Eat + Drink
This was a dinner I attended during the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers up in Napa. It was a good three days, and I gleaned some valuable information about publishing. More than that, however, I made some excellent new friends. Not a bad use of time, particularly for people who are just starting their career.
I got to meet Peter McRea, the owner, who has continued making excellent Chardonnay from the Napa Valley in the exact same style his parents did--which is to say, balanced, completely devoid of new oak and extremely age-worthy.
energy drinks and lots of blondes, such as you see at the Nuvo ("the world's first sparkling liqueur") and Rock Star Energy Drink booths.
But coffee is a bit of a mood drug itself, and the steaming cups I had were as delicious as the Japanese siphon system (the first in the US) was perplexing. The coffee is indeed good, but the show is even better.
From CocoaBella to Michael Recchiuti to the new Swiss-import, Schoggi, just off Union Square, San Francisco is well on its way to being the next Barcelona, a city dipped in chocolate-chic. On February 5, Christopher Elbow, the very talented Kansas City–based chocolatier, opened his second, austerely modern store-cum-lounge in Hayes Valley (401 Hayes St., 415-355-1105).
The new Hayes Street shop. (Photo courtesy
Mr. Elbow himself).
It's hard to avoid the mild feelings of skepticism that accompany the opening of anything that seems like it might be putting on airs—particularly in San Francisco, particularly when a certain someone is telling us that we need economic stimulating. But, then, well...wait just a second. When Le Club opens today it may well exceed our expectations. Though it is a reservation-only restaurant and bar (yes, that means that even if you just want a cocktail you have to plan ahead...sorry, casual Californians), it's interior is more old-fashioned lounge than new slick club: intimate, sleek and polished, with marble floors, an onyx bar and a billiards room.