A Food-Focused Weekend
I'll start with the gathering that I'd been waiting for the longest, the Second Annual Bay Area Food Bloggers' Picnic held on Sunday afternoon in sunny Lafayette. In the year since I started this site, I've had several electronic exchanges with other food bloggers, but I had never had the opportunity to meet a single one of them in person. That all changed on Sunday, when Owen graciously opened his home to host a picnic like no other that I've ever attended. A lot has already been written to describe and document the event, so I will simply say this: it was an absolute pleasure to finally meet so many of my favorite bloggers, including those with whom I have previously communicated at some length (Sam, Joy, Brett, and Amy) and those whose work I have admired largely from afar (The Bunrabs, Sean, Anita, Martha, Elise, Jennifer, Pim, Owen and Marc). My only regret is that we didn't have more time, as there were so many other outstanding bloggers in attendance who I didn't get a chance to meet -- including Shuna, Cookiecrumb, Derrick, Heidi, Biggles, Garrett, Penny, Tea, Alder, Amanda, and many more. In any event, special thanks to Owen for hosting the event, and to Penny and Sean for taking so many great pictures.
Going back now to Friday, I left my office promptly at 5:00 p.m. so that I could fight my way up the peninsula in order to pick Rhonda up for a special occasion -- the celebration of her birthday. We'd been talking for over a month about how she might like to spend the evening, but it wasn't until a few weeks earlier that we had finalized the plan: I would throw a small dinner party in her honor at a restaurant, inviting six friends to join us. After investigating a few options, we were stunned to learn that we could get the chef's table at a restaurant that typically requires much greater advance notice for reservations -- Quince. Although we had both dined at the restaurant a handful of times before, we were excited to return -- particularly since several of our friends had never been there and were anxious to try it. Overall, we had a great evening. The company was outstanding, the conversation lively, and the food -- well, it was occasionally brilliant, and overall very good.
I finished up in the kitchen just in time to get ready for our Saturday night engagement -- a dinner at Winterland restaurant. Shortly after it was announced a few months ago that the restaurant would be closing its doors for all but private parties, an enterprising person on Chowhound set out to determine whether she could assemble enough interested people to rent out the entire restaurant for a night. Wanting to experience the cuisine of Executive Chef Vernon Morales one last time, we signed up. And I'm very glad that we did, for the menu was innovative, interesting, and satisfying -- just as I expected it would be.
I spent Sunday morning preparing my dish for the picnic and Sunday afternoon meeting my fellow bloggers. On our way back from Lafayette to San Francisco, Rhonda and I stopped for ice cream at Sketch -- a place that caught my attention when I saw Brett's post raving about it last month. Our appetites sated by great food and delicious ice cream, we arrived back home in the early evening -- leaving just a few hours to wind down, to get ready for the new week, and -- most importantly -- to start worrying about where I would possibly find the time to draft posts about all of this!