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Preview: Check, Please! Bay Area

Check Please Bay Area



KQED Public Media for Northern CA



Updated: 2017-11-23T15:37:40Z

 



Check, Please! Bay Area: L’Ardoise Bistro, Della Santina Trattoria, Perbacco

2017-11-23T15:36:44Z

This season 12 episode 14 revisits some old favorite spots from previous seasons of Check, Please! Bay Area. Reviewed: a classic French bistro in San Francisco, an Italian trattoria in Sonoma, and a restaurant serving up the cuisine of Piemonte and Liguria in San Francisco.

Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 14 airs Thursday, November 23 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Backpacking through the Bay Area offers a chance to savor traditional European cuisine. First stop is the classic French menu at L’Ardoise Bistro, a dreamy, neighborhood spot tucked away on a tree-lined street in San Francisco. Then, imagine a villa courtyard in Central Italy as you step into the greenery-draped trellises and taste the family recipes at Della Santina Trattoria in Sonoma. Finally, savor the cuisine of Piemonte and Liguria in the warmly lit, contemporary-styled dining room of Perbacco in San Francisco.




Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Nopa, Mua, La Costanera

2017-11-23T15:37:40Z

This season 12 episode 13 revisits some old favorite spots from previous seasons of Check, Please! Bay Area. Reviewed are: a hip, late-night restaurant in San Francisco; a place in Oakland to experience live DJs, an internationally inspired menu and crave-worthy cocktails; and a restaurant in Montara that serves up contemporary Peruvian cuisine and has ocean-front views.

Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 13 airs Thursday, November 16 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Transformed from a bank, an auto shop and a chain restaurant, these eateries now accommodate amazing menus crafted by passionate chefs. North of the panhandle in San Francisco is Nopa, a hip, late-night restaurant perfect for meeting new friends. Mua in Oakland’s place to experience live DJs, an internationally inspired menu and crave-worthy cocktails. And La Costanera Restaurant serves up contemporary Peruvian cuisine and has ocean-front views in Montara.




Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Flea Street Cafe, Metro Lafayette, Marin Sun Farms

2017-11-16T20:48:41Z

This season 12 episode 12 revisits some old favorite spots from previous seasons of Check, Please! Bay Area. Reviewed are: a spot in Menlo Park that embraces fresh Californian cuisine produced from local, organic ingredients; a restaurant in Lafayette with Californian-French menu; and a combination farm outlet, butcher shop and restaurant celebrating the pasture-to-plate philosophy in Pt. Reyes.

Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 12 airs Thursday, November 9 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Flea Street Cafe in Menlo Park embraces fresh Californian cuisine produced from local, organic ingredients, some even grown right at the restaurant. Metro Lafayette merges urban sophistication with a relaxed suburban attitude and a Californian-French menu in Lafayette. Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop and Restaurant combines a farm outlet, butcher shop and restaurant celebrating the pasture-to-plate philosophy in Pt. Reyes.




Check, Please! Bay Area: Mandalay, Back A Yard Caribbean American Grill, Pho Vi Hoa

2017-11-09T19:46:07Z

This season 12 episode 11 revisits some old favorite spots from previous seasons of Check, Please! Bay Area. Reviewed are: Burmese dishes at Mandalay in San Francisco, Caribbean fare at Back A Yard Caribbean American Grill in Menlo Park, and classic Vietnamese specialties at Pho Vi Hoa in Los Altos.

Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 11 airs Thursday, November 2 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

A sunshine yellow building houses a cozy spot with an array of traditional Burmese dishes at Mandalay in San Francisco. Next, we visit Back A Yard Caribbean American Grill in Menlo Park for island flavors with steel drums, brightly painted murals and smiling faces. On our last stop, we cruise down to Los Altos for classic Vietnamese specialties at Pho Vi Hoa.




Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Mingalaba Restaurant, The Brazen Head, āina

2017-10-30T23:13:23Z

Check, Please! Bay Area reviews Burmese cuisine in Burlingame, pub food in SF's Cow Hollow, and Hawaiian fare in SF's Dogpatch.Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 20 airs Thursday, October 19 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast. Burmese flavors take us to Burlingame this week with stir-fry dishes that are neither too hot nor too spicy at Mingalaba Restaurant. But if you get a late-night hankering, while you’re in the Cow Hollow district of San Francisco, the pub favorites at The Brazen Head are sure to hit the spot. Finally, we end with a love letter to the islands in the form of elevated Hawaiian cuisine at āina in San Francisco’s Dogpatch. Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 20. (Wendy Goodfriend) Get Restaurant Information: Mingalaba Restaurant (Burlingame) The Brazen Head (San Francisco) āina (San Francisco) Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine. (Wendy Goodfriend) My name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I will be sharing my tasting notes about the wine, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. I will also share some wine, beer and spirits tips with each episode. This week I discuss: Hard Cider. 2016 Chronic Cellars ‘Pink Pedals’ Rosé, Paso Robles, California $15 The idea behind Chronic Cellars is to make seriously killer wine without taking themselves too seriously. Winemakers, Josh and Jake Beckett, are Paso Robles locals who wanted to launch a brand focused on easy-sipping wines made with great grapes. They call their label designs “off-color-yet-full-of-color” and the blonde skeleton pedaling a bike on this pink makes a sassy statement. A wallop of Grenache grapes with a splash of Syrah makes a succulent, watermelon and green apple-scented, dry-styled rosé perfect to pedal your cares away. 2013 Loveblock Pinot Gris, Marlborough, New Zealand $26 Erica and Kim Crawford (yes, Kim is a man) helped create Americans’ love for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The duo also ranks among my favorite vintners from the land of the long white cloud. After selling their namesake wine brand, Kim Crawford, they embarked on a passion project and founded Loveblock. A blend of hillside and valley floor grapes give weightiness yet delicacy to this lovely Pinot Gris. If you aren’t familiar with Kiwi Pinot Gris (same grape as Pinot Grigio but oh so different), this is a wine that will make you fall in love with the variety. 2015 Long Meadow Ranch Chardonnay, Anderson Valley, California $40 Long Meadow Ranch is an historic Napa property that’s home to a family creating a unique culinary community. With more than 2,000 acres of grapes, olive trees and pastures to graze cows, Laddie, Ted and Chris Hall are making a difference in how food and wine are grown and enjoyed. (They also own Farmstead restaurant in Napa, which was highlighted in Check, Please! Bay Area episode 1207). This Chardonnay hails from Mendocino’s Anderson Valley. It’s a region influenced by sunny days and cool nights. What results is Chardonnay with a ping of minerality paired with flavor-packed citrus fruit. It’s the style of Chardonnay that I crave – highly satisfying on the drinkability scale but also makes you appreciate and think about what’s in your glass. A winning combination for any wine. 2014 Black Stallion Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California $26 There are impressive places to visit in Napa Valley, but one you might not have on your radar is Black Stallion. The winery’s name is an homage to its past as an equestrian center. The powerfully sleek statue of a stallion welcomes guests, while their signature Cabernet Sauvignon sports the same unbridled power wrapped in a polished package. Classic Cabernet aromas of dark berry and cocoa, along with a full-bodied texture, makes it a red for appreciators of[...]



Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Los Arquitos Restaurant, Lavash Restaurant, Seven Hills

2017-10-19T19:12:26Z

Check, Please! Bay Area reviews a spot serving traditional Mexican fare in Vallejo, a San Francisco restaurant offering classic Persian flavors, and we step back to a previous episode to revisit the Italian flair at an eatery in San Francisco.Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 19 airs Thursday, October 12 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast. This week we visit with a mom, pop and their three daughters for traditional Mexican fare in Vallejo at Los Arquitos Restaurant. Next we step into the saffron-hued dining room of San Francisco’s Lavash Restaurant for classic Persian flavors. Finally, we step back to a previous episode to revisit the Italian flair found at Seven Hills Restaurant in San Francisco. Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 19. (Wendy Goodfriend) Get Restaurant Information: Los Arquitos Restaurant (Vallejo) Lavash Restaurant (San Francisco) Seven Hills Restaurant (San Francisco) Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine. (Wendy Goodfriend) My name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I will be sharing my tasting notes about the wine, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. I will also share some wine, beer and spirits tips with each episode. This week I discuss: Absinthe. Ferrari Rosé, TrentoDOC, Italy $35 A lesser-known, but incredibly high-quality area for sparklers is the Italian region dubbed TrentoDOC (pronounced TrentoDock). Ferrari has had roots in the northern Italian growing and producing region, which surrounds the city of Trentino, since the early 1900s. Today, this Pinot Noir and Chardonnay-based bubbly made in the classic method is revered among the top ranks of Italy’s sparkling wines. 2015 Groth ‘Hillview Vineyard’ Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California $32 The Groth family began their vinous journey in Napa in 1981. Since then, they have made a name for themselves as one of California’s top family-owned wineries. I’m a fan of Groth’s sleek, powerful bottlings of Cabernet Sauvignon, but this Chardonnay carries on their tradition of crafting complex wines with a high deliciousness factor. Fermentation in both old and new barrels, in addition to stirring of the lees, results in a Chardonnay with a creamy yet crisp character. The wine is balanced with fruit, spice, and oak notes forming a triangle of flavor perfection. 2014 Concha y Toro ‘Gran Reserva’ Ribera del Tinguirrica Malbec, Marchigüe, Colchagua Valley, Chile $17 Many American wine drinkers think that the Malbec is only from Argentina. Not true. There are delicious versions hailing from neighboring Chile, too. Classic producer, Concha y Toro’s lineup of wines is diverse, but their Gran Reserva wines rank among the best values on the market today. This Malbec, with a splash of Syrah, is from old vines planted on the hills near the banks of the Tinguiririca River. With dark berry intensity and a peppery finish, it’s a wine that is smooth and supple while still possessing fresh acidity and fruity brightness. 2014 Benziger Family Winery Merlot, Sonoma County, California $19 Since the early 1970s, the Benziger family has been a leader in California for certified sustainable and biodynamic viticulture. Their wines are well-crafted and aimed at respecting the vineyards, which show in the final bottlings. This Merlot is supple and velvety with a dark fruit character and hint of cocoa aromas. It’s what a Sonoma Merlot should be…and at a price that makes it easy to drink and enjoy daily. 2013 Beaulieu Vineyard BV ‘Reserve Tapestry’, Napa Valley, California $61 Talking about historic producers of the Napa Valley inevitably leads to Beaulieu Vineyard, known as BV. Meaning “beautiful place” in French, the legendary Georges de Latour founded the property with his wife in the early 1900s. I[...]



Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: CALA, Moss Beach Distillery, Rocker Oysterfeller’s Kitchen + Saloon

2017-10-12T19:50:43Z

Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: a restaurant with a mission serving elevated Mexican cuisine in San Francisco; a spot in San Mateo County offering seafood, views and otherworldly cocktails; and a place reminiscent of the Wild West in Valley Ford serving up oysters and southern comfort cuisine.Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 18 airs Thursday, October 5 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast. Find elevated Mexican cuisine at CALA’s in San Francisco where you’ll find sustainable fish and high-end tacos and a philanthropic mission. Meanwhile, Moss Beach Distillery in San Mateo County, offers seafood, views and otherworldly cocktails! Then it’s back to the Wild Wild West at Valley Ford’s Rocker Oysterfeller’s Kitchen + Saloon for oysters and southern comfort food. Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 18. (Wendy Goodfriend) Get Restaurant Information: CALA (San Francisco) Moss Beach Distillery (San Mateo) Rocker Oysterfeller’s Kitchen + Saloon (Valley Ford) Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine. (Wendy Goodfriend) My name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I will be sharing my tasting notes about the wine, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. I will also share some wine, beer and spirits tips with each episode. This week I discuss: Absinthe. Le Grand Courtâge, Brut Blanc de Blancs, France $18 If you are a fan of sparkling wine, you’ll want to stock up on this bubbly for the upcoming holidays. Though crafted in France, it’s not Champagne (that only comes from the region of the same name). Made by American, Tawnya Falkner, who followed her passion to produce wine in Europe she puts her mantra on the bottles proclaiming, “Embrace Life. Dream Big. Accept All Invitations.” This delightfully dry, yet succulently fruity fizz is elegantly packaged making it an ideal gift item, too. Vive la France! 2016 Pazo Señoráns Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain $20 Having had the pleasure of visiting the wine region of Rias Baixas numerous times over the past decade, each time I return home with a deeper love of Albariño. The white grape is grown in this lush, green portion of western Spain – site of the famed pilgrimage city of Santiago de Campostela. This coastal area is home to fish of all shapes and sizes and is the natural partner for crisp, refreshing Albariño-based wines. Pazo de Señoráns is a family-owned, historic property that produces expressive whites layered with complexity. It ranks among the region’s best. Floral aromas combine with flavors of Asian pear and zesty minerality in a wine made to pair with myriad dishes — from oysters to salads to young cheeses. 2014 Goldeneye Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, California $56 Pinot Noir is a diva grape variety that produces some of the world’s most ethereal wine. But, it is also difficult to grow properly and only does well in select regions of the world. Anderson Valley is one of those regions. It’s influenced by coastal breezes, which seals in the ripe yet vibrant flavors created by California sunshine. Part of the Duckhorn family of wines, Goldeneye’s signature Anderson Valley Pinot is lush with red fruit-driven flavors and a kick of freshness. It’s a wine crafted with class and finesse. 2012 Gillmore ‘Hacedor De Mundos’ Old Vines Cabernet Franc, Maule Valley, Chile $40 I don’t give points to wine but if I did, this would receive a near-perfect, 100-point score. I adore it and it ranks among the best wines I’ve had in the past decade. Deep purple in hue with notes of dark fruits, tobacco, brown spices and tea leaves, it marries juicy fruit flavors with underlying earthy depth. The texture is supple with perfectly polished tannins. Made from dry-farmed[...]



Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Rusty’s Southern, Jupiter, Glen Ellen Star

2017-10-05T18:48:43Z

Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: a southern-style restaurant in San Francisco's Tenderloin; a spot serving up more than just pizza and beer with outdoor dining and a fire-pit; and a restaurant creating elegant wood-fired dishes in Glen Ellen.Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 17 airs Thursday, September 28 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast. Southern hospitality is not all that is offered on the menu at tucked away Rusty’s Southern in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. Neither is it just pizza and beer served up around the fire-pit at Jupiter in Berkeley. But we continue within the galaxy to the elegant wood-fired dishes at culinary comet Glen Ellen Star in Sonoma County’s Glen Ellen. Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 17. (Wendy Goodfriend) Get Restaurant Information: Rusty’s Southern (San Francisco) Jupiter (Berkeley) Glen Ellen Star (Glen Ellen) Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine. (Wendy Goodfriend) My name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I will be sharing my tasting notes about the wine, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. I will also share some wine, beer and spirits tips with each episode. This week I discuss: Franciacorta. Backwards Distilling “Ringleader” Vodka, Wyoming $35 Hailing from a family-owned operation in Wyoming, this whimsical spirit (yes, you can read the label through the bottle backwards) pairs locally-sourced grains and Rocky Mountain water to create a smooth, pure vodka. The clever packaging and circus theme plays out in the rest of their lineup including Strong Man Gin and Sword Swallower Rum. If you are a spirit lover, this is a high-quality distillery to seek out. 2015 Jordan Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California $32 I have a special place in my heart for Jordan. Not only is it globally recognized as one of this country’s best producers of age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon, their Chardonnay is crafted in a style that makes me swoon. Crisp, bright, and complex, it sports a medium-bodied vibrancy that makes me want another glass (or three). Winemaker, Rob Davis, has been at the helm since 1976 and this consistency has helped create a legacy of quality. Jordan is also a destination for its European-influenced winery and experiences like garden tours and hilltop tastings. Jordan sits high atop my list of great American wineries. 2014 Gascon Reserva Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $25 Don Miguel Gascon has been producing wines for 132 years. Not a bad track record. Their Malbec bottlings pair top quality with affordability as evidenced by this Reserva. Dark fruit aromas are layered with peppery spice and a snip of black licorice flavors. It is a mouth-filling, lush red, but the grapes are grown high in the Andes mountains where cool night temperatures help maintain freshness. You’ll want to channel your inner Argentinian and saddle up to a grilled steak when this wine is in hand. 2014 Columbia Winery Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington $16 When I first got into the wine business, I remember meeting a legendary winemaker named David Lake. He was a Master of Wine (impressive) and helped found Columbia Winery. David’s wines were known for their elegance and balance. Though David is no longer there, his spirit lives on. Winemaker Sean Hails has crafted a Merlot that is worthy of Washington state’s reputation for producing top examples of the variety. This one is smooth yet bright with welcoming aromas of cocoa and dark berries. The price is right, too, allowing you to stock your wine rack affordability. 2014 Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California $45 Flora Springs was founded in 1978 by Jerry and Flora Komes. Today,[...]



Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Waterfront Pizza & Mediterranean Restaurant, Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen, Lolinda

2017-09-28T19:13:09Z

Check, Please! Bay Area reviews a restaurant serving up pizza and Mediterranean food in Foster City, a Jewish deli in Berkeley, and a San Francisco spot that offers up an abundance of meat from a wood-fired oven.Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 16 airs Thursday, September 21 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast. Sit outside with the locals and enjoy hookah by the water at Foster City’s Waterfront Pizza and Mediterranean Restaurant. Then, stop in for pastrami and matzo ball soup at East Coast meets West Coast deli-done-Berkeley style, Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen. Finally, dig into wood-fired meat, meat and more meat at San Francisco’s Lolinda. Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 16. (Wendy Goodfriend) Get Restaurant Information: Waterfront Pizza and Mediterranean Restaurant (Foster City) Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen (Berkeley) Lolinda (San Francisco) Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine. (Wendy Goodfriend) My name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I will be sharing my tasting notes about the wine, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. I will also share some wine, beer and spirits tips with each episode. This week I discuss: Cognac. 2015 Loosen Bros, DR. L Dry Riesling, Mosel, Germany $15 One of my most memorable wine trips (and I’ve taken hundreds of them) was to visit Ernst Loosen (pronounced low-zen) at his winery by the steep, slate-based slopes of the Mosel river. He is a charismatic vintner with a passion for Riesling and his brilliant bottlings are favorites of mine. The family’s Dr. L line of wines is an ideal way to start your exploration of German Riesling. They do offer a sweeter version, but this dry, citrus and mineral-scented white with a zing of Granny Smith-apple acidity, is a food wine extraordinaire. Spicy curry…check. Grilled fish…check. Fresh cheeses…check. It’s a white for year-round sipping. 2015 Long Meadow Ranch Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, California$40 When I first met Ted and Laddie Hall at their remarkable property in Napa called Long Meadow Ranch, I was enamored by their passion and commitment to living from and with the land. They grow olive trees (and make delicious olive oil), apple trees, and even graze cattle. Their son, Chris, is at the helm of their inspired eatery, Farmstead. Their wines have always impressed me as well. Over the years, they’ve added vineyards to their Napa portfolio and this elegant Pinot Noir from northern Napa neighbor, Alexander Valley, is silky, stylish and a pure pleasure to drink. A beautiful example of the delicately complex Pinots that have made Alexander Valley famous. 2014 Dutcher Crossing, ‘Maple Vineyard’ Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, California $45 Owner, Debra Mathy, had always dreamed of owning a winery and realized that dream more than a decade ago with Dutcher Crossing. A rustically elegant place that produces a wide range of wine, it carries the Zin torch with aplomb. Dry Creek Valley is arguably the best place for Zinfandel in northern California and this vineyard-designate version captures a sense of place. It is balanced with dark fruit flavors, intense spicy aromas, and richness that wraps your palate in pleasure. Make a stop there on your next trip to Sonoma and taste through a variety of their Zins. Tell them Leslie sent you. 2014 Sea Smoke Cellars, ‘Ten’ Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, California $82 When Pinot Noir is remarkable, there’s nothing like it. I have imbibed my fair share of great examples, but Sea Smoke ranks among my most treasured tastes of Pinot Noir. Hailing from a stunning hillside, fog-laden (hence the name) estate vineyard in the cool Sta. Rit[...]



Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Martins West Pub, Red Tavern, August (1) Five

2017-09-21T18:33:48Z

Check, Please! Bay Area reviews a Scottish-themed farm-to-table eatery in Redwood City, a family-gathering place with hearty portions of Russian cuisine in San Francisco, and a SF restaurant with a contemporary twist on Indian fare and inventive California cocktails.Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 15 airs Thursday, September 14 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast. First we visit a Scottish-themed farm-to-table eatery at Martins West Pub in Redwood City. Then a family-gathering place with hearty portions of Russian cuisine at Red Tavern in the Richmond District, SF. And lastly, a contemporary twist on Indian fare with inventive California cocktails at August (1) Five Five in San Francisco. Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 15. (Wendy Goodfriend) Get Restaurant Information: Martins West Pub (Redwood City) Red Tavern (San Francisco) August (1) Five (San Francisco) Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine. (Wendy Goodfriend) My name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I will be sharing my tasting notes about the wine, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. I will also share some wine, beer and spirits tips with each episode. This week I discuss: Pimm’s. Loimer Brut Rosé, Niederosterriech, Austria $30 If you’re an adventurous fizz fanatic like I am, you are always seeking out new sparklers to enjoy. This unique bubbly crafted by iconic winemaker, Fred Loimer, is made in the traditional method of ageing in bottle. A blend of grapes including Zweigelt, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the organically-grown wine is taut and tantalizing. Floral aromas and red berry freshness make this stylishly dry rosé one to sip as an aperitif or with lighter fish dishes. It’s an Austrian treasure. 2016 Emiliana “Natura” Un-Oaked Chardonnay, Valle del Bio-Bio, Chile $11 On several of my trips to Chile’s wine country, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Emiliana. It’s a stunning, but low-key property devoted to creating wines focused on the principles of organics and biodynamics. Their label “Natura” is one I recommend frequently for its affordability and drinkability. Sure, it’s made with organically grown grapes, but the wines are just plain delicious. This oak-free style of Chardonnay is crisp with bright citrus and green apple notes and a smack of mouthwatering acidity. 2014 Buty “Conner Lee Vineyard” Merlot/Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, Washington $45 When I first tasted the wines from Buty (pronounced beauty) I called them one of Washington state’s best producers. Being lucky enough to sample their wines year after year, that declaration still holds true. The wines from Buty are beautiful. This supple, elegant red is two-thirds Merlot and one third Cabernet Franc grown in the famed Conner Lee Vineyard. It’s a wine to age for up to a decade or drink alongside rosemary-infused roast chicken and potato gratin. Now I’m hungry…and thirsty. 2013 Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California $85 Winemakers Elizabeth Viana and Doug Fletcher have helped build Chimney Rock into a quiet giant of quality. The eye-catching Napa Valley winery dates to 1980 and for the past 37 years has created world-class wines focused on Cabernet Sauvignon. This powerhouse red showcases intensity of fruit from the Stags Leap District, while displaying impeccable balance worthy of the cellar or tonight’s dinner table. The 2013 vintage is a lauded one so if you can still get your hands on it, do. Wine and spirits that guests drank on the set of season 12 episode 15. (Wendy Goodfriend) [...]



Check, Please! Bay Area Casual Spots: Guerilla Cafe, Buddy’s Bites & Brews, Luka’s Taproom & Lounge

2017-11-02T20:47:12Z

Whether you’re looking for a lazy Sunday or a place to unwind, you’ll find the comforts of casual dining at these restaurants.

Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 10 airs Thursday, October 26 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Whether you’re looking for a lazy Sunday or a place to unwind, you’ll find the comforts of casual dining at these restaurants. We begin with the simple pleasures of home-sweet-home meals at Guerilla Cafe in Berkeley. Then we catch a wave to Buddy’s Bites and Brews, which brings the laidback surfin’ lifestyle of seafood and beer to Hayward. Finally, we wind down with French-inspired California comfort food and a game of billiards at Luka’s Taproom & Lounge in Oakland.




Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Jack’s Prime Burgers & Shakes, Posada, Noodle Theory Provisions

2017-08-28T23:36:24Z

Check, Please! Bay Area reviewed a modern-day diner in San Mateo that serves Angus beef burgers, organic milkshakes and craft microbrews; a restaurant serving Southwestern cuisine in Livermore, and an Asian-centric eatery in Oakland with a contemporary-Californian twist and cocktails.Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 9 airs Thursday, June 8 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast. First, we visit Jack’s Prime Burgers & Shakes in San Mateo, where Angus beef burgers, organic milkshakes and craft microbrews stock this modern-day diner. And then, tucked away in a strip mall, we find bold flavors and local wines at the newly renovated Posada Contemporary Southwestern Cuisine in Livermore. Finally, we find an Asian-centric eatery with a contemporary-Californian twist and cocktails at Noodle Theory Provisions in Oakland. Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 9. (Wendy Goodfriend) Get Restaurant Information: Jack’s Prime Burgers & Shakes (San Mateo) Posada Contemporary Southwestern Cuisine (Livermore) Noodle Theory Provisions (Oakland) Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine. (Wendy Goodfriend) My name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I will be sharing my tasting notes about the wine, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. I will also share some wine, beer and spirits tips with each episode. This week I discuss: Rum. 2014 Alta Mora Etna Rosso DOC, Cusumano, Sicily $28 One of the darlings of the sommelier set is Etna Rosso, red wine produced from grapes grown on the rugged slopes of Sicily’s Mt. Etna. An active volcano, the terrain looks almost lunar in its lava-laden state. Yet, swaths of green vineyards are draped on this unique soil, which gives the wine a mineral finesse unlike those grown anywhere else. This bottling is made from the native Sicilian red variety Nerello Mascalese, known for its spicy elegance (think Pinot Noir with a wild side). Brambly berry and earthy aromas combine with pure dark cherry and black peppery flavors. A gorgeously exotic red. 2015 Domaine Sigalas “Aa” Santorini, Greece $18 If you love crisp whites and haven’t yet discovered the wines of the Greek island of Santorini, it’s time. This affordable sipper from highly-regarded producer, Domaine Sigalas, is a blend of primarily Assyrtiko – the island’s signature white grape — with a healthy dose of another white variety named Athiri. The lemony freshness yet medium bodied heft of Assyrtiko combine with the floral aromas of Athiri to create a white that’s perfect for seafood, salads and summer. 2015 Acquiesce Viognier, Lodi, California $24 Are you a wine adventurer who seeks out new wines, places, and producers? If so, point yourself in the direction of California’s Lodi region to sample the delicately-crafted whites of Acquiesce winery. I met owner Susan Tipton and her husband Rodney a few years ago. Their passion for the white wines of France’s Rhone region led to opening their winery. It is focused on only whites and the handcrafted wines sell out every year. I’ve been impressed by all their bottlings, but the Viognier captures ginger and orange peel aromas with a supple texture, much like the classic examples from Condrieu. It’s beauty in a bottle. You can join the mailing list at their website or visit the property and indulge in their wine and food pairings. *Current release is 2016 Plantation “Stiggins’ Fancy” 1824 Pineapple Rum, Trinidad & Tobago $28 With the rise of Rum these days, spirits drinkers are revisiting the historic spirit in record numbers. Luckily, this has led to some reinvent[...]



Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Bistro Don Giovanni, El Molino Central, 1760

2017-08-28T23:37:00Z

Check, Please! Bay Area reviews a restaurant serving traditional Italian cuisine in Napa, an award-winning roadside eatery in Sonoma, and a spot providing ingredient-driven small plates along with artisanal wines and cocktails in San Francisco.Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 8 airs Thursday, June 1 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast. Wine Country favorite Bistro Don Giovanni showcases traditional Italian cuisine in Napa. Find authentic, award-winning and vibrant Mexican flavors at a roadside eatery in Sonoma called El Molino Central. Finally, it’s all about the ingredient-driven small plates and artisanal wines and cocktails at 1760 in San Francisco. Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 8. (Wendy Goodfriend) Get Restaurant Information: Bistro Don Giovanni (Napa) El Molino Central (Sonoma) 1760 (San Francisco) Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine. (Wendy Goodfriend) My name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I will be sharing my tasting notes about the wine, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. I will also share some wine, beer and spirits tips with each episode. This week I discuss: the wines of Sicily. 2013 Stemmari “Cantodoro” Rosso Reserva, Sicily $16 On a recent trip to Sicily, Stemmari was one of my most memorable visits. The winemaker, Lucio Matricardi, is passionate about his wines, which are made at their beautiful Feudo Arancio property. What’s impressive about this blend of primarily Nero d’Avola with Cabernet Sauvignon is that it acts (and tastes) like an expensive wine, but in reality ranks among my top-value picks. Notes of dark, saturated fruit and savory earthiness swirl together in a funnel cloud of flavor. The texture is supple yet vibrant, which makes it an ideal pairing for the tangy Sicilian dish, Caponata, or fish simmered with tomatoes. Pick up a few bottles and see if you don’t get transported to Sicily with a sip. 2015 Tablas Creek “Patelin de Tablas Blanc” Paso Robles, California $25 As an icon in the Paso Robles region, Tablas Creek is a winery I look to as leading the Rhone-style movement in California. Founded by the Perrin family of France’s Chateau de Beaucastel and Robert Haas of Vineyard Brands import company, the winery crafts the best domestic wines with a French Rhone focus. This blend is my favorite of their lineup. It’s an ode to the white grapes of the Rhone marrying Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne from a selection of noted vineyards in Paso Robles. Stone fruit and nutty aromas are backed up with a smooth yet vibrant mouthfeel making it a wine not only for the dinner table, but also for cocktail hour. 2015 Il Poggione “Brancato” Rosato di Toscana, Italy $18 When I see Il Poggione on a wine label, my thoughts turn to hearty, world-class reds known as Brunello di Montalcino. Indeed, the famed producer dates back more than a century and is one of founding members of the Brunello di Montelcino consortium. Being a pink wine lover, however, when I tasted this rose I was blown away. A brilliant garnet color, the 100 percent Sangiovese rosato showcases succulent strawberry aromas and pink grapefruit flavors with pithy complexity. There is so much character packed into this wine, you might forget it’s “just” pink. Note: Current release is 2016. Rodenbach Grand Cru Ale, Belgium (four pack $16) This classic Belgian brew is the global benchmark for sour ale. For more than 200 years Rodenbach has been crafting beer and their experience shows. The Grand Cru is[...]



Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 Reviews: Monkey King Pub and Grub, Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, Grand Lake Kitchen

2017-08-28T23:38:08Z

Check, Please! Bay Area reviews a spot in Alameda serving Asian fusion dishes, a farm-to-table restaurant in St Helena and an upscale diner-deli in Oakland. Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 7 airs Thursday, May 25 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast. Named after the whimsical and mischievous Chinese superhero, Monkey King Pub and Grub offers Asian fusion dishes in Alameda. Then, the local, farm-to-table menu reaches new levels at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena. Finally, we stop by the upscale diner-deli combination at Grand Lake Kitchen in Oakland. Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 7. (Wendy Goodfriend) Get Restaurant Information: Monkey King Pub and Grub (Alameda) Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch (St. Helena) Grand Lake Kitchen (Oakland) Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine. (Wendy Goodfriend) My name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I will be sharing my tasting notes about the wine, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. I will also share some wine, beer and spirits tips with each episode. This week I discuss: Madeira — one of the longest-lived wines. Episode 1207 wine and spirits notes will be posted soon. Wine and spirits that guests drank on the set of season 12 episode 7. (Wendy Goodfriend) [...]