Food and Drink

3 spring cocktail trends

Sip on this season's haute new libations, from wine cocktails to fizzy bottled daiquiris 

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Spring imparts new life and lush green after winter rains. It also ushers in a glut of new cocktail menus, emphasizing the best produce of the season and exciting new trends.Read more »

7 vegan and gluten-free indulgences

FEAST: Superlative eats for limited diet, charcuterie to quesadillas

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True, at first glance a vegan and gluten-free lifestyle sounds like a joke from Portlandia's Allergy Pride Parade. Wave those flags high, besmirched friends. But here's a non-snarky thought: for some people, it's just life. They have actual allergies to gluten and/or dairy.Read more »

Appetite: An elegant line of tequilas

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Tequila Avión has gained a sort of cult status from a (unsolicited) mention in the show Entourage, but I’m glad to say this tequila holds enough quality to stand on its own. Produced in the Jalisco highlands, in the town of Jesus Maria at the highest elevation of any tequila producer (7000 feet), brings a naturally higher sugar content to the agave plants. Their process is to roast the agave plants at very low temperatures and let them cool naturally which retains more juices and makes the plants less fibrous when crushed.

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Appetite: Exploring 3 wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

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Call it dessert wine if you will, icewine (eiswein in German) is definitely sweet. But winemakers prefer to call it “rich and concentrated,” an apt icewine description, which, when produced well, retains enough acidity to keep it from being cloying.

Icewine’s intensity comes from frozen grapes, allowing greater flavor concentration. Unlike in Sauternes, Bordeaux, icewine is not sweet from botrytis (noble rot), rather from frozen, concentrated juice. Canada and Germany are the largest icewine producers in the world, with most of Canada’s icewine vineyards in Ontario, which I recently visited. Besides attending the annual Niagara Icewine Festival, I spent time with three wineries and tasted winning salumi and cheeses made locally.

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Laksa and lemongrass: a tasty Malaysian cooking class

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Azalina was all smiles. Originally from Malaysia, this spunky chef is now part of the incubator cooking program at La Cocina. He taught a Malaysian street food cooking class this week, which Sam Love and I felt very lucky to be a part of. Read more »

10 dishes that'll bowl you over

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Check out this week's Feast food and drink supplement for the best in hidden Bay bites

The bowl, the cradle of sustenance, a definite necessity on those windy, overcast days to which SF is so prone. Here are some of my local favorites, from classic French onion from Chez Maman to Coi's bowl-bound fried egg artistry. 

Pork ramen with buttered corn from Genki Ramen

Ramen, that steaming, succulent noodle soup, is sure-enough Japanese comfort food. Genki does it right, with a well-balanced broth, springy noodles, tender meat, and a heaping spoonful of buttered corn to pack in just a few more decadent calories. Read more »

Attention: Tiny book in your newspaper (Feast is here!)

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Our bi-yearly Feast food and drink magazine hit newsstands today, so strap up your sneaks and step out because you have a lot of dining around to do. Read more »

Gourmet fresh (and cheap)

Warm muffaletta, chicken meatball Reubens, fizzy Kvas ... Market and Rye, Anda Piroshki, and All Good Pizza hit the spot

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7 pretty tea parties

Pastel china, raised pinkies, and steamy pots: these are the city's best tea houses

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caitlin@sfbg.com

Unbeknownst to those whose primary haunt is dingy dive bars and the bottom of a margarita glass, there are as many kinds of tea houses in San Francisco as one-night stands.Read more »

Appetite: Jazzy 1950s-era bar in former newspaper printing room? Believe it

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Bourbon and Branch, Wilson and Wilson, Rickhouse... I've frequented (and written about) each since they opened. Though some tire of the speakeasy concept, Bourbon and Branch led that trend, remaining one of the more transporting places to drink anywhere. I value owner Future Bars' emphasis on setting and will always adore a setting from another era or place, whether you call it speakeasy or not. Taste and quality is crucial, but I'm grateful for that rare bar I can escape to, to feel as if I'm in another time or world, preferably with an excellent drink.

Future Bars' brand new bar, Local Edition, opened yesterday off bustling Market Street near Third (in what was the Manhattan Lounge), full of retro spirit. I visited a couple days before opening to check out the space, and again opening day for drinks, when the line to get in wrapped around the block (hopefully not a sign of things to come?) The underground space has a 1950s-era jazz club feel and is surprisingly large (over 5000 square feet), so even after the throngs entered, it was not full. The bar is sexy and candlit with a stage, restored vintage chairs surrounding low tables, and red bench seats lining the walls.

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