It's been a while since my last post. Time slips by so quickly. The daily grind and seemingly unending news of tragic world events can wear down spirits. But perhaps it is in the busiest and worst of times that it is even more important to carve out special moments to do what you love. Or enjoy the simple pleasures in life - like eating a bowl of fresh strawberries (as pictured above). When we feel good, we can do more good and show more compassion. So while it may appear self-indulgent, these goals I've set for myself are really my way of making the world a better place. Well, not really. This is an even better way to do that: The Life You Can Save.
As you know, I have posted my current restaurant recommendations on the Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco Restaurants pages of this website. There are so many places I have not yet tried ... but I've been keeping a list. A faithful fan (you know who you are, Steve) has implored me to share my list. It's always good to share your goals with others so they can help hold you accountable. So in sharing my goals with all of you, I hope to barrel through the list more quickly and report back on the highlights. If you beat me to these spots, please comment below and share some of your favorite dishes or feedback. Without further ado, here is my current list of places I want to try and why:
- AL's Place - because Bon Appetit named this spot Restaurant of the Year in 2015.
- Atelier Crenn because Dominique Crenn exudes poetic genius. The Netflix original Chef's Table has a beautiful episode on her that you really must watch. #GirlCrush
- Cala because Mexican food deserves its due. Plus there's this.
- Firenze by Night because I saw it here and it looks delicious.
- Kingdom of Dumpling because I saw it here and I am dumpling obsessed.
- Namu Gaji because it seems to infuse the owners' brotherly-love onto the plate.
- Octavia because it's bound to be great with Melissa Perello (of Frances) at the helm.
- Petit Crenn because it's the comfort food of Chef Dominique Crenn's Brittany home.
- Trou Normand because it's sexy to sip brandy and eat charcuterie in leather booths.
- Belotti because who doesn't love handmade pasta in a cozy neighborhood spot?
- Calavera because it's a "Mexican Kitchen and Agave Bar" in Oaktown's hip Hive.
- Commis because it's been awarded Two Michelin Stars and I'm very late to the table.
- Drake's Dealership because it looks like a hipster backyard party with craft beers.
- Duende because I adore Spanish food and dream of owning a Pintxos Bar one day.
- Grand Fare (when it reopens) because it's going to be a great neighborhood staple.
- Kingston 11 because I saw it here and its Jamaican food looks incredible.
- Shakewell because I saw it here and love the fun vibe.
- Ajanta because it's Indian fine dining made with organic ingredients. Perfectly North Berkeley.
- East Bay Spice Company because they make craft cocktails and spiced up snacks to accompany them.
- Ippudo (when it opens) because it's the famed NYC ramen shop of the same name.
- Pathos because there are not enough great Greek restaurants. I'm hoping it will be a Kokkari of the East Bay.
- Sweetgreen because it's healthy, sustainable fast food in an iconic, retro space on Shattuck.
- Tigerlily because it's modern, organic Indian food in the Gourmet Ghetto of Berkeley.
- Tupper and Reed because it's the pedigreed craft cocktail descendant of Bourbon & Branch and Cask retail stores.
- Westbrae Biergarten because a casual afternoon spent drinking craft beer and eating outside on picnic tables is idyllic.
My list is long, but I am motivated. I'll keep you posted on my progress. Please share your thoughts and let me know where I should prioritize and what I must order at each of your own recommendations. Thanks for playing along!