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Eat + Drink

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

Each week, former sf.myopenbar.com editor Allie Pape brings you her picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF. This week: Whiskyfest's scraps, drinking with the Stones, and a sweet deal for students. Have an event coming up? Want to share a tip? E-mail her.

Market Watch: The Elusive White Pomegranate, Breakfast Pizza and Kohlrabi

Every fall, from October through December Bariani Olive Oil harvests Manzanilla and Mission olives grown on their farm outside of Sacramento. The olives are hand-picked and pressed each day during the harvest season. This week at Bariani’s Saturday stand in addition to their wonderful unfiltered oils, you can also get your hands on raw Manzanilla olives. Never cured your own olives before? It’s easy and takes more patience than skill. Pick up some Manzanillas at Bariani this week and start experimenting.

This Week’s Events: Tapas, Chickens and Avocado Cocktails

 

Italian Stallion
Tomorrow, October 8, Petaluma-based photographer (and co-owner of Laloo’s goat milk ice cream) Douglas Gayeton, author and photographer of the gorgeous new book, Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town, will be holding a signing at 18 Reasons. Join him for wine, cheese, ice cream and a sneak peek of his sepia-toned images of Italy. The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. and the cost is $10.

The Rise Of Porchetta

Who knows exactly why things suddenly become popular. You could blame it on the media (although, as of now, there's a one less media outlet to blame), or you could blame it on the power of suggestion—a chef sees something on a menu someplace, it lodges in his or her consciousness, and before you know it they've put it on the menu at their restaurant without even realizing. Think of it like seeds scattered in the wind, trends moving from coast to coast.

The Perils of Blind Tasting

Yesterday I blind tasted a wine at RN74 with a couple of top sommeliers. It was light colored, obviously Pinot, probably Burgundy. Bright with perfume and fresh berry fruit flavors, the wine had punchy acidity, a lean body, and a bit of tannin. I guessed 1988 Chambolle--a lean, high acid year that also made lovely perfumed wines. The sommeliers guessed younger--2001 and 1996. We were all wrong, it turned out, but I was the closest. It was indeed Chambolle. Yet my vintage was off by 26 YEARS! The wine was a 1962.

Food52: A Cookbook Competition with a Familiar Face

According to Food52—started by Mrs. Latte herself, Amanda Hesser, along with Merrill Stubbs—the website/community was "created to celebrate the best cooks in the world: home cooks." It's the kind of site you submit your best stew with olives or your best fig recipe. Relatively down home.

Should Wine Bars Keep the Lecture Under the Cork?

Eric Asimov has a blog post today on The Ten Bells, his favorite Manhattan wine bar. His advocacy of this place really hit a mark, as it has been tweeted and re-tweeted all afternoon. What makes Ten Bells so cool? Well, the headline says it's a "place for wine without the lecture." Asimov adds that "the Ten Bells is just a great place to hang out" and that "perhaps most telling, you can always find a few people at the Ten Bells with no interest at all in wine."

I share Eric's appreciation for the unpretentious. What he wishes for, as do I, is a world without "wine bars," per se. Instead: a world with great bars that also have great wine lists.

The CUESA Sunday Supper: SF's Famous Chefs Saying Funny Things on Video

Last night at the CUESA Sunday Supper I learned the following: that Gialina owner Sharon Ardiana is opening a new restaurant (though she doesn't have a space yet), that Mark Dommen's next whole beast meal will be devoted to suckling pig, that Bar Tartine will serve housemade English muffins when they open for breakfast in three weeks (and that chef Chris Kronner isn't sleeping much).

The Voracious Reader: Omnivore Books' Pick Of The Week

Celia Sack, owner of Omnivore Books on FoodSan Francisco's only food book store, specializing in both new and antiquarian cookbooks—knows what's cooking. Find the best of the latest food writing and cookbooks on Bits + Bites every other Monday.

Screen Test: The Next Iron Chef

By Sunday night, when you are in post-Hardly Strictly Bluegrass or LoveFest recovery mode, you'll be ready to cozy up to the couch and watch the season premiere of the second season of Food Network's The Next Iron Chef. Given that many Americans appear to have an obsession with contest-based reality shows, and given that here in San Francisco we have a particular interest in food-focused competitions, we're guessing that the show, featuring local chef Dominique Crenn of Luce and once-local-and-now-oft-missed chef Nate Appleman, will have a strong local following.

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