Eat + Drink
Each week, we bring you our picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.
1. Madrone Lounge's Anniversary: While this deal may be last-minute, it goes all night. The hopping Divisadero bar/gallery is turning one, and extending their usual happy hour to the entire evening. That means $2 PBRs and Budweiser tallboys, $4 shots of Spikesville Whiskey, $5 mojitos, and other tasty delights. DJs will shift hourly, culminating in a big dance party for the final two hours. (Tonight, Wednesday, January 20, 6 pm-2 am, at Madrone Lounge, 500 Divisadero St., NOPA.)
It’s going to be raining all.week.long, but that’s no excuse to become a hermit. Grab some friends and drop in to the winter wine tasting at 18 Reasons on January 21 from 7-9 p.m.. Bi-Rite Market wine buyer Trac Le will guide you through a tasting of various bottles, all for the nominal fee of $10 ($5 for members).
If you’re tired of the same old SF restaurant grind—last week Flour + Water, this week Barbacco, next week Frances—you might want to try something a little different and go underground. For upwards of $200 per person, the newly launched Phoenix Supperclub, a “roaming restaurant” created by chef Tommy Halvorson (of Bix ,Gary Danko, Chez Panisse), will whisk you up in a limo, deliver you to a “secret San Francisco location” that might be a modern gallery or rambling mansion, and serve you nine langorous, wine-paired courses. You won’t know where you’re going until you arrive.
Three people with one thing in common—a love for Japanese food—meet through the Small Business Association and decide to go in on a restaurant concept together. They take over a funky space—a former taqueria on Mission Street, that was a 50s diner before that—complete with a huge arched mirror and black-and-white checked floors; change little; insert an izakaya restaurant; tack a banner out front advertising the name Nombe (which translates from Japanese to something to the effect of “boozer”) and open the doors until 2 am on weekends.
I've been hearing about the difficulties at the House of Shields for some time now. As reported in SFEater a couple of days ago: "The historic bar's lease runs out in June and word on the street is that at this point in time, the landlord has no intention of renewing it, meaning the current team is definitely out. This development, of course, leaves the bar's future very much in flux. "
The scuttle I've heard is that the owner isn't even sure if he wants to continue having a bar there and is tired of owning a dive that is swarmed by bike messengers. Personally, I'm not sure what the problem with bike messengers is, but this is what I've heard.
Lulu Meyer gives us the scoop on the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
It’s a new year and many of our market sellers have exciting new products in the works. Over the next few months we’ll see the unveiling of everything from whole-wheat cake mix, to walnut oil to small-batch preserves. Needless to say, there will be lots to taste and enjoy in 2010. This week I was particularly excited to hear about these new cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery.
That the Dine About Town is clearly a publicity stunt to drive traffic to restaurants during their slowest months (January and July, when people are in post-holiday literal and figurative belt-tightening or when they're at the beach) doesn't mean that it's not a good idea. But is it really a deal? I have a problem at restaurants, and I know I'm not alone: I like to have cocktails or wine with dinner. I like to leave a nice tip when service is good. So even though a $34.95 three-course meal is a relative bargain, there's no way I'm getting in and out for under $50 bucks.
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Michael Broadbent, the famous wine guy and Christie's auctioneer, kept a note on every wine he tasted and eventually published this epic book of all them. That's pretty cool, as I often neglect to take notes on many of the wines I tasted and you know how the memory goes when you've had a glass of wine...