Wednesday, January 18, 2017

5 North: Winters, Rotary Park


Rotary Park  E. Main St./Railroad Ave., behind the Winters Community Center.  Pack or pick up a lunch and head for a picnic table under a shade tree in this park.  A white gazebo lends a vintage feel, and benches provide a spot for people-watching. 

J. Robert Chapman Memorial Bridge  Constructed in 1906 by the Southern Pacific Railroad, this refurbished 368-foot-long steel railroad bridge has been transformed into a pedestrian and bicycle path.  It crosses Putah Creek.  

Putah Creek Nature Trail  This easy 1-mile trail begins nearby.


J. Robert Chapman Memorial Bridge in Rotary Park in Winters, California
J. Robert Chapman Memorial Bridge in Rotary Park in Winters, California

 
view of Rotary Park from J. Robert Chapman Memorial Bridge in Winters, California
view of Rotary Park from J. Robert Chapman Memorial Bridge in Winters, California


More things to do in Winters.

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images c2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers



Friday, January 13, 2017

San Francisco: House of Shields


House of Shields  39 New Montgomery St./Market St., South of Market, (415) 284-9958.  M-F 2pm-2am, Sat-Sun 3pm-2am; $$.  Situated in a stellar location across the street from the Palace Hotel  (in fact, it was the bar for this hotel until they built their own, and during its stint as a speakeasy for the duration of Prohibition it had an underground passage to the hotel), this old-timer has been around since 1908.  It was a men-only bar until 1972 and has no TVs or clocks.  The bar, made of redwood, has a wood arm rail and brass foot rail that seem to beg you to lean for a while, and the decor features vintage dark wood walls, wood booths lined in proper pinstriping, art deco lamps, and a marble mosaic floor.  Currently it serves no food--only cocktails and bar drinks--and has no printed menu, so order up something classic. 


exterior of House of Shields in San Francisco
exterior of House of Shields in San Francisco


bar at House of Shields in San Francisco
exterior of House of Shields in San Francisco

 
cocktails at House of Shields in San Francisco
cocktails at House of Shields in San Francisco


More things to do in San Francisco.

Way more things to do in San Francisco. 

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

80 North: Berkeley, FIVE restaurant in Hotel Shattuck Plaza


          Just off the lobby of the Hotel Shattuck Plaza, the spacious FIVE restaurant--named for the five senses--is a modern American bistro with an innovative menu using sustainable ingredients.  It is patronized heavily by locals and popular as a pre-performance dinner stop.  
exterior of Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California
exterior of Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California

●The marble-topped bar is a great place to perch for a quick drink and snack or even a complete meal.  It wraps around from the lobby bar seating area to the back restaurant area.  A special menu features an array of bites, including delicious sausage-topped mushrooms, fish and chips, and a burger. 
bar in Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California
bar in Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California

From the drink menu, I favor the Hotel Nacional (made with rum, lime, pineapple gum, and apricot brandy). The most ordered cocktail is the Moulin Rouge (made with Calvados, lime, raspberry, and ginger beer), but there are many more choices, plus beers are on tap and wines are available by the glass. 
Hotel Nacional cocktail at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California
Hotel Nacional cocktail at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California

●Behind the bar, the restaurant features high ceilings and an impressive statement chandelier, as well as a buzzing, cheerful wide-open room with arched windows, floor-to-ceiling columns, and the occasional palm.  Red blown-glass wall sconces and red glass bread plates give the basically black-and-white vintage decor a touch of pizazz. 
dining room at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California
dining room at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California

“Order anything that calls to you,” recommended our waiter, Will.  It was good advice.  Appetizers include shellfish items, salads, and a daily soup (cream of mushroom on my visit).  We shared a colorful baby beet salad with goat cheese and watermelon
beet-goat cheese salad at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California
beet-goat cheese salad at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California

along with a basket of exceptional cheddar buttermilk biscuits with honey butter and pimento cheese spreads. 
cheddar buttermilk biscuits at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California
cheddar buttermilk biscuits at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California

Main courses are varied, including several vegetarian options such as nettle ravioli with fried maitake mushrooms and parsnip puree, and breaded squash blooms stuffed with herb-and-olive ricotta.  We chose grilled swordfish with creamed barley and cauliflower puree,
grilled swordfish at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California
grilled swordfish at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California

and succulent pan-seared Mary’s organic chicken with broccolini mashed potatoes plus grilled asparagus and Asian pears. 
Mary's organic chicken at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California
Mary's organic chicken at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California

Desserts are rich and housemade--perhaps a peach custard tart or a Nutella swirl cheesecake.  On Meatless Monday a special vegetarian menu joins the regular one. 
peach tart at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California
peach tart at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California
Five Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Thursday, January 5, 2017

880 South: Oakland, Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant


Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant  15 Embarcadero West/Fallon St., ¼-mile E of Jack London Square, (510) 817-4477.  D Thur-Sat, Sat-SunBr.  Located on the Oakland Estuary just east of the Channel 2 TV studios, this white-tablecloth restaurant takes advantage of the waterfront view with floor-to-ceiling windows and an outside deck.  The interior includes a spacious bar and wide-open dining area.  Appetizers include deviled eggs with crab and mango chipotle, buratta with fruit compote and duck prosciutto, and a tasty beet salad.  Dinner entrees include everything from slow-roasted duck and mascarpone, to “This Morning’s Fresh Catch,” to a house burger.  A $35 prix fixe brunch buffet includes a seafood station with you-peel shrimp, snow crab, and clam chowder; a salad station with greens and dressings, plus fresh fruit and cheeses; a hot station with carved meats, Mary's organic fried chicken, a taco bar, a pasta bar, scrambled or poached eggs, and waffles.  The chef is an expert on beer pairing so there is an impressive selection of beers, but don’t miss the specialty cocktails that include the colorful and delicious Eve’s Sunset (made with pineapple-infused vodka, lime juice, pineapple juice, and raspberry liqueur) and as well as a bottomless mimosa and Bloody Mary at brunch.  A large free parking lot abuts the restaurant, and a paved waterside walkway leads west to the heart of Jack London Square.  

interior of Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant in Oakland, California
interior of Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant in Oakland, California


mimosa and Eve's Sunset cocktails at Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant in Oakland, California
mimosa and Eve's Sunset cocktails at Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant in Oakland, California


delicious beet salad at Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant in Oakland, California
delicious beet salad at Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant in Oakland, California


bacon and eggs at Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant in Oakland, California
bacon and eggs at Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant in Oakland, California

More things to do in Oakland.

Way more things to do in Oakland. 

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

San Francisco: The Rotunda in Neiman Marcus, on Union Square


The Rotunda  150 Stockton St./Geary St., in Neiman Marcus, on Union Square, (415) 249-2720 x2465.  L & aft. tea daily; $$$, tea $45-$60.  Sun-W 11-4, Thur-Sat 11-5.  Reservations advised.
ground floor of Neiman Marcus in San Francisco
ground floor of Neiman Marcus in San Francisco

What could be finer than afternoon tea beneath this elegant department store’s gorgeous 1909 stained-glass-domed rotunda?  Choose from private and comfy half-moon booths, or tables directly overlooking Union Square.
stained-glass dome at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco
stained-glass dome at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco

The Rotunda tea room at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco
The Rotunda tea room at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco

view of Union Square from The Rotunda tea room at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco
view of Union Square from The Rotunda tea room at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco

Tea is a choice of black, green, or herbal varieties, and it does change.  My dining partner opted for a lovely Jardin Bleu blend with Indian and Chinese leaves flavored with rhubarb and wild strawberry and accented with blue cornflower petals, while I minimized my caffeine intake and chose a pleasant chamomile.  Each is presented in a small personal teapot, with the leaves brewing in a strainer in the top--a disappointment since I am fond of loose-leaf tea floating around freely in the water and the use of a strainer to collect the leaves as I pour the fragrant brew into my cup.  The serviceware is white--also not my cup of tea since I prefer floral and fussy.  Service beings with a petite cup of chicken consume and a fresh-from-the-oven popover with a side of strawberry butter.
popover and consume at The Rotunda tea room at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco
popover and consume at The Rotunda tea room at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco

The full tea includes a variety of finger sandwiches (we especially liked the chicken salad), a cylindrical prosciutto-wrapped fig, tarts of chocolate and red velvet, cookies, and, of course, scrumptious scones upon which we slathered lemon curd, raspeberry jam, and whipped cream.  The option to add in a glass of Gloria Ferrer Brut or Etoile Brut Rosé is a good one, and it heightens the elegance of the experience.  Lunch selections include the renowned NM Chicken Salad plus a lobster club and burger, and cocktail service is available. 
tiered tea tray at The Rotunda tea room at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco
tiered tea tray at The Rotunda tea room at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco

plate of tea-time treats at The Rotunda tea room at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco
plate of tea-time treats at The Rotunda tea room at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco
The Rotunda Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Do allow time before or after to browse the beautifully curated collection of goods in this elegant department store.  
clothing display at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco
clothing display at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco


tableware display at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco
tableware display at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers