Thursday, September 18, 2003

I've been going on about all the lovely places, I should also note a few to avoid. One is Taqueria Mi Familia, San Anselmo. Run-down, greasy. Lots of good choices, no need to bother with the bad ones. Another would be Dario's Pizza Restaurant in Sausalito. Very limp pasta with uninspired sauces. Sam's Cafe in Tiberon is mediocre and pricey. You're paying for the view, which is fabulous. Just skip the food, and have a drink!

Today I attended a Board Meeting which was held at a fabulous restaurant, Le Papillion, located in San Jose. The chef went over the top for us. He kept sending in little bites in between our ordered courses. First, he sent out some terrine bites, followed by a delicate toast bite topped with a crab piece. Yet another pre-tizer came out, this time a gorgeous, tiny squash blossom filled with lobster truffle and topped with black caviar. Wow. I then had my first ordered course, the Baby Lettuce Salad, Pears, Toasted Pecans, Feta Cheese and Chambord Vinaigrette. It was so fresh and the pears were just perfectly ripe. It was also surrounded by wonderful slices of melon to frame it. We were then treated to another surprise bite, a tender bite of pork belly topping black chanterelles which had been reduced into a lovely rich mound of flavor. My entree, Herb Crusted Halibut on Saffron Basmati Rice with Dill and Cherry Tomatoes, then arrived and it was perfect as well. The design of oil and herbs around the rim framed this work of art perfectly. The portion was generous. One of the two wines we enjoyed happened to be one of my two personal favorite chardonnays, KISTLER, Dutton Ranch (2000) [the other being the Ridge Monte Bello Chardonnay]. We were again treated to a bite of white cheese, with a bit of marche, plum, and drop of pistacio oil surrounded by a bit of black pepper. Yum. I had no ability to order dessert! But had a little bite of my neighbor's plum covered pudding-like confection. While enjoying a cappuccino, a lovely tray of chocolates and tiny sweets came. Luscious! Lunch from 12:30-3:15 ---- slow European style. No dinner necessary for this girl!

My father's condo in Seattle FINALLY closed and all is settled. To celebrate, he came down last weekend and we shopped until we dropped. Dad will be quite dapper once the alterations are complete! Besides the breakfast place mentioned in the last post, we had a day out in San Francisco and made some finds! Dad requested a walk around Chinatown, so after lunch at the Holding Company with his bankers, we took off up the hill! Dad and I found some fun things at The Wok Shop, a tea chest, loose tea brewer and some sharp flower scissors for $1.50! We stopped for a drink at Enrico's in North Beach, then had dinner just a block down the road at a wonderful Afgani restaurant called Helmand's.

Certainly Paul and I enjoy finding the breakfast spots. Recently, we visited two recommendable places in Mill Valley, The Dipsea Cafe and Cafe Oggi. I also slipped away with my father recently, and found a great breakfast place tucked away in Strawberry Village, the Raintree Cafe.

Have I missed posting some great times since the last post! My niece Erika came with her sister Yurika and the twins for the Labor Day Weekend. I organized an inpromptu party at Papa's Taverna in Petaluma along the river. 16 friends and family showed up and we enjoyed Greek dishes from moussaka to flaming Greek cheese! The kids and adults danced with abandon, and the kids were fascinated by the belly-dancer. Little 2 year old Olivia showed everyone how to dance, while our most senior member, Frank at 91, did some heavy looking on. (His secret is garlic and olive oil - doesn't look a day over 70!) We also found quite a kid-friendly place at the Yankee Pier in Larkspur. They have a small sandbox and picnic tables under a wisteria covered patio.