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Eat + Drink

Americano Cocktail: The Patriot's Refuge



In the spirit of Independence Day, I want to remind you of a incredibly simple, delicious and often forgotten cocktail with a patriotic name: the Americano. Now, it's not so much a Born-in-the-USA kind of thing, as it doesn't actually use any American ingredients. Rather, it's Italian in conception and components, joining equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth. Originally, the drink was known as the Milano-Torino, since Campari is from the former and Cinzano vermouth is from the latter. But it got renamed when locals noticed that visiting Americans seemed particularly smitten by the cocktail.

As American as Mission Pie

We’ve been quietly cheering along Mission Pie since they first opened, because it’s precisely the kind of feel-good food business we like to see popping up in our neighborhoods (rather than, say, another Subway). So we were particularly excited to note that, after many months of construction, including the beloved San Francisco seismic upgrade, Mission Pie has finally expanded. Now they have a lovely café facing Mission street, with plenty of tables so you can sit and gossip over your slice of plum-frangipane or white peach-blackberry pie.

Kaiseki at Sanraku

I’ve been going to Sanraku for a while now. It’s a solid choice when you’re craving sushi and the Sutter Street location happens to be near our office (they also have one in the Metreon, which makes a great pre-flick dinner). The food there is solid, always really nice. Above average certainly, but nothing’s ever taken my breath away.

Domain de Canton: Message in a Bottle?

People who have followed my work know that I am an unabashed fan of this spirit. It's simply one of the most complex, well-balanced, vivid and delicious liqueurs to have come around in generations. And I haven't really found anyone who disagrees with me. So the quality of the spirit is not really at issue.

But I have to ask you: What do you think of this bottle?


The Eat + Drink List: This week's top 7

 
courtesy of Spruce

1. Lunch, Spruced up

Joel Huff on the move

It’s hard to keep up, that’s for sure. The perennial San Francisco chef-shuffle is a source of both amusement and aggravation for me, keeping me perpetually on my toes. Who, after all, wants to be the last to know?  So it’s always nice when a bit of information lands in my lap, as was the case today. My editorial assistant had just finished fact-checking a bunch of our restaurant listings (like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, this is a never-ending task—you complete it, only to begin again) and dropped the sheaf of papers on my desk, noting casually, “Oh, by the way, Joel Huff is leaving Silks. But you knew that, right?” Uh…no!


Chateau Musar at Local: Lebanon and On and On



Last week, Serge Hochar (above right), proprietor of one of the world's most unusual wineries, was in town to do a vertical tasting. His winery is Chateau Musar, improbably located in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. About 7,000 years ago, this area was perhaps the world's first fine wine region, as its products were exported around the Mediterranean, even to Greece, which already bustling with wine. Hochar has managed to steer the winery out of trouble, miraculously guiding it through Lebanon's 15-year civil war of the 1970s and '80s while losing only one vintage (1976).

Ramen Memories

There are ups and downs to ultimate eating experiences. The up is in the moment. The down is when you start to compare every similar dish to that moment.

Chef Marcus Samuelsson's Hot Hot Heat

Marcus Samuelsson, the wunderkind chef from NYC's Aquavit and award-winning cookbook author, was in SF last night to promote BlueStar ranges, powerful (and expensive) gas stoves that put out 22,000 BTUs of restaurant-level heat. Turns out Samuelsson himself owns a BlueStar and moonlights as a spokesman of sorts. We thought we'd be sitting down to a Samuelsson-prepared dinner, but instead got a cooking lesson in which he demonstrated the fine art of searing and sitr-frying, which, he repeated several times, is not the same as sauteeing. And if you're trying to sear something with a regular at-home stove, it's likely you're just sauteeing it instead.

Three Stone Hearth: The Community Supported Kitchen

I’ve been slow to join a CSA, mostly because I’m loathe to give up the pleasure of roaming the aisles of my local farmer’s markets. But I might change my ways for a community supported kitchen, however. Recently I came across Three Stone Hearth, which is, as owner Larry Flynt (no, not that Larry Flynt) tells me, a worker-owned food delivery service out of the East Bay. The difference about Three Stone Hearth is that they deliver fully-prepared meals, ready to be heated and served.
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