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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 reviews: Farmhouse Kitchen, OVO Tavern & Eatery, Anatolian Kitchen

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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 3 airs Thursday, April 27 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Whimsical Thai decor juxtaposes the hip take on flavorful Northern Thai street food at Farmhouse Kitchen in San Francisco. Next, take a load off at the lively neighborhood sports bar called OVO Tavern & Eatery in Oakland. Finally, experience Kurdish culture, cuisine and wine in Palo Alto at Anatolian Kitchen.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 3.
Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 3. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine.
Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine. (Wendy Goodfriend)

My name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I will be sharing my tasting notes about the wine, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. I will also share some wine, beer and spirits tips with each episode. This week I discuss: Tiki bars in the Bay Area and rum.

Palm Belgium’s Session Ale $12 (six pack)
Usually, I gravitate towards lagers when I crave an easy-drinking, refreshing beer, but this light, lively ale fits that category perfectly. A popular brew from Belgium, Palm dates to 1747 and integrates quality English hops with French barley and Belgian yeast. An international sip that will transport you to Europe in a glass.


Rodenbach Caractère Rouge, Belgium $24 (per 750 ml bottle)
Palm also produces a deliciously different sour red/brown beer from Rodenbach brewery. This tart and zesty ale is made by soaking sour cherries, raspberries, and cranberries with the beer for six months. It’s like sipping a fruit bowl of freshness and flavor. The fermentation process is unique, too, as top yeasts and flora mature for 24 months in 150-year-old oak casks. I was surprisingly pleased by the mouth-puckering, elegant quality of this beer. It’s almost like drinking a light-hearted Pinot Noir.

2015 Wittmann Riesling Troken, Rheinhessen, Germany $20
As a Riesling lover, I’m constantly searching for bottles that showcase the best of the variety. This mineral-laden, citrus-scented, dry-styled beauty is one to seek out. Crafted by the Wittmann’s whose family-owned winery in the Rheinhessen has a viticultural history back to 1663, the grapes are biodynamically grown. Pick up a few bottles and try it for yourself with spicy food or a selection of fresh cheeses. You, too, will fall under the spell of Riesling.

2013 Reata “Three County” Pinot Noir, California $35
Reata’s full-bodied Pinot Noir is a blend of grapes from Monterey, San Benito and Sonoma counties. It’s a Pinot with suppleness and ripe fruit notes. Enjoy it alongside a pork loin roast glazed with a wine reduction sauce.

Blandy’s Sercial Dry Madeira 10 Years, Portugal $30 (500 ml bottle size)
The oldest wine I’ve ever had the privilege of tasting was an 1811 Blandy’s Madiera. It was remarkable and ageless. It was as if the picture of Dorian Gray came to life in my glass. Can a wine still have life after 200 years? Yes, if it’s Madeira. A fortified made on the Portuguese island of Madiera located 400 miles off the coast of Africa, Madeira is the world’s longest-lived wine. It is also an underappreciated food wine. The Blandy’s dry Sercial is appealingly fresh with nutty aromas and an earthy elegance. Pair with aged cheeses and nuts or even braised meats.

Wines that guests drank on the set of season 12 episode 3.
Wines that guests drank on the set of season 12 episode 3. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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