Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wine & Wishes 2009

Yes, 'tis that time of year of again for one of the hottest culinary tickets of San Francisco - Wine & Wishes 2009. This is a spectacular culinary event showcasing the best of the Bay Area's Chefs and Wineries, while celebrating and supporting the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation. It is to be held at the dramatic and unique setting of Treasure Island on Saturday, February 7th.

There are two parts to the Event:

The Gourmet Food & Wine Tasting from 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Standard Ticket: $150.00
W&W 2009 Tasting Ticket (21 Years of age or older ONLY)

Shuttle option: $10.00
Please reserve a seat on the shuttle from Treasure Island to the Embarcadero BART Station

The Winemaker Dinner to follow immediately after the Tasting $350 per person or $6,500/table of 20 (limited number available) VIP Privately Hosted Table: $1,000 per person or $10,000 for a table of ten. Includes limo, opportunity to select which wish to "adopt" and premium seating.

Click here for a list of participating Restaurant Chefs and Wineries.
To purchase Winemaker Dinner tickets please contact Francoise Monet at 415.402.2765 or

Click here to view more detailed Event info i.e. location, directions, schedule and fees.

Must be 21 years or older to attend Wine and Wishes.

Wine and Wishes highlights extraordinary chefs and winemakers and provides culinary enthusiasts with an exceptional experience. Take it from me the SFFoodMaven, who attended it last year, this event is definitely not to be missed if you can swing it. You can read about last year's event here, but I gotta say, I was pretty blown away by this Epicurean display and if you are even considering going, then I most readily support it! I more than likely will be attending the Tasting only, which was more than enough Food and Wine.
I know this is a pricey event, but if you consider what you are getting, it is certainly well worth it, if not more. Also, I have an insider tip on how to get 10% off for the Tasting, which will then only cost you $135.
Shoot me an email at If you are interested in attending as well, then please do let me know and perhaps we can meet at the Embarcadero BART station to shuttle over.


Monday, January 12, 2009

SF Dine About Town 2009

Ok, it's that time of year again, time for you to Grab your Forks People and do exactly that!  Dine About Town is back for its 8th Delicious Year.  Dine About Town (DAT) starts tomorrow, January 15 and runs through the 31st of this month. 

For those that are unfamiliar, Dine About Town is a bi-annual event that typically runs the last couple weeks of January and again in June.  It is a restaurant promotion is presented by the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, and sponsored by The San Francisco Chronicle and Macy’s West.  This promotion allows you to save up to 50% on specially prepared 3-course lunches for $21.95 or dinners for $34.95 at one San Francisco's dining establishments. 

Let's face it, times are tough right now.  And in San Francisco, we like to eat.  So book your reservations at one of the participating restaurants and eat your hearts out people!
Reservations are available through OpenTable.
Dates and times of participation vary by restaurant.  Menus subject to change. Mangia!

Ode To 2008: SF Food Maven's Year In Food

Hello Fellow Food Lovers! Welcome to another Delicious New Year with the SFFoodMaven!  I Hope the Holidays were Plentiful and of course, the accompanying Eats Delectable...  As is customary, the End of a Year and the Beginning of a New one, brings forth the introspective side of oneself and causes one to reflect upon the past year.  For me, my reflection dwells on All things Food...

If you've been following the SFFoodMaven since its inception, there have been many changes which have transpired over the past year, most notably, the transition from the Raptor's Delight to the SF Food Maven.   In spite of these changes, I have pledged to start some new traditions, as well as uphold old ones, such as this, in which I chronicle my past SFFoodMaven Faves at the beginning of the New Year.  You can check out last year's post here if you like.

As for the past Year in Food, 2008 had plenty to offer as far as the Tried and True, and the Old Faves and the New.  My plan to kick it off this time around is to take you on a Culinary Tour of the SFFoodMaven Faves of San Francisco, from Brunch to Dinner, and even Snacks in between.  Essentially, you will be taking a proverbial walk through San Francisco through the eyes of the SFFoodMaven.   So in the spirit of waxing poetically into the New Year, here is the SFFoodMaven Ode to the Top Ambrosial Offerings of 2008...

We shall begin with a few options for Brunch...

I am a bigger fan of Brunch over Breakfast, because you get the best of both worlds and personally, I am not much of an early riser to begin with. SPQR on Fillmore in Lower Pac Heights, has a scrumptious Brunch with one rather unique Brunch item - the Deep 'Fried Egg' Brunch Dish shown above which is positively Divine! It is prepared with Soft Boiled Eggs that are 'clothed' in Bread Crumbs that are Deep Fried for a Spicy, Crispy Coating, then placed atop Creamy Cellini Beans with Pork Soffrito and Chiles. Oh and btw, their Pork Soffrito is To Die For... Absolute brilliance.

Dim Sum is another great Brunch option here in San Francisco and there are tons of places to choose from, which would definitely make for another write up on here altogether. But one of the most prominent and well-known places in SF is Yank Sing, of which there are 2 locations in SOMA close to downtown. They deem themselves as both a Traditional yet Contemporary Dim Sum place. Although it is a bit on the expensive side as far as dim sum places go, the quality and creativity are well worth it. One of my Favorites, and something that I had there during my latest visit, was the Shanghai Meat Dumpling, which is one of their Signature Dishes and is comprised of Minced Kurobuta Pork, Scallion and Ginger wrapped and steamed in its own Aromatic Broth. Sounds Divine, doesn't it? Yank Sing has a great little slideshow presentation on their site on the The Art of Eating Shanghai Dumplings. I Love the Idea of Meat, that is Steamed in its own Juices, enclosed En Papillote-style in its own wrapper. It is an Exquisite Little Morsel of Heaven! Downright Sensuous even.. Please excuse me while I go have a cig now... lol
If you've never had it, then you have got to go there and try it...
The Food Maven has Spoken.

The Poulet & Frites at Cafe De La Presse, in Lower Nob Hill by Union Square, is an SFFoodMaven 'Oldie but Goodie'. I go to Cafe De La Presse fairly often for Brunch, as it is right in my neighborhood and even frequented this place fairly often even before I moved here. The Chicken is perfectly roasted and the Frites are both pretty damn good and make for a great staple...

And now let's move on to Lunch...

My Favorite Lunch Spot in my neighborhood, Lower Nob Hill, or actually more in Union Square is a quaint cafe on Maiden Lane called Mocca. It is across the street from Union Square and although it is a little on the pricier side due to the tourist factor, the Food and the Setting are terrific! The Food is very Fresh, Flavorful and just plain Fantastic. My Favorite thing on the Menu is the Peppered Tri-Tip Sandwich in which the Tri-Tip is Braised in a Red Wine Sauce that is so unbelievably Tender and Juicy with just the right amount of Seasoning and Spice. It is served with a Side of Tomatoes a la Provencal which make for a perfect pairing. So Savory and Delicious! Just talking about it makes me want to head down there for Lunch right now. Mmm... Anyone care to meet me? haha..
So anyway, this is a great spot when it is a beautiful, sunny day in the City, because you can sit outside and enjoy the live music of DeWayne Oakley & Friends and do some great people-watching. The Tri-Tip Sandwich is my fave, but the rest of their Dishes are pretty terrific as well. I just adore this place and am there quite often...

When I'm craving a Steaming Bowl of Pho, make my way to the Inner Richmond, and I go for one of my favorite Pho places in the City, called Pho Hoa Clement. Reasonably priced and great food, but more importantly great Pho. I usually get the #13 with Rare Steak and Well Done Flank. Yummy and So Satisfying. I judge a Pho by its broth and this place definitely has it down...

l love Mediterranean Food, so if I find myself in the Inner Sunset, I go to my favorite Mediterranean Grill Place called Yumma's for their Gyro Plate... They use Naturally-Fed Meats and they offer Shawarma, Shish Kebab and Vegetarian Foods. When I crave Mediterranean Food or Gyros, this is the Spot...

For a Mid-Afternoon Snack, The Burrata at the Americano (shown above), is an SFFoodMaven, Local Burrata Fave. The texture and consistency is always just right. It is drizzled with Olive Oil and sprinkled with a bit of Pepper and what I think is a Lavender Rock Salt. Absolutely Divine if you ask Me! This and the Wild Mushroom Flatbread Pizza with Sage and Black Truffle were a sure thing with a nice glass of Cava or Rose, during the times I would hang out with friends on the outdoor patio for daytime drinks and happy hours last summer.

SFFoodMaven Juicy Morsel...
This past December, I traveled down to LA and was blown away by the Mozzarella Bar at Osteria Mozza, a restaurant by three veritable virtuosos of the Food World - Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Nancy Silverton of La Brea Bakery. That Meal may very well have been my overall SFFoodMaven Favorite Meal of '08, and that, my Friends, is no joke. Be sure to stay tuned for a write up of my spectacular Meal there in the near future.

When I'm craving a little Sushi, I head to my Fave Spot in the Mission - Tokyo Go Go. It's Hip, the People that work there are Friendly and Great, and the Sushi is Yummy and Inventive. You can find my friends and I there quite often because it feels like our second home.
My absolute Favorites there are the Kobe Beef 'Zabuton' Tataki (shown above) made with Snake River Farms Kobe Beef, Yuzu, Maldon Sea Salt and Fresh Wasabi. It's SO good that my friends and I have been known to come close to stabbing one another with our chopsticks to get the next piece of 'Meaty Goodness'. It is no joke. We are like a pack of Raptors with our chopsticks, it is quite a sight to behold! The other ones that I love are the Azteca Roll with Spicy Crab, Avocado, Cucumber & Gobo topped with Suzuki, Jalapeno, Chili Aioli, Tobiko and Scallion. Sounds like a lot of stuff, but trust me, it all goes perfectly together. Lastly, I am a fan of the Sunshine Hand Roll with Hamachi, Cilantro, Wasabi Tobiko and Quail Egg. All Extremely Tasty! SFFoodMaven says, Eat Here.

Last up, is the Crab Gnocchi at C O N D U I T...
I will have to be honest and tell you that I was never a big fan of Gnocchi, but CONDUIT's Gnocchi has changed me mind. It is prepared with Green Garlic, Dungeness Crab and Arugula, and just as others before me have said, 'It is to die for…' The Gnocchis were so light & fluffy. Cloud-like. Served with so much Dungeness Crab, that it was smothered with Crab. And smothered is no exaggeration as you can see from the photos. Sure, it may be swimming in a Bit of Butter, but I am not opposed. This Crab Gnocchi here is undeniably my favorite Gnocchi of all time. It is simply - Deliciously Divine.

So there you have it... My very own personal 'Ode to Food in 2008' - a Delicious Culinary Tour of San Francisco through the eyes of a Food Maven. Thank you so much for reading along with me over the past years and I look forward to yet another Deliciously, Delightful Year exploring San Francisco and beyond for Ambrosial Offerings, Tasty Tidbits, Juicy Morsels and of course, that Next Great Meal...

As Always, Yours In Food...

The SFFoodMaven

A Little Aside: Eagles beat the Giants yesterday in an Awesome game, and being originally from Philly myself, I just HAD to put in some props. GO EAGLES!!!