Archive for March, 2010

The Culture Brief

March 28, 2010

Film: Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs The New York KnicksI really enjoyed this ESPN documentary about the heyday of the Knicks/Pacers rivalry as exemplified by Reggie Miller vs John Starks/Spike Lee. You know you are getting old when you enjoy looking back AND can recall witnessing the details relayed by those who lived it.

Songs: I’m excited about new albums from MGMT, LCD Soundsystem, Broken Social Scene and The New Pornographers. Until then, some new tunes keeping me occupied are:

Broken Social Scene World Sick

Broken Bells The High Road

Hot Chip One Life Stand

She and Him In the Sun

Bird & The Bee One on One

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Exploring SF

March 27, 2010

Today we drove out to Bernal Heights to check out the Bernal Heights Hill and walk our dog while taking in great views of the city. Here are some pics I took with the iPhone.

Later, we decided to check out the touristy Pier 39 which reminded us of Navy Pier in Chicago and South Street Seaport in NYC. We had a pretty decent lunch at Fog Harbor – I had the Anchor steam battered Fish & Chips and a glass of Anchor Steam.

We also took a stroll around Ghirardelli Square and The Cannery before heading back home.

Sunday – On Sunday we met up with my cousin and her boyfriend and had a nice brunch at Home. Afterwards we walked around the Mission a bit.

Where I’ve Been

March 27, 2010

Friday, 3/26 – Busted out of work early and decided to check out the Potrero Hill neighborhood – a sleepy neighborhood whose main drag lies on 18th St.

Afterwards, we tried to sit outside at The Ramp, but alas no seats were to be had.

So instead, we ventured out to nearby Dogpatch and made our 1st stop at Yield Wine Bar. It’s a great little wine bar and we took advantage of the happy hour special – indulging in the $10 carafe, some manchego cheese and calamari. Props to Yield for friendly service and for playing They Might Be Giants’ Flood over the speakers.

Next, we went across the street to Serpentine for a proper dinner and it transported us back to our days in Brooklyn – hipster waitstaff, solid new American cuisine, good wine and beer and a music flooding the space that sounded as if it was lifted from our own iPod (Black Kids, Death Cab, Radiohead, Postal Service, Ting Tings, etc.). This might be my new favorite place.

Where I’ve Been

March 22, 2010

Sunday – Brunch at Choquet’s in Pac Heights. Grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. Multiple dogwalks.

Saturday in Napa

March 21, 2010

Yesterday we made our 1st trip to Napa. We checked out the Robert Mondavi winery where we sampled a tasting of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Moscato d’Oro.

Afterwards, we made our way to Yountville (home of culinary meccas French Laundry, Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery). Though we didn’t get to dine at French Laundry (I never made it off of the wait list), we did see their garden.

We also had a lot of fun at the Taste of Yountville street fair, where we got to sample different wines and food from other local restaurants.

After the festival, we paid a visit to the Napa Premium Outlets and finished up with some errand running at The Container Store and Village at Corte Madera.

34 is the new 33

March 21, 2010

Nothing soothes the realization that I am in the final year of marketers’ coveted Men 18-34 demographic like an indulgent meal.

And thus, we found ourselves at Restaurant Gary Danko on Friday night.

It was a top flight experience. The quality was first-rate and service highly attentive. They did the kind of things they should for a restaurant of their caliber – taking the bottle of wine we brought from us upon entering, getting the valet to bring our car around at completion of the meal, started with butternut squash soup as an amuse bouche, etc.

Two things really stood out for us, however – one was the flexibility in terms of truly being able to customize your own tasting menu. You could choose 3,4, or 5 courses and any combination of appetizers, meat, fish, cheese or dessert.

Given it was my birthday, I pretty much let my eyes do the choosing and so ended with: Course 1) Seared sonoma foie gras with carmelized onions and apples; 2) dungeness crab salad with grapefruit, asian pears, avocado, mint, and yuzu remoulade; 3) pancetta wrapped frog legs with garlic puree, potato, lentils and parsley; 4) roasted pork belly and tenderloin with brussel sprouts, bacon, parsnip puree and maple cider glaze; 5) trio of creme brulee with assorted cookies.

The second thing that stood out for us was the impressive cheese cart (which my wife opted for) that they brought out allowing her to select 4 cheeses.

After dessert, they brought a birthday treat (with candle) and another plate of treats, along with a mini-breakfast cake to send us on our way.

Where I’ve Been

March 14, 2010

Saturday, 3/13/10 – Did some weekend errand shopping at Costco and Whole Foods. Took the dog out a couple times and enjoyed the sunny weather. Tried some Coconut M&M’s. Damn those are pretty good.

Decided to go up to Pacific Heights and walk around the neighborhood. Had brunch at Chouquet’s. Came upon a girl scout and her mom selling cookies and I had to stop for some Thin Mints and Samoas. Grabbed a beer at Harry’s Bar. Walking around Fillmore St. reminded me of other well-heeled streets like Armitage (Chicago) or Walnut (Philly) or M Street (Georgetown, D.C.).

I saw a bunch of interesting restaurants/cafes that we might have to try, including: SPQR, Florio, Woodhouse Fish, Bittersweet Chocolate, Osaka, The Grove, and Elite Cafe.

In the evening (and against better judgment), I ordered G.I. Joe on video on demand. It did, however, meet my low expectations.

Sunday, 3/14/10 – Walked the pup a couple times. Ventured out to Hayes Valley, which still remains my favorite SF neighborhood (because it resembles Park Slope). After getting home, I finally tried out neighborhood sports bar Pete’s Tavern.

Where I’ve Been

March 7, 2010

Friday, 3/5/10 – Met up with some new friends (?) at Koh Samui and the Monkey. Afterwards, got some drinks at Tsunami.

Saturday, 3/6/10 – Did some shopping at Macy’s and Westfield Center and had lunch at Burger Bar. The burger wasn’t much to write home about but that milkshake was good.

Sunday, 3/7/10 – Breakfast at the Cliff House. Those popovers are good. Later we came upon the French Bulldog meetup at Mission Bay Park. Fun was had by all. Still later, we checked out an open house for a condo across the street.