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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Tommy’s Joynt, Belotti Ristorante e Bottega, 5A5 Steak Lounge

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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 13 episode 15 airs Thursday, October 18 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

In this episode, we begin at Tommy’s Joynt, a local institution in San Francisco where the food is served hot and ready, cafeteria-style. Our next destination is in Oakland where Belotti Ristorante e Bottega is led by a Milan born chef offering a fresh, elegant take on Northern Italian cuisine. Last, we visit 5A5 Steak Lounge, a contemporary steakhouse serving prime cuts from around the world right here in San Francisco.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 13 episode 15.
Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 13 episode 15. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine on set
Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine on set (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: Prosecco.

2017 Decoy Rosé, California $20
It’s not just France that owns the dry rosé category these days. California versions are topping ‘favorite’ lists, as well. This Provencal-inspired pink is crafted with an eclectic roundup of grapes including Syrah, Vermentino, Carignan, and Pinot Noir. It’s bright and refreshing yet spicy and savory. From sipping a glass on the patio to drinking the rest of the bottle with a meal, the Decoy delivers.


2017 Imagery Estate Sauvignon Blanc, California $20
The focus of Imagery is what they call the “artistry of fine wine.” In painting, artistry means creating beauty with each brushstroke. In winemaking, artistry shines through in blending and winemaking choices. This crisp and complex Sauvignon Blanc has a touch of dry Muscat in the blend creating new flavor discoveries with each sip. It’s deliciously different.

2014 J. Lohr ‘Cuvée St. E’ Paso Robles, California $52
I am a fan of J. Lohr’s wines. Having the opportunity to taste many of their bottlings in the course of my career, I believe they’re among the top ten of California’s most classic producers. Whether you want to spend $10 or $100, J. Lohr overdelivers quality for the price. This lovely red is inspired by the beauty of France’s Right Bank area of St. Émilion. It wears a Bordeaux beret to complete its classy California core. Made with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and a whisper of Malbec, the red is balanced and stylish with dark-fruited lushness.

2011 Viña Maquis ‘Franco’ Cabernet Franc, Colchagua Valley, Chile $85
If you’re looking for a unique, high-end wine to impress, look no further than Franco. For four generations, Viña Maquis in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, has been owned by the Hurtado family. They have specialized in powerfully-built yet elegant Cabernet Franc-based wines. Franco is the star and one of Chile’s iconic reds. The artwork depicted on the labels pays homage to the native Mapuche culture while the wine captures the old-vine, singular character of Cabernet Franc from some of the best vineyard plots in Chile.

Wine that guests drank on the set of season 13 episode 15.
Wine that guests drank on the set of season 13 episode 15. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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