Apr
15
2014

April 15, 2014

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.” William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Guam cuisine at Prubechu

Guam cuisine at Prubechu

Recently back from Seattle, I then headed immediately to New York to work on a Top 100 Bites & Drinks in Manhattan project via one minute videos with Tastemade (best viewed via phone app). Also, here are my new articles at 7×7 Magazine and Zagat, the latter featured in Imbiber below.

This issue:

A re-imagined Appletini from Claire Sprouse at The Square in my Zagat spring cocktail article

Re-imagined Appletini at The Square in my Zagat spring cocktail article

The LatestYou Haven’t Had Thai Like This: Painstaking recipes and ingredients with Thai-influenced cocktails at the best new Thai restaurant in town.
Imbiber10 Best Spring Cocktails: My 10 photo slideshow/article for Zagat on the top spring cocktails in SF.
The LatestGuam Island Breezes: Gourmet Chamorro (Guamanian) food and a 5 course tasting menu steal.
Imbiber7 Washington Craft Spirits You Should Know: Standouts after trying dozens of new small batch spirits hitting Washington state.

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

Virginia

CLICKABLE LINKS to Social Media & Articles:
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Zagat
7×7 Magazine
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**Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Virginia Miller**

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Written by in: Intro Letter |
Apr
01
2014

April 1, 2014

“She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.”
― Annie Dillard, The Living

Spain's Ribeira Sacra wine region (see Wandering Traveler)

Spain’s Ribeira Sacra wine region (see Wandering Traveler)

This issue finds me in Seattle, moderating a panel on Women in Distilling at ADI’s Craft Spirits Conference, attended by over 1000 industry folk, with a gala dinner last night announcing craft spirits medal winners from the judging I was part of in February (also held in Seattle). In writing news: I’ve helped write Zagat guides, but I just wrote my first article and slide show for Zagat on a fantastic new spot, Trou Normand.

This issue:

The new Lolo (see The Latest)

The new Lolo (see The Latest)

The Latest3 Reasons To Check Out the New Lolo: One of the Mission’s long underrated gems gets a new home and new life.
ImbiberWhy You Should Hunt Down Real Schnaps: Drink lovers are missing out on the real deal. Exploring exciting producers in Austria, plus where to find quality schnaps & cocktails in the US.
Wandering TravelerThe Spain You’ve Never Met: Exploring the brilliant seafood and drink of Spain’s northwest Galicia, a region that feels as much like Ireland as Spain.
ImbiberWhite Spring: Alsace varietals (and more) in Mendocino County – and a few other Alsace-influenced wines from the West Coast.
Around the BayCarmel Weekend: A romantic hotel in the center of town with a Michelin-starred restaurant.
ImbiberImbiber: St. George Spirits lovely new Nola coffee liqueur.

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

Virginia
Twittertwitter.com/ThePerfectSpot
Facebookwww.facebook.com/ThePerfectSpot

Spoonwiz Restaurant Reviews & Travel Articles
Liquor.com Contributor Page
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/theperfectspot

**Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Virginia Miller**

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Written by in: Intro Letter |
Mar
15
2014

March 15, 2014

“A writer is someone who pays attention to the world – a writer is a professional observer.” - Susan Sontag

Driving outside of Salzburg, Austria

Driving outside of Salzburg, Austria

I’m off to Oregon for a sake and izakaya press trip, but meanwhile have been savoring the continued radiant weather at home with walks in the park, front stoop drinks with neighbors, and gazing out at the ocean with The Renaissance Man.

This action-packed issue covers eight new pizza joints, rare whiskies, highlights of my return to Austria, a tribute to an SF burger legend:

Among the best Bay Area pizzas... in Los Gatos

Among the best Bay Area pizzas… in Los Gatos

Top TastesBy the Slice: Highlights from 8 new Bay Area pizza joints, from Philo down to Los Gatos.
ImbiberWhisky & Cognac Rarities: The privilege of tasting 50 Year Old Scotch and a 1950 Cognac.
Wandering TravelerDreamy Austria: Returning to the fairy tale city of Salzburg for joys in chocolate, one of the best wine bars anywhere, the oldest operating restaurant in the world, and much more.
ImbiberAmerican Whiskey Rarities: Two American whiskies with Stitzel-Weller & Old Bernheim ties.
Wandering TravelerDreamy Austria, Pt. 2: Exploring the Austrian city of Innsbruck.
Top TastesTribute to an SF Burger Legend: The final day – after 49 years – of Joe’s Cable Car, via photos.

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

Virginia
Twittertwitter.com/ThePerfectSpot
Facebookwww.facebook.com/ThePerfectSpot

Spoonwiz Restaurant Reviews & Travel Articles
Liquor.com Contributor Page
Pinteresthttp://pinterest.com/theperfectspot

**Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Virginia Miller**

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Written by in: Intro Letter |
Mar
01
2014

March 1, 2014

“I worry about the prospect of collective amnesia. While access to information has never been so universal as it is now… the total sum of knowledge of anything beyond the present seems to be dwindling among those people who came of age with the Internet. Anything beyond 1945, if then, is a messy, remote landscape; the centuries melt into each other in an insignificant magma… Everything is equalized… There is a way out: by integrating the teaching of history within the curricula of all subjects—using whatever digital or other means we have to redirect attention to slow reading and old sources. Otherwise we will be condemned to living without perspective, robbed of the wisdom and experience with which to build for the future, confined by the arrogance of our presentism to repeating history without noticing it.” – Noga Arikha

The most beautiful place on earth? (see Wandering Traveler)

The most beautiful place on earth? (see Wandering Traveler)

There’s been delightful happenings from “across the pond” this week: this past Sunday, I was featured in the Sunday Times edition of The Times London (print and online), an article I wrote on current trends in San Francisco dining and cocktails.

Simultaneously, Pür in Spirit, the cocktail book I recently wrote the introduction to (I was also featured in a 1930′s-inspired photo shoot we did for the book), just received a strong review in the great, London-based CLASS magazine. We hope to get the book published on a large scale at the same high quality the original printing was done.

This issue:

Still wriggling on the plate: live, raw spot prawns (see Top Tastes)

Live, raw spot prawns (see Top Tastes)

Top TastesHolding Strong at SF Standard-Setters: Latest dishes at five of SF’s recent restaurant greats.
Imbiber Adventures in Bassano del Grappa, Italy: In the birthtown of grappa, visiting the great Nardini distillery, talking grappa and liqueurs with Antonio Guarda Nardini, finding a rare cocktail and absinthe bar haven.
Wandering TravelerThe Most Beautiful Place on Earth?: Visit # 3 to Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland.
ImbiberTwo Fascinating New Spirits: A Washington beet spirit and a California overproof rum.
Around the BaySonoma’s Tasting Menu “Steal”: A top notch, multi-course dining experience with wine pairings for only $50 at a Santa Rosa winery.

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

Virginia
Twittertwitter.com/ThePerfectSpot
Facebookwww.facebook.com/ThePerfectSpot

Spoonwiz Restaurant Reviews & Travel Articles
Liquor.com Contributor Page
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/theperfectspot

**Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Virginia Miller**

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Written by in: Intro Letter |
Feb
15
2014

February 15, 2014

“Above all, San Francisco was alive. The painter John David Borthwick said of of it, ‘People lived more there in a week then they would in a year in most other places.’  – Gary Kamiya, 49 Views of San Francisco

The beauty of Zurich (see "Wandering Traveler")

The beauty of Zurich (see “Wandering Traveler”)

Returning from an action-packed week of craft American spirits judging in Seattle, this issue uncovers more Bay Area joys, Brazil’s great sugarcane spirit, Bay Area brandy-fruit infusions and treasures in spectacular Switzerland.

The LatestGlorified Vegetables: Showcasing vegetables – plus meat and seafood besides – at brand new Verbena.
ImbiberCachaça – Primed for Greatness?: In conversation with Avuá Cachaça co-founder Nate Whitehouse.
Around the BayWhere to Eat Now – Marin: New notable spots and menus in Sausalito and Tiburon.
Wandering Traveler24 Hours in Zurich: Restaurants, bars, cafes, hotel and spirits shops in Switzerland’s most cosmopolitan city.
ImbiberBay Area Brandy Fruit Infusions: Local infusions please a range of palates.

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

Virginia
Twittertwitter.com/ThePerfectSpot
Facebookwww.facebook.com/ThePerfectSpot

Spoonwiz Restaurant Reviews & Travel Articles
Liquor.com Contributor Page
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/theperfectspot

**Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Virginia Miller**

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Written by in: Intro Letter |
Feb
01
2014

February 1, 2014

“… one genie-soul and only one ever proved too strong for me: San Francisco – up and down the hills I pursued him, missed him and was pursued, by a presence, a powdering of fall gold in the air, a trembling brightness that pierced to the heart, and the sadness of coming at last to the sea, the coming to the end of America. Nobody but a Southerner knows the wrenching rinsing sadness of the cities of the North.”
- Walker Percy, The Moviegoer

Oh, those bialys... at Alta (see "The Latest")

Oh, those bialys… at Alta (see “The Latest”)

The year has just begun and yet it’s already February. As I head up (again) to Seattle working with a spirits judging panel and exploring more Seattle haunts, I’ve been savoring packed weeks of family visits here at home, which always means a flurry of meals at old and new favorites I don’t always have time to return to (YES to Anchor Oyster Bar, Contigo, Tartine Bakery, Bar Tartine, House of Nanking, Capo’s, Lolinda, Thorough Bread & Pastry, etc.)

This issue:

Perfection: Chris McMillian's Absinthe Suiessesse in New Orleans (see "Imbiber")

Perfection: Chris McMillian’s Absinthe Suiessesse in New Orleans (see “Imbiber”)

The LatestAlta – Ushering in the Mid-Market Revival: Exploring the cocktails and cuisine at Daniel Patterson Group’s newest.

Wandering TravelerNew Orleans Dining: Inventive newcomers mixed with recent greats and a legendary classic during my 2013 return to the Queen of the South, New Orleans.

ImbiberBest Cocktails in New Orleans 2013: The year’s standouts at new and established Nola restaurants/bars.

ImbiberOakland’s New Spirits Shop Extraordinaire: A “hard hat” visit to the soon-to-open spirits shop on Grand Ave.

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

Virginia

Twittertwitter.com/ThePerfectSpot
Facebookwww.facebook.com/ThePerfectSpot

Spoonwiz Restaurant Reviews & Travel Articles
Liquor.com Contributor Page
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/theperfectspot

**Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Virginia Miller**

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Written by in: Intro Letter |
Jan
15
2014

January 15, 2014

“There’s no time like now, there’s no time like this time.”
- Sam Phillips song, No Time Like Now on Push Any Button

Hearthfire glow ... the source of all cooking at TBD

Hearthfire glow … the source of all cooking at TBD

Amazing how swiftly January has already kicked into gear. This constant 70′s weather in SF is providing daily joys of sun, brilliant sunsets, beach walks, and welcome clarity.

Alongside fellow food writers, I recap the year in dining at Eater.com, and here are my Best of 2013 lists (local, national, international) on food and drink.

This issue:

Cocktail winners on the new Trick Dog menu

Cocktail beauties on the new Trick Dog menu

The LatestBest New SF Restaurant of 2013: Warmed by the hearthfire glow at TBD.
ImbiberTrick Dog’s New Menu: Spin the Zodiac wheel for another artful, themed menu at SF’s hottest bar opening of 2013.
ImbiberForeign Cinema’s New Bar Program: New manager and focus at beloved SF restaurant.
Wandering TravelerNYC Cocktails: 2013 highlights (and low points) from visits to over 20 NYC cocktail bars.

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

Virginia
Twittertwitter.com/ThePerfectSpot
Facebookwww.facebook.com/ThePerfectSpot

Spoonwiz Restaurant Reviews & Travel Articles
Liquor.com Contributor Page
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/theperfectspot

**Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Virginia Miller**

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Written by in: Imbiber,Intro Letter |
Jan
01
2014

January 1, 2014

“You are what you settle for.” - Janis Joplin’s final interview

Ever magical from my girlhood and now... the view from Empire State Building on a clear May night (see "Wandering Traveler")

From Empire State Building on a clear night (see “Wandering Traveler”)

Happy new year! I am beyond grateful for the rich tastes, adventures and relationships of last year, wishing you more discovery, restoration and connection in 2014.

Alongside fellow food writers, I recap the year in dining at Eater.com, from best new restaurants to 2014 predictions. Read more: my latest reviews at Spoonwiz and Liquor.com Drinkwire; “like” Perfect Spot Facebook page for industry news and openings and food/drink recommendations in the Bay Area and around the world.

This issue:

One of the best dishes of 2013: savory duck liver toffee mousse at Saison

Among 2013′s best dishes: Saison’s duck liver toffee

Top Tastes - The Best Restaurants of 2013: SF’s top 10 new openings, the 10 best meals in the US and the world.
Imbiber - The Best Bars of 2013: SF’s top 12 new bars, and the 10 best bar experiences in the US and the world.
Top TastesMichelin-Starred Dining in SF: Two amazing Michelin-starred experiences.
ImbiberNovela’s New Cocktail Menu: Standout cocktails and punch on draft in the new menu.
Wandering TravelerEdible in NY: Best food from my latest NY travels.

I’d love your feedback on any spots visited from my site. As your personal concierge who tells it like a good friend would, I also create personalized itineraries: trips, meals, explorations (under “Services“).

Let me guide you to the perfect spot,

Virginia
Twittertwitter.com/ThePerfectSpot
Facebookwww.facebook.com/ThePerfectSpot

Spoonwiz Restaurant Reviews & Travel Articles
Liquor.com Contributor Page
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/theperfectspot

**Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Virginia Miller**

FacebookShare
Written by in: Intro Letter |

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