Virginia Miller

Appetite: Germanic adventures

A preview of new German and Austrian restaurants

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Though I have more than a few food obsessions, there’s something about authentic food and wine from the Germanic countries that comforts me on a profound level. Maybe it’s my German Miller (or Mueller) family heritage on my Dad’s side or the satisfying straightforwardness of dishes like dumplings or sauerkraut. Either way, there’s not enough food around from that region as far as I’m concerned. So it is with great delight I witness the opening of two unique restaurants. Read more »

Appetite: Catching our Fancy

The top 10 tastes from the Fancy Food show at the Moscone Center this past weekend

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Fancy Food, the largest showcase of specialty foods in North America (held annually in NYC and SF) returned to the Moscone Center. Again this week I explored thousands of products from around the world, with only the limits of my stomach to slow me after hours of sampling. Read more »

Appetite: 3 new coffee havens

Caffe Pascucci, Bar Agricole, and Contraband Coffee get us all steamy

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CAFFE PASCUCCI, SoMa - I feel like I'm back in Italy at brand new Caffe Pascucci, the first outpost of a popular Italian chain. The crisp, white space is chic and soothing, even as the place buzzes with the Italian families and individuals already frequenting the place within merely days of opening. It's not just because the menu is loaded with dozens of types of espresso, cappuccinos and iced coffees topped with banana or doused with amaretto. Read more »

Appetite: Mixology times two

From classic tequila to liquid nitrogen -- two innovative classes help you polish your shaker skills

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BERETTA MIXOLOGY CLASSES -- Class is equal parts learning and pleasure at Beretta during their monthly Monday educational cocktail classes led by Bar Manager Ryan Fitzgerald. Ryan is one of our city’s great bartenders and he shares his ability to showcase the essence of a drink with you. Set up with your own station of bar utensils and ingredients, you’ll experience an interactive two hours with a small group in Beretta’s basement. Shake and stir -- learning when it’s appropriate to do each -- as you sample your creations. Read more »

Appetite: Best Restaurant Openings of 2010, Bay Area

Food and drink writer Virginia Miller picks her favorite new dining spots outside of San Francisco

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Earlier in the week, I listed the top 10 new restaurant openings of the year in San Francisco. Now I list an additional four best new Bay Area openings: one in the South Bay, two in the East Bay, one in Wine Country. Read more »

Best restaurant openings of 2010, San Francisco

Food and drink writer Virginia Miller picks her favorite new dining spots in the city

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In a ridiculously rich year of new restaurant openings, the most prolific I’ve seen yet, it is harder than ever to name the top ones. There are many noteworthy places, from the "Mad Men"-esque vibe of Thermidor, to the stratospheric prices and fabulous snapping turtle veloute at Benu. Read more »

Appetite: 2010, the year in absinthe

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Read up, absinthe seekers... whether you're intrigued by the (false) claims of hallucinogenic effects or an aficionado taken in by the culture surrounding the green fairy, a little reading will take you deeper. This year has produced three new absinthe books furthering knowledge of an artful drink best enjoyed with leisure and attention.

Absinthe Cocktails
by Kate Simon Read more »

Appetite: In Tequila with Fortaleza

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Fortaleza is truly a special tequila. On my recent visit to Tequila, Mexico, this distillery enchanted with its agave covered hillsides and haunting caves. Fortaleza means fortitude, though in Mexico, you'll find their bottles labeled Los Abuelos in memory of the grandfathers of Guillermo E. Sauza, the fifth generation producer who passionately runs Fortaleza by old world methods. He comes from tequila royalty as a Sauza... Read more »

Appetite: Revisit Studio 54 at Burritt Room's NYE party

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There are many, many party options for New Year's Eve this year, but one of my favorite cocktail spots is hosting an event that seems particularly appealing to those with adventurous taste (and tastebuds) ... Read more »

Appetite: Last minute foodie gifts

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I've shared with you come of my recommended gifts for foodies and for cocktailians, but for those still searching for presents that appeal to the palate, here are some more.Read more »