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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Roasted and Raw, Street Social, Kehaulani’s Cafe

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Check, Please! Bay Area, season 17, episode 11, airs Thursday, January 12, at 7:30 pm, on KQED 9. See other television airtimes, and never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

In Oakland, Roasted and Raw whips up fresh vegan fare, offering a healthier, plant-based take on familiar favorites without sacrificing flavor. Then, down a narrow brick alley in the historic Lan Mart building in Petaluma, Street Social dreams up an ever-changing menu of imaginative, locally sourced dishes. Next, Kehaulani’s Cafe, located in a former Howard Johnson’s just off Highway 80 in Vallejo, delivers low-key island vibes and flavor-packed Filipino and Hawaiian specialties. Finally, reporter Cecilia Phillips heads to Glen Ellen to check out the weekly farmstead at Flatbed Farm, home to fresh seasonal produce, eggs, plants, pantry staples, and more.

Check, Please! Bay Area host Leslie Sbrocco joins three local guests on set to discuss local restaurants
Host Leslie Sbrocco joins guests Mel Orpilla, Kahja Elliott and Houston Porter from KQED in San Francisco.

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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.

Shows the wines Leslie Sbrocco recommends

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2020 Alma Rosa ‘La Encantada’ Pinot Gris
Sta. Rita Hills, California, $32
One of Santa Barbara county’s star producers, Alma Rosa is a winery focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This limited-production Pinot Gris, however, shows a unique side of their lineup. Pinot Gris – otherwise known as Pinot Grigio – is a white that can range from light and crisp to rich and full. Alma Rosa’s version captures both sides of the variety. Aromatic with peachy notes and full-bodied flair, it also showcases a core of crisp freshness. This comes from the cool, coastal growing region of Sta. Rita Hills where ocean breezes help maintain brightness in the grapes. A wine for pairing with spicy fare, pungent cheeses or brunch dishes from eggs to ham.

2021 Ram’s Gate Winery Rosé
Sonoma Coast, CA, $38
Pink wines aren’t only fair-weather sippers. Many versions, like this one, are ideal year-round and with a wide range of dishes from savory to sweet. Ram’s Gate is a Sonoma destination that ranks high on my ‘must-visit’ scale. Their wines – along with their winery – are a class act. Their Rosé is a blend of primarily Pinot Noir with Grenache, which means elegance married with power.

2019 Grounded by Josh Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon
California, $18
A wine worth twice the price, this affordable red is both quaffable and complex. Josh Phelps has grown up in the wine business and wanted to create a California label grounded in easy-drinking wines with a sense of place. This rich and racy Cabernet Sauvignon is complemented by Merlot in the blend. Its dark-fruited flavors and supple texture make it a fun wine to sip and share.

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

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