Tuesday, January 31, 2017

San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young Museum + Conservatory of Flowers


The de Young Museum is currently exhibiting "Frank Stella:  A Retrospective." This show includes 50 major pieces, from his early Black paintings to his more recent sculptural works.  I especially enjoyed his three-dimensional sculptural pieces, and I greatly enjoyed watching the viewers as well.  Stella is quoted as saying, "a sculpture is just a painting cut out and stood up somewhere"--food for thought.  Show runs through February 26, 2017.  More about the de Young Museum.

Frank Stella Retrospective at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California
Frank Stella Retrospective at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California


Frank Stella Retrospective at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California
Frank Stella Retrospective at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California


Frank Stella Retrospective at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California
Frank Stella Retrospective at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California


Frank Stella Retrospective at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California
Frank Stella Retrospective at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California

And just across the way, at the Conservatory of Flowers, the annual living butterfly exhibit has returned.  A chrysalis display allows watching the metamorphosis process, and then you can enjoy their 3-day lifespan with them as they flit around in a small cottage garden setting.  It continues through June 30, 2017.  More about the Conservatory of Flowers.


center dome in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California
center dome in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California


koi pond in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California
koi pond in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California


orchids in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California
orchids in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California


fashion photo shoot in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California
fashion photo shoot in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California


brilliant red anthuriam in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California
brilliant red anthuriam in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California


Zebra Longwing butterfly chrysalis display in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California
Zebra Longwing butterfly chrysalis display in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California


Zebra Longwing butterfly in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California
Zebra Longwing butterfly in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California


Monarch butterfly in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California
Monarch butterfly in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California


Julia butterfly in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California
Julia butterfly in Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California


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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Thursday, January 26, 2017

San Francisco: District San Francisco


District San Francisco  216 Townsend St./3rd St., near AT&T Park, SOMA/China Basin/South Beach, (415) 896-2120.  D M-Sat, Sun brunch.  Set in an expansive open room with a high open-beam ceiling and unpainted brick walls, this spot gives off a warehouse feel while managing to feel cozy.  It is filled with techies from nearby offices.  Seating can be found at a busy horseshoe bar in the center and at raised wood tables and sofas that populate the perimeter.  
lounge seating at District San Francisco in San Francisco, California
lounge seating at District San Francisco in San Francisco, California

bar at District San Francisco in San Francisco, California
bar at District San Francisco in San Francisco, California

Large windows in the front wall let in plenty of light.  After operating as a wine bar for almost 10 years, this popular spot has added full bar service with a focus on whiskey.  The menu is composed of complex small plates and pizzas.  I ordered a flight of three whiskeys and drank them neat.  My dining partner had a combo of bourbons, scotches, and rye.  We tasted them as we dined on a delicious arugula and fennel salad with accents of prosciutto and pomegranate seeds and a white balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  
salad at District San Francisco in San Francisco, California
salad at District San Francisco in San Francisco, California

We followed it with an unusual but tasty beef short-rib pizza with small cubes of meat, marinated artichoke, and aged cheddar cheese.  
short-rib pizza at District San Francisco in San Francisco, California
short-rib pizza at District San Francisco in San Francisco, California

If we had skipped the pizza, I would have tried the burrata with grilled seckel pear, tempura avocado, and also house-marinated olives.  Oysters on the half shell, Moroccan lamb meatballs, and house made charcuterie are additional options.  For dessert we skipped the sweeter choices and opted for spectacular black mission figs stuffed with gorgonzola and wrapped with prosciutto, plus a cognac chaser.  
stuffed figs at District San Francisco in San Francisco, California
stuffed figs at District San Francisco in San Francisco, California


Cocktails, wine (more than 40 area available by the glass) and beer, and plenty more are available on the expansive drink menu.  By the end of the meal, moods were nicely elevated.  Sunday brunch brings on a $20 bottomless all-you-can-eat buffet with a two-hour limit.  The selection of bottomless mimosas then includes a variety of flavors such as apple, peach, guava, and cranberry.

District Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


More things to do in San Francisco.

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

5 North: Winters, Cloth Carousel


Cloth Carousel  9 Main St., (530) 795-2580. Daily.   Contemporary, traditional and retro quilts decorate the walls of this shop aimed at quilters.  Brightly colored fabrics depict abstract designs, cups of coffees, jelly beans, a fish going fishing, pink monkeys, and way more.

interior of Cloth Carousel quilting shop in Winters, California
interior of Cloth Carousel quilting shop in Winters, California

A sister shop across the street at #14 is stocked with yarns and everything related.  Look for the giant orange yarn ball out front.  I was especially impressed with a selection of knitted cupcakes and a cat the proprietor was quietly knitting.

interior of Cloth Carousel yarn shop in Winters, California
interior of Cloth Carousel yarn shop in Winters, California

knitted cupcakes at Cloth Carousel yarn shop in Winters, California
knitted cupcakes at Cloth Carousel yarn shop in Winters, California

knitted cat at Cloth Carousel yarn shop in Winters, California
knitted cat at Cloth Carousel yarn shop in Winters, California

More things to do in Winters.

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©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Friday, January 20, 2017

5 North: Winters, Turkovich Family Wines and Winters Cheese Co.


Turkovich Family Wines and Winters Cheese Co.  304 Railroad Ave., (530) 795-3842.  Daily 10-5; free tasting.  Food & flights also, Thur-Sat 5-9pm.  Hidden on a side street, this jewel of a tasting room is rustic and open.  Comfy outdoor seating in front is particularly inviting in the often-warm weather here.  I was particularly fond of Albarino, an Estate white blend.  The Winters Cheese Co. adjoins, dispensing delicious cheeses that are made just for them.  The high-efficiency winery located on Buckeye Road is open by appointment.

exterior of Turkovich Family Wines in Winters, California
exterior of Turkovich Family Wines in Winters, California

interior of Turkovich Family Wines in Winters, California
interior of Turkovich Family Wines in Winters, California

tasting set-up at Turkovich Family Wines in Winters, California
tasting set-up at Turkovich Family Wines in Winters, California

Winters Cheese Co. at Turkovich Family Wines in Winters, California
Winters Cheese Co. at Turkovich Family Wines in Winters, California


More things to do in Winters.

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©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

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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©2017 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
Eve's Waterfront Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers