Tagged wine tasting

Hyper-local + trendy Scandinavian restaurant Stedsans shows off in SF for one-night popup

Stedsans in SF
Scandinavia’s Stedsans makes an appearance in SF

Written by and photos by Nadia Ibanez

The food scene in SF is paramount. Restaurants and chefs with a global footprint are constantly attracted to the City to turn a new leaf or try out some new recipes in our 7×7 grid of a community. From famous NY food carts to world-acclaimed chefs, the San Francisco food scene caters to everyone — chef or eater. I was so lucky to be invited to a special, media-only dinner hosted by VisitDenmark and Scandinavian Airlines who put organic restaurant, Stedsans on our radar.

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Stedsans is a beautiful restaurant set within the greenhouse of Scandinavia’s first rooftop farm, OsterGRO, in Copenhagen. If you’re a guest at their restaurant, which is booked several months in advance, you’ll sit at one long table and share five to six courses with everyone around you.

The tablescape at Cookhouse used all Danish cookware.
The tablescape at Cookhouse spotlighted Danish cookware.

In keeping with the inspiration of the restaurant’s normal menu, the owners of Stedsans sourced our dinner’s ingredients from local farms and farmer’s markets that day. We were treated to a six-course meal paired with local wines at North Beach pop-up restaurant space, Cookhouse. Chefs and founders Mette Helbæk and Flemming Hansen were also on hand to talk about the restaurant and the inspiration behind our meal.

“Our menu changes with the season,” Hansen says. “We source natural wines too, because nature is so perfect. Sustainability, our health and gourmet food go hand in hand.”

Stedsans-squash
Have you ever seen such a stunning plate of food?

The meal was absolutely amazing. Vegetarians would have LOVED it and carnivores would have loved the lamb dish. We started our meal with a crudite of raw vegetables, tarragon mayo and seeded crackers, paired with a Pinot Gris. We moved onto roasted butternut squash with goat cheese as well as veggies and hollandaise. While these dishes sound ordinary, they did an amazing job at showing off the freshness and earthiness of each vegetable. Our main course was lamb and two different types of onions and we rounded off our evening with a California gouda and macadamia nuts and Stedsans’ famous Chocolate Cake.

Stedfans veggies
These vegetables were doused in butter and I’m pretty sure that’s why they were so delicious
Stedsans' famous chocolate cake
Stedsans’ famous chocolate cake

Unfortunately I can’t provide any info on when Stedsans will be back in town or offering a meal to the public, but if you ever find yourself in Copenhagen, make sure to look these guys up. For more information, visit http://www.cleansimplelocal.com.

You’re not a true SF foodie until you try legendary restaurant, Campton Place

Campton Place3

Written by Meaghan Clark, Photos by Kingmond Young

I’m the first to admit I’m a bona fide foodie. I like my restaurants sealed with a “hot” or “new” label, and have waited in line for cruffins, snapped Instagram photos of side-street tacos, and stayed up late to secure OpenTable reservations for State Bird Provisions (to no avail).

So when an opportunity came around to try a decades-old restaurant in the heart of Union Square, I was skeptical. There’s no line around the corner and the place had a small digital footprint.

I deserve to be slapped.

For anyone with Bay Area connections, ask about Campton Place. With its rich history, the restaurant has opened the kitchen door for many of the Bay’s renowned chefs like St. Helena’s Todd Humphries and James Beard award winner Bradley Ogden.

The beauty behind the restaurant, located within Taj Campton Place, is that it defines fine dining in a way that “hot” places like Al’s Place and Petit Crenn only wish they could replicate. I’m talking about a wait staff that refills your water at just the right time without making you feel like they’re hovering, or tossing your cloth napkin aside when you’ve stepped to the restroom to get you a new one. Each little detail that accompanies your visit to Campton Place is refreshing and “new” in the sense that we don’t see this kind of service anymore…and I haven’t even begun to describe the food.

Spicepot at Campton Place
Spicepot at Campton Place

Without hesitation, we decided to take on the Spice Route menu, a six-course display of some of executive chef Srijith Gopinathan’s signature creations. It was ambitious, yes, but when else do you get the chance to spoon tamarind chutney out of a terra cotta pot that’s sitting on a bed of acorns and pinecones whilst dry ice delivers a mist of “San Francisco fog”? The spice pot alone is enough to venture away from your social circle; it’s a dish you aren’t likely to come across on your latest hunt for what Thrillist calls “the best” macaroni and cheese in the city.

Surprisingly, the audience wasn’t as stuffy as I’d expected on a Wednesday night. And while I’m not the first to describe the lackluster décor often associated with hotel-based restaurants (the Chronicle called is “fusty” last year), and a restroom hidden within the lobby alongside overstuffed lounge chairs and a giant crystal chandelier, I came here for the cuisine.

Of course, it was truly the food that stood out. Celebrating a second Michelin star this year, Campton Place would be nothing without the visionary talents of executive chef Srijith Gopinathan, who joined the culinary powerhouse in 2010. Upon his arrival, the Southern Indian native earned the restaurant its first Michelin star, which he’s followed up with one every year since then.

The beauty behind Srijith’s menu isn’t just the continued excellence, but the expectation that there’s constant innovation – like his incorporation of seasonal ingredients. As an SF foodie I’m used to enjoying changing menus and daily dishes, but for an institution like Campton Place – and signature dishes like the spice pot that have been on the menu for years – I was pleasantly surprised to see that the menu still keeps diners on their toes. This winter, everyone has squash on the menu but Srijith’s addition of Indian spices to a ladle of squash puree complimented the rest of the menu while adding a touch of modernism.

Campton Place

Without hesitation I can claim that I’ve never tasted a better pairing than the one I did at Campton Place – the cod and Riesling were like peanut butter and jelly; for once I finally understood what it meant to taste a complementary pairing. The cod exploded with flavor after a sip of my wine, a varietal I usually don’t enjoy for its sweetness but made my taste buds explode with happiness after just one sip/bite.

I could parade about the variety of each specific dish, but it’s all been documented before. Campton Place should still be where the foodies, bloggers, and PR stars go, and not because it’s new or hot or because the latest listicle from some newbie online publication tells you to go there.

The beauty behind great San Franciscan cuisine is that it has a history, and Campton Place is one of those places that has kept history alive. For more information, visit www.camptonplacesf.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tyler Florence of Wayfare Tavern

ICYMI: Eat Drink SF 2015 Grand Tasting

Eat Drink SF 2015
Welcome to Eat Drink SF 2015!

Written by and photos by Nadia Ibanez

Eat Drink SF really knows how to attract the masses to Fort Mason. With the promise of unlimited food and drinks, celeb chef demos, music and giveaways, why wouldn’t you spend your afternoon and/or evening in complete indulgence? Each of the three Grand Tasting events put the spotlight on more than 30 of the city’s top restaurants, along with spirits purveyors, wine makers and craft beers.

Top Chef Ryan Scott and Olympian Brian Boitano
Top Chef Ryan Scott and Olympian Brian Boitano talk shop on the Main Stage.
Tyler Florence of Wayfare Tavern
Tyler Florence serving up a Corn and Prawn soup at the Wayfare Tavern booth.
Tony Gemignani Eat Drink SF
Local pizza legend Tony Gemignani shows off his Purple Potato Sicilian Pizza.
Executive Chef, Danny Kou, of La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
Executive Chef, Danny Kou, of La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
Chef Joanne Weir of Copita Tequileria y Comida
Chef Joanne Weir of Copita Tequileria y Comida
Chef Michael Chiarello
Chef Michael Chiarello shares the secrets of his risotto on the Main Stage

I was lucky enough to attend both Grand Tasting events on Saturday afternoon and evening and finally got to meet the minds behind some of the restaurants I’ve been dying to try — and not to mention taste a menu item or two. I can’t tell you how many people I talked to at both events who kept saying that the event was so fun. I tend to forget that there’s a massive amount of San Francisco restaurants and chefs who have really made a name for themselves in the culinary world on a global scale. We’re all so lucky to have such easy access to these places and people. Eat Drink SF is just one of several food-centric events in the city that shows off local stars, produce, spirits, wine, food non-profits and more. 

Here are my picks for some of the best bites from Eat Drink SF 2015. (You may not want to look through these photos on an empty stomach.)

Eat Drink SF Tony's Pizza
The crew from Tony’s Pizza in North Beach serving up their famous meatballs and sausage.
Eat Drink SF Souvla
Souvla serves up their AMAZING lamb
Noodles and Shrimp from Slanted Door
Noodles and Shrimp from Slanted Door
Eat Drink SF Scoma
A super fresh Crab Louis Salad from Scoma’s
Handmade pasta from Ristobar
Handmade pasta from Ristobar
Eat Drink SF Ramen Bar
Deviled Ramen Eggs from the Ramen Bar
Eat Drink SF Tony's Pizza
Tony’s delicious Purple Potato Sicilian Pizza
Eat Drink SF Poggio
Poggio served up Rock Shrimp, Burrata, Corn and Pesto
Cafe Madeleine's Panna Cotta
Cafe Madeleine’s Panna Cotta
Crab Cakes from One Market
Crab Cakes from One Market
Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak
Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak
Emporio Rulli's Lemoncocco
Emporio Rulli’s Lemoncocco
Hops & Hominy's Pulled Pork Sandwich
Hops & Hominy’s Pulled Pork Sandwich
Butterscotch Pudding from Hopscotch in Oakland
Butterscotch Pudding from Hopscotch in Oakland
EDSF_gintonic
EDSF_figs
Desserts from Ca'Momi
Desserts from Ca’Momi
Copita's Tuna Crudo Tostaditas
Copita’s Tuna Crudo Tostaditas
Whole Food's cheeseplate
Whole Food’s cheeseplate
The dessert spread from Cafe Madeleine
The dessert spread from Cafe Madeleine
Tomato tarts from the brand new Bon Marché
Tomato tarts from the brand new Bon Marché
Craft beers in the Backyard
Craft beers in the Backyard

If you’re looking for the best way to try out dozens of SF restaurants all under the same roof and in just a few hours, Eat Drink SF is how to do it. While we’re counting down until next year’s event, we can all salivate over these guys and their restaurant friends on their Instagram account @EatDrinkSF.

For more information, visit http://eatdrink-sf.com.

Eat Drink SF is where you want to be this weekend in San Francisco

eatdrinksf3

Written by Nadia Ibanez, photos courtesy of Eat Drink SF

If you know anything about me, I love a great food festival. And living in San Francisco lends itself to some amazing festivals and award-winning restaurants — just a short bus ride away. I first found out about Eat Drink SF on Instagram and little did I know that they were the brains behind one of the City’s best food, wine and spirits festival.

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In its seventh year, Eat Drink SF offers four days (from August 20-23) of food and booze filled events, competitions, private parties and more. This year will be the second time the main Grand Tasting event convenes at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, with smaller events taking place across the City.

From a local chef Taco Knockdown and a Super Duper Celeb Chef guest series, to three Grand Tasting events and the Ultimate Brunch Party, Eat Drink SF will surely help locals pack on a couple pounds this weekend — in the best way possible. The event also supports two local food-centric organizations, Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) and the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Foundation (GGRASF).

I’ll be at the Saturday afternoon and evening Grand Tasting events this weekend so stay tuned for photos on our social media pages. (And yes, I’m fasting now so that I can completely indulge this weekend.) With more than 30 different restaurants at each event and 70+ wines, beers and cocktails, I’m in for it.

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Celebrity chefs will be demoing and emceeing and there’s a huge list of restaurants that I’ve been meaning to try offering some of their best nibbles. I’m especially salivating over tastings offered by restaurants like Bon Marché Brasserie & Bar, Huxley, Gaspar Brasserie, Gitane, ICHI Sushi, La Mar Cebicheria, Nick’s Cove, Palm House, Slanted Door, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, Twenty Five Lusk, Park Tavern and Zero Zero.

For more information and tickets, visit http://eatdrink-sf.com/. I’ll see you there!

 

 

Westfield UTC’s 2nd annual Uncasked event

Wander’s First Giveaway! Win Tickets to Westfield UTC’s Uncasked event

The Wander crew is happy to announce our first giveaway!

Congratulations to Tiffany A, who has been selected as our winner! We hope you enjoy yourself this Saturday!

Don’t fret if you weren’t chosen; there is still plenty of time to buy tickets to the event at https://ticketsauce.com/e/uncasked15. The event is expected to sell out again this year, so purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended. Each $20 ticket includes a branded tasting mug, 10 tickets for pours, unlimited food and beach games.

 

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We are teaming up with Bay Bird Inc. to give away a pair of passes to Westfield UTC’s 2nd Uncasked event coming up on Saturday, August 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Westfield UTC (4545 La Jolla Village Drive).

If you’re looking for an amazing opportunity to enjoy the great San Diego backdrop, combining Westfield UTC’s beautiful outdoor setting with San Diego’s favorite craft breweries, including Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Rough Draft Brewing Company, Groundswell Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Company & Mother Earth Brew Co., then this is the contest for you!

Guests can try ten local brews while sampling unlimited bites from some of Westfield UTC’s favorite restaurants, including fresh California cuisine from Lemonade, savory grill items from Seasons 52 and comfort food from Tender Greens. To round out the afternoon’s festivities, guests will enjoy live music from Casey Turner and Nathan and Jessie, plus play fun beach games while they sip their suds.

To win: 

It’s simple really:

  1. Follow our Wander Facebook page and the Westfield UTC Facebook page. Your odds are better increased if you share the post with your friends about the contest!
  2. Comment with your name and the name of your favorite local brew by 4 p.m. Wednesday.
  3. Check our Facebook page at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 18. 

If you want to guarantee that you get to go to Uncasked, tickets can be purchased at: https://ticketsauce.com/e/uncasked15. The event is expected to sell out again this year, so purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended. Each $20 ticket includes a branded tasting mug, 10 tickets for pours, unlimited food and beach games.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from Uncasked will benefit the San Diego Brewers Guild, the local nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and increasing visibility of fresh, locally brewed beer. The SDBG is responsible for maintaining San Diego’s reputation as the “Capital of Craft,” and does this through its core annual events and public educationThe proceeds from this tournament will help to sustain these initiatives, including San Diego Beer Week, and the Rhythm & Brews Music and Craft Beer Festival.

Good luck, and we’ll see you at Uncasked!