Category Archives: French

10 Year Anniversary

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Simon’s lunch of mini corn dogs, carrots, raspberries, watermelon, and mini grapes.

Who wants to squeeze her cheeks? I can give her kisses all day long.

So can you imagine? It’s been 10 years since Ron and I said “I do”! We spent the day in San Francisco. Our first stop was Sushirrito. I had always wanted to try this place when we lived in San Francisco but could never find the time to get there. So we tried the Geisha’s Kiss:
Yellowfin Tuna (Hand-Line Caught), Tamago, Piquillo Peppers, Yuzu Tobiko, Lotus Chips, Namasu Cucumber, Butter Lettuce, Avocado with Sesame White Soya

And the Sumo Crunch: Shrimp Tempura, Surimi Crab, Shaved Cabbage, Cucumber, Avocado, Red Tempura Flakes with Sriracha Aioli

Happily eating near the Transamerica Tower. Fish was fresh, veggies fresh, tempura crunchy, rice nicely seasoned… nori was a little soggy but still yummy and worth the trip.

Ron made a massage appointment for us to Royal Thai Spa which was very relaxing.
photo 2

Then we were off to dinner at Quince Restaurant for dinner.

We decided to try the 8 course tasting menu and some cocktails. Ron had the Quince martini made tableside and I had the Shrub Fumoso (Raynauld Brandy, Zucca Amaro, Shrub Tonic, Rhubarb and Strawberry Gastrique).

They served us some beautiful bites. Front bottom to top: watermelon, cucumber, rice cracker, and (I forgot but something with olive on the bottom). All delicious.

Then an amuse bouche made from peaches. So refreshing.

First course of big eye tuna with flowering coriander, seaweed, Dragon’s egg cucumber.

Excited to start eating.

Monterey Abalone with carolina gold rice, green tomato, and sweet corn. The abalone was very tender and sweet.

Creamy butter and fresh baked bread.

Ron had the Tagliolini E Oro with cocoa, razor clam, and charentais melon. Love the gold.


I had the “tortelli alla Cecilia Chiang” with caviar, smoked sturgeon, shallot. (Supplement $30 for this dish.)

Suckling Pig Tortellini with parmigiano reggiano fonduta. This inspired us to try making our own pasta at home, possibly with roast pig and fresh pasta sheets. Will let you know how that turns out.

Four Story Hill sweetbread with black truffle, gem lettuce, radish. The truffle slivers were sandwiched in between the sweetbread. Very rich.


Phil Paine’s squab with ruby beet, Knoll Farm fig, leek. Tender, juicy, and delicious.

Another amuse of apricot sabayon. Delicious meringue-like cookie on top.

Middleton Farm berries with yogurt, Mara Des Bois, Valrhona Opalys. Sweet berries with delicious crumble.

Complimentary chocolate mousse for our anniversary.

To many more years!! Love you hubby! (I know you read our blog…)

After dinner espresso. Love these cups with the little lids.

Beautiful little cookie platter too (coconut macaroon, a nut cookie, meringue, pate de fruit, and brandy truffle).

The server asked us if we wanted an after dinner drink and mentioned something called “Amaro”. I had never heard of it before and she said it was a neutral grape spirit that helps with digestion. Then she offered us a complimentary tasting of one that had mint and fennel. She served it in this beautiful hand etched glass and the spirit was delicious. Cleansing and very refreshing.

Then we even got a treat to take home. Some chocolate dotted with various types of nuts. No peanuts so we could share with Simon!

A wonderful dining experience. The server for the night was named Alexandra and she was wonderful. I just Googled her name and see that she is a “Captain” at Quince. She was very thorough, polite, and patient throughout the whole night. Definitely an experience to remember.

But we were eager to get home to see the kids. We had a lovely package at home that Simon helped us to open.

Beautiful roses from my dad for our anniversary.

Wow, 10 years!

Bouchon, Domaine Chandon, Solage Calistoga

Day 158

We headed to wine country for Ron’s cousin’s wedding. Since the wedding was in the late afternoon, we decided to go to Napa for lunch. There was more traffic than we anticipated so we were almost 30 minutes late for our 12:15pm reservation at Bouchon. I had made the reservation on OpenTable yesterday and when we were running late, I gave them a call to tell them we were going to be there around 12:30pm instead. When we got there around 12:40pm, I was pleasantly surprised to see they still had our table reserved, equipped with a high chair to put Simon’s car seat. I had specified in our reservation that it was 2 adults and 1 baby so I’m glad they did this for us.

The service was excellent as usual. Their bread was so delicious and the rest of the meal was also fantastic. We tried their special appetizer/soup of the day, a lobster bisque with a crab and lobster beignet also with sweet corn and small tomatoes in the broth. Yum!

Simon was a little fussy so he spent time out of the car seat while we were waiting for our main courses. Check out his cute overalls. Thank you to Auntie Elaine and Uncle Edgar.

Pan seared roast duck with duck gizzard sausage and braised field greens and sweet corn. The duck had a nice crispy skin and it was a beautiful presentation.

Ron ordered the special entree of the day, a lamb shank. Very tender, fall off the bone tender, but still a bit of gamey taste. Although the vegetables countered that and surprisingly tasted very good soaked in the juices.

After the great lunch, we headed across the way to the bakery to buy some goodies for home. Then we had time for one winery before heading to Calistoga for the wedding. We ended up at Domaine Chandon as I was in the mood for some sparkling wine. They have a nice tasting room that is open to the lawn area but the service left sometime to be desired. You have to crowd around this bar to get your tastings and the servers seemed to be attentive only to certain crowds.

This was probably the fourth or fifth time we’ve visited Domaine Chandon and the service is usually better and the sparkling wine they serve are now different. We ordered the $25 Prestige tasting which were pretty tasty but not ones we would likely buy. We miss our Mumm Napa Valley sparkling wine club and their tasting service is must more personal. It’s table service and they come to explain the wines to you and serve complimentary delicious cheese crackers. I’m not sure if they still do this but this was the standard 2-3 years ago.

Anyways, Simon fell asleep during our tasting but thought we’d take a photo.

He woke up briefly to take this photo in front of the mushroom garden, our favorite spot at Domaine Chandon. One of the staff helped us to take this photo and even got Simon to smile a bit. Thank you anonymous lady!

After this, we drove over to Solage Calistoga where the wedding was to be held. The staff there was very friendly and helpful. First we asked for a place to change and they guided us to their pool changing room. Then Ron realized he forgot his cuff links and someone there let him borrow his! We were always greeted with a “hello” or “how are you?”. I’d want to go back just to check out their spa. Seems like they would have great service.

The ceremony started a bit late and they had some technical problems (microphone kept on cutting out) but it was short and sweet and led to a nice cocktail and appetizer hour. Simon had been awake for quite a while and had been pretty calm for most of the time. I was waiting for him to start getting cranky and tell us that he wanted to nap. Instead, as Ron was holding him, I noticed he started nodding off while facing forward. Had a bit too much to drink baby?

When we were invited into the dining room, the first thing I noticed was the candy bar. So pretty and so yummy. I found out later that the marshmallows were home made! Creative.

Everyone got a take out box of candy to take home.

Simon and I waiting for dinner to start.

The meal was simple but delicious. These are shrimp lettuce wraps, shrimp were really fresh and the cups also had some rice noodles and a tangy sauce.

A green salad with sweet corn, tomatoes, and a bit of grated cheese.

Roasted chicken with green beans and fingerling potatoes. A big portion and very moist. Ron and I were surprised the chicken was so moist and wonder how they did it.

A vanilla panna cotta with melon soup. I could just drink the melon soup… so refreshing. I liked the panna cotta but some people did not. It had a bit of tanginess and was very smooth. I enjoyed the panna cotta more than their white wedding cake with fresh berries.

Simon took little naps throughout the dinner. I brought along Winnie the Pooh to help him sleep. I think it did help him remember that he was supposed to fall asleep. He got woken up a few times though because of the noise and being too warm.

We ended up getting home late and Simon was konked out. We transferred him from the car seat straight to the bed. We didn’t want to wake him by changing his clothes so let him sleep in his outfit.

Here are our Bouchon Bakery goodies. French macarons (blueberry, caramel, hazelnut, raspberry, and pistachio) $3 each and huge!

To show how great Bouchon restaurant was, we asked to take our small piece of bread home since it was so delicious and they went to get us a box and filled it to the brim of bread! The bread has a great crust and is chewy on the inside. Those are the vine looking things inside this box. We transferred it into this box with the rest of our pastries. Also in here are a almond & chocolate croissant and brioche.

Delicious looking citrus tarts… can’t wait to dig in to these.

Can’t wait to dig in to all of them….

It was a good day overall, beautiful weather and a beautiful wedding. Congratulations to Eugenia and Michael!

We took a photo with the bride and groom but not with our camera (it ran out of memory!) so hopefully will post it here later on.

Stud = Buts

Day 155

Ron found a hidden word in Simon’s bib, anyone looking for “Seymour Buts”? (Simpsons anyone?)

Simon went to Ron’s parents office to spend the day. Here he is intently playing his piano.

He got to wear his PJs all day.

Ron fed Simon his evening rice cereal and got him ready for bed. He finally pooped, it’s been almost 4 days! Here he is practicing crawling on the bed in his PJs.

I went to an educational dinner talk at Scala’s Bistro. Our co-worker Julie was the presenter so a bunch of us went to support her. She did a great job with the talk and the food was delicious.

I had the filet of beef with mashed potatoes and spinach. The beef was cooked medium and so tender that we didn’t need steak knives to cut through it. The spinach was a bit garlicky but delicious and the mashed potatoes with gravy rounded out the meal.

For dessert, a bostini cream pie with orange chiffon cake, vanilla cream, and chocolate glaze. Delicious!

I missed Simon’s meal, bathtime, and bedtime tonight. It was a good night out with adults but I enjoy coming home to my little family so was kind of sad to find Simon asleep when I arrived home. Tomorrow night I will be home so look forward to watching Simon try his first vegetable or fruit puree.

But since he went to bed early, I finally had some time to finish updating this blog. I’ve had a hard time keeping up the last two weeks since I’ve had some problems with my computer. I’ve run out of storage space so can’t download the photos from our camera so that I can upload them to our picasa site. But I now have a 1 TB portable external hard drive so have plenty of storage space! Many thanks to Ron for partitioning my hard drive so that I can read it on a PC and with a MAC. Simon has so many pictures, I hope I’ll have time to make a photo book of his first year.

Isa Restaurant – Dine About Town

I met up with Patrick and Shirley at Isa Restaurant for Dine About Town. Although we might have gotten a bit cheated as their regular prix fixe for Mon thru Thur is only $28 while for DAT, it’s $35… I hope that these portions we got were larger…

Well for appetizers, we started out with salmon carpaccio (which I didn’t get to try).

The calamari with beans and cooked arugula. Very tender and had nice flavor.

The mussels with garlic, white wine, parsley, and grilled bread. A big portion and the “soup” was really good with the bread.

For main courses, we had the pan fried sole with broccolini. The sole was a bit sweet and fresh. I really like the broccolini.

This is the flat iron steak, nice and tender, with potato gratin, creamy and delicious.

Lobster bouillabaisse with fish and clams. The bouillabaisse was good but I couldn’t tell it was lobster.

For desserts, we had two cheese courses and creme brulee.

Needless to say, we were pretty stuffed. The bread they offered too was delicious, toasty on the outside and soft on the inside and served warm. I wish I could have eaten more of it, I can’t wait to have carbs again!

Isa Restaurant
3324 Steiner Street

Union Square Macy’s, Bar Tartine, Bi-Rite Creamery, and Jeremys Department Store

This morning I went for a walk to Union Square and did some shopping at Macy’s. They were still having some Black Friday deals this morning so I found some good gifts. While there, I came across one of those electronic vending machines that sell iPods, the Sony eReader, headphones, USB drives, etc. Unfortunately it was out of order or else I would definitely get one of these! I just may have to go back to get one.

The San Francisco SPCA has set up their pet adoption windows so I went to take a peek at the kitties and puppies. I took a few pictures with my iPhone.

This kitty was exhausted but not too exhausted to look cute and pose for the camera. Check out the tiny paws underneath the chin.

There are siblings in this window, the one on top was meowing for attention.

This is Fiona, a 3-month old little tabby taking a nap.

This poor kitty looked upset and squished itself in between the glass and the candy cane pole.

Macy’s had their tree lighting ceremony on Friday night. I took a rest on a bench in Union Square and did some people watching while waiting for Ron to pick me up for lunch; there were tons of people out shopping.

We went for lunch with friends at Bar Tartine. They take reservations but for a maximum of 6 people. They have a great weekend brunch menu.

I started out with a very refreshing Dry Soda Co. Cucumber Soda. It’s like sparkling water with a strong cucumber flavor with a bit of sweetness. It’s a bit expensive though, $4 in the restaurant, not sure what retail price is but I’ll be on the hunt for it.

The bread and butter so yummy. The bread toasty on the outside, chewy and a bit sour on the inside.

Ron ordered the open faced pork belly sandwich with avocado, egg salad, pickled jalapeno and shoestring fries ($14). The pork belly had a bit too much fat so Ron had to cut it off. The pickled jalapeno gave the sandwich a good kick. The shoestring fries were delicious with the accompanying aioli.

I ordered the Sonoma foie gras panini, blackberry jam, brioche, rocket and green salad ($16). This was really rich. We wished they had seared the foie gras because it was kind of mushy overall especially with the blackberry jam. The flavor was great and the brioche was nicely toasted. I would love more of that blackberry jam.

The other dish tried by our table was the country bread french toast with raspberries and maple syrup (plus some little currants). I didn’t try this though.

After our very filling lunch, we walked over to Bi-Rite Creamery for some dessert. This time the line wasn’t that long so we decided to wait the 5-10 minutes. We walked over to Dolores Park to sit on the grass and enjoy our ice cream. I tried the Earl Gray and Roasted Banana. The Earl Gray really tasted like the tea with a hint of floral aftertaste. The Roasted Banana just tasted like banana but perhaps the Earl Gray overpowered it.

Then I went shopping with Virginia at Jeremy’s Department Store. She went yesterday and got some good deals. They started their black friday sale yesterday where everything is at least 50% off. It’s through the weekend so ends on Sunday night at closing. We spent like 2 hours there shopping and I bought two pairs of shoes and some dresses. I’ll take some photos later. If you’re looking for a good deal on wedding gowns, they have some beauties priced below $600 and with the additional 50% off, it’s a steal! This is the best sale I’ve been to but they do have sales every weekend, just sign up for their mailing list to get notification of what’s going on sale.

It’s been a nice relaxing Thanksgiving holiday… I’m glad tomorrow is still Sunday, one more day of rest.

Bar Tartine
561 Valencia Street

Bi-Rite Creamery
3692 18th Street

Jeremys Department Store
2 South Park