Archive for Izzy’s Steaks and Chops


Posted in Izzy's Steaks and Chops (San Francisco), Wine Dinners with tags , , , , , on October 24, 2010 by ballymote

 Our last evening on the West Coast and we are following the recommendation of our absent friend, John G., and heading to Izzy’s for some steaks prior to our “red eye” flight back to Philly. We had just concluded a spectacular day in the city by the bay with a tour of Alcatraz and an awe-inspiring performance by the U. S. Navy’s Blue Angels as they performed their feats of fearless flying over the bay which was jammed packed with hundreds of boats.

We had certainly worked up an appetite and when our taxi driver dropped us off on Steiner Street we entered Izzy’s and were escorted to our upstairs table for a round of drinks while we waited for Gerry and Joann to arrive separately.

Legend has it that Izzy was a very generous saloon keeper in this area at the turn of the century (19th) and his place was always known to be a place where strangers were welcomed and they could find a hearty meal at reasonable prices. The current prices at Izzy’s still seem to be reasonable.

We still weren’t sure if we were going to be happy with our meal but we knew from the very beginning that our wives’ were happy with our server, Nate. It’s so embarrassing to us as males to be viewed by the opposite sex as simply “eye candy”. Anyway, Nate did a good job of keeping them entertained and seeing that our dinner service was first-class.

Gerry and Joann arrived with one the bottles that we had purchased as a group from Del Dotto following our tour of the caves. The story behind this 2007 Del Dotto, Vineyard 887, St. Helena, Cabernet Sauvignon is that Steven Wynn, the Las Vegas casino mogul, tasted this wine from the barrel and wanted two barrels for a private party. It turned out there was only one barrel available so he had it blended with another barrel he liked so that all of the guests would be drinking the same wine. Our bottles were from a small lot that remained after the Wynn purchase. Is it true? Who knows, but the story is good and the wine is even better!

Most of us started our meal with the old reliable wedge with bacon and Maytag Blue Cheese. This salad, in my opinion, is a little bit like chocolate chip cookies, it’s very hard to make a bad one and there are simply varying degrees of goodness to them. This one was pretty good but not the absolute best.

I am going to have to venture a guess that it was Joe B. who did not join the rest of us in choosing the Maytag Salad. He had created a week-long history of ordering the local tomatoes and I think his final dinner included one last order of the local produce. Once again, they looked nice and fresh and had that just-picked appearance.

Appetizers out of the way, it was now time to eat some meat. I think we all went for a filet mignon of some type.

 Most had the filet with a side of baked potatoes and carrots and onions. Everyone seemed pleased with their filets.

I had my filet “blackened” and ordered it with Izzy’s Own Potatoes and Creamed Spinach. I love great sides with a steak and these were very good. I had ordered my filet done “medium” which was a first for me as I ALWAYS ask for medium-well. We agreed that my steak arrived medium-rare and I ate it anyway and thought it was good. I don’t think I am ready to make this a permanent change but I can certainly now stay with medium. The blackening added an extra flavor touch to my entree.

 Gerry isn’t a filet fan so he ordered the Bone-in Ribeye.  He was a little disappointed in the quality of the meat as there was quite a bit of “gristle” throughout.  He still managed to consume most of the dish which may have simply meant that, like the rest of us, he was hungry, Overall, we enjoyed our final West Coast dinner at Izzy’s. Our trip was coming to an end and we headed to the airport for our flight home. Gerry and Joann were staying on for a couple more days, including attending the Eagles – 49er’s game the next day at Candlestick.

We all felt it was a wonderful trip and if any of you are out in the San Francisco area and happen to run across six hearts lying somewhere near the Bay….they are probably ours!


Posted in Info on Wine, Pre-Trip Update #5 (Final) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2010 by ballymote

A trip that we began planning over a year ago is now just a few short days away. The research is over, the reservations have been made, dinners arranged and winery appointments scheduled. I have always believed that much of the enjoyment of travel was in the planning and this was certainly no exception. I have had a blast during every phase of the research process. With hundreds of great wineries in Napa and Sonoma to choose from it is no easy process to come up with the very few we will have time to visit during our week. I’ve tried to concentrate not just on places with great wine, but more importantly, places with great people. 


We arrive in San Francisco on Saturday morning and after a full day tour of the city we will be dining at Rue Lepic on Nob Hill. On Sunday morning we will make our way to Sonoma, stopping for breakfast in Tiburon and checking into the Renaissance Lodge at Sonoma, our home for the week. After freshening up we plan on driving to Santa Rosa for the final day of the annual Sonoma County Harvest Fair, and after a healthy sampling of the wines competing for medals at the fair it will be time for dinner at Cole’s Chop House in Napa. Next Saturday, after making our way back to San Francisco, we will tour Alcatraz and enjoy dinner at Izzy’s Steaks and Chops before four of us head for the airport and our flight back home. Gerry and JoAnn will remain in the city by the bay for another 3 days.

Monday thru Friday will be our days for wine visits. It’s an exciting time of the year in Wine Country as the harvest is taking place in many of the areas we will visit. Here is  what our week may look like. Not all of these are booked or will take place, but it’s a nice outline of what the week may look like. Thanks,Gerry, for putting this together:   

Monday, October 04, 2010            8:45 AM      Lv Sonoma Renaissance, 1325 Broadway

                    40 miles ~60 mins to   10:00 AM    EMH Wines, 25 Rosedale Rd, Calistoga

Travel         02 miles ~05 mins to   12:00 PM     Vincent Arroyo, 2361 Greenwood,Calistoga

111 miles     04 miles ~10 mins to   2:00 PM       Chateau Montelena, 1429 Tubbs Ln, Calistoga

167 mins     07 miles ~12 mins to   3:30 PM       Larkmead, 1100 Larkmead Lane, Calistoga

                    36 miles ~48 mins to   5:30 PM       Ar Sonoma Renaissance, 1325 Broadway

Wineries                                          7:00 PM       Lv Sonoma Renaissance, 1325 Broadway

Visited         22 miles ~32 mins to   8:00 PM       Dinner at Ad Hoc, 6476 Washington St,

    4                                                                      Yountville


Tuesday, October 05, 2010            10:00 AM    Lv Sonoma Renaissance, 1325 Broadway

                    28 miles ~40 mins to   11:00 AM    Alpha-Omega,1155 Mee Lans, Rutherford

Travel         22 miles ~31 mins to   12:30 PM     Chalk Hill, 10300 Chalk Hill, Healdsburg

127 miles     17 miles ~25 mins to   1:30 PM       Mayo Family Tasting Room, 9200 Sonoma

202 mins                                                             Hwy, Kenwood-7 course wine/food pairing

                    16 miles ~25 mins to   3:00 PM       Swanson, 1271 Manley Lane, St Helena

Wineries      21 miles ~35 mins to   4:00 PM       Ravenswood, 18701 Gehricke Rd, Sonoma

Visited         03 miles ~06 mins to   5:00 PM       Ar Sonoma Renaissance, 1325 Broadway

    5                                                  6:00 PM       Lv Sonoma Renaissance, 1325 Broadway

                    20 miles ~40 mins to   7:00 PM       Dinner at Bottega, 6525 Washington St,                                                                       Yountville



Wednesday, October 06, 2010       9:00 AM      Lv Sonoma Renaissance, 1325 Broadway

                    24 miles ~36 mins to   10:00 AM    Kapcsandy Winery, 1001 State Lane, Napa

Travel         07 miles ~12 mins to   12:00 PM     Robert Baiale, 4038 Big Ranch Rd, Napa

57 miles       08 miles ~15 mins to   1:30 PM       Truchard Vineyards, 3234 Old Sonoma Rd,

93 mins                                                               Napa

                    07 miles ~13 mins to   3:00 PM       Del Dotto Cave Tour, 1055 Atlas Peak Rd, Wineries                                                   Napa

Visited         11 miles ~17 mins to   5:30 PM       Ar Sonoma Renaissance, 1325 Broadway

    4                                                  7:30 PM       Dinner at Sonoma Renaissance Resort



Thursday, October 07, 2010          9:00 AM      Lv Sonoma Renaissance, 1325 Broadway

                    42 miles ~65 mins to   10:15 AM    Bodega Bay

Travel         11 miles ~15 mins to   12:30 PM     Jenner

171 miles     16 miles ~30 mins to   2:30 PM       Armstrong St Prk, 17000 Armstrong

260 mins                                                             Woods Road, Guerneville

                    19 miles ~36 mins to   4:30 PM       Thumbprint, 36 North St, Healdsburg

Wineries      40 miles ~60 mins to   6:30 PM       Ar Sonoma Renaissance, 1325 Broadway

Visited                                             8:00 PM       Lv Sonoma Renaissance, 1325 Broadway

    1              43 miles ~54 mins to   9:00 PM       Dinner at Cyrus, 29 North St, Healdsburg



Friday, October 08, 2010               8:00 AM      Lv Sonoma Renaissance, 1325 Broadway

                    29 miles ~39 mins to   9:30 AM      Whitehall Lane, 1563 St Helena Hwy S,

Travel                                                                 St Helena

63 miles       08 miles ~15 mins to   11:30 AM    Paraduxx, 7257 Silverado Trail, Napa

93 mins       02 miles ~03 mins to   1:30 PM       Silverado Vineyards, 6121 Silverado

                                                                            Trail, Napa

Wineries      01 miles ~02 mins to   3:30 PM       Hartwell, 5795 Silverado Trail, Napa

Visited         23 miles ~34 mins to   6:00 PM       Dinner in Sonoma

I will certainly be busy writing restaurant and winery reviews in the days and weeks following this trip and I am looking forward to that challenge. My wife, Kathy, and myself are fortunate to be making this trip with four of our absolutely favorite people, Joe and Carol B. and Gerry and JoAnn B. The weather looks good with warm days and cool nights and we are psyched for a fabulous trip!