Archive for July, 2011

After a early show of the final Harry Potter movie, we found ourselves at Vino Santo Bistro in Redwood City. We picked this place since the restaurang was mostly full. A full restaurant is usually a good sign to us.

Primi Piatti – Rigatoni con Salsiccia, Pappardelli de la Nonna
We skipped the appetizer and went straight for two primi piatti. The rigatoni con salsiccia was a good dish with great flavors that melded well. The spicyness of the sausage helped keep the dish lively. On the other hand, pappardelli de la nonna was a bit of a disappointment. I ordered the dish because it was the only handmade pasta on their entire menu. The pasta was slightly over cooked, giving it a softer consistency that I would have preferred. The pancetta cubes were a little too hard and slightly over-sized. The lack of uniformity in the textures made the eating experience a little jarring. Flavor wise, it was OK.

Secondi Piatti – Petrale Sole
The main entree of petrale sole was good. It was well cooked with just the right touch of lemon. However, I have to say that I’ve had a similar dish at other locations that I prefer over this version. It did “save” the overall meal for me.

All in all, it was an OK meal. If I had to choose an Italian dinner out, I think I’d pick somewhere else first.

Vino Santo Bistro
2030 Broadway St.
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 780-0793


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We had an early dinner on a warm, sunny Friday evening at Coppa in downtown San Mateo. They have a great back patio seating area that always seems packed. When we were there, it quickly filled up with families and Friday night dates.

Appetizer – Salumi Platter
I’m a fan of anything that is hand made by the house. Coppa prides itself on hand making the items on their salumi platter. The selection of sausages were excellent. One interesting addition was the cured duck breast. I like duck, especially duck breast, but cured duck breast tasted a little odd to me. Maybe it was a little gamey, maybe it was a little too dry. Either way, I think I’ll stick to sausages and hams when it comes to salumi platters.

Main Course(s) – Pappardelle with Shortribs, English Peas, Fresh Horseradish and Salsiccia Pizza
The Salsiccia Pizza was super tasty with the right ratio of crust to toppings. The sausage was balanced with the arugula and balsalmic vinegar. However, the showstopper for me was the pappardelle with shortribs, English Peas, fresh horseradish. The short ribs were well seasoned and had a lovely soft texture.The pappardelle, cooked perfectly, provided a strong backbone for the meal. The horseradish was very subtle, but gave you just enough zing to remind you that it was there. I could have eaten a double portion of this dish.

Side – Creamy Polenta (minus the blue cheese)
I ordered a side of polenta for my son, but he was ambivalent towards it. I actually thought it was pretty good. Instead, he preferred the grissini (thin, crunchy breadsticks) that came at the beginning of the meal.

I will definitely be going back to Coppa. It’s a great neighborhood place that’s very kid friendly. Best of all, I can get a great adult meal.

139 South B Street
San Mateo, CA 94401
650 579-6021

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Who can resist a good burger? Gourmet burgers places are popping up all over SF Bay Area. I have a few favorites, but I’m always on the the look out for new places.

I met a friend for lunch at Godfather’s Burger Lounge in San Carlos. Located on the corner of El Camino Real and West Harbor Road, its pretty easy to find. One draw back to the location is that there seems to only be street parking available. Entering the establishment, you’ll find that its a smallish eatery with an upscale modern decor. Almost all of the furniture is dark wood or dark leather. The Godfather theme is carried through the decor with movie memorabilia and photos. The menu sticks to the theme: burgers are named after various pop culture mob icons (Soprano’s, Untouchables, etc).

I ordered the GoodFellas Pepperoni Burger: Fresh Angus burger topped with grilled pepperoni slices,
homemade crispy onion straws & Godfather’s sauce. I’m not sure what about the burger makes it a GoodFellas burger, but the grilled pepperoni slices caught my eye. I swapped the regular fries for sweet potato fries and added a mint lemonade to top it off. The grilled pepperoni added a nice kick to an otherwise average burger. The bun was fresh and the burger was piled high with fixin’s. the burger was cooked to a reasonable medium / medium rare, but lacked the juicy-ness I prefer in my burgers. I left feeling full and underwhelmed.

I can’t pinpoint the source of my disappointment; it was definitely a “good” burger. I guess I was hoping for a “great” burger and it just fell short. I’ll give Godfather’s the benefit of the doubt, just in case it was the burger that I selected. Hopefully, next time I’ll be more impressed.

Godfather’s Burger Lounge
1500 El Camino Real
Belmont, CA 94002
(650) 637 9257

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