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Eat + Drink

On Restaurant Magic

Last weekend I had a great meal at Church & State in Los Angeles. My dining companions and I sat there, in the center of the dining room amidst a swirl of activity, and I felt the happiest I'd been in a restaurant in quite some time. Everything was great—great energy, smart servers, terrific food—but there was also some indescribable brilliance that made that spot feel special. Restaurants—even good restaurants—don't always have this magic ingredient, and while we worked out way through bacalao fritters, escargot, perfect John Dory, we tried to figure out what it was.

St. Patrick's Day Flash Mob: Shoot From The Hip

Oh, St. Patrick’s Day. How we love your lucky leprechaun jigs, green beer and authentic Irish pinching traditions.

To celebrate this debaucherous holiday, we’re holding another 7x7 Flash Mob, so grab those camera phones and snap whatever you’re doing throughout the day on March 17. Sitting on the sidelines of the parade? Guzzling pints at the pub? Eating a killer plate of corned beef and cabbage? Just email your photo to our Flickr group at flashmob@7x7.com to be featured on 7x7’s site. Be sure to include a title in the subject line and a short description of where you are with your email address in the body (so we can let you know when your photo's up and if you've won a $100 gift certificate to Harris’ restaurant).

The 10 Best Irish Pubs in the City

Sure, green beer is kinda gross and Irish car bombs are a bit fratastic, but what other day can you go out, down a Guinness and say, “Kiss me, I’m Irish” without getting slapped? The sophisticated amongst us may choose to stay couch-bound Wednesday, but for those who want to revel, there’s no shortage of solid pubs. Here’s where you might find us quaffing a few.

1. The Irish Bank
Tucked away at the end of a dirty alley, this pub is a favorite of the downtown after-work crowd. Indoors or out, you’ll get a little taste of Europe in the heart of SF. 10 Mark Ln. at Grant Ave. (Union Square), 415-788-7152

An Alternative St. Patrick's Day

Green beer, car bombs, pinching strangers: St. Patrick's Day, the old-fashioned way, can be plenty of fun. But if your memories of last year's hangover are still painful, or you can't stomach the antics of a holiday bartenders not-so-lovingly refer to as "Amateur Night," there are still plenty of ways to enjoy St. Patty's this Wednesday that aren't on the traditional Irish-pub route. (And if you still love the classics, take heart: three of the four bars recently chosen by Thrillist as the city's best are Irish pubs.) Here are a few suggestions for a fresh take on St. Patty's (all hours are for Wednesday):

Your City, Your Chef: The Finalists Are In

VOTING IS NOW CLOSED! VOTING IS NOW CLOSED! VOTING IS NOW CLOSED!

 ..... this page will be updated with the winning chef's name week of July 1, 2010. To find out when, sign up for our e-newsletters, join us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter

The Winner of the Big Eat Scavenger Hunt: The Exit Interview

Michael Meadows completed the Big Eat scavenger hunt on Food Spotting on February 24, barely three weeks after the February issue of 7x7 containing the 2010 Big Eat came out! We were stunned. We were curious. After congratulating him (and getting ready to send off his winning prize of dinner for two at Quince and a stay at a hotel), we got down to the nitty gritty.

Market Watch: Top Chefs Guest at Tacolicious

Lulu Meyer brings us the best of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market every week. Eat well.

Eat It: Cheese, Bees and Slaughter City

A Cheesy Book Release
Gordan Edgar, the cheesemonger of Rainbow Grocery, will celebrate the release of his new book, Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge, with a party at Amnesia Bar on March 13 at 6:30 p.m.

Lowering the Bar: 5 Places to Drink For Cheap (or Free) This Week

Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.

1. ThirstyBear Beer Education: The local beer purveyor, which is certified organic and brews sustainably, wants you to sample its wares-- on your lunch break. If you can undergo the office subterfuge necessary to sipping, you'll be rewarded with educational talks on sustainable brewing, plenty of free beer samples, and a great impetus to spend the rest of the day slacking off on the Internet. (Thursday, March 11, 12-1:30 pm, at Green Zebra Environmental Center, 50 Post St., Tenderloin.)

First Bite: The (re)Birth of Marlowe

Ah, if only all transformations could as be as seemingly effortless as Madonna's. From Like a Virgin to Blonde Ambition, that lady made it all look so easy. The reality of reinvention, of course, is much trickier, particularly for restaurants, who are now getting into the game with increasing frequency. Marlowe reopened in mid-February after transitioning from their previous incarnation as the South Food and Wine Bar. Though Anna Weinberg is still owner, her partnership with celeb chef (and Virgin Airlines consultant) Luke Mangan is no longer, nor does the Australian-inflected menu remain (let's all take a moment to mourn the loss of South's licorice-lime dessert, shall we?).

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