Bottega (Yountville, CA)

6525 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599
Dining date: 7/3/16


I’ve been to Michael Chiarello’s Bottega once when it first opened, way back in 2009. I enjoyed the lunch there and always thought to come back. I didn’t think it would take me 7 years to do so (so many options, limited time!), but this time I stopped in for dinner.

The restaurant was packed on this Independence Day weekend. We lucked out and managed a corner booth in the patio which turned out to be an an ideal setting on a warm summer evening. 


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Ad Hoc (Yountville, CA) [2]

Ad Hoc
6476 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599
Dining date: 7/2/16

Ad Hoc

There’s plenty of good restaurants in the Napa Valley, but for me a trip just doesn’t feel complete without a stop at a Thomas Keller establishment. There would be no French Laundry on this brief trip, but a stop here at the more casual Ad Hoc was in order. The restaurant serves a 4-course fixed menu for $52, although there’s regularly a supplemental dish offered as well. Since the menu isn’t published until the morning of the meal, it’s a little bit of a crapshoot depending on what you’re looking for. We lucked out this time as this evening’s menu featured steak – a ribeye to be exact.

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Hog Island Oyster Co (Napa, CA)

Hog Island Oyster Co
Oxbow Public Market
610 1st St
Napa, CA 94559
Dining date: 7/2/16

Hog Island

Hog Island Oyster Co. is based out of Tomales Bay, just north of San Francisco, with oyster bar locations in both San Francisco’s Ferry Building and Napa’s Oxbow Market. As its name implies, the restaurant serves up fresh oysters and other shellfish of all varieties, prepared very simply.

I’ve been to both the SF and Napa locations a couple of times. They’ve been very popular with both locals and tourists; lengthy waits are commonplace at this no-reservations spot especially on weekends. While spending the long holiday weekend in Napa, I stopped in for a lunch meal.

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Lord Stanley (San Francisco, CA)

Lord Stanley
2065 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
Dining date: 7/1/16


Lord Stanley opened about a year ago and has garnered some high praise in its first year. It received a Michelin star in October and was added to Michael Bauer’s Top 100 Restaurants in the Bay Area list in April after getting 3 1/2 stars from him.

The food is from the husband/wife team of Carrie and Rupert Blease, formerly of Commonwealth and Central Kitchen. At Lord Stanley, they are cooking a refined cuisine described as modern European/Californian. A seven course tasting menu is available ($83), but we went a la carte on this evening.

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Georgie (Beverly Hills, CA)

Montage Beverly Hills
225 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Dining date: 6/11/16


Georgie opened just a couple of weeks ago, a brand new concept at the Montage Beverly Hills. It takes the place of Scarpetta, and they’ve swapped one TV chef out for another in bringing Geoffrey Zakarian to prepare his modern American cuisine. This is Zakarian’s first west coast venture after opening up several restaurants in the northeast.

Most of the front and back of house Scarpetta staff has stayed on, as has executive chef Freddy Vargas. The restaurant is dinner-only right now, but will be expanding to all day service soon.


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Great Eastern (San Francisco)

Great Eastern
649 Jackson St
San Francisco, CA 94133
Dining date: 6/5/16

Great Eastern

I’ve been to Great Eastern countless times. It’s been a staple for family gatherings on my dad’s side for decades, serving up banquet-style Chinese food. I don’t come here nearly as often since I’m no longer local, but squeezed in a meal on a recent trip.

The restaurant is best known for an impromptu takeout order by Barack Obama in 2012, which reliably brings Chinatown tourists through these doors. I’d like to think the food continues to draw locals into the restaurant too, though.

Dining Room

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