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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 reviews: Miss Ollie's, Mama Papa Lithuania Restaurant, Bar Crudo

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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 5 airs Thursday, May 11 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

We meet a chef inspired by her childhood in Barbados who serves up Caribbean flavors at Miss Ollie’s in Oakland. Next, we step into a fairytale fit for the Brothers Grimm with Eastern European furnishings, fixtures and flavors at Mama Papa Lithuania Restaurant in Alameda. Lastly, we lighten things up and end with bright, clean flavors fresh from the ocean at Bar Crudo in San Francisco.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 12 episode 5.
Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 12 episode 5. (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: Lagers vs Ales and the hottest trend in beer.

2104 Hess Collection Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California $22
The Hess Collection – founded in 1986 by Donald Hess – sits high atop Mount Veeder surrounded by the beauty of Napa Valley below. With a world-class art gallery and unique tasting experiences, the winery is one of my top picks when visiting Napa. It’s a destination worthy of its famed reputation due to the wines, too, with stars including Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. This bottling demonstrates Hess Collection’s focus on quality. From their Su’skol vineyard, which is influenced by the cooling breezes of San Pablo Bay, the wine is all about balance. The crisp acidity is layered with creamy complexity from a small percentage of oak aging and malolactic fermentation. With an affordable price tag, it’s one to enjoy regularly (daily would be ideal).


2104 Viña Maquis Cabernet Franc Gran Reserva, Colchagua Valley, Chile $20
Cabernet Franc is a red grape variety known as in France’s Bordeaux and Loire regions. There are spots around the globe where small pockets are planted (Napa Valley, for example), but it’s rare to find versions from Chile. This elegant, floral red hails from a winery that just celebrated its 100 year anniversary. Maquis’s Cab Franc is what I call a “twice the price” wine as it delivers quality and character worth double its price tag. The packaging is also eye-catching as it depicts symbolic silverwork pieces from the indigenous Machupe community that settled in Colchagua. Drinking this wine is a vinous visit to Chile.

Anchor Steam Beer, San Francisco, California ($10 per six-pack)
When I started living in San Francisco 25 years ago, my first apartment was within walking distance of Anchor Brewing. You could breathe deeply and bask in the aromas of brewing beer that wafted from the historic spot. Today, I drink Anchor Steam just to bring me back to those carefree days. This brew is named for a time in the 19th century when beer brewed on the West Coast was named “steam.” Instead of using ice to keep fermenting beer cool, pans of frothy beer-in-progress were placed on rooftops of city buildings to utilize the fog-driven nighttime coolness. I reach for this brew when I want a malty, lush sip of San Francisco history.

Wine and beer that guests drank on the set of season 12 episode 5.
Wine and beer that guests drank on the set of season 12 episode 5. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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