Eat + Drink
The job of a line cook can be brutal, but the best nights are when you get into a groove. Thing is, you never know what’s going to derail you.
Last month, Restaurant Gary Danko sommelier Michael Engelmann shocked the world (or at least the US sommelier community) by coming out of nowhere to win the coveted title Best Sommelier in America, a title conferred only once every two years. While Gary Danko and SF are not exactly "nowhere," it's true that Engelmann, who is not the restaurant's wine director, keeps a somewhat low profile. He's soft spoken, studious, mannered and not prone to behavior that causes him to really stand out of a crowd.
Not long ago, we wrote about Monk's Kettle's (my, that's awkward sounding) new program of monthly beer-pairing dinners. Which, by the way, is a great idea, as beer is arguably just-as, if not more, food-friendly than wine.
So, it's nice to see other restaurants getting into the act. In this case on June 17th it's Ame, lending executive chef Greg Dunmore's and kitchen guru Hiro Sone's talents to a menu paired with the (in)famously extreme ales of Delaware's Dogfish Head brewery (which even earned a profile in the New Yorker not long ago).
Well, the third annual San Francisco Cocktail Week came to an end on Monday with a closing bash at Jardinere. I, unfortunately, was not there, as I was instead actually bartending at Cantina. I pulled three shifts during the week, so my attendance at events was a bit more limited than I would have wished. Nevertheless, I got some sense of what was going on—what worked and what didn't.
I'm happy to say that overall I think the event was a rousing success. Parties were fun. Classes were largely well-attended and enthusiastic. Interesting people came in from out of town to see what was going on. The mood was great. Congratulations to the local bartenders and bar owners who planned the thing.
Yesterday I stopped by the Mission's latest addition, Flour + Water, to see how the team is doing after being open for a week. The answers, it seems, are 1) they're hot (small kitchen plus heat wave=sauna) 2) overworked and 3) unfailingly kind and cheerful, taking time to squire me around the kitchen. To say that they have been busy since they started serving dinner last Friday would be a gross understatement—they have been absolutely crazy jammed, quoting hour-plus waits at 7 p.m. and turning away people who arrive too late in the evening. Those who read my earlier post may remember that they are serving not only pizza, but also handmade pasta and house-cured charcuterie.
It's Friday, and that means it's time for our weekly column from Eater SF, where Eater editor Paolo Lucchesi gives his report on all the restaurant news that's fit to print, including 54 Mint's opening, suspicious Bauer photos, the RN74 buzz machine, and the debate(s) surrounding the best restaurant in town.
1) You wouldn't think that the Chronicle could possibly screw up so much as to accidently run a photo of Michael Bauer during a restaurant review, would you? Well, there was this time...
In an economy where IPOs have been deemed a thing of the past and restaurants are shuttering left and right, SF-based OpenTable defied it all today and very successfully went public to much hullabaloo. “Partying like it was 1999,” as Siliconvalley.com put it. “The region had gone a record 15 months without a venture-backed initial public offering on U.S. markets.” Shares started at $20 and ended at $31.89.
This weekend, CUESA will kick off the next phase of our Waste Wise Market Initiative by becoming the first plastic-bag free farmers market in San Francisco. If you forget to B.Y.O.B., vendors will still be dispensing paper and/or compostable bags at their booths and we’ll also be offering re-usable and washable 100% cotton Eco-Bags for sale at our information booth.
My former co-worker, Melissa, had the theory that one must eat salad for lunch (i.e. slightly starve yourself) or risk falling asleep at work. For those with any kind of work ethic, she has a point.
It was great to see last week's absinthe column by the New York Times' Eric Asimov. It was also great to be mentioned in his corresponding blog post. Just before the column ran, he came into town for a couple of nights, and on one of them I took him round to a couple of bars and later for dinner at RN74.