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Eat + Drink

By Land and by Sea

Food From Cloned Animals Seems Safe, a Panel Finds—there’s an unsettling headline if I've ever seen one. What's reassuring about a panel saying something as off the wall as eating food sourced from clones "seems safe"? I think I’ll pass.


Wood-oven roasted rib eye

Parr Selections

I've been to many tastings where winemakers put their wines up against the top wines of France—Cabernet versus first growth Bordeaux, sparkling wine versus tête de cuvée Champagne and Pinot Noir versus Grand Cru Burgundy. It's always a good exercise, and as predicted, the California versions usually fare pretty well against the greats of Europe. There's always an element of hubris in the act, though, as implicit in the exercise is the assertion that "my wines that I've been making for 20 years are as good as this French property that's been making wines for 200."


The Before and After

I like to track progress. That’s why I’m a fan of before-and-after shots. Here’s one for Waterbar:

First you see the sketch of the light fixture in the rendering from my visit in October (read more about it here)…



… and voila! Here it is—all blown glass and wire.



Stay tuned. Waterbar’s opening date is slated for January 29.

Waterbar
399 The Embarcadero
415-284-9922

Semi-Homemade Chicken

I haven’t yet been able to sit through an entire episode of Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade show on the Food Network. There’s something about it that gets under my skin. I’m sure she’s a great person with homemaking skills I’ll never have, but where’s her edge? Why does every show involve frilly cupcake frosting? Does she not have one gram of badass Bourdain in her at all? Well, I digress.

Wake Up Call


Me and my pit bull, Olie, both like Coffee Bar.

Italian in the Afternoon

I must have tried getting a seat at minuscule L'Osteria del Forno in North Beach about half a dozen times in the last few years. It's never possible—the few tables are always full and the wait at least a good half hour. And my husband refuses to wait in line for tables. So I had the brilliant idea of having a long holiday lunch there with a dear friend instead. Lo and behold, the place was empty on a Friday at 1 p.m., save for a lone two-top near the window.

Brooke Arthur



The girl you see in the photo is one of the great characters of San Francisco mixology. Full of life, joy, and wit (as you can tell in the photo), Brooke is the head bartender at Range, where she runs one of the most dynamic cocktail programs in the city. I’ve gotten to know her a little over the last year and can say that she possesses a unique ability to brighten any room she walks into (and not just because of her blonde hair and incandescent smile).

Will He, Won't He?


The chef of the hour: Where will he go next?

The New St. Germain?



Without question, the biggest thing to happen to the spirits world last year besides the legalization of absinthe was the unstoppable success of St. Germain, the elderflower liqueur released in Spring 2007. Bartenders, shop owners—everyone fell in love with it. It was hard not to because it is so damn good—fully flavored, but in a remarkably integrated and tactful way, sweet but not too sweet, incredibly long finishing… just an extremely well-made product for sipping or mixing.

Tea for Two

For those who love eating and drinking as much as they love the one they’re with, try this date on for size. It’s not exactly the always popular white-tablecloth-candlelight-champagne triumvirate, but sometimes the most impressive dates are a little grittier, a little less suavé, but equally compelling. For this, I’d recommend a three-part date, all within one block of the Mission. First, of course, you must start with a drink at Dalva, particularly if you can get into the very dark and very private little room up the creaky stairs. (It’s not always open early on, so maybe this is a drink that should be more of a nightcap than an amuse.)
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