going back to cali

Tomorrow I will be heading out to California. Spending one day in San Francisco, one on the water (deep sea fishing), and the rest in Sonoma and Napa, it is sure to tempt the buds of taste on several levels.
San Francisco, and more specifically fisherman's wharf is known for its dungeness crab. This particular type of crab is fairly big measuring up to 10" wide. I am very excited for this experience because I have never had the pleasure of eating dungeness crab. A lot of my family is from the east coast (Chesapeake bay area) where blue crab is the crab of choice. I have been eating blue crab since I was old enough to walk and absolutely love it. I am curious to see the differences in the two meats. From what I understand, if I venture down to Pier 39 I will find vendors selling cups of dungeness crab meat. I have been told that the way to eat this meat is to drip some hot sauce on it, grab a cold beer and head to the water to enjoy. Let me tell you, that sounds like a little piece of heaven to me. I guess I will find out tomorrow night.
The second day of the trip, I am heading out to sea. We will be fishing for king Salomon in the cold waters of the Pacific, off the coast of Sausalito. I think that we get to keep anything over 40". I will be making to trip with some buddies so there will be plenty of people to potentially land a large enough fish to cook for dinner. I will be sure to take a lot of photos so that you can see what we actually end up catching and hopefully cooking.
The rest of the trip will be spent cruising the vineyards of Sonoma and Napa. I know we have some tours set up at Robert Mondovi and a tasting at Opus One. We wanted to get in at Dominus, however no tours are offered. Maybe a glimpse from the street will be afforded. I would also like to try Girard, Hess, and maybe Gessup cellars. If anyone has any suggestions on good tours or even just good wine that we owe it to ourselves to taste, please let me know.

Anyway, off to Cali I go.



The Noshery's choice for Italian in Kansas City.

I love Italian food. For whatever reason, I have grown up eating Italian food. There is not an ounce of Italian in my family, no matter how badly I wish there was. I have to give my dad the credit for the Italian influence. I remember as a little kid eating at Villa Capri (kc), Gorozzo's (kc), Marco Polo (kc), Baroni's (chi), the Rose Bud (chi), just to name a few. Having said that, I have developed favorites in the area.

I am an longtime patron of the old school Italian joint on main street, recently upon suggestion from friends and colleagues, I decided to venture across the street to Osteria Il Centro. I felt a bit of guilt as I walked in the doors of Il Centro, being that I was literally 20 feet away from the best meatballs in town and was in fact walking in the opposite direction. Perhaps I should have listened to my guilt and fallowed my heart back to stuffed mushrooms that will melt your heart and perhaps, if your not careful, change the way you think about Italian restaurants in KC.

The charm of this place is fantastic. It is everything you would expect from an Italian deli straight out of the Soprano's. An old brick building donning a red and green neon sign out front. You walk in and are immediately greeted by an old wood bar that runs the entire length of the restaurant, separating the casual seating from the formal dining space. Don't mis-understand the name. The once deli is now fine dining trattoria with such items on the menu as eggplant parm, stuffed mushrooms, calamari, and the best meatballs in town, not to mention a plethora of pasta options and Chef Mario's filet. Everything I have tried on the menu has been divine. Joey Accurso walking around paying a little visit to every patron adds a truly Italian feel to the place.

I started this post with the intention comparing Accurso's and Osteria Il Centro. However, I am afraid my obvious affection for Accurso's would inflict undo judgment on Il Centro. Il Centro is a fantastically quaint space with a beautiful wine list and perhaps the best bruschetta in the city. However, after dining there with my wife on our one year, my affection lies with Accurso's. You better believe the next time I am in the mood for Italian anywhere near midtown Kansas City, you will find me at Joey Accurso's Main Street Deli.