Thoughtul Gourmet Blog

Avant garde meets kitsch at The Palace

You know you have come across a one-of-a-kind restaurant when you and your dining companions speak of the uniqueness of the experience from the moment you sit down and drape the napkin across your lap until the moment you leave, then continue the conversation on the way home and in bed that night. The Palace, […]

The Farmer & the Fox, Butterscots and the Many Charms of Napa’s Cairdean Estate

Stepping onto the grounds at the Cairdean Estate is, at first glance, unremarkable. To the right of the parking lot, heavy machinery stands in front of a wide building. To the left, a series of low-slung buildings sit quietly, as if waiting for something to happen. There is little noise, other than the occasional whoosh […]

Matcha Marketplace Gluten-free Oatmeal

Gluten free oatmeal is nothing new but oatmeals boosted with the nutritive power of matcha are are a new edition to the cereal market. The work of sisters Annette Downing and Susan Downes, Matcha Marketplace is a line of simply seasoned, not too sweet oatmeals. Made with gluten-free rolled oats, the oatmeals are available with […]

What to eat in (and near) Mendocino

Mendocino is known for its laid-back style and all-natural approach. The area’s food scene reflects the innate casualness of the community – everyone is welcome here – yet there are good choices for even the most discriminating diner. For a complete look at my family’s recent visit to Mendocino, take a look at the video. […]

Make It: Raclette Seasoning

Raclette, a dish served during the chilly Alpine winters of Switzerland, Austria, Germany and France, is cheese heated until it begins to melt and bubble. There is a special grill for the dish; sausages and potatoes are placed on top to sear while paddles filled with cheese are placed underneath the heat source. Required in […]

180 Eats – ReThink Dinner Tonight

There is an inverse relationship between commute time and cooking time: the longer you spend commuting on a workday, the less time you spend cooking dinner that night. Lee and Megan Mokri, commuters both, were intimately familiar with this mathematical construct. So familiar, that they launched a business to provide convenient, healthy meals to others […]

New Dinner Theater Production Captures the Spirit of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast Era

The Barbary Coast era in San Francisco is an important part of the city’s past. The louche atmosphere of 1980’s San Francisco helped set the tone for San Francisco’s future as a haven of free love and destination for those wishing to escape the Puritan standard of life common elsewhere around the United States. Vau […]

Aveline: exceptional & exciting Union Square dining

I first encountered Casey Thompson’s work in August at EatDrink SF. At this annual bacchanal of San Francisco’s finest food and drink, Ms. Thompson showcased her inimitable crab macarons. It made my list of top three tastes of the event. Aveline, chef Thompson’s Union Square restaurant, is at the heart of the Warwick Hotel. Outside […]