Every Golden State Warriors fan, which is probably every one of you reading this unless you’re in Cleveland, knows Nicole Curran. She’s the most stylish lady in the team’s colors sitting courtside at every home game at Oracle Arena—right next to her fiancé, Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob—and she’s president of the Warriors Community Foundation, the charitable arm of the reigning NBA champs. In her previous life she was a high school teacher in Washington, D.C. and Arizona, head of sales and marketing at La Jota Vineyard and a portfolio manager at LVMH, where she basically schmoozed buyers into drinking and buying Krug, Dom Pérignon and Veuve Clicquot. In addition to knowing Napa well, she’s also intimate with the city and the South Bay—the couple resides primarily in Atherton and has a home in St. Helena. Therefore, who better to share their guide to the San Francisco Bay Area than Curran. Here are her hautest haunts.
Where were you born? Washington D.C.
What year did you move to the Bay Area? I moved to Angwin in 2001. The stories I could tell of a single, city girl living in Angwin are hysterical. I had a potbelly stove to warm the 100-year-old winery I lived in. I had to feed it wood every two hours. It was a life altering experience.
Where have you lived in the Bay Area and what’s your favorite? Since moving here I have lived in Angwin, Rutherford, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill and Atherton. They are all very different and yet they are all a part of me. It would be hard to pick a favorite. I will never move out of Northern Cal.
What’s your favorite all-time local restaurant? I have a few favorite places. Evvia for romance. Village Pub for long, laugh-filled lunches with my girlfriends. Milagros with friends on away game nights. They had me at skinny margarita.
Where do you go to celebrate a big win? We usually celebrate with friends in the Bridge Club in the Roaracle. We do shots of tequila on big game wins and invite all of the WAGS (wives and girlfriends) in to join us in a toast. I am also prone to the late-night, post-game hunger pangs so you could find me at Mc Donald’s getting an Egg McMuffin.
Where do you go after a tough loss? After a tough loss I have to sit in the car with Joe, in silence—no tequila to quell the pain and no McMuffin. I usually sneak a Jimmy Dean sausage and egg croissant in the microwave and crawl under the covers. The glamour never ends.
Favorite movie theater: We go to Redwood City 20 all the time. We love movies! I wish we could get a theater down here that has food and wine service and reserved seats like SF has.
Favorite jewelry store: Joe buys all of my jewelry. My latest favorite is Jason of Beverly Hills. He designed my all-time favorite piece, my championship ring.
Favorite wine shop: My favorite wine shop is by far K & L. They are knowledgeable and attentive. David Driscoll sorts out all my wine needs and helps me with the occasional hard to get scotch too.
Best sushi: You would think California would have a ton of good sushi. Like U2, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. Readers help!
Best steak: Press in St. Helena. I swear the only reason Joe let me get a house in Napa was because it was walking distance to Press.
Best Italian: I need to spend more time in North Beach. I haven’t found a truly authentic Italian place here on the Peninsula. The last time I had a great Italian meal in Northern California was in Modesto.
Best brunch: I am old school about brunch. Nothing beats fries and an awesome Bloody Mary—Zuni Café all the way.
Best Mexican: Milagros and Hecho.
Best dessert: I am going to piss a lot of people off here. I don’t like dessert. I drink my fruit.
Best place for cocktails: I love a good cocktail and actually went to cocktail school so I am a tough critic on this one. I have many favorites, but the Most Creative award goes to my friend Scott Beattie over at Meadowood.
Favorite hotel for out-of-town guests: My house or Auberge du Soleil, which is probably another reason we got a Napa house. When I used to get mad at Joe, I would go check myself into Auberge.
Favorite escape within driving distance: I love escaping to Napa. It really is so special, and I can be alone there and not feel alone. It continues to take my breath away. If I ever need alone time the deck at Auberge never disappoints.
Favorite shopping venue/boutique: I usually shop when we are on the road. OK not in Cleveland. I prefer New York, Miami and LA. I also have a terrible online shopping problem. I am thinking of giving online shopping up for Lent. Net-A-Porter is my weak spot. Why do they have to make it so easy?
Best spa: My favorite spa would have to be Solage in Calistoga. How can you resist mud body painting?
Best nail salon: I am high maintenance when it comes to travel and drink. I am not that good at caring for myself. I go to my local nail place, Cindy’s.
Best hair salon: I usually cut my own hair. Sometimes when it gets too long and I can’t reach it, I have Joe cut it.
Best gym/athletic facility/class: I was in great shape last year until we got to The Finals and I stopped my personal training sessions. I used a personal trainer, John J Fitness. I got Joe the personal training sessions as a gift. He never used them so John J became my trainer. He is awesome. I had a few friends join me and a good portion of them threw up their first time—but they all came back wanting more.
Best place to buy holiday gifts: I have a huge holiday shopping list these days and do it all myself. I am partial to K & L, Gumps and Emily Joubert. I always get lured into shopping from my buzz after a champagne-fueled Christmas lunch at Neiman Marcus.
Best place to take your dogs for a walk: I have three dogs, and they are very smart. They need exercise. They go out with a dog trainer three times a week. She keeps them in check and me sane. I love to spoil them and buy them treats, and dare I say, outfits. Bow Wow Meow has a great selection. When I lived in the city, I had one dog and took her on the Crissy Field to walk all the time. I miss her and that walk.
Best place to watch a Warriors game other than Oracle Arena: I love watching out of town games at Milagros down here or at High Tops in SF. I always go to away games on Wednesday at High Tops. It is Bingo night too, and I am one competitive girl.
Best charity event: Speaking of competitive, my favorite charity event is the Warriors Community Foundation Charity Poker Event. I know you think I am biased here. It is so much fun! Every table has one of our players at it and if you knock them out they have to sign their jersey and give it to you. The players love it, I love it and everyone walks away saying it was the best night of their lives—not to mention all the proceeds go to grants that help change the course in the lives of underserved youth in SF and Alameda County.