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Eat + Drink

DeLoach Vineyards: Boisset Rising

Last week, I had the opportunity to have lunch with the irrepressible Jean-Charles Boisset, the French owner of many wine companies worldwide. In California, he owns Deloach Vineyards, the venerable Russian River produce; we met at the winery. J-C is doing many interesting things, including changing the entire style of Deloach's Pinots and Chardonnays to a style much more subtle and French than most of what you'll find in California. It's a bold move, but the wines--given their price and their market penetration in supermarkets--have the potential to really help turn the tide for more tasteful and elegant California wines (especially in the Chardonnay department). Bravo.

Crepe O Chocolate: Food for Shop

Shopping at Barneys always leaves me full of want, yet unfulfilled. There are so many beautiful things there. So many beautiful things that I can’t afford. (This is not to say that I don’t go back often, like some sort of shopping masochist.)

Antique Ice Crusher: My New Favorite Toy



If you see something like this, buy it. My friend Lisa found this in some of her old stuff and knew that it was some sort of bar or culinary implement, but she didn't know exactly what it was. I instantly recognized it as an old-fashioned ice crusher and gladly took it in. The thing works wonderfully, in seconds pulverizing dozens of hard cubes into a finely crushed texture. I've seen them in antique stores all over, for cheap.

Mais Oui: The French Invasion

An article that ran yesterday in the New York Times about the resurgence of French food in New York City struck a chord with me. For all of San Francisco’s Italianate leanings, the same seems to be true here—all of a sudden, the “French culinary mafia” seems once again to be picking up speed. The other night I ate at Chez Papa Resto, where my old friend David Bazirgan is the chef. David is supremely talented, and I’ll happily patronize any restaurant where he’s cooking. The food–lovely renditions of French classics given the Baz touch—seems anything but tired.

Best of the Best

We joke around in the office that our Best Of issue, which is coming up in June, should be called the “Best Places Our Friends Told Us About” issue—because the most valuable tips always come word of mouth. First, we start with our own personal list collected from the past year and then we start polling the people whose opinions we respect, for everything from their new secret spots to their perennial favorites. Finally, we fan out and give everything a try. To be honest, the hardest part isn’t coming up with the ideas, but whittling it all down. Playing favorites can actually be a rather painful experience.

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


courtesy of The Great Tortilla Conspiracy

1. Corn Fed

Four Barrel Coffee Coming Soon

Lest you think we have reached the coffee saturation point, let me just tell you right now that you are mistaken. For there's a new game in town, and it's going to be a good one. Jeremy Tooker, the one-time co-owner of cool kid  headquarters, Ritual, is about four weeks away from opening his own spot, Four Barrel Coffee. The 3,000 square foot cafe (375 Valencia at 15th) is not, however, a Ritual knock-off. For one, Tooker is adamant that the cafe won't have WiFi—something, he admits, they felt they "had to do" in order to bring customers into Ritual. Instead, he's hoping that, "I don't know, maybe people will talk to one another." There won't be any Chai, or any other kind of tea, for that matter.

The Bourbon & Branch Boys Deliver

Imagine this: You’re standing along the very unremarkable stretch of Kearny Street—the stretch on the cusp of the Financial District populated by endless, unremarkable work-a-day sandwich spots like Briazz and stores like Loehmann’s Shoes (not unremarkable)—and you pass a guy (for the hell of it, let’s just imagine he’s cute and Irish and wearing a paigeboy cap and suspenders) tooling down the street on an antique bicycle with a basket full of gorgeous whiskey. For whiskey lovers such as myself, this could be quite a vision.


Brian Sheehy, Dahi Donnelly and Doug Dalton of Future Bars

The Corpse Reviver Cocktail: Morning of the Living Dead

Most mornings, my wife, Christie, likes to sleep in. She works late into the night, so it's understandable, yet at the same time she does often need some encouragement to emerge from the cozy confines of the covers. Today, it was especially difficult for her to get up, since we had stayed up late talking. At a certain hour, I came in and joked to her resistant ears that she resembled a corpse and I’d decided to make her a Corpse Reviver to help her get out of bed. A drink first catalogued in the Savoy book by Harry Craddock, it's a strong, hair-of-the-dog type of concoction. I thought it would be just the thing.
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