verde supper club

there is something so beautiful about seeing someone you love pursue something that sets their soul on fire. that is precisely how i felt when dana told me she was going to start a supper club. that is how verde supper club came to be.

when i first met dana, we were in undergrad at scu and she and i shared many mutual friends from her sorority. she was the baby of our group but a piece of her always felt like home. it might have had something to do with us both being la girls or maybe it was that we both shared a love for bringing people together around great food. whatever the case, we have been friends since that very first dinner party back in 2010. i still rave about her mashed potatoes and dana has always loved my mac and cheese. while we both work in our respective fields, we wouldn’t be us if we went pursuing things we were passionate about outside of work. for me, it is this blog. for dana, it is her supper club.

verde supper club is an intimate multi course dining experience with wine pairings. even with me not knowing a single diner, i had the best time. each supper club is held at a different location but all in the bay area (at least for the time being). there was something about it that felt both cozy and airy.

now, let’s dive into the menu.

verde supper club menu

i have to be honest – i was too caught up in conversation to take a photo of the amuse bouche but that doesn’t believe that i did not thoroughly enjoy two piping hot spam musubi bites with sriracha mayo and furikake. for many of us, it was this nostalgic treat – for me, it instantly took me to hawaii; for one of the great people i met, it reminded him of his childhood (as his mom prepared this for him and his siblings). initially, i thought french 76 was a misprint but it was their delightful take on a french 75 with an added mystery ingredient. it did not disappoint!

for our first course, we had hamachi carpaccio. i am a seafood snob – trust me when i tell you this hamachi melted in my mouth like butter! it was served with one of the best white wines i have had in a long time – leo steen chenin blanc 2020. i will be ordering a case before my next dinner party.

first course

next, we had a crab and corn enchilada with this flavor packed green chile sauce and a crema drizzle. multiple people at our table commented on how they had never had a crab enchilada and loved how much crab was stuffed into the tortilla. growing up in southern california, i often seek out crab enchiladas at mexican restaurants. this one stood up as a solid competitor against any crab enchilada i’d previously had. at this point of the night, i wondered if the menu had been created especially for me. dinner could’ve been over and i would’ve been satisfied – lucky for me, it wasn’t. the daou chardonnay the enchilada was paired with complimented it perfectly.

second course

what i loved most about our third course is that it is not an item i would have ordered if i read it on a menu at a restaurant. after the very first bite, i knew i would have been gravely mistaken. the smoked maitake mushroom reuben with beet brined sauerkraut was NEXT LEVEL. the stunning presentation and the variety of textures alone were enough for me to want to have this for lunch daily. i certainly will be asking dana how she prepared this. with the heatwave we’ve been having, this would be the perfect meal on a hot day. and the marine layer pinot noir it was served with? *chef’s kiss*

third course

i wondered if it could get any better than our third course and was assured it could once i had the first bite of lamb with the creamy goat cheese polenta. the orin swift cabernet sauvignon was one i knew i needed to commit to memory because my brother lives for full bodied cab and this was just that.

fourth course

i thought i might not have room for dessert but once i realized it was a cherry cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream, i quickly changed my tune. cherries don’t tend to be a fruit i seek out in desserts – i favor berries, lemons and peaches. after this dinner, my mind has been changed.

dessert

at no point did i want to add a dash of salt, pepper or any condiment whatsoever. dana found a way to make every single bite perfect from start to finish. there was something particularly special about our dinner having so many locally sourced and in season ingredients. it was abundantly clear that every dish was made with love.

while at the beginning phases, there typically are not repeat customers, i am eager to convince dana to let me bring out of town guests to the next supper club. it is something i think every foodie should experience at some point in their lives.

with dana’s birthday being on september 5th, it seemed fitting to introduce you all to her baby, verde supper club. dana – you amaze me regularly. i am incredibly proud of you and my love for you is endless.

xoxo,

k. tap

32 (part three).

to round out our time in the south bay, my mom and i did lunch at one of my favorite italian spots. afterwards, we picked up some of my favorite women on earth and made our way to napa.

we checked into my favorite hotel there (the archer) before freshening up before dinner at a restaurant i have to go whenever i am in town (celadon). while i had never been there for dinner before (my friends and i often end up there for boozy brunches), it didn’t disappoint. i was so glad that my godmother happened to be in sacramento that week for work so she joined us for dinner and drinks at the hotel afterwards. we shared so many laughs over dinner – nearly three hours felt like 30 minutes.

celadon has the absolute BEST calamari (i used caps so you know it’s real)

wednesdays are meant for wine and we definitely did just that. first, we started with breakfast at charlie palmer steak. it came highly recommended and a couple of weeks before our trip when i mapped it, i realized it was in our hotel. somehow (even though i had stayed at the archer before), i had no idea it existed. i had definitely been missing out because we all enjoyed our meal so much.

avocado toast (with smoked salmon, cucumber, watercress, pickled red onion and a poached egg)
belgian waffle (served with butter, strawberry compote, blueberry compote and maple syrup)
huevos rancheros
blood orange 75 (gin, blood orange liquor, lemon and sparkling wine)

i would absolutely go back again and i would recommend ordering a savory dish for yourself and splitting the waffles with another person or two in your party. and even with me being a vodka girl, i had to have a couple of blood orange 75s. they were absolutely delicious. if you want to go to charlie palmer, make a reservation via opentable.

next, our wine tasting tour began. my mom had never been to napa so i was excited for her to get to experience it, especially with women who we both love so much. our first stop was artesa!

the view of napa from entrance of artesa
me + melissa 🤍
interior of artesa
complimentary glass while we waited for our table.
this yellow jacket is my new favorite item in my wardrobe. it’s by lezé the label and is part of hayet rida’s honey glow collection she released. it is so soft yet heavy enough to keep you warm while being so breathable. my dress is from asos.
sofia 🤍
mom + sofia 🤍🤍

artesa is a winery i had always wanted to visit but it seemed impossible to land a reservation on any of my weekend trips. i figured i would try my luck since we were going on a wednesday and booked it immediately. since i am a member at the two wineries we went to next, i knew i would be able to secure a reservation at each of those easily. we all loved the service at artesa and i thought their rosé and their reds were perfect. i think on my next trip this june, it is likely i will become a member. afterwards, we made our way to madonna estate.

the fields at madonna – we had perfect weather
me + mama bear 🤍
the garcia sisters + me 🤍🤍🤍
alexz hates pictures but we take such good ones together that she ends up forgiving me
melissa – quite literally my lifesaver

we all did tastings at madonna but ended up purchasing multiple bottles afterwards that we loved to enjoy there while we soaked up the sun, took photos and talked about anything and everything. melissa was such a fan that she became a member. i know she won’t regret it – i certainly haven’t. after leaving madonna, we drove just up the road to a winery that has my favorite views in all of napa – domaine carneros.

the squad.

we went all in. tastings. charcuterie plates. bottles. smoked salmon plates. we laughed. we cried. it was the most like myself i had felt since before being hospitalized last summer. it was just the most magical day.

sparkling chateau tasting
charcuterie
bottles on bottles on bottles.
smoked salmon
lil’ spoon + melissa 🤍🤍🤍
loves of my life

after leaving domaine carneros, felecia and i dropped the girls off, went to the airport and flew home. each part of my birthday was exactly what i needed it to be – from la to the bay to napa, i was surrounded by love and laughter. no matter what part you showed up for, just now how grateful i am.

xoxo,

k. tap

32 (part two).

after a much needed day of recovery on my actual birthday, my mom and i flew to the bay area on valentine’s day. we landed a little ahead of schedule, our suite was ready even though we were checking in four hours early and the weather was perfect.

last year, felecia and i spent valentine’s day with kendall and dom. when we realized we would be in the bay again on valentine’s day, it only seemed right to keep tradition alive. my dear friend, nick, wanted to join us for dinner. when i said we’d love that and just needed to make a new reservation, he took the reigns and booked at one of favorite restaurants without even realizing it – telefèric barcelona.

i had only ever been to the walnut creek location but since we were staying in the south bay, nick made the reservation for the one in los gatos. it was my first time going with a larger group so i was able to try many things on the menu i hadn’t previously. we had the best experience – not only was the service outstanding, the food was incredible and the drinks were delicious.

far more food was ordered than what was captured below however i had to include some of our favorites.

spanish meatballs – felecia and kendall were obsessed with these!
catalan tomahawk 40oz. served with dipping sauces and potatoes – one of the best steaks i have ever had in my entire life.
paella mixta (pork, chicken, shrimp and octopus) – we had them double the order since four of us would be sharing it (felecia is allergic to shellfish so she couldn’t indulge in this portion)
gothic mojito (i chose passion fruit however strawberry and raspberry were also options)

as if the top notch dinner and even better company weren’t enough, nick surprised us and treated everyone (including kendall and dom whom he had just met that night) to dinner for my birthday/valentine’s day. my favorite card i received this year was from nick. felecia also nearly died when he handed her a valentine’s day card. i am constantly reminded of how wonderful my friends and family are – it is even better when i get to bring different groups together.

mama bear, me, nick, kennie and dom

if you find yourself in the bay area and in need of delicious spanish cuisine, book a reservation through opentable at telefèric barcelona. there is one in walnut creek, one in palo alto and the one we went to in los gatos (the other two locations are in spain).

xoxo,

k. tap

giada – the cromwell las vegas

just before christmas, i was lucky enough to venture to vegas for a much needed getaway with some lovely ladies from my last job. we had agreed to ahead of time to do one calm night and one wild night. our calm evening was definitely memorable because we had the most magnificent dining experience at giada.

for all of my fellow food network lovers, dining at giada was just as dreamy as you think it would be. i was especially excited to experience this with annie – she has all of giada’s cookbooks, loves a good italian meal. today is her birthday so this post is in honor of her. happy birthday, annie!!!

i cannot go to an italian restaurant and not have burrata. the burrata crostini was served with a kale salsa verde and toasted pine nuts. it was absolutely divine.

next, i had an arugula salad. it definitely had a little something special since it was combined with candied lemon, crispy pancetta and parmigiano-reggiano. it was a simple salad but absolutely decadent. for my main course, both amanda and i had the ravioli which comes with lobster, candy stripped beets and preserved lemon butter. our waitress suggested we get the lemon potatoes as a side to share and dip them in the preserved lemon butter sauce. it was absolutely to die for.

annie got giada’s signature lemon spaghetti and was in heaven. the presentation was just stunning.

michelle and vicky split bone-in tuscan ribeye and salmon paired with roasted broccolini. to say they were pleased with their choices would be a gross understatement. everything was seasoned to perfection.

more cocktails were consumed than i care to count and every single one was amazing. my favorite was probably my drinkable dessert. giada’s take on affogato included a bailey’s gelato they make in house. i am still dreaming of it.

our experience was seamless from start to finish. there are few things that compare to an amazing meal with even more amazing women.

if you are in vegas, be sure to make reservations via opentable at giada – the cromwell las vegas. you will be so happy you did.

xoxo,

k. tap

the dorsey cocktail bar

in honor of thirsty thursday and me having intense vegas withdrawals, i thought you all would love to hear about a bar you must visit if in vegas, especially if at the venetian. i went to the dorsey cocktail bar for the first time last december and knew i had to make a reservation for my mom and i for labor day weekend.

one of the reasons i fell in love with the dorsey is because it reminded me of one of my favorite movies of all time – beauty and the beast. as a child, i also said if i could be any princess, i would choose belle. and while i loved her yellow dress and the relationship she had with the staff members of the castle, what i envied most was the library. as an avid reader, there was nothing more captivating. and strangely, the first time i walked into the dorsey, i felt like i was in a sultrier version of the beauty and the beast library. what made it better? the craft cocktails they serve and on this most recent visit, the bomb ass dj that was spinning everything from lauryn hill to ja rule to biggie to megan the stallion.

during covid, a reservation is highly recommended and the minimum is two drinks per person and one appetizer per two people. trust me – you will want more than just that the second the first sip hits your lips.

felecia and i ordered the following cocktails: spicy flamingo, sunflower and easy street. the spicy flamingo is kind of like their spin on a spicy watermelon margarita – who doesn’t love watermelon with a little kick? don’t be deceived by the name sunflower – that drink came with the perfect punch since it is gin based with absinthe but balanced perfectly with floral and citrus notes. easy street is named perfectly because the cucumber and vodka is super smooth and goes down easy.

something i loved was how the bartenders did not take offense to modifications to a cocktail. my mom is definitely a vodka girl and made an adjustment to the spicy flamingo to have it made with vodka instead of tequila. it did not disappoint.

there is ample space to spread out and be comfortable – this was especially crucial during covid. the music is played at a volume where you definitely enjoy it but do not need to yell to have a conversation. and for people like us who like to stay in the venetian, is there anything better than getting buzzed downstairs and just taking an elevator back up to your suite? absolutely not.

when planning your next vegas trip, make a little reservation on opentable beforehand and thank me later.

xoxo,

k. tap