From the DMV to Nirvana

Our last day in San Francisco found us back at the Department of Motor Vehicles.  But before we ran our last errand in The City, I picked up breakfast for us from Sugar Café.  We shared a Cinnamon Pecan Brioche and a Dark & White Chocolate Brioche.  They were very tasty.  Too tasty.  Ryan and I decided that they spelled certain death should we make that a regular breakfast.

Cafe Sugar is a neat little café.  It feels like it belongs in Los Angeles with its modern furnishings and a tiny bit pretentious employees.  The menu is full what read to be pretty delicious items though with a name like Sugar Café, you would think there would be more sweets on the menu.  I guess really though, that’s okay, we eat enough crap as it is.

I hope to enjoy an entire meal there the next time we get out to San Francisco.

This time Ryan was getting his ambulance license.  The wait was quite a bit longer this time around.

We had the same, hilarious DMV agent.  We threatened to be back and what do you know, we were and we had him.  He was really fun, made being at the DMV not so painful.

All the studying paid off as Ryan passed his ambulance test with flying colors.  We took the 24 down Divisadero to the Castro where Kevin was waiting.  The plan was shopping and then lunch at Nirvana.

I picked up a little gift for Micheal and Ryan got a couple of things for some co-workers.

Lunch at Nirvana was awesome.  Mike and Kevin used to bring me there all the time, well, at least three times haha.  I had the Tofu Panini on Focaccia while Ryan had the Mano Mango Noodles.  They have quite a few vegetarian dishes, highly recommend it.

Kevin drove us to our Hotel 480 where we were staying to pick up our bags and then off to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to catch our flight out of San Francisco.

We used the excuse that we were on vacation one last time as Ryan got a Kona Mocha Chip ice cream and while I sipped on my Dark Chocolate Frappe from Pete’s Coffee.  I sure do miss Pete’s, they make the best cappuccino.

So here we are, waiting for the boarding for our plane to begin.  I’m hoping to get some work done on the flight so I’m not so rushed when I get home to finish this project.

Zemanta Pixie

Wine and Cheese Bistro Photoshoot

I did a photoshoot today at the Wine and Cheese Bistro featuring Chef Cyr and his dish, Seared Scallop with Spring Asparagus and Apple Cider Country Ham Vinaigrette.  Yes, quite the mouthful.

Micheal and I went to the Wine and Cheese Bistro a few weeks ago and were definitely not impressed.  We had a good time but the salad was weak and the cheese tray a disappointment.  I guess we just ordered the wrong things because the dish that Chef Cyr delivered to the table today was beautiful and if it tasted as good as it smelled, incredible.

The lighting in there wasn’t so great.  Was hoping to use the “natural” light in the restaurant but had a sneaky suspicion that I wasn’t going to get that option.  The combination of overhead, low wattage incandescent lights with the green tinted sunlight streaming in the windows… yuck.  Green faces and orange foreheads.

Here’s what I had taking a shot of the area before adding my lights.


Then, we turn on the left light and see what that looks like.  It is a 650w light bouncing off a white light screen.


Let’s try the right light.  It’s a 1000w light shining through a softbox to diffuse the light.


Put them together and this is what you get!  1650 watts of lighting power!  Muhahahaha!!!


Click below to see all four combined and larger

So here are a few shots of the dish and Chef Cyr.  He was a fantastic sport getting his picture taken.

Click above picture to enlarge


I had a fun time taking the pictures and he was fun to talk to while I did the portraits.  I wish I had another softbox so I could close the aperture a little more to decrease the depth of field but, oh well.  Sure looks a lot better than what I started out with!  Just goes to show the necessity of good lighting.

Oh, and that I’m a huge nerd… 😉

Zemanta Pixie

Forge and Whine

Last night Chadd, Beau, Justin and I went out to Forge and Vine here in Columbia. The last time I went there was with Geoff and let’s just say, we didn’t have the best experience.

Geoff and I went to F&V to try something different last spring. We intended to dine in, try out some wines and maybe write up a review on the place. When we arrived to F&V, the hostess insisted we sit upstairs, they had already shut down the dining room, more or less. This was at prime dining time mind you, so we went up the stairs (btw, large wood carved bears = no so classy, plastic fish and tackle on the walls = atrocious).

Our waitress upstairs was a bit of an idiot and a whole lot of bitchy. We had two gin and tonics and ended up leaving for Addison’s.

So last night I was actually going to eat there and hopefully have a better experience. I walk in with Chadd and Beau (Justin was coming later) and bump into, guess who, none other than Geoff! We hug, he forgets to introduce me to his new boyfriend and we talk about the last time we were there (here).

CocktailI order a martini as does Chadd, Beau gets a “top shelf” margarita. Our martinis come to us in stemless cosmo glasses (available from World Market for $7.95). While these might be cute and great for parties at home (don’t have to worry so much about them breaking or toppling over) at a restaurant I want real martini glasses with my real martini. You grasp these glasses with your hand which heats up your martini, so much for shaking that over ice…

So I have a tepid Cherry Tart Martini and Chadd has a cool Cosmopolitan. According to Beau, the only thing about his margarita that is top shelf is the price. In fact, he compared it to the $2.50 margaritas from El Maguay’s (just for $9.00).

So the drinks are not so great. My pasta was ok, the sauce was a bit heavy and the vegetables too few (especially since it was a vegetable dish…). At least our service was good, very cute waiter, though he could use some Invisiline… but that is neither here nor there.

Unfortunately, Geoff’s service wasn’t quite as pleasant. I guess the manager heard them complaining so much that he gave the entire table free dessert. Damn it(!), we should have complained some more!

Slightly ironic, we left The Forge and Vine for drinks at Addison’s where we payed half the price for twice the drink. Another notable tid bit, the entire time we were at F&V, we seemed to keep going back to talking about how good other places in town were, not a good sign haha.

Oh, and BTW, they advertise themselves as a wine bar with a huge wine selection. How about this one… When I asked about the wines, he said, “What color do you prefer?”. What color? WHAT COLOR?! Seriously, if this was a serious wine bar, the “color” of the wine would never have come up. You don’t call wines by their color, yes there are “White” wines and “Red” wines, but their are also “Rosé” and Porte and Zins… Are we supposed to call these “Pink”, “Dark” and… well WTF?  Zin’s come in several varieties.

Let’s not call wines by colors and maybe let’s have more than a few wines by the glass.  I don’t really consider it a wine bar or a restaurant with much of a wine selection if you must purchase the entire bottle.  That’s just lazy and cheap.

And for goodness sake… get that shit off your walls.