December 1, 2021

This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge…
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered…

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
— For a New Beginning by John O’Donohue


Duck at the new TRUSS at Four Seasons Napa Valley in Calistoga

Dear friends ~

How is December already here?! While I haven’t been able to make this month’s potential press trips to Costa Rica, Venice, London and beyond work — it continues to be a complicated time to travel on short long haul trips — I’m doing closer-to-home travel catch-up (stay tuned for more regional travel articles), packing in ongoing newcomers and changes in food and drink at home, and savoring the holidays with family and friends.

In addition to my regular articles at The Bold Italic, my weekly dining column reviews one restaurant each week. I welcome those interested to follow me, or even sign up for a membership for my articles at Medium, which partially goes to support us as writers. Follow or support here. I thank you.

I truly appreciate gracious shout-outs like Charlotte Couturier of PR Couture for recommending me/The Perfect Spot in your “journalists you should start following” article — thank you, Charlotte!

Per usual, I’m posting my daily research in dining and drink at @ThePerfectSpot on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.


Lost Resort


The Latest5 New Bay Area Restaurants Worth Visiting, November 2021 Edition: From kosher Israeli takeout to a new Korean grocer, sunny Oaxacan neighborhood spot to cozy new restaurant inside a beer store + a new Calistoga (Napa Valley) destination. These five new restaurants are worth dining at now.
The Latest“California Washoku” Modern-Japanese Menus on at Nisei and Japan-style cocktails next door at Bar Iris.
The LatestThe Castro’s New Copas: Imparts a festive, collaborative vibe the space hasn’t exuded in a decade.
ImbiberSan Francisco Top 10 Bars 2021: My Distiller Magazine print feature on 10 of SF’s best bars now, and a history on the city’s pioneering bar scene, both in the 1800s and the past 20-30 years.

I am also available for consulting, moderating, leading classes and tastings and more (info at