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Of Note: Sky-high Fun & Food News

by Trevor Felch

At The Matheson in Healdsburg, the nigiri sushi showcases the talents of chef Ken Tominaga. | Photo courtesy of Michael Woolsey

With the holidays around the corner, there’s no need to panic about gifts or how to entertain visiting relatives — yet. So take some time to treat yourself before things start to get really busy. Try a standout new restaurant in Healdsburg, book a staycation with amazing waterfront views or enjoy a hot air balloon ride over Napa Valley. As the seemingly endless Bay Area summer actually winds down, here’s a look at notable items from the Northern California food and travel world this month.


Pre-Thanksgiving, Trust Your Gut:

Ahead of the holidays, The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa Valley focuses on mental wellness with a Trusting Your Intuition retreat on Saturday, November 21. The day includes a tarot card reading, guided sound journey and workshop on listening to your gut feelings.


Souvla in the Skies:

For New York JFK- and Bostonbound travelers on Delta from SFO, here’s some delicious news for your flight! Delta One, the airline’s business class cabin, now serves dishes from San Francisco’s casual, creative Californian-Greek restaurant Souvla (like breakfast pitas and the beloved frozen Greek yogurt).


Come for the Food, Stay for the Game:

The Chase Center named chef Chad Neuman (an alum of Ritz-Carlton restaurants in Malaysia and Puerto Rico) as its culinary director, and his globetrotting dishes — often made with local ingredients — are making an early splash with Warriors fans. To complement the many tempting food choices, try one of the clever cocktails by Beverage Director Brooke Lieberwitz. Outside the arena, there’s the new Gott’s Roadside, complete with a gleaming Airstream from which beer and wine are served. And chef Tyler Florence’s latest, Miller & Lux, recently opened in the vicinity (get more details on the upscale steakhouse in Openings, page 14).


Healdsburg Dining Reaches New Heights:

Sonoma County’s marquee fall opening is The Matheson, an ambitious three-story concept from chef Dustin Valette and partner Craig Ramsey. Located across the street from the Healdsburg Plaza, the ground-level restaurant features seasonal, locally driven cooking as well as dishes from legendary sushi chef Ken Tominaga. Two floors up is Roof 106, the stylish rooftop bar and lounge anchored by a wood-fired oven that churns out pizzas and other tasty treats (including s’mores!).


Calistoga Wine’s Big Day:

The wines from one of Napa Valley’s quietest and finest winegrowing areas will be poured on Saturday, November 20, at the Calistoga Food & Wine Grand Tasting at Solage. More than 30 wineries will be highlighted during the region’s showcase afternoon.

The design- and tech-oriented Ameswell Hotel in Mountain View features interiors by San Francisco-based BAMO. | Photo courtesy of Jessica Sample


Staycation on the Embarcadero:

San Francisco’s charming Harbor Court Hotel welcomes tourists and staycationing locals to its gorgeous, newly renovated rooms and redesigned lobby. As a holiday gift to yourself, book the Skyline penthouse suite and enjoy one of the most breathtaking Bay Bridge views.


The City’s ‘Iconic’ Chef:

Congratulations to the incomparable Dominique Crenn, as the San Francisco chef and eloquent activist was honored with the 2021 Icon Award at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony in September. It was a reminder of how fortunate we are that her three-Michelin-starred flagship restaurant, Atelier Crenn, resides in Cow Hollow.


Up, Up and Away with the St. Regis:

Through December 20, the San Francisco hotel is sweeping guests off their feet with its Take Flight program. Enjoy two nights in a Metropolitan suite before and after a spectacular day in Napa Valley with a sunrise hot air balloon trip, followed by a tasting from cabernet sauvignon specialist Brion Wines. (A private sedan service is included in the hotel package.)


Boutique Hotel Liftoff in Mountain View:

The chic, sustainability- minded Ameswell Hotel is open in Silicon Valley, featuring a beautiful design by San Francisco’s own BAMO. The hotel’s restaurant, Roger, has robotic servers (!) — and there’s an extensive lawn and pool area with an Airstream cocktail bar (we’re sensing a trend here).


A Boisset Bottle Just For You:

For something a little different for wine lovers this holiday season, give something personal — as in a personalized front label with your own message on a bottle of select Boisset Collection wines, like JCB #24 Sparkling Brut.

Timothy Adams Chocolates


Palo Alto-based Timothy Adams Chocolates, founded by couple and chocolatiers Timothy Woods and Adams Holland, can now be snapped up on Sacramento Street. The decadent and delicate chocolates — all rolled by hand — are available starting this month at Sue Fisher King in San Francisco, where their bright polka-dotted boxes will be on display throughout the holidays. The chocolates are button-sized works of fine art so pretty you may not want to take a bite. But with fresh flavor profiles that transport a palate, from Apricot (apricot and white chocolate ganache covered in white chocolate) to 99% (dark chocolate ganache covered in dark chocolate), how could you not?

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