APPETITE Lunch-hour quality advances around town with a slew of notable openings or recently launched lunch menus. In a two part series (click here for part two), here are some of the best new mid-day meals.
APPETITE While I miss the sophisticated, out-of-the-box cocktails of former bar managers Carlo Splendorini and Alex Smith (they both continue to craft excellent drinks, Splendorini at Michael Mina, Smith at Honor Bar), I am pleased to say Gitane, one of the sexiest spots in all of SF, is still a drink-worthy location. I'd be remiss not to likewise return to the Moroccan and Spanish-influenced menu that chef Bridget Batson has been rocking for years.Read more »
In this week's Appetite food and drink column in the paper, I relished the opportunity to return to a time of delicious handmade fountain drinks at Cole Valley's new Ice Cream Bar (albeit with some innovative contemporary flavor twists). In between sips of wild cherry phosphate, I got to talk to Russell Davis, the bartender who developed the fantastic soda fountain program, about the soda jerk revival -- and got him to share some of his sassafras secrets.
APPETITE I was born of another time. As much as I wouldn't trade the rights and access of today, I hunger for the romance, artistry, and intellectual pace of eras gone by. As a child, I grew up on classic films and whitebread shows like Father Knows Best, where youth hung out at soda fountains listening to the jukebox. Naturally, I was delighted upon hearing a retro-inspired soda fountain was opening near my home.Read more »
APPETITE An Irish whiskey with a Bay Area connection... Livermore, to be exact? It's true. January saw the release of a brand new whiskey, not a common occurrence in Ireland. What better way to initiate this new release than with a Bon Vivants party?
My recent travels through Ireland, particularly exploring whiskey production in County Cork (from pot still beauties like Redbreast to mass production Jameson), amplified my love for the smooth pleasures of Irish whiskey.Read more »
Although the Science of Cocktails event may be on hiatus next year due to the Exploratorium's big move to the Embarcadero, this year's party is worth highlighting. Attending since the inaugural event three years ago (check out my previous review here), I enjoy Science of Cocktails more each year.
I'm not sure if the new VIP area added much other than a bird's-eye view from above with a few additional (but minimal) bites and drinks, the bulk of food being downstairs. Options were more enticing than ever in the ideal museum space, where one can interact with exhibits, kid-free, cocktails in hand. The cavernous space easily holds hundreds of people without feeling packed.
Drinks were poured by some of the Bay's best bartenders and distillers, sporting white lab-coats, delivering concoctions from test tubes, beakers and hand-crafted contraptions. Cocktails were served in pre-bottled, liquid nitrogen, jello, even powdered forms. (Let us not forget the shiny, porcelain toilet spouting Speakeasy beer).
APPETITE There are meals that live on in memory: dioramas of conversation, heartwarming food, and that misty glow from a fine bottle of wine. Then there are those that are game-changers, the food an elaborate tapestry, weaving complex threads of creativity into an unexpected whole as impacting on the taste buds as to the eye. It borders on art.Read more »