Sometimes Chronicle Books just nails it: Case in point, the new yet old-school cocktail book that they just published called Bixology: Cocktails, Culture and a Guide to the Good Life. Written by Doug Biederbeck, the owner of Bix restaurant, and Eve O'Neill, the hardback is a small, brown number (gives the impression of being leather covered) with simple gold writing on it. It's intentionally, somewhat cheekily, representative of another era, just like Bix itself.
In case you weren’t already painfully aware, conspicuous consumption is officially as dead, and, if you were painfully aware, the New York Times is here to remind us of that fact in a recent story by Ruth La Ferla. Slipping into its place? A curious notion we'll call stealth shopping. Big ticket items, the thinking goes, carry a degree of style stigma these days, so members of the haute set are heading underground, leaving the high street for private sales and trunk shows where their lavish purchases can be made among likeminded folk.
Already stressing about packing for that next holiday trip? We don’t blame you. Not only have some airlines recently begun charging for water (yes, water), but they’re sticking it to you at the airport where some of us have been caught off-guard by the fees tacked on for checking just one bag. There is a bright spot to the madness: Chloe & Jane skincare. Founded in Danville by Laura Albin, the Bay Area-based company formulates its product using natural, preservative- and dye-free ingredients, and has packaged its deliciously scented signature scents in travel-friendly sampler kits ($12-$20) perfectly suitable for that overstuffed carry-on.
Over the next two weeks, I'm going to give a series of recommendations for buzzed-related products that would make worthy gifts for any drinker in your life.
Last week, some of San Francisco's best bartenders faced off in one leg of what is sure to be one of the most high profile cocktail competitions in the country. Sponsored by Domaine de Canton, that spicy, complex and delicious ginger liqueur that debuted earlier this year, the contest is worth $10,000 to the ultimate winner and a trip to St Martin for the finalists. Considering all that, you would think tensions would have been high at Le Colonial, where the event was staged. Rather, though, the mood was festive and the bartenders didn't act as if they were nervous at all. Drink ingredients varied from coffee beans and kaffir lime leaves to coconut milk and pineapple.
Perhaps no other San Francisco neighborhood masters the balance of high and low like the Mission (think bacon wrapped hot dogs versus dinner at Range, thrift store furniture finds versus Mid-Century masterpieces at Monument), but rarely do you see high for low... anywhere in the city, for that matter. This Friday, however, some of the Mission's finer merchants will be bucking the norm with late-night sales and deals on everything from home decor to clothes to drinks (yes, please). There will also be a number of door prizes, live entertainment, and complementary snackies at locations throughout the area.
New restaurants? Exciting. New renegade one-day-a-week restaurants with a rotating roster of guest chefs, an ever-changing menu and a rental kitchen? Sign us up. For all of you who missed Mission Street Food, the short lived “hipster” taco truck that appeared for a few Thursday nights this fall, now is your chance to sample the goods. The operation has moved indoors.
Presidio Heights has a new go-to shop for bespoke baubles, thanks to the opening of the second San Francisco store and working atelier of Mabel Chong. Larger than the diminutive original location in Noe Valley, the local designer’s new Sacramento Street home showcases her handmade necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets amid furnishings collected by Chong's husband, Mark Welte.
Pop in to see Chong’s latest work: black diamond-and-18K-gold stardust bead earrings and long, asymmetrical necklaces that can be worn plain or layered for added drama. And if a piece of furniture catches your eye, don’t be shy. Chong has plans to put price tags on the store’s art and furnishings, too.
Essential SF knowledge in your inbox
Sign up for our email newsletters for the latest on local food, culture, style, tech, and more.