Thursday, September 13, 2007

Review: Peninsula Happy Hour

Last night two of my coworkers and I had our first Peninsula Happy Hour, what will hopefully be one of many. Our team lives everywhere from San Francisco down to the South Bay, but only 3 of us live on the Peninsula (Redwood City, San Mateo, Foster City).
We stopped in at B Street and Vine in San Mateo for some wine and dinner. The place is long and narrow with funky jazz artwork on the walls, a long bar on one side, and an open space for the jazz players that start at 7pm nightly. They've only been open for 8 months but they seem to be settling in to the area nicely, right around the corner from Draeger's.

I had a glass of the Monga Zin Zinfandel, which I'd had before and really enjoyed. The "berry jam, milk chocolate finish" drew me to it, and it was warming and delicious. My red wine-loving companion followed my example, and she enjoyed it as well. My other friend ordered a chardonnay which she liked very much. We exclaimed over it's "butterfree" description, but after tasting it we understood a bit more what that meant.

B Street and Vine serves delicious paninis, salads, and bruschetta. The bruschetta is truly the winner, what will bring you back over and over. For $12, you can select 4 different kinds of bruschetta from a sizable list. Each one is hunky and will feed two people.

We selected the tomato and basil, salmon with chives, capers, and mascarpone, tuscan bean and sun dried tomatoes, and apples with brie and spiced pecans. The tomato basil was a delicious blend of sweet tomatoes and fragrant basil, with just the right amount of garlic. The apples were sweet-tart as well, a great combo with the smooth brie and crunchy pecans. The standout for the pair of us (#3 doesn't like seafood) was the salmon- a delicious lox salmon with smooth creamy mascarpone, salty capers and chive. We ordered a second helping of it and finished all but one piece. My least favorite was the tuscan bean and sun dried tomato. The bean was a puree which was delicious, but I would change the chewy sun dried tomato for something else, perhaps fresh tomato or cucumber.

We were excited to discover that we could order 2 more bruschetta to fill the 3 of us up- we ordered a second salmon and we tried ricotta with dates and pistachios. I really enjoyed the creamy ricotta with salty pistachios and chewy-sweet dates, although I think my companions were less than thrilled.

The live jazz performance began while we were there, and while the music was good the high volume made it harder for us to chat. All in all, we enjoyed our evening very much and hope to schedule another Peninsula Happy Hour soon.

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