Beautiful day, sunny with a chance of chill.
2346 Chestnut St
(between Divisadero St & Scott St)
San Francisco, CA 94123
The morning began with a stroll around the Marina. We had breakfast at Bechellis. I have to imagine this place has been a coffee shop even before it’s “established” date (1977). It’s nothing more than a greasy spoon. We ordered the Eggs Benedict with Fries and French Toast with Bacon. Nothing stood out…the eggs a bit over cooked and the hollandaise sauce was OK. Basically, it did the trick. The decor is pretty fun though, original wooden booths and U-shaped countertop. The photographs on the walls show earlier versions of the shop still attached to the movie theater next door.
400 Gate 5 Road
Sausalito, CA 94965-2807
After breakfast we jumped into our Black Mustang convertible, threw the top down and headed over the Golden Gate for a stop in Sausalito’s Heath Ceramics. Have I mentioned my love for this place yet? 😉 As you might know, I worked here while in graduate school in SF. We acquired many a beautiful thing because of this and it is our “china”. The factory, founded in the mid 1940’s, is filled with a long rich history and Edith Heath was a real pioneer in her field. She even invented the “safe” ashtray (with cigarette holders). Known for their tiles which have decorated many a Bay area locale, with new ownership, the servingware has become a mainstay in many homes all over the country. I can’t come to SF without stopping (and purchasing many new things) here. You know Heath from our little top logo! Because we were too busy visiting old friends and collecting new pieces, we didn’t take many pictures. But you can always go there yourself.
Frog’s Leap Winery
8815 Conn Creek Rd
Rutherford, CA 94573
After Sausalito, we took a nice stroll northeast to Napa. Sigh, it was a beautiful day. We decided on a drive up the Silverado Trail and we had one location on our destination list…Frog’s Leap Winery. My parents came here in 1998 and have been talking about the experience ever since. However, when we drove up we were surprised (happily!). I was always told about this tiny operation with one barn and very few employees. We drove up to a beautiful barn, a full working farm and a gorgeous Gothic style farmhouse. We walked around back to the porch that overlooks the Napa Valley and the western mountain range beyond. The tours, given 2 times a day, are informative and unique. We strolled around the grounds learning about their totally organic farming techniques (their chickens only eat the food they grow. And why chickens on a winery? Because they eat the bugs that the plants on the perimeter of the vines attract so they don’t have to use any pesticides) while tasting (oh who am I kidding, drinking) Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Merlot and Rutherford.
Picnic at Rutherford Hill
200 Rutherford Hill Rd
Rutherford, CA 94573
Rutherford Hill is, well, up on a hill and they have picnic tables and grills for use. After a wine tasting, we went to their grove to enjoy the lovely goods we purchased for consumption at The Ferry Building yesterday. From Cowgirl Creamery, we ate a Mt. Tam Triple Creme, Cypress Grove Cheve and a Roth’s Private reserve served with a baguette from The Chestnut Bakery, some Marshall Farm honey, picholine olives and a Boccalone sopresata.
The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111
Ok, where to start. Well, I’ve been here before and was BLOWN away on many occasions. But I think we were here on an off night? Or is it just one of those things like how you are not supposed to meet your heroes because they will only disappoint in real life? (go with me on this). Maybe I’d been here too much and now I know it too well? Whatever it is, it wasn’t amazing. It was good, it was tasty but it was nothing to write home about (incidentally, I am actually writing home about this – oh the irony!). Maybe I’ll torture myself and go back again someday…I just don’t want my love for this place to be tainted by this dinner! Also, because of epic wardrobe malfunction, I forgot the camera so had to use my trusty iPhone. The best part of the night? They serve off Heath,
- japanese yellowtail with crispy shallots and thai basil (WIN of the NIGHT!)
- barbecued willis ranch pork spareribs with honey-hoisin sauce (although the ribs were perfectly cooked they were smothered in too much salty sauce).
- grass-fed estancia shaking beef with sausalito springs’ watercress, red onions and lime sauce (although the beef was perfect and I get the pairing with the lime sauce, it was too overwhelming to enjoy)
- oven roasted liberty duck breast with pineapple, red pepper and shitake mushrooms (you all know how much we love duck. This was chewy and only had the flavor of the sauce).
- meyer lemon meringue tart (very good).