Happy 33 to Me!

hillstone w greykale saladThree is my lucky number since the 3rd grade : )  So it makes sense that I feel turning 33 will be a good year for me.  For this birthday lunch, I wanted to go to Hillstone Restaurant.  Many of you may also know it by its former name of Houston’s.  It is a classy and respected eatery along the Embarcadero in San Francisco.  I especially love coming here to have their Kale salad.  It has a roasted peanut vinaigrette, which is to die for! I was so obsessed for this dish, that I scoured the internet and found someone who attempted to recreate it.  The recipe is pretty good, but I always feel it isn't perfect yet.  So coming back I get to determine what I am missing.  Go ahead and give both a try.  I'll finish with a Happy 33 to Me!

Get your Tomatoes, Red Ripe Tomatoes!!!

And so another year has come and gone. This year for my birthday, the gang headed over to Garibaldi’s in San Francisco’s Presidio Heights neighborhood for a little up-scale fare. At Garibaldi’s they had a watermelon and tomato salad on the menu that everyone wanted to taste. Now I have to tell you I’m a HUGE watermelon fan, more like a fanatic but not into raw tomatoes at all, just do something, anything to a tomato and I’ll most likely gobble it down.  This salad actually rocked, the watermelon was so ripe and the tomato was a nice compliment to the dish as a whole. I liked it so much I went home and scoured the internet for a recipe that was similar. I found it on and have posted it here for you, enjoy!  Ingredients:

    8 cups 1-1/4-inch chunks seedless watermelon (about 6 pounds)

    3 pounds ripe tomatoes (preferably heirloom) in assorted colors, cored, cut into 1-1/4-inch chunks (about 6 cups)

    1 teaspoon (or more) fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt

    5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

    1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

    3 tablespoons chopped assorted fresh herbs (such as dill, basil, and mint)

    6 cups fresh arugula leaves or small watercress sprigs

    1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 5 ounces)

    1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted Preparation:

Combine melon and tomatoes in large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon fleur de sel and toss to blend; let stand 15 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and herbs to melon mixture. Season to taste with pepper and more salt, if desired.

Toss arugula in medium bowl with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Divide arugula among plates. Top with melon salad; sprinkle with feta cheese and toasted almonds and serve.

Michelle’s 33rd B-Day!

This year we celebrated my birthday by having lunch at Zero Zero, a restaurant in San Francisco’s SOMA District that specializes in wood-fired pizzas and various other tasty Italian treats.  We all enjoyed the family style dishes and got to try several menu items.  We were very impressed with the hard root beer floats, which are basically a spiked version of everyone’s childhood favorite.  Zero Zero adds just the right amount of dark rum to their root beer floats to keep the celebration going!  We also enjoyed the build-your-own ice cream desserts, which allow you to get a little creative by letting you pick your ice cream flavors and toppings.  We had a great time and enjoyed trying out another new restaurant in San Francisco!