Well, actually in Sonoma Valley, but it's close enough. I have just returned from spending a week in northern California and don't even begin to know where to begin! The weather was absolutely divine, the food was mouthwatering, the scenery gets into your bloodstream, and the wine...oh, the wine... I went to San Francisco last week on a business trip and then was joined my my sweet father for a few days exploring wine country. Here begins the adventure...
I never really understood what Tony Bennett meant when he sang those words: "I left my heart in San Francisco." Until now. It is an absolutely fantastic town. Aside from the fact that the warm sun burned daily and temperatures were in the mid-70s, the city has this fantastic energy that is infectious. Perhaps it was just the location of my hotel (smack in the middle of the popular Union Square district), but everyone seemed to be out and about with a purpose and sense of relaxation that you just don't find on the East coast. Retailers, business folks, townies and the like. Everyone is enjoying life.
Shortly after landing and checking in, I experienced my first savory crepe meal at this adorable restaurant around the corner from the hotel: Honey Honey Cafe and Crepery. The sweet, paper thin crepe was cooked to perfection and folded together with delicious sundried tomatoes, feta cheese and fresh basil and served with California fruit.
For dessert, strawberry-Nutella crepes with whipped cream. This is the real deal babe.
After walking off the crepes through Chinatown, Nob Hill, Embarcadero Center, the Port of San Francisco and Union Square, we finished off the day with a visit to Ghirardelli Square (the air even smells like chocolate!) and dinner at the Blue Mermaid in Fisherman's Wharf with the most fantastic dungeness crab cakes and a bowl of award-winning crab and corn chowder (of course accompanied by my first glass of wine).
The most exciting event of my time in San Francisco came the last evening. On our way to dinner, we entered the mecca: the flagship Williams Sonoma store! Four glorious stories of kitchen accoutrements. Anything and everything a girl in an apron could possible ever want...and then some. This moment had eluded me for nearly a decade, and now I can say, "I have been to the mothership."
It's part museum as well...these are a few gems from Chuck Williams' personal kitchen collection he gathered throughout trips in France.
After two days of business, the real adventure was just beginning: wine country! Are you ready?