When an acquaintance of mine invited me to spend the day on San Francisco’s Treasure Island for her birthday, I was very apprehensive about making the one-hour drive.
The last time I drove into the city, I was almost side-swiped and rear-ended, and I almost hit a skateboarder who jumped out in front of my car. Plus, the traffic and drivers on Highway 101 tend to be insane.
Despite my anxiety, I wanted to explore Treasure Island, which is surrounded by the San Francisco Bay and is connected to both San Francisco and Oakland by the Bay Bridge. It ended up being a beautiful 80-degree day along the water with some great people.
Treasure Island Bar and Grill, 60 Clipper Cove Way
A couple ladies and I first stopped at a deli, which ended up being a very small convenience store that looked like it should be connected to a gas station. We decided to leave and look for another location that offered a place to sit.
Our second stop brought us to Treasure Island Bar and Grill, a casual-dining restaurant with a great view of the bay from its patio area. Customers order at the counter, and the waitstaff brings your order to the table.
I ordered the Crabcake Sandwich, served on a brioche bun and dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion, tartar sauce and chipotle pepper sauce. All sandwiches are served with a side of potato chips, potato salad and a pickle. Guests can take off the chips and add a side salad for $1 more. My order came out to about $10, including tax.
The crabcake was thick and filled with fresh crab meat and spiciness throughout the patty. Even with the tartar and chipotle pepper sauce, the sandwich wasn’t soggy or overloaded. The brioche was soft and had a nice toasting on the edges. The potato salad was chunky and had a rich, creamy flavor and texture. I wish the crabcake was a bit bigger, but overall it was an enjoyable lunch.
In addition to its lunch and dinner menu, Treasure Island Bar & Grill offers several happy hour specials from 4 to 6 p.m. throughout the week, including $1.50 tacos, $2 domestic beers and $3 well drinks, according to its website.
The restaurant also serves bottomless mimosas and $5 Bloody Marys on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call (415) 627-9060 or visit treasureislandbar.com.
Vie Winery, 400 California Avenue
Vie Winery’s tasting room has a rustic and quaint setting. It’s located inside a large shed-like structure, with sheet metal walls, wooden pillars string lights draped along the rafters. Our hostess was very nice, accommodating and made sure we had great service.
The wine tasting flight cost $15 per person and featured five wines: a Rose, Zinfandel, two Syrahs and a GSM blend (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre).
My favorites were the 2009 Beatty Ranch Zinfandel and the 2009 Les Amours Syrah. Infused with blackberry and black cherry, as well as a hint of flowers, the Zinfandel had a beautiful aroma, full flavor and a medium heaviness on the tongue. I also enjoyed the fruity aroma of the Syrah, which I thought had a slightly heavier feel than the Zinfandel, according to the menu.
Vie prides itself on producing high-quality wines from Zinfandel and Rhone varietals from many fine vineyards in California, including Napa Valley, Sonoma County and Santa Barbara County.
Vie Winery offers daily wine tasting from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and by appointment Monday through Friday, according to its website. The bocce ball courts are open from 12 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and for private events Monday through Friday. For more information, call (415) 756-1791 or visit www.viewinery.com.
Sol Rouge Vineyard & Winery, 400 California Avenue
Right next door to Vie Winery is the Sol Rouge Winery’s tasting room, also located in a shed-like structure with red clay-colored walls, decorated with various artwork. Our host was a funny guy, and we had a great time exploring new wines with him.
Sol Rouge offers a wine tasting flight for $15, but we used a complimentary wine-tasting pass to try the six wines. The 2010 Gypsy Rouge and 2010 Syrah. The Gypsy Rouge had a great fruity aroma (I obviously gravitate to that), floral notes and was light on the tongue. The Syrah was smooth and rich in flavor and lighter than what I expected. I’d like to have it with a dish of steak and potatoes.
The Sol Rouge vineyard is a family estate located in Kelseyville, north of Napa Valley in the Red Hills Appellation. The 70-acre estate is planted with Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and several other grape varieties, according to its website.
The Sol Rouge tasting room on Treasure Island offers wine tasting from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The winery share bocce ball courts with neighbor Vie Winery during wine tasting hours. For more information, call (415) 756-2254 or visit www.solrouge.com.