Eat + Drink
I basically starved myself in preparation for judging Cochon 555 at Silverado Resort on Sunday. By the time the plates of food came trickling into judge's chambers round about 5 p.m., I was ravenous. I played it safe, though, sampling bites from the bites, trying not to get full before the arrival of Devin Knell's pork paté set on a perfect rectangle of pistachio genoise and Dennis Lee's ssäm. Somehow, miraculously, I made it through unscathed. You know what took the toll? The free-flowing whiskey. Figures.
Butchers are having their day, but what about the age-old profession of the fishmonger?
It’s not a secret that chefs aren’t the only rock stars in San Francisco’s food world.
A proper groupie will swoon over a butcher, a baker, a bartender, a barista. Even a pickler here has a fighting chance if the tattoos are right. Roll your eyes, but this fanaticism has encouraged a younger generation to re-embrace old-world trades.
The restaurant question we get asked more than anything is definitely: "Where should we go for my friend's birthday party?" Generally speaking, the situation involves a party of 10, more than a party of 200, but this restaurant short-list can accomodate a wide scope of food preferences, ambiance and number of people. Since we're of the mindset that hard booze never hurts, we've put a star by the restaurants with a full bar. Go ahead now: Celebrate good times. Common!
I've been thinking about this lately: Are restaurants here ever going to get to the point where they don't feel its necessary to name drop farms—or at the very least put disclaimers (or claimers, in this case) stating that their ingredients are sourced from the local and organic? Will it ever become just an assumption?
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In a very Obama-esque move, the SF Chronicle's critic and food editor Michael Bauer is bringing Eater editor Paolo Lucchesi to work for him. Hillary (ahem) … Lucchesi, who has infused Eater with a good sense of fun since it launched in San Francisco, will be missed, but he certainly will spice up the paper's online presence—something it could definitely use. Bauer is a smart man. The biggest question though is what should we call Mr. Lucchesi now? The Paolorizer? The Big Easy? The Italian Job? Let me know.
1. Half-Off at Bar 888 Tonight: Social networking is apparently so popular at Bar 888 that they slash their prices at the mere mention of it. Name-drop Twitter or Facebook and get 50% off your entire bar bill: drinks, bites, the works. It's like a big, Silicon Valley-shaped hug. (Tonight, Thursday, February 25, 11 am-12 am, at Bar 888, Intercontinental Hotel, 888 Howard St., SOMA.)
If San Francisco's restaurant world was a high-school cafeteria, there would be one table in the middle where the cool kids sit: This table perpetually has seats reserved for the Delfinas, the Zunis, the A16s, the Slanted Doors.
But we (and I include myself in this) so often forget about restaurants on the periphery—the wallflowers, the Duckies (am I dating myself with this reference?). The restaurants that open quietly, in true neighborhood spirit. They often don't have a publicist or even … a website. There are plenty of these establishments, and in 7x7's ongoing quest to bring to you the latest and greatest, I unfortunately rarely find the time to patronize them.