While we're all anxiously awaiting the opening of Martin Cate's new Tiki shrine (an announcement about the imminent opening is due, Cate tells me, next week), we can perhaps get a preview of what's to come at an unlikely place. Next Monday, the 9th, Jardinère, bastion of fine dining in the Symphony District (SyDi?), is putting on its grass skirt and putting Cate behind the stick as guest bartender. Cate says he will be making “three typically obscure and esoteric vintage tropical drinks that will be magically delicious!”
As interesting as Cate's drinks, perhaps, will be the food to go with it. Tiki cuisine has never been exactly exalted in gastronomic circles, so it will be interesting to see what Jardinère's accomplished kitchen team can do with it in a prix-fixe format.
We looked at pumpkin cocktails the other day, so it's only right to look at a more, shall we say, serious way of drinking your October pumpkin, in the form of beer. Pumpkin ales are a popular sort of post-Octoberfest seasonal beer, and there are lots around to choose from.
The freshest and most exciting is probably the one that was actually brewed here in SF, Magnolia Brewpub's Barking Pumpkin, which is made with baked pumpkins and pumpkin seeds with barley and baking spices. Try it on tap at the pub.
Not that anyone needs and excuse to party on Halloween, but when it falls on a Saturday, as it does this year, I can sense trouble. Pretty much every bar is going to be revving up its party atmosphere this weekend, so there's no need to list them all.
But all manner of Halloween cocktail suggestions have been landing in my inbox over the last week or so, so I thought I share a few of them with you--both the tasty-sounding and the gruesome.
The gist of both articles is that chef and diners here in the Bay Area promote a food culture that's local and sustainable, while the sommeliers seem strangely immune to the cause, often ignoring the local wines while loading up on European selections. Is it hypocracy? Is it reverse-snobbism?
Despite the "open" sign in the photo, Terroir Wine Bar, the hipster hangout and natural wine bar in SOMA is a week or so into an unfortunate closing. Plumbing issues in their building and flooding on the floors above have caused damage that necessitates repair. (No, that "barnyard" smell is not coming from the French country wines--just kidding). They hope to be back up and running by early November. Let's hope this is the case, as the place is a lo-fi refresher from the more glitzy, polished wine bars about town.
The label is called Fledgling and the wines are a Pinot and a Chardonnay. The partner in the project is Crushpad, SF's public, urban winery, where the wine is obviously going to be made. Of the $20 cost ($240 a case), $5 per bottle goes to the charity aimed at improving education in the developing world.
You may have seen his hopeful visage sprayed onto abandoned buildings or sketched in chalk on the cracked sidewalks of despair. Perhaps you've recently heard his name praised in the songs of local children or run into a band of teenagers who have left home to go in search of him. Whatever the case, there can be no doubt: The Wine Guerrilla is rising. It is his time.