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Toques of San Francisco
Toque May 2016

May 2016
We love Las Vegas, French Bistros and Michael Mina restaurants, so the odds were 100 to 1 that we would dine at Bardot Brasserie, while we were staying at The Aria. Even though it is barely one year old, you could feel that the restaurant was on their game from the Bar with excellent cocktails to the professional service and of course the excellent cuisine.

Toque July 2015

July 2015
We always love to dine in New York City. One can find every type of cuisine with prices that range from amazingly reasonable to outrageous. Steakhouses are always a good bet... in NYC there is so much competition that restaurants either flourish or fold. One of the biggest challenges for any restaurant is the large party.

January 2015
This was our first trip to Sun Valley and we were excited knowing that it was a World Class Resort Area. We knew that this was the perfect time to go as The SunValley Harvest Festival was happening featuring four days of Foodie Events. Founded by locals Heidi Ottley and Ed Sinnot, this Epicurean Festival has grown since it first began five years ago. Our late planning made it challenging to reserve a room as the Festival attendees had most of the local Inns & Hotels booked.

June 2014 touque June 2014
Fog City has been a Dining Icon on the Embarcadero in San Francisco for more than 25 years but as with all great restaurants it was time for an update. The “Diner” was gutted and a new concept was created. The décor is welcoming with an Oval Bar in the center, an Exhibition Kitchen with Wood Burning Fire Pit and Oven up front, new booths, and both regular and high tables for drinks and dining. Every seat has big picture window views of the Embarcadero and Battery Streets.
touque January 2014
It is always exciting to see a new sophisticated restaurant open in San Francisco especially a Steakhouse that features 4-6 week Dry Aged Prime Beef Bone-In (Osso) Steaks. Osso Steakhouse whichrecently opened on Nob Hill in Gramercy Towers has both an elegant Art Deco interior and a lovely view of Grace Cathedral and the California Street Cable Cars. The art is wonderful and the illuminated etched glass on the top of each booth is beautiful.
sept 2013
September 2013
One of our favorite annual Food Events now in its sixth year is Pebble Beach Food & Wine which was held April 4-7, 2013. This year featured 300+ Wineries, 75+ Celebrity Chefs, Cooking Demonstrations, Dinners, Celebrity Golf as well as Wine and Spirits Tastings. The weather is always spectacular in April and the coastal views are magnificent at Pebble Beach as well as on our drive from San Francisco. This year we again attended the Grand Tasting Tent with other Foodies from around the world who all came to enjoy international culinary delights, mingle, mix, sip and taste. 
March2013

March 2013
We were pleased to attend the second annual Flavor! Napa Valley Appellation Trail Tasting at the historic Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. The Sold Out event was attended by 1500 wine and food lovers. It showcased more than 100 Napa Valley wineries and 25 Napa Valley restaurants, many with Michelin Stars. This year there were also other celebrity chef dinners, wine competitions and cooking demonstrations during the four day Flavor! Napa Valley weekend.

SF 2012
November 2012
The tent was up in Union Square and the Chefs had prepared fabulous tastes. The Wine was being poured and this year the Cocktails were flowing. For the fourth year in a row San Francisco shined! As advertised there was Tasting, Pairing, Mixing, and Engaging as thousands celebrated local flair & regional flavor in the epicenter of culinary innovation in San Francisco. We enjoyed meeting and chatting with culinary personalities like Joanne Weir and Martin Yan, watching cooking demonstrations and of course tasting the culinary delights and libations.  We attended the Grand Tasting Tent on Sunday and had a very enjoyable time.

July 2012
We had the good fortune this year on a beautiful sunny and warm Saturday, to be able to attend The Fifth Annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine Grand Tasting Tent. This was a well-produced small portion of the four day April 12-15, 2012 event which featured 250 Wineries, 75 Celebrity Chefs, Cooking Demonstrations, Dinners, Celebrity Golf as well as Wine and Spirits Tastings. Thousands of Foodies from around the world came to Pebble Beach to maximize culinary indulgence and to mingle, mix, sip and taste. Having attended quite a few “Tasting Tents” over the years so we know that is important to have a Plan and to wear stylish comfortable shoes. The first thing to accept is that you will never ever be able to eat and drink everything in the three or four hour timeframe which is generally the length of these Tent events.
March 2012
We were pleased to attend the first annual Flavor Napa Valley Food and Wine event at the Culinary Institute of America in Saint Helena. The Greystone Building, formerly the Christian Brother’s Winery, was all decked out for this tasting trek along the Napa Valley Appellation Trail. There were more than 100 wineries and over 25 Napa Valley restaurants offering tastes as well as access to Celebrity Chefs and Winemakers who were happy to chat and have their photo taken.
December 2011
This summer we had the pleasure to attend a number of SF Chefs 2011 events. This San Francisco premier Food, Wine and Spirits Week produced by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association enticed our palate allowing us to taste, pair, mix and engage. The Grand Tasting Tent in Union Square San Francisco is the centerpiece but we also enjoyed classes, demonstrations, competitions and parties.
August 2011
We love to venture into the neighborhoods of San Francisco to soak up the local atmosphere and of course taste the cuisine. Garcon! is located on the corner of Valencia and 22nd Streets so the area draws from the multi-cultures that make San Francisco so interesting and vibrant.
May 2011
We dined at and reviewed Baume in Palo Alto about a year ago and predicted that they would get a Michelin Star. We are pleased to report that we were correct. Restaurateur and Executive Chef Bruno Chemel, who has now received stars and accolades from Michelin...
Jan 2011
The ever changing San Francisco dining scene continues to amaze us. Just when we thought that there were enough quality Steak Houses, Restaurateur JC Chen and Executive Chef Jeffrey Stout raise the bar by opening Alexander’s Steakhouse, which is an American steakhouse with Japanese influences.
Oct 2010
We are always asked by friends and associates who come to San Francisco , where they should go on their day trip to the Wine Country? We always say drive north on Highway 29 and go to Opus One Winery because Opus One produces great wine, is architecturally stunning and when you go home, people will know where you went and will be impressed.
August 2010
We love French Cuisine and were thrilled to hear about Chevalier which is in Lafayette and has been open for almost two years. As we entered, we were greeted by Executive Chef-Owner Philippe Chevalier
May 2010
Dining around the Bay Area has never been better. Sample some with the Dining Detectives - Baume Restaurant French Cuisine Moderne - Poggio - Le Colonial - Chez Papa Bistrot - Gather Restaurant - Moussy’s
Raleigh - March 2010
We’ve enjoyed dining in the Raleigh area where we’ve found some excellent restaurants. J. Betski’s Restaurant is located in the popular Seaboard district and serves Central and Eastern European Cuisine. Restaurateur John Korzekwinski and his talented Executive Chef Todd Whitney call it Old World Cuisine in The New South.
January 2010
It has been a busy end of the year as the Dining Detectives have dined all around the San Francisco Bay Area from The Wine Country to San Jose. We also enjoyed the great city of New Orleans. The Restaurant at Meadowood … The Best Dinner of 2009
October 2009
The trend today in San Francisco is for restaurants to offer reasonably priced cuisine with special offers like “early and late bird specials” and multi-course Pris Fixe Menus with value priced wines. This summer we dined at restaurants in San Francisco , all around the Bay, as well as in Palm Springs , New York City, Las Vegas , Boise and Raleigh .
June 2009
Dining on the Embarcadero has definitely been enhanced with the addition of arguably one the Best Steakhouses in San Francisco. The Epic Roasthouse which has been open for just over a year now has great steaks and offers even more! Restaurateur Pat Kuleto, Chef Jan Birnbaum and Managing Partner Pete Sittnick have assembled a winning team in this fabulous location which was built for more than $10 million.
March 2009
“Dine About Town” 2009 sponsored by The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com is from Jan 15-31 and June 15-30 this year. The successful promotion which is in its Eighth year has over 100 local restaurants offering prix-fixe menus with 3 course lunches for $21.95 and 3 course dinners for $34.95. This is a great way to try new restaurants and visit old favorites and this January we had a fabulous dinner at Café Maritime. Reservations can be made by contacting the restaurants or at www.opentable.com.
November 2008
San Francisco’s Dining Scene continues to grow and evolve and the perfect example is the newly opened Urban Tavern. This “Gastropub’s” décor is stylish and casual with comfortable booths, cushions with a modern edgy flair, huge mirrors on the walls which make the room more expansive, a communal table and a lovely marble bar

August 2008
We had a fabulous lunch at Boulevard in their L’Avenue Private Dining Room. We met Patricia and Walter Wells www.patriciawells.com who moved to France over 30 years ago. They were in San Francisco promoting their new book “We’ve Always Had Paris …. and Provence”, which is a scrapbook of their life in France. Patricia is well known for her French Cook Books, cooking classes and food writing.

April 2008
San Francisco has some great casual and friendly neighborhood restaurants. We found one in the Lower Haight called Metro Kathmandu. They serve excellent Nepalese cuisine with an Indian influence prepared by their talented Executive Chef Vishnu Chuddar.
December 2007
Happy Holidays to All!! 2007 was another great year for incredible Dining Experiences. We look forward to a great 2008. We dined all around the San Francisco Bay Area, The Wine Country and French. Gary Danko won two 2008 Zagat Survey Awards including Most Popular Restaurant and Top Food Restaurant in San Francisco.
August 2007
Weâve really been enjoying the warm weather this summer! It has been perfect for outdoor dining which has included leisurely lunches and dinners all around the San Francisco Bay from Rutherford to San Francisco, and Oakland to Redwood City.
We once again attended San Franciscoâs Annual Fancy Food Show www.specialtyfood.com at the Moscone Convention Center where thousands of exhibitors and attendees shared their love for specialty foods and beverages. Each year exhibitors hope that their products will get the needed exposure and make it in the very competitive fancy food business.
San Francisco continues to have a vibrant dining scene with Cuisine from around the world. We dined at Asian, Hawaiian Fusion, Indian, Turkish, Vietnamese, French and English restaurants over the past few months. Chefs from around the globe love to come to San Francisco to offer the delicacies of their homelands to the discerning diners of “The City by the Bay”.
S. Pellegrino recently held their 2006 5th Annual “Almost Famous Chef Competition” Northern California Regional finals at The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. S. Pellegrino, known for their sparkling natural mineral water, created the competition, which includes over 20 culinary schools across the US, and Canada to foster mentoring and communication between established celebrity chefs, top culinary students and the media. The winner of each of ten regional competitions will advance to the National Finals, which will be held October 27-30, 2006 at The CIA at Greystone in the Napa Valley.
August 2006
We had an exceptional lunch in San Francisco at the Monte Cristo CafŽ. It is located in the Embarcadero Center on the Promenade Level and has a great view of Palm Trees, the Ferry Building and the Bay. The dŽcor is quite nice and there is a fair amount of privacy as the tables are nicely spaced, creating a feeling of serenity.
June 2006
We always love to dine at Spengerâs for fresh seafood. We recently had the opportunity to attend a Special Event called Crab Psychology 101. It was fitting that the event take place at Spengerâs since John Spenger originally founded the restaurant as a Crab Stand in 1890.
April 2006
We absolutely loved Vignette, which is located in Downtown San Francisco on Bush St. near Powell St. in The Orchard Hotel. This sophisticated restaurant has truly superior cuisine with both French and Italian influences.
December 2005
We dined all around the San Francisco Bay Area, The Wine Country, Palm Springs and Boston. Restaurants in the Bay Area and beyond have been busy and for good reason, the economy is better and the Chefs have been striving to reach higher and create new and delicious cuisine. New restaurants keep opening and fewer are closing.
March 2005
We had the opportunity to enjoy fine cuisine paired with excellent “Bubbly” at Jeanty at Jack’s in San Francisco’s Financial District at a Champagne Dinner. We had the pleasure to meet Regis Camus, Genologue - Directeur Vignes Et Vins from Piper- Heidsieck Champagne in France.
September 2004
The ambiance was terrific but it was the Tasting Menu cuisine created by new Chef Stuart Brioza that made the dinner one of our most memorable and exciting dining experiences of the year!
April 2004
Miami is known for its beaches but has some fabulous dining as well! One of the most well known and a must when you come to Miami is Joe’s Stone Crab, the first eating house on Miami Beach which was opened by Joe & Jennie Weiss in 1913 and is still family owned.
December 2003
San Francisco saw the Watergate Restaurant open on Nob Hill. We attended the Grand Opening Event and were treated to some of their best. We loved the Roasted Herb Pecan Crusted Rack of Lamb, Crab Cakes which were a cut above and the perfect Ginger Crème Brule.
March 2003
In San Francisco, Bix is still a fantastic dining experience with their Super Club atmosphere. Bruce Hill, the Executive Chef, wowed us with his creations and we loved the live jazz.
October 2002
Everyone is raving about the Carpaccio: Land Sea and Air, Tuna Foie Gras, Maine Lobster prepared Three Ways and the Crepes Romanoff. Le Colonial www.LeColonial.com is certainly the place to “see and be seen”.
May 2002
The Omni Hotel had an “invitation only” Grand Opening Gala and did it right! The Gala started with Mayor Willie Brown being lifted on a “cherry picker” to cut the giant red ribbon on the new Hotel.
March 2002
Tourism had been down and the weather was cold by Bay Area standards even including snow on local peaks. The answer was the “Dine About Town 2002” promotion which was set up by Brian Baker of SFCVB, David Gingrass of Hawthorne Lane and Jean Claude Persais of Aqua
Novermber 2001
The demise of the free spending Dot-Com generation and the lack of tourists and local customers due to the September 11th tragedy contributed to a downturn in business this fall. We continue to do our fair share of dining out and believe that the local cuisine is better than ever with more choices and more competitive pricing
August 2001
Napa is the new home of Pairs Restaurant… Chef/Owners and brothers Craig and Keith Schauffel bring a wealth of experience and a professional flair to their new California-Asian Style Restaurant.

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