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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 reviews: The Tadich Grill, Slow Hand BBQ, Tay Ho Oakland Restaurant & Bar

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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 4 airs Thursday, May 4 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

With a history as storied as The Tadich Grill in San Francisco, it's hard to resist the classic fish menu... unless you want a steak! But nothing says American cuisine like down-home BBQ and we visit Pleasant Hill and Slow Hand BBQ. Our last stop takes us to Oakland, where Vietnamese street food and handmade rice paper rolls are served at Tay Ho Oakland Restaurant & Bar.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 4.
Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 4. (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: the reemergence of craft beer in America.

2014 Martin Ray, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California $70
I remember starting my journey with wine two decades ago and learning one of California's historic names, Martin Ray. Back in the 1940s through the early 1970s, Martin Ray was a winemaking pioneer in the Santa Cruz mountains. The brand disappeared and was resurrected in 1990 by Courtney Benham. Now housed in Sonoma's Russian River Valley in one of the state's oldest continually-working wineries, Martin Ray is not only a producer to seek out, but a wonderful spot to visit. Making wines from Napa, Sonoma, and Santa Cruz, their portfolio covers whites, reds and pinks. This Napa Cabernet captures Stags Leap District's signature structure with velvety richness. A splurge-worthy wine that will show beautifully for years to come, it's also one to uncork tonight alongside a grilled steak.


Barone Pizzini "Animante" Brut, Franciacorta DOCG, Italy $37
For bubbly lovers like myself, I covet world-class sparklers that aren't mainstream. Franciacorta is just that: high quality and unique. Named for a place of origin in northern Italy, Franciacorta, is made using the traditional sparkling wine method with the second fermentation in bottle. This produces elegance and complexity in the final wine. Barone Pizzini has been producing wine since 1870 and this classically crisp, dry bubbly is crafted with Chardonnay, Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir), and Pinot Bianco (Pinot Blanc). With a streak of refreshing minerality and citrusy freshness, it's sparkling wine that will impress.

Diplomatico "Reserva Exclusiva" Rum, Venezuela $44
Rum is on a roll. Undergoing a renaissance, the spirit's rise in popularity in the past few years can be attributed to increased consumer curiosity and the amount of specialized rums currently available on the market. This version from Venezuela's, Dipolmatico, is stunning. Made with distilled sugar cane honey aged for up to 12 years, the result is a rum that's warm and smooth. Sweet fruit notes are laced with aromas of brown spices, ginger, and butterscotch in a complex, opulent spirit. If you enjoy tawny port, cognac, or dessert wines, this swoon-worthy sip will convert you to the Rum-lovers club.

Marin Brewing Company, Pt. Reyes Porter, Marin County, California $6 (22 oz bottle)
The microbrewery craze has generated a plethora of local breweries, but Marin Brewing is one of the originals. Started in 1989 by Craig Tasley and Brendan Moylan, their brews have been award-winners for decades. This ode to Ireland is a tasty Porter with big, bold flavors. Packed with bittersweet chocolate notes and a decadent roasted richness, it's a beer that will drape you in deliciousness.

Wine, beer and spirits that guests drank on the set of season 12 episode 4.
Wine, beer and spirits that guests drank on the set of season 12 episode 4. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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