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Check, Please! Bay Area: Season 2: Episode 17 (217)

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Check, Please! Bay Area's second season episode 17 (217) profiles and reviews these three Bay Area restaurants:

1) RNM: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe | [CLOSED]

2) Ana Mandara: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe | [CLOSED]

3) The Front Porch: | restaurant information | reviews |

Ways to watch the episode online (and on video iPod):
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Leslie SbroccoMy 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 the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. Also, in my "What to Sip" suggestions, I choose one restaurant from each show and offer tips for selecting libations to enjoy with your meal.

Wine of the Week:

2005 Iron Horse Vineyards Chardonnay, Green Valley, Sonoma County, California $27
Iron Horse is known as America's preeminent sparkling wine producer -- and I am a fan of their bubbly -- but this week's recommendation is a still wine. Capturing the ideal combination of bright citrus flavors rounded out with a creamy texture, their classic cool-weather Chardonnay is utterly elegant. Enjoy with cheeses such as Brie or Camembert, salmon, or lobster drizzled with butter.

What to Sip: Ana Mandara and RNM

The marriage of Ana Mandara's dramatic decor with its fresh, flavorful fare is echoed in the eatery's excellent wine list. It's lengthy and offers a wide selection of fairly priced wines, well tailored to the Vietnamese cuisine. I respect any list that delivers half-bottle options (a lunchtime favorite) and this one does. Don't miss the crisp, off-dry Selbach-Oster Riesling from Germany ($29, half) or Sonoma star, Merry Edwards', Pinot Noir ($32, half). Organized by style ranging from aromatic whites to light reds and Mediterranean blends, you can't go wrong with any selection.

RNM on Haight Street is all about style. The wine list reflects this chic approach with several pages of esoteric and familiar picks from around the world. The pricing is terrific and invites imbibing. Order a bottle of the hard-to-find Etude Rosé from Carneros in California ($35) and sip it alongside the small plates and delicious pizzas. For red wine drinkers, the Siduri Pinot Noir (a personal favorite at $45) and Napa's Merlot magician, Swanson ($44) will bring pure pleasure to the RNM experience.

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