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Eat + Drink

Green is Good

In this age of rampant greenwashing, it’s hard to know what to believe. Everywhere you turn someone has an eco, organic, sustainable party line—how can you tell the fakers from the real deal? But there’s one business in San Francisco that setting the standard for green business, and proving that it’s possible to be both successful and conscientious: Mixt Greens.


Dear Mixt Greens,
Thanks for not trashing the planet while
making us lunch. Love, us.
Courtesy of Mixt Greens.

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

1. The family that works together, eats together

Biodynamic Wines: For Earth Day (and Beyond...)

Apropos of Earth Day (my wedding anniversary, BTW), let's talk about the growing movement toward organics and, especially, biodynamics in wine production. Many wine producers think biodynamics is a load of mystical hooey, but it's hard to argue with the satisfaction that so many producers have gained by converting all or some of their vineyard land to this kind of farming. It's also hard to argue against it when some of the most august estates in France--DRC, Domaine Leroy, M. Chapoutier--are doing it, not to mention top California producers like Araujo, Benziger and Robert Sinskey.

Candybar: No Just Desserts

I often have evenings where a sweet-tooth craving overwhelms me. One that needs to be fixed right then and there—and then I grumble (I'm a woman of more than one rant) about why on earth there isn't a place designed for these moments, places made for nothing but tucking into a piece of pie, a slice of triple-layer cake, a pudding. Something comforting and familiar. (Something like this strawberry crostata from the Zuni cookbook that my friend Alan makes. Mmmmmm.)


Trial-Sized Wine Tubes: Tubular, Dude



I rather like this idea of selling wine in ever-smaller packages. After all, I'm a huge fan of the half-bottle. But this is a great idea for self-education, allowing drinkers to sample, in 2- or 3.5-ounce doses, wines from many different regions. (Two ounces is about one large "shot," while 3.5 ounces is about 70 percent of a normal single-glass pour of wine.)

Green Almonds in the Market Now

I think native Californians have a terrible problem of not realizing quite how lucky they are. There’s the weather thing, of course, but what I’m talking about is the access—with all this gorgeous countryside just outside the city limits, things show up at the farmers markets here that are far from typical. You may already feel tired of asparagus after gorging on it these first few weeks, but elsewhere they’re still picking through the same tired heads of cabbage and barrels of potatoes. It’s not pretty.

Domo Arigato


Welcome inside Hayes Valley's newest restaurant.
photo courtesy of Domo

What Wine Goes with Indian Food?

This question came up while I was lucky enough to be having dinner with Rajat Parr at his house. Rajat is the wine director for the metastasizing Michael Mina Group, which seems to have a new restaurant going up somewhere in the world about every 15 seconds. Known as a miraculous blind taster and to have a deeply knowledgeable mind about wine, Rajat--and this is unknown to many--is also a world-class chef who graduated from the CIA in Hyde Park before deciding to devote his life to pairing food with wine instead of cooking it.

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


Bar Bambino's stellar cheese selection.

1. Ciao, Bambino!

Joey Altman's Matzo Ball Soup

Just in time for Passover (which begins this Saturday at sundown), we bring you a simple and trustworthy recipe for matzo ball soup from SF's own Joey Altman, from his new cookbook Without Reservations: How to Make Bold, Creative, Flavorful Food at Home (Wiley).

Note: Schmaltz is rendered chicken fat. You can get it from some kosher grocers, from Boulettes Larder in the Ferry Building, or you can render it yourself by simply making homemade chicken soup and scooping the solid fat off the top after refrigerating it. The broth and shredded chicken would both come in handy for this recipe too. But if it's all too much trouble, Altman recommends vegetable oil as a substitute.
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