Saturday, 5 July 2014

Victoria Day Weekend 2014 in San Francisco

San Francisco is one of those cities that we don't mid visiting every couple of years.  With Napa just an hour away and lots of great places to eat, what's there not to like?  2hung has a few friends that have recently moved out to San Francisco, so we took this opportunity to visit them along the way.

We started off the weekend with a nice breakfast at Craftsman and Wolves.  This is a beautiful cafe with delicious pastries in the Mission District.  They make a savoury muffin called the Rebel Within which contains a soft boiled egg in the centre.  It costs $7 but worth every penny.

Right next door was another unique store specializing in chocolates called Dandelion Chocolate.  We couldn't help but order another mocha even though we've just had coffees.  It would've been nice to take a chocolate class here.  Their mocha was rich but not too sweet.  Both stores were located inside this old factory-like building.  Very unique!

After a nice breakfast filled with lots of sweets, we headed to the Ferry Building and enjoyed lunch at the Hog Island Oyster Bar, another beautiful restaurant.  We ordered a dozen oysters on the half shell, an oyster po-boy and a clam chowder filled with fresh clams.

As if that wasn't enough food for one afternoon, I saw this huge line up at the Humphry Slocombe ice-cream stand, so I decided that we must try some of their ice-cream and I was right.  I ordered the Blue Bottle Coffee flavoured ice-cream and it was so creamy.  Probably some of the best ice-cream I've had in my life.  As per 2hung's friend, you can taste that it's expensive stuff.

The next morning, we rented a car and set out to visit Terence and Ruth in Dublin, CA.  Before we headed out, we had to make a couple of stops.  First was Philz Coffee.  This is a famous coffee chain in the Bay Area and they prepare each cup of coffee made to order.  You can choose from a wide variety of dark, medium and light roast coffee beans.  I chose the Jacobs Wonderbar, which is one of their most popular dark blends.  When they make your dripped coffee, they blend in the coffee with the milk/cream/sugar by pouring it between two cups a few times, and the coffee tastes extra smooth.

Next stop we made was at B. Patisserie to grab some pastries for the road.  This is an elegant little patisserie that I would enjoy any day of the week.  Their brioche was excellent and the other cakes were very tasty as well.

We spent a love day and evening in Dublin with Terence, Ruth and their new born baby girl, Keira.  Thanks so much for having us over and what a lovely meal!

The next day, we continued our journey drinking our way through Napa Valley.  Well, really we only made it to two wineries before we had to head to the hotel for dinner.  This time we chose to visit the Hess Collection and Sterling Vineyards.  Hess was a very nice winery, tasting room and an art gallery, so it's definitely worth a visit.  We first learned about Hess at the Wine and Food Show in Toronto a few years ago.  At that time, they didn't distribute their wines to Canada, but now LCBO carries their Allomi collection.

We stopped off at the Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa for some lunch before heading to Sterling.  We ate some burgers and garlic fries at Gott's Roadside, grabbed a delightful profiterole from Ca'Momi and a dripped coffee from Ritual Coffee Roasters all at the market.

Sterling was more of a tourist attraction with its tram ride and all.  The wines that we tasted were not particularly good.  I don't think we'll be returning to this winery the next time that we visit.

Dinner that night in Napa was our Michelin star experience of this trip.  We dined at La Toque which was conveniently situated in the Westin Verasa Napa where we were staying that night.  We each ordered three savoury dishes plus dessert and 2hung got the wine pairing.

 Appetizers were lobster and white asparagus.

 Second dishes were red snapper and ravioli.

 Mains were lamb and tenderloin.  I really enjoyed the tenderloin.

At the end of the meal, we were both full and satisfied.  This is one of those restaurants where you get good value for your money!  Being the first time at La Toque, Chef Ken Frank sent us home with an autographed copy of the menu as a souvenir.
The next morning we made it out to one more winery over at Beringer before we left Napa.  We did a short introductory tour of the Beringer Estate and tasted many wines along with a nice cheese plate.  After this stop, we headed back to the city where we met up with a couple of 2hung's ex coworkers, and then we were homeward bound the next morning.

Craftsman & Wolves on Urbanspoon Dandelion Chocolate on Urbanspoon Hog Island Oyster Company on Urbanspoon Humphry Slocombe on Urbanspoon Philz Coffee on Urbanspoon b. patisserie on Urbanspoon Gott's Roadside on Urbanspoon Ca' Momi on Urbanspoon Ritual Coffee Roasters on Urbanspoon La Toque on Urbanspoon

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