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Food, Wine & Friends  Page 288

On a sunny and unusually warm Summer Day in September, we met two Uruguayan dignitaries in San Francisco for the start of their US Tour showing their wines at various events.

Visiting California were
MARIA SILVIA BIANCHI MAFFONI
of Bodega Irurtia
and 
FABIANA BRACCO BOSCA
of Narbona

We met at Union Square and immediately made tracks for a bit of tourism.


Union Square in San Francisco...

 


San Francisco hats to start the adventure.




We drove to Lombard Street and rolled down the Crookedest Street in The World.

Off in the distance is Coit Tower.


Then a quick snapshot on a Cable Car...

...before arriving at the Embarcadero for a little boat ride.


Ready to depart.


The Sea Lions at Pier 39 were singing a "welcome" song.

The skies were clear and it was a beautiful day on the Bay.

 


Alcatraz in the background...

And, oh yes, it was quite breezy on the Bay!

Three Beauties: Fabiana, Maria & The Golden Gate Bridge.


Kite-Surfers were out enjoying the breeze.

We returned to Pier 39 and then drove across the Golden Gate Bridge.

We drove into Sausalito...

We stopped at The Trident in Sausalito for an "apero."
The weather was warm and we had a great view of the Bay.


Shishito Peppers and some Oysters...

From there we drove to Berkeley for dinner...

 

We were warmly greeted and ordered a glass each of Lillet.

It's remarkable that the flavors and fragrance of a pre-made aperitif such as Lillet, are amplified beautifully in the hands of the crew at Chez Panisse.

Every little detail at this restaurant is well-considered.

The bread is made by The Acme Bread Company and it is excellent.
Both Maria and Fabiana noticed this at the start and remarked on it, saying that the quality of the bread can be an indicator of the food to come.

Five bucks gets you a small plate of delicious olives.



Five bucks also gets you a few outstanding anchovies presented in a marvelously "green" and mildly spicy olive oil.
Simple.  Delicious.


The anchovies are served in this Villa Corsini oil...we've tracked it down and will have some in the shop.
Nicely "green" and balanced, so it's not too sharp but "just right."


Little Gem Lettuce with California Smoked Salmon...simple and delicious!
The Ojai 2014 Sauvignon Blanc was also a great match for this.


Baked Andante Dairy Goat Cheese with Garden Lettuces


Rigatoni Pasta "Amatriciana" was a great "mid-plate" and we shared this...the pasta was perfectly cooked al dente and the sauce was outstanding.



Halibut Grilled in a Fig Leaf...

 


Roasted Chicken


Pork Shoulder with polenta and beans...damned good.

The 2004 Ridge Monte Bello had a more mature nose than we'd have expected.
It was younger on the palate, though.
Fabiana found it very Bordeaux-like.


Raspberry Ice Cream Meringata with Strawberries and Candied Roses.

Perfectly ripe fruits...Mission Figs and a big, sweet, juicy Bartlett Pear.



And an espresso to finish the meal!

We then made our way back to The City and dropped Maria and Fabiana at their hotel.

The next day the ladies were busy pouring wines for many hours at a trade and media tasting in San Francisco.


CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR SUNDAY TOUR IN SONOMA

 

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