Eat + Drink
SF Eater today writes that the Tsar Nicoulai booth in the Ferry Building is closing. It's understandable why—this is not exactly a period of widespread populist Champagne and caviar consumption. However, it's still a bummer. A little scoop of caviar every now and then (without having to buy a whole tin) is a wonderful thing, especially when you pair that with a nice glass of bubbly. (Vodka and caviar advocates: sorry, you're wrong.
As a resident of Bernal Heights—a neighborhood that's known more for its liberal politics and crunchy good vibes than its haute cuisine—I was excited to finally get a taste of the much-anticipated Sandbox Bakery, which just opened. No slouch, owner and pastry chef Mutsimi Takehara started learning her craft at La Farine in Oakland and at Chez Panisse. She was then the pastry chef at Rubicon and spent 10 years as the Slanted Door pastry chef. So she's spent some quality time with butter.
Several minutes into poring over our menus at Delarosa, my dining companion looked over at me and muttered, "This place is totally ripping Beretta off." That would be true if not for one important fact—Delarosa, which opened in mid-November on Chestnut street in the Marina—shares the same owners as Beretta, and ripping off is part of the plan. Consider for a moment the following: San Francisco can at times be a fractious town. Neighborhoods, like boroughs in New York, are clearly delineated, with crossover limited to a few choice restaurants. Marina folks aren't going to drive across town to wait on line at Beretta, and Beretta regulars won't brave Marina parking to try Delarosa.
The Last Course
Well, if you’ve made it this far so you’re probably looking forward to the finale of Top Chef, which airs tonight, December 9, at 10 p.m.. It’s down to the boys—Kevin red beard and those dastardly Voltaggio brothers—and the final throwdown all takes place in our own backyard, at Cyrus in Healdsburg. Watch tonight to see Cyrus GM Nick Peyton and chef Douglas Keane as they open their restaurant to the competition.
Cuckoo for Cocoa
An old building with big windows and skylights, our office at 7x7 is very cold right now. Editors are dressed in coats, scarves and jackets and drinking copious amount of tea. Which has us all thinking about warming, comforting foods and where to get them.
There's something compelling about a vineyard covered in snow, especially here in California when we don't see it much. What makes it so interesting? Probably just the fact that we're used to vineyards being such a symbol of vibrance, life and energy--to see them looking snowbound, shuttered and contemplative proposes an entirely different angle on wine. It reminds me of northern wine regions and makes me want to drink Burgundy and Champagne (actually, that's nothing really new).
These photos were shot the other day in the Santa Cruz Mountains and sent out by Shannon Flynn of SCM winegrowers association. Nice to see that appellation getting into the winter holiday spirit!
The call for ideas for The Big Eat 2010 has elicited so many great responses, I thought I'd list them (verbatim) for you so you don't have to sort through the comments. We're almost done narrowing it down, but we want to hear if you think any of these are BIG enough to merit a slot.
I dug Jon Bonné's supremely geeky article on the martini in the Chron yesterday. But "supremely geeky" may not even do the high-waisted, suspendered and bespectacled article justice. I mean, the martini—the drink of such caliphs of cool as James Bond and Frank Sinatra—is approached in the article like this: "The bar top was crowded with gin and vermouth, a thermometer, a stopwatch, a cooler of chilled glasses." I'm sorry, but I just can't see my boys Frankie and Dino timing their stirs.
There was one year when my poor mother/Santa filled my stocking (along with my brother and sister's) with office supplies. Scissors, Post-its, Scotch tape. Needless to say, that went over like a lead balloon, with a Santa mutiny threatened by all three of us. "How could he do this to us?" we moaned, looking for the Toblerone. Needless to say, the error was never repeated. Holiday shopping can be exhausting and expensive, but I urge you all not to forego the lowly stocking, which sets the tone for the rest of the day. Toys are good, jewelry, socks and lip balm are always welcome. But food conquers all. Everyone likes it, you don't have to worry about whether or not it will fit, and most packages fit quite nicely in a knit sock.