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Eat + Drink

Eating Your Way To Tahoe

Word on the street is that every San Franciscan and her brother are heading up to Tahoe to ski for the coming long weekend. Given that the drive can take five to six hours, depending on traffic, you’re going to need repast along the way. Every regular ski commuter has a few favorite stops. Here are three of mine:

Q&A with Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group

As luck would have it, Danny Meyer’s plane sailed into SF yesterday morning right like clockwork, giving him just enough time to grab an early lunch with me at Piccino before he was off to give a talk at the California Culinary Academy’s swanky new pad in Potrero Hill. (The lecture, Obama-esque in Meyer’s very earnest yes-we-can attitude, was all about giving the love back to your diners by way of excellent hospitality—not just sending them off with tomorrow-morning’s coffee cake.)

DIY Liqueurs, Alembic-Style

I have an article coming up in the magazine about do-it-yourself booze, and this definitely follows a trend in both my print articles and this blog (see last week’s post on Neyah White). 



Josey Packard over at the Alembic is doing some very interesting stuff, and she was kind enough to show much of it to me on a busy Saturday afternoon. Her limoncello, triple sec (punningly called Con-treaux)


Cocktail of the Week: the Persuasion



This is the Persuasion, as concocted by Michael Mina bartender Borys Saciuk: a fine, long drink made with Hendrick's gin, yellow Chartreuse, cherry Heering, Luxardo Maraschino, lemon juice and soda water. All the ingredients clearly speak in this drink, and it’s a nice balancing act between sweet and dry, though ultimately the dry aspect is dominant. I likes it with the extra squeeze of lemon from the garnish. $16 is steep, but, hey, it's Michael Mina.

Gin Fizzes: Not Just for Cocktail Time Anymore

I don't know why, the other morning, I was moved to make a Ramos gin fizz at 9:30 a.m. Oh, yes, I do, actually. It's because I have Dave Wondrich's wonderful book Imbibe on my bedside table. And when I awoke this morning and reached to grab something to read, there it was. Soon enough, I found myself back in the pre-Prohibition world of punches, fixes, fizzes and daisies. I read the entry on the gin fizz and said, Hmmm. So, one egg and some half-and-half, orange-flower water, gin, sugar and lemon juice later, there I was, boozing in the morning. Now, I'm having coffee.


A Once-in-a-Lifetime Wine



Okay, don't hate me. As a member of the wine press, I have to do a lot of odious things: taste vile boxed wines, write tasting notes about wines I don't like, cut my fingers while removing the foil of Champagne bottles and search endlessly for shops that sell the wines I really want to write about. [Ed.: Life’s tough, Mackay.] So it's only fair that once in a while I get to do something fun.

7 Food Finds

1. Celebrating the Sourpuss
Yuzus, kishus, and mandarinquats—oh my!  With winter well underway, so is citrus season. Make reservations for Manresa’s Citrus Modernista Dinner on Tuesday, February 26 for a multi-course meal ($140 pp) featuring the bounty of the restaurant’s garden in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

2. Choc it Up

Michael Tusk's Mind

I'm in the midst of working on a feature story for our April issue, and I don't think it's giving away too much to tell you that in the course of researching the piece I've been spending a lot of time with Michael Tusk, the chef/owner of Quince restaurant. I'd even like to think that in the course of these last few weeks, we've forged something of a nascent friendship. Today, in the midst of a spirited discussion about spring's finest ingredients, Mike grabbed my notebook and started sketching out his vision for a tribute to asparagus, a four-part dish that will likely debut on his tasting menu within the next few months.

Chocolate for Haters


Be mine: Charles Chocolates Triple
Chocolate Almonds.


I’m not a romantic, at least in the conventional sense. Valentine’s Day? Whatever.

My apathy is a good thing, though. It serves me well when the romantic forecast is cloudy and gray.

I'm similarly indifferent about the two things that come with February 14: red roses and chocolate. Give me dahlias, tulips or ranunculus; coconut, lemon or caramel. I've learned to steer clear of this conversation in the company of other women, though. Just saying no to chocolate is like an affront to the sisterhood.

Q&A with Yoshi's GM Andrew Generalao


Andrew Generalao, GM of Yoshi's San Francisco
Photo courtesy of John A. Benson Photography

Yoshi's was just awarded 3 stars from the Chronicle. Has your job just gotten harder, or are you able to breathe a bit easier now?
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