2016 Gross Bucket List


My 2016 Bucket List consists of only 4 items, the first visiting every county in California and having a meal.  There are 58 counties in California and although I’m a native Californian, there are a few Ive never been to.

  1. Sonoma County January 1,  Shed, Healdsburg.  A great breakfast which included a soft-boiled egg on toast (think baked egg’s) along with a frittata which included a variety of mushrooms and Kouign Amann, which is an ugly love child of a croissant and a cinnamon roll. 4 stars. It would be 5 stars if they severed Bloody Mary’s. Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 7.42.45 PM
  2. Napa County, January 2, The Market in Saint Helena, Lunch was fantastic as usual.  We started off with the Lobster Rolls and Ceviche, both tasted very fresh and worth the added calories. I always seem to get the Fried Chicken, which is organic.  Its served with mashed potatoes and spinach. We also consumed a bottle of Brown Estate 2013 Zinfandel. 4.5 StarsScreen Shot 2016-01-06 at 7.42.59 PM
  3. Santa Clara County, January 7, Original Joes, San Jose. OJ’s is a red sauce Italian Restaurant with great service, food and beverages. Its been around since the 50’s and its a place you being friends new to San Jose.  If Tony Soprano was looking for a great meal in San Jose, he would have went to OJ’s.  I had medium cut of Prime Rid with real horseradish sauce and lots of al jus. 4.5 Stars.Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 7.13.45 PM
  4. Sacramento County, January 6, The Grange, Lunch at the Grange consisted of an Heirloom Beet salad and a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.  Chef, both were fantastic.  4.5 StarsScreen Shot 2016-01-11 at 7.46.50 AM
  5. San Francisco County, Scoma’s Restaurant,  January 14, the wharf in San Francisco.  We had a Clara Mateo meeting at the restaurant.  Traffic was horrible and it took 21/2 hours to get there.  The wine was awesome and so was the dinner salad and the fresh pacific cod. The braised root vegetables makes you want to drive another 2 1/2hours. 4.75 Stars870c397d03e639cb5d35099de980d945

6. Los Angles County, Gordon Biersch, January 21, rode down on South West, these girls from Sacramento were on there way to a Mexico cruise. The Marzen was wonderful as usual. 4 StarsIMG_2187 (1)

7. Orange County, The Colony House, January 21, In Northern California the Italians own and operate the garbage collection and recycling companies.  In Southern California, its the Arminia’s.  Every year my friend Art and Dennis Kazarian throw a great party with all the major players of the garbage world, its called the Arminian Christmas Party and its a hoot.   This year the event was at the Colony House, what a magnificent venue. 5 Stars

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8. Alameda County, Massimo’s Fine Dining, Fremont, January 29th. Had a great lunch with the girls. Blackened Red Snapper. 4.5 Stars


9. Colusa County, Granzella’s Deli, February 5th. Lunch with Kara, and a great brown beer. Williams, Sorry no olives this trip. 4 Stars



10. Glenn County, The Last Stand Bar and Grill, Willows, February 5th. Cocktails at a drive bar,. 3 Stars, would have been higher but the bikers drinking beer were jerks.  IMG_229111. Shasta County, LuLu’s Eating and Drinking Establishment, Redding February 6th. Cocktails and breakfast with my friend Wayne and Judy. 4 Stars, IMG_2299

12. Tehama County, Jay and Mary Gross’s house, Red Bluff February 6th. Cioppino with my family. For anybody reading this, Cioppino is traditionally made from the catch of the day, which in San Francisco is typically a combination of Dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, and fish all sourced from the Pacific Ocean. The seafood is then combined with fresh tomatoes in a wine sauce, and served with toasted bread, either local sourdough or French bread.  This year we can’t get any Dungeness crabs so the craps came in from Oregon. 5 Stars,


13. Butte County, Beatniks in Chico, February 7th. Great breakfast, had the James Dean – Apple Chicken Sausage, mushrooms, spinach, and swiss cheese.   4 Stars,


14. Sutter County, Yuba City, The Happy Viking, February 7th. Went in for Bloody Mary using the Effen Cucumber Vodka.  GREAT JOB, although their Yelp site said that they were open at 10:00 when they actually didn’t open until 11:00.  Not much else to do in Yuba City on a Sunday morning.  4.5 Stars

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15. Yuba County, Silver Dollar Grill, Marysville February 7th. Just had Torpedo from Sierra Nevada Brewery.  Best part was the mannequin that overlooked the men’s toilet. 4 Stars,



16. Contra Costa County, Charman Kabob Restaurant, Brentwood, February 7th. As an appetizer we had the Banjan Dip which is eggplant roasted with garlic, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil served with flatbread. For lunch, I had the Chaple Kabob. This is made with ground beef patties mixed with green onions, special seasoning cooked on a flat grill. Spicy. 4.5 Stars,



17. Marin County, Marin Sanitary Service, San Rafael, February 10th. Lunch at Marin Sanitary, think of it as lunch at the Landfill.  Was there for our monthly CRRC meeting.  Chef had made his famous pasta (both red and white causes) which was excellent.  4.5 Stars,


18. San Mateo County, Mistral Restaurant & Bar – Redwood City, March 4th. Awesome lunch with my girl friends. Had the scallops, which were pan sautéed in a butter sauce. Some of the best scallops I have every had. We also had a few bottles of “The Prisoners” Red Blend which is always marvelous.  I would have giving the entire meal 5 stars, but the service is a little off.  4.5 Stars


19. Santa Barbara County, Sides Hardware and Shoes- Los Olivos,  March 18th. Awesome lunch with Kara and Ted and Anna. I had a fried chicken sandwich that also included 1/4 slabs of bacon.  Incredible….  5 Stars


20. San Luis Obispo County, Big Sky – San Luis Obispo, March 20th. Great brunch.  Had the Devils Mess, which was a scrambled egg’s, mixed with sausage, spinach and onions.  The corn muffins were very good too. Beer and tomato juice. 4.5 Stars



21. San Benito County, Basque Restaurant – San Juan Bastia, Dropped by on Sunday after our trip stop San Luis Obispo.  Had the Lamb Stew.  Kara and I  shared a few tapa’s which included salted mushrooms. March 20th. 4 Stars

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22. Riverside County, Gourmet Italia, Temecula, I was in Temecula for the Garbageman’s Invitational Golf Tournament and my good friends Dennis and Nancy took me to Gourmet Italia.  The food was excellent and the service was fantastic. For starters we had the Cozze e Palatine, aka (mussels and white wine and garlic sauce) followed by the ossobuco. Dennis also provided a nice bottle of 2013 Decoy Cabernet. April 26th, 4.5 Stars

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23. Monterey County, The Lodge at Pebble Beach  – After touring 100 people around the Zanker Facilities for the CDRA conference , my friends Bill and Sharron and Kara and I went to Monterey to relax.  Only had appetizers which included a puffed pastry of some sorts.  Service was outstanding, but the views were unsurpassed. May 3, 5 Star’s for the view.


24. San Joaquin County, Mangy Moose Cafe, Manteca – Driving through Manteca we found this cafe for a much needed lunch break. Had an open face patty melt.  The fry’s were great. May 20, 3 Star’s.


25. Alpine County, Sky High Pizza, Bear Valley- Alpine County only has 1,750 people in the whole county.  Casey the bartender poured a pint of lagunitas capachinno stout and we shared the breaded mushrooms with the lemon aioli.  It was also snowing. 5 stars since it is the only place in Alpine County that is open. May 20

26. Calaveras County, The Lube Room, Murphys- I’ve been hearing about the Lube Room for several years from my neighbors Loren and Marsha who have a home near the restaurant.  Had  a barrel aged Manhattan followed by Firestone 805. The Lube Stew, which was made with Guinness was also a great find. Kara and I shared the deviled eggs and cold slaw.  The slaw was incredible.  I was thinking this was going to be a dive bar but ended up earning 4.5 stars.  May 20



27. Tuolumne County, Douglas Saloon, Columbia- Think Dive Bar in a western town.Drank a Firestone Nitro Merlin Milk Stout, this beer was incredible.  3 stars. May 21


28. Mariposa County, 1850 Restaurant – Mariposa – Ordered a glass of Tortoise Creek 2012 Zinfandel and Smoked Prime Sliders. Highly recommend this place. 4 stars. May 21


29. Merced County, 17th Street Public House, Merced – Nice place to have a cocktail on a Saturday afternoon.  Started with Imperial Brown made by Sierra Nevada. I liked it so much I had another. May 21


30. Stanislaus County, Camp 4 Wine Bar, Merced – We started with an incredible meat and cheese tray, this alone was worth 5 stars.  Also had a few glasses Jeremy Wine Company 2014 Zinfandel.  5 Stars. May 21

31. Amador County, Main Event Bar, Jackson- Not much was open on a Sunday morning but we did find the Main Event Bar and had a Guinness 2.5 Stars. May 22



32. El Dorado County, Euro Bistro, Placerville- Happy to find this Czech restaurant which helped me with some other bucket list items.  Food was good but the service was a little off.  Ended up having Jager Schnitzel and a Czech beer.  3.5 Stars. May 22







2. Drinking 144 (a gross) of different wines, and remembering to grad each one.

1- Brown Estate 2013 Zinfandel, 1-2-16 – The Market Saint Helena 5 starScreen Shot 2016-01-06 at 7.43.12 PM

2-Dry Creek 2013, Heritage Vines Zinfandel, 1-2-2016 –  Pizzando Healdsburg- 3 StarsScreen Shot 2016-01-06 at 7.42.10 PM3-J. Rickards 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel, 1-3-16 – My House, but I bought the wine in Headsburg 4 starsScreen Shot 2016-01-06 at 7.43.50 PM







4-Boa Vida 2009 Estate Merlot – Jan 3, Blue Line Pizza Campbell Ca. 3.5 stars           Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 7.43.38 PM

5 – Justin 2013 Cabernet, – Faz Restaurant  San Jose 1-7, 3 stars

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 6 – Freedom Estate, 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, CRRC Meeting Fremont, 1-13, 4 stars
7 – Graffigna Grand Reserve Malbec 2012, Scomas Restaurant in San Francisco, Clara Mateo Meeting, 1- 14-16, 4.5 Stars

8 – Loma Prieta Winery, 2012 Pinotage, Served at my house compliments to my Neighbors Loren and Marcia. January 15. 4.5 StarsIMG_2158


9. Buena Vista 2013, Red Wine, Served at Downtown and Vine in Sacramento, January 20th. 3. StarsIMG_2171 (1)
10. The Sheriff, Buena Vista Winery, Downtown and Vine, Sacramento January 20th, 3 Stars
11. Selbach – Oster 2002 Riesling. Ella Sacramento. OMG.  January 20, 5 Star
12. Royces 2013 Zinfandel, My House January 22, 4 Stars
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13. Kalyna Winery, 2014 Sangiovese, a good desert wine. My House Jan 25, 4 Stars


14. Bonaventura de Caires Winery, 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. My House Nice Finish Jan 25, 4 Stars

15. Soda Rock 2011 Merlot My House,  January 25th, 3.5 Stars
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16. Migration 2012 Pinot Nior, Massimos Jan 29th, 4 Stars
17. Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Massimos Jan 29, 4.5 Stars
18. Eruption 2012 Red Wine, part of the Brassfield Vineyards Massimos, Jan 31, 3.5 Stars
 19. Troublemaker Red Blend, Faz , Feb 2, 4 Stars
20. Hahn Pinot Noir 2012, The Gross House in Red Bluff, Feb 5, 4 Stars
20. Elizabeth Spencer, Cabernet Sauvignon,  2012, The Gross House in Red Bluff, Feb 6, 4 Stars
21. Sequel Vineyards 2010, Pinot Noir, The Gross House in Red Bluff. Been waiting for a special occuance to this magnum of pinot. Feb 6, 5 Stars
22. Pestoni Vineyards, 1892 Filed Blend, 2012, Marin Sanitary Service Feb 10, 4.5 Stars
23.Bean Zinfandel, 2013, Willard Hicks in Campbell Feb 19th,  4.Stars
24.Trapiche, Malbec, Patsy’s Pizza Campbell Feb 21,  4.Stars
 25.Skewis Vineyards, Pinot Noir, 2012, My House, Feb 20,  5 Stars
26. Rutherford Ranch Vineyards, Sauvignon Blanc, 2014, White Shallot 4 Stars, Feb 26
27. William Fevre, Chablis 2014, White Shallot 4.5 Stars
28. Scheid Vineyards, Pinot Noir, 2012, Faz 4 Stars
29. Recuerdo Vineyards, Malbec, 2012, Ferry Building San Francisco 4 Stars
30. Seghesio Vineyards, Barbara, 2011, Boulevard 5 Stars
31.Tlna Rosso, Italian Red, 2013, Campbell 4.5 Stars
32.The Prisoner, Red Blend, Mistral Restaurant & Bar – Redwood City, 2013,  5 Stars
33. GSM – Sides Hardware and Shoes- Los Olivos, March 18th, 4.5 Stars
34. Larkmead Vineyards 2008 – Cabernet Sauvignon  San Louis Obispo, March 18th, 5 Stars


35. Williams Selyem 2013 Pinot Noir -San Luis Obispo, March 18th, 5 Stars
36. Salvador Dali – Pinot Noir -Los Altos Hills, March 13th, 4.5 Stars
37. Schramsberg Mirabelle – Brut Rose -Steve and Lisa’s House – Los Altos Hills, March 13th, 4.5 Stars
38. Cooper Garrod 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon -My House – San Jose, March 12th, 5 Stars
39. Franciscan Estate 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon -My House – San Jose, March 12th, 4.5 Stars
40. Sancho Baron 2013 Rioja -La Catalana – San Jose, March 11th, 4 Stars
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41. Elizabeth Spencer 2013 Cabernet Franc -My House – San Jose, March 11th, 4 .5 Stars
42. Hatcher 2010 Zinfandel -My House – San Jose, March 6th, 4 .5 Stars
43. Meiomi Pinot Noir 2013  -Faz Restraunt- San Jose, March 7th, 4 Stars
44. Wild Horse 2013Pinot Noir -My House – San Jose, March 11th, 4 .5 Stars
 45. Inniskillin Icewine 2014 -FLEUR BY HUBERT KELLER
MANDALAY BAY – Las Vegas, April 4, 5 Stars
46. Francis Ford Coppola, Directors Cut Cabernet Sauvignon -My House – San Jose, April 3, 4 .5 Stars
47. Tres Hermaas 2007 Syrah -My House – San Jose, April 1, 3 .5 Stars
48. August West 2013 Pinot Noir -Black Sheep- San Jose, March 25th, 4 .5 Stars
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49. Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina 2013-Paesano Ristorante – San Jose, March 21, 4 .5 Stars
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50. Vina Olaya 2013 Tempranillo -My House – San Jose, April 9th, 4 Stars
51. Koehler 2011 Sangiovese  -My House – San Jose, April 9th, 4 Stars
52. Vina Ardanza Reserva Rioja -FLEUR BY HUBERT KELLER
MANDALAY BAY – Las Vegas, April 4, 5 Stars $110
 53. The Immortal Zin , not sure of the year- Home in San Jose, April 10, 3.5 Stars
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  54.10 Span Pinot Noir 2013 -Coyato Creek Golf Course San Jose, April 11, 3.5 Stars
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  55. Murhy – Goode Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 -Clara Mateo Garbagemen Association, Santa Clara, April 14, 3 Stars
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56. Miura  Pinot Noir 2012- Village California Bistro – San Jose, April 23  4.5 Stars, Great Price

57. Beauregard Chardonnay 2014- Village California Bistro – San Jose, April 23 4.5 Stars

56. Katherine Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignon 2013- Village California Bistro – San Jose, April 23 4.5 Stars
57. Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon 2013-Trattoria Toscana – Temecula Ca, April 27 4.5 Stars
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 58. Ridge Lytton Estate 2013 – Double Tree – San Jose Ca, May 1 4.5 Stars
59. Gundlach Bundschu Pinot Noir 2012 – Double Tree San Jose Ca, May 1 4.0 Stars
 60. Maison Roche Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2014 – Epic San Francisco Ca, May 4 3.5 StarsIMG_2719.jpg
61. Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – Epic San Francisco Ca, May 4 4.5 Stars
 62. Sansigot Sipun, Dry Red Wine, – Slanted Door San Francisco Ca, May 4,  2.5 StarsIMG_2721.jpg
 63. Pepe Vesuvio 2009 – Little Napoli, Carmel by the Sea Ca, May 5, 3.5 Stars
  64. Rafanelli 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon – Loren’s and Marsha’s House, This is some of the best wine I have ever had.  May 7, 5 StarsIMG_0832
65. Decoy 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Gourmet Italia, Temecula. May 7, 4 StarsIMG_2689 (1)
66.  Adelaida 2013 Cellers Grenach / Syrah Blend, The Keeper- The Lodge at Pebble Beach. May 7, 4 StarsIMG_2711
67. Post Scriptum Douro 2012  – Adega – San Jose. May 13, 4 StarsIMG_2752
68. Crasto Douro 2012 – Adega – San Jose. May 13, 4 StarsIMG_2753
69. Jeremy Wine Company 2014 Zinfandel- Camp 4 – Modesto CA -May 21, 4 Stars
70. Rutherford Grove Estate Merlot 2012 – My House – San Jose. May 7, 4 StarsIMG_2755
71. Millionaire Clockspring Zinfandel 2012 –  Murphy’s California -May 20, 3.5 StarsIMG_2779
72. Tortoise Creek Zinfandel 2012 – 1850 Restaurant Mariposa, May 21, 3.5 StarsIMG_2795
73. Virginia Dare Pinot Noir, 2013, 17th Street Public House 2012 – Merced, May 21, 3.5 Stars
74. Grath Pinot Noir, 2013, Kincaid’s Restaurant – Burlingame, May 14, 3.5 Stars9FACB92D-3F4A-40E1-B2BF-E52AD10E7A63
3. Twenty – Six  different cuisines using every letter in the alphabet
A. American – The Market Jan 2, Saint Helena
B. Burmese, Kyushu Burmese Cousine, Jan 31, San Jose
C.  Czech, Euro Bistro, May 22 Placerville 
F. Filipino – Pinoy Bbq Atop, April 1, Milpitas
G. Greek – The Blue Door, April 3, San Jose
I. Italian – Vito’s Trattoria Jan 22, San Jose
J. Japanese – Mizu March 17, San Jose
K. Koren – Modurang Jan 20, Sacramento
M. Mediterranean – Faz – Jan 7,  San Jose
N. Mexican – Tu Mero Mole – Feb 27, San Jose
P. Portuguese – Adega – May 13, San Jose
R. Red Sause Italian – Original Joes – Jan 7, San Jose
S. Spanish – Basque Restaurant – March 20,
V. Vietnamese – Corner Pho – San Jose Jan 17,
X. Xinjiang – Thousand Tasty – Milpitas – Feb 21,
Z. Zhejiang – – San Francisco – Feb 28
4. Midnight Baths at Esalen



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