barrel club brunch

last weekend, my mom and i did a little weekend getaway to the bay area to celebrate my 31st birthday. we both needed a change of scenery, santana row never disappoints with outdoor options and most importantly, quality time is my primary love language and the bulk of my friends are still in the bay. the weekend was incredibly restorative and i definitely kicked off my birthday the right way.

let me introduce you to the barrel club brunch at lb steak!

michelle, my mom and i started off with strawberry mimosa floats which included strawberry sorbet, sparkling wine, mint and fresh berries. none of us could have just one.

trying to figure out what to order was tough because everything sounded amazing. i tend to lean towards savory when at brunch but i wanted to try the vanilla bourbon barrel french toast SO BADLY. needless to say, i was relieved that my mom ordered it with a side of bacon so i could have one amazing bite. it did not disappoint. the lavender cream was next level.

michelle had the fancy toast and in my mind, a good avocado toast is the quintessential california brunch must have. the arugula salad paired perfectly with it.

and last, but certainly not least, the everything benedict. it is not secret that i love seafood and this everything benedict included so many of my favorites – dungeness crab cakes, poached eggs and hollandaise on an everything bagel paired with the most delicious tater tots.

our service with christian was impeccable. we ended up staying for drinks well after our food was finished before heading to our next reservation. our friend joe joined us towards the end and enjoyed an old fashioned. since lb steak has a full bar, the world is your oyster. ironically, none of us ordered steaks, yet we had the best experience. i will say this – if you are there for dinner, their ribeye is unreal.

if you find yourself in the bay area, make a reservation via open table at lb steak. happy saturday!

xoxo,

k. tap

never say no to napa!

back in early november, ibi and i made plans to do a quick getaway to napa during the last weekend of january. we had busted our butts in 2020 in ways we didn’t know possible so it was time to let our hair down and celebrate. little did we know that even outdoor options in napa would close shortly thereafter. we were bummed but determined to see one another. lucky for us, on the last monday of january, napa announced they’d be reopening starting that friday. it was official – napa was back on and we were pumped. i quickly rebooked all of our reservations. the first stop? brunch at celadon.

this wasn’t my first trip to celadon and it certainly won’t be my last. we started off the day with peach bellinis. because i knew we would do a little nibbling at the wineries, i wanted to keep this meal a bit lighter. a half caesar with avocado and their calamari (that comes with this delightful chipotle chili and honey glaze) hit the spot.

we realized we were ahead of schedule for our reservation at domaine carneros so we pit stopped at madonna estate. ibi loves a good pinot noir and they have one of my favorites. unfortunately, it was reservation only to be mindful of numbers due to covid. however, when bob realized it was me (i have visited quite a number of times, including in november for kendall’s birthday), he graciously accommodated us. i was sure to tell him we didn’t need a formal tasting – a bottle of pinot noir and a couple of glasses would do the trick. i knew i was going to be seeing marilena the next day for coffee so i picked her up a bottle of their rosé – it’s made with a pinot grape and is subtly sweet. our visit to madonna was short and sweet. i made sure to set an alarm so we weren’t late to our reservation at domaine carneros. with ibi and i both loving bubbles as much as we do, i couldn’t wait to take her. the weather was absolutely perfect!

the tent definitely helped to shield us from the wind and the heat lamps were an added bonus. our sparkling flights refreshing and paired perfectly with our charcuterie boards. before we knew it, we had been there for 2.5 hours!

we were excited to check into our hotel. neither of us had ever stayed at the archer but between recommendations and reviews, i couldn’t wait to check it out! something that really appealed to me (outside of its beauty and central location) is the idea of the double rooms coming with two cal king beds. talk about perfect for girls trip. while there were only two of us, four could have definitely stayed comfortably. there were so many great touches from cute slippers to tasty caramels to high end toiletries to a wine fridge. the list is truly endless. we will certainly be back again.

before even solidifying our hotel choice, i had made us a dinner reservation at this italian restaurant – ristorante allegria. at domaine, our server recommended the mushroom ravioli and i did exactly what he said. i had zero regrets.

if you are headed to napa, call ahead or use open table to make reservations. it will make it substantially easier. the most important thing, however, is your company – ibi and i laughed, cried and laughed so hard that we cried. there is nothing better than feeling reinvigorated after a trip.

what way are you going to treat yourself this month?

xoxo,

k. tap

never say no to napa!

back in early november, ibi and i made plans to do a quick getaway to napa during the last weekend of january. we had busted our butts in 2020 in ways we didn’t know possible so it was time to let our hair down and celebrate. little did we know that even outdoor options in napa would close shortly thereafter. we were bummed but determined to see one another. lucky for us, on the last monday of january, napa announced they’d be reopening starting that friday. it was official – napa was back on and we were pumped. i quickly rebooked all of our reservations. the first stop? brunch at celadon.

this wasn’t my first trip to celadon and it certainly won’t be my last. we started off the day with peach bellinis. because i knew we would do a little nibbling at the wineries, i wanted to keep this meal a bit lighter. a half caesar with avocado and their calamari (that comes with this delightful chipotle chili and honey glaze) hit the spot.

we realized we were ahead of schedule for our reservation at domaine carneros so we pit stopped at madonna estate. ibi loves a good pinot noir and they have one of my favorites. unfortunately, it was reservation only to be mindful of numbers due to covid. however, when bob realized it was me (i have visited quite a number of times, including in november for kendall’s birthday), he graciously accommodated us. i was sure to tell him we didn’t need a formal tasting – a bottle of pinot noir and a couple of glasses would do the trick. i knew i was going to be seeing marilena the next day for coffee so i picked her up a bottle of their rosé – it’s made with a pinot grape and is subtly sweet. our visit to madonna was short and sweet. i made sure to set an alarm so we weren’t late to our reservation at domaine carneros. with ibi and i both loving bubbles as much as we do, i couldn’t wait to take her. the weather was absolutely perfect!

the tent definitely helped to shield us from the wind and the heat lamps were an added bonus. our sparkling flights refreshing and paired perfectly with our charcuterie boards. before we knew it, we had been there for 2.5 hours!

we were excited to check into our hotel. neither of us had ever stayed at the archer but between recommendations and reviews, i couldn’t wait to check it out! something that really appealed to me (outside of its beauty and central location) is the idea of the double rooms coming with two cal king beds. talk about perfect for girls trip. while there were only two of us, four could have definitely stayed comfortably. there were so many great touches from cute slippers to tasty caramels to high end toiletries to a wine fridge. the list is truly endless. we will certainly be back again.

before even solidifying our hotel choice, i had made us a dinner reservation at this italian restaurant – ristorante allegria. at domaine, our server recommended the mushroom ravioli and i did exactly what he said. i had zero regrets.

if you are headed to napa, call ahead or use open table to make reservations. it will make it substantially easier. the most important thing, however, is your company – ibi and i laughed, cried and laughed so hard that we cried. there is nothing better than feeling reinvigorated after a trip.

what way are you going to treat yourself this month?

xoxo,

k. tap

son & garden

as i wrap up my week of posts about the bay, i could not help but save this brunch spot (i had been dying to go to) for sunday funday. christine and i hadn’t seen each other in the flesh since the first weekend of march so when there was a chance to try a spot neither of us had been to while beating seated outdoors, we couldn’t say no.

welcome to son & garden.

there are two locations – one in sf and the one we went to in menlo park. son & garden was so cute! it was an added bonus that the associates were friendly and incredibly mindful of all things covid related. after we were temperature checked, we were escorted to our table.

last sunday was the first truly cold day in the bay so it was good that christine and i dressed in layers because it windy af. while we were under a covered patio with heaters, we were not directly underneath one and it showed. during this time of year, if you are going to be doing any outdoor dining, i would suggest bringing layers or even a blanket. anyway, on to what we ordered!

i started with earl grey tea to knock the chill off + to give me a bit more time to decide what to order. i mean – what do you do when literally everything looks good?

i ended up getting the korean benedict which comes with a bone in short rib and kimchi fried rice. the eggs were perfectly poached, the hollandaise was made fresh in house and the rainbow potatoes were delightful. i don’t know what i did to deserve this benedict but lord knows i thoroughly enjoyed it.

in lieu of dessert, christine and i opted for a cocktail and it was just dreamy. cloud 9 is this fruity, bubbly goodness that is sparkling wine based and has edible flowers and a candied butterfly. as a girl that grew up loving cotton candy, i had to get my hands on this drink. and yes, it tasted as good as it looks. to both our pleasure and surprise, it was not overly sweet! when i return, i will definitely do one at the start and end of my meal.

we certainly will be back and i cannot wait to explore more of the menu.

i’m getting ready for a brunch date now before starting a two week quarantine to prep to visit my new nephew (enzo) in the bay. i hope you each are having a true sunday funday.

xoxo,

k. tap