiously no other wineries mentioned on chowhound.
By the way, could You possibly comment on my restaurant choices? Nobody else seems to want to do me that favour?
A tip to getting a feel for wines/wineries is to use cellartracker.com and you can pull up tasting notes for various wineries and wine regions. The aggregated scores are not much help unless the winery is at one extreme or another, but the users write pretty good tasting notes.
Yelp.com is a good place to get a sense of whether a winery is very crowded or has pretty grounds. The users, however, tend to provide incorrect/conflicting feedback on the wine itself.
On restaurants, I think those are fine choices though all rather seafood/american centric, one restaurant to maybe consider would be Aziza