Check, Please! Bay Area’s second season episode 11 (211) profiles and reviews these three Bay Area restaurants:

1) Mecca SF: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe | [CLOSED]

2) El Jarro: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe |

3) Maria Manso World Cuisine: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe | [CLOSED]


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Leslie SbroccoMy name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I will be sharing my tasting notes about the wine the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. Also, in my “What to Sip” suggestions, I choose one restaurant from each show and offer tips for selecting libations to enjoy with your meal.

Wine of the Week:

2004 Te Kairanga, Pinot Noir, Martinborough, New Zealand $18
Kiwi country is the new hot spot for Pinot Noir. Earthy, dark cherry aromas are followed with a silky texture in this oh-so-easy to drink red. And since Pinot swings both ways – pairing beautifully with both white and red meats – you’ll want to stock up for the holidays to serve it with ham, roast beef, or turkey.

What to Sip: Mecca SF

This is one of my favorite lists in the city. It’s not the biggest or the showiest, but it’s well-chosen to go with the menu of Mecca. Prices range from affordable $26 bottles of dry Rosé to decadent $400 bottles of Champagne.

Two reds to search for if they’re not sold out are the 2004 Brickhouse Gamay Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley ($38 on the list) and the 2001 Mauro Vino de la Tierra from Spain ($60 on the list). Gamay is the grape of Beaujolais in France but it is rarely grown successfully in this country. Brickhouse’s is the best. Biodynamically-produced, it’s juicy, fresh, and perfect with food. For a heartier, smokier red with depth, look to Mauro’s Tempranillo-based wine. If red meat is your choice at Mecca, don’t miss this aged beauty.

  • Gourmand

    I felt sorry for those who were disappointed by Mecca. Not because I’ve been there (I haven’t) but because you can go down the street and have a great meal at Zuni for $50 a person not counting drinks. But I’m pleased that people liked Maria Manso so much — I’ve been wondering what might be good in San Rafael, now I know.

  • Bill Fricker

    Food quality and menu selection has definitely taken a turn for the worse since Randy Lewis became owner/chef.

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