Monday, April 17, 2006

Wine and Food in SOMA

I wanted to go to Bacar, a well-reviewed restaurant South of Market, ever since it opened a couple of years ago. I put off visiting because I feared the restaurant would be overly loud with its nightly (except Sundays) live music. The perfect opportunity presented itself when we decided to see a show at the Golden Gate Theater and wanted to dine beforehand.

When we arrived at Bacar, we found a bright, open space with light coming in through the windows and skylights. As we were dining early, the restaurant was not crowded and music would not begin for a few hours. The food is described as Northern California cuisine. However, the menu takes its inspiration from France with foie gras flan and duck confit; Italy with risotto and woodburning-oven baked pizzas, as well as California with mesquite grilled mahi mahi and jumbo artichokes. We ordered a nice, lightly dressed salad of lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and bacon; excellent duck confit and pan roasted prawns; and a yummy chocolate mousse.

Bacar features an extensive list of wines by the bottle and the glass. For the latter, pours are offered in 2 oz., glass, 250 ml, and 500 ml sizes. Flights of three to four two-ounce pours are included in each of the wine categories.

We enjoyed our time at Bacar and highly recommend it. As for the noise, it was no problem while we were there. The waiter advised us that, once the jazz starts, the bar and front of the restaurant are noisy, with the tables in the back being the quietest.

Bacar is located at 448 Brannan Street (between Third and Fourth Streets). Reservations may be made by calling (415) 904-4100.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Two Excellent Photography Galleries in Carmel

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to take to two guests to the Monterey Peninsula. As always, the ride along the coast was beautiful.

While in Carmel, I had time to visit two of my favorite photography galleries: Weston Gallery and Photography West. The Weston Gallery usually features photographs by Edward Weston (see my earlier post on the Weston Exhibit in Oakland), Ansel Adams, and other great twentieth century photographers. If I had had an extra $50,000 with me, I could have purchased an original print of Adams' "Moonrise Over Hernandez New Mexico." There are always special exhibits of work by contemporary photographers. The Gallery is located on Sixth Avenue, between Dolores and Lincoln Streets, in Carmel.

Two blocks away is Photography West. When I visited, the Gallery had an exhibit of contemporary women photographers, as well as photos by Brett Weston (Edward's son) and Ansel Adams, Christopher Burkett, and others. On the side of a back room, I noticed an unsigned print of one of Edward Weston's most famous nude photographs of his wife, Charis Wilson. I was told the print was made by Edward's son, Cole, and I could by it for $10,000. Photogray West is located on Dolores Street, between Ocean and Seventh Avenues.

Unfortunately, I left both galleries empty handed. However, I did see some lovely photographs.

If you would like to take a tour from San Francisco to Monterey and Carmel, please call me at (866) 326-4237 or e-mail me by clicking here.