Steingarten LA?s dining room, awash with muted golden tones and dominated by a kaleidoscopic art piece, doesn?t immediately scream German biergarten. Its menu, however, astutely outlines the restaurant?s integral blend of hearty Old-World fare and contemporary California cuisine. More than 20 varieties of sausage?including traditional bratwursts and spicy lamb links as well as game offerings of wild boar and berry?sit beneath toppings of pickles or house mustard. Each of the 8-ounce burger patties is made from grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef, and can be custom-built with toppings such as smoked mozzarella and applewood bacon. True to form as a German-inspired eatery, Steingarten accents their food with exhaustive drink lists, including a beer list with German, Belgian, and American craft brews on tap. Creative cocktails include a white manhattan, made from clear American whiskey, and a cocktail of the month that has been aged in a used whiskey barrel.
With a drink in hand, patrons can stroll over to Steingarten?s intimate outdoor patio flanked with high stone walls and trellis-climbing ivies. In one corner, rosy cushioned benches surround a slender fire pit that flickers subliminal messages from behind a glass enclosure. The ivy motif also manifests in wrought-metal curlicues on each door and over the beverage fridge that takes up an entire wall at the bar.
In 1927, after seven years of Prohibition, Vincent Rizzo had an idea. He would buy a winery. While this may have been an unconventional move, he knew he could get Bernardo Winery at a lower price and keep the business thriving with an unlikely product: olive oil. In a stroke of cunning and arguable genius, the first-generation Rizzo owner made use of the olive trees growing on his property, selling the cold-pressed virgin oil to many of the tuna canneries in downtown San Diego. He also continued production of sacramental wine and grape juice that was, according to the winery's website, "guaranteed to ferment by the end of the road."
The winery grew to be one of San Diego County's major wine suppliers in the late 1940s, and Vincent turned the family business over to his son, Ross, in 1962. Ross's passion and dedication fueled the winery's success until his passing in 2008. Ross Rizzo, Jr. now keeps his father and grandfather's legacies alive, adding new varietals and winemaking techniques to the company's repertoire while paying homage to the old ways. Ross still sources his grapes from local vineyards and produces and cellars his wine to develop each variety?s distinct flavor.
Guests can get a behind-the-scenes look at the historic winery during tours and tastings, and the scenic spot also hosts private parties at several outdoor venues and in the Barrel Room, where wooden rafters and huge redwood wine-storage vats create a rustic feel. Once they are done tasting, visitors can wander through a micro village of shops and studios or get a bite to eat at Cafe Merlot. The sprawling property features nods to its storied past with accents such as wagon wheels and an antique thresher machine and events such as grape stompings, otherwise known as do-it-yourself purple pedicures.
With a stay at DoubleTree by Hilton San Jose in San Jose, you'll be in the business district and convenient to Mission Santa Clara de Asis and Santa Clara University. This eco-friendly hotel is within close proximity of San Jose Municipal Golf and Rivermark Village.
Make yourself at home in one of the 505 air-conditioned rooms featuring flat-screen televisions. Rooms have private balconies. 37-inch high-definition televisions with pay movies provide entertainment, with wired and wireless Internet access available for a surcharge. Private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations feature double sinks and complimentary toiletries.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Be sure to enjoy recreational amenities, including a nightclub, an outdoor pool, and a spa tub. This hotel also features wireless Internet access (surcharge), a concierge desk, and gift shops/newsstands.
You can enjoy a meal at a restaurant serving the guests of DoubleTree by Hilton San Jose, or find a snack in a coffee shop/café. At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a business center, business services, and audiovisual equipment. Event facilities at this hotel consist of conference/meeting rooms, a ballroom, and banquet facilities. A roundtrip airport shuttle is provided at no charge.
About the Owners: After 19 years in a delicatessen catering department, Ramana Brodeth knew her way around a sandwich. In 2010, she and her sons, TJ and Mark, opened Lou’s Cafe. One of them is always behind the counter, crafting inventive, satisfying sandwiches and topping them with Lou’s Special Sauce, a housemade garlic-and-herb aioli.
From the Press
Dutch crunch: also called “tiger bread,” this roll features a mottled exterior that hides a soft, chewy center. Bakers use sesame oil to lend it a distinct aroma, and paint the top with rice paste before baking it to create a cracked appearance and salty-sweet flavor.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Take a stroll through Clement Nursery (1921 Clement Street), the oldest in SF, housed in lovingly restored farm buildings.
After: Make a picnic of it and let the kids run around the renovated Argonne Playground (18th Avenue & Geary Boulveard); three picnic tables sit alongside the tennis courts.
Samba's menu spans continents, uniting dishes toasted over the leaping flames of a Brazilian grill with those cooked in the heated clay interior of a tandoor oven. Samba's signature rodizio dinners deliver skewered meats to tables, where they are carved by servers directly onto diners' plates. Picanha, a cut of beef, is a popular choice. For those who would rather not indulge in the all-you-can-eat option, the picanha burger?covered in mozzarella, grilled mushrooms, and peppers?offers a taste of the Brazilian beef.
Indian offerings include seven types of naan bread, chicken tikka masala, and biryani rice entrees. Samba serves Mediterranean as well, from hummus appetizers to shish kebab lunches and pizzas dotted with feta cheese.
Though the food comes from various regions, the venue positions diners under the same sky?or at least a ceiling charmingly painted to mimic the clouds. Samba also celebrates birthdays with exceptional fanfare: drums, tambourines, and song, instead of the traditional treat of fine-dining establishments, a lobster clutching candles in its claws. This excitement also extends to the upcoming 2014 World Cup beginning in June, during which the restaurant will air the contests with a family-friendly atmosphere.
Choosing a seat is the first step at 3 Fires Lounge. The jet-black bar stools give patrons the best views of the room's 52-inch, high-definition televisions. The high-top tables line a window that gazes directly out onto Capitol Park. Additionally, the space features oversized couches that invite guests to sink into their helium-filled cushions. All three of these options are available within the trendy, lounge, which was recently remodeled to have a more colorful atmosphere with more seating, beers on draught, and comfortable new patio furniture. CBS Sacramento praised the space's casual vibe and low-key ambiance, placing 3 Fires Lounge on its list of the Best Hotel Bars in Sacramento.
Although glasses of wine, pints of beer, and rounds of cocktails are all readily available for patrons hoping to relax with a drink in hand, 3 Fires Lounge also tempts diners with a menu of hearty international cooking. While the chefs incorporate recipes from across the globe, their main source of inspiration is the bounty of seasonal, locally sourced produce that is so readily available. Using these Californian ingredients, the team creates hummus with vegetables and baked pita chips, crab cake sandwiches served on sourdough bread with melted white cheddar, and grilled flatbreads topped with everything from caramelized onions, mushrooms, and goat cheese to pulled pork and honey-chipotle barbecue sauce.