Eat + Drink
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: Free drinks bonanza, with deals for the unemployed, Yelpers, singles, and people who like tequila. Have an event coming up? Want to share a tip? E-mail her.
The better part of Wednesday's Dining section in the New York Times was given to their coverage of so-called winter drinks. But instead of toddies and warmers they talked instead about rum, though not the hot and buttered kind that would seem appropriate for this time of year. Rather it was aged rum in a tasting column by E Asimov and an article on the revival of rum-based tiki cocktails puncturing the mustachioed seriousness of the hardcore bartending set.
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I'm so happy it's December 1. Well, I mean, it's true that the year has raced by faster than ever, and I puzzle over where exactly it went. And it's true that we're getting into that hectic crush where end-of-the-year projects collide with holiday shopping only to be buried by an avalanche of social obligations. But we're also in the month that allows us a coping mechanism for the madness: the afternoon drink. Naturally, I'm writing this with a martini in hand (one of my favorite afternoon cocktails -- 2 parts Plymouth, 1 part Noilly-Pratt, lemon twist, stirred). I hope you're reading this with same.
For every restaurant that has closed (and this year, there have been many) another opens in its place. The natural ebb and flow is what makes this a good eating town, constantly in a state of change and renewal. The latest long-awaited addition to the dining scene is Frances, Melissa Perello's first solo venture, which will open it's doors today (3870 17th Street between Noe and Sanchez, 415-621-3870) in the former home of a short-lived Filipino restaurant that Perello (and her father and a team of pros) renovated extensively.
Because I love what they're doing so much, I'm going to take this space once again to hype an upcoming beer dinner at the Monk's Kettle. This Wednesday Dec 2, the Monk's Kettle folks have devised yet another really cool beer dinner, this time featuring select beers from Shelton Brothers, one of the most adventurous and fascinating beer importers in the country. Almost as cool as their portfolio, which sports beers from 16 different countries (including Brazil and Japan), is the fact that they're based in the aptly named Belchertown, MA.
Though the doom-and-gloom restaurant talk is completely warranted, since plenty of great restaurants have closed in the last six months, it's nice to see, occasionally, places that are doing well against the odds—or because of them. Kasa Indian Eatery is one of those places. The first location, on 18th street near the Castro, quickly drew a devoted local following (we included them in our Best Cheap Eats story in August of 2008) and it's easy to see why: wholesome, affordable Indian food is pretty hard to resist.
Dumplings and a movie. It doesn't get much better. Here are our five of our favorite double dates.
The traditional Thanksgiving meal isn't normally on the menu year-round at most homes, and picking wine to match a turkey dinner and all the trimmings can be a challenge. We spoke to employees at three local wine shops to get their opinions on wines that would pair beautifully with the holiday spread. Their picks span the globe, but all three agree: avoid wines that are heavy, rich, or tannic, and look for clean flavors and acidity to cut the heaviness of the meal.
Michael Barber, Domestic Wine Specialist, K&L Wines: