Eat + Drink
The Magic Curry Kart, the Sexy Soup Lady, Bike Basket Pies, the creme brulee guy, the French taco truck. Boccalone's Salumi Cycle is delivering sandwiches. The economy seems to be turning San Francisco into one big Twitter-fueled, "nonrestaurant" bake sale (with elements of Burning Man thrown in)—all under the guise of street food, "authentic" or not.
Since Bill Clinton, who liked to eat but whose most lasting gastronomical association was with the Big Mac, and Bush, who seemed almost disdainful of good food and didn't even drink, it's been sixteen years since there's been any chief executive whose evinced that most human (and, for us, a most San Franciscan) trait of enjoying a good drink. While Obama's election broke many barriers and has yielded hope in so many ways, one of the nicest things about his presidency so far is that the guy likes to drink. And the examples keep piling up . . .
A sommelier's job includes many things—buying wine, maintaining the list, training the staff—but the most visible of these is his or her wine-pairings menu. The wine pairings are the chance for the sommelier to demonstrate his or her ability to compliment the chef's food without getting in the way and bring both dish and wine to a new level, where the combination is greater than the sum of the parts.
Ordinarily, I am no fan of gimmicky when it comes to eating and drinking. I do not like waiting in line, passwords, secret phone numbers or bars with unmarked phone numbers. So when I heard that a group of chefs and front-of-the-house people, led by chefs Chris Kronner and Danny Bowien (formerly of Serpentine and Farina, respectively) were opening a pop-up Thursday-nights-only supper club in the private room of Bruno's (the unfortunately named "Pussycat Lounge") I feared for the worst. (Full Disclosure: I worked at Chez Panisse with several of the people involved in this project).
Chocolate and caramel, curry carts and cocktails for the road. Mexican fiestas, Hawaiian loco moco and Shanghai Bucks. Where to get goat in the Marina, black-sesame popsicles in the Mission and … Tums (available at any Walgreens).
While I’ve been writing about artisanal mezcal—the smoky, complex, and original agave spirit of Mexico—for years, my articles have often been written more out of the hope of inciting a trend than actually chronicling a real one. But now, I can finally say with confidence that there is a definite mezcal trend occurring.
Restaurants continue to drop their price points making the prix-fixe the new tasting menu. Here are some we'll be hitting up in the coming weeks.
Our friend the Tablehopper, AKA Marcia Gagliardi, asked me to pass along this notice of her upcoming wine tasting and class. The focus is the wines of Sicily, which are well worth knowing about. Sicily is a vast land will all kinds of different terroirs, from the hot and dry to the cool, lava-dominated soils of the still-active Mt Etna. As in California, all kinds of wines come from Sicily, from the most humdrum of bulk wines to some the most unique and intriguing wines in the world.