November 1, 2017

“…if your work is important, you don’t need to segregate it from the rest of your life. In fact, the more passionate you are about your living, the happier you are to be around people who share your convictions. The line between work and free time erodes and you are granted access to a curious bliss where one is always working and always free.” — “By the Smoke & the Smell” by Thad Vogler

My first Perfect Spot newsletter in May 2007

Impossible to believe: 10 years ago marks the year I started the Perfect Spot newsletter with the help of my husband who designed my first site.

He encouraged me to launch this as a writer who was so obsessed with where to eat and drink, keeping extensive spreadsheets for many cities and categories, visiting over 10 restaurants and bars a week, being sought out as a daily resource by friends and strangers on where to go and what to eat/drink in my hometown of SF and wherever I am traveling.

Little did I know that this humble site would change everything as I just one year later became the food and drink critic at the Bay Guardian, then Zagat SF Editor, then national editor over 15 cities at Table8, a regular Liquor.com columnist, Distiller Magazine editor/writer and food & drink writer for Time Out SF… in addition, I have written for over 50 publications worldwide; judged in countless cocktail, cooking and spirits competitions and awards; and speak on all things food and drink from intimate company settings to major forums like The Commonwealth Club.

The root of it all is the research and the relationships: the thousands of menus I’ve tried from over 600 restaurant and cocktail bar visits EACH YEAR … for over 15 years now. There are all the ongoing travels worldwide in countless countries and cities, many of which I return to often. The visionary, dedicated people I meet in this industry the world over have become my friends, my community and my joy to know, learn from and write about. The creators whose dishes, drinks, foods, spirits, wines, beers and ciders I’ve tasted are nothing less than inspiring. I reflect on these 10 years with awe and gratefulness, looking forward to expectantly to the next decade.

Thank YOU for reading, engaging and following along as you travel, eat and drink in your own cities and beyond. I am ever grateful… here’s to the next 10.

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El Paseo’s buttermilk fried quail over watermelon

To continue rebuilding aid to the thousands who have lost their homes and businesses in NorCal wine country, ChefsGiving is an important region-wide effort happening this month & an ideal way to get involved.

Our latest print issue of Time Out Magazine is out (where to pick up a copy here) — I wrote the cover story on six notable Bay Area breweries plus articles reviews in the food & drink sections, all here. In my weekly Time Out column, I cover three restaurants with new chefs reinventing themselves here and the top 5 dishes of the month here.

At Liquor.com, I share 8 under-the-radar, more affordable Scotch whiskies, and share about an off-the-beaten-path Portland bar that is like stepping into another era — and has a second Japan location on the way.

This issue:
Top TastesThree Restaurants With New Chefs, New Menus, New Focus: From SF to Marin, three restaurants reinventing themselves and worth revisiting now.
The LatestThe Latest Print Issue of Time Out: The state of Bay Area craft beer in my cover story, my latest new restaurant and bar reviews, chef and wine shop owner interviews and more.
Top Tastes5 Top Dishes of the Month: Includes dessert, Indian, burgers and New Orleans’ cuisine.
Imbiber Behind Danny Louie’s Inspired Cocktail Menu at Mister Jiu’s

As your personal concierge who tells it like a good friend would, I also create personalized itineraries: trips, meals, explorations (under “Services“).

Virginia

LINKS to Social Media & Articles:

Time Out Food & Drink
Liquor.com
Table8, National Editor
(2015-2017)
Food Republic
Zagat SF Editor
(2014-2016)