Eat + Drink
Though the name of this Castro newcomer, Starbelly, has most people thinking about Dr. Seuss, I'm going to go ahead and date myself as a '90s teenager by announcing that the restaurants name evokes nothing so much as the Bikini Kill song "Star-Bellied Boy." (Not to be confused with the Hole song "Star Belly"). In that riot-girl anthem the girls rock out, screaming "Star-bellied boy different from the rest, you're so different from the rest, prove you're different from the rest."
I was bartending the other night at Cantina and made a round of drinks for a group. When it came time for the second round, one of the guys said he liked the cocktail I made him, but wanted something "stronger." Now I hate it when people ask for "stronger" drinks. Bartenders put the right amount of alcohol in each drink, so don't ask for more. You wouldn't ask for more steak in a restaurant after your first serving, would you? I told him that his last drink had been strong, just balanced so it didn't taste that way.
At the Thursday market there is no shortage of delicious lunch options. Once you’ve polished off a juicy porchetta sandwich from Roli Roti, spicy short-rib tacos from Tacolicious or a bowl of kimchee fried rice from Namu, you’ll definitely want to mosey over to the Scream Sorbet booth for something sweet. Scream’s sorbets are made without corn syrup or preservatives and have flavors that are inspired by the best local and organic fruits, vegetables and herbs available.
Love Apple Love-In
Ah, summer, with all its fog. Thankfully, somewhere out there in a town near us they’re growing heirloom tomatoes so we can at least pretend. At Millennium’s heirloom tomato dinner on August 26 you can get your fix with a multicourse extravaganza devoted to Brandywines, Green Zebras and Sungolds. Get ‘em while it’s…er…hot.
Get Real, Eat Real
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a remarkable meal put on by Des and Rob Denunzio, authors of the excellent Bay Area beer blog, Pfiff. The theme was “The Italian Modernists.” Now, I know little about beer and even less about Italian beer, but I do know that the wonderful southern European country has a great reputation for, well, wine. So the idea of an Italian beer tasting was intriguing, made even moreso by the fact that we would try 9 interesting and esoteric Italian beers, each matched with a different course.
We are just getting around to reading this article, written by Raymond Sokolov for the Wall Street Journal. As usual it's not new news for anyone who lives out here in the Bay Area (or, you know, reads the New York Times), but his glowing portrait of Los Gatos' Manresa and disciple Ubuntu, up in Napa, means we'll hardly be surprised when biodynamic gardens and haute vegetable temples start cropping up like wildflowers in the coming year.
It was only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea of this magazine—Food + Sex just released its premiere issue, a thin little volume with a collage-y design and a juicy collection of essays. Ever wondered about worm sex? Want a recipe for human-incubated yogurt? It's in there. This, gleaned from the "About Us" section of their facebook page, pretty much says it all, while simultaneously not making any sense: "By weaving erotic, shocking and thoughtful layers of beauty, wildness and the human spirit, we peer into the fire of hope and fear to find the hidden, seek the cosmic and reflect on the elemental connectedness in life that opens us to new ways of being."
Seeing as I grew up in the heart of Texas bbq country, I'd been eager to get in and try the fare at Wexler's, the new Financial District spot with cuisine "informed by" cooking traditions of the American South and Southwest. Now I knew better than to expect bbq itself, especially since last spring I took Wexler's chef Charlie Kleinman back to aforementioned home for an inspirational little two-day bbq tour, where I got familiar with Kleinman's concept, which is not easily summarized. Certainly "bbq-informed" is not the most romantic sounding culinary description. Luckily, none of that matters, as the final result speaks for itself. No, it's not bbq--not even close--but what I had was very good.