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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Outer Orbit, Piazza D'Angelo, Limewood Bar & Restaurant

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Check, Please! Bay Area, season 18, episode 16, airs Thursday, February 22, at 7:30 pm, on KQED 9. See other television airtimes, and never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Located in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights, Outer Orbit infuses modern Hawaiian vibes with retro arcade energy, serving up everything from pinball to pig melts and craft beer to chicken katsu curry. Then, in downtown Mill Valley, the family-owned Piazza D’Angelo brings a piece of Southern Italy to the North Bay with its pizzas and pastas, and other delicious and delectable Calabrian culinary traditions. Finally, Berkeley’s Limewood Bar & Restaurant dishes up locally sourced and seasonal ingredients for their vibrant take on Californian cuisine, complete with an extensive wine selection and a breathtaking view of the San Francisco skyline. Reporter Cecilia Phillips finishes this week’s episode with a visit to Feast Mode in San Jose. Held on the last Fridays of the month, this collection of vendors, food trucks, and live entertainment serves up a true feast – from chopped cheese, to paletas and cheesecakes.

Host Leslie Sbrocco joins guests Dick Bright, Ellie Lew and Sarah Katz-Hyman 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.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Reserve Exclusive Rosé
Champagne, France $60
When a celebration is due, reach for this stunning pink bubbly. It doesn’t matter if its Taco Tuesday or Saturday date night, this beautiful rosé makes every event special. The youngest of the top Champagne houses, the partnership between wine growers and founders Henri Macquart and Nicolas Feuillatte (pronounced Foy-Yaht), began in 1972. Since then, it has become one of the most iconic brands in the United States. This deeply garnet-hued sparkler has red-fruited intensity and full-bodied richness on the palate making it ideal for a glass to begin the evening but also that pairs throughout the meal. The dash of Chardonnay in the blend lends freshness while the majority red grapes – Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – impart silky succulence.

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2021 Benovia Chardonnay
Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California $48
One of my choices for top wineries in California is Benovia. Tucked in the rolling hills of the Russian River Valley, Benovia focuses on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with the hallmark of elegant intensity. Founded by Mary Dewane and Joe Anderson and named for their fathers’ Ben and Novian, they also have winemaker and co-owner, Mike Sullivan rounding out the superstar roster. Their Russian River Valley Chardonnay is crafted with fruit grown on their noted Martaella Estate Vineyard and Tilton Hill Vineyards. Perfectly balanced with floral and citrus notes, zesty acidity and a lush mouthfeel, it’s a Chardonnay treat to share with food, family and friends.

2021 Flora Springs ‘Trilogy’
Napa Valley, California $100
A worthy splurge that belongs in your cellar and on your dinner table (just make sure to decant it for a few hours before sipping!). Flora Springs is one of Napa Valley’s classic wineries founded in 1978 by John Komes. Their portfolio is lined with wines from Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon, but the winery’s flagship bottling is named Trilogy. Now in its 38th bottling, the winery has renewed its commitment to their pioneering Napa blend, which is evolving but has stood the test of time. A Cabernet Sauvignon-focused blend with added complexity from Petit Verdot and a dash of Malbec, it’s layered and structured with dark berry fruit purity and hints of herbal notes.

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