I took another trip up the coast to San Francisco a few weekends ago with my older sister to celebrate her birthday weekend and see her daughter…my niece. Once again, the drive up Highway 101 didn’t disappoint, with ocean views and beautiful weather.
We made an overnight stop in quaint Los Osos to visit her sister-in-law & her husband. We took a little tour of nearby Cayucos to see a huge house that her brother-in-law has been building for quite awhile and to just check out the area. They introduced me to Brown Butter Cookie Company, which I will now add to my “must go” stops on any coastal trip. I wish you could taste these butter cookies with sea salt on top…melt in your mouth amazing! They’re not cheap, but worth the splurge if you’re near Cayucos. We finished the evening with a wonderful dinner on their outdoor patio overlooking the nearby preserve. Who doesn’t love dining al fresco in the summer!
We got up early the next day to continue our drive up to San Francisco for a lunch reservation at The Slanted Door. We were both looking forward to their mouth-watering yellowtail appetizer with crispy shallots and thai basil….as well as the shaking beef, and spring rolls with peanut sauce. We hit a bit of traffic getting into SF but made it to restaurant just in time before the scheduled 2:15 lunch closing…phew, that was a close one! As my sister went to meet her daughter at her workplace after our lunch, I headed to Britex fabrics and met up with my daughter and future son-in-law who had decided to make the trek up too..what an added bonus! If you like sewing or fabrics in general and you’ve never been to Britex while in SF please add it to your list. It’s four floors of every type of fabric you can think of and right off Union Square. We were a bit overwhelmed looking for fabric to recover my newly acquired, but old, dining room chairs, but we persevered. After successfully navigating and purchasing fabric we made a stop at the new Nespresso Boutique store on Grant Ave. It’s an entire two stories of Nespresso….a store downstairs and a bar at street level where you can enjoy everything Nespresso (decadent shakes included), plus desserts…and they serve wine too.
We stopped back at our hotel, The Palace, to meet up with my sister and niece…and then headed down the street for dinner at Anchor & Hope. The atmosphere was great, but we were all a bit underwhelmed by the food. My niece swears that it’s an amazing lunch spot that’s always packed, so I’ll reserve judgment until I return for lunch! It was a fun dinner with all the kids…I guess they’re really adults now!
The following morning I took a nice walk to the ferry building marketplace to walk off last night’s dinner and prepare for another day of eating and drinking ahead. Saturday’s at the ferry building includes an added bonus of the farmer’s market and always the beautiful view of the bay. Napa wine tasting was on the agenda today! Our driver picked us up at 9, we headed over to the East Bay to pick up my friend, MK, who’s been one of my best friends since 1st grade. …and off we went!
Our first stop for wine tasting was at Caymus Vineyards. The grounds are beautiful with small vignettes of seating under gazebos and pergolas. Instead of the usual wine tasting at a walk up bar, we sat under some beautiful trees at a table and the various wines were brought to us to critique. Bottles were purchased by the four of us and we hopped back into the car to be whisked away to lunch at Farmstead at Longmeadow Ranch, which I’d recommend. MK and I decided to split a meal and started with an amazing salad of Caramelized beets with sky hill goat cheese crema, greens and chimichurri…the picture says it all….
…we continued with the Heritage St. Louis ribs with LMR apple coleslaw
….and finished it all off with beignets for the birthday girl
We made two more stops after lunch, before our inevitable food coma! The first was to Rombauer, on the Silverado Trail, with it’s beautiful terraced gardens overlooking St. Helena and exceptional chardonnay (this was the first winery I ever went to back in the 90’s with my “wasband”…a gentler way of saying ex-husband…when it was just a dirt road up the windy hillside) and our second stop was ZD winery, a place recommended by my sister’s friend for their chardonnay. We couldn’t taste their popular 2013 chard, but we purchased it anyway hoping it won’t disappoint (haven’t cracked it open yet, so no review as of yet!) The Cabernet was good & I’d recommend it!
I think we all slept on the ride back to city in preparation for our dinner out with some of my kid’s friends at E&O Kitchen on Sutter. It’s one of my “go-to” places in SF, and because there were 14 of us we were given a cozy back room where we enjoyed each other’s company and the always consistently good food. Too much to recommend, just take my word for it that it’s good for a group. Caitlin, one of the millennials, recommended we all go to a place around the corner for a cocktail and led us to a cool little spot…through lobby of the Mystic Hotel and up a staircase….Burritt Room and Tavern. It had such a fun vibe, with live jazz music….definitely a place I’m looking forward to taking everyone on my next trip up to SF.
Walking back to hotel, I took a couple of pics of the adorable Claude Lane alley off of Sutter and Kearny, where there are some french restaurants.
I walk by it every time I’m in the city and want to go, but there’s never enough time to do everything…..another one for the next trip! Sunday was all about the Alameda Flea Market, which will be it’s own post!
If you haven’t been to San Francisco, get there! It’s only six hours away by car (or much quicker by air), but a world away from Southern California. I didn’t even delve into the great shopping, theater and nightlife available!
You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!