Virginia Miller

Appetite: Highlights of SF Cocktail Week, part 2

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That fizzy, magical week during which cocktails take over our fair city has just washed over us. Here are more highlights -- check out part 1 here.

9/26 - Cocktail Cookout on the Island  Read more »

Appetite: Highlights of SF Cocktail Week, part 1

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The magical settings, moments and drinks were many in the 4th Annual SF Cocktail Week, which set the bar high for all future Cocktail Weeks... consider attending next year, as it's far from being just for drink aficionados. It's for those who love a memorable party done in true San Francisco style.Read more »

Appetite: Forks up for two big events

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10/3 CUESA 8th Annual Sunday Supper Fundraiser -- CUESA (The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture), which runs the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, is throwing its 8th Annual Sunday Supper on October 3. It's a CUESA fundraiser, whole animal feast, chef gala and drink event all rolled into one. Not to mention a night where local farmers and purveyors mingle to enjoy a meal made from local ingredients and sustainably raised meats. Read more »

Appetite: The great vodka debate

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Vodka -- it's a spirit that in sophisticated drink communities like San Francisco can sometimes elicit more scorn than love, even if most of the country drinks it well above other spirits. I'm not alone in saying it tends to be the last spirit I'd order at a bar. Read more »

Appetite: 3 twists on the Caprese salad

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The purity and simplicity of a caprese salad, or insalata caprese as it is known in Campania, Italy, where it originated, is hard to outdo. Silky buffalo mozzarella, red tomatoes and fresh basil are drizzled with olive oil and salt. When I eat a quality caprese, I am immediately transported to Italia, eating lunch alongside glimmering water, maybe the canals of Venice or the expanse of Lake Como, the juice of the tomatoes dripping down my chin and a glass of Sangiovese in hand. That this experience could be improved upon is doubtful, but what of variations in a caprese's perfection? Read more »

Appetite: SF Cocktail Week is coming September 21-27

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Last year's San Francisco Cocktail Week was a full-but-chill week of parties and cocktails at some of our best bars. This year, the fourth annual SF Cocktail Week steps it up with a whole slew of events I'm excited (and proud) to see us throwing in the name of the cocktail, especially as our city has been one of the two leading the cocktail renaissance long before the rest of the country caught on. Read more »

Appetite: Drinking in the Wente Vineyards Concert Series

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There may be other Bay Area concert winery venues (Mountain Winery, for example), but none like family-run Wente Vineyards in Livermore. Run by the same family for five generations and set on a 3000-acre expanse of golden rolling hills and vineyards, Wente is managed by delightfully down-to-earth members of the family who keep the business alive, yes, with wine-making, but also with a scenic golf course, a restaurant, and the aforementioned concert venue. Read more »

New twists on the Negroni challenge the original

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Those who know me well are aware of my love of the Negroni. The perfect aperitif and a favorite since my first visit to Italy 11 years ago, I crave Campari’s bitter crispness balanced with gin. I concur with Victoria Moore who says in her book, How to Drink: “The negroni is a beautiful thing, garnet in color, sweet-astringent to taste, and decisively highbrow. Read more »

Appetite: Plum sneak preview dinner amps up anticipation

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Daniel Patterson is one of our city's true visionary chefs, willing to push the envelope, gifted with technique, but, yes, able to make it taste damn good. I'm a big fan of Coi, delight in Il Cane Rosso and try not to resent Oakland for getting both Bracina and Plum, his upcoming ventures. Read more »

Appetite: Studying drink

3 books to up your cocktail-making game or historical knowledge

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Left Coast Libations by Ted Munat with Michael Lazar -- Left Coast Libations, released today (catch the launch party on 9/18 at Heaven's Dog), is, as far as I'm concerned, a must for the library of any West Coast cocktailian, not to mention drink aficionados everywhere. Read more »