Monday, June 7, 2010

Happy Birthday

Am I allowed to talk about my birthday on my blog? Isn't that almost like fishing for birthday wishes? Well like I've said many times before... this is my blog so I get to write about whatever I wish! And today - I'm going to talk about my birthday! OK not really specifically my birthday, but one of the things I did for my birthday! Brunch at Navio at the Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay.

Navio gave me a little gift of chocolates!

My appetizer plate - ♥ all the seafood!

Not 1, not 2, but 3 types of caviar!!
Trout roe, Paddlefish caviar and Whitefish caviar...

My Auntie Betty and Uncle Bruce started me down the road to Foodie-ville when I was but a wee baby of 20 years old. They took me to a "fancy shmancy" dinner at Charles Nob Hill which at the time prided itself on claiming Ron Siegel - the first American chef to win on the Japanese Iron Chef. Needless to say, I was hooked. We have since made our way down the very extensive San Francisco Michelin Star list as it has grown and changed over the years.

My "entree" plate. I was already stuffed by this point!
Duck breast, fruit, prime rib and even dim sum

Various ways to eat your caviar - here's my way:
blinis topped with crème fraiche, caviar and chives

Navio at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay isn't on the list, but that didn't stop me. I'd been hearing about the brunches at Navio for years now. And we all know that dining at just about any Ritz is always a sublime experience.

Walking lunch off ~~~ Gorgeous sushi!

My auntie and uncle live in Half Moon Bay, so I'm out there fairly frequently and *LOVE* visiting the Ritz. Not to mention the hotel boasts my very favorite New England shingle-style architecture. It sits up on a small bluff over the ocean. And let's not forget - it's frequently cool and overcast, which to me - adds to the charm.

SO many little desserts!

My dessert plate: pana cotta, tropical tapioca, mango pavlova,
tiramisu, chocolates and macs!

I was already stuffed and Auntie brought me this freshly
made crepe with apricots and cream

I decided I'd treat myself to Navio's famous brunch for my birthday this year. And lucky me, Auntie and Uncle are always willing to partake! We had high expectations of course, but the Ritz somehow managed to surpass even our expectations! I guess I wasn't prepared for even a buffet to be so amazing and top notch.

Beautiful breads and pastries!!

Carving it up! I ♥ prime rib.

From the sushi, freshly shucked oysters and three kinds of caviar... the table filled with imported cheeses and shelves of breads and pastries...
...and the dim sum, ceviche, crab salad and ahi tuna salad... roasted lamb, prime rib and roast duck breast...
...and that's just on TOP of the regular breakfast foods...
...not to forget the desserts... OH THE DESSERTS...

Macarons! The cookie was great. The flavor could have been better...
(but I'm so critical of macarons)

This chocolate was filled with peanut butter and jelly!

It was a fabulous birthday brunch, only made better by fabulous birthday brunch companions.

And then after stuffing oneself silly, you can stroll the STUNNING grounds. Nap by a firepit. Smell the sea air and gaze over the golf course grounds. Or even walk the coastal trail which runs along the ocean.

It was a foggy day - as it usually is in Half Moon Bay

These two are like second parents to me

I love it here

This brunch was yesterday. My birthday was today. And it was all fabulous. I love my friends and my family - everyone made me feel so loved. And this being a *tough* year - it was all I could have asked for and more.


  1. happy birthday, lisa! that place looks awesome. you have a way of making the cold fog seem lovely. obviously, the food looks amazing as well. i'm adding it to my list =]. i also wanted to say thanks for your posts! my auntie karen referred me to your website last weekend because she knows i love baking. i tried your macaron recipe, and it is the best batch i've made so far (out of 4, now)! i actually didn't try the passionfruit filling-- i'll save that for when i have mastered the macaron, or it will be a very expensive fail! i'm also completely intrigued by the idea of the daring bakers. i may have to join someday. thanks for being an inspiration! have a great week!

  2. Happy belated birthday Lisa! Navio looks fabulous for brunch! I haven't found too many brunch spots up here that have been worth a return trip, so I'll definitely have to check out Navio.

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh that food looks AMAZING! Seafood platter? Has me drooling. I'm jealous as possible! Glad to see you had a wonderful day =)

  4. Happy Birthday! I found your blog from Dessert First and I am loving it so far! ( I am from the bay area too!) I love tea and your tea postings. :)

    Thanks for sharing.

    By the way....I love your post about Martha Stewart!


  5. I love them all! From the place to the food and to the one who celebrated the birthday!

  6. Happy Belated Birthday! It looks really wonderful! What a fabulous way to spend your birthday.

  7. Thank you all so much for your birthday wishes!!! I love my "fans"! Heehee!!

  8. Happy Belated Birthday Lisa! Found your blog via URB, and really enjoy reading your postings. I attended a wedding at the Ritz in Laguna Beach in April. The location was breathtaking, but the food was terrible! I was so disappointed. Navio here looks so delicious.

    I also enjoyed your Tea Shower posting. I see Martha Stewart in you and your family.