Spook-tacular Halloween Happenings in the Bay Area

Trick-or-treat! Halloween is upon us and we’re pumpkin carving, costume hunting and planning spooky parties. All Hallows’ Eve falls on a Monday this year which means we’re packing HalloWeekend with our naughtiest tricks and sweetest treats. Come out of your casket and get in the ghostly spirit!
Start the weekend at VERSO, or shall we say City of Lost – the entire club will be transformed into a steampunk playland. Kicking off on Friday, October 28th, boo-gie down to the beats of Suara, a Barcelona-based dance music label and non-profit cat rescue. We won’t judge if you decide to dress up as a black cat.

Saturday, bring out your goriest gowns and sharpest fangs because VERSO will be offering a $1,000 grand prize costume contest. Howl all night long to the hip-hop sounds of Astronomar and Bot along with Bay area local, Grensta. Buy tickets today…before it’s too late.
The Shed

Come for the pumpkins, stay for the for BBQ. If you’re searching for a family friendly activity look no further than The Shed in Napa Valley. Home of the Stanly Lane Pumpkin Patch, kids can enjoy their famous hay pyramid, pumpkin carving and farm animals. Meanwhile, adults can post up at the wooden tables, sip on some brews and order barbeque favorites, fresh from the smoke pit.


Fangs, freaks and ding-dong ditch. Dress up as a devil or just bring out your devilish side because Forgery has a cocktail for all of your trickery. No Halloween is complete without a sultry vampire. El Vampiro is concocted with Amaras Mezcal, Manzanillo Sherry, Crème de Cassis and a dash of salt. Sip on this blood red cocktail and spook the undead!
Get freaky with a Freak Show! Made with Hibiscus infused Absolut Elyx, Pimm’s, Madeira, Grapefruit and Bitter Lemon soda, this sweet-and-sour cocktail is a guaranteed freaking good time.

Growing up you’d give the neighbors a scare with a game of ding-dong ditch. The adult version is much better. Order a Ring-a-Ding with Coriander Singhani, Smith & Cross Rum, Cantaloupe Lemongrass Shrub and Egg Whites…this is one drink you won’t want to run away from.
Zombie Run
Ever wondered how you’d react in a Zombie Apocalypse? Sign up for the 6th annual ZombieRunner Halloween Marathon on October 29th in Walnut Creek. Dress up in your Halloween finest because the only thing better than winning a race is receiving gold for a costume contest as well!

Whether you’re going all out and committing to an entire weekend of shenanigans or just planning on sipping some dangerously good cocktails, we’ve got the tricks and the treats. Have a spook-tacular Halloween!


PlumpJack Supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Throughout the month of October, PlumpJack businesses are joining the cause to help raise awareness and raise funds for Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC). CPIC’s mission is to prevent cancer and to reduce its burden where it cannot yet be prevented. For the past 18 years, PlumpJack has raised more than $3.5 million on behalf of CPIC, primarily through the annual PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic.

Approximately one in eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. We’re proud to list our businesses that are making a difference and supporting the fight against cancer. See list of businesses below and their offering:

  • Participate in #RoséAllDay at Balboa Cafe San Francisco, BCMV and Wildhawk. A portion of Rosé sales will be donated throughout the month of October.
  • PlumpJack Wine & Spirits Noe Valley and Marina locations will feature Tessa’s Cuvée with 100% of the sale of this wine going to CPIC.
  • PlumpJack Cafe at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn features Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose for $10 a glass and $40 per bottle. Plus, a featured specialty cocktail for October – La Pantera Rosada, a blood orange margarita with Herradura Silver, blood orange puree, fresh lime juice, and Solerno blood orange liqueur for $12.
  • Odette Estate, PlumpJack Estate and CADE Estate Winery will donate a portion of their pink merchandise sales, including proceeds from pink Swell bottles sold in the tasting rooms. These amazing water bottles are a must have, keeping your water (or wine) cold for hours!
  • The Hideaway in Carmel will donate sales from homemade cookies and pink retail items.
  • Enjoy a Pink Negroni at Forgery – $2 of each Pink Negroni, made from Gin, Luxardo Bitter Blanco, and topped with a Rose Miraval Floater, will be donated to CPIC.
  • Dance the night away at MatrixFillmore, a portion of the door will be donated.

Every cent counts, so get shopping, sipping and dancing.

About CPIC
CPIC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working solely to prevent cancer. Our research and education programs work in tandem to address the causes of cancer and provide resources to support cancer survivors. For more information visit cpic.org

Top Spots to Experience Views & Food in San Francisco

Fall may mean apple picking, pumpkin patches and breezy air across the country; however, in Northern California the turn from September to October symbolizes a few weeks of sunshine, warm temperatures and the opportunity to go outside and explore without fear of Karl the Fog. Take advantage of the sunshine and work up an appetite with one of San Francisco’s many city hikes and then check-out nearby restaurants and watering holes. Lace up your hiking shoes and charge your phone because you’re about to get some Insta-worthy views and food in San Francisco.
Views from San Francisco from twin-peaksTwin Peaks
It’s classic for a reason. One of the most beloved hikes in the city, Twin Peaks is favored amongst tourists and locals. It’s sweeping views and relatively easy climb means it can get pretty crowded. However, follow an insiders tip and skip the Christmas Tree Point entrance and climb up Eureka Peak to take in stunning views without the fanny pack clad tourists.
Where to eat and drink nearby:
Head to the tiny Pomelo Restaurant in the Inner Sunset on Judah St. featuring an eclectic menu of Asian and European dishes. Try the Koh Samui – a spicy coconut curry with long beans and chicken over Jasmin rice, it’s especially comforting on a foggy evening. If you’re looking for an award-winning Bloody Mary and a nice table outside, head to Finnegan’s Wake in Cole Valley.
Views of San Francisco from the bayside-trail
Bayside Trail
From the Batteries to the Bluffs, the Bayside Trail is less than a mile but you’ll still get your sweat on since it’s jammed pack with tons of stairs. Not to worry, roundtrip this hike offers countless views from the Golden Gate Bridge to sea lions hanging around the coast. We’d be remiss not to mention the history of the Bayside Trail. The hike kicks off at an old lighthouse that used to be a searchlight shelter during World War I and II. Keep your eyes open for rabbits, hummingbirds and the occasional gray fox!
Where to eat and drink nearby:
Louis’ Restaurant is a classic diner that has great views of the ocean and a good breakfast and burger option, the fish n’ chips are also pretty tasty. It’s not flashy like the Cliff House next door, but the views are just as nice and price tag is a little easier on the wallet. If you’re looking to enjoy your post hike on the lawn with a cold beer and some snacks, go to Park Chalet adjacent to the Windmill at Golden Gate Park.
Views of San Francisco from Kirby Cove
Kirby Cove
As we swing into fall, we must mention Kirby Cove. Best known for its swing above the bay, Kirby Cove remains one of the ultimate hiking destinations just north of the city. Autumn is the ideal time to visit Kirby Cove, take a look up and scan the skies for migrating hawks, falcons and other birds. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, trek the steep trail directly to the cove and explore a grove of cypress, eucalyptus and pine trees. The views of San Francisco from the swing are gorgeous.
Where to eat and drink nearby:
Balboa Cafe Mill Valley (BCMV) is the next town over just a short distance from Sausalito located in the bucolic town of Mill Valley at the base of Mt. Tamalpais. Chef Howard Ko brings the fresh flavors of California to its modern American Bistro menu. BCMV offers the most exciting wine and cocktail experience in Mill Valley with unrivaled selections of premium spirits and an extensive collection of wine that is selected to complement Chef Howard Ko’s menu. View Menu

Views of San Francisco from Coit Tower

Coit Tower
You can’t talk about views in San Francisco without featuring the iconic Coit Tower perched above North Beach/Telegraph Hill neighborhood. Some may it’s a tourist trap but if you avoid the actual tower and find a perch along the edge of the hill, you’ll get to experience some of the most scenic views of the Bay and the Financial District.
Where to eat and drink nearby:
Grab a square slice at Golden Boy Pizza (the clam and the combo are favorites) on Green St. between Columbus and Grant and take it to go for a nice picnic while you enjoy the view at Coit Tower or saddle up to the bar and get a glimpse of old San Francisco with a dash of punk.  If you’re looking to rest your aching feet after a day of walking, pop into Orginal Joe’s for a full Italian-American meal featuring reasonably priced cocktails, wines on tap and big comfy booths. We recommend sitting in the bar to experience some local flavor.


PlumpJack Group Acquires Ladera Vineyard


Ladera Winery located on Howell Mountain

The PlumpJack Group is excited to announces the purchase of an 82-acre Howell Mountain vineyard and winemaking facility from Ladera Vineyards, which will be a natural extension of CADE Estate Winery, the first organically farmed LEED Gold Certified winery estate in Napa Valley founded by partners John Conover, Gavin Newsom and Gordon Getty. The acquisition is an ideal step for the ongoing evolution of The PlumpJack Group and CADE as a highly successful producer of acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyard is planted to 74 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and three acres of Sauvignon Blanc, providing a significant increase in premium quality, estate vineyard grapes for the CADE winemaking team. As part of the acquisition, Ladera Vineyards will continue to source fruit from the vineyard moving forward.

In this photo supplied by Cade Winery, Cade winery receive Gold Lede certification for their winery on Saturday May 1, 2010. Photo by John Storey/Cade Winery

Photo by John Storey/Cade Winery

“This is an extraordinarily exciting step for us as we approach CADE Estate’s tenth vintage,” said John Conover, managing partner and general manager of CADE Estate Winery. “We are honored to assume the responsibility for the stewardship of this remarkable piece of land. It is a beautiful property that has been impeccably planted and farmed, and is now producing some of the best fruit in the Napa Valley.”


Cade Vineyard on Howell Mountain

Located atop Howell Mountain at an elevation of more than 1,600 feet, the vineyard has been producing high quality grapes since 1877. In addition to acquiring the vineyards, the purchase includes the historic production facility, which CADE Estate Winery plans to use for elevated guest experiences and private events. Ladera Vineyards will continue to host tours and tastings at the winery through the end of the year and produce their 2016 vintage on-site. While CADE is purchasing a vineyard and winemaking facility from the Stotesbery family, it is not acquiring Ladera Vineyards, which will continue to make Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc from select hillside and mountain vineyards.

“While we have loved our role as the stewards of this special place, because our children have decided to pursue careers outside of wine, our Howell Mountain home had grown a bit big for us,” said Pat Stotesbery, Ladera’s Proprietor. “This sale will ensure that this remarkable vineyard and its winery are in great hands for decades to come, while allowing us to focus all of our energies on making the best wines possible for Ladera.”

The historic Howell Mountain winery, the 13th bonded winery in California, was one of the valley’s early gravity-flow facilities featuring the most modern technology of the era. “As leaders in green grape growing, winemaking and architectural practices today,” said Conover, “we feel a special kinship with this winery and the founders’ commitment to modernity and relevancy.”


Cade winemaker, Danielle Cyrot

Typical of Howell Mountain, the vineyard boasts rich, volcanic soils that produce bold, fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon and fresh, crisp Sauvignon Blanc. CADE Estate Winery will continue to produce its flagship varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc under the leadership of Winemaker Danielle Cyrot.

“This expansion of CADE Estate Winery speaks to the passion of The PlumpJack Group,” said Gavin Newsom, partner of The PlumpJack Group. “We are proud to continue the legacy of this extraordinary Howell Mountain estate.”

The acquisition of the Howell Mountain vineyard and winemaking facility adds to The PlumpJack Group’s impressive portfolio of award-winning wines, innovative restaurants and luxury resorts, each with a focus on the individual experience. “It has always been in PlumpJack’s growth plan to expand our presence in Northern California wine country, and we couldn’t have found a better fit with the acquisition of the neighboring vineyards from Ladera,” said Jeremy Scherer, co-president of The PlumpJack Group. “Not only is the vineyard and the land spectacular, we are very excited about expanding CADE Estate’s offerings.”

About CADE Estate
Perched high upon Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain among a dramatic hillside of Manzanita trees, CADE Winery is a unique, state-of-the-art facility producing an exquisite Estate Cabernet as well as an enticing Sauvignon Blanc and a rich Cabernet Sauvignon from local artisanal grapes. Having received its Gold LEED certification in 2009, CADE is the greenest winery estate in California. The name CADE derives from a Shakespearean term used for an oak cask or barrel. The estate comprises more than 54 acres, 21 of which were planted as vineyards in 2003. CADE is dedicated to the production of world-class wines through environmentally conscious innovation and is one of the architectural showplaces of Northern California’s wine country.


Conversations with Hilary: Academy-Award Winner, Blye Faust


Blye Faust with husband Aaron Faust at the Golden Globe Awards 2016

Blye Faust, Award-Winning Film Producer & Interior Designer
After a brief hiatus from Conversations with Hilary (lots of fun projects to be announced), I am back, and excited to feature my friend, the talented and dynamic, Blye Faust. Blye is not only the mother of two young boys and the wife of my friend Aaron Faust; she is a former entertainment lawyer, an accomplished interior designer, and maybe most impressive of all, is her role as Executive Producer of the award winning film, Spotlight (2016 Academy Award winner for Best Picture). This powerful film is not to be missed, if you have not seen it, please put it on your list of films to watch.

Blye is gracious and funny, and as always, I so enjoy getting to know the people that I admire even better through Conversations with Hilary. I hope you love this “Conversations” as much as I loved the interview. Blye’s true spirit really shines in these simple and straightforward answers.

What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment? 
My dudes (otherwise known as my family).

What qualities do you think others love about you? 
Reliable and steady to a fault; you will find no drama here!

If you could do anything other than what you currently do, what would it be?
An author with something to say.

What do you like most about what you do for a living/career? 
I get to pursue my passion and tell stories about people who inspire me on a daily basis.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? 
Check my email (I wish it wasn’t so, but it’s true).


Blye Faust’s husband Aaron with their two boys

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Hang out with my family after a long week.

What were you passionate about in your younger years growing up?
Horses & books.

What are you passionate about now?
Telling stories.

What’s your favorite season and why? 
Summer and all its possibilities; there is a freedom and carefree nature to it all that doesn’t come with the others.

If you were a cocktail or a drink what would it be?
Classic martini.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod? 
Hamilton soundtrack.

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? 
Queen Elizabeth I.

If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
Good To Be Here

Do you have any regrets? 
Never having officially lived in New York City for a period of time.

Define Freedom. 
The ability to share the truth without fear of repercussion.

What are your personal core values? 
Have fun, be kind, work hard, and think outside the box.

What three things would you bring with you on a desert Island? 
My two boys and my husband – surely the four of us together can figure out a way off…and have a few laughs in the process!


Blye & Aaron Faust with their son.

Keep up with Blye on her blog ispybyblye.com

September Is California Wine Month

September marks season’s change. Crisp air, crunchy leaves and, best of all, California Wine Month. For the twelfth year, we celebrate California’s vintners and growers while sampling the finest wines and culinary pleasures. Napa Valley is recognized for its world-famous wines, producing 4% of California’s wine and serving as home to over 600 wineries. We will be dedicating the month to some of our favorite vineyards across the northern region of California.

Odette Winery


Tasting Hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm,


Address: 5998 Silverado Trail, Napa Valley CA

This is where a vineyard becomes a fairytale. Experience the magic of California at Odette Winery, classic wines have a modern twist – they’re bold, unique and flavorful. Begin the month on a magical journey, with sprawling mountains and luxurious vineyards, Odette Winery is one with the land. Sample Chardonnay, Petite Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon to understand the purest expression of Napa Valley wines.

PlumpJack Winery


Tasting Hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, daily

Address: 620 Oakville Cross Rd, Oakville CA

Kick off your celebration of CA Wine Month with some of the finest quality Cabernet Sauvignon. The key to developing a quality Cabernet is perfecting the delicate balance between science and art. PlumpJack Winery’s head winemaker, Aaron Miller, prides the vineyard on its ability to produce a wine that “is strong enough to stand on its own, yet elegant enough to be enjoyed with food.” Placed in the heart and soul of wine country, our 42-acre estate in Oakville has been the site of wine production since the 1800s.



Tasting Hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, daily

Address: 360 Howell Mountain South, Angwin CA

California is all about healthy living and here at CADE our motto is, “think green, drink green.” Healthier soil develops a more natural wine. Founded in 2005 and inspired by Shakespeare’s reference to wine cades, CADE crafts powerful yet approachable flavors. Our winery is the first LEED Gold Certified estate winery within Napa Valley. Our renowned architecture is not only aesthetically pleasing but ecologically sound. The panoramic views and intriguing architecture make us the ultimate destination during your time in Napa. Throughout your celebration of wine month, make sure to sample our estate’s 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Honoring winemakers, tasters and creators, visit some of our favorite vineyards to get a taste – and sip – of all that Northern California has to offer. Hop in your car and explore, from lush fields to sprawling mountaintops – every vineyard offers something unique.

Marina PlumpJack Wine & Spirits


Store Hours: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm Monday-Saturday, 11:00am-6:00pm Sunday

Address: 3201 Fillmore Street, San Francisco CA

In 1992 PlumpJack’s first business, Marina PlumpJack Wine & Spirits, was officially opened providing San Francisco locals with an unique wine buying experience. Now twenty-four years later the shop continues to offer its patrons with a welcoming, educational and overall fun experience.

Stop in and discover a diverse collection of wines from around the world, carefully chosen by wine and spirits buyer, Paul Birman. The Fillmore location sells an enticing collection of very rare library wines for the discerning buyer and collector.

Noe Valley PlumpJack Wine & Spirits


Store Hours: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm Monday-Saturday, 11:00am-6:00pm Sunday

Address: 4011 24th Street, San Francisco CA

Recognized as one of Noe Valley’s neighborhood institutions, locals are invited to Noe Valley PlumpJack Wine & Spirts for their wine, spirits and craft beer purchases.

General Manager and buyer Josh Thinnes has created a place of unique value and you’re sure to find something special in our shop. From vintage Ports and Madeiras dating back to the early 1900s to unusual small production bottles our team can help in selecting no matter the occasion.

Insider Tips: Best Hikes in Marin County

If you want a break from the hustle and bustle, we have insider tips on the best hikes in Marin County with breathtaking views of the city and the dozens of hiking trails that get you there. While the list of hikes in Marin has virtually no end, we’ve rounded up our top three picks based on insider tips. Grab those hiking boots!

Cataract Loop Trail Best Hikes in Marin County

Cataract Loop Trail on Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County California

#1 Cataract Trail Loop on Mount Tamalpais
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 7.7 miles / 12.4 km
Duration: Half day
Mount Tamalpais State Park is the symbolic peak at the heart of Marin County and a beautiful change of scenery from the city to the woods. The loop offers panoramic views of the entire bay stretching to the Pacific Ocean. The most popular attraction is Cataract Falls; however, popularity comes with little secrecy, making the trail relatively packed during summer months. Our tip, and the best way to avoid crowds and ensure you can find a parking spot is to go on a weekday.
Click here for more tips and directions to the trail head.

Angel Island, Best Hikes in Marin County

Angel Island Fire Road Hike in Marin County California

#2 Angel Island Perimeter Fire Road
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.7 miles
Duration: Half day
If you’re looking for a more leisurely hike without skimping on the 360 degree view of the bay, Angel Island is your best bet. This loop is more than just a hike, you will encounter historic sites, beaches and picnic spots so pack some snacks and enjoy the view. Our insider tips are to A) check the weather. San Francisco Bay, especially at sea level, is prone to fog which would inhibit visibility of the main attraction! B) Check the Angel Island Ferry Schedule and plan your day ahead of time and don’t get stuck on the island overnight! Fun fact: you can take your bike to Angel via the ferry.

Point Bonita, Best Hikes in Marin County

Point Bonita in Marin County California

#3 Point Bonita Marin Headlands
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.1 miles

/ 6.6 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
When you see pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge with downtown San Francisco in the
background odds are they were probably taken in the Marin Headlands. The headlands offer
many long and short loops and trails, but this short hike leads to a beautiful historical sight
and a local favorite vista point. Point Bonita Lighthouse is a fully operational lighthouse with
fascinating history to be learned and experienced at the site. Don’t let the short distance lead you to believe this will be a boring walk; the hike is steep at points and requires crossing 2 suspension bridges. Insider tip: the tunnel to the lighthouse is open Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm, so plan accordingly so you don’t miss out on the beautiful

After you experience the local nature and vistas Marin has to offer, enjoy brunch (weekends) lunch or dinner at Balboa Cafe Mill Valley, a local favorite in historic Mill Valley. The restaurant is a short 10-to-15 minute drive from all of the hikes listed above!

Chef Howard Ko places an emphasis on sourcing the best ingredients from local farms and purveyors for his classic bistro menu with a modern twist. Your nature experience doesn’t have to end with the hike; alfresco dining is available during the summer months! A day trip to Marin is a must during your visit to San Francisco for a local experience full of beautiful hikes and delicious cuisine.

Summer Cocktail Sessions: Vermouth


Jacques Bezuidenhout’s collection of Vermouth. Photo Credit Antoinette Bruno for Star Chef’s piece on Vermouth.

Got Vermouth? Wildhawk, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, knows what it takes to produce seriously tasty cocktails using this sweet aperitif.

So what exactly is Vermouth, you ask? Vermouth is fortified wine flavored with various botanicals to add color and flavor. A few key ingredients you may taste include chamomile, coriander, juniper, gentian, saffron and wormwood. Traditionally white wine is used as the

base to produce a dry liquor native to France. The Italians are known for sweet vermouth, made with red wine.
More of a potion than a drink, vermouth was originally used as a medicinal tonic because of the spices and botanicals. Today, it is an awesome tool for any barman and with the right compliments can become your quintessential summer sidekick. While it has a longer shelf life than wine, it will start to oxidize after a month, so it is best to store your favorite bottle in the fridge.

How do I enjoy Vermouth?
Vermouth is diverse, delicious served neat or chilled, or as the ultimate summer cocktail base. Find one you like, add a splash of soda and enjoy with a twist of citrus.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can tackle the vermouth cocktail. Wildhawk favorite, Hip Hops, incorporates grapefruit, pineapple and hops for a refreshing summer libation. Check out the recipe below and make it yourself at home!
Hip Hops

2 ¼ oz Martini Ambrato
½ oz Grapefruit
½ oz Pineapple Gum
¼ oz Hops Tincture
Shake / D/Strain / Tall Sours
Garnish: Grapefruit Spiral

Can’t get enough vermouth? Visit Wildhawk in San Francisco and try their full menu of vermouth-based cocktails.


Vermouth Resources
At Wildhawk, vermouth is taken very seriously and veteran Bartender Jacques Bezuidenhout knows what he’s talking about when it comes to this underrated spirit:
“There are so many wonderful vermouths that are still undiscovered by many people, or are limited to consuming in Manhattans or Negronis. While classics are always loveable, sipping vermouth as a standalone drink is widely underrated. This is why we’ve implemented our vermouth program at Wildhawk – to give guests the opportunity to explore and learn more about the different styles of rosso, bianco and ambre. Vermouths are complex and chock full of aromas – chamomile, coriander, juniper, gentian, saffron and wormwood, to name a few. It’s great to play around with the different styles when developing cocktails! We feature an array of vermouths to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks and a curated selection of cocktails that are vermouth-forward. It’s also an aromatized and fortified wine, which means it’s low in alcohol content so guests can easily throw a couple back!”Jacques Bezuidenhout, partner, Wildhawk & Forgery in San Francisco

For more tips on how to drink and mix vermouth, check out his handy User’s Guide on Star Chefs!

A Journey Through Mexico Pop-Up at BCMV

Yucatan Mercado
Balboa Cafe Mill Valley (aka BCMV) is debuting a “Journey through Mexico” Pop-Up, highlighting regional flavors of Mexico that includes the Yucatan, Baja, Mexico City, and more. Forgery will be taking over the bar featuring bar stars Jacques Bezuidenhout, Ken Luciano  and Elizabeth Montana. Expect some Tequila and Mezcal flights, plus signature cocktails to pair with Howard’s Mexican-inspired menu.
Forgery Tequilas
The restaurant will feature the pop-up menu exclusively on August 28th for dinner service from 5-10pm. To make a reservation, call 415.381.7321 or book online through OpenTable.



Journey Through Mexico Pop-Up Menu

“Journey Through Mexico” Pop-Up Menu

JulyNewsletter_BonAppetiteAbout Howard Ko, Executive Chef Balboa Cafe Mill Valley
A renowned chef with a passion for innovative cuisine, Howard Ko is ideally suited to lead the culinary program at Balboa Cafe Mill Valley.  In his career to date, Ko has already worked at some of the industry’s most well-respected establishments – The Restaurant at Meadowood with Christopher Kostow, The French Laundry with Thomas Keller and in the kitchens of Goose & Gander in St. Helena, Melisse in Los Angeles, Hanilkwan in Osaka, and DB Bistro Moderne, Picholine and Daniel in New York.

Ko was raised in Koreatown in Los Angeles and fell in love with cooking at a very young age. After spending time in Los Angeles mastering the art of pastry making and baking, Ko traveled to New York to attend the Culinary Institute of America. As a student at the CIA, Ko assisted at Daniel on weekends to gain experience in the kitchen doing everything from peeling potatoes to cleaning mushrooms.

Making the move to Wine Country as Chef de Partie at The French Laundry in Yountville, Ko worked the line and focused on creating new dishes for the daily changing menu. From there he joined acclaimed chef Christopher Kostow at three-Michelin starred The Restaurant at Meadowood as Chef de Partie where he assisted at all stations and mentored the commis.

Ko accepted a position as chef de cuisine at his third Wine Country restaurant Goose & Gander off Main Street in St. Helena. As his final position before joining Balboa Cafe Mill Valley, Ko ran the kitchen and was responsible for putting a dramatic spin on the neighborhood eatery. Ko also introduced a shared plates concept, new flavors, and new techniques with the goal of bringing people together to taste different flavors.

As Executive Chef at Balboa Café Mill Valley, Ko will serve a seasonal menu with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients taking advantage of all Northern California has to offer. The menu will consist of market driven bistro classics with modern twists. Howard Ko lives in Napa with his fiancée, Wendy, and dog, Whiskey, and when he’s not in

the kitchen, enjoys CrossFit and growing his eclectic collection of cookbooks.


Pets Get Pampered at PlumpJack!

1603-Dog Ammenities-3 copy

The Hideaway Carmel is the perfect place to soak up

dog-friendly Carmel-by-the-Sea with nearby beaches, downtown steps away and nearby hikes. Meanwhile, your pooch will appreciate all of the nice amenities, including a cozy bed, treats and their own water and food bowls.


PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn is a dog paradise with miles of hiking trails; nearby rivers and lakes; plus their own table in the bar where they can take in Happy Hour from 4-6pm.


The Carneros Inn is perfect for the posh pet that likes the finer things and enjoys lounging in a bed of lavender or relaxing on the stoop of your private cottage.