Cover image of Check, Please! Bay Area Podcast
(26)

Rank #190 in Food category

Arts
Food

Check, Please! Bay Area Podcast

Updated 3 days ago

Rank #190 in Food category

Arts
Food
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Check, Please! Bay Area is KQED Public Television’s local series featuring regular people reviewing San Francisco Bay Area restaurants. Find out more about this KQED series at: kqed.org/checkplease.

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Check, Please! Bay Area is KQED Public Television’s local series featuring regular people reviewing San Francisco Bay Area restaurants. Find out more about this KQED series at: kqed.org/checkplease.

iTunes Ratings

26 Ratings
Average Ratings
18
6
2
0
0

Great show, been watching for years!!!

By Jisong - Sep 28 2015
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Good to see this show is now available as podcast, keep up the good work guys!!!

Great show

By By7 - Jun 24 2010
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I love this show, it's a great way to fine interest restaurant around the bay area.

iTunes Ratings

26 Ratings
Average Ratings
18
6
2
0
0

Great show, been watching for years!!!

By Jisong - Sep 28 2015
Read more
Good to see this show is now available as podcast, keep up the good work guys!!!

Great show

By By7 - Jun 24 2010
Read more
I love this show, it's a great way to fine interest restaurant around the bay area.

Listen to:

Cover image of Check, Please! Bay Area Podcast

Check, Please! Bay Area Podcast

Updated 3 days ago

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Check, Please! Bay Area is KQED Public Television’s local series featuring regular people reviewing San Francisco Bay Area restaurants. Find out more about this KQED series at: kqed.org/checkplease.

Check, Please! Bay Area: Season 2: Episode 17 (217)

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Bay Area restaurants profiled and reviewed:
1) RNM: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe | [CLOSED]

2) Ana Mandara: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe | [CLOSED]

3) The Front Porch: | restaurant information | reviews |

Oct 13 2007

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Check, Please! Bay Area: Season 3: Episode 1 (#301)

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Check, Please! Bay Area's third season episode 3 (#301) profiles and reviews these three Bay Area restaurants:
1) Alfred's Steakhouse: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe |
2) Bacco: | restaurant information | reviews |
3) El Tonayense Taco Truck: | restaurant information | reviews |

Apr 04 2008

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Check, Please! Bay Area: Season 2: Episode 23 (223)

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Bay Area restaurants profiled and reviewed:
1) Baladie Gourmet Cafe: | restaurant information | reviews |

2) Sumi: | restaurant information | reviews | [CLOSED]

3) Marché Aux Fleurs: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe |

Dec 14 2007

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Roti Indian Bistro, Chop Bar, Park Tavern

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Restaurants reviewed: Roti Indian Bistro (Burlingame), Chop Bar (Oakland), Park Tavern (San Francisco)

Nov 01 2012

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Pompei’s Grotto, Lillie Mae’s House of Soul Food, SPQR: Check, Please! Bay Area reviews

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Restaurants reviewed: Pompei's Grotto (San Francisco), Lillie Mae's House of Soul Food (Santa Clara), SPQR (San Francisco).

Apr 28 2013

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Check, Please! Bay Area: L’Ardoise Bistro, Della Santina Trattoria, Perbacco

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This season 12 episode 14 revisits some old favorite spots from previous seasons of Check, Please! Bay Area. Reviewed: a classic French bistro in San Francisco, an Italian trattoria in Sonoma, and a restaurant serving up the cuisine of Piemonte and Liguria in San Francisco.

Nov 23 2017

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Shinmai, Asmara Restaurant, The Ice Cream Bar

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews a modern Japanese izakaya in Oakland, a family-owned North East African eatery also in Oakland and a 1930's-style soda fountain in San Francisco.

Jun 13 2019

28mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Jack’s Prime Burgers & Shakes, Posada, Noodle Theory Provisions

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviewed a modern-day diner in San Mateo that serves Angus beef burgers, organic milkshakes and craft microbrews; a restaurant serving Southwestern cuisine in Livermore, and an Asian-centric eatery in Oakland with a contemporary-Californian twist and cocktails.

Jun 08 2017

28mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 4: Episode 6 (406)

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Check, Please! Bay Area's fourth season episode 6 (#406) profiles and reviews these three Bay Area restaurants:
1) Zeni Ethiopian Restaurant: | restaurant information | reviews |
2) Quinn's Lighthouse Restaurant & Pub: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe |
3) Acquerello: | restaurant information | reviews |

Apr 30 2009

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Watch Check, Please! Bay Area review PintxoPote, Red Hill Station and Osmanthus

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Basque cooking in Los Gatos, Seafood in San Francisco's Bernal Heights, Japanese & South Asian cuisine in Oakland

Apr 30 2015

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Bursa, The Italian Homemade Company, Rasa Contemporary Indian

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Watch More of Season 14
Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 15 airs Thursday, October 3 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

This week, we begin a culinary journey through the Eastern Mediterranean with falafels and kebabs at Bursa in San Francisco. Next, we head to Berkeley for The Italian Homemade Company, a fast-casual spot featuring an abundance of fresh, house-made pasta. Our final stop is Rasa Contemporary Indian in Burlingame for a celebration of traditional coastal Indian cuisine with a modern, Michelin-starred twist.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 15. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

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Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine (Courtesy of Leslie Sbrocco)

My 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, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show.

Korbel Brut Rosé, California $13
Korbel is a California classic. As one of the most bucolic wineries to visit, it was founded in 1882 but has evolved with the times. They have remained one of the leaders of sparkling wine in the world marrying quality with availability and affordability. Their Brut Rosé is the best on wine on their roster.

Made with a unique blend of Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Gamay and Chenin Blanc, it’s fruity but dry. A brunch wine, a weekend aperitif, a cocktail mixer, or a dinner sip with Thai take-out, this versatile pink is a staple to have on hand at all times.

2017 Steele Pinot Blanc, Santa Barbara County, California $20
Jed Steele is one of California’s legendary winemakers. For more than 50 years he’s been a strong force in creating styles that have shaped the California wine landscape. Steele is a Lake County legend, but this succulent bottling hails from further south in the Golden State – Santa Barbara. Pinot Blanc is related to Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir and has viscous texture tempered with crispness and a nutty richness.

This Pinot Blanc is an ideal alternative to Chardonnay at the dinner table and beyond.

2016 Alara Pinot Noir, Central Coast, California $41
When you look at a bottle of Alara, the alluring labels might draw you in, but the wine inside the bottle is the star. The owner of the brand, Janu Goelz, has a fascinating past full of passions from fashion to film (the label designs are, in fact, from a fashion designer).

One of her passions is clearly Pinot Noir as evidenced by this silky, spicy red with a lush mouthfeel. It’s a bold style that aims to show the intensity of fruit. Drape yourself in this pretty-in-Pinot.

2016 Flora Springs Merlot, Napa Valley, California $35
When I think of Merlot what comes to mind is plushness – it’s the vinous equivalent of wrapping a cashmere shawl around your shoulders. Flora Springs’ version of Merlot is a beauty and ranks among California’s best. Using 100 percent Merlot lets the grape variety’s natural qualities shine.

It’s soft and round with dark berry fruit notes and a whisper of cocoa aromas. Drinking it on its own makes me happy. Pairing it with slow-roasted pork loin in a mushroom sauce or a piece of dark chocolate is positively swoon-worthy.

2016 Maçanita Douro DOC, Portugal $27
Think Portugal’s Douro regions means only sweet Port? No way. These days, it’s the hottest spot in Portugal for dry reds and the Maçanita is one of its superstars. Made from very old-vine Touriga Nacional (a grape used in Port) and a blend of other native red varieties, this wine is complex, earthy, and elegantly powerful.

It’s a red with a rugged personality, just like its birthplace. Crafted by the talented hands of Antonio Maçanita — one of the heralded young winemakers in the country — it’s hard to believe a wine of this quality is less than $30.

No. 209 Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Reserve Gin $60
I’m a gin lover and No. 209 is among by top-tier picks. With the Barrel Reserve Gin, though, they have a unique drink that belongs not with tonic, but as a sipper with a cube. This amber-hued gin begins life as a clear spirit.

It’s aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from top Napa Valley wine producers and transforms into a whiskey-esque drink to be savored.

Wine and spirits that guests drank on the set of season 14 episode 15. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

Thirsty for more beverage advice? You can find some of my wine, beer and spirits tips for you here

Oct 03 2019

28mins

Play

Check, Please! Bay Area Kids review: Dipsea Cafe, Ca’ Momi Osteria, New Mecca Cafe

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More Check, Please! Bay Area Kids
Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 21 airs Tuesday, October 1 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Open since 1986, the Dipsea Cafe is a Mill Valley breakfast institution. Our first guest loves tucking into their steak and eggs and ginormous fluffy pancakes. Our second guest takes us to Ca’Momi Osteria in downtown Napa, home to authentic Pizza Napoletana and classic Italian cinema. Finally, a Pittsburg musical performer dishes on New Mecca Cafe, where 3 generations of her family have enjoyed their delicious bean dip!

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 21. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

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Oct 01 2019

26mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Guiso Latin Fusion, Rich Table, Nyum Bai

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Watch More of Season 14
Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 14 airs Thursday, September 26 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Our first stop is the family-owned Guiso Latin Fusion in Healdsburg. It may be small in size, but the authentic Latin American and Caribbean flavors are grand! Next, we visit Rich Table in San Francisco, a sumptuous spot with an eclectic, seasonal, California-focused menu. Last but not least, our guests take us to Oakland’s Nyum Bai where we’re transported to Cambodia with vibrant takes on the country’s signature dishes.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 13. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

Get Restaurant Information:

Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine (Courtesy of Leslie Sbrocco)

My 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, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show.

La Vieille Ferme Reserve Sparkling Rosé, France $15

The rosés of La Vieille Ferme rank among the best values on the market for pink wines. Their bubbly is no exception. It’s a steal. A dry refreshing sparkler from the family behind southern France’s famed Chateau de Beaucastel, this is a quaffable pink. Made with classic Rhone varieties of Grenache Noir and Cinsault with a touch of Pinot Noir, it’s fruity, fresh and fun.

2018 Ricardo Santos Semillon, Mendoza, Argentina $16
Ricardo Santos – the former owner of Argentina’s Norton winery – is a leader in South American wine. As the first to export Malbec to the United States more than 30 years ago, he helped create the popular category. Now, he and his family lead his namesake label and are crafting this unoaked, crisp and juicy white from a 70-year-old vineyard. Semillon grapes are known in France and Australia, but this wine shows that Argentina is a place for delicious versions, too.

2017 Decoy Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California $20
As a longtime fan of just about everything Duckhorn does, it’s no surprise I find their Decoy Chardonnay among the best values in California wine. They use fruit grown across Sonoma to assemble a wine of complexity and approachability. A kiss of oak, a bit of richness, a streak of acidity are balanced in a seamless white.

Drink it alone for a 5 p.m. cocktail then pour yourself another glass for dinner with roast chicken salad or grilled salmon. It’s versatile, affordable and consistently a winner.

2015 Girard Artistry, Napa Valley, California $60
Girard is fast becoming a Napa Valley destination. With a modern winery built in Calistoga, it’s a place to seek out when visiting wine country. Don’t miss the wine and food pairing experience, which gives you an in-depth look at the tasty techniques used to brilliantly match bites and sips. Their flagship sip is the Artistry blend comprised of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with Malbec and Petit Verdot.

Layered with spicy aromas and dark fruit intensity, its structure and tannins allow for long aging. But, with an hour in a decanter and a steak by its side, this wine would be perfect to enjoy tonight.

2016 Groom Cellars Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia $38
Daryl Groom is one of my favorite people in the wine industry. An Aussie who captures the joy of wine (and life), he has successfully worked for some of the top global brands including Penfolds. He left the corporate world a number of years ago and works on several passion projects including Groom Cellars with his wife, Lisa. Their Barossa Valley Shiraz captures the lush style the region is known for but tempers it by highlighting the spicy, bright nature of the variety. This is a classy red for lovers of Shiraz.

Michter’s Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey, Kentucky $48
Rye whiskey is undergoing a renaissance in America. Since colonial times, rye has been the grain of choice for making whiskey. It fell out of favor as corn took over for sweeter spirit styles, but Rye is back! This single barrel from Michter’s is a modern classic. Spicy, smoky and smooth, it’s aged in toasted new American white oak barrels imparting caramel and butterscotch notes. Ideal for cocktails or just for fireside sipping, Michter’s is a top-notch American whiskey producer to know.

Wine and spirits that guests drank on the set of season 14 episode 14. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

Thirsty for more beverage advice? You can find some of my wine, beer and spirits tips for you here

Sep 26 2019

28mins

Play

Contigo, Smoke Berkeley, Paradiso: Check, Please! Bay Area reviews

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Reviews: Contigo (SF), Smoke Berkeley (Berkeley), Paradiso (San Leandro)

Apr 11 2014

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Acacia House by Chris Cosentino, Iyasare, Franciscan Crab Restaurant

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews a Top Chef Master's newest restaurant in St. Helena, elevated Japanese comfort food in Berkeley, and a Fisherman's Wharf mainstay for more than sixty years.

Jul 19 2018

28mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area Kids review: Zareen’s, Park Burger, Tu Mero Mole

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Check, Please! Bay Area Kids find contemporary Pakistani and Indian cuisine in Palo Alto, rich frosty shakes in Oakland, and authentic Pueblan cuisine in San Jose.

Dec 13 2018

27mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area: Season 2: Episode 6 (206)

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Bay Area restaurants profiled and reviewed:
1) Pacific Cafe: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe |

2) China Village: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe |

3) Chez Nous: | restaurant information | reviews | [CLOSED]

Nov 03 2006

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Check, Please! Bay Area Kids review: Antipastos, The Veg Hub, Coco’s Ramen

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Check, Please! Bay Area Kids find homey Italian food in San Jose, hearty vegan fare in Oakland, and a variety of Japanese ramen and sushi in San Francisco.

Dec 20 2018

27mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area Kids review: Minato Japanese Restaurant, Tapsilog Bistro, Giorgio’s Pizzeria

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Check, Please! Bay Area Kids review a Japanese restaurant in San Jose where the kids' meal comes with a prize, authentic Filipino flavors in Campbell, and a pizzeria in San Francisco that's been around for generations.

Dec 06 2018

27mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Sutro’s at the Cliff House, El Coqui Puerto Rican Cuisine

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews only two restaurants this time; a historic San Francisco spot with stunning sunsets, classic cocktails and elegant cuisine and an eatery in Santa Rosa serving up Puerto Rican cuisine.

Jul 12 2018

27mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: The Big 4 Restaurant, Pork Store Cafe, Lalime’s

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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 19 airs Thursday, October 31 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Discover classy American cuisine in elegant surroundings at The Big 4 Restaurant, a historic destination in San Francisco named after famous 19th-Century railroad tycoons. Then, celebrate mornings at the Pork Store Cafe, a beloved eatery where hot pink walls are fittingly lined with painted pigs. Finally, enjoy a sublime combination of seasonal dishes, an extensive wine list and cozy hospitality at Lalime’s Restaurant in Berkeley.

Get Restaurant Information:

Oct 31 2019

27mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Zazie, Nick’s Next Door, Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 18 airs Thursday, October 24 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

First, we step into Zazie, a cozy, neighborhood bistro serving updated French plates in San Francisco’s Cole Valley. Then, we head to Nick’s Next Door in Los Gatos for elevated comfort food and bold flavors in an elegant setting. Finally, we journey back to San Francisco for Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, a polished French brasserie offering the classics of France with a creative California twist.

Get Restaurant Information:

Oct 24 2019

27mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area Kids review: Souvla, Zachary’s Chicago Pizza, Sancho’s Taqueria

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More Check, Please! Bay Area Kids
Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 24 airs Tuesday, October 22 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Check, Please! Bay Area KIDS Special: Our first guest is a female fencer who loves the garlicky fries and spit-roasted meats at Souvla in San Francisco. Next up, a 4H champ who shares her love for Chicago-style stuffed pies and creamy Caesars at Zachary’s Chicago Pizza in Pleasant Hill. And finally, a Palo Alto swimmer who goes the distance for mega, build-your-own burritos at Sancho’s Taqueria.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 24. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

Get Restaurant Information:

Oct 22 2019

26mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Caffe La Scala, Paradiso, Capo’s

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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 17 airs Thursday, October 17 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Echoes of bustling European coffeehouses converge in Walnut Creek at the beloved Caffe La Scala, where diners savor coffees, panini, and desserts. Next, we head to the stylish Paradiso in San Leandro for its eclectic menu and open dining room with exposed beams and bright skylights. For our final stop, we head to San Francisco for hot-from-the-oven pizza-pies, boutique whiskeys and nostalgic decor at Capo’s, a retro-Chicago style eatery inspired by Al Capone.

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Oct 17 2019

26mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area Kids review: Sam’s Chowder House, Sangeetha Restaurant, Gerard’s Paella Y Tapas

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More Check, Please! Bay Area Kids
Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 23 airs Tuesday, October 15 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Check, Please! Bay Area KIDS Special: Up first, a surfer who slurps down fresh shucked oysters as often as she can at Sam’s Chowder House, a coastal getaway with killer sunset views in Half Moon Bay. Next, it’s twin sisters who love to debate over dosas and other South Indian delights at Sunnyvale’s Sangeetha Restaurant. Finally, a young “Hamilton” fanatic who always says “sí” to authentic Spanish specialties at Santa Rosa’s Gerard’s Paella Y Tapas.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 23. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

Get Restaurant Information:

Oct 15 2019

27mins

Play

Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Alamar Kitchen + Bar, Sabores Del Sur, Pearl 6101

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Watch More of Season 14
Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 16 airs Thursday, October 10 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

First, we head to the Town for alaMar Kitchen + Bar in Oakland, a spicy spot where Mediterranean and Asian influences meet fresh seafood. Next, we visit Sabores del Sur in Walnut Creek for authentic Chilean cuisine from a woman-owned and run kitchen. Then it’s off to San Francisco’s Richmond district for Pearl 6101, a neighborhood treasure serving carefully crafted cocktails and refined American cuisine.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 16. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

Get Restaurant Information:

Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine (Courtesy of Leslie Sbrocco)

My 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, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show.

Domaine Amirault, Les Quarterons Crémant de Loire Sparkling Brut, France $18
Crémant is a French style of sparkling wine that refers to the creamy, soft texture created by the bubbles. It’s not called Champagne because it’s not from the eponymous region, but Crémant de Loire hails from the stunning Loire Valley of France. Made from Chenin Blanc grapes in a dry – or Brut – style, it’s an elegant sparkler. When it comes to value for the money, you can’t beat this bubbly beauty.

2017 Ponzi Vineyards Arneis, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon $27
Ponzi ranks at the top of my must-know wineries in Oregon. Not only did the Ponzi family help create the Oregon wine industry more than 50 years ago, today Maria and Luisa Ponzi are continuing their legacy of quality. Known for world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, their Arneis shows a different side of the Ponzi portfolio. A unique northern Italian white grape, Arneis vines were planted at Ponzi in 1990. This deliciously succulent wine is citrusy but with layered complexity. It’s for drinking and thinking.

2015 Charles Krug Family Reserve ‘Generations’ Red Wine, Napa Valley, California $70
Talk about a rich history…Charles Krug leads the way in Napa Valley. Founded in 1861, it remains one of the most esteemed producers in California. Under the ownership of the Peter Mondavi family since 1943, Charles Krug’s Generations honors the family’s heritage and lineage. This classic Bordeaux-style blend is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and falls on the lush side of the scale.

It’s an ideal candidate to put in your wine cellar, but if you can’t wait a few years, no worries. Served alongside prime rib, rack of lamb, or a pungent aged cheese, it’s ready to enjoy tonight (just make sure to give me a call if you’re opening the bottle).

2016 Chateau Ste. Michelle ‘Red Mountain’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington $50
Washington state icon, Chateau Ste. Michelle, crafts a wide selection of wines from dry and sweet Riesling to Chardonnay, Merlot and red blends. But one of their superstars is this Cabernet Sauvignon. The hot and arid Red Mountain wine-growing region produces grapes with intensity and structure. Those qualities drive the core of this red, but it’s wrapped in plushness from concentrated dark fruit flavors. Drink now or age and drink later…either way it will provide pure pleasure in a glass.

2017 Eberle Zinfandel, Paso Robles, California $30
When it comes to Zinfandel, Paso is the place and Eberle knows best. As a pioneer in the area, Eberle has seen the trends come and go, but their focus has always been on showcasing the purity of fruit grown in Paso Robles. This is a no-holds-barred, spicy, full-bodied Zin made to pair alongside casual fare from tangy Sloppy Joe’s to spaghetti with red sauce to savory grilled steak.

Whip Saw Rye Whiskey, California $48
Rye is a hot category among whiskey lovers and Whip Saw delivers the heat. A blend of whiskeys is the base, but with a unique twist. What sets it apart is that the blend was finished in wine barrels that previously held the famed Willams Selyem Pinot Noir along with a variety of Napa Valley Cabernets. This gives the Rye-driven spirit an opulent flavor profile laden with exotic fruit and chocolatey notes. Smooth, sultry, spicy and sippable.

Wine and spirits that guests drank on the set of season 14 episode 16. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

Thirsty for more beverage advice? You can find some of my wine, beer and spirits tips for you here

Oct 10 2019

28mins

Play

Check, Please! Bay Area Kids review: Teni East Kitchen, Estrellita Mexican Bistro, Kabul Afghan Cuisine

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More Check, Please! Bay Area Kids
Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 22 airs Tuesday, October 8 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Check, Please! Bay Area KIDS Special: First up, it’s Oakland’s Teni East Kitchen, where Burmese delights with a California twist and some very stretchy roti thrill our youngest guest. Then a Los Altos teen who’s set her sights on being a cooking show star shares her spot, Estrellita Mexican Bistro, home to Oaxacan cuisine since 1958. Finally, a budding thespian shares his love for Kabul Afghan Cuisine, where fragrant Afghan dishes served family-style in San Carlos take center stage.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 22. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

Get Restaurant Information:

Oct 08 2019

26mins

Play

Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Bursa, The Italian Homemade Company, Rasa Contemporary Indian

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Watch More of Season 14
Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 15 airs Thursday, October 3 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

This week, we begin a culinary journey through the Eastern Mediterranean with falafels and kebabs at Bursa in San Francisco. Next, we head to Berkeley for The Italian Homemade Company, a fast-casual spot featuring an abundance of fresh, house-made pasta. Our final stop is Rasa Contemporary Indian in Burlingame for a celebration of traditional coastal Indian cuisine with a modern, Michelin-starred twist.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 15. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

Get Restaurant Information:

Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine (Courtesy of Leslie Sbrocco)

My 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, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show.

Korbel Brut Rosé, California $13
Korbel is a California classic. As one of the most bucolic wineries to visit, it was founded in 1882 but has evolved with the times. They have remained one of the leaders of sparkling wine in the world marrying quality with availability and affordability. Their Brut Rosé is the best on wine on their roster.

Made with a unique blend of Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Gamay and Chenin Blanc, it’s fruity but dry. A brunch wine, a weekend aperitif, a cocktail mixer, or a dinner sip with Thai take-out, this versatile pink is a staple to have on hand at all times.

2017 Steele Pinot Blanc, Santa Barbara County, California $20
Jed Steele is one of California’s legendary winemakers. For more than 50 years he’s been a strong force in creating styles that have shaped the California wine landscape. Steele is a Lake County legend, but this succulent bottling hails from further south in the Golden State – Santa Barbara. Pinot Blanc is related to Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir and has viscous texture tempered with crispness and a nutty richness.

This Pinot Blanc is an ideal alternative to Chardonnay at the dinner table and beyond.

2016 Alara Pinot Noir, Central Coast, California $41
When you look at a bottle of Alara, the alluring labels might draw you in, but the wine inside the bottle is the star. The owner of the brand, Janu Goelz, has a fascinating past full of passions from fashion to film (the label designs are, in fact, from a fashion designer).

One of her passions is clearly Pinot Noir as evidenced by this silky, spicy red with a lush mouthfeel. It’s a bold style that aims to show the intensity of fruit. Drape yourself in this pretty-in-Pinot.

2016 Flora Springs Merlot, Napa Valley, California $35
When I think of Merlot what comes to mind is plushness – it’s the vinous equivalent of wrapping a cashmere shawl around your shoulders. Flora Springs’ version of Merlot is a beauty and ranks among California’s best. Using 100 percent Merlot lets the grape variety’s natural qualities shine.

It’s soft and round with dark berry fruit notes and a whisper of cocoa aromas. Drinking it on its own makes me happy. Pairing it with slow-roasted pork loin in a mushroom sauce or a piece of dark chocolate is positively swoon-worthy.

2016 Maçanita Douro DOC, Portugal $27
Think Portugal’s Douro regions means only sweet Port? No way. These days, it’s the hottest spot in Portugal for dry reds and the Maçanita is one of its superstars. Made from very old-vine Touriga Nacional (a grape used in Port) and a blend of other native red varieties, this wine is complex, earthy, and elegantly powerful.

It’s a red with a rugged personality, just like its birthplace. Crafted by the talented hands of Antonio Maçanita — one of the heralded young winemakers in the country — it’s hard to believe a wine of this quality is less than $30.

No. 209 Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Reserve Gin $60
I’m a gin lover and No. 209 is among by top-tier picks. With the Barrel Reserve Gin, though, they have a unique drink that belongs not with tonic, but as a sipper with a cube. This amber-hued gin begins life as a clear spirit.

It’s aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from top Napa Valley wine producers and transforms into a whiskey-esque drink to be savored.

Wine and spirits that guests drank on the set of season 14 episode 15. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

Thirsty for more beverage advice? You can find some of my wine, beer and spirits tips for you here

Oct 03 2019

28mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area Kids review: Dipsea Cafe, Ca’ Momi Osteria, New Mecca Cafe

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More Check, Please! Bay Area Kids
Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 21 airs Tuesday, October 1 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Open since 1986, the Dipsea Cafe is a Mill Valley breakfast institution. Our first guest loves tucking into their steak and eggs and ginormous fluffy pancakes. Our second guest takes us to Ca’Momi Osteria in downtown Napa, home to authentic Pizza Napoletana and classic Italian cinema. Finally, a Pittsburg musical performer dishes on New Mecca Cafe, where 3 generations of her family have enjoyed their delicious bean dip!

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 21. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

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Oct 01 2019

26mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Guiso Latin Fusion, Rich Table, Nyum Bai

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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 14 airs Thursday, September 26 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Our first stop is the family-owned Guiso Latin Fusion in Healdsburg. It may be small in size, but the authentic Latin American and Caribbean flavors are grand! Next, we visit Rich Table in San Francisco, a sumptuous spot with an eclectic, seasonal, California-focused menu. Last but not least, our guests take us to Oakland’s Nyum Bai where we’re transported to Cambodia with vibrant takes on the country’s signature dishes.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 13. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

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Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine (Courtesy of Leslie Sbrocco)

My 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, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show.

La Vieille Ferme Reserve Sparkling Rosé, France $15

The rosés of La Vieille Ferme rank among the best values on the market for pink wines. Their bubbly is no exception. It’s a steal. A dry refreshing sparkler from the family behind southern France’s famed Chateau de Beaucastel, this is a quaffable pink. Made with classic Rhone varieties of Grenache Noir and Cinsault with a touch of Pinot Noir, it’s fruity, fresh and fun.

2018 Ricardo Santos Semillon, Mendoza, Argentina $16
Ricardo Santos – the former owner of Argentina’s Norton winery – is a leader in South American wine. As the first to export Malbec to the United States more than 30 years ago, he helped create the popular category. Now, he and his family lead his namesake label and are crafting this unoaked, crisp and juicy white from a 70-year-old vineyard. Semillon grapes are known in France and Australia, but this wine shows that Argentina is a place for delicious versions, too.

2017 Decoy Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California $20
As a longtime fan of just about everything Duckhorn does, it’s no surprise I find their Decoy Chardonnay among the best values in California wine. They use fruit grown across Sonoma to assemble a wine of complexity and approachability. A kiss of oak, a bit of richness, a streak of acidity are balanced in a seamless white.

Drink it alone for a 5 p.m. cocktail then pour yourself another glass for dinner with roast chicken salad or grilled salmon. It’s versatile, affordable and consistently a winner.

2015 Girard Artistry, Napa Valley, California $60
Girard is fast becoming a Napa Valley destination. With a modern winery built in Calistoga, it’s a place to seek out when visiting wine country. Don’t miss the wine and food pairing experience, which gives you an in-depth look at the tasty techniques used to brilliantly match bites and sips. Their flagship sip is the Artistry blend comprised of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with Malbec and Petit Verdot.

Layered with spicy aromas and dark fruit intensity, its structure and tannins allow for long aging. But, with an hour in a decanter and a steak by its side, this wine would be perfect to enjoy tonight.

2016 Groom Cellars Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia $38
Daryl Groom is one of my favorite people in the wine industry. An Aussie who captures the joy of wine (and life), he has successfully worked for some of the top global brands including Penfolds. He left the corporate world a number of years ago and works on several passion projects including Groom Cellars with his wife, Lisa. Their Barossa Valley Shiraz captures the lush style the region is known for but tempers it by highlighting the spicy, bright nature of the variety. This is a classy red for lovers of Shiraz.

Michter’s Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey, Kentucky $48
Rye whiskey is undergoing a renaissance in America. Since colonial times, rye has been the grain of choice for making whiskey. It fell out of favor as corn took over for sweeter spirit styles, but Rye is back! This single barrel from Michter’s is a modern classic. Spicy, smoky and smooth, it’s aged in toasted new American white oak barrels imparting caramel and butterscotch notes. Ideal for cocktails or just for fireside sipping, Michter’s is a top-notch American whiskey producer to know.

Wine and spirits that guests drank on the set of season 14 episode 14. (Grace Cheung/KQED)

Thirsty for more beverage advice? You can find some of my wine, beer and spirits tips for you here

Sep 26 2019

28mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Roosevelt Tamale Parlor, Bravas Bar de Tapas, International Smoke

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews a Mexican-inspired menu at a San Francisco institution, delicious Spanish bites in Healdsburg and globally-inspired offerings and Southern comforts back in San Francisco.

Sep 19 2019

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Teleferic Barcelona, Sodini’s Trattoria, Jubba Somali Restaurant

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews a lively taberna with Basque-inspired pintxos in Walnut Creek, an old-school Italian eatery with friendly neighborhood vibes in San Francisco and home-style East African cooking in San Jose.

Sep 12 2019

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Beretta, 7 Mile House, The Cheese Board Collective

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews an impress-your-friends Italian spot in San Francisco, a family (and dog) friendly roadhouse in Brisbane and a worker-owned and operated pizza shop in Berkeley.

Sep 05 2019

28mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Shinmai, Asmara Restaurant, The Ice Cream Bar

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews a modern Japanese izakaya in Oakland, a family-owned North East African eatery also in Oakland and a 1930's-style soda fountain in San Francisco.

Jun 13 2019

28mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Cockscomb, Dobbs Ferry Restaurant, Cafe Gabriela

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Check, Please! Bay Area finds rustic cuts of meat and upscale pub food both in San Francisco, and sandwiches with a Filipino twist in Oakland.

Jun 06 2019

28mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Honor Kitchen & Cocktails, De La Torre’s Trattoria, Ichi Sushi

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Check, Please! Bay Area finds exceptional cocktails and delightful bar bites in Emeryville, classic Italian ambiance in Pleasanton, and seasonal Japanese cuisine in San Francisco.

May 30 2019

28mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Franchettis’, Aburaya, Locanda

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Check, Please! Bay Area finds Italian and German cuisine in Santa Rosa, Japanese fried chicken in Oakland, and a romantic Italian ambiance in San Francisco.

May 23 2019

28mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: The Butcher’s Son, Sol Food, Al’s Place

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Check, Please! Bay Area finds vegan delicatessen meats in Berkeley, Puerto Rican cuisine in Marin, and seasonal California produce in San Francisco

May 16 2019

28mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Trattoria da Vittorio, Jin Sho, San Jalisco

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Check, Please! Bay Area finds Calabrian-influenced Italian cuisine in San Francisco, fresh Japanese cuisine in Palo Alto and unforgettable soups back in San Francisco.

May 09 2019

28mins

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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Thirsty Bear Brewing Company, Nick’s Cove, Middle East Market

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Check, Please! Bay Area finds a craft brewery dishing flamenco in San Francisco, a historic waterfront retreat in Marshall and a family-owned Persian market in Berkeley.

May 02 2019

28mins

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