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Old 10-20-2014, 04:24 PM
ChowderMan ChowderMan is offline
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Default SFO Ideas

we're taking two days in San Fran - staying 'downtown' near Fishermans' Wharf - half of one day tied up with the Alcatraz tour.

three dining nights available - any suggestions?

following that is a Napa jaunt - we've booked etoile for our one night there - then John Muir & Sequoria Nat'l Park - suggestions/ideas/DUCK! stuff welcome!
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:21 PM
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QSis QSis is offline
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Default Re: SFO Ideas

I very much wish I could help, Chowder, but SF is on my bucket list.

Will you take and post pictures of your adventures???

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Old 10-20-2014, 05:32 PM
ChowderMan ChowderMan is offline
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Default Re: SFO Ideas

....bucket list

well, guess we're older (g) cause the redwood trees has been on DW's bucket list for a long time!

we have been uber fortunate in having our 'travel' funded / subsidized 'by others' - ie mostly business. we've seen so much of Europe / mid-Asia / north Africa, lived there for years, so we're hammering down the USA bucket items first. when we started talking about 'okay we're retired, where do you want to go?' the first issue that came up was 'we've seen so much of that, what's in our own backyard?'

I've got my own 'must do' for Yellowstone, rail ride to Alaska, meeting a few whales,,, so that's another trip.

pix? does a bear . . .
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:02 PM
ChowderMan ChowderMan is offline
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Default Re: SFO Ideas

Dinner at étoile - Domaine Chandon - Yountville / CA

Depending on which review site one reads, étoile outranks The French Laundry in the Napa Valley area.
We were able to get dinner reservations at étoile; The French Laundry web site has been under (re-)construction for mulitple weeks; The French Laundry does not answer the phone - so if you can get any attention from The French Laundry you could be in luck in getting a reservation, as apparently very few people are permitted any contact.

We had much better luck at étoile. The four course tasting menu is 98 USD per head - a bargin as really good restaurants go.
starters were:
- Beet salad w/ fourme d'ambert; petit greens; poached quince

- Veal sweetbreads w/ lentils; chanterelle; butternut squash - very nice flavor combination!

Followed by

- Pan seared Diver Scallop on a bed of mint w/ cauliflower florets and grapefruit nuggets. Delicious, well prepared, described as "diver scallop" but in reality much smaller - what we on the east coast call "sea scallop" size. Technically diver scallop are defined by "hand harvested" - an east coast default of hand selection is larger size.

For our main courses:
- Ribeye of Prime Beef w/ quail egg; celery root; bed of quinoa - absolutely splendid, perfect sauce, tender and very flavorful.

- Suckling Berkshire Pork - persimmon; golden raisins; radish+scallion medley - Berkshire is an 'heirloom' breed - pork 'old style' before pork was bred to be a lean 'other white meat' - if you have the opportunity to get Berkshire pork, it is very good - not to pass up.

Desserts changes frequently - DW did a chocolate confection which was stellar.

I had the Prickly Pear Sorbet - because I've not had prickly pear - very good stuff! garnished with a sliced/dehydrated/deep fried/salted slice of celery root - which did not work for me; toss the garnish, enjoy the sorbet.

Accompanied by a Matanzas Creek Merlot (2011) - as recommended by the sommelier to be a soft merlot - spot on; good recommendation, the man knows his stuff.

Various delectable amuse-bouche and very nice crusty rolls.
I have seen one scathing review about bad service; we did not see or experience that. Service was absolute excellent - Josie did a bang-up job of Q&A and attention without imposing.

Domaine Chandon has extensive, well tended gardens. Visiting in the fall, it was getting dark at our reservation time - the humming birds were out in full force. If you have time/daylight, walking the gardens is a good side visit.
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