APPETITE Earthy, savory desserts call out to me. Despite my diminishing tolerance for excessive sugar, ice cream and gelato remain my biggest weaknesses, and I'm as appreciative of baked goods and balanced, unique desserts as I ever was. There are a slew of new and noteworthy Bay Area sweets on my menu — and a couple older places worth revisiting. (Visit the Pixel Vision blog at SFBG.com to read about six more.)
APPETITE The past year saw a number of openings I hope will be around for years to come — here is my list, in order, of my favorites. As ever, my goal is to include more affordable spots alongside midrange or upscale openings, considering range and uniqueness. It being December, I cannot strictly cover the calendar year so, with each choice open at least two months, the opening date range goes back to October 2011 for a full year.
Each year holds a range of interesting spirits released from around the globe. As the craft spirit industry continues to explode, there were many exciting newcomers this year. Here are some of the best of what's crossed my desk in 2012.
FORD's GIN ($27) - The 86 Company is a new venture from spirits and cocktail world stars Simon Ford (former International Brand Ambassador for Plymouth Gin), Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric (owners of New York's Employees Only bar, authors of Speakeasy). Just last month, they released Caña Brava Rum (a Panama rum, aged 3 years), Aylesbury Duck Vodka, and Ford's Gin. It's the gin I've been mixing with at home in every kind of cocktail from a basic gin and tonic to complex Ramos Gin Fizz.
APPETITE West Portal has long warmed my heart. Maybe it's the removed setting, tucked in the shadow of Twin Peaks where T line ends and the M emerges. Or it's a sense of stepping back in time to a 1970s San Francisco, a sleepy area unfazed by trends and hipsterization. It's a family neighborhood, residential and small town in feel — and like any corner of our city, has its food gems, like old school blue cheese buffalo burgers at charmingly dated Bulls Head, or vividly fresh sandwiches and salads at the original location of Market and Rye.Read more »
"This place just sort of fell into our lap" says Yuka Ioroi, who opened the Richmond neighborhood's Cassava Cafe and Restaurant earlier this year with husband Kristoffer. "We always wanted to have our own restaurant, but also wanted to start small with a cafe. So we thought, why not just serve a limited-seating dinner?" Read more »
Flavor! Napa is a five-day food and wine festival that took place last weekend in its second annual incarnation, potentially the definitive event representing the wines of the region, and the chefs and cooking that make this grouping of small towns and countryside one of the great culinary and wine destinations in the world.Read more »
Five yogis walk into a kitchen and prepare seven dishes made with heavy cream.
This sounds like the beginning of a ridiculous and hilarious joke, but in all honesty, it’s pretty much how Saturday morning started out, with the very first recipe being homemade Irish cream (note: it was 11am). Things were off to an awesome start at the Studio of Good Living, Phoebe Schilla's school of experiential cooking.Read more »
CHEAP EATS Another new restaurant has sprung up at the corner of Castro and 18th St. across from Walgreens. Korean, this time.
There are several problems inherent with writing a pirate sports column embedded within a "food" column in any free weekly paper, even when the "food" column isn't written by your domesticated partner. Which mine is. And don't think I haven't suspected that's how I landed the gig in the first place.Read more »