Eat + Drink
As a spirits writer, I suppose I’m as guilty as the next bar snob. But you don’t have to make your living critiquing cocktails to give your local bartender a migraine. Like the foodie movement before it, the recent mixology trend has created a new breed of patron, the kind who orders like this: “I’ll have an Aviation, the Hugo Ensslin version, but with Old Tom and Yvette instead of violette, so make it two-one-quarter-quarter. Luxardo, not Maraska, maraschino and who grows your lemons? If you have 2-inch cubes, I’ll take it on the rocks, but not if you’re using Kold-Draft. I know it’s supposed to be served on the stem, but I’m sick of that Nick and Nora glass.”
With black-and-white French films projecting on the back wall and skilled bartenders shaking up your next drink, the Orbit Room is always a solid meet-up spot before a night out. The Upper Market favorite has recently made some stellar changes to its funky, old-world feel, adding a pizza oven and a large communal table and updating their cocktail menu with an arsenal of new, tasty concoctions.
He comes only once a year, popping up in watering holes across the Bay Area. People line up to see him even before the bar is open. He is not post-mall-shift Santa Claus — he's Russian River Brewing Company's Pliny the Younger, the stronger, hoppier nephew of the same brewery's Pliny the Elder. But why the craze over a beer? The brewery releases Pliny the Younger only once a year, and as with most small batch beers, the flavor varies slightly every time they brew it. The February release also happens to coincide with San Francisco Beer Week.
Next Wednesday at 7 pm, tune into CBS to watch Liam Mayclem, host of Eye on the Bay, eat his way through much of the Big Eat 2011—from Benu to Cotogna to Fatted Calf and more. Liam is the most gracious, gregarious TV show host I've met (and while I haven't met a lot, I feel confident in this opinion).
Late winter is the perfect time to warm up with an apertivo or two and on Wednesday, February 23rd you can do just that at the first Farmers Market Happy Hour of the year. Tickets include two full-sized cocktails from the team of the highly anticipated Locanda set to open in March. Both cocktails––one a riff on the classic Negroni and the other an original creation––will feature Campari. There will also be 10 sample-sized sips from the bartenders at Rye, Azul, Hotsy Totsy, Beretta, Burritt Room, 15 Romolo, Bar Adagio, Prospect, Chow and Blackbird.
Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.
Today, Feb. 16
North Beach favorite Rose Pistola reopens with a new interior and updated Genoese menu by their new executive chef Mark Gordon (an alum of Terzo). Gordon’s added more sandwiches and wraps to lunch, as well as baked pasta for dinner. 532 Columbus Ave.
Thursday and Wednesday, Feb. 17 and 18
Our offices were just ambushed by the saints at Rosamunde Sausage Grill, who kindly brought over sausages, bacon and jalapeño-wrapped meat morsels, peppers, sauerkraut and a ton of condiments to herald their catering service. Rosamunde's still one of our favorite take out spots; it's perfect for this gloomy weather, which doesn't exactly beckon us outdoors.
It's Valentine's Day, and you haven't snagged that perfect gift or reservation for your sweetheart. Don't sweat, because our pals at Liquor.com and at Ginger Royale whipped up some recipes for last-minute love potions that will guarantee you an amorous evening tonight. Forget the roses and chocolates and start chilling those glasses!