San Francisco holds a very special place in my heart and this trip made me love it even more.
The main reason to go to San Francisco was to check out the Fancy Food show – I was able to sneak in many other fun events.
The trip started out in Napa where we found an amazing Market called Oxbow Public Market this is a high end market with amazing food choices. We grabbed a couple sandwiches from Graham’s Takeaway to share and snack on in between our vineyard visits. These sandwiches were carefully made with top notch ingredients, freshly roasted meats and veggies. Yum!
So we hit the road and checked out Joseph Phelps winery. It had amazing views but I didn’t love their wines, the experience was run-of-the-mill as well. Next we went to Rudd, this place was incredible. We were seated with another couple for our tasting and we all sat around and chatted about the wine and got to know each other a bit. Lesley Rudd is quite the purveyor of high end products as he owns Dean and Deluca and 209 Gin, along with a couple other stores and restaurants in Napa. The wines are delicious and unfortunately you can’t buy them in Canada.
We missed our reservation at Cakebread so we went to Heitz to pick up some Port. After that we stopped by Dean and Deluca as I had never been there before; loved that store.
We checked into our hotel – we were at the Westin Verasa Napa. It is a fairly new hotel and was perfect. Spacious rooms with large bathrooms. It was very nice with good staff and a great location. We got ready for the evening and headed to Yountville as that is where our dinner reservation was. We checked out the cute little town, had a drink at Bouchon and then had dinner at Ad Hoc. It was incredible. The food was outstanding and the service was perfect. I can’t wait to go back!
The next day I grabbed English Muffins from the Model Bakery (on a recommendation). I’d never really thought about English Muffins or how to make them better but someone has been doing that. These things were thick, soft and so good. I guess they have been featured on the Food Network and with good reason. You need to go get one if you’re ever in the area.
On the way to San Francisco we stopped at an awesome Farmers Market (I can’t remember the town). Again it was all local farmers and produce we couldn’t buy much but all the samples were quite tasty.
Then we hit up the food show. We had a good five hours of non-stop samples. It was a great show with over 1300 vendors. The show had a lot of the same products, but some really cool stand out products. One company had the best Bloody Mary mix I have ever tasted – better than our humble Ceasar.
After the food show we went to the Ferry building (one of my favorite locations in San Fran) just as everything was closing. L The wine bar was open so we grabbed a glass and got chatting with a local about his favorite spots to dine at in SF. Upon his recommendation we went to Epic. Sadly I was not very hungry because of all the food show samples but Vanessa powered through and got fish. I got the macaroni and cheese. It was delicious!
The next day was back at the food show where we met the Barefoot Contessa. She was at her booth signing autographs and having pictures taken with her. It was a very nice surprise since I had no idea that she was going to be there. Other Food Network chefs that were there was Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes and Guy Fierri from Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.
That evening we were fortunate enough to meet up with Vanessa’s dad and his wife/girlfriend at a restaurant called Boulevard. This was another recommendation from a local. This is a classic San Francisco restaurant that everyone know about. It was again very very good and none of us were disappointed. Great menu and wine list.
The food show was for three days and since we had covered the whole thing in two days we had a free day to be complete tourists. We checked out the shops on Chestnut Street & Union Street and found the most amazing White Peach Balsamic Vinegar. We saw Lombard Street, saw the sea lions sunning themselves, went to Ghirardelli square, got an Irish coffee at the Beuna Vista Café, went to Tadich Grill (San Fran’s oldest restaurant) even got to check out Tyler Florence’s new restaurant, Wayfare Tavern, sadly we didn’t get to eat there but the food looked great. Our final dinner was at the House of Prime Rib. This is another San Francisco staple that has been highly publicized by the Food Network and even Anthony Bourdain. All they serve is prime rib, you have your choice of cut and that’s it. It was served with mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. Along with three different types of horse radish. They salt bake the prime rib and it is wonderful. So good. If anyone you know likes Prime Rib – they should go there.
The next day it was time to go home. Always a sad day. But I think it was a successful and fun trip, with many highlights.