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Thursday
Apr092009

Top Pot Donuts - A gem in the Emerald City

By: Laura Sabo  On a recent drive to Seattle, I was pondering the old standbys of eating establishments that I’ve grown to love and where I’d find myself once I arrived in the Emerald City. While eating at these tried-but-true places are highlights I look forward to, I also seek out “new to me” restaurants, specialty food markets, bakeries and bars that add an element of adventure, and sometimes risk, to the journey. read more

Thursday
Apr092009

2007 Macphail Pinot Noir - Ferrington Vineyard - Anderson Valley, Ca

This is a “BIG” Pinot. Wonderful aromas that leap from the glass with dark cherry and baking spice and an underlining earthiness. Sweet oak spice, soft tannins and more red and black fruits lead to a lingering finish. This is an elegant and rich wine that will age well and work with a variety of food pairings. The wine was aged 10 months in 100% French oak, 40% new. This vintage produced 376 cases.

price: $60.00
drink: 2009 through 2016
online

Monday
Apr062009

2005 Sawyer Cellars Merlot - Rutherford, Napa, Ca

Form the Rutherford appellation in the Napa Valley comes a Merlot with good depth and concentration. Blackberries, currants and baking spice mingle to a nice effect here. Fine grained tannins and 24 month barrel aging help make this wine approachable now. The finish is long, with a bit of oak spice, cocoa and Rutherford dust. The wine should continue to improve in the cellar for several years. 1,355 cases were produced.

price: $39.00
drink: 2009 through 2013
online

Monday
Apr062009

Portland Restaurants Go Green at the Northwest's Big Show

By: Valerie Brockbank  If you have never been to a restaurant industry conference and trade show, make friends with a chef or your barista and get them to take you along as an “employee for a day.” You’ll get a ring-side seat at an event that is part education, part food tasting and part entertainment.

The Northwest Foodservice Show was in Portland this year. The focus was on helping the restaurant trade to “Go Green” and find ways to streamline their businesses in a tough economy. read more 

Saturday
Apr042009

2007 Donkey & Goat - Chardonnay - Brousseau Vineyard, Chalone

This 100% Chardonnay from 30-year-old Wente Clone vines planted in limestone soils has brought us yet another fine effort from the winemakers at   A Donkey & Goat Winery. Unique in style with a Chablis like minerality and great verve, one finds aromas and flavors of wet stone, pomelo, lemon zest and green apple. Its refreshing acidity will stand up well to cream-based dishes, while pairing well with oysters and other raw shelfish. Only 78 cases were produced.

price: $40.00
drink: 2009 through 2010
online 

Saturday
Apr042009

Not just a cupcake... a cupcakery!

 Cupcakes have been a mainstay at traditional bakeries for decades. The current trend of the stand alone gourmet cupcake shop is something that seemingly swept from north to south over the past five years or so. read more 

Wednesday
Apr012009

César... great tapas in the "Gourmet Ghetto"

gulf shrimp & spinach César, which opened in 1998, is located in the famous “Gourmet Ghetto” in north Berkeley, next door to Chez Panisse. The name originates from a character in a trilogy of films by Marcel Pagnol – Marius, Fanny, and César – that takes place in a quayside bar in Marseilles. César was the barkeeper.

So, we have a Spanish restaurant in Berkeley, with a French name, owned by Americans. It works! I have been coming here since they opened and have always found it to be a most authentic representation of Spanish cuisine
. more