LA’s Campanile Rhone style

I have declared (or as we used to say in shrink-talk “I own”) my pretentiously snobby preference for SF dining with it’s vastly superior wine lists and the wonderful way that wait staff manage to be “laid back” (dood) while at the same time attentive to a fault. This does not mean LA does not have restaurants worth the $$ and the time (recently Brentwood Grill gave fine dine). First you must purge the idea that “fine dining” can be found in the ubiquitous steak houses where the fat in the Cut is exceeded by the fat in the check. I mentioned Lou in an earlier entry which is more about wine than food. Then there is Campanile. (more…)

Napa Road Trip November 2007 – the MONSTER REVIEW!

With a double bar/t mitzvah in Palo Alto (Papa Ricolini vogues Tevya at reception) we saw the opportunity to extend a few days and hit Napa as long as we were so near. A trip to Napa is always mixed for me…at least at the outset. Visiting with good friends is a plus. But given the pure wine-country choice I would prefer to visit almost anywhere else like Paso Robles or even better Walla Walla.
hy1.jpgNapa is silly. Take the tasting rooms…please. [apologetic link to Henny Youngman insult machine] In Napa they have tasting galleries. U20 wines? Not in Napa no way no how. It costs at least $20 just to taste wines in the galleries. The Del Dotto Gallery demands $40 and they keep the glass. And they are hardly the exception. If you plan on tasting at Del Dotto, Stags Leap and Opus in the same day bring a couple hundies…for the privilege of sipping and spitting in a bucket. The way I get around the over-the-top silliness of Napa is to make sure I visit Carneros first. Which means a visit with McKenzie-Mueller. (more…)