Tag Archives: San Francisco

Chocolate for Halloween and Beyond: Recchiuti Confections truffles & Chocolate on Pacific’s 20th anniversary

Calavera Truffles Collection, photo credit: Recchiuti Confections

I have sweet news from San Francisco-based Recchiuti Confections and Santa Cruz-based restaurant Chocolate.

Recchiuti Confections

Recchiuti Confections makes small batch chocolate using traditional European techniques and chocolate from Guittard, El Rey, and Valrhona. Their Calavera Truffles collection launched late last month just in time for Halloween. This collection ($22, available in-store and online) consists of eight pieces of Recchiuti Confections’ signature burnt caramel truffles. They are decorated with hand-placed artwork of the calavera, “meaning ‘skull’ in Spanish, symbolizing the celebration of ancestors and vibrant journey of life,” says a Recchiuti representative. On Oct. 29, the company is releasing a similar truffle box but this one is “fall-themed.” Also priced at $22 for eight pieces, Autumn Harvest Truffles have founder/chocolatier Michael Recchiuti’s signature burnt caramel truffles topped with visuals of autumn-inspired greenery. If you find yourself falling in love with the caramel flavor (as I did when the company kindly sent me a sample), you should know there is a scrumptious-sounding Burnt Caramel Sauce available as well — $12 for a nine-ounce jar. Recchiuti’s web site recommends serving over your favorite dessert or eating by the spoonful.

Store locations are One Ferry Building, Shop #30 (415-834-9494) and 801 22nd St. (415-834-9494), San Francisco. Visit recchiuti.com for details or to order online.

Chocolate

Restaurateur David Jackman is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his Santa Cruz restaurant Chocolate with a dinner and party from 5-9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3. The event will feature live music, and attendees can choose a family-style dinner for $35 (or four for $120) or can order from the regular menu. Visit eventbrite.com for tickets and more information. The family-style dinner will include appetizers, antipasto, hot and cold entrees, a special birthday cake, and assorted chocolate mousse truffles. All seating will be at tables for six to nine guests seated together. Cocktail servers will have trays with drinks for an additional fee.

If you’re unfamiliar with Chocolate, the traditional menu includes lots of fabulous desserts plus savory dishes like spicy chocolate BBQ roast pork, or chicken mole made with Mary’s free-range chicken braised in mole sauce made with organic bittersweet chocolate. Mole lovers have the choice of poblano (roasted sweet peppers, peanuts, chocolate, garlic, and chipotle pepper) or Oaxacan (plantains, peanuts, almonds, chocolate, and five kinds of spicy toasted chiles). The restaurant is also renowned for its hot chocolate menu with about a dozen options, such as a dark chocolate/milk chocolate/cardamom combination and drinks with Mexican or Belgian chocolate. See chocolatesantacruz.com.

Location: 1522 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 831-427-9900

 

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Special Mother’s Day chocolate gifts: Recchiuti Confections, Ashby Confections

Mother’s Day Truffle Collection.
Photo Credit: Recchiuti Confections

Fancy, delicious chocolate is a perfect Mother’s Day gift—San Francisco-based Recchiuti Confections and Scotts Valley-based Ashby Confections have many offerings to choose from.

 

Recchiuti Confections

Recchiuti Confections handcrafts their recipes in small batches using traditional European techniques. They blend chocolate from Guittard, El Rey, and Valrhona to create “signature flavor profiles.” Store locations are One Ferry Building, Shop #30 (415-834-9494, and 801 22nd St. (415-834-9494). Here are a couple current selections; there are lots more options on the web site including items for fruit- and or nut-lovers, and a “sauce duo” with flavors Extra-Bitter Chocolate and Burnt Caramel. Visit recchiuti.com for details or to order online.

  • Mother’s Day Truffle Collection: this is a best-selling truffle assortment available both in store and online. The 8-piece collection ($26) holds one piece each of Kona Coffee, Sesame Nougat, Rose Caramel, Piedmont Hazelnut, Ginger Heart, Bergamot Tea, Burnt Caramel, and Candied Orange Peel. The Burnt Caramel piece is topped with a sweet Mother and baby bird design. I had the opportunity to receive a complimentary sample of these truffles; they were unique and wonderful. The Kona Coffee was my favorite, so rich!
  • Sharing Gift Box (just under 2 pounds, $110): If you want to give Mom a gift that she might share with you, try the aptly named “Sharing Gift Box.” It includes a Sepia Truffle Box, Fleur de Sel Caramels, Cacao Nib + Fleur de Sel Mendiants, Malted Dark Milk Revolutions, Dragée Sampler, Dark Milk Bar, Semisweet Bar, and Bittersweet Bar. This is only available online.

Ashby Confections

Jennifer Ashby makes her Ashby Confections treats from scratch, in small batches. Everything is 100 percent handmade. Ashby exclusively uses locally sourced organic chocolate from Guittard and White Label Chocolate, and Clover Organic dairy products. Fruits, herbs and spices are fresh, organic and sourced locally whenever possible. Her store is at 16C Victor Square, Scotts Valley, 831-454-8299. Here are a couple current selections; there are many more options such as sea salt caramels, sour fruit strips and pates de fruits (fruit jellies). All of Ashby’s fruit confections are made with only five ingredients. Visit ashbyconfections.com for details or to order online.

  • Assorted Chocolate Boxes ($13.99-$63.99): Four-piece assortments are available in choice of milk or dark chocolate. The five, 10- and 25-piece collections are a combination of milk and dark.
  • Tortoises ($8.99): There are seven varieties (including choice of milk or dark chocolate, and additions like Monterey Bay Sea Salt) and this is one of Ashby’s most popular products. They come in pairs, and are all made with roasted pecans, and their original handmade caramel recipe.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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A few restaurants in Napa Valley and San Francisco for Thanksgiving 2015

An August dinner entrée at Michelin-starred Luce, which will offer a three-course prix-fixe Thanksgiving menu Credit: Luce Restaurant

An August dinner entrée at Michelin-starred Luce, which will offer a three-course prix-fixe Thanksgiving menu
Credit: Luce Restaurant

It’s less than a week to Thanksgiving; if you’re planning to dine in San Francisco or Napa Valley, here are a few restaurants to consider.

Napa Valley
Lucy Restaurant & Bar at the Bardessono hotel and spa in Yountville is offering a four-course holiday dinner ($90 adults, $40 kids under 10). As always, it will be fresh, garden-inspired cuisine. The menu features traditional holiday dishes that incorporate a twist, with sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients picked fresh from the onsite culinary garden when possible. First course choices include carrot salad with confit carrots, carrot chips, curry shallot dressing, and carrot fronds; and roasted pumpkin soup with pomegranate and nutmeg crème fraîche. Second course choices include butternut squash risotto with caramelized pears. Entrée selections are turkey with marjoram and brioche stuffing; house-cured honey ham with cabbages and little potatoes, whole grain mustard and caramelized pear jus; and pan-roasted sturgeon with brussels sprouts, napa cabbage, house cured bacon, and dijon beurre blanc. For reservations call 707-204-6030 or visit OpenTable. If you decide to make your special holiday feast part of an overnight getaway, you’ll be happy to know the Bardessono is an eco-conscious LEED Platinum-Certified property.

San Francisco Restaurants
Luce Restaurant

Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco will feature a 3-course prix-fixe menu for Thanksgiving. Michelin-star Chef Daniel Corey is offering a seasonal selection of items like winter squash with whipped ricotta, butternut marmalade, and pomegranate; slow-cooked turkey breast with sage and rosemary, brussels sprouts, and potato puree; and diver scallops with celery root and navel orange confit and green olives. Dessert options include bread pudding; sticky toffee pudding; and chocolate cheesecake. Cost is $85 per person; $45 for kids (4 – 12 years). Pricing excludes tax and gratuity. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 415-616-6566 or visiting Luce’s web site.

Presidio Social Club
Presidio Social Club will be offering a prix-fixe Thanksgiving dinner from 11am-5pm for $60/person. This year’s menu will include kale salad with pomegranates, apple, and pumpkin seeds; cauliflower soup with roasted chestnuts; turkey with wild mushroom and sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce; pumpkin pie; and bourbon chocolate pecan pie. Call 415-885-1888 or email info@presidiosocialclub.com for reservations.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
Thanksgiving brunch and dinner are available at Top of the Mark. Presented by Chef Nenad Stefanovic, the buffet will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will feature breakfast selections (from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.), antipastos, raw bar, salads, soups, desserts, and more. Seasonal specials include smoked duck breast with grilled persimmons, toasted pumpkin seeds and fig compote; sherry-molasses roast beets with allspice crème fraiche, candied walnuts and tondo, pickled butternut squash and pancetta jam; and roasted free range turkey with orange-cranberry sauce and giblet gravy. Desserts will include traditional holiday delights along with pumpkin foster martinis with diced pumpkin, apple brandy, cinnamon sugar and graham cracker cookie ice cream. In addition to the feast, entertainment will be presented by Michael Athens and Ricardo Scales on piano and a “Little Explorer” petting zoo will be in the lobby from noon to 4 p.m. Top of the Mark’s Thanksgiving brunch and Thanksgiving dinner cost $119 per adult and $59 per child (ages 4-12). Reservations are required at 415-616-6941.

One Market Restaurant
One Market is serving a three-course prix fixe menu by Chef Mark Dommen. The four first course choices include artichoke soup with hazelnuts, garlic flan, and lemon balm; and beet carpaccio with radish, chèvre, and sherry vinaigrette. Four entrée selections include roasted turkey with cornbread-sausage stuffing, root vegetables, and shallot-thyme gravy, and mushroom risotto with yuzu, pine nuts, and scallions. Three dessert selections include triple layer sugar pie pumpkin cheesecake with ginger-mascarpone ice cream. The price is $74 per adult and $39 per child 10 and under. Please call 415-777-5577 or visit OpenTable for reservations.

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Restaurants for Easter in San Francisco and the East Bay

Top of the Mark in San Francisco is serving an Easter Brunch bruffet

Top of the Mark in San Francisco is serving an Easter Brunch buffet

Dining out for Easter 2015? It’s this coming Sunday; here are some restaurant highlights for San Francisco and the East Bay.

San Francisco Restaurants
A16

A16 will host a festive Easter brunch and dinner featuring with creations from Executive Chef Rocky Maselli. For brunch, A16 will offer the restaurant’s regular a la carte menu plus traditional Italian Easter staples like Verdetto. This is a dish from Bari in Italy’s Puglia region where young lamb is braised in white wine until tender; the sauce is thickened with a mixture of egg and grana padano, served with snap peas and English peas and shoots. A16 will be open from 11am-9pm. For more information on A16 San Francisco or to make reservations, visit www.a16sf.com or call 415.771.2216.
Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
Top of the Mark Executive Chef Nenad Stefanovic presents the annual Easter buffet on Sunday, April 5. Guests will enjoy a selection of raw bar items, antipasto, salad, and small plates including roasted marinated beets, with goat cheese, walnut oil and roasted heirloom tomato gazpacho. Entrée selections include pesto marinated sliced strip loin of beef with potato timbers, jasmine tea demi; muscovy duck l’orange with roasted parsnip; and grilled dorado with white bean mash and tomato relish. Brunch favorites can be had at the omelet station and a build-your-own-buttermilk waffle station. Guests of Top of the Mark’s Easter brunch will enjoy entertainment by pianist Ricardo Scales, and a special visit from the Easter Bunny. Reservations can be made by calling InterContinental Mark Hopkins: 415.616.6940.  Easter brunch is served from 10am – 2pm; Adults are $119 and children between the ages of four and 12 are $59. Visit www.topofthemark.com.

Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco
Luce will feature an Easter brunch buffet on Sunday, April 5, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Michelin-star Chef Daniel Corey is offering a selection of dishes including chilled poached prawns with a spicy cocktail sauce, herb & garlic roasted tenderloin of prime beef with au jus horseradish and salsa verde, and traditional brunch items such as french toast with banana and whipped cream. Pricing is $75 per person (including bottomless mimosas), $45 per child 4-12 years (4 and younger are free). This excludes tax and gratuity. The traditional Luce a la carte breakfast/brunch items will also be available Easter morning, but only until 10:45 a.m. Reservations can be made by calling 415.616.6566 or visiting opentable.com. Learn more about Luce at lucewinerestaurant.com.

Presidio Social Club
Presidio Social Club will be offering an Easter feast on Sunday, serving both brunch and dinner. Offerings include sea salt baked ham and roasted leg of lamb with spring vegetables.  You can top off the experience with wine, champagne, or specialty cocktails from the PSC Bar. Call 415.885.1888 for reservations. Learn more at presidiosocialclub.com.

Central Kitchen
Highlighting a traditional Easter feast, Central Kitchen invites patrons to celebrate Easter with a three-course family-style dinner for $65 per person featuring lamb. Guests are also welcome to enjoy Easter Brunch, offered from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Central Kitchen’s brunch menu features sweet and savory delights. From a Medjool date sticky bun to fried chicken benedict, and french toast bread pudding to the CK brunch burger, there is a wide array of dishes. Also available: seasonal Bellinis made with Mercat Cava, a beer float with Death and Taxes black lager, and fresh-squeezed mimosas. Reservations can be made at 415.826.7004 or opentable.com. Learn more at centralkitchensf.com.

OneUP
OneUP, located at the Grand Hyatt in SF in Union Square, is serving a 3-course prix-fixe Easter Brunch with a glass of champagne or mimosa for $60 per person.  Call 415-848-6187 or visit opentable.com for reservations. Learn more about the restaurant at hyatthotels.hyatt.com/corporate/restaurants/oneup/en/home.html.

East Bay
A16 Rockridge

A16 Rockridge in Oakland will offer special brunch and dinner offerings by Chef Rocky Maselli. For brunch, A16 will offer the restaurant’s regular a la carte menu plus traditional Italian Easter staples like Verdetto. This is a dish from Bari in Italy’s Puglia region where young lamb is braised in white wine until tender; the sauce is thickened with a mixture of egg and grana padano, served with snap peas and English peas and shoots. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.a16rockridge.com or call 510.768.8003.

FIVE
This Easter Sunday, join FIVE at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley for a special a la carte menu from chef Stéphane Tonnelier. Dishes include both savory and sweet items, such as duck confit and potato galette; crab omelette; orzo ‘mac and cheese;’ eggplant parmigiano soufflé, honey mustard glazed ham; and chocolate chip pancakes. Contact opentable.com or 510.225.6055 for reservations. Visit five-berkeley.com for details.

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San Francisco restaurant A16: female guest chefs & wine experts for International Women’s Day

A16 in San Francisco

A16 in San Francisco

A16 is hosting its 10th annual Festa della Donna celebration on Sunday, March 8, 2015. The dinner will feature southern Italian fare from prestigious Italian chefs Laura Brunelli and Rosetta and Maria Costantino. Make reservations at 415-771-2216 or a16sf.com. Note that walk-ins are also welcome.

Location: A16, 2355 Chestnut Street (at Scott), San Francisco

Women winemakers from California and Italy including La Colombera’s Elisa Semino and POE Wines’ Samantha Sheehan will be pouring throughout the evening.

Each year, A16 serves a special dinner honoring women in food and wine and donates a portion of the proceeds to La Cocina, an organization that helps low-income entrepreneurs formalize and grow their businesses. Learn more at lacocinasf.org.

Festa della Donna, or International Women’s Day, commemorates the women who were killed in the 1911 Triangle Shirt Waist Factory Fire in New York and recognizes the achievements of women past and present.

“International Women’s Day is widely celebrated in Italy and many other countries around the world as a ‘Girl’s Night Out’ where we honor women and support our community,” says A16 co-owner/ wine director Shelley Lindgren. “We have some very talented and amazing women sharing their gifts with us this year.”

Attendees will enjoy a special selection of dishes such as Rosetta and Maria Costantino’s Polpette di Ricotta and Laura Brunelli’s Tortelli di Bieta. The restaurant’s normal a la carte menu will also be available. Lindgren will be present on Sunday to showcase a selection of California and Italian wines by the evening’s featured winemakers.

Details on the women involved with March 8 event:
Laura Brunelli
Owner of the world-famous in Sienna restaurant Osteria Le Logge and Tuscany’s Gianni Brunelli winery, Brunelli creates wine with organic farming methods. She has generously shared her recipes for A16 to prepare at Festa della Donna.

Rosetta and Maria Costantino
Mother and daughter Rosetta and Maria Costantino are this year’s celebrated chefs. They will serve some of their springtime specialties highlighting their Calabrian heritage. The Constantinos grow their own produce, make their own ricotta, and cure their own salsiccia calabrese and have created two Southern Italian cookbooks.

Elisa Semino
A16 will be pouring two of the Timorasso wines that La Colombera Winery’s Elisa Semino has been making with her father in Piemonte, Italy. With a passion for farming and viticulture, the father and daughter duo are presenting two wines from Timorasso: Derthona and Il Montino.

Samantha Sheehan
A16 will be pouring from POE Wines, a winery founded by Samantha Sheehan. There will be Ferrington Chardonnay, Rose of Pinot Noir/Meunier, Pinot Nouveau, Pinot Noir, and Hudson Vineyard.

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Valentine’s Day 2015: celebrating at SF and Oakland restaurants

We are one week away from Valentine’s Day 2015! If you’re planning to dine in San Francisco or Oakland for the occasion, here are a few restaurants to consider.

SF
A16 in San Francisco
A16 is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a festive four-course menu from Executive Chef Rocky Maselli and traditional wine pairing options from Wine Director/Co-Owner Shelley Lindgren. Dish highlights include Wild Nettle and Ricotta Ravioli with green garlic and asparagus, Abalone Crudo with fava leaf and castelvetrano olive, McFarland Spring Trout with black truffle and roasted sunchoke, and Velrohono Manjari Chocolate with Hazelnut Torta and coffee mousse. The prix fixe dinner is $85 per person. Reservations can be made by visiting www.a16sf.com or calling 415-771-2216.
central kitchen
For Valentine’s Day, Chef Thomas McNaughton will be offering a special “Mine & Yours” five course tasting menu for $125 per person with optional $75 wine pairings. Highlight dishes include Lobster with Vietnamese herbs and celeriac, Maitake with black garlic and cured yolk, Duck with beet, lime and nasturtium. This evening will be reservation only, so call 415-826-7004 or book via OpenTable.com.

CLIFT
Celebrate Valentine’s Day all weekend long at the iconic CLIFT hotel. The weekend will kick-off with the 4th Annual Love Bitten x Love Smitten party from 9pm-2am on Friday, February 13 where Motown on Mondays DJs Gordo Cabeza, The Captain Hat, and Timoteo Gigante will provide entertainment. Free entry. See www.facebook.com/events/352656041585263.

On February 14, CLIFT’s Valentine’s Day celebration will run with the theme of First Crush – “Meet the love of your life or just for tonight.” Red Light Lit, an erotic literary journal that explores love and lust in the form of poetry, prose and song, will take over the Redwood Room from 6:30-9pm with a musical performance by Francisco Fernandez of the Ferocious Few. This sensual poetry slam will be followed by an over-the-top Valentine’s Day party from 9:30pm-2am with DJs JT Donaldson & GE-OLOGY. Admission is free. See www.facebook.com/events/1597703960462349.

CLIFT will also offer a romantic Valentine’s Day package throughout the entire month of February. The First Crush package includes a bottle of champagne with chocolate covered strawberries, 20% off all services at Cowboys & Angels salon, and a complimentary glass of wine at First Crush restaurant (firstcrush.com) in San Francisco’s Union Square. Booking details can be found here.

Farallon
Grab your special someone for a romantic evening under-the sea this Valentine’s Day weekend. Farallon will offer a special five-course tasting menu from Friday to Sunday in addition to their a la carte menu. Dish highlights from Executive Chef Ryan Simas’ tasting menu include Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Poke with taro root chips, wakame salad, and avocado, and Seared Georges Bank Diver Scallop with french green lentils, foie gras torchon, and cognac reduction. The dinner menu will be offered at $90 per person with $70 optional wine pairings from Wine Director Luke Kenning. Reservations can be made by visiting  www.farallonrestaurant.com or calling 415-956-6969 and there is a 72 hour cancellation policy.

Flour + Water
Grab your favorite partner in crime for a special valentine’s day at flour + water. Chef Thomas McNaughton and his team have created a four-course menu for $95 per person highlighting some of their favorite dishes of the season.  Flour + Water’s wine director has worked with the culinary team to pair some unique selections with the menu. Wine pairing is optional for the evening, but the menu is set for the restaurant. Make your reservations online via OpenTable.com.


Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Luce with dinner prepared by a Michelin-star chef Daniel Corey, who will be preparing a three course menu of seasonal, California fare with dish highlights including Handmade Ricotta Tortellini with green asparagus, hazelnuts, and delicate herbs, Yellowfin Tuna slowly poached in California Olive Oil with baby artichokes, and green garlic, and Textures of Lemon Verbena with buttermilk panna cotta. The prix fixe dinner is $82 per person, with a complimentary glass of Rosé upon arrival. Make reservations at OpenTable.com or call 415-616-6566.

Presidio Social Club
For Valentine’s Day, Presidio Social Club is offering three special cocktails, in addition to three new dishes which will be offered throughout the month of February. Cocktails, all $13, include:

  • The First Blush (Calvados, Lemon, Brut Rosé, and Apple Chip Garnish),
  • Afternoon Delight (Riesling, Framboise, Crème de Pêche, Peychaud’s Bitters, garnished with a floating rose petal)
  • Love Potion #563 (Aperol, lemon, and Sparkling Wine, with a long lemon twist garnish)

Valentine’s Day desserts include:

  • PSC Brownie Banana Split for two with Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Salted Caramel ($12)
  • Roasted Marcona Olive Oil Almond Cake ($8)

Three new dishes available for the month of February include:

  • Bistecca for Two (36 oz bone-in Beef Porterhouse) with Oven Roasted Broccoli and Twice Baked Potatoes
  • Chilled Seafood Selection (Mendocino Uni, Shigoku Oysters, and Hawaiian Ahi Tuna—can be ordered separately or to share)
  • PSC Chopped Salad with Red Wine and Pork Belly Vinaigrette

Rose Pistola
North Beach institution Rose Pistola, bringing classic Italian dishes to its many loyal fans over the years, is offering a special Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu for $60 per person in addition to the regular menu. Valentine’s Day dish highlights include Beet and Goat Cheese Agnolotti with tarragon burro fuso, Quail al Mattone with mushroom-Parmesan pudding and caramelized carrots, and Pan Roasted Branzino with fennel pollen and mussels cream sauce, and Chocolate Mousse with raspberry macaroon. Reservations can be made via OpenTable.com or by calling the restaurant at 415-399-0499.

SPQR
This Valentine’s Day, Executive Chef Matthew Accarrino of SPQR will be offering a three-course prix fixe lunch for $48 per person and a five-course prix fixe dinner for $90 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by emailing bianca@spqrsf.com or by calling 415-771-7779.
Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
Top of the Mark provides an unforgettable setting for the most romantic day of the year with a five-course dinner on Saturday, February 14 starting at 7:30 for $495 per couple. This dinner includes one bottle of Moët & Chandon Rosé, live entertainment from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., and a rosé for lady guests. Highlights of the night’s menu include Sturgeon Caviar with blinis and creme fraiche, Maine Lobster and Wagyu Beef with salsify, espelette, and artichoke truffle jus, and Valrhona Chocolate with strawberry meringue, almond, and Grand Marnier. A separate menu is available for vegetarian guests. Dinner guests will automatically be entered into a drawing for a one-night stay in the luxurious Presidential Suite, valid on Valentine’s Day. Reservations required. Please call 415-616-6941.

InterContinental Mark Hopkins Romance Packages
Couples can enjoy the city lights with a special dinner experience available from Saturday, February 7 through Friday, February 13. The Head over Heels package guarantees guests a highly coveted window table at Top of the Mark, a bottle of Moët & Chandon Rosé, a special appetizer, a chocolate dessert, a framed souvenir photo, and a rose for lady guests ($250). Guests can indulge a bit further with the Endless Love package, which includes the Head over Heels package along with a bottle of Dom Perignon ($450). Reservations are required.
Salumeria – Make Valentine’s Day Dinner at Home
This Valentine’s Day, Salumeria in bringing back their flour + water pasta project for $45 plus tax, ideal for two people. Stay in this Valentine’s Day and cook at home by trying something new with flour + water. The kit includes all you need to make Beet and Rose Caramelle with Ricotta, Truffle & Whey Champagne. Make it a complete meal by adding on cured meats & cheeses, chocolate budinos or go big with the addition of the blini kit. Order online or by calling 415-471-2998.

East Bay
A16 Rockridge in Oakland
Celebrate Valentine’s Day at A16 Rockridge with a four-course menu prepared by Executive Chef Rocky Maselli and wine pairings from director/co-owner Shelley Lindgren. Valentine’s Day dish highlights include Buffalo Ricotta Gnocchi with green garlic and asparagus, Lucky Dog Ranch Prime Rib Roast with spinach, carrot, and salsa verde, and Chocolate Espresso Mousse with dark chocolate ganache, cacao nib, and amaro caramel. The prix fixe dinner is $75 per person. Reservations can be made by calling 510-768-8003 or visiting a16rockridge.com.

If you’re on Twitter, please follow me @santacruzfoodie.

New Year’s Eve at Lark Creek restaurants, plus giveaway

Seafood at Lark Creek Blue on Santana Row in San Jose (photo credit: Lark Creek Blue Facebook page)

Seafood at Lark Creek Blue on Santana Row in San Jose (photo credit: Lark Creek Blue Facebook page)

A few restaurants operated by Lark Creek Restaurant Group are open on New Year’s Eve; highlights are below. Also, two more bits of news:

1) If you haven’t heard, a couple LCRG restaurants recently closed – Yankee Pier Larkspur and The Tavern at Lark Creek closed permanently effective Dec. 1, 2014, and Fish Story in Napa has closed but the restaurant will reopen in early spring with a ‘remodeled space and new concept’ (and possibly a new name)
2) One of my readers will win a gift card good at Lark Creek restaurants — see end of article for contest details. Happy Holidays!

• Pan-Seared Day Boat Scallops with celery root, boiled peanuts, black trumpet mushrooms, and port wine is one of the New Year’s Eve entrée choices from Chef Mark Dommen at One Market Restaurant (www.onemarket.com). The special New Year’s Eve prix fixe menu is $80/person from 6-7:30 p.m. and $130/person from 8:30-10 p.m. The menu features three courses and an amuse bouche. First course choices include hand-picked Dungeness crab (mango, avocado, citrus water) and Marin Sun Farm beef tartare (black truffle, quail egg, mitsuba). Dessert selections include Valrhona chocolate cake and California artisinal cheese plate with Redwood Hill Farm truffle tremor, Bohemian Creamery, Cowabunga, and more. Make reservations at 415.777.5577. One Market is in downtown SF at 1 Market St.

Lark Creek Blue (www.larkcreekblue.com)  is open on New Year’s Eve. Guests can enjoy the regular, full a la carte menu created by Chef de Cuisine Chad Ferry. Entrees include Maine lobster spaghetti “Arrabiata” with a roasted half lobster, tomato, calabrese, chiles, and basil; grilled 12-ounce Angus ribeye with ratatouille, parsley potatoes, and warm caper vinaigrette; and grilled Hawaiian swordfish with fava beans, Israeli couscous, nectarine relish, and sauteed spinach. Make reservations at 408.244.1244. Lark Creek Blue is on Santana Row in San Jose.

Cupola Pizzeria (www.cupolasf.com) is also open on New Year’s Eve. Guests can order from the regular, full a la carte menu. Small plates include warm, pulled-to-order mozzarella with lemon, brussels sprouts leaves, and olive oil; and lamb meatballs with spicy San Marzano tomato sauce, basil leaves, and pecorino. Soups include butternut squash with sage and brown butter. Pastas include lamb pappardelle, and pizzas include rapini (garlic, broccoli rabe, chili flakes, preserved lemon, Parmesan cream) and carne (housemade sausage, spicy calabrese salumi, soppresata, sweet onion). Call 415.896.5600 for reservations. Cupola is located on the 4th floor of the Westfield San Francisco Centre (845 Market St.).

CONTEST
Prize: A $75 gift card to Lark Creek Restaurants
To enter, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com & include the words “Lark Creek giveaway.” Deadline to enter is Friday, Jan. 2, 2015 at 9 p.m.
This contest is open to readers of Tara Fatemi Walker’s Examiner.com and Santacruzfoodie.com sites. Employees of Examiner.com, and people who have won contests in the last 3 months, are not eligible for this promotion.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Christmas 2014 highlights for San Francisco and Oakland restaurants

Luce Restaurant's Maine lobster -- from traditional dinner menu

Luce Restaurant’s Maine lobster — from traditional dinner menu

It’s almost Christmas 2014! If you’re planning to dine in San Francisco or Oakland for the occasion, here are a few restaurants to consider including ones that feature additional holiday events like special teas and brunches.

A16 in San Francisco and A16 Rockridge in Oakland will once again celebrate Christmas Eve with “Feast of the Seven Fishes.” An honored Italian-American tradition, the seven-course meal will feature seafood fare from Executive Chef Rocky Maselli including dishes like Dungeness Crab with fried Brussels sprouts, Calabrian chili and Meyer lemon and Roasted Monterey Squid with saffron potato and salsa verde. This special Christmas Eve menu will be served family style with three optional wine pairings from Wine Director/Owner Shelley Lindgren including a classic pairing, a Rosso pairing, and a unique and rare pairing. Dinner is priced at $80 per person with wine pairing selections from $55-75 per person at A16 and $48-68 per person at A16 Rockridge. For reservations visit Open Table or call 415-771-2216 (SF) or 510-768-8003 (Rockridge).

Bocanova

If you want to celebrate Christmas Eve on the water this year, Bocanova on Jack London Square is serving dinner. Chef/Owner Rick Hackett and Executive Chef John Jackson have put together a prix fixe four-course tamale menu for $38 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Menu highlights include the Cuban Tamale with Dungeness crab, the Green Tamale with chicken, chipotle, and tomato, and the Persimmon Pudding with eggnog ice cream. Call 510-444-1233 for reservations.

Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco
Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco, awarded a Michelin star for six consecutive years, is open for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. Chef Daniel Corey is offering a four-course dinner to celebrate the merriment of the holiday season. Diners will enjoy a globally inspired meal prepared by Michelin-star Chef Daniel Corey with seasonal, local ingredients. Menu highlights include local mushroom potage with crispy chicken skin and herb pistou; marinated baby beets, pickled apple, turnip and burrata; sweetbread ravioli with crispy sweetbreads and truffle; black bass, Dungeness crab jus and cauliflower; and a poached and roasted duck breast with onions and quince. Desserts will include pear cake with roasted white chocolate mousse and crème fraîche ice cream and chocolate pound cake with ginger infused custard, orange marmalade and a cranberry reduction. The special menu, served exclusively on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, will be $90 per person or $130 with wine pairing. Children ages 12 and younger are $45. Reservations are required. Call 415-616-6566.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
The Top of the Mark is serving a buffet for Christmas Eve dinner, a buffet for Christmas Day brunch and dinner, plus special events listed below. For reservations for any event or meal, please call 415-616-6941.

  • Christmas Eve Dinner

Celebrate Christmas Eve at the festive Top of the Mark with the city of San Francisco twinkling in the background. Enjoy a dinner buffet including a raw bar, antipasto selection, chef station, small plates, entrees, roasts, and more. Chef Nenad Stefanovic will feature some traditional holiday favorites including Rosemary crusted prime rib, Upland Cress with frisee, white asparagus and horseradish mustard dressing, Bruschetta station with fava bean, manchego cheese, grilled pear, blue cheese, honey sweet potato and pancetta hash, and much more. Dessert will include Crepes Suzette with Grand Marnier sauce and orange supreme, as well as traditional holiday classics. Guests will also enjoy live music from San Francisco’s renowned pianist, Ricardo Scales. Top of the Mark’s Christmas Eve dinner buffet is offered from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Adults are $119 per person and children (ages 4-12) are $59.

  • Christmas Day Brunch and Dinner Buffet

There is a holiday brunch and dinner buffet on Christmas Day at Top of the Mark. From 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., enjoy every delicious holiday treat you could imagine from traditional prime rib and turkey to a sweet selection of holiday cakes and pies. Brunch highlights include an omelet and waffle station, Scrambled eggs with chives and seasoned breakfast potatoes, and La Mer Benedict with béarnaise sauce. Additional highlights include Bone in Ham with charred pineapple sauce, Beef Medallions with caramelized shallots au poivre and fried parsnip chips, Grilled Lamb Chops with spiced lamb breast and honey mint dressing, Lobster bisque, and more. Guests will also enjoy live entertainment from pianists Michael Athens and Ricardo Scales. Top of the Mark Christmas Day Brunch and Christmas Dinner buffet is $119 per adult and $59 per child (ages 4 – 12).

  • Holiday Tea

Celebrate at Top of the Mark’s annual afternoon Holiday Tea, which began Thanksgiving weekend and continues for a few more days. A selection of fine teas and delectable three-tier presentations of desserts, scones and tea sandwiches will be offered by Chef Nenad and will feature classics like Cranberry scones with Devonshire cream and lemon curd and Mini Yule Logs. Holiday Tea is held Mondays and Tuesdays from December 22nd to December 29th. Holiday Tea at Top of the Mark is $50 per person.

  • Children’s Magical Holiday Tea

Magical Holiday Tea is an entertaining family-friendly event open to kids and adults of all ages, featuring Perry the Magician and face painter Pixie. Guests will also enjoy a cookie decorating station with Chef Nenad. Adults are offered an array of both sweet and savory tea sandwiches as well as special items from the kitchen including Kobe beef sliders, meatball kebabs, and Bacon Monte Cristo Finger Sandwiches. Young tea-goers will receive a selection of popular kids’ treats and finger foods including Pigs in a blanket, Macaroni and cheese, and Chicken nuggets. Guests may also enjoy the elaborate dessert buffet filled with a Christmas Yule log, fresh fruit tartlets, homemade marshmallows, and more. Magical Holiday Tea began in early December. Remaining days are Friday, December 26 and Saturday, December 27 with seatings at 12:00 p.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. In the spirit of giving, Top of the Mark invites guests to bring a new toy to donate to the Toys for Tots drive. Magical Holiday Tea is $60 per person, or $56 with toy donation.

  • Holiday Champagne Brunch

Top of the Mark’s luxurious holiday Sunday champagne brunch began Nov. 30 and occurs each Sunday until the end of December. Chef Nenad’s buffet has a raw bar, soups, salads and small plates, as well as roasts and breakfast selections. Menu highlights include Cioppino, Black Cod & Prawns with flageolet and braised chard stems, Turkey hash benedicts, Caviar selections, Porcini ravioli with seared Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and brown butter cream, and more. The brunch will also feature a decadent Viennese table dessert buffet and bottomless sparkling wine. Guests will also enjoy entertainment from a live jazz pianist. Brunch is from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and is $99 per adult and $59 per child.

Nob Hill Club at Intercontinental Mark Hopkins
The Nob Hill Club offers Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner. Christmas Eve Dinner showcases Chef Nenad’s selections of upscale holiday creations including Quince & Brie with pistachio and lavender honey, Braised Sea Bass with endive, pomegranate and fennel cream, Pork Tenderloin with honey & thyme braised tangerine, rapini and pommes dauphinoise, and a sophisticated dessert of Elderflower Panna Cotta. For Christmas Day, the menu includes Lobster bisque with tempura chives, Grilled Chicory with artisan lettuce, crispy duck prosciutto, grapes, olives and candied walnuts, Beef Tenderloin served with bone marrow butter, white asparagus bundles and duchesse potato. Dessert is a Lemon & Pink Peppercorn Pot de Crème with olive oil and rosemary water. Each dinner is $79 per adult, $109 per adult with wine pairing and $49 per child (ages 4 – 12). Call 415-392-3434 for reservations.

One Market Restaurant
For Christmas Eve, One Market is serving a special a la carte menu by Chef Mark Dommen and Pastry Chef Patti Dellamonica-Bauler. The seven first course choices include Dungeness crab cakes; shaved lamb’s tongue with mache, Asian pear, and puffed quinoa; and beet carpaccio with radish, chèvre, and sherry vinaigrette. Seven entrée selections include wild arugula risotto with pears, black walnuts, and parmesan; roasted Liberty Farms duck with turnips, chanterelles, and honey jus; and day boat scallops with artichokes, potato puree, and lobster emulsion. Four dessert selections include Valrhona chocolate palet d’or with white chocolate sorbet. Please call 415-777-5577 for reservations.

Happy Holidays!

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Thanksgiving 2014 restaurants and food options in San Francisco

It’s less than a week to Thanksgiving – if you’re planning to dine in San Francisco, here are a few restaurants to consider for Nov. 27, 2014. Also, Salumeria in the Mission is offering a take-out gourmet feast; order by 7 p.m. this Sunday.

Looking for places in the Santa Cruz or Monterey area? Read this article.

San Francisco Restaurants

Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco

Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco will feature a 3-course prix-fixe menu for Thanksgiving. Michelin-star Chef Daniel Corey is offering a seasonal selection of dishes including a first course of Veloute of butternut squash with buttermilk custard, olive oil and pumpkin seed granola or local winter mushrooms with slow cooked egg, raclette and toast. Guests can select from mains including Petrale sole and Manila clams with flageolets and bouillabaisse, Braised short rib of beef with fall roots and leaves and toasted green wheat; or Slowly Roasted Breast of Turkey, featuring Turkey Leg Boudin, Smoked Potato & Black Truffle Gravy. The menu is subject to change due to seasonality. Desserts include a milk chocolate, pecan and caramel dish or pumpkin cheesecake with Pomegranate and bay leaf. Pricing is $75 per person ($120 with wine pairing), $45 per child 12 years and younger. Price excludes tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling 415-616-6566 visiting Opentable.com.

CLIFT will offer a special Thanksgiving dinner tasting menu at the hotel’s Velvet Room restaurant. Executive Chef Thomas Weibull partnered with local farmers and growers to produce a seasonal four-course menu where guests can choose between autumn dishes like Roasted Butternut Squashwithsmoked ham hock and ginger confit, Seared Day Boat Scallop with pumpkin risotto, and Sweet Pumpkin Tart with spiced pecans and maple ice cream. The Velvet Room will be open from 5:30pm-10:00pm on Thanksgiving and the tasting menu will be offered at $75 per person.

Presidio Social Club will be serving a traditional menu of a seasonal soup, turkey, stuffing, and of course, PSC pies (a choice of Spiced Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Ice Cream or Flourless Chocolate Cake with Persimmon Sorbet) for $59 per person.  Additional offerings include first of the season cracked Dungeness Crab and Local Oysters on the half shell. Fall cocktails are also available, featuring drinks such as the Root Old Fashioned with bourbon, Root liqueur, aromatic bitters, and orange.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins

Enjoy the abundance of the fall harvest with a Thanksgiving brunch and dinner feast at Top of the Mark. Presented by Chef Nenad Stefanovic, the buffet will take place on Thursday, November 27 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and will feature breakfast selections (11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.), antipastos, raw bar, salads, soups, desserts, and more. Seasonal specials include Smoked duck breast with grilled persimmons, toasted pumpkin seeds and fig compote, Sherry-molasses Roast Beets with allspice crème fraiche, candied walnuts and tondo, pickled butternut squash and pancetta jam, and Roasted Free Range Turkey with orange-cranberry sauce and giblet gravy. Desserts will include traditional holiday delights along with Pumpkin foster martinis with diced pumpkin, apple brandy, cinnamon sugar and graham cracker cookie ice cream. In addition to the feast, entertainment will be presented by Michael Athens and Ricardo Scales on piano and a “Little Explorer” petting zoo will be in the lobby from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Top of the Mark’s Thanksgiving brunch and Thanksgiving dinner is $119 per adult and $59 per child (ages 4-12). Reservations are required. Please call 415-616-6941.

One Market Restaurant

One Market is serving a three-course prix fixe menu by Chef Mark Dommen and Pastry Chef Patti Dellamonica-Bauler. The four first course choices include shrimp bisque (puffed rice, coconut milk, jalapeno) and beet carpaccio with radish, chèvre, and sherry vinaigrette. Four entrée selections include roasted turkey with cornbread-sausage stuffing, root vegetables, and shallot-thyme gravy, and mushroom risotto with herb salad and parmesan emulsion. Three dessert selections include triple layer sugar pie pumpkin cheesecake and with cranberry-ginger sorbet and Valrhona chocolate palet d’or with white chocolate sorbet. The price is $67 per adult and $29 per child 10 and under. Please call 415-777-5577 for reservations.

Thanksgiving to-go

Salumeria is offering a take-out Thanksgiving meal for those who want to enjoy a meal at home without worrying about all the preparations. Leave the heavy lifting to others: order a prepared dinner by their chefs. This feast will feed 4 to 6 people for $295 and includes a Pre-Brined Turkey, Butternut Squash Gratin with goat cheese and hazelnuts, pork sausage and fennel stuffing, Braised Brussels Sprouts with white wine and bacon, Turkey Giblet Gravy, and Cranberry and Quince Chutney. All food (with the exception of the pre-brined turkey) will be fully cooked and packaged in disposable containers with reheating instructions.

Thanks to Black Jet Bakery, you can add on your favorite pie or a bottle of wine to complement the meal. Each pie will be an additional $30. Any traditional wine will be $24.99 a bottle and premium will be $54.99 a bottle. Food will be ready for pick up on Wednesday, Nov. 26 between 2pm-6pm from Salumeria located at 3000 20th St., San Francisco.

Orders must be placed by 7pm on Sunday, Nov. 23 and can be made via salumeriathanksgiving2014.eventbrite.com or by calling 415-826-7001.

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Gingerbread cookies for charity at Lark Creek restaurants in San Jose, SF, Larkspur

Gingerbread stars from Lark Creek Restaurant Group

Gingerbread stars from Lark Creek Restaurant Group

Lark Creek Restaurant Group (LCRG) is currently hosting Gingerbread Wishes, which supports local Make-A-Wish chapters. Each restaurant in LCRG, including One Market Restaurant and Lark Creek Steak in San Francisco, Yankee Pier in Larkspur, and Lark Creek Blue on San Jose’s Santana Row, is participating through November 30, 2014.

Restaurant guests can order star-shaped, fresh-baked gingerbread cookies off the dessert menu for $10 each, and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish. Each cookie comes with frosting, sprinkles and candies to decorate with. Designed by One Market Restaurant Pastry Chef Patti Dellamonica-Bauler, the cookies can be enjoyed while dining, or they can be taken home in a decorative bag to give someone as a gift.

Lark Creek Restaurant Group has donated $148,000 to Make-A-Wish through previous Gingerbread Wishes campaigns, which have been held annually since 2007.

“The Gingerbread Wishes campaign is a wonderful event,” says Patricia Wilson, Executive Director of Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area. “It brings joy and delight to children and adults alike, which is what we strive to do every day by granting wishes to children with life-threatening conditions and their families. The Lark Creek Restaurant Group understands the power of a wish.”

LCRG was inspired to work with the organization after an employee’s niece, suffering from leukemia, was granted a wish through Make-A-Wish for a garden in her backyard to look at through her bedroom window.

Bay Area LCRG locations include:
• One Market Restaurant in SF: http://www.onemarket.com 415.777.5577
• Lark Creek Steak in SF: http://larkcreek.com/larkcreek_steak/index.html 415.593.4100
• The Tavern at Lark Creek in Larkspur: http://www.tavernatlarkcreek.com/ 415.924.7766
• Yankee Pier in Larkspur: http://www.yankeepier.com/larkspur/index.html 415.924.7676
• Lark Creek Walnut Creek in Walnut Creek: http://www.larkcreek.com/walnut_creek/index.html 925.256.1234
• Cupola Pizzeria in SF: http://www.cupolasf.com 415.896.5600
• Lark Creek Blue in San Jose: http://www.larkcreekblue.com 408.244.1244
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