Barzotto, an authentic classy-casual Italian experience in San Francisco

Barzotto is the restaurant of the year in San Francisco. Let me explain why:

  1. Fine-casual: It's affordable and the quality is top-notch. I feel like I'm dining at a high class Italian restaurant without breaking the bank.
  2. The menu curation is on point. I had trouble deciding what to order because everything looked great. I decided to get 2 pasta dishes the first time I was here. It didn't even break the bank.
  3. The ambience is perfect. It's casual and chill. Barzotto has counter top seating for those who want to be left alone as well as communal seating for those who want to meet new people.
  4. Handmade pastas to-go. If you're a pro at making good sauce, you can grab some of their pastas to-go. I'd argue that these are the best pastas I've had in SF. The texture is al dente, the shape is perfect, and now I'm addicted.
  5. The pastas are amazing and so it everything else on the menu.

Dishes recommended: pappardelle, carbonara, lumache, cavatelli.

1270 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

REVIEW: Chambers, San Francisco, CA

Chambers | San Francisco, CA

Crab meat arancini.

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Chocolate pate.

Chambers is a classy, romantic restaurant located at the heart downtown San Francisco. Located in some of the sketchiest areas of San Francisco, Chambers is situated next to a hotel. Chambers' interior is gorgeous - even sexy. The ambiance is ultra swanky with rock and roll vibes and modern lit bookcases. The vintage vinyl records and couches created a loungey vibe that I enjoy and belongs in SF.

The menu is extensive. We let our server decide what we were eating for the night. My friend and I shared a nice 3 course meal which included a variety of dishes including crab meat arancini, octopus, steak, fish, and desserts. As someone who takes pride in eating a lot, it was more than enough.

Hearing many great things about the brunch, I've got to return from brunch.

Yes, this place is ultra trendy and it is a gentrifying area. With the openings of many top SF restaurants here, I'd deem that Chambers is a largely underhyped restaurants that deserves recognition. The outside is unassuming and most would pass over this place, as it is not easy to find.

Chambers is a chamber of secrets.

How to Host a Successful Event

After hosting a handful of our own events, we discovered the recipe to hosting an amazing event. Review the list and consider how it plays into events you host or attend.

  1. Size matters. While many dream of having massive turnouts, I'd argue that both large and small turnouts have their share of pros and cons. Smaller groups (6-15 people) allow for greater intimacy and bonding - you really get to know everyone, while larger groups (15-30 people) only allow you to mingle with a few at a surface level. Once there are 50+ people, the whole vibe changes. Small groups allow the host to be the focal point of the event.
  2. Be personal. Include personal touches like a name tag, greeting them personally, and having goodie bags for your attendees. Be sure to thank your guests for attending and be genuine about your gratitude.
  3. Be original. In order to be memorable, you should add a signature touch to your event. For example, in our Dish Crawl Co events, I like to focus on hospitality - we really want everyone to have a good time, so we will make sure that everyone feels welcomed and well-fed. This may also include providing your own branded merch or getting everyone hyped about your brand on social media.
  4. Design. Consider how the room is designed to welcome your guests. Is there a great sense of space? Are you equipped to be the focal point of the room? Are the tables shaped in a horseshoe shape or is it like a classroom? Think about how you can cluster the groups in either a standing or sitting orientation. For my workshops, I personally enjoy making myself the focal point and having a great sense of space. I have one area for standing to take photos and one area for sitting to eat.
  5. Venue. The venue can make a break your whole event. Be cognizant of the type of venue you are hosting your event at.
  6. Negotiate before hand with the venue. Agree on an arrangement before hand whether this is of seats, as well as food and beverages. You can even write up a contract if it involves a large sum of money. It is crucial that you agree beforehand, otherwise you might be stressed on the day of the event.

Many events are great, but they are not memorable. I believe that in order to make the best events, you have to do something memorable. You have to be original and have your own personal touch in interacting with guests. If you having a great time, chances are, they are having a great time too. In order to go above and beyond in the realm of events, you really have to make sure that the logistics are right, the venue is on point, and make sure that your food and hospitality are nothing less than stellar. This is easier said than done, but keep in mind that it takes practice to create an event that is memorable.

Media Tasting at Fresh Nation Desserts

We recently hosted our first media tasting at Fresh Nation Desserts.

Fresh Nation Desserts is a HK style dessert shop located in downtown San Mateo. Open until 11pm on Monday through Thursday and midnight on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, this trendy dessert shop is a paradise for mango lovers, and egg puff aficionados. Looking for that new Asian dessert shop with Instagram Worthy desserts? Appease your late night sweet tooth at downtown San Mateo's latest HK dessert shop.

As this was our first media tasting, it helped me experiment with the structure of the tasting. Our goal of these tastings is to communicate the value of the restaurant or cafe in language that is appealing to media. As such, I believe that a successful tasting translates to high amount of influence, reach, and brand exposure to the masses.

I also believe that our attendees must have a memorable time. Many events are good, decent, or OK. We want to host events that are delightful, memorable, and even inspiring. Smaller groups are conducive to better conversations. while larger groups make it difficult to make a memorable connection with anyone.

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Fresh Nation Desserts
30 E 3rd Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401

 

Restaurant of the Year in South Bay: Panino Giusto

Restaurant of the Year in South Bay: Panino Giusto

This year has seen many openings around Bay Area. The bustling Cupertino Main St which houses destination restaurant Alexander's Steakhouse, Chef's Hung, and Cupertino's 2nd location of 85C Cafe & Bakery is also home to Panino Giusto. I am happy to announce that Panino Giusto is one of restaurants of the year within the South Bay.

I have been about 10 times from the time of writing and exhausted the whole menu. Contrary to what I previously believed, it is hard to get tired of any of the items on here, as I'm constantly craving the tartufo panino.

Tartufo panino

Tartufo panino

I'm addicted to the alba truffle oil which retails for $125 and can't get enough of it atop the imperiale or sorrente salads.

Imperiale and sorrento salads

Imperiale and sorrento salads

Though the tartufo with its PG 26 month aged prosciutto from Langhirano, brie, and arugula, is clearly the standout, you cannot miss the starters - namely the degustazione di formaggi (the goat cheese is heavenly), italiano, emiliano, york, and mortadella.

Washington panino

Washington panino

Italiano

Italiano

Among the other panini, you cannot miss the fedayn and sogno.

Before leaving, be sure to order a few tiramisu. Within the Bay Area, it's hard to pinpoint which tiramisu is the best - I personally like Satura Cakes in Los Altos and b patisserie in San Francisco. This tiramisu is light, not sweet, and ultra fluffy. Bear in mind, everything is imported from Italy.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Tiramisus

Tiramisus

Special thanks to Grace for leading the team at Panino Giusto, as well as Claudio, Mihaela, and Jessica for making this restaurant run so well.

REVIEW: District SF

A vibrant experience at SF's destination wine bar featuring guanciale pizza

SF SoMa houses many of my favorite restaurants. Within a few blocks, we have Cockscomb, Marlowe, and Twenty Five Lusk, as well as Popsons. District, which has been popularly known as SoMa's afterwork destination to wind down with wine, recently debuted its whiskey service to pair with the wine program.

As such, their brunch and dinner options all pair really well with the wine. The dinner menu is expansive for a wine bar and offers a taste of everything, from guanciale pizza, ahi poke, arancini, lamb meatballs, and burrata with fruit.

With a particular focus on the guanciale pizza, you cannot miss this one, especially with the addition of truffle oil. I'd also recommend some oysters and the housemade charcuterie plate to start. Pair that with an aperitif such as the moscato or champagne and you're good to go.

District's decor is extremely warm, engaging, and inviting. It is dimly lit and makes for a great date night spot after work or a get-together with friends. This vibrant restaurant is a must-go to restaurant if you're passing through SF SoMa.

216 Townsend Street @ 3rd
San Francisco, CA 94107

http://www.districtsf.com/

The 15 Instagram Worthy Cafes in SF Bay Area

Is a cafe worth it if it doesn't have wifi? It totally is. Perhaps more so, as you'd be forced to look at your surroundings and what you're consuming. Here are 15 of Bay Area's most Instagram Worthy Cafes, whether we're talking about the sexy drinks, kouign amanns, or lovely interiors.

Boba Guys | Hayes Valley, San Francisco, CA

This cafe is freakin' hipster. Lit with tea people on the wall, the tea people make long lines for inventive flavors like Hong Kong style milk tea, Muscat Oolong, Duke of Earl Grey, and India Chai, while using only the best ingredients - Califia farms and Straus, we're looking at you.

Tartine Manufactory | Mission, San Francisco, CA

The manufactory has been hyping in the last month or so, but does it live it up to the hype? The interior provides a great senses of space and awe, and this quince danish was just as good--though left no space in our stomachs.

Reveille Coffee Co | Mission Bay, San Francisco, CA

This elite cafe in Mission Bay serves the best brunch in the district. Couldn't make any promises beyond that.

Trouble Coffee Co | Oakland, CA

We caused trouble at Trouble Coffee in Oakland. Walls are white and minimalist; the coffee was basic, too.

The Cro Cafe | Oakland, CA

A small cafe in the hidden alleyway of Temescal district, Oakland, we were surprised that such a place existed.

1 Oz Coffee | Santa Clara, CA

This is a hidden gem. A visit here allows me to pretend I'm on vacation while working at the same time.

Tertulia Coffee | Oakland, CA

At the heart of uptown Oakland, this spacious cafe shares a space with an art gallery and houses many hipsters.

Milkcow Cafe | Fremont, CA

The Korean soft serve came to Bay Area with many expansions - right now they can be found in San Bruno and Fremont.

Panino Giusto | Cupertino, CA

I was taken to Italy with heavenly panini laden with luxurious truffle oil. Great for tea time too.

Teaquation Cafe | Redwood City, CA

Craft mocktails meets tea in an artisanal tea space near downtown RWC.

Fifty / Fifty Coffee & Tea | Richmond District, San Francisco, CA

This small, homely cafe is beautiful.

85C Cafe & Bakery | Cupertino, CA (multiple locations)

We've got many of these opening up everywhere in Bay Area.

Elite Audio Coffee Bar | SoMa, San Francisco, CA

I didn't know I could fall in love with a latte.

Cafe Carmel | Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Located in a mini boutique mall within downtown Carmel, this cafe is great to take a break from all that art gallery gazing and feasting on pastries and French food.

Fresh Nation Desserts | San Mateo, CA

Recently opened, this dessert shop has been making a big buzz with the HK style dessert shop community. We love the mango pomelo sago topped with mango ice cream.

 

For more of the Instagram Worthy series, check out:

- Jeremy Chung Photography: 38 Most Instagram Worthy Restaurants in SF Bay Area

8 Best Pizza Places in SF Bay Area

In SF Bay Area, on any given day there are many pizza places you can try. Personally, I love pizza, as it comes in a variety of artisanal flavor, shapes, and textures, and is a great stress reliever. Whether you're on a first date or chilling with friends, here are 8 of SF Bay Area's best pizza places that you need to check out, just in time for this chill winter season.

Howie's Artisan Pizza

Which flavor to order: et the pizza bianca. Smoked mozzarella.

855 El Camino Real #60 Palo Alto, CA 94301, http://www.howiesartisanpizza.com/palo-alto

 

Capo's

Which flavors to order: he Dillinger, Johnny Torrio.

641 Vallejo St, San Francisco, CA 94133, http://sfcapos.com/index.php

 

Pizzeria Delfina

Which flavors to order: Speck, Guanciale

 

 

Birthday slices, feeling #blessed // #jordanyear #23 1.26.2016

A photo posted by Nicole Baggerly (@nicolebaggerly) on

Arizmendi Bakery

What flavor to order: The flavor of the day is the only flavor and is always vegetarian.

1331 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122, http://arizmendibakery.com/

 

La Pizzeria

What flavor to order: Salmone.

373 E Campbell Ave, Campbell, CA, http://www.campbellpizza.com/

Mozzeria

Seen at: Off the Grid: Picnic at the Presidio, San Francisco, CA

Fiorella

What flavor to order: Rigatoncini con beef sugo.

2339 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121, http://www.fiorella-sf.com/

Delarosa

What flavor to order: Margherita with burrata.

37 Yerba Buena Ln, San Francisco, CA (multiple locations), http://www.delarosasf.com/

4 Hottest Restaurants in Cupertino You Need to Eat at Right Now

Cupertino is becoming an impressive dining destination. Before it was notoriously famous for boba milk tea shops and Chinese restaurants. Now, a handful of upscale chain restaurants and fine dining restaurants opened near the entrance of Apple. From sushi and steak to panini and noodle soup, here are 4 of Cupertino's latest essential eats.

Panino Giusto

Panino Giusto is a new Italian fast casual restaurant on Main Street, Cupertino. It is fantastic. The bread is crunchy, the prosciutto is out-of-this-world good, and the vibes are cozy and romantic. These panini are crazy addictive, especially with the truffle oil.

What to order: Tartufo panino. Arancione juice. Tiramisu. Order 10 of each of them if you're hungry.

Alexander's Steakhouse

Alexander's Steakhouse established in 2005 is SF Bay Area's #1 steakhouse. Whether you're here for a dinner date, a business lunch deal, or a night out with friends, you'll have great beefy choices.

What to order: Wagyu beef burger, slow braised beef, "Monkey business"

 

Kula Sushi

It's crowded, always, but don't worry, once you'll sit down, the novelty will melt away all your stress.

What to order: Ramen, seared salmon, seared scallops

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Chef Hung

Chef Hung is a famous Taiwanese beef noodle soup.

What to order: #4 beef noodle soup

 

11 Hottest Instagram Worthy Restaurants in SF Bay Area

11 Hottest Instagram Worthy Restaurants in SF Bay Area

With restaurant openings happening every single day in SF Bay Area, it can be challenging to choose where to do. Fear not, I’ve hand-selected a list of 11 Hottest Instagram Worthy Destinations that you must go to. Get your cameras ready for some crisp lighting, delightful cocktails, and hearty meals.

Flame | Richmond District, SF, CA

With boiling pots, this Richmond restaurant that sits on the corner of the busy Clement street emulates what Boiling Point has been making, but in a healthier way.

Boiling Point | San Mateo, CA

This one's gonna be hot. Literally. #212F

Delarosa | Financial District, SF, CA

With large glass windows letting all the natural lighting in, you have tons of aesthetically Italian dishes coming your way at an economical price.

1 Oz Coffee | Santa Clara, CA

With closing hours of 2pm Monday through Friday, it takes dedication to go. This place’s luscious outdoor scene makes it appealing for events - or great for any day you want to pretend you’re on vacation.

Monsieur Benjamin | Hayes Valley, SF, CA

Get some classy French fare without breaking the bank (completely).

Powder | Divis, SF, CA

The Taiwanese shaved snow place is finally here.

The Bywater | Los Gatos, CA

The beignets had me craving them for days at a time.

Tartine Manufactory | Mission District, SF, CA

The Tartine takeover has finally come to Mission. Just this past week, Tartine introduced their line of ice cream.

DOSA | Western Addition, SF, CA

Some of the best cocktails in the city can be found at DOSA. Add some Indian flavor to your drink and you’re good to go.

Bluestem Brasserie | Financial District, SF, CA

At the heart of SF, Bluestem’s space is classy and trendy. Check them out for brunch.

Fiorella | Richmond District, SF, CA

Eater was recently raving about Fiorella so I thought I’d stop by and see what the hype was about. The beef sugo garganelli spoke to me in its tenderness to come back for brunch sometime.

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