All roads lead to Rome. And from this rooftop restaurant at the Old World Hotel Mediterraneo, I can see the web of boulevards and alleys that make up the Roman experience. In the distance, the majestic dome of St. Peter’s glimmers, a statement of the power of the Vatican. Rome is so much to taste and experience. It’s a busy, crumbling corrupt old place so at the end of a Bataan Death March day of sightseeing, it is nice to come back to a hotel that feels like home.
Okay, the name is a bit of an eye-roller but at this downtown Pleasanton wine bar (run by the former owner of Sunol’s Elliston Vineyards), great times will definitely roll as you sample impressive Livermore Valley wines from Ruby Hill, Concannon, Elliston, Nottingham, Fenestra and more. Wines are available in flights, as well as by the glass or bottle, and pair well with a generous menu of inspired soups, salads, and bistro fare. Sure, there’s the requisite cheese and antipasto plates but there’s much more, too: Crab Cakes and Thai Chicken Skewers and a Papaya Chicken Salad that has made its way onto our “must steal this recipe” list. A long bar draws crowds into the welcoming space freshly appointed with champagne and burgundy-colored walls and dotted with local art. Leather couches by the fire or the outdoor terrace make for great spots to sip and sample on the historic end of Railroad Avenue near the Firehouse Arts Center and the old-time drive-thru dairy.
4469 Railroad Ave
(between Division St & Neal St)
Pleasanton, CA 94566
The summer was short. The trips were wanderlicious. Here was a great day in Firenze, the Renaissance beauty of Italy. We drank it all in. And then we dived into the nearest pool. Saluté!
Narrated by winemaker Michael Beaulac of Pine Ridge Winery, Napa Valley.
I’ve been writing about wine long enough to have met lots of interesting people. Here’s a clip about Nancy and Gary Andrus founders of Pine Ridge Winery in the Stag’s Leap District of Napa Valley. This is one of three video pieces that I produced for the new launch of Forefront wines by the Crimson Wine Group. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YozUKNrIP8&feature=youtu.be