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Eat + Drink

Sip the Spirit of Summer: A Guide to Gin

Gin is light on the tongue and can be mixed with the freshest, most summery ingredients. It's the quintessential spirit of summer. From a Tom Collins to the classic gin & tonic, it can take on almost any flavor you like. The experts at have compiled a guide to the best gins to brighten any cocktails you might be mixing up this sunny season.

First Drink and Bite: The Sycamore

The Sycamore, the city's newest beer-and-bar-bites spot, calls itself "Your Favorite New Bar in the Mission." Based on its 15 five-star-perfect Yelp reviews, that statement might just be correct.

The Pizza Drops Tomorrow: Bruce Hill Counts Down to Zero Zero

Bruce Hill, chef-owner of Bix in SF and Picco and its next door pizzeria in Marin, is set to open the doors to his newest venture tomorrow: Zero Zero. Located next to LuLu in the former Azie space, the two-floored building has received a very Michael Brennan redesign (imagine a dark, rather gothic mural on the second floor, complete with images of tomatoes on the vine and … Pinnochio), massive mirrors over one of the two bars and salvaged vintage lights from flea markets. The man who first brought us pizza and soft serve took a minute out of a foggy day to give us the skinny.

First Bite: Wayfare Tavern

If you go to Wayfare Tavern, prepare for the flash. I'm not talking metaphorically speaking, either—you should prepare for customers armed with cameras, ready to catch a glimpse of chef Tyler Florence in the open kitchen (where he has been since day one, though the chef de cuisine is Michael Thiemann, who moved here from Hawaii). Such are the hazards of visiting a debut restaurant from a celebrity chef, one whose notoriety is based on 14 years on the Food Network, seven (and counting) cookbooks, a spot on Macy's culinary council and a baby food line, Sprout, not to mention a homegoods store that sells eponymous cookware and a Twitter following (@TylerFlorence) that numbers nearly 200,000.

Florence may be one of the most well-known chefs in the business, yet Wayfare is his first restaurant (there are two more on the horizon, due later this year—one in Mill Valley and the second in Napa). He's used his fame to go big with Wayfare, taking over the former Rubicon space and transforming it into a three-story eatery that nods to Barbary Coast pubs, rich with Americana and clubby touches, including a game room.

Farm Fresh Cocktails from SF Newcomer Bar Agricole

Just like the surge in popularity of farm-to-table dining in San Francisco, bartenders are beginning to follow their chef cohorts into the fields for the freshest fruits, veggies and herbs to add to their increasingly innovative and tasty barroom concoctions.

But the person who is taking this to the extreme is San Francisco's Thad Vogler, who just this summer opened the bar at Camino and the J Lounge at Jardiniere.

Weird Art in Bars: Noc Noc

A cross between a Neanderthal’s cave and Aladdin’s lamp, Noc Noc is a cozy cavern with a Gypsy color scheme and plenty of intriguing things to carefully inspect, should your date be late or nonexistent.

Top Chef Masters' Rick Bayless Mixes Up the Party-Perfect Summer Margarita

Life without margaritas would be a dismal one. As everyone's favorite tequila drink, it's a mainstay at parties, bars and on beaches. But just a few years ago, they were far from popular.

We have celebrity chef and recent Top Chef Masters contestant Rick Bayless to thank for changing that. He's has been championing Mexican food and its perfect companion the Margarita for decades.

Wine, Meet Music. Music, Meet Wine.

When Lilith Fair was in town at the Shoreline Ampitheatre I joined a bunch of my friends, including Ziggy the Wine Gal (rock star sommelier and personal sommelier for Journey—talk about a title!) to pour wine backstage for the “talent”. Roadie to rockstar, wine and music are hard to separate. 

The Feed Frenzy: Is SF Suffering from a Gluttony of Food Information?

With countless websites clamoring to cover the minutia of our restaurant scene, the city is suffering from a gluttony of food information. From Yelpers to tweeters to bloggers, the new world of media has both diners and chefs documenting dinner’s every detail. Is the pleasure of food is getting lost in the mix?

Market Watch: Saison's John De Wolf Browses for Brassica

Every week, Lulu Meyer brings us the best of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and the chefs that shop there.

John De Wolf, sous-chef at Saison, is something of a farmers market junkie. He can be seen weekly at each of all the three Ferry Plaza Farmers Markets. He’s often alongside Saison’s executive chef Josh Skenes, pushing around a chef cart, selecting items for the menu, and chatting with the farmers.

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