Eat + Drink
It's the time of year when whiskey cocktails are as common a sight as long waiting lines in front of every cash register. And no wonder, after waiting in those lines to spend your money, you're gonna need a good drink.
Now, I confess that I've been much in the spirit of drinking bourbon and rye this December. It's a little embarrasing to admit how many Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, and Sazerac have passed these lips in the last few weeks. But I can't say that I haven't enjoyed them. What I can say is that I've enjoyed every drink a little more, once I started putting these Whiskey Barrel-Aged bitters from Fee Brothers in them.
If you haven't made reservations yet, stop what you're doing and get on it—by the time you emerge from your Christmas cave it will be too late. Below, a small smattering of NYE options. For a complete list, check out Open Table.
What: Four-course and five-course prix fixe menus with optional wine pairings
When: December 31, 5–11 p.m.
Where: 2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco
Cost: Four-course menu for $75 per person, five-course menu for $90 per person. Optional wine pairings are available for $55 or $70, respectively.
Book: For reservations call 415-771-2216
The sun will come out tomorrow, I promise, but it's worth looking back at some of this year's signifcant closings and taking a moment to remember those that were. Halfway through the year, Eater reported that the tally was at 30. While some are being replaced by other concepts (South, Laiola, Acme Chophouse), most have boarded up for good. So here's a toast to the restaurateurs that weathered a rough year—whether they came out on the other end or not—and hopefully, to a more prosperous 2010.
It's Friday, which means time for the Eater Wrap, the weekly recap from Eater SF on all the happenings from the local restaurant scene. Feel free to grab some popcorn. Or candy canes. 'Tis the season, after all.
1) The big news today comes from Jackson Street's Zinnia, which will be closing at the end of the year. The sad closure is being chalked up to the unforgiving economy, which not even chef/owner Sean O'Brien could overcome in the former Scott Howard space.
You've got until next Friday to finalize your gifts for your foodie friends and family. Your time is similarly limited when it comes to olio nuovo, olio nuevo or—a less cool way to say it—new olive oil. The fall is when most of the olives around here are pressed and the oil is generally available at the latest until mid-winter. New olive oil is peppery, robust and has some serious personality compared to its mellower, older sibling. Here are a few we'd recommend. They make great, if heavy, stocking stuffers.
Despite the scattered rain and bitter cold, the December market is bustling. It’s that time of year when Cypress Flower Farms’ Saturday stand is brimming with wreathes and holiday swag made from Eucalyptus, heather, fir, cypress, and redwood branches and leaves. They smell fantastic and they’re so bright and beautiful they’ll inspire even the biggest holiday scrooge to brighten their homes with a touch of the natural world.
One cool thing about beer is that it's so seasonal. Brewers can make a new batch anytime they want and tailor its flavors and styles to the season. Winter beers and Christmas ales have long been a favorite among both brewers and drinkers. And here in the Bay Area we have more than our fair share of choices. Here's a four of my faves, each in a different style:
Oh 2009, we hardly knew ye. But now with (gulp) exactly two weeks left in this year and this decade, it's time to look at the food trends of 2009.
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: The holiday spirit(s). Have an event coming up? Want to share a tip? E-mail her.
1. SF Appeal Holiday Party: The SF Appeal, made up of hardworking journalists covering the issues, is a cause worthy of your support. Show them you love them by dropping in at their holiday party, where they'll have free Trumer Pils. And be careful: we journalists are pretty good at drinking. RSVP here. (Tonight, Wednesday, December 15, 7-10 pm, at PariSoMa, 1436 Howard St., SOMA.)
1. Cheap and Cheerful
The economy has got people drinking cheaper bottles of wine. But learning something along the way. As a sommelier in a high-end restaurant told me, “Maybe wine drinkers are learning that often what makes wine expensive is not only high quality, but things like fashion and availability.”
2. DIY Everything
Bartenders started the DIY trend a couple of years ago by making their own bitters. But now witness the portfolio of shrubs (syrups made from fresh fruit and vinegar) from Nopa’s Neyah White and the tonic water made with cinchona bark and assorted herbs and flowers from her backyard made by Pizzaiolo’s Cate Whalen. What’s next? Glass blowing?