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Eat + Drink

From the Earth to the Restaurant at County Line



Squash blossoms ready to be picked.

The food issue is out and for it, I interviewed four first-generation farmers. As magazines go, I did a lot of legwork (pages of notes, lots of talking, lots of driving), had many revelations and in the end, only got to write about 200 words about each person. (But, hey, the pictures are pretty! I have to thank our excellent photographer, John Lee, for that. If you don't have a hard copy of the issue, go to the homepage to view our new digital magazine. The article is called "The New Crop.")

Orson: Six Months In

 

After months of traveling and nose-to-the-grindstone work, I finally made it to Orson, only about six months after it opened. Considering that restaurant critics don't even give new joints the customary two-month lag before reviewing them anymore, my tardiness could be seen as more than genteel. Anyway, I wasn't going in to review it but to enjoy it. And, largely, that's what I did.

Peay Vineyards: A North Country Love Fest

I'm just back from the annual Peay Vineyards Sommelier Love Fest. For the wine trade only, it's an event that I am fortunate enough to insinuate myself into. I bring you pictures for two reasons.

The Eat + Drink List: This Week's Top 7 Picks


courtesy of Bar 888

1. En fuego

Brooke Arthur: She's Back and Better Than Ever



Well, she's been back for a while, but I never made a note of it. If you remember, I posted back in January about Range bartender Brooke Arthur, who was injured with smoke inhalation in an apartment fire back on New Year's Eve. Well, after several long months of recuperation, she returned first to the city and, a couple of months ago, then to her job.

Sicily's COS winery: New Wine in Very Old Containers



I recently became reacquainted with some of my favorite wines in the world, the wines of COS, a small producer from the southeast corner of Sicily in the DOCG region of Cerasuolo di Vittoria. A year and a half ago, I was fortunate enough to visit this property and spend some time with its owner, Giusto Occhipinti (below).



Some of his wines, such as the bottle pictured here, are unusual in that they're fermented and aged not in steel tanks or in wooden barrels but in terra-cotta amphorae.

Domaine Tempier Rose: Sunday in the East Bay with Jonathan

Last weekend, Christie and I ventured to the East Bay for a dinner party at the house of Jonathan Waters, the wine director of Chez Panisse. As with any trip to a foreign land, we prepared by getting all the necessary shots and vaccines and loading up our vehicle with water, dried and canned goods, ammunition and flares. We hardly ever go to the East Bay, so you've got to prepare for the worst.

Luckily, none of the above would be necessary. Jonathan put out an unbelievable spread. The pièce de résistance was a huge, vegetarian paella that he expertly cooked over a roaring backyard fire.


Tcho: Beta Chocolate from the Founder of Wired

You know how sometimes you’re confronted with something that is so over your head it’s embarrassing? This is a familiar feeling for me. I felt it through every math class of high school, during a conversation with a friend who works as an industrial designer for venerable pie-plate company Pyrex (I thought we’d have so much in common—I like pie, he designs pie plates! All was going fine until he started to talk polymers) and, most recently, while reading the website for SF-based chocolate company Tcho.


The chocolate revolution will be digitized.

Slow Food Nation: Ritual Roasters Gets Fresh

Today we start a month’s worth of Monday blogs, leading up to Slow Food Nation, which lands on SF this Labor Day weekend. I’m glad the big food festival is happening here, but I’d venture to say that in SF, Slow Food Nation is almost redundant. It’s kind of like putting an Obama bumper sticker on your car. There are Slow Foodies wherever you look.


Ritual Roasters' owner Eileen Hassi and her vacuum-packed baby.

Trans fats: Yea or Nay?

We got talking in the office yesterday about the trans fat ban in California, recently passed by good old Arnold Schwarzenegger (this was after a breakfast of donuts, mind you, and a heated discussion on the topic of Sara's post yesterday,"fried on the inside.") The ban calls for trans fats to be phased out of restaurants by 2010 and bakeries by 2011 and brings to mind an important question: Can you legislate good health?


Somewhere out there, a hydrogenator sits idle.
photograph from bantransfats.com
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