Virginia Miller

Appetite: Holiday spirits

Slip these quality sips in your loved ones' stockings

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Appetite: Blue Ribbon classics

New York's Bromberg Brothers bring a bit of their welcoming comfort to SF's Renaissance Stanford Court

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Two of the nicest chefs you'll ever meet, Bruce and Eric Bromberg (brothers), spread the warmth of their NY Blue Ribbon Restaurants globally. I have happy memories of late nights at the original Blue Ribbon Sushi on Sullivan Street long before Blue Ribbon grew to multiple restaurants around NYC. As I write, they are on their way to Las Vegas to open their first restaurant outside NY. They are also touring the world to launch their Blue Ribbon Classics menu at Renaissance Hotel bars... Read more »

Appetite: Hungry for Change

Tasting a new, fair trade monthly food subscription

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"Change the world with everything you buy". This is the tag line behind the inspiring Trade as One, a Northern California-based organization that promotes sustainable businesses in poor, marginalized communities. Whether you look at it as a way of giving during the holidays or as a new year's resolution, it's an ideal time to try a new program that could be habit-forming. Read more »

Appetite: Delicious giving

For the foodie and drink hounds on your list, here are a few recent book releases to delight and enlighten

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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 across my desk in awhile. Read more »

Appetite: Coffee's new shining star? It's Ma'velous

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Cheesy puns aside, Ma'velous is truly that. Kudos to Phillip Ma and his new coffee and wine bar, which I'd be ecstatic to have in my own neighborhood. This coffee haven on Market Street (near Civic Center) is worth heading out of your way for. No, there is nothing else like it, even in a city of fabulous coffee.

The space is blessedly unique with graffiti artwork, pressed tin ceilings, retro-modern reclaimed furniture, textured floors, nooks with chairs, a couch, tables. The setting inspires but the coffee elevates. Read more »

Appetite: Thanksgiving wine recommendations

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You received the assignment to bring the wine for Thanksgiving... maybe not as difficult as cooking a turkey, but you want to bring something special without having to give it too much thought. Here are a few last-minute bottle suggestions from various parts of the world and a range of prices. Most can be found at shops like Bi-Rite, K&L Wine Merchants, and Jug Shop.

SPARKLING ROSE Read more »

Appetite: Indy Spirits Expo poured it on

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This year's Indy Spirits Expo, which took place 11/17, was much improved since last year's inaugural festivity, though crammed into the cool, brick-walled nightclub space of The Mighty. This event offers one of the better opportunities I've seen to sample everything from cachaca and pisco, to absinthe and eaux de vie, all in one room, among the best small batch spirits happening in the US and a few places beyond. Read more »

Appetite: Highlights from the Single Malt Extravaganza

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I wasn't sure what to expect at Tuesday night's Single Malt Extravaganza at the Intercontinental Hotel, with the welcome giveaway of Romeo y Julieta and Monte Cristo cigars as take-home treats. Read more »

Appetite: Rare tequilas I sampled in Mexico

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In my travels last week through the magical land of Tequila, Mexico, I tasted, yes, a ridiculous amount of tequila from a wide range of distillers. After watching it being made and sampling it its homeland, I gained a deeper appreciation than I already had for the agave spirit. Here are three superb but uncommon tequilas only found in Mexico or here in the states with some investigative cunning. Read more »

Appetite: 3 escaped-from-New York egg creams

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Sipping an egg cream soda is an all-American, very New York pastime, but nowadays the nostalgic sodas are popping up in increasing numbers in our fair city. I rounded up a trifecta of perfect SF spots to get your cream on, but first a historical rundown.

Though the identity of the creator of the original egg cream is somewhat debated, many credit Louis Auster, a Brooklyn candy store owner in the late 1800s. In his well-researched tome on the history of soda fountains, Fix the Pumps, Art of the Drink's Darcy S. O'Neil says the New York egg cream evolved as a variation on the original milkshakes served at soda fountains in the late 19th century. Read more »