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

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

herb & sea

to say i love san diego would be a gross understatement.  it is the perfect escape when wanting to get out of la but not be too far from home.  it helps that one of my closest friends, hillary, moved here a few years back.  we make a conscious effort to visit one another.  when looking for a little staycation during a time when i would typically be catching a flight somewhere tropical, a quick drive to san diego seemed like the perfect solution.

 

when choosing where to go to dinner, the choice was easy.  we love to support small businesses, we love seafood and a dear friend of ours, sara, is both the executive chef and partner at a restaurant in encinitas.  last night, i finally got to experience herb & sea.

 

 

founded by brian malarkey, who you might recognize from top chef, herb & sea is truly a gem.  even amidst the pandemic, they have found a way to create an extraordinary dining experience.  rather than each get a starter and an entree, we had sara suggest some of her favorites.  because this was not hillary’s first rodeo, she had an item or two that she knew we should tack on as well.

 

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it was unreal.

 

we started with drinks (we got the mezcal and flowers and even as someone that typically gravitates towards vodka, it was to die for), burrata, oysters, hamachi crudo, smoked salmon dip and shrimp toast.  there was nothing i would not order again but i will say this – i could have ordered 10 of the hamachi crudo plates and still wanted more. it was that good.

 

 

 

for our main courses, we went with the local field greens, linguini and crab, peaches and prosciutto pizza and the crispy boardwalk potatoes (which aren’t pictured due to us being in a trance from all of the goodness on our table).

 

 

 

and for dessert, there was a special cheesecake with tropical fruit and berries and for you chocolate lovers, a lava cake.

 

i really cannot say enough great things about this restaurant, the drinks, the food and the quality of service.  brian happened to be there while we were dining and stopped by our table to say hello, ask how our dining experience was and wish us well.  there is something magical about restaurants like this one where you can tell that every single person who works there genuinely loves people, food and what they do.

 

if you find yourself in the san diego area, stop by herb & sea. you will be happy you did.

 

xoxo,

k. tap