Appetite

Appetite: Dark and lovely Weavers Coffee

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Weaver’s Coffee: if you aren’t drinking it, you should be. Based in San Rafael, Weaver’s  has a chill, little shop serving and selling their coffee and teas. The shop fronts their roasting facility and offices, which I had the privilege of touring recently.

John Weaver, master roaster and founder, was Peet's master roaster for more than 20 years, working directly with the late Alfred Peet. He brings a masterful perfection to Weaver’s coffees and teas, with a refined eye and palate for sourcing the best beans internationally. He returns to his roots with Weaver’s (under his parent company, Wild Card Roasters), able to once again create small batch, individualized blends.

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2 unusual destinations for cocktails in Los Angeles

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Due to proximity, many of us find ourselves in LA often. Though the cocktail scene finally began to mature there a couple years ago, it's difficult to find something different than what we've long seen in our own city. Here are two cocktail stops (one bar, one Mexican restaurant) offering something memorable for your next jaunt down to the City of Angels. Read more »

Appetite: 2 intriguing new food memoirs

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Just released in early March, here are two new reads I'd recommend not only for foodies but for fans of the absorbing, well-crafted memoir.

>>Life, On the Line by Grant Achatz & Nick Kokonas: When Alinea's chef genius Grant Achatz writes a memoir, it's destined to get buzz among foodies. When this visionary chef was diagnosed with stage four tongue cancer, threatened to lose his tongue and taste buds (something devastating to anyone, much less a celebrated chef), it was news well beyond the food world.Read more »

Appetite: Betelnut's secret Malaysian menu, March 8 until May 8

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Foodies, take note. If you like offal, Malaysian food, or adventurous eating, there's a "secret" offal menu through Blackboard Eats. Sign up for the Betelnut special on March 8th only. You'll get a passcode to give to your waiter at the restaurant during any dinner until May 8th. Read more »

Appetite: Gin for a winter's night

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A favorite experiment: gather a few industry and non-industry friends, taste a specific spirit side-by-side, sample it in the same cocktail recipe, and compare notes. Gin seemed appropriate for a rainy winter's night.

While gin is fabulous all year 'round, there's something about its bracing herbal and citrus qualities that evoke winter, particularly in Northern California where crisp air and sunny days mingle to create the mild backdrop that spawns our wealth of citrus at its peak. Read more »

Appetite: Lovely visit, with vino

Exploring the farm and winery at Long Meadow Ranch, St. Helena

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Long Meadow Ranch Winery does it all in Wine Country: grass-fed beef, heirloom fruits and vegetables, eggs from their chickens, lush olive oils, and, of course, wines. Seeking to grow everything used in their restaurant and winery, they continue to push boundaries, currently exploring a dairy and cheese-making.

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Appetite: 1 Bourbon, 1 Scotch, 1 Beer

Drinkers, get thee to the Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts

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We San Franciscans are lucky to have a place like the Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts. Debuting last year at SF Cocktail Week as home base for the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail, this year sees the launch of Boothby classes, tastings and events on all things drink. Read more »

Appetite: Uni dreams

Exploring sea urchin creativity at three local restaurants

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Slick, tongue-like uni, or sea urchin (part of the same clan as sand dollars and sea cucumbers), earned its urchin moniker from a Middle English term for hedgehog due to their similar spiny exterior. Uni is an acquired taste. My adventurous palate took a couple years to come around to appreciating its briny richness (to be fair, the initial uni I tried was less than fresh, tasting more like a stale tidepool - yes, it matters where you have it). Three upscale dining destinations have been sourcing immaculate uni and giving it the inventive treatment.Read more »

Appetite: A tale of two (French) bistros

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On a cozy winter’s night (admittedly not forefront in anyone's mind given the weekend we just had), French bistro fare becomes supreme comfort food. Whether it’s a cassoulet of duck confit, white beans, and sausage or a steaming bowl of les moules with a side of frites, the French are masters of satiation. While my favorite bistros in the city remain Chapeau and L’Ardoise, recent visits to two provided gourmet sustenance with authentic French cheer. P.S. They are both taking Valentine’s Day reservations...

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Appetite: Germanic adventures

A preview of new German and Austrian restaurants

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Though I have more than a few food obsessions, there’s something about authentic food and wine from the Germanic countries that comforts me on a profound level. Maybe it’s my German Miller (or Mueller) family heritage on my Dad’s side or the satisfying straightforwardness of dishes like dumplings or sauerkraut. Either way, there’s not enough food around from that region as far as I’m concerned. So it is with great delight I witness the opening of two unique restaurants. Read more »