Amidst the lush browns of Spruce‘s elegant, candlelit back dining room, I took part in a unique, intimate dinner hosted by Plymouth Gin on April 14th in honor of St. George’s Day. A small group of writers enjoyed an hours-long, five-course dinner from skilled Spruce chef, Mark Sullivan, paired with five stunning cocktails from their mixologist, Brandon Clements (plus classic… Read more →
This article was first published here at Table8 where I am national editor. It’s been a busy month of San Francisco openings. The key restaurant and bar openings of November are The Saratoga, Onsen, Sofia Cafe, August 1 Five, Milan import Panino Giusto in Cupertino, The Roosevelt Sip ‘N’ Eat, from NYC to SF: Babu Ji, Kenzo, Flores, Phlox Commons.… Read more →
– Top 10 Dishes & Openings of the Month: Look for a new red sauce haven, red beet naan, lobster fricassee and a new hidden Japanese/sushi meal to rival the best in Japan.
– Top 6 Tokyo Meals: In one of the world’s best food cities, here just a few of the unreal glories (and 3 of the best meals of my life).
– Tofino Wines: The new wine bar/shop (with great bites and sherry selection) to make me rethink wine bars.
– Aspen Food & Wine Classic: Highlights from food to wine, parties and seminars to new products. Read more →
Almost daily, I’m tasting a wide range of spirits, wines and beers, whether at restaurants and bars, distilleries, wineries or breweries or as samples crossing my desk. For March, here are recently-released spirits standouts. WhistlePig Old World Series: Sauternes, Madeira, Port ($117.99) WhistlePig’s Old World Series was just released, showcasing WhistlePig Rye aged in three different types of wine casks… Read more →
Though I’ve visited a number of times over the past 15 years, 3 visits to Seattle within a recent 7 month period has me up-to-date on restaurant and cocktail/bar newcomers as well as caught up on some classics I always meant to visit (hello, Canlis!) Though many visits later, I don’t find myself having that “soul connection” I can feel… Read more →
THE PALACE, Outer Mission (3047 Mission St. between 26th and Capp, 415-666-5218) Think spruced-up dive, a corner restaurant long housing Palace Family Steak House, where Mission and 26th Streets meet Cesar Chavez. It’s now called simply The Palace. Here Chef Manny Torres Gimenez and wife/General Manager Katarina showcase Gimenez’ five-course tasting menu for a reasonable $50, or a small a… Read more →
The most expensive thing I ever drank may be one of only 12 bottles of Dalmore’s Sirius Scotch with Master Blender Richard Paterson, a blend of vintages all the way back to 1868… or maybe it was 1865 Rouyer Guillet & Co. cognac shared by Salvatore Calabrese at Tales of the Cocktail 2010. Most recently, however, it was Legacy by… Read more →
“Adventure is not outside man; it is within.” – George Eliot This April, the Bay Guardian came out with their special food & drink FEAST magazine, and I wrote an article on herbs and produce in cocktails for the issue… plus my usual twice-weekly Guardian column (see articles below). But for the Perfect Spot, there’s plenty more. Top Tastes include… Read more →
SPIRITS • For someone who’s every day is a taste adventure, I will say a private Russell’s Room tasting at Bourbon & Branch of Highland Park scotches was one of the most memorable I’ve ever been privileged to be a part of. There are only two such tastings going on in the country: here and in New York. I felt… Read more →
650 Gough Street 415-869-1900 www.smugglerscovesf.com I’m crazy about all things Tiki and its accompanying kitsch… which is why I’ve long been a fan of Alameda’s Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge. Martin Cate helped make that bar great with his cocktails, going beyond the usual too-sweet, one-note swill often paired with such a setting. Though he departed Forbidden Island awhile back, we’ve… Read more →