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Portland, Oregon food blog with over seven years worth of recipes, restaurant features and food photos.

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Dinner in Yountville (Napa Valley)

Ad Hoc

Hey! We were on vacation last week in California. And, no, no, we didn’t go to The French Laundry (although, I am starting a campaign to do so on our 5th wedding anniversary) but we did go to Ad Hoc, one of Thomas Keller‘s other restaurants. Mmm!

Menu from April 29, 2010:

* TFL Garden Carrot & Butter Lettuce Salad – sugar snap peas, blonde frisee, crisp chickpeas, white cabbage, chive oil, diced jicama, ginger dressing

* Angus Beef New York Strip Steak – grilled scallions, fingerling potatoes, cilantro, fried hen egg, fresno chilies, sauteed baby rainbow chard

* Fresh Leaf-Wrapped Goat Cheese with assorted pickles and olives, maldon flatbread

* Banana Spring Rolls – valhrona chocolate sauce, coconut ice cream

Yeah, it was quite good. See the pictures below. Plus a few assorted images from wandering around Yountville, CA.

Ad Hoc
The menu and wine list comes in a folder.

Ad Hoc
Mmm, sourdough bread with big holes.

Ad Hoc
The first course.

Ad Hoc
The wine course.

Ad Hoc
Iconic cookbook cover and pig illustration.

Ad Hoc
The second course.

Ad Hoc
Supplemental beef marrow, toast & orange marmalade.

. . . → Read More: Dinner in Yountville (Napa Valley)

California: The Week in Pictures

California

Mostly pictures of our vacation to California last week. Very good as I am way tired. Goodnight. *snore*

Places mentioned –

Benbow Inn
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Boathouse Vacation Rental
Sea Ranch
Trinks
Redwood Grill

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Mussels with chorizo, tomato and tarragon at the Benbow Inn.

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Benbow Bridge over the Elk River

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More Elk River

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Benbow Inn

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View from our room

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Approaching the Golden Gate Bridge from the North

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On the bridge

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Sea horses at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Sea dragons at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Deck at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Assorted sea creatures at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Near the aquarium

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Willow Glen (San Jose) Starbucks at night

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Deck of our vacation rental in Anchor Bay (The Boat House)

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The front of the Boat House

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More front

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More deck (looking out over redwoods and the ocean)

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Trinks Coffeehouse in Gualala, CA

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Sea Ranch coast

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More Sea Ranch

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Stairs on the beach

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Tide pool

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Hanging out on Walk On Beach

. . . → Read More: California: The Week in Pictures

The Best Restaurant to Live Above: Flea Street Cafe in Menlo Park

flea street

Flea Street Cafe
3607 Alameda de las Pulgas
Menlo Park, CA 94025
650-854-1226

I have very fond memories of Flea Street Cafe in Menlo Park. You see, I used to live in an apartment above the restaurant. I would walk up the backstairs and smell all the amazing smells from the open kitchen door. In the summer, there was even a mini-farmer’s market in the parking lot. As if that all wasn’t enough — my studio apartment also had hardwood floors. All in all, it was a pretty great place to live.

When jwa & I ate dinner there, if we didn’t finish our wine — no problem, they would let us take it upstairs. Awesome. (This happened once — I think when we had 2 bottles, it’s not like jwa and I can’t drink a bottle of wine with dinner. Oh — we can).

This last trip to California, we scheduled it so that we could spend a night in Menlo Park (this actually turned into two nights, as he wanted to go to the Maker Faire — another post, perhaps). As we were there for a couple of nights, we couldn’t stay in Menlo Park without having dinner . . . → Read More: The Best Restaurant to Live Above: Flea Street Cafe in Menlo Park

Farallon Restaurant in San Francisco

farallon

Farallon
450 Post St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

One very good meal that we did have recently was with jwa’s parents at Farallon, in San Francisco. I loved the decor and the whole underwater theme, especially these very funky paintings they had throughout the restaurant. They had lights hanging from the ceilings that looked like jellyfish and other sorts of the life aquatic. In case you hadn’t figured it out — Farallon is mainly a seafood restautrant.

light

The evening started in the bar (as all fun evenings should) with cocktails such as a mandarin cosmopolitan for me and an appletini for jwa — shout-out to Scrubs! We moved to our table and after ordering, were treated to lobster bisque, served in little cups. I typically prefer to have my soups in bowls and not mugs but it was so delicious that I didn’t really mind.

bisque

The menu the evening that we were there was really hard to pick from, in that I wanted a number of different things. I’m going to keep each dish’s title in capital letters so that it doesn’t all run together in one big, tasty culinary text-mess. (I got rid of the . . . → Read More: Farallon Restaurant in San Francisco

Three Hotels in Four Days: The Plesantly Surprising, the Slightly Disappointing and the Pleasingly Serene

hotels

Hotel del Sol
3100 Webster
San Francisco

We liked this place a lot. And, more importantly, the price was right and it smelled of cookies while we were checking in. Try finding a reasonably priced hotel within walking distance of Fisherman’s Wharf that smells like freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies! Then, try to find one with some character and free parking. It takes a while and an excel spreadsheet for all the comparison and calculations, I tell you.

Our second choice was the Cornell Hotel de France mainly because of the price, the cuteness and the free restaurant meal the price included (which is supposed to be amazing). Alas, the restaurant was going to be closed while we were there so we decided against it. As this is, at heart, a food blog, I felt compelled to mention the Jeanne d’Arc restaurant and what would have probably been a delicious and memorable meal.

But…back to where we did stay. The Hotel del Sol is a remodeled 1950′s motor lodge type place with all neon, beachy, bright colors and mosaic designs all about. It’s touted as a “family-friendly” hotel so it’s not overly luxurious or romantic but it was a little funky and completely . . . → Read More: Three Hotels in Four Days: The Plesantly Surprising, the Slightly Disappointing and the Pleasingly Serene