Curious Epicurean

Posts Tagged ‘Bay Area

Waterbar in San Francisco.

While it may be very tempting to make a beeline straight for MoMo’s or Pete’s Tavern before a Giants game, every once in a while it pays off to resist the urge to enjoy all things frat-tastic. For our last Giants game happy hour pre-game, we took a detour from the mob scene that is the bars surrounding the park. It certainly paid off.

On a beautiful, sunny San Francisco afternoon, we ventured to Waterbar, located on the Embarcadero South. The restaurant has dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows, a sunny patio and inviting bar, all with stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, Treasure Island and the Bay Bridge.Oysters and sparkling wine. That’s what I call happy hour.

Waterbar has an awesome happy hour! This isn’t your normal half-off apps and pitchers happy hour. We’re talking $1 oysters and $5 glasses of champagne. This is a whole new happy hour, offered Monday- Friday from 3 pm to 6 pm.

Pro tip: Everyday from 11:30 am- 6pm, the featured oysters are $1 each.

View from the bar at .

On our visit to Waterbar we sat at the bar, which was full by 4 pm. Business people from the Financial District mixed with tourists. We were the only Giants fans pre-gaming, but everyone was more than interested in the night’s game.

Oysters are shucked and cleaned right in front of you at the bar.

We enjoyed the featured oyster, the Hammersley Inlet from Washington and a couple glasses of sparkling wine each.

We’ll definitely be back to Waterbar for happy hour. It’s certainly worth it to venture from the normal Giant’s pre-game bars.

It took exactly one trip to Paso Robles for me to fall in love.  With a sprawling wine country featuring more than 200 wineries, cute boutiques and inspired dining in downtown, Paso Robles is perfect for a weekend trip from the Bay Area. Arriving on a busy holiday weekend armed with a few recommendations from a journalist friend, we eagerly set out for wine tasting. We spent the weekend navigating throughout the AVA, which varies greatly between the west and east sides of 101. The steep hills and canyons on the west side of the AVA get a heavy marine influence. There was fog and moss hung from the large oak trees. The east side wineries are mostly flat.

The inviting patio overlooking the lake at Bianchi.

One of our stops on the east side, was Bianchi Winery & Tasting Room. The beautiful grounds and tasting room at Bianchi are worth the visit by itself. The spacious, open tasting room features floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook a sunny patio, serene lake,vineyards and the coastal mountains in the distance.

The tasting room at Bianchi

The winemaker at Bianchi focuses on two collections of wine: the Heritage Selection, which are all estate-grown, and the Signature Selection, with grapes sourced from select small-lot vineyards from across the Central Coast.

The tasting at Bianchi did not disappoint. Here are some of my favorites from our visit to Bianchi:

  • 2007 Zen Ranch Zinfandel, Paso Robles- Berry aroma, with honeysuckle and anise flavors. We paired our bottle with a zesty red pasta.
  • 2006 Barbera, San Juan Vineyards, Paso Robles-  Aroma of vanilla, bold plum and berry flavors. This is a bold wine that needs the right dish to compliment. We paired ours with spicy carne asada.

Bianchi is definitely worth a stop on a Paso Robles weekend trip. The tasting room is open daily and tours are offered.


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