Thursday, January 3, 2013

My 2012: A Plate and Pour Reflection

2012 has been a wonderful, exciting year for Plate and Pour! It's a great time to reflect on the incredible culinary experiences of 2012 and just for fun, take a look back at 2011 highlights (clearly memorable if I still recall the experiences a year later)!

Some of 2012 culinary highlights, in approximately chronological order:
  • Celebrated a special birthday at Peter Merriman's in Maui, Hawaii after surviving the road to Hana
  • Honored Dad's 70th birthday at Slanted Door and Greens in SF and took Dad to Napa for the first time
  • Spent a wonderful weekend at The Clement Monterey complete with a romantic dinner at il  vecchio and superb lunch at Paprika Cafe
  • Celebrated with the birthday boy at Tacolicious- Mezcal tasting flights for all!
  • Explored the culinary delights of Point Reyes Station over a lovely meal at Osteria Stellina after a visit to the quaint lighthouse
  • Hosted a baby shower brunch for a dear friend expecting a girl
  • Dined at the bar at Cyrus after a day of kayaking in the Russian River in Healdsburg, Sonoma County only to dine at Solbar in Calistoga the next day
  • Experienced an exquisite celebratory meal at Acquerello, complete with a terrific cheese cart
  • Injected a new level of foodie-ness to outdoor activities while hiking in Yosemite and camping in Big Basin
  • Picnicked and camped in the fig orchards at Capay Valley farms, the home of our stellar CSA box
  • Took a phenomenal pasta making class at Flour + Water with Francesca Tori from Bologna, Italy and Executive Chef Thomas McNaughton
  • Had memorable dinners at outstanding San Francisco restaurants like Central Kitchen, Local Mission Eatery, Locanda, Park Tavern, Bar Agricole, Prospect, and Farina
  • Enjoyed many delicious dinners and cocktails at Coco500 and brunches at Nopalito; spent many afternoons drinking beer under the sun at Biergarten
  • Tasted a 100 point Oregon Pinot Noir, Auteur, with friends for New Year's Eve

Just for fun, here's a look back at the best culinary moments of 2011:
  • Took an incredible trip to Sonoma with my favorite wine buddy, Craig, where we visited Ferrari Carano and Ridge and spent hours basking in the sun on the balcony at Sbriagia
  • Spent a perfect romantic weekend in Napa at my favorite hotel and spa in Yountville; dined at Ad Hoc, sipped Dom Perignon by the fire, brunched at Redd, and attended a food and wine pairing at Etude
  • Attended a fantastic cocktail making class at Beretta with Ryan Fitzgerald
  • Sipped fabulous local wines at the San Francisco Vintners Market
  • Experienced an unforgettable dining experience at The French Laundry followed by a personal tour of the legendary kitchen
  • Celebrated a beautiful marriage of two friends alongside Lake Tahoe against a spectacular backdrop of mountains and cooked Martha's mac and cheese for the wedding reception
  • Went on a culinary adventure in Santa Barbara which involved standing in line for tacos at Julia Child's beloved La Super-Rica Taqueria, sunbathing on the beach, and a picturesque brunch at Vineyard House Restaurant
  • Went on a spur of the moment weekend getaway to Santa Cruz and Carmel where we had a lovely, romantic dinner on the patio at Cassanova
  • Indulged in gastronomic feasts in Istanbul
  • Celebrated a very special anniversary at Gary Danko
  • Sipped fabulous wine with Bob Cabral, Wine Enthusiast Magazine's Winemaker of the Year for 2011, at Williams Selyem's Fall Pick up Weekend
  • Hosted a Diwali dinner party for a crowd
  • Spent Thanksgiving at a house in Napa with family complete with tastings at Far Niente, Cade, Williams Seylem, Miner, Plumpjack, and dinner at Neela's
  • Experienced gastro-camping in Big Sur in the dead of winter
  • Enjoyed wonderful dinners at Frances, A16, SPQR, Zuni Cafe, Range, Delfina, Azzia, and Foreign Cinema
Thank you all for joining me on my culinary journey for all these years! Cheers to new adventures and happy cooking in 2013!

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