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Archive for September, 2011

L'Ardoise

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Last Friday the hubs and I went out to dinner to celebrate my first full week of work and my first paycheck!  It was difficult narrowing down a restaurant since San Francisco has an abundance of great food, but I had heard of a charming neighborhood French restaurant that was near my place.  A quick check on Yelp and a look at their menu and 2 seconds later I was making a reservation at L’Ardoise.  And let me tell you, it lived up to and exceeded my expectations!

L’Ardoise is the kind of intimate neighborhood bistro I’d expect to find in Paris.  It’s a quaint restaurant located in a lovely residential area.  Upon entering we were greeted by a host with a French accent, assuring the hubs and I of the authenticity of the restaurant (ha!).  The restaurant was dimly lit with a soft glow made by candles and table lamps.  There were baskets of baguettes hanging around and the specials were written on a chalkboard.  It was really the perfect setting for a nice and relaxing evening of good food and good conversation.

Unfortunately I’m terrible at taking pictures of my food since I always end up devouring half of it before I remember to whip out my camera, so you’ll have to believe me when I say that the food was delicious!  We ordered the charcuterie plate as an appetizer, which consisted of a variety of salami and pates.  The hubs had the filet mignon for his entree, which he claimed was really good, and that’s saying alot coming from a Korean man who grew up in Argentina (that man knows his meats!).  But what was truly outstanding from his dish was the pommes landaises, which are lightly fried potato slices.  They were so good that I couldn’t stop taking them from his plate!  I ended up with the cog au vin, which was delicious, albeit slightly dry.  I wish we had tried the desserts but we decided early on that  it’d be nice to walk around the neighborhood to digest and then go for some ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery.

As someone who loves all things French, this restaurant truly brought me back to when I was vacationing in Paris.  In fact, during our walk after dinner, the hubs and I talked about traveling to Paris as our next vacation to try all the great food we couldn’t afford and didn’t know about when we were last there 7 years ago.  I think what truly made our evening so great was that for the first time since we moved out West, we just enjoyed going out and not having to worry about our finances.  We were free to dream and plan our future.  And isn’t that what being in Paris is all about?

Wow, I wasn’t anticipating that this be such a long post! Anyway, I know that San Francisco is chock full of French restaurants, but if you’re looking for the one that will transport you to Paris, definitely try L’Ardoise!

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Oh my gosh…My first official post! Can you tell I’m excited?!?

So I’ve been living in San Francisco for just a little over a month now, and even though I’ve been warned by many people that the summer here can be chilly, I was still surprised to find most days overcast and cold.  So when the fog manages to dissipate early morning and the sun is out and the weather is warm, I feel like I have to make the most of it and spend as much time outdoors as possible.  One of my favorite trails to go on when the day is beautiful is the Lands End Trail.  It’s a great scenic trail that’s conveniently located right in San Francisco.  I love it because it’s not too strenuous, there’s parking (a rarity in the city!), and on a clear day, offers amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Also, it’s one of the few places the hubs and I let Hansel off leash for the entire walk, which makes him immensely happy!

The trail starts off at the Sutro Baths ruins, which at one time was a privately owned swimming complex comprised of 7 pools built into the side of the cliff that overlooked the Pacific Ocean.  Unfortunately a fire destroyed the baths and all that’s left are some concrete walls.  It’s still a cool site though and I like to imagine what it must have been like back in the day in all it’s glory.

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The trail follows the curve of the cliffs and offers beautiful views of the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as beautiful wildflowers all along the trail.  Aside from a small stretch of steps that always gets my heart racing, the trail is mostly flat and enjoyable.

After about 1.5 miles, you’ll end up in the Sea Cliff neighborhood with signs pointing to various beaches and the Legion of Honor museum.  If you’re not too tired and especially if it’s a warm day, I highly recommend going to Baker Beach, which is only about another half a mile and passes through some of the most beautiful houses in San Francisco.

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Sigh, I could easily spend a few hours there either reading or doggy watching.  Including the beach time, you could easily spend half a day here! Although I’ve never been there myself, I’d love to try the Sunday Champagne Brunch at the Cliff House one day.  It’s located at the beginning of the trail and would be the perfect prelude to the hike, or treat if you’re an early riser 😉  Champagne, poached salmon, desserts, hiking, beach…Doesn’t it just sound like the perfect weekend?

What: Lands End Trail

Where: Point Lobos Avenue at 48th Avenue, San Francisco

Activity: Hiking (~3 – 4 miles round-trip; Easy to Moderate)

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Hello there!

Welcome to my little blog! After toying around with the idea of starting a blog for say 2 – 3 years now, I finally made the leap and did it! I hope you guys will follow me as I share my experiences in travelling, eating, and exploring this great city of San Francisco that I now call home. I love discovering new places, restaurants, and shops, and I hope that I can inspire some of you guys to try them out as well! So sit back, relax, and enjoy!

❤ Kelly

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