Eat + Drink
I don't read many books in the strict "food writing" category these days. It wasn't always like this. In my "formative" years, I went through a faze where I consumed every Laurie Colwin book, breathlessly waxed on about MFK Fisher and combed through the writings of James Beard. But now that I write about food myself all day, it's had the effect of making me want to read anything but when I'm off duty. I'm like my friend the jazz musician who never listens to anything but talk radio when he's not working.
My number two Cocktail Week event is not necessarily an SFCW exclusive, since the folks at Alembic do this periodically. But seeing as you're in an especially heightened state of cocktail awareness, it's a great time to participate.
Since we're on the subject of the Bloody Mary cocktail (well, I guess we sort of always are; it's something I've been tracking on here--where is it good, where is it bad?), I thought I'd mention a good one I had the other day . . . at Serpentine.
While it wasn't the most unusual or scintillating or utterly unique Bloody Mary I've had -- in fact it was none of those--it was simply, uncommonly solid. The kind of cocktail that gets its job done without being spastic or trying to attract too much attention to itself. Medium spicy with a horseradish emphasis, nice viscosity, some umami-ish depth, the cocktail was just plain satisfying and made with good quality ingredients. And I can go for that any day of the week . . .
The #3 event for Cocktail Week is actually a mulitude of events. It's called Bar School, and the classes of Bar School take place Thursday, May 14 at various locations and times around town. Basically, the city's top cocktail, spirits and bartending experts will be sharing their knowledge with the public. The lineup is incredible, if I do say so myself, especially because I will be teaching one of the classes with Cantina owner Duggan McDonnell. Our class, entitled "Cane, Grape & Cactus: True Lies About Latin American Spirits & Cocktails" is at Cantina from 6:30–8. We'll be talking about agave-based spirits and the drinks of Mexico, as well as the cane spirits of Brazil and the Pisco cultures of Peru and Chile.
This little bit of cheese news, just in from Blue Hill chef Dan Barber's little day-in-the-life blog from New York magazine. The Dan Barber who was just included in the Time 100, which means he got to sit next to Michelle Obama at the dinner. Which means that Soyoung Scanlan of Andante Cheese is now four degrees separated from the president of the United States.
Thursday, May 7
Oh, the joy of being a restaurant publicist in a city where a BBQ joint is never just a BBQ joint—chefs opening places where "BBQ is the end product but it’s not the marquee."
Watch the video below to see chef Charlie Kleinman of the soon-to-be Wexler's explaining his BBQ-but-different concept to Jared Rivera of Rivera P.R.
Now, the kicker: How to explain his restaurant concept in one sentence or less. Any takers? (As an editor, I'd disagree. Symantics are everything.) But let it be said right here and now: Wexler's is NOT a rib shack!
If anyone has the inside scoop when it comes to the Ferry Plaza Farmers market it's Lulu Meyer, associate director of market operations at CUESA. You'll see her at the market, rain or shine. Every week, she'll be giving us her short list for the market—just in time for Saturday shopping. Go to cuesa.org for more information about farmers, what's in season and market goings-on.
Next Monday marks the start of the third annual San Francisco Cocktail Week, and this one is, naturally, going to be the best yet. As I said in a presentation at the CIA last week, the evolution of the cocktail has been the most significant trend in San Francisco gastronomy over the last few years. Our drinks scene here is second to none and right up there with London and New York as the most exciting and innovative in the world. Cocktail week exists not only to celebrate the local scene, but to further its development with classes, discussions, the sharing of ideas and recipes, and of course a few drinks.