Virginia Miller

Appetite: 3 delectable events for June

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6/5-6/6 - SUNSET CELEBRATION Cruise down to Menlo Park this weekend for Sunset Magazine's annual celebration weekend, a key South Bay event for foodies and wine lovers. Plenty of the Bay Area's best will make an appearance, with a street food spirit pervading this year's line-up. Our own Ryan Farr grills up special dogs for the event: Crispy Crunch FrankaRoni (deep fried mac n’ cheese squares with franks) and cheddar brats (pork/bacon/cheddar sausage). Read more »

Appetite: Giant legs and Willy Wonka -- adventures at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic

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I was one of the lucky ones, spending eight days in NY, my old stomping grounds, for the first annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic, which highlights and celebrates the art of the cocktail and its greatest talents. Or so I thought... Read more »

Firelit: Coffee with benefits

A conversation with distiller Dave Smith about his new boozy brew

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Since its release a couple of months ago, I've been savoring Firelit Spirits' one-of-a-kind coffee liqueur, featuring none other than Blue Bottle Coffee. Starting off with 1,800 bottles (which are just about gone, by the way), founding partners, Jeff Kessinger and St. George Spirits distiller Dave Smith have created a coffee liqueur that retains all the nuance and glory of fine coffee. Read more »

Appetite: A couple April openings worth visiting

Out of all the new additions to San Francisco in April, these two restaurants launch with the most promise

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Parada 22 brings some much-needed new blood to the Upper Haight. It's cheap, tasty Puerto Rican food with Cuban influences in a bright, aquamarine space showcasing an eclectic mix of South American antiques and knick knacks, while Latin jazz plays over the speakers. The concept is current and breezy: order at the counter, eat at picnic tables or stools, or take to go. I've been twice so far and the food has been consistently good... Read more »

Appetite: Sneak peak at Comstock Saloon

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Bartenders extraordinaire, Jeff Hollinger (also author of The Art of the Bar) and Jonny Raglin of Absinthe, debut Comstock Saloon, scheduled for a May 20 opening date. Read more »

Appetite: 3 culinary gifts for mom

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Last minute Mother's Day gifts needed? Here are a few delectable possibilities:

WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB Read more »

Appetite: 3 blanco tequilas for Cinco de Mayo margaritas

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Cinco de Mayo is nearly here, and you know what that means: time to stock up on fine tequilas, kick up your heels, and start mixing margaritas. I taste-tested these tequilas side-by-side, then used each in the very appealing classic margarita recipe from Chronicle Books' Ultimate Bar Book, a classic tome that came out in 2006:Read more »

Appetite: 3 coffee table books with expert cocktail recipes

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Aesthetics matter. Beyond quality recipes, fine photography and presentation can make one cocktail recipe book stand out over another. Whether you are a cocktailian who interprets measurements for the modern day from Jerry Thomas' 1800's standard-setter, formerly known as The Bon Vivant's Companion, or a cocktail appreciator who wants to make more than Lemon Drops (or anything "tini"), here are three books with recipes to please a novice or cocktail expert alike... and they're beautiful to thumb through. Read more »

Appetite: Anchovies three ways

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One (of many) of my great pleasures traveling in Italy is eating fresh sardines and anchovies along the coast, whether baked, brined or any other way. Thankfully, anchovies are plentiful -- and often out of local waters -- in the Bay Area. The anchovy, in particular, gets a bum rap as a too-salty pizza topping. That's too bad, because it's fantastically flavorful in the right preparation. Here are three places doing anchovies proud, with their own unique takes on one of the most healthy of fishes.Read more »

Appetite: 3 upcoming events covering sips 'round the world

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From Dry Creek Valley barrel-tasting  to the snowy peaks of Austria, here are a trio of flavorful events that encompass a full range of delectable vino.

4/22 Wine Enthusiast's Toast of the TownRead more »