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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Da Boccery, Toto's Pizzeria, The Park Street Tavern

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Check, Please! Bay Area, season 17, episode 16, airs Thursday, February 16, at 7:30 pm, on KQED 9. See other television airtimes, and never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Livermore’s Da Boccery is “da place” for food and fun for the whole family. From bocce ball to axe throwing, shuffleboard to giant Jenga, this lively spot pairs casual bites with high-energy activities, plus craft beer and cocktails. Then, in San Bruno, Toto’s Pizzeria & Restaurant claims to be one of the oldest continuously family-owned pizzerias in the country. Now lovingly crafted by its fifth generation of pizza makers, the brick oven-baked pies follow the same traditional recipe first introduced by Grandpa Toto in 1932. Next, sample fresh, cozy Greek taverna and Italian ristorante favorites at a quaint neighborhood spot, The Park Street Tavern in Alameda. Finally, reporter Cecilia Phillips takes in the action at Newark’s Super Market Sundays, as local chefs throw down in a competition for the best fried chicken sandwich.

Check, Please! Bay Area host Leslie Sbrocco joins three local guests on set to discuss local restaurants
Host Leslie Sbrocco joins guests Paula Johnson, Kevin Garcia and Lindsay Ulrey 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


2021 Fillaboa Albariño
Rías Baixas D.O., Spain, $16
Albariño is a Spanish white wine and grape variety that ranks among my favorites. Hailing from northwestern Spain and the dramatic coastal region of Rías Baixas (meaning lower fjords), it’s a shining star on the Spanish wine scene. Fillaboa winery is one of the region’s best due to using primarily estate vineyards to craft their crisp, lush and racy bottlings. Drink this affordable white alongside fish dishes, fresh salads, spicy fare and anytime you need a refreshingly succulent sip.

2021 Fleurs de Prairie Rosé
Languedoc, France, $20
Pretty in pink is the ideal descriptor for this lovely Rosé from the south of France. Pale hued and aromatic, the blend of Grenache, Syrah and several other red grapes showcases spicy, fruity flavors and a silky texture. The name is an ode to the wildflowers carpeting areas near the vineyards. With stylish packaging and true substance in the bottle, it’s a superb pink to drink all year round.

2019 Quivira Zinfandel
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, $28
A Sonoma County classic, Quivira brings Zinfandel to life with this peppery, dark-fruited red. As California’s heritage red grape variety, there are plenty of examples of ultra-full bodied reds with high alcohol and almost raisined fruit character. Not this wine. It’s an elegant Zin made with freshness and finesse in mind. Pour with ribs to complement the spicy/sweetness of barbeque sauce or savor with a saucy red pasta sauce or earthy, spicy lentil stew. Decadently delicious.

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

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