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Cracked Dungeness crab at Alioto'sBy Marcia Gagliardi Let’s take a look at some dishes that come from San Francisco, mythical items that almost every visitor has on their checklist. (To be clear, while items like the focaccia at Liguria Bakery and the egg custard tarts from Golden Gate Bakery are superlative and local favorites, those dishes’ origins are not in San Francisco.) And don’t forget: if you want to try an It’s-It, you just need to visit a corner store and nab one on the fly. The question is: vanilla or mint chip? Dungeness Crab When local Dungeness crab comes…
TASTE News Service September 16, 2015 - This month, the iconic Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar, located at Fairmont San Francisco, will celebrate seven decades of delighting guests with tropical décor and island-inspired libations and cuisine. Tonga Room, the oldest continually-operating tiki bar in North America, opened its doors on September 18, 1945 and has reigned as a swanky outpost of South Seas splendor ever since.
TASTE News Service August 24, 2015 - With nearly 40% of its population being Asian, Irvine offers foodies true global cuisine, with a wide selection of delicacies from China, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam and other distant shores. Several restaurants that originated in Asia's Pacific Rim can be found at Diamond Jamboree, a unique Southern California retail destination that brings together a variety of cuisines and international flavors. Three such restaurants include; Curry House CoCo Ichibanya, Nagoya, Japan, Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle, Jinmen, Taiwan and 85°C Bakery, Bao-Ping, Taipei. Specializing in coffee, cakes, and breads, 85°C Bakery opened in Irvine in…
Japanese-influenced Rintaro is on Top 50 list. photo: Aya Brackett TASTE News Service, August 15, 2015 - Bon Appétit  magazine has named San Francisco “The Best Food City in the Country Right Now.” Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appétit's deputy editor, wrote that “Over four days and 15 meals, San Francisco proved itself on culinary fire in 2015 . . . I don't think I've ever experienced such a concentration of exciting and invigorating restaurants in a single year, in a single season. Not even in New York.” “Yep, the city's eating scene is having a great year. I'd say it's time…
El Celler de Can Roca By Dan Clarke Earlier this month an internet news link caught my eye. It had to do with the announcement of a 2015 list of the world’s best restaurants. Of course I had to find out more. How many of the honored establishments would I have read about? Might I actually have eaten a meal at one? Likely not, I thought, but maybe there would be a California restaurant among the winners we could tell you about. Whose life would be so charmed that he could dine in enough of these great restaurants to form…
Sonoma County chefs John Stewart and Duskie Estes have fun at Chef's Holiday TASTE News Service June 27, 2015 - Yosemite is approaching its 125th anniversary of becoming a National Park and, while justly famed for its natural beauty, the Park and surrounding area also justify a gustatory reputation. Here are some aspects that our culinary-oriented readers might enjoy: Chef's Holidays at The Ahwahnee Yosemite's Chefs' Holidays at The Ahwahnee, held each year in January and February, feature some of the world's most innovative and acclaimed chefs. This Northern California cooking adventure provides a showcase for the range of styles,…
Urban and airy feeling at Ella TASTE News Service May 4, 2015 - Local, seasonal, sustainable: These may be culinary buzzwords in many places, but Sacramento restaurateurs have been cooking by these principles for decades. Surrounded by unparalleled agricultural bounty, Sacramento's restaurants showcase the region's best products, from juicy tomatoes to lush old-vine Zinfandel, sweet peaches to crisp corn, nutty almonds to succulent lamb. That cornucopia inspires Sacramento's talented chefs year-round, and the city's dining scene—especially in the convenient, central downtown and Midtown areas—has boomed in recent years. The city's fresh, new dining venues and its longtime favorite haunts alike…
A peek through the window at Benu TASTE News Service May 3, 2015 - It's been a banner year for San Francisco, and not just for the World Series Champion Giants. The city has received high praise for its restaurants from a variety of esteemed sources. Travel + Leisure In Travel + Leisure magazine's November survey of America's Favorite Cities, San Francisco came in first for Wine and second for Wine Bars. According to the editors, “A culinary scene to rival New York City's, eye-popping design, and a laid-back, outdoorsy ethos are just three reasons to visit San Francisco right…
Prince of Porc David Bazirgan TASTE News Service April 16, 2015 — Cochon US Tour has announced the SF winner of the 10-city traveling culinary competition. Chef David Bazirgan of Dirty Habit was crowned the Prince of Porc on Sunday, April 12 at Fairmont San Francisco and advances to Snowmass/Aspen for a double-hit weekend in June, including Grand Cochon and Heritage Fire. Going on its seventh year, Cochon 555 showcases the best bites, chefs and who’s who of the good food movement. The signature event featured an all-star lineup of chefs, judges and sponsors to celebrate family farms, heritage breed…
By: Esther Tseng  Dining in West Hollywood offers even more options than you might realize. We’re not just talking about that coffee house or happy hour that you’ve been meaning to try— your favorite restaurants may offer some off-menu items at that you never even knew about! These insiders-only dishes at five of West Hollywood’s best restaurants reveal the secret side of West Hollywood’s legendary restaurant scene: BOA SteakhouseBOA Steakhouse is famous for its steaks, but it also offers some secret, off-menu protein dishes that showcase the restaurant’s versatility. Seafood lovers shouldn’t miss the charred octopus taco topped with tangy…
Team USA Coach Gavin Kaysen, Chef Skylar Stover, Chef Philip Tessier, David A. Bernahl II, Thomas Keller, Daniel Bouloud, Jérôme Bocuse and Executive Director Young Yun at the 2015 Bocuse d'Or in Lyon, France. photo: BKB FoundationTASTE News Service March 6, 2015 - Pebble Beach Food & Wine,  now in its 8th year, brings some of the world’s most revered culinary talent to the Monterey Peninsula. This year’s edition, held April 9-12, will feature more than 100 celebrity chefs and 250 wineries, who will come together to showcase a weekend of dinners and chef collaborations, tastings and cooking demonstrations. Coastal…
Sheep graze in the early winter vineyard TASTE News Service October 14, 2014 - Taverna Sofia in Healdsburg, California has won the gold medal in the annual 2014 Sonoma County Harvest Fair Restaurant Competition for Best Entrée, serving Shannon Ranch lamb meatballs with tzatziki sauce. "I think it is great," says Clay Shannon, owner of Shannon Ridge Family of Wines and Shannon Ranch. "Not many ranchers can say that their employees taste so good that they win gold medals!" Shannon Ridge Family of Wines has a unique workforce. This Lake County operation is the largest scale vineyard in the United…
TASTE News Service August 2, 2014 - San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery was recently named one of the 25 bakeries to should visit before you die. While the popularity of their morning buns and the long lines their country bread creates every morning are well known, Tartine is not the only bakery in town that is a bread winner. Below is a list of some of the best bakeries in San Francisco by neighborhood (including Tartine).   Bernal Heights Sandbox Bakery833 Corltand Avenue, http://www.sandboxbakerysf.com/From the former pastry chef of the James Beard Foundation Award winning Slanted Door, Sandbox Bakery was originally…
Cioppino, a San Francisco tradition TASTE News Service August 1, 2014 - The Simmons family's restaurants in San Francisco (Fog Harbor Fish House, Wipeout Bar & Grill and Pier Market Seafood Restaurant) have announced the completion of a two-year transition resulting in menus that now showcase all sustainable seafood offerings aligned with the Monterey Bay Aquarium's "Seafood Watch" guidelines. Comments Scooter Simmons, “We undertook this transition based on a commitment to best practices, even in the absence of any specific demand from our customers. It was important to our family and everyone in our company to do the right thing…
Over-the-water dinner setting by Dan Clarke Sacramento has declared itself the leader in a category which has no universal definition, no absolute standards. However, a persuasive case can be made that this city in the most agriculturally productive state in the U.S. deserves the title “America's Farm-to-Fork Capital.” Sacramento is surrounded by farmland. Chefs in Sacramento have ready access to raw ingredients that their brethren in bigger and more glamorous locations could only dream about. In the past Sacramento suffered the reputation of being a cultural and culinary backwater. Local radio personalities called the city “Sacra-Tomato” (and this was not…
By Sheryll Alexander Celebrity Chef Brian MalarkeyMondrian’s long-running Asia de Cuba food and beverage offerings are no more as celebrity chef Brian Malarkey of BRAVO’s Top Chef and ABC’s The Taste has brought his acclaimed Herringbone restaurant to this landmark Sunset Strip hotel in West Hollywood. Herringbone (part of James Brennan’s Enlightened Hospitality Group) showcases what it calls “ocean-to-table global cuisine.” WeHo’s award-winning designer Thomas Schoos is behind Herringbone’s new look. Guests can expect organic glam throughout the hotel’s famed indoor-outdoor space. Some of the rather eclectic designs include a long bar made from upside down lobster traps, chandeliers made…
  Stefan is flanked by new owners Jan and AndySAN FRANCISCO (December 24, 2013) - The new year will mark a new chapter for San Francisco's oldest German Restaurant. The 120-year old Schroeder's Café will close its doors on January 1 for a three-month renovation reflecting a change in ownership and a culinary refresh. Originally opened in 1893, the Bavarian inspired beer hall has seen many reincarnations and relocations throughout the city, including a move following its destruction in the 1906 earthquake. Current owners Jana and Stefan Filipcik will “pass the stein” to Jan Wiginton and Andy Chun, the owners…
  Carole and Santos MacDonal of Il Cortile November 25, 2013 (Paso Robles, CA) - Il Cortile’s Chef Santos MacDonal is highlighting fall flavors with his new menu, including those of white truffles. The Paso Robles restaurant's new seasonal menu was created to emphasize locally and regionally-sourced ingredients for their homemade pastas, seafood and meats. Gnocchi and risottos are made from scratch daily. These can include Kabocha squash gnocchi (homemade kabocha squash gnocchi on a bead of parmesan fonduta with a brown butter sage sauce), Fettuccine di coniglio (fettuccine with slow roasted rabbit in a white wine herb sauce), Cervo…
  An unusual snowstorm adds wintry charm to the Calaveras County town of Murphys Murphys, California November 25, 2013 – Murphys native Maya Radisch is opening Roquefort, a new restaurant emphasizing organic, local and GMO-free ingredients. While the official grand opening is not happening until January, the new menu will be launched during the winter festival on December 6th. On this date the town shuts down the streets and local residents and visitors walk the town to experience a “taste” of Murphy’s. Every year on the first Friday in December, Murphys celebrates the holiday season with a community Open House…
  Chef Robbie Wilson and wife Emily Perry Wilson join Ali and Charles Banks in toast to new venture. (Kara Block Photography) Los Olivos, CA November 13, 2013 - Los Olivos, the small township at the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country, recently celebrated the opening of Mattei’s Tavern, a restaurant housed in an historic stagecoach stop originally founded in 1886. Felix Mattei, the property’s first restaurateur and hotelier, provided sustenance to travelers in the early days of the Southland. New owners, Charles Banks and wife, Ali, (Terroir Selections, Mayacamas Vineyards) and Chef Robbie Wilson and wife, Emily Perry Wilson,…
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