Food lovers can be film lovers, too. So in an unconventional "Appetite" this week, we go to the Oscars. Despite unworthy nominees and a slew of lackluster films, as a lifelong film fanatic, I still relish the event every year. There's fun in joining with like-minded film buffs and fashion hounds to rave and rant about all the missteps or underdogs who should have won. And I'll take any excuse to dress up.
This year I'm hoping the dynamic duo hosting team of Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin will add some spark to the hours' long telecast. I'm more skeptical about the first go-round of 10 Best Picture nominees, however. We may not be Hollywood, but SF still gets into the act with events to suit everyone: those who want to enjoy the Oscars in style and those who want to bash the hell out of them. Read more »
In the wake of a number of January closings, including some long-timers I'd rather not see go (like Vivande Porta Via), I've been reflecting on those neighborhood spots or classic restaurants we often forget are there but don't want to lose. From time to time, I'd like to share reviews of places we'd do well to re-visit... or get to for the first time. They might be receiving a fresh infusion of flavor from recent chef or menu changes, or are good enough to remain noteworthy, despite the flood of new openings and (over)hyped hot spots. The Grand Cafe is one of them.
On the heels of a first time ever Super Bowl win for my beloved city of New Orleans, comes Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Lent. No one celebrates this time of year like Nola, but we try in our own little way here. At least there's some local outlets for wistfully wishing I was there...
February 15-19: Fat Tuesday at the Front Porch Outer Mission's Front Porch always knows how to throw a good party, and Fat Tuesday will be no exception. I can't think of a better way to usher in Mardi Gras than with a front porch crab boil. Don't forget to eat plenty of their jambalaya, drink Abita beer, and don those beads. Even better, if you can't make it Tuesday, they're doing the boil and French Quarter menu specials all week long, starting Monday. 5:30pm until close 65a 29th Street 415-695-7800 www.thefrontporchsf.com
By Virginia Miller of www.theperfectspotsf.com. View the previous installment of Appetite here. Check out more V-Day dining ideas here.
Fondue you: The Melting Pot draws couples closer for Valentine's
2/14 - Belgian beer and butchery at La Trappe Many of us don't get excited by the commercialism of Valentine's Day - and not just because we may or not have a special someone in our lives. It could just be that we don't like things rosy, pink and cute. No need to go the hearts and chocolate route when you can do Belgian beers and butchery, right? La Trappe does it right by making their enchanting Belgian brick-walled, candlelit basement the setting for A Porcine Valentine. Only 45 lucky people will have their run of the place, cozying up on church pews and couches with all the beers and pig they can ingest. La Trappe's Dave and Chris will each be breaking down a whole pig, showcasing different butchering techniques between the US and Italy. 3-11:30pm $95 per person, limited to 45 people 800 Greenwich Street 415-440-8727 www.latrappecafe.com
Mission Beach makes it sweeter
2/14 - Mission Beach Cafe sweets for the sweet ILoveMission Beach Café. Not only is it a morning delight for weekend brunch or weekday pastries and Blue Bottle coffee, but its dinners are some of the best and most underrated neighborhood dining in the city. Valentine’s Day there is, yes, a special four-course prix fixe dinner (including white linens, roses, champagne toast, amuse bouche and sweets from fab pastry chef, Alan Carter). Knowing their track record, it won't be the often overpriced, mediocre food one gets for Valentine's. There's dishes like Heirloom Chicory Salad with pomelos and huckleberries, Lobster and Dungeness Crab Ravioli or Prather Ranch organic prime rib. All this in the cozy, chic glow of a neighborhood restaurant that's also a worthy destination. $75 per person 198 Guerrero Street 415-861-0198 www.missionbeachcafesf.com