Eat + Drink
I am a huge fan of Inside the Actor's Studio (I am also, relatedly, a huge fan of Will Ferrell's impression of James Lipton). The pensive moments, the long pauses, the seeming sincerity—good stuff. So when I heard that newcomer Studio Gourmet was posturing itself as a sort of ITAS for food lovers, I was curious.
If you're not a coffee drinker--and we all know this is quite the coffee drinkers' town--you probably love tea. Here are our favorite places to warm up and get a sip. Where do you go to drink and buy?
No doubt by now you've been to several holiday parties already, and are probably planning your own as well. This means you'll need to mix up some drinks to knock their socks off. Get ready for the big night with the help of a true pro, H. Joseph Ehrmann (proprietor of Elixir and Nightclub & Bar Magazine's 2010 Bartender of the Year), who's putting on a Mixology 101 class this Wednesday, December 15th.
Jamil Zainasheff had never planned to go pro. Over the past decade, he'd carved out a niche for himself in the growing homebrewing movement, authoring books on classic beer styles and yeast and hosting a popular Internet radio show, "The Jamil Show," on the Brewing Network. "I've always said I didn't want to set up a [commercial] brewery, because they're very expensive, and it's a lot of hard work," Zainasheff says.
Bourbon and Branch
The whiskey options at this secret-password bar are surprisingly unclassified: Buy it by the straight pour (ask for their special Pappy single-barrel), in one of the pre- selected tasting flights (bourbon, rye, Irish, or Scotch), or in a mixed flight of half-pours of your own choosing.
People, in the immortal words of Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park: "Hold onto your butts". We've got up for grabs two pairs of tickets to see possibly the coolest movie of the year, TRON Legacy in 3D and Dolby Digital Surround Sound! They're for the midnight screening of Friday the 17th (so you can see it before all your pals).
You know the jist: Jeff Bridges is stuck in a trippy digital world, his abandoned son goes in to save him, all to Daft Punk's otherworldly soundtrack. Get ready to have your minds blown!
Chef Anthony Strong, one of 7x7's 2010 "Top 20 Under 40", returned recently from a two month trip to Rome where he got paid to learn the ropes (mostly at Osteria di San Cesario), a chef's dream come true. Lucky for us, though, he'll be applying his newfound knowledge to Delfina's next restaurant, Locanda, when it opens on Valencia Street in the spring of next year. Delfina just sent out its newsletter where Strong details the highlights of his trip. If you know Strong, it's so very him. Funny, quirky, offally.
Located right across from the Transamerica Pyramid, the downstairs parlor here abuts the old sea wall, but the overall effect is more clubby basement bar than Barbary Coast. This room (as well as upstairs area) is rentable with a per-person rate for drinks and food. Prices vary.
582 Washington St., 415-981-1500, aventinesf.com
The holidays have arrived, and you may have family or friends that came with them. Don't just leave them shivering in your drafty Victorian all day, take those kids out for coffee. Sure, you could drag them to your corner cafe, but why not take them on a caffeinated adventure instead at one of the city's unique venues. Here are five spots to wow your guests.