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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: 620 Jones, Radhaus, Café de la Presse

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Check, Please! Bay Area, season 17, episode 6, airs Thursday, September 1, at 7:30 pm, on KQED 9. See other television airtimes, and never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Wizzo wizzo! Check, Please! Bay Area is celebrating the longest-running play in San Francisco history, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, just before it takes its final bow. Ready your best dress robes and find your seat on the Hogwarts Express, as members of the cast and crew join host Leslie Sbrocco to take you on an enchanted journey through their can’t-miss Bay Area picks.

When they’re not scarfing down chocolate frogs or sipping on butterbeer, where do wizards and witches go to indulge in a bite to eat? This week, the cast and crew of the award-winning San Francisco production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child share their Prophet-approved picks for the best places to eat in the city by the Bay.

First, 620 Jones, located just blocks from the Curran Theatre, home to Cursed Child, is the go-to place to sip on specialty cocktails, sample globally inspired bar bites, and experience the tranquility of this unexpected urban oasis. Then, enjoy the ultimate “Kalifornien" Bavarian Beer Hall experience at Radhaus at Fort Mason. Finally, jet from Union Square to the streets of Paris without a portkey to visit Café de la Presse, a classic French bistro that marries familiar favorites with an old-world feel.

Reporter Cecilia Phillips rounds out this week's magical episode with a visit to Thatcher's Gourmet Popcorn, a family-run business that produces 32 flavors of gourmet popcorn, many of which can be found nationwide at amusement parks, theaters, and more.

Host Leslie Sbrocco joins special magic guests Melanie Brezill, Aly Workman, and Benjamin Papac, part of the cast and crew of the award-winning San Francisco production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

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Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine
Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine (Courtesy of Leslie Sbrocco)

My name is Leslie Sbrocco, and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I’ll share my tasting notes about the wine, beer and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show.


Ferrari Brut Sparkling
Trentodoc, Italy, $28
If Prosecco is the only Italian sparkling you know, widen your wine horizons and explore Trentodoc (pronounced Trento-Dock), which is one of the country’s top-quality sparkling wine styles. Hailing from northern Italy’s Trentino region located around the city of Trento, the surrounding majestic Dolomite mountains provide the ideal climate for growing vines. The grapes used to produce these world-class sparkling wines include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – the same as France’s Champagne region. The wines are also made in a similar traditional method as Champagne creating fizz of finesse and elegance.

Ferrari is the founder of this now-famous style dating back to 1902 when pioneer Giulio Ferrari began his winery. It is currently run by the third generation of the Lunelli family. This stylishly dry yet succulent sparkling is made from Chardonnay. It’s lush yet crisp and perfect to sip alone or alongside lighter fare from sushi to salmon. For the price, you won’t find a better bubbly deal.

2021 Day Owl Rosé
California, $15
I’m always on the lookout for affordable and delicious pinks and here’s one to seek out. Crafted by winemaker Alyssa Reynolds, this fruit-forward rosé is juicy and chock full of flavor. With a zesty finish and light body, it’s a poolside-to-tableside pink pick. Their motto is “rosé made to slay the day” and night, too.

2018 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, $60
When talking about California classics, Jordan ranks among my top-tier list of producers. Since 1972 they have consistently produced not only world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, but have proven to be one of the best spots to visit in the entire world of wine. A tour to this northern Sonoma winery can range from seated tastings on the terrace to an exploration of their 1,200 acre estate, and delectable culinary offerings that make a statement. The best place, however, to begin any Jordan journey is by sipping their iconic Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2018 bottling is stunning. Exploding with herbal and smoky aromas, its sultry texture is saturated with dark berry flavors and silky smoothness. This is a wine to enjoy now or cellar for up to a decade.

Thirsty for more beverage advice? You can find more of my wine, beer and spirits tips for you here.

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