April 15, 2018

“It’s a delightful feeling to be not yet quite awake, taking a few silent moments to enjoy the fact of not being subject to the laws of work, rubbing your eyes in a display of sympathy for yourself and, when the palpable aroma of hot coffee rises, you finally sit down before you’re steaming bowl and give a friendly squeeze to the brioche as you tear it apart; then you slowly dip a piece in the bowl of caster sugar in the middle of the table and with your eyes half closed you acknowledge – and no need to tell yourself as much – the bittersweet quality of happiness.”— The Gourmet/Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery

Thai Ball cocktail at Redbird, Los Angeles

Sunny, summery days and blustery rainstorms… it feels like spring. A beautiful weekend in Napa and Sonoma counties brought me both blue skies and rainfall inspiration (and I sure loved judging Wine Country bar talent in a rousing cocktail competition at Griffo Distillery in Petaluma this weekend). Here’s to the new life and blossoming of Spring.

It was a privilege to lead a panel of industry experts and friends on drink trends now during the Golden Gate Restaurant Association’s (GGRA) two-day industry conference last week (pictured left). Another great dive into an industry I’m proud to be part of.

Come join me in Peru! With demand to extend our deadline, we have moved our culinary adventure in the Andes mountains’ town of Cusco (gateway to Machu Picchu) trip to November. Please come join me as we explore the unique Asia-meets-South-America cuisine that is Peruvian food. I will be the host of a “dig deep” food tour. Details here at Adios Adventure Travel (more on my past food and pisco-making adventures in Peru here).

Check out the latest in my weekly Time Out, Liquor.com and WineAccess columns.

Granola & yogurt for breakfast at Lokma

This issue:
The Latest
Top New Restaurant Openings of the Month: Best new SF restaurants include spots serving Nepalese/Indian, Italian, Cal-Med and Turkish food.
Imbiber5 Top New American Bars: Destination-worthy newcomers in San Francisco, Austin, Nashville, Las Vegas and Santa Barbara.
Imbiber
Top 11 Cocktails Around the Country Now: At bars/restaurants from SF to Vancouver, Nashville to New Orleans, the people and places making standout drinks.
Imbiber11 Best New SF/Bay Area Bars, Spring Edition

As your personal concierge who tells it like a good friend would, I create personalized itineraries; provide food and drink consulting for restaurants and bars; and classes at companies for the layperson wanting to dig deeper in food and drink (more info here).

Virginia

LINKS to Social Media & Articles:

Time Out Food & Drink
Liquor.com International
Table8, National Editor
(2015-2017)
Wine Access Restaurant & Wine Column
Food Republic
Zagat SF Editor
(2014-2016)
Editor, Distiller Magazine
Liquor.com Drinkwire

SF Bay Guardian Critic (2009-2013)
Where Magazine