Virginia Miller

Speak easy of the theme bar

The Wilson's snob-lite cocktail wins over a new convert

|
(0)

virginia@sfbg.com

THE DRINKING LIFE Born as it was into a speakeasy family, Bourbon & Branch's newest younger sibling is characteristically confusing to locate. Trek to the same scruffy block of Jones Street that B&B calls home, find the barred window labeled "Wilson and Wilson Private Detective Agency." (Hint: it's next to a wooden door sporting a peep hole.) Do not enter here. Potential tipplers must detour through Bourbon & Branch be granted audience to The Wilson.Read more »

Appetite: Island bites, part two

|
(0)

After a dreamy week in Hawaii, I have a slew of food and drink recommendations to share. Part one of these covered farmers market and street food in Honolulu and snacks from the North Shore of Oahu. This time, we sleep and drink in Honolulu. In part three, we’ll talk Honolulu restaurants.Read more »

Appetite: 3 reasons why SF Jewish food has arrived

|
(1)

Head to the Mission where Wise Sons Deli takes over Jackie's Café every Saturday. Rolling since January, the young guys behind this pop-up deli have a hit on their hands -- lines form out the door for Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman's Jewish food with heart. The menu changes often, and they're preparing a killer-sounding Passover menu next week to be enjoyed at Coffee Bar and for take-out.

The fact of the matter is, we don't have enough Jewish food in this town. And these guys don't just make Jewish nosh, they do it excellently. Case in point: I found that multiple menu items fell into my  must order category, rare enough at a restaurant, much less at a small pop-up with a limited menu.

We eagerly await the day they will have their own storefront. Until then, here are three items you'd do well to head to the Mission for from their delightful menu (given that you have a few spare moments on a Saturday, those lines can be killer!): Read more »

Appetite: Island bites, part one

|
(0)

With an increased number of flights to Hawaii -- accompanied by correspondingly more competitive airfares -- including resumed direct routes out to Kauai, it's easier than it's been in years to get to that island getaway you've been dreaming about. My recent visit yielded plenty of rewards for foodies -- not to mention some excellent hotels that are offering various discounts and deals. Read more »

3 reasons to drink Don Pilar tequila

|
(0)

1. A backstory you can cheers to

Yes, Don Pilar is actual tequila, which means it must be made in Jalisco, Mexico in the lowlands and highlands surrounding the town of Tequila. Now that we have that out of the way, I want to highlight that Don Pilar (a.k.a. Jose Pilar Contreras) is a Bay Area entrepreneur and all-around Latino success story. Read more »

Appetite: 3 ways to eat and drink for a better world this month

|
(0)

We are blessed with a city full of entrepreneurs and humanitarians who work to create a better world. It’s encouraging to know one can eat and drink well while also meeting a need. Here are three upcoming ways to make your food dollars stretch towards some crucial causes:

4/5 Umamimart’s The Gift of Food at Burritt Room for earthquake relief in Japan Read more »

Appetite: 3 reasons 2011 Whiskies of the World worked

|
(0)

There’s always fine pours to be had at the (12th) annual Whiskies of the World, a.k.a. WoW, particularly from smaller distilleries. Bourbon, rye, scotch, Japanese and Irish whiskies all flow freely. As I said in my coverage last year when it was held at Hotel Nikko, the downside was tight, body-to-body crowds. This year, that was remedied in the still packed but ample space of the SF Belle. Read more »

Appetite: Cynar buzz... the next Fernet?

|
(2)

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but Cynar, a classic Italian bitter (that works as both aperitif and digestif), is taking over your local cocktail bars. Otherwise remembered as the artichoke liqueur (among the 13 total herbs and plants that go into it), its label stands out with a green artichoke over a red background. Read more »

Appetite: Dark and lovely Weavers Coffee

|
(0)

Weaver’s Coffee: if you aren’t drinking it, you should be. Based in San Rafael, Weaver’s  has a chill, little shop serving and selling their coffee and teas. The shop fronts their roasting facility and offices, which I had the privilege of touring recently.

John Weaver, master roaster and founder, was Peet's master roaster for more than 20 years, working directly with the late Alfred Peet. He brings a masterful perfection to Weaver’s coffees and teas, with a refined eye and palate for sourcing the best beans internationally. He returns to his roots with Weaver’s (under his parent company, Wild Card Roasters), able to once again create small batch, individualized blends.

Read more »

2 unusual destinations for cocktails in Los Angeles

|
(0)

Due to proximity, many of us find ourselves in LA often. Though the cocktail scene finally began to mature there a couple years ago, it's difficult to find something different than what we've long seen in our own city. Here are two cocktail stops (one bar, one Mexican restaurant) offering something memorable for your next jaunt down to the City of Angels. Read more »