UNIQUE EXPERIENCES NEAR AND FAR
UNIQUE EXPERIENCES NEAR AND FAR
By Gerrye Wong July 14, 2019
A unique culinary concept has come to life with the opening of a six story French cuisine Emporium that has brought life to San Francisco‘s Union Square. ONE65 is the new multilevel culinary concept envisioned by James Beard award winning Michelin starred chef and partner Claude Le Tohic. Its new design has transformed the historic Union Square building into a one-of-a-kind French culinary experience.
General Manager Olivier de Roany, right, welcomes Gerrye Wong to ONE65’s fifth floor O Restaurant.
Chef Le Tohic said, “My goal is to create a morning-to-night modern French culinary destination assessable to everyone, without pretense, offering high-quality cuisine in a friendly and welcoming environment. Each of our six floors has its own personality and its own menu to please everyone of San Francisco’s knowledgeable foodie audience. Right in the heart of San Francisco in Union Square at 165 O’Farrell St., ONE65 offers four distinct modern French dining experiences under one roof of the French Beaux-Arts building which was constructed in 1906 and is listed in the National Registry.
ONE65 server Brian and Chef Floyd Nunn present Escargot and Frog Legs appetizer.
Although all of the newly opened four floors of ONE65 is very welcoming and inspiring I decided to try ONE65 Bistro and Grill on this first visit. The upper floors of ONE65 had just opened after its well received patisserie on the first floor by travelers and locals alike. We found that each floor and restaurant has a distinctive palette and ambience reflecting ONE65s unique dining experiences. Getting off on the well marked elevator to the third floor, we found ONE65 Bistro and Grill to be the casual spot where one could have breakfast, lunch and dinner and Sunday brunch menus offering a wonderfully inviting Social vibe. We learned from our server Brian that an emphasis is on sustainability with the use of a wonderful setting of cork flooring and paneling created from recycled porcelain China – – a first in the United States.
ONE65 Manager Jordan DeVille and Calvin Wongs admire their Octopus entree at the Bistro Bar and Grill.
The space is bright, lively and warm, with an open kitchen that while we were sitting there connected us with the chefs and the food presentations in front of us. It was comfortably fun with our bar seating adjacent to the open kitchen which enabled us to watch the food preparers create the interactive‘s menus as we sat in the social setting. All meals are prepared using induction ranges and a Jasper charcoal oven imported from Spain exclusively for ONE65. Young men diners sitting next to us at the bar seemed to be enjoying the informality of the room too. From a very inviting menu, we chose and were served our first appetizer of Frog Legs & Escargots which were served in a delicious sauce of parsley, garlic butter and croutons. Chef Floyd Nunn served a most attractive Cauliflower salad with salmon encircled by curled thin strips of beef. Chef de Cuisine Jennifer Dewasha, a Toronto native, proudly told us that the personnel of all the restaurants totaled over 100 with chefs from all over the world, including Paris, Singapore, Peru, Brazil and Taiwan to name only a few of her international staff. She introduced us to my shelled whole Lobster entrée which sat on a tasty bed of spinach. My husband chose the day’s special of grilled octopus which was attractively presented alongside a stuffed squash flower and was succulent and tender.
ONE65’s Chef Claude LsTohic shows silver award received proclaiming him a top chef by the French Culinary Society in 2019..
Manager Jordan DeVille stopped by to welcome us saying we must try one of the most popular regular entrees on the menu so we enjoyed a lightly breaded toasted Skate Wing which we agreed was so light and tasty it could easily be seen as a favorite by many. A post dinner tour of all six floors of ONE65 and a meeting with Chef Claude Le Tohic was such a special experience, we knew we would have to return soon to enjoy the fourth floor relaxed lounge atmosphere, and definitely the fine dining experience of seeing the Master Chef Le Tohic in action on the fifth floor. He comically donned the Silver Chef’s Hat Trophy he had just been awarded by the French Culinary Society as top chef of the year when I was fascinated by this unique award displayed in the restaurant with the names of all the previous winners inscribed in this perpetual award.
Just opened last month, we know it will not be long before savvy San Franciscan locals and visitors will discover this unique offering of special French cuisine only a Michelin starred chef can bring to our fine area. For any and all occasions, ONE65 has a floor and menu and dining experience for everyone. Welcome ONE65 to the San Francisco scene.
WHISKING AWAY TO CANADA’S WHISTLER MOUNTAINS
Although in the past, people thought of Whistler Park in British Columbia, Canada as a place to go for snow activities and skiing, I had heard that there was a lot to do there in the summer too. So we flew up to Vancouver, took that 2 Hour drive to Whistler and found it a wonderful mecca of all types of accommodations as well as activities that people from young families to seniors could do while enjoying the Mountain air. Whistler is located in the spectacular coast mountains of British Columbia and is Canada‘s favorite year-round destination because there are two majestic mountains with a vibrant base village for skiing and snowboarding for the winter, besides four championship golf courses, unbeatable shopping and restaurants and bars and accommodations for every budget any time of the year.
Admiring the symbols at Whistler Village’s Olympic park area.
We saw people offered hiking trails, and so many activities that everyone was very busy and moving throughout the time we were there. One of the traditional old favorites to stay is at the Fairmont Château Whistler because it has so many activities daily for everyone. We were luckily there on July 1 which is Canada Day where they had a cake in the shape of the flag as well as the flag raising activity. We were all thrilled to sing the national anthem with the Tenors who are famous in Canada. Later in the evening the tenors performed in the open grass area of the Olympic Plaza for families to enjoy outdoors. A parade followed along at the Whistler Village which was fun for everyone to see and enjoy too.
Admiring display at the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre in Whistler.
Whistler has a scenic pathway, named the Cultural Connector that links significant cultural institutions to visit. We went to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre to learn more about the Indian tribe that had been in British Columbia’s area for many many years. Being a foodie of course we wanted to enjoy the Wildflower restaurant of the Château Fairmont which specialized in local fare using sustainable and fresh produce from the area. The master chef Derek came out and told us about his continual search for local products using Canadian cooking styles to suit everyone’s pleasure and we enjoyed the meal there very much surrounded by the magnificent scenery from the open windows.
Chef Derek of Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s Wildflower Room visits with diners of his popular restaurant.
Lynn Henderson, Public Relations Manager, welcomed us to the magnificent Fairmont Chateau Whistler, and directed us golfers to the hotel’s famed Chateau Whistler Golf Course. With its long fairways and mountainous terrain, it was indeed a challenging experience but if a ball went astray, one could still be happy just enjoying the mountain scenery surrounding us. While there we met golfers from all over the world who agreed this was an exceptionally beautiful golf terrain to play at.
General Manager Jason Lowe welcomes avid golfers to his popular BC Golf Nicholas North Golf Club.
While young families could be seen hiking, biking, zip-lining, and riding the gondola up the mountain, we seniors faint of heart decided BCGolf’s noted Nicholas North Golf Course was more our speed. General Manager Jason Lowe told us that Nicholas North was opened in 1996 and is very popular because people feel it has more flat land and five sets of tees. Obviously it is popular because 24,000 rounds of golf are played in the months between May to October. It’s location at the mountain floor of Whistler is very easily located and people seem to go there to eat at its famous Table 19 restaurant as well as play a wonderful round of golf. It was said that there was a resident mama bear there with her two cubs roaming around the day we played but alas, we didn’t get to see her. BC golf is very popular in Canada and Nicholas North is one of the favorites that I have had the pleasure to play. The Gene Lims and we found the staff was welcoming and friendly, and the course a great place to not only soak in the scenery but to enjoy a wonderful round of golf.
LOCAL GOOD TIMES
When I was looking for some action in downtown San Jose recently, I went to 3Below theaters and Lounge on 2nd street and found a side splitting adult parity called DISENCHANTED. It was said to make you blush and feel nostalgia at the same time and the five ladies who played the Disney characters from Cinderella to Mulan were hilarious throughout. The women in the audience seemed enchanted by the talent of these ladies who spent the whole two hours singing and dancing and making quips that you couldn’t stop laughing about. Congratulations to Shannon Guggenheim and her husband Scott who are bringing live theater to downtown San Jose.
Sylvia Eng, Joanne Tanabe, Ginger Lai and I had the pleasure of meeting the active female stars of the show following the production and congratulated them on a valiant effort for making a very enjoyable evening for the audience. You still have a chance to see it as it runs until July 21.
Stars of Disenchanted greet patrons of their show.
3Below’s next production is the Wizard of Oz sing-along 80th anniversary which will have lions and tigers and bears in a sing-along oh my! It starts on July 26 and only plays for two nights so don’t miss it.
If you only want to come down halfway down the peninsula from San Francisco, Broadway by the Bay is going to have a wonderful comedy coming up on August 9 which is the divine musical comedy based on the hit film SISTER ACT. I loved the movie with Whoopie Goldberg and this all new production will feature the countless unforgettable songs from the Tony award nominated Broadway show including, “Take me to heaven” and “Fabulous Baby.” When the movie first came out in the 1990s it was very popular and a great comedy so I am sure that Broadway by the Bay will present as usual a very professional and fun loving show with local talent.
The Fox theater is a great venue and it’s so nice to be a part of the Redwood City scene which is very lively nowadays with many sidewalk restaurants during the summer. The show closes August 25 so run and get your tickets now. I always say what better way to escape the stresses of today’s world than to go to theater and enjoy a good laugh with a clever comedy. I think this might be it !
One of the greatest pleasures in life I have found in my senior life is being surrounded by friends at a dinner table. Here are some examples of being in a circle of friendship enjoying local cuisine of the day.
Diners admire calligraphy wall of Bushido Restaurant
Bushido on the busiest street of Castro in Mountain View is one of the favorites for all those who enjoy a quiet time enjoying Japanese cuisine. My monthly group called the Fun, Friendship and Foodies enjoyed being in a very relaxing atmosphere and finding new and unusual Japanese dishes on the menu to savor
The Meet and Eat group gathered at Yum Cha Palace in Menlo Park
. On another occasion a group once called the Meet and Eat group (ME) enjoyed having very delightful dim sum in Menlo Park at the Yum Cha Palace. Our ME group was known for making beautiful jewelry, knitting scarves and hats, and seeing the latest movies together for the past 14 years organized by our leader Helen Kwan. We reminisced recently we had wonderful memories of all the times we got together monthly so our last time together was a culmination of remembering all of the activities, trips and lunches that we had shared good times at.
Silicon Valley ladies enjoy dining at Santa Clara’s China Stix Restaurant
If you have special friends that you enjoy meeting and dining with, send me pictures of your groups so that we can share them with our readers too. In this way we can learn about new restaurants other groups have enjoyed dining at and learning about new activities to try. There’s no greater pleasure in life than being surrounded by a circle of friends enjoying the active restaurant scene of the Bay Area..