Eat + Drink
Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.
1. Food and Thought: The "Now Playing" series at SFMOMA continues to offer one of the best fusions of cheap drinks, culture, and tasty food in town, with $5 small plates from the likes of Coi and Local: Mission Eatery, an art collaboration with Noise Pop, and complimentary Trumer Pils and Scribe wine. All this can be yours for a half-price museum admission; members get in free. (Thursday, November 24, 6-8 pm, at SFMOMA Rooftop Garden, 151 3rd St., SOMA.)
With all the Italian restaurants continuing to open in San Francisco, I've been talking shop with some of the city's best chefs. Particularly, about dried pasta.
Should you think dried pasta is inferior product, think again. Dried pasta is used very specifically for preparations such as carbonara. No self-respecting Roman would be caught dead with a bowlful of carbonara made with anything else. It's a dish that calls for spaghetti with a backbone!
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.