Charin, a secretive new tasting menu-only restaurant

10 Must-Eat Dishes to Call Yourself a San Franciscan, Best of Alameda, New SF Openings, Cheap Eats Hotspot in Napa, Fall Cookbooks

My Top Food Articles: September 1-15 Photos and articles by Virginia Miller From my many articles a week as Zagat Editor, I summarize and link to some coverage highlights here – you can follow along on Twitter @ZagatSF, where I post daily, or on my own @ThePerfectSpot via Twitter or Facebook. New Bay Area Openings CHARIN, a secretive new dinner… Read more →

Smoke and Pickles

10 Notable Food Books of 2013

2012 was an excellent year in cookbooks, holding in its months treasures like Nancy Singleton Hachisu’s inspiring Japanese Farm Food, Lonely Planet’s comprehensive Food Lover’s Guide to the World, the Middle Eastern mash-up from Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem, Photographer Todd Selby’s artful masterpiece, Edible Selby, or Magnus Nilsson’s fairytale ode to rustic Swedish cooking, Faviken. 2013 has likewise… Read more →

Drunken Botanist

Best Drink Books of 2013

Here are some of the best or noteworthy drink books released this year so far, with one (Whiskey Women) out in October 2013. THE COCKTAIL LAB – Tony Conigliaro ($29.99) London’s experimental cocktail genius, Sicilian Tony Conigliaro, blessed drink aficionados with his book, Drinks, last year in the UK, just released this summer in the US under the name, The… Read more →


6 Fall Food & Drink Book Recommendations

These six noteworthy new books are either just released or out this fall. THE BLUE BOTTLE CRAFT of COFFEE: Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes – James Freeman, Caitlin Freeman, Tara Duggan Since its first kiosk in January 2005, Blue Bottle has been my first choice in coffee, from ethos (served immediately, individually, beans sold fresh after roasting) to taste. Musician… Read more →


8 New Food & Drink Book Recommendations

These eight books are new spring releases, among the best of what has landed on my desk this year. TRADITIONAL DISTILLATION: ART & PASSION – Huber Germain-Robin Anyone who knows US craft distilling knows Hubert Germain-Robin, one of the pioneers in the American craft distilling movement. He was making world class, French-style brandies (he is French, after all) since the… Read more →


What I’m Reading Lately: Food Trucks, Mission Innovation, America’s Bars

I’m always reading – often not related to food or drink (give me poetry, classic literature, non-fiction, memoirs, religion and philosophy – I devour it all). But on the imbibing front, there are ever intriguing reads and resources to share… Food Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbably Restaurant – Anthony Myint & Karen Leibowitz Leave it to… Read more →


Two Intriguing New Food Memoirs From Grant Achatz & Gabrielle Hamilton

Just released in early March, here are two new reads I’d recommend not only for foodies but for fans of absorbing, well-crafted memoir. Life, On the Line – Grant Achatz & Nick Kokonas When Alinea’s chef genius Grant Achatz writes a memoir, it’s destined to get buzz amongst foodies. When this visionary chef was diagnosed with stage four tongue cancer,… Read more →


5 Books for Holiday Gift-Giving

For the foodie and drink hounds among you, here are a few recent book releases to delight and enlighten. FOR THE WINO Secrets of the Sommeliers by Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay – Secrets of the Sommeliers, a new book from local SF treasures (sommelier extraordinaire Rajat Parr and drink writer Jordan Mackay) is the best wine book to come… Read more →


3 New Food Books: Mark Twain, New Orleans, Sunset’s New Cookbook

These three books (one factual journey, one memoir, one cookbook) have two things in common: they’re all new this year and centered around food. TWAIN’S FEAST – Andrew Beahrs Andrew Beahrs, an East Bay local, displays his affection for the great Mark Twain in this thoroughly researched book. Twain’s Feast explores the history of foods Twain waxed eloquent about that… Read more →