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Food, Wine & Friends Page 254

We ventured to the San Francisco International Airport to meet Isabella Oddero, a young lady who's from the famous ODDERO winery in Piemonte's town of La Morra.

She and her family produce some very good Barolo, Barbaresco and other classic wines of Piemonte, along with a nice little white wine blend using Chardonnay and Riesling.

I stood alongside the various well-dressed chauffeurs who were all holding little signs featuring company logos in search of their V-I-P Passengers who were flying in to town...and finally I saw our blonde-haired beauty.
She was a bit fatigued and searching for airport information as to where they'd be sending her luggage (if they hadn't sent it to Timbuktu) and Isabella didn't notice me standing there.
She searched for Carousel #5 and I followed her, carrying my "welcome sign" and balloons...and, finally!
Eccomi!!!

So I handed her the sign and snapped a photo.

We got her bags and headed immediately for The Koi Palace to meet Chris Tarbell, the Northern California sales rep for Soilair, the company importing the Oddero wines.

Inside the restaurant, Isabella noticed tanks of fish, crabs, shrimp and more crabs.
She was ready to dive in for a quick swim!

The place was packed as it's Chinese New Year...so we had a brief wait for a table.

I brought a bottle of Heitz Napa Valley "Grignolino Rose" to pair with the Dim Sum.

We enjoyed several Dim Sum plates and the Rose is especially good in this venue.

Har Gow are shrimp dumplings...


Spinach & Shrimp Dumplings at the top, Barbecued Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao) in the front.

And of course we needed to order some Chinese Noodles...these were a nice reminder of Piemontese Tajarin, though different...

Isabella, once again, was anxious to dive right in!


We had some Garlic and SautÚed Greens...

And the kitchen was still open, fortunately, so we enjoyed some "Chinese Beignets."

They call them "Sugar Egg Puffs."

We took care of the check and then made our way out of the Koi Palace...

Out in the parking lot, Isabella presented me with a box of some home-grown "Nocciole."
These are Piemontese hazelnuts and Oddero has been growing these for years in sites not especially suitable for vineyards.  They've planted trees on very steep hills or at lower areas near the valley floor.


"Yes, we are a litle but nuts at Oddero!!!"

Tante Grazie Isabella!!!

**********************************

 

Later in the week we met again...looking to go dine at another Asian-themed place.
We met at a little wine store in The City where they were featuring Oddero wines for the night and Isabella was there to show the flag and encourage people to taste (and buy) some wine.

We headed towards Union Square and downtown San Francisco...


It was a clear evening and the Bay Bridge was fully illuminated...

We navigated our way through City Traffic on Valentine's Day and finally got to the restaurant...and I pulled a bottle out of my cellar bag:  ZOCKER Gruner Veltliner from California's Edna Valley region.

 

We perused the menu at E&O Asian Kitchen and the chefs were ready to get rolling!

I brought my book, AMICI DEL PIEMONTE for Isabella to shuffle through...and she was intrigued to see so many friends and neighbors.

We began with Duck-filled "Imperial Rolls."

The Zocker Gruner really was good with this Asian-styled food.


Corn Fritters are another specialty of the house...the sweetness of the corn paired nicely with the fruity notes of the Gruner, which was quite dry in contrast.


By now we had a bottle of red opened...

Shaking Beef is quite good at E&O...

Even better was the Wood-Oven Roasted Black Cod.

 


Isabella was intrigued by the red wine...
Summers Napa Valley Charbono.

We called it "Charbuonissimo!"

The meal at E&O was very nice and we headed back to the garage to find our wheels...


"I'll drive!" she said.

We motored through Chinatown and North Beach and then up Telegraph Hill.

Coit Tower was nicely lit up and there was a full moon, too!

And with that little tour of The City, we rode back to Isabella's hotel near Union Square...

 

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