Verdejo sauvignon blanc – Vueling Airlines

Verdejo sauvignon blanc - Vueling Airlines
Vina Albali. €5.50
Gatwick (LGW) to Barcelona (BCN), Vueling Airlines

This was a fairly short(ish) flight, but I really needed a drink especially since it was delayed taking off. And because I’m on vacation so I can drink as much as I want, lol! Anyway, this white wine was ok, but the service from the Spanish crew was great.

Marinated mussels – Wine Kitchen

Marinated mussels - Wine Kitchen
Fingerling potato, celery, saffron broth, frites, aioli. $11
Wine Kitchen, San Francisco CA

Mmm, I really liked this dish. The mussels were a bit sour and tart from the marinade, but I thought it worked well with the saffron broth and aioli. The components seemed a bit odd to me at first, but they all tasted great together.

Flights of wine - Wine Kitchen
Flights of wine.

Weird head sculpture
Weird head sculpture, SoMa.

Cove miyagi oysters – Hutch Bar & Kitchen

Cove miyagi oysters - Hutch Bar & Kitchen
Tomales Bay. With chili cider mignonette and cocktail sauce. $14
Hutch Bar & Kitchen, Oakland CA

I’m definitely becoming a big oyster fan (of the smaller varieties anyway). These miyagi’s were delicious especially with the mignonette, but they could have been shucked a little bit cleaner though.

Chardonnay and cabernet wines - Hutch Bar & Kitchen
House chardonnay and cabernet.

Butternut squash and mushroom quiche – Cassava

Butternut squash and mushroom quiche - Cassava
Served with side salad. $6
Cassava, San Francisco CA

This quiche was pretty good, but it was super small! Even with the salad, was I starving for more food. I had already mentioned that we actually walked up the street and got dumplings after this because it just wasn’t a substantial meal. Yay for the products, boo for the portions.

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2013

Breakfast cocktails - Cassava
Spiced honey red sangria: Chardonnay, triple sec, grapes, blueberries, orange, cinnamon. $6
“Something Nice” cocktail: Vinho verde, orange juice, Capano Antica, Byrrh. $6
Both these breakfast cocktails were really tasty!

Jessie Square
Jessie Square on a sunny day!

Pickering Passage oysters – Bar Crudo

Pickering Passage oysters - Bar Crudo
From Washington state. Served with a mignonette and cocktail sauce. Happy hour $1 each
Bar Crudo, San Francisco CA

Wow, these little oysters were SO tasty! (And SO cheap during happy hour.) We liked them so much that we ordered another half dozen. They were perfect, and I liked that Bar Crudo still had a classy presentation even for happy hour. Loved the seaweed decoration on the plate.

Wines - Bar Crudo
Syrah blend, Chateau de Vaugelas, France, 2010. Happy hour $6
Tariquet, Cote de Gascone, France, 2012. Happy hour $6

Fort Funston
Walking the dog at Fort Funston.

Free range half chicken – Curbside Cafe

Free range half chicken - Curbside Cafe
With tarragon white wine cream sauce, served with “Gratin Dauphinois” and sauteed spinach. Chef Special (soup + entree) $18
Curbside Cafe, San Francisco CA

This was such a delicious dish at a great value! I was surprised at how moist, tender, and flavorful the chicken was. I was a little skeptical of this restaurant at first, but they really delivered on the food. The gratin dauphinois was super rich and creamy (as it should be) and the cream sauce was perfect for the chicken. This plate was definitely tasty and prepared wonderfully.

Coulter's Matilija poppy
Coulter’s Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri, Papaveraceae), Land’s End.

Afternoon drinks at Covent Garden – Laduree

Afternoon drinks at Covent Garden - Laduree

Laduree rose champagne. £12.30
Chablis domaine de Varous 2011, France. £8.50
Laduree, London ENGLAND

I think it’s funny that we didn’t go to Laduree in Paris. The ones in Paris just seemed so touristy and a bit of a turn off. Instead we randomly walked into one in London during a warm afternoon stroll through Covent Garden. The restaurant looked inviting and relaxing with it’s crisp white table cloths and cushy upholstered chairs. So we sat outside to enjoy the sunny weather.

Our visit was peasant enough. The service was friendly but a little erratic and slow at times. The menu did say that the champagne was “Served with salty petits fours”, but we never received any. Lame! So was Laduree worth all the hype? I’d say no.

Laduree menus

Laduree menus.

Paella vendor
Paella vendor at Covent Garden market.

Roasted half pigeon – L’Epigramme

Roasted half pigeon - L'Epigramme
Demi pigeon roti, aubergine. Roasted potatoes, eggplant, two types of root purees. Entree/Plat/Dessert option 28€
L’Epigramme, Paris FR

Roasted half pigeon - L'Epigramme
When I saw pigeon on the menu, I know I had to try it! And I’m SO glad I did because everything on the plate was absolutely amazing! The pigeon was fairly pink so I was initially wary (maybe I should have asked for well done), but it actually tasted great and was super tender. I immediately fell in love with the potatoes and eggplant; they were expertly prepared and SO delicious! The purees were also very flavorful and I just wanted to lick my plate clean. NOM NOMS!

Chardonnay and rose - L'Epigramme
Chardonny and rose wines.
You really can’t eat a meal of this caliber and not have some wine! This was a perfect lunch and a great way to spend our last full day in Paris.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars. Wow, the area around the Eiffel Tower is so unreal. The place is completely unique and doesn’t remind me of anywhere else in the world. There’s so much green space and the tower is an enormous and majestic beacon visible from anywhere. SO awesome!

Kir cocktail – L’Arganier

Kir cocktail - L'Arganier

Creme de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) topped with white wine. 4€
L’Arganier, Paris FR

We stopped by this place to grab some quick drinks before dinner. We sat outside at a table on the narrow sidewalk, awkwardly positioned to avoid passersby. Our waitress was hoot! Her English wasn’t the best, but she was SO friendly and accommodating with our lack of French. That’s one thing I appreciated about our Paris trip – everyone was SO nice and we didn’t get any flack for not knowing the language. But then again, we’re fairly well-traveled and try not to be the quintessential loud, annoying Americans everyone. Lol! 😉

Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis church

Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis church, rue Saint Antoine, Marais. This beautiful Roman Catholic church was around the corner from our hotel and near the Saint Paul Metro station.

Sandwich mixte – La Cooperative

Sandwich mixte - La Cooperative
Ham, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. 5,90€
La Cooperative, Paris FR

After a long day of sightseeing, we really needed some food on our way back to the hotel. We came across La Cooperative on our walk from the Louvre. It looked like a cute cafe and the clientele appeared to be a mixture of business people, locals and tourists so we decided to give it a try. The food was fairly good, but the service was really erratic. We were served by two different waiters both of whom were really difficult to wave down when we needed anything.

While this sandwich was pretty standard, the bread was really good. I also prefer the mayonnaise they use in France. It has a better consistency and flavor.

Drinks - La Cooperative

Coca-Cola light. 50 cl 7,20€
Kir au Sauvignon. 25 cl 5,70€
OK, I’m still baffled why drinks are SO expensive here! We spent more money on soda and water than we did our food. Am I just being a ridiculous American that I think this is outrageous?! 😦

Fountain of Warsaw, Jardins du Trocadero
Fountain of Warsaw, Jardins du Trocadero. The Gardens of the Trocadero are beautiful and a great place to view the Eiffel Tower and take photos. Of course I did a customary “jump” photo with the tower in the background, lol.

Novato Festival of Art, Wine and Music

Moylan's Hefe Weiss and St. Francis chardonnay

Moylan’s hefe weiss beer and St. Francis chardonnary.
Novato Festival of Art, Wine and Music, Novato CA

This was a small but cute festival in downtown Novato. We had gone because a couple of David’s friends were volunteering and we had just had brunch with them. It had a charming small town feel and there was a good variety of booths.

Punch and Judy puppet show
Punch and Judy puppet show by Piccolo Puppet Players.

Kids in self-contained balloon balls
Kids in self-contained balloon balls in water.