A trip to California, part 1: San Francisco

I’ve been terrible at posting lately! Scott finished his exams and has 3 weeks off from school.  We’ve been traveling a lot! A trip to Oklahoma, NYC, and California!  We are finally home, though, and I am back to the blogging world.  Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. I love exploring new places, especially new restaurants.  In New York, I visited most of my favorite places, but  I squeezed in a visit to Ma Peche, part of David Chang’s Momfuku empire.  I was perfectly satisfied eating alone at the bar, but  I was completely disappointed in the food.  While it was good, it certainly did not live up to its reputation…

For Scott’s 30th birthday, we flew to San Francisco, rented a car and drove to Napa Valley.  Scott and I had ONE NIGHT and HALF A DAY in San Francisco, so we made the most of it! We stayed at a Hotel Majestic, a boutique hotel in Pacific Heights and walked just a few blocks down for dinner at SPQR.

Tucked away in a small neighborhood, SPQR has an unassuming ambiance with a dimly lit space, strong wooden tables, and a staff that feels friendly and familiar.  If this doesn’t draw you in, the food will.  As we sipped glasses of a Montepulciano, Scott and I debated over almost everything on the menu.  In the end, we ordered a carrot and lentil salad, mustard capellini with guinea hen ragu, and a fricassea of scallop and lobster with spring vegetables (which the kitchen ran out of and so we substituted rabbit wrapped in proscuitto with spring onions and fennel)

The carrot salad was my most favorite dish of the entire weekend (besides our butterscotch semi-freddo one night!)  The salad was a perfect balance of the flavors of slow roasted carrots, earthy lentils, the sweetness of medjool dates, and decorated with delicate foraged leaves and flowers.  A perfect dish.

We woke up Friday to a crisp, cool San Francisco morning and went for a short run into the Mission District.  I was so excited to have breakfast at Tartine Bakery.

If you are in San Francisco, GO TO THIS BAKERY.  Don’t be fooled by the line… it moves quickly and is worth every second.  The pastries are light, fluffy, buttery, sweet, crunchy, EVERYTHING you could ever want from a pastry.








At first, we ordered an almond croissant and strawberry pudding.  The croissant was crisp and crunchy on the outside, leaving your mouth dusted with powdered sugar at each bite.  It was the perfect balance of nuttiness and sweetness.  The strawberry bread pudding was decadent.  Sweet, fresh strawberries, eggy, bready, juicy, and rich.

Scott added a cinnamon roll to our already large order at the last minute.  It was the best thing we had all day.  The Tartine cinnamon roll is  made of a bread that tastes and feels like a mixture of sour dough and croissant puff-pastry.  No icing, just the perfect amount of cinnamon and sugar on top, crunchy on the outside with a perfectly light, airy, and buttery inside.  It’s really the best cinnamon roll in the world.

After eating the world at Tartine, we needed to walk around a bit.  We headed to the Embarcadero and wandered around the Ferry Building and piers.  What a joyous day…

Crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, we were on our way to Napa… part 2