Check, Please! Bay Area: Season 3: Episode 2 (#302)

Check, Please! Bay Area’s third season episode 2 (#302) profiles and reviews these three Bay Area restaurants:

1) New Kapadokia: | restaurant information | reviews |

2) Aperto: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe |

3) Masa’s: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe |

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Leslie SbroccoMy name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I will be sharing my tasting notes about the wine the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. Also, in my “What to Sip” suggestions, I choose one restaurant from each show and offer tips for selecting libations to enjoy with your meal.

Sponsor Wine: 2005 Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California
Prepare yourself for pure enjoyment with this powerful Chardonnay. Alluring aromas of toasted spice are followed by flavors of ripe melon and pineapple. It’s a classic pairing with rich dishes like lobster, but you might want to simply savor a glass while watching the sunset.

The other wine this week comes from the KQED Wine Club. Join the club!

2004 Tiger’s Tale Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Australia
This popular selection hails from one of Western Australia’s premier wine regions, Margaret River. Situated alongside the ocean, Margaret River is home to elegant styles of Cabernet Sauvignon. This affordable selection shows off its dark berry fruit flavors accented with a touch of fresh herbal notes.

What to Sip: Masa’s
Created by charming Master Sommelier, Alan Murray, Masa’s amazing wine program is a vinous playground. The list is lengthy and layered, offering some bottle options from under $30 to many well over $300. My suggestion for navigating the tome is to hail Alan down and have a chat. He and the rest of the Masa’s staff are attentive, unpretentious, and beguilingly helpful.

Due to Masa’s multi-course menu, you’ll most likely want to try several types of wine. It’s doable by consulting the by-the-glass program or the lovely selection of half bottles. Kick off with Schramsberg Brut Rose sparkling wine ($18 glass) then move into a half bottle of Tablas Creek Esprit ($36). This sultry white Rhone-style blend from California’s Paso Robles area is smooth and full-bodied. For a red with pure finesse, order the half bottle of Ken Wright Canary Hill Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley ($58).

The list is peppered with classic producers as well as innovative, lesser-known ones, making it a compelling read for those who love wine. Regardless of price, every bottle is topnotch, so you can’t go wrong. Some of my favorites to watch for include: crisp and classy Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc from Martinborough, New Zealand ($46), Domaine Raveneau Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru from Burgundy, France ($240), and Angelo Gaja’s Ca’Marcanda “Promis.” This Tuscan red blend from one of Italy’s top producers is a real deal at $88.

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  • http://tablascreek.typepad.com Jason Haas

    Hi Leslie,

    Great to meet you in Paso Robles this past weekend! This was your mention of Tablas Creek that I’d seen recently but couldn’t remember the specifics of. I’m happy you liked the Esprit de Beaucastel, and can’t really think of a better compliment than “sultry”.

    All the best,
    -Jason

    Tablas Creek
    Tablas Creek Blog

  • Margaret Dowling

    Respectfully,please ask your host and guests not to speak over one another Their comments can not be heard. It is *very* frustrating! I am interested in the show but I am getting to the point where I do not want to watch this show I have learned a lot about Bay Area Rest. and have tried out a number of them with various friends and family…however, this issue is getting worse I wanted to hear more about Masa’s! Margaret

  • Joe

    Hi Leslie,
    I love your show. My wife took me to the slanted door for my birthday 2 years ago (thanks honey, I love you!). I am a professional chef now in another field (by the way I did a stage at La Mere Blanc) …but I heard lots of hype about the slanted door, so I was already skeptical. It was so loud that we couldn’t even hear each other yell across the table. The food was just average and overpriced for its genre. I am not a drinker so I was equally unimpressed by the trendy and noisy bar (the focal point of the establishment). I would have better enjoyed my birthday meal in a cozy neighborhood ethnic restaurant, the best food in the city. After a long day at work, the last thing I want is more stress…trying to out-shout the diners and drinkers sitting next to me. I will never go back there.

  • Joan Merritt

    Written questions in between restaurant reviews are too light to read. Please try a darker, more legible font. Otherwise, I love your show!