Aug
15
2014

Top Tastes

Urchin Bistrot Mussels-Virginia Miller

Mussels cooked escargot-style at Urchin Bistrot

My Top Food Articles: August 1-15

Photos and articles by Virginia Miller

From my 15 articles/posts a week as Zagat Editor, I summarize and link to just some coverage highlights here – you can sign up for Zagat’s weekly newsletter for highlights here and follow along on Twitter @ZagatSF, where I post daily.

As I have been for over a decade, I’m on the ground daily looking for early standouts at each new opening, while sharing underrated places and dishes you’ve seen me write about here at The Perfect Spot for years, and, of course, plenty of drink coverage (cocktails, wine, spirits, beer).

New Bay Area Openings

First Look: What to Eat & Drink at Modern French Bistro, URCHIN BISTROT, in the Mission

First Look at PLIN, Italian Newcomer in the Mission

Hidden New Seafood Gem in Bernal Heights: RED HILL STATION

FERRY PLAZA SEAFOOD – Reborn in North Beach

Every Friday: 25 NEW RESTAURANTS TO TRY IN THE BAY AREA

Underrated & Established Spots

SF’s Most Underrated Italian Food ‘Hood

$10 Lunch: DINING ON CHINESE HAKKA CUISINE in Outer Richmond

Unsung Heroes: LUCCA RAVIOLI in the Mission

Secretly Awesome: TONGA ROOM‘s bao, Spam fried rice and Tiki cocktails

Secretly Awesome: CHOLO SOY’S PERUVIAN COUNTER

HOG & ROCK‘s Late Night Korean Pop-up

NorCal

7 Top FOODIE ROAD TRIPS Around NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Events

The 6 Best Things We Ate at OUTSIDE LANDS

The Best Things We Ate at EAT DRINK SF 2014

The LAST STREET FOOD FESTIVAL in the Mission – What to Eat

TASTE OF SONOMA Weekend Happens Pre-Labor Day

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Aug
01
2014

Top Tastes

Lolo Cevicheria

Lolo Cevicheria

My Top Food Articles: July 15-31

Photos and articles by Virginia Miller

From my 15 articles/posts a week as Zagat Editor, I summarize and link to just some coverage highlights here – you can sign up for Zagat’s weekly newsletter for highlights here and follow along on Twitter @ZagatSF, where I post daily.

As I have been for over a decade, I’m on the ground daily looking for early standouts at each new opening, while sharing underrated places and dishes you’ve seen me write about here at The Perfect Spot for years, and, of course, plenty of drink coverage (cocktails, wine, spirits, beer).

New Bay Area Openings

LOLO opens LOLO CEVICHERIA – Mexico meets Peru in an artfully festive space

CHARLES PHAN’s new Mexican restaurant/bar, SOUTH

New Scandinavian influence at NEW, EXPANDED OUTERLANDS by Ocean Beach

OUTERLANDS under-the-radar WEEKDAY BREAKFAST

French-centric at Corey Lee’s new MONSIEUR BENJAMIN

TONY’S PIZZA is now at the ballpark

Every Friday: 25 NEW RESTAURANTS TO TRY IN THE BAY AREA

Underrated & Established Spots

The Bay Area’s 10 BEST ICE CREAM SHOPS

6 must-order items on BAR TARTINE’s SUMMER menu

Try EMPORIO RULLI’s fantastic Alsatian kouglof

Unsung Heroes: seafood classic way out by the beach at PACIFIC CAFE

Secretly Awesome: Dumplings and hand-pulled noodles at HOUSE OF PANCAKES

Unsung Heroes: KATIA’s RUSSIAN TEA ROOM

Secretly Awesome: B STAR’s THAI CURRY SALMON POT PIE

$10 Lunch: ZA PIZZA on Russian Hill

Secretly Awesome: SUGAR & SPUN’s GOURMET COTTON CANDY

Outerlands' perfect bread

Outerlands’ perfect bread

East Bay

Spanish fun from Top Chef alums at brand new SHAKEWELL in OAKLAND

Destination Oakland: seafood haven alaMar

Napa

Excellent fine dining in SONOMA (Healdsburg) at romantic MADRONA MANOR

TORC, in the former UBUNTU space in downtown Napa

Events

OUTSIDE LANDS announces GastroMagic, the first interactive culinary stage August 8-10

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Jul
15
2014

Top Tastes

Kusukabe's fantastic omakase sushi dinners

Kusukabe’s fantastic omakase sushi dinners

My Top Food Articles: July 1-15

Photos and articles by Virginia Miller

From my 15 articles/posts a week as Zagat Editor, I summarize and link to just some coverage highlights here – you can sign up for Zagat’s weekly newsletter for highlights here and follow along on Twitter @ZagatSF, where I post daily.

As I have been for over a decade, I’m on the ground daily looking for early standouts at each new opening, while sharing underrated places and dishes you’ve seen me write about here at The Perfect Spot for years, and, of course, plenty of drink coverage (cocktails, wine, spirits, beer).

New Bay Area Openings

First Look at PABU from MICHAEL MINA

KUSAKABE’s Omakase Sushi Experience in Pictures

ABV: Elevated COCKTAILS & BAR FOOD from cocktail gurus and a Southern chef

First Look at CHUBBY NOODLE in the MARINA

What to Order at CAUSWELLS, New in the MARINA

Early Tastes at BIG CHEF TOM’S PORK BELLY BURGERS

What to Order at STREET TACO, New on HAIGHT ST.

10 HOTTEST RESTAURANTS in the Bay Area Now

Every Friday: 25 NEW RESTAURANTS TO TRY IN THE BAY AREA

Underrated & Established Spots

7 HOTTEST BBQ RESTAURANTS in the Bay Area

STONES THROW’s Stellar Summer Menu – 4 Top Dishes

Secretly Awesome: Dumplings and hand-pulled noodles at HOUSE OF PANCAKES

East Bay

Secretly Awesome: SACRED WHEEL in OAKLAND

Napa

LA TOQUE Makes Truffle Dinners a Summer Affair

South Bay/Peninsula

31st UNION Serves FARM-To-TABLE in SAN MATEO

Events/Dinner Series

CHARLIE TROTTER Inspires New PARALLEL 37 (at the Ritz-Carlton) Dinners

Free EAT DRINK SF PREVIEW SERIES Every Saturday in July

OUTSIDE LANDS Summer Pairing Series from NAPA to SF

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Written by in: Top Tastes |
Jul
01
2014

Top Tastes

Dining at 2 Michelin-starred Saison - interview with Chef Josh Skenes below

Dining at 2 Michelin-starred Saison – interview with Chef Josh Skenes below

My Top Food Articles: June 15-30

Photos and articles by Virginia Miller

From my 15 articles/posts a week as Zagat Editor, I summarize and link to just some coverage highlights here – you can sign up for Zagat’s weekly newsletter for highlights here and follow along on Twitter @ZagatSF, where I post daily.

As I have been for over a decade, I’m on the ground daily looking for early standouts at each new opening, while sharing underrated places and dishes you’ve seen me write about here at The Perfect Spot for years, and, of course, plenty of drink coverage (cocktails, wine, spirits, beer).

My biggest feature article of the last two weeks hit yesterday, in line with Best Thing We Ate lists in each Zagat city around the US – here is my list of the top 12 Best Thing We Ate dishes in the Bay Area this year so far.

Interviews

Chef JOSH SKENES on SAISON’s New $498 Test Kitchen Dinners and Winemaker Dinner Series

New Bay Area Openings

What to eat at MARLA BAKERY’s restaurant, just open in Outer Richmond

First Look at BELCAMPO MEATS new San Francisco restaurant and sustainable, ethical butcher shop

New PIATTINI ADDS A SLICE OF VENICE to Mission St.

Every Friday: 25 NEW RESTAURANTS TO TRY IN THE BAY AREA

URBAN PUTT GETS BOOZE – and what to eat one month in at the quirky mini-golf restaurant/bar

Day Trip: Port Costa

If Savannah (or other quirky, historic Southern town) met a California Gold Country Western town, it might feel a lot like PORT COSTA, home to one of the country’s best dive bars and a cosmopolitan restaurant and cocktail bar

East Bay

Early Tastes at PERDITION SMOKEHOUSE in BERKELEY from Mikkeller Bar SF & The Trappist Founder

What to eat & drink at downtown OAKLAND‘s new CAPTAIN & CORSET

Secretly Awesome: TRABOCCO’s pizza and pasta in an ALAMEDA strip mall

Rockridge’s (Oakland) OSMANTHUS renews your fried brussels sprouts crush

Underrated & Established Spots

8 reasons to revisit LOCAL KITCHEN & WINE MERCHANT in SoMa

The 8 BEST HOT DOGS in San Francisco

Unsung Heroes: SF’s best Afghani food for over 20 years at HELMAND PALACE

The 10 BEST PLACE FOR FRIED CHICKEN in San Francisco

NICO ADDS NEW ROSE PAIRING and LOW PROOF COCKTAIL menus with these dishes

THREE TWINS ORGANIC ICE CREAM & GOTT’s ROADSIDE join forces

South Bay/Peninsula

LEXINGTON HOUSE, a destination restaurant and cocktail haven in LOS GATOS

Elegant weekend escape to CARMEL (where your boutique hotel houses a Michelin-starred restaurant)

Silky crudo, standout salads and Carlos Yturria’s cocktails at LURE + TILL in PALO ALTO

Events/Dinner Series

ICHI, Commonwealth and more join STONES THROW CHARITY DINNERS throughout the summer

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Jun
15
2014

Top Tastes

Aveline's gorgeous "vegetable garden"

Aveline’s gorgeous “vegetable garden”

My Top Food Recommends, New Openings & More: June 1-15

Photos and articles by Virginia Miller

From my 15 articles/posts a week as Zagat Editor, I summarize and link to just some of this coverage here – you can sign up for Zagat’s weekly newsletter for the Bay Area here and follow along on Twitter @ZagatSF, where I post daily.

As I have been for over a decade, I’m on the ground daily looking for early standouts at each new opening, while sharing underrated places and dishes you’ve seen me write about here at The Perfect Spot for years, and, of course, plenty of drink coverage (cocktails, wine, spirits, beer).

New Bay Area Openings

10 Hottest NEW SF RESTAURANTS

12 innovative dishes at the new AVELINE FROM A TOP CHEF ALUM

What to eat at funky new Chinese American eatery, CHINO

What to eat & drink at the new Paris-meets-NY chic hotel bar, THE EUROPEAN

KAIJU EATS serves creative izakaya and ramen

Every Friday: 25 NEW RESTAURANTS TO TRY IN THE BAY AREA

Where to Brunch: SoMa’s NEW RED DOG from Chef Lauren Kiino

1058 Hoagie Turns into a JEWISH DELI called Rye Project

3 Summer STRAWBERRY DESSERTS to try at new restaurants

Events/Dinner Series

ACQUERELLO’s 25th ANNIVERSARY DINNER SERIES all summer with guest chefs from NY to Seattle

Underrated & Established Spots

The 8 BEST SEAFOOD SPOTS in the Bay Area

The BIG 4 IS BACK: 9 picks from the new menus

TONY’S PIZZA NAPOLETANA pours beer into pizza

Napa

3 reasons to visit PRESS ST. HELENA, including a unique wine cellar, a new patio with fireplace, and a brand new chef from none other than Blue Hill in NYC

Interviews

CHEF ALEXANDER ALIOTO on his upcoming Summer restaurant, Plin, the Alioto family and more

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Jun
01
2014

Top Tastes

Weekending/day trip to Saratoga at the Mountain Winery

Weekending/day trip to Saratoga at the Mountain Winery

My Food & Drink Recommends, New Opening Tastes and More: May 15-31

Photos and articles by Virginia Miller

From my 15 articles/posts a week as Zagat Editor, I summarize and link to just some of this coverage here – you can sign up for Zagat’s weekly newsletter for the Bay Area here and follow along on Twitter @ZagatSF, where I post daily.

As I have been for over a decade, I’m on the ground daily looking for early standouts at each new opening, I also share underrated places and dishes you’ve seen me write about here at The Perfect Spot for years, and continue with plenty of drink coverage (cocktails, wine, spirits, beer).

Events

OUTSIDE LANDS FOOD LINE-UP announced – plus for more summer festivals for food & drink lovers

BAYVIEW UNDERGROUND FOOD MARKET every Thursday in the Dogpatch

New Bay Area Openings

Every Friday: 25 NEW RESTAURANTS TO TRY IN THE BAY AREA

10 BAY AREA RESTAURANTS set to open this Summer

BEST BITES at the new GASHEAD TAVERN

Early favorite dishes at the new GASPAR BRASSERIE

First Look at PALM HOUSE, a new tropical/Carribean-inspired restaurant and bar

BARTLETT HALL (aka Maverick Downtown) opens near Union Square

Bay Area BEER GURUS open PERDITION SMOKEHOUSE in BERKELEY on June 13

UNO DOS TACOS opens on Market Street

Drink Coverage

Local bars, writers, bartenders and industry folk finalists in the Oscars of the cocktail world, TALES of the COCKTAIL

5 COCKTAILS to LOVE at the new SMOKESTACK

3 COFFEE COCKTAILS you’ll want for breakfast

8 EARLY FAVORITE COCKTAILS from Kevin Diedrich at the new GASPAR BRASSERIE

Trend Alert: 3 PRICKLY PEAR COCKTAILS around the Bay Area

3 LOCAL WHITE WINES to pair with take-out

South Bay/Peninsula

10 REASONS SARATOGA should be your next day/weekend trip, from a Michelin starred restaurant to quality Indonesian food

Coffee

EQUATOR COFFEE opens first SF location downtown

Underrated & Established Spots & Dishes

5 BEST CARIBBEAN SPOTS in the Bay Area

6 BEST BAY AREA LOBSTER ROLLS

UNSUNG HEROES: Gaspare’s Lasagna

10 TOP OUTDOOR dining and drinking spots in the Bay Area

SECRETLY AWESOME: Champurrado at La Espiga de Oro

PAXTI’S GIVES AWAY $500 worth of pizza

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Written by in: Top Tastes |
May
15
2014

Top Tastes

Schroeder's, the historic beer hall and restaurant, reinvented and now a destination - but thankfully those beautiful murals remain intact

Schroeder’s, the historic beer hall and restaurant, reinvented and now a destination – thankfully those beautiful murals remain intact

My Food & Drink Recommends, New Opening Early Tastes, and More: May 1-15

Photos and article by Virginia Miller

As I write a few articles a day in my new role as Zagat Editor, I will summarize and link to just some of this extensive coverage for easy access (you can sign up for Zagat’s weekly newsletter for the Bay Area here for some highlights and follow along on Twitter @ZagatSF where I post daily articles).

As I have been for over a decade, I’m on the ground looking for early standouts at each new opening (and there has been a slew of high profile openings the last few weeks), I also share underrated and forgotten dishes and places you’ve seen me write about here at The Perfect Spot for years, and continue with plenty of drink coverage (cocktails, wine, spirits, beer).

News

JAMES BEARD WINNERS INTERVIEWS: Charles Phan and Daniel Patterson react to their big wins

New Bay Area Openings

SMOKESTACK – Killer BBQ, beer and cocktails in one cool Dogpatch space from brew master Dave McLean

PRUBECHU – Guam cuisine and tasting menu steal

SCHROEDER’S – Legendary German beer hall and restaurant reborn

4505 BURGERS & BBQBBQ, burgers and more from butcher king Ryan Farr

HOG ISLAND OYSTER BAR – More than doubled in size, and now with cocktails

MANOS NOUVEAU – Under-the-radar Mission opening serves lovely ceviche and Mexico-meets-Peru cuisine

LA RONDALLA – A historic Mexican classic reborn after being closed since 2007

HOMESKILLET – Potato chip-stuffed burgers and breakfast all day at the newcomer from Little Griddle folks

GRUBBIN‘ – Pastrami and meat-heavy sandwiches in friendly Parkside shop

BISSAP BAOBAB OAKLAND – SF’s longtime Senegalese favorite opens a second Oakland location

Drink Coverage

TRENDSPOTTING: Coffee and soda, coffee and tonic

3 LOCAL WHITE WINES to Pair with take-out

5 BAY AREA ROSE WINES for a Spring afternoon

3 COOLING COCONUT MILK COCKTAILS on SF menus now

9 CURRENT HAPPY HOURS with a view, quality food and drink, and more

Napa

12 ESSENTIAL NAPA RESTAURANTS – Tough to choose but here are 12 iconic, important spots from Napa to Calistoga

CITY WINERY NAPA: The third location of the NY music venue and winery puts music, wine & food under one roof

Underrated Spots & Dishes

SECRETLY AWESOME: Fang’s Peking Beef Bao

5 UNUSUAL BRUNCH DISHES

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Written by in: Top Tastes |
May
01
2014

Top Tastes

 A dreamy vegetarian course: tender potato gnocchi filled with liquid cauliflower sauce, colorfully marked by Pantelleria (Sicilian-style) capers and romanesco broccoli.

A dreamy vegetarian course: tender potato gnocchi filled with liquid cauliflower sauce, colorfully marked by Pantelleria (Sicilian-style) capers and romanesco broccoli.

Celebratory Spring:
Quince’s Artful New Menus

Photos and article by Virginia Miller

Here’s my May 1st photo slideshow and article on a few of the great dishes from Quince, a 2 Michelin-starred, Italian-influenced fine dining great in San Francisco, for Zagat: www.zagat.com/b/san-francisco/quinces-spring-menu-our-12-favorite-dishes-tastes.

Splurge on the Spring menu: a $40 supplement adds in Tortelli alla Cecilia Chang, a decadent pasta tribute to the great Chinese restaurant legend and SF local, Cecilia Chang. The tortelli pasta is filled with smoked sturgeon and potato, marked by dill and generous dollops of caviar.

Splurge on the Spring menu: a $40 supplement adds in Tortelli alla Cecilia Chang, a decadent pasta tribute to the great Chinese restaurant legend and SF local, Cecilia Chang. The tortelli pasta is filled with smoked sturgeon and potato, marked by dill and generous dollops of caviar.

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