Eat + Drink
Tonight is 7x7's Eat + Drink Awards, an event a bit like the Academy Awards of the SF restaurant industry (minus Botoxed actresses choked with tears). Unlike most events—where chefs are asked to cook very small bites of food on a bunson burner, plate it on paper and serve it to a herd of tipsy people—this is a night that chefs get to actually relax and celebrate themselves. As they well should.
I'm guessing that if you're reading this then you didn't spend the Inauguration in Washington. In that case, let me bring to your attention the slightly belated inauguration dinner hosted by the Mission Street Food crew at Lung Shan restaurant in the Mission tomorrow (Thursday) night.
I obviously go out to eat a fair amount. If you have been following my blogs, you will know that I am not a big fan of cooking at home in my downtime and usually prefer to have someone else do it for me. This week I amuse you, the reader, with a list of my pet peeves about diningout. I'm not going to name names, because that would be rude, but here are some things that I consider to be simply unacceptable.
Just to let y’all know--In the last couple of months, Zuni Cafe finally solved its lifelong glass problems. Thanks to wine director Thierry Lovato and co-owner Gilbert Pilgram, those former clunky, thick-rimmed, poorly balanced café glasses that were Zuni’s one major blemish for years have now been replaced by elegant, thin-lipped, all purpose wine glasses. A minor change to many, perhaps, but it’s significant to me and makes me much happier to order finer wine there. Thanks, Zuni
It seems that wine is seeing it through all of this economic glumness. Talking about wine, that is. Snooth, a social wine review site, just closed another round of angel financing of around $1 million. The site’s mission is to “help you find better wine,” and is a place for people to rate, explore and discuss all things vino.
What if I told you that the best meal that I, someone who dines out four or five nights a week, have had recently cost only $9.95? True! Last Friday I headed to Limón Rotisserie in hopes of getting a good, cheap meal within a one-block radius of my house. The crushing mob of people with that same idea (and the one-and-a-half hour wait) deterred me, so I soldiered on to Balompié Café, one of my favorite restaurants.
If you’re anything like us, you can’t wait until Tuesday to celebrate inauguration. So let's get the party started now – with some cocktails. Head over to Kells or Cigar Bar and indulge in the “$700 Billion Martini,” ordered up as part of SVEDKA Vodka’s "Join the Party," marketing campaign, which launched on Super Tuesday and has a yearlong mission to put the “party” back in politics. They're serving the martinis now through inauguration night.
Here’s what’s in them:
Liberal amounts (ha! get it?) of SVEDKA Vodka
1 part fresh lime juice
1 part simple sugar
Conservative splash (ha! again) of Lemon Juice
Garnish with $700 Billion of freshly minted US Currency
(fresh mint works too)
Now that Charles Phan is about to open his latest restaurant, Heaven's Dog & Noodle Shop, comparisons between the San Francisco super-star chef and his New York equivalent, Momofuku empire-keeper David Chang, seem inevitable. They both now preside over some of the best-loved restaurants in their respective cities, serving Asian food with a decidedly modern bent. Reservations are hard to come by at both Slanted Door and Momofuku, Ko and Momofuku Ssam bar. Chang's recently opened Momofuku Bakery–Milk Bar is his fourth venture, and Heaven's Dog makes baby number three for Phan.
Bay Area tweens, start flexing those texting thumbs and rejoice – Pinkberry is coming. Though we gotta admit, we’re a bit sick of the SF froyo wars, the chain’s opening this Saturday in San Jose’s Santana Row is big news. It’s the first location outside of Southern California and New York, and let’s get serious - they eat it on Gossip Girl.
Le Sanctuaire, the bastion of top-grade spices and molecular gastronomy equipment, has a showroom right here in Union Square. And as of January, they've also gotten involved in the magazine business, co-publishing the first English language edition of Apicius, the very beautiful, very serious, very expensive ($65), semi-annual Spanish magazine on haute cuisine.