Virginia Miller

FEAST: 5 farm-fresh cocktails

Peak-season produce meets fine spirits

|
(0)

We're used to well-crafted, artisanal cocktails year-round in our city, and some bartenders showcase the bounty of the seasons in their cocktails, using local fruits, herbs, vegetables. It's easy to take the abundance of the region for granted, but let's not and remember to enjoy what can happen when fresh produce and spirits get into the right hands. Here are a few places and drinks we recommend as winter turns to spring. (Virginia Miller)

BEET COCKTAILS AT THE ALEMBIC

Read more »

Appetite: 3 food memoirs with heart

|
(0)

While reading Kim Severson's new gem of a food memoir that came out last week, I started reminiscing about other food memoirs in recent years that travel well beyond food... the kind of books that leave one simultaneously comforted, satiated and challenged to live a more authentic life.

Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life by Kim Severson Read more »

Appetite: A course of courses

Butchering, searing, and relishing with gusto at Marche

|
(0)

On a sunny Saturday morning, 3/27 in Menlo Park, Chef Guillaume Bienaime led a small group of us through cooking a five course meal, finishing with a leisurely lunch, all in Marche's well-outfitted kitchen and dining room. Groggy upon arrival  -- it was 10am; not early, but I had to make it down from the city -- Guillame was steaming cappuccinos and serving awesome banana dark chocolate scones to get us properly fueled for a couple hours of cooking. Guillame and staff are about as laidback it gets. Read more »

Appetite: 3 non-whisk(e)y highlights from Whiskies of the World

There was more to WoW than smoky shots

|
(0)

Whiskies of the World is a little smaller in scope and selection than Whiskyfest, both of which come to few cities in America -- and we're lucky to always be one of them. On March 27, WoW, as Whiskies of the World is known, was chaotic and overly packed in a Hotel Nikko ballroom. Read more »

Appetite: 3 delectable pastrami sandwiches

|
(2)

Who says you can't get a proper pastrami sandwich in the Bay Area? Granted, that's one of the things I miss most from days growing up in Jersey when my Dad would take us to the city for pastrami at Carnegie Deli. You have to hunt here but there are a few gems, besides classic Miller's East Coast Deli. P.S. I'm wishing Orson would bring back its unparalleled pastrami and kraut pizza.

Read more »

Appetite: 3 DIY books for spring

|
(0)

Spring is here, in fits and starts, and it's a time for fresh inspiration. Whether you're intrigued by curing fish, bottling homemade condiments, growing pineapple guava on your rooftop, or baking Chinese almond cookies, here's some special books to walk you through it.

Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon
One of the best (comprehensive but approachable) books I've ever seen in the D.I.Y. food realm, Karen Solomon's Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It covers a wide range of possible projects with appealing, natural photos. Solomon (a former Guardian alum, by the way), presents instructions and storage details for brining olives and kimchee, bottling dressings and mustard, preserving bacon or jerky, making jams. Popsicles have their own delectable section -- coconut cream pops, anyone?

Read more »

Appetite: 3 hoppin' Easter meals

|
(0)

Then there was Easter...

Beer (and bunnies?) at Magnolia Pub

No, they're not serving an Easter brunch, but with new chef, Matt Kerley, announced just this week, it's as good a day as any to visit Magnolia Pub ... especially if beer and Scotch duck eggs sound more your speed than a froufrou Easter menu. Kerley keeps the gastropub and farm-to-table approach intact, ever looking for ways to utilize all animal parts in his cooking (from local farms, of course).

Read more »

Appetite: It's Passover -- so come on over

|
(0)

As Passover begins tonight through next Monday, here's a few places where you know you can eat quite well and stay quite kosher:

4/5 - SLOW FOOD Seder at Mission Beach Cafe
Heeb magazine teams up with one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants, Mission Beach Café for a Slow Food Seder. Yes, that's slow food principles, modern cooking sensibilities, traditional Jewish dishes. In fact, with each course, you have the choice of traditional or California-style dishes, each made with local ingredients. Will it be smoked black cod with potato kugel or matzo flatbread with haroset, balsamic reduction, basil scallion pesto and messo seco cheese?

Read more »

Appetite: Dreaming of the islands ...

|
(1)

This weekend affords the last of a series of Hawaiian escapes here in San Francisco, especially Aloha Fridays at Gordon Biersch, which would be especially idyllic in the Spring gorgeousness we've been experiencing. 

 

But it's also a time to dream of stealing away to the islands not just for drinks but for food. A recent event at Burlingame’s striking Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom highlighted the locavore, farm-fresh movements infusing Hawaii's culinary scene with new life.

Read more »

Appetite: The shots heard (and tasted) 'round the world

|
(0)

It's fast approaching: the 11th Annual Whiskies of the World -- happening on Sat/27 -- is a must for all whisk(e)y lovers. Four full hours in the Hotel Nikko (dress respectably: no T-shirts or shorts, in keeping with the level of fine imbibements) are dedicated to sampling as much fine whisky or whiskey, scotch, and bourbon as you can. Check out the vendor list and strategize ahead of time or you might find yourself adrift in this whiskey wonderland.

Read more »