Around the Bay

Big Sur coastline

Weekending (Affordably) in Big Sur

I wrote this article for Zagat, originally published September 4, 2015. The article and all photos are by Virginia Miller. For many, Big Sur is a spiritual place: that sparsely populated coastline of Central California cradled by the Santa Lucia Mountains, with redwoods and dramatic cliffs lining the Pacific. Being as remote (and stunning) as it is, restaurants are few,… Read more →

View from our Little River Inn deck

Weekending in Mendocino

Mendocino remains one of our most magical NorCal getaways. The craggy coast, majestic redwood forests, the Victorian village of Mendocino itself — a weekend in Mendo, as locals call it, is always a relaxing proposition. The pace slows down, and the spirit of the hippies who popularized the town in the ’60s and ’70s remains, while dramatic vistas from forests, farmlands and hills to the rugged shore and deep blue sea all refresh from city life and a long work week. Read more →

Zazu's Rodeo Jax popcorn

Weekending in Sebastopol

Sebastopol is a laid-back town famed for Gravenstein apples and wineries. Over the years, many of the apple orchards have been replanted with vineyards, but there are a few left, with a growing number of artisanal hard cider producers preserving and showcasing the area’s apple wealth (see our recent feature on Devoto Cider), with an annual Apple Blossom Festival in… Read more →

The brick patio of L'Auberge Carmel

Carmel Weekend at a Michelin-starred Restaurant & Romantic Hotel

Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel, a boutique hotel right in the walkable, intimate town of Carmel, is no stranger to awards. They are one of only 500 Relais & Châteaux privately owned hotel and restaurants in the world, awarded for being a standard setter in the combination of cuisine and charming hotel character. In 2013, Executive Chef Justin Cogley was named… Read more →

Views from the new Luna Blu in Tiburon

Sushi, Sake, Burgers & French Food in Sausalito, Italian with a View in Tiburon

Suburbs, nature, charming main streets… family-heavy Marin has always had a few culinary gems. But a spare few of them though sandwiched between one of the great food cities of the world and the gustatory pleasures of Napa and Sonoma. Bakeries like Beth’s Community Kitchen in Mill Valley are reminiscent of San Francisco bakeries (what is now standard Bay Area),… Read more →

Goose & Gander's Pisco Sour Brava with Encanto Pisco

Around the Bay: WINE COUNTRY Bitters Shop & 3 Cocktails Destinations

It gets easier and easier to find an elevated cocktail in Wine Country, besides the superb cocktails at Healdsburg’s Spoonbar and Campo Fina or gratifying refreshers at The Thomas (Fagiani’s) in downtown Napa. Here are a few recent cocktail highlights and one top-notch bitters shop: Bitters Heaven NAPA VALLEY DISTILLERY’s Bitters Shop, Napa Tiny Napa Valley Distillery (the first licensed… Read more →

Arun’s crispy trout salad

Farm-Fresh Dining, Mediterranean, Thai & Cold Press Juice

Farm-Fresh Dining FARMSHOP, Larkspur (2233 Larkspur Landing Circle, 415-755-6700) A modern day farmshop… the beloved LA restaurant, Farmshop, opened in 2010, and then, to be closer to the farmers from which they meticulously source much of their produce in Northern California, they opened a Larkspur location in May 2013. It’s suburban-chic, set in an open air, upscale shopping mall with outdoor… Read more →