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Eat + Drink

SF Cocktail Week's Top Five, #2: The Alembic Take on The Savoy

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.

Bloody Mary Watch: Serpentine

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 . . .

SF Cocktail Week Top Five, #3: Bar School

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. 

Blue Hill's Dan Barber Pigs Out On Andante's "Reblochon"

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

The Eater Wrap: More Coffee, More Appleman, More Frank

Welcome back to our partnership with Eater. For this weekly Friday column, Eater editor Paolo Lucchesi gives his report on all the restaurant news that's fit to print, including glorious comebacks, new Burmese rivalries, all the awards show gossip and more fancy coffee joints.

Wexler's: Cal-Q? (Just Don't Call It Friday's)

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!

SF Cocktail Week Top 5, #4: The North Beach Crawl

I'm counting down my top five most anticipated events during the San Francisco Cocktail Week, starting in just four days. All these events are opened to the public. Just look on the SFCW Website for info on buying tickets.

Market Watch: This Week's Cream of the Crop

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 for more information about farmers, what's in season and market goings-on.

SF Cocktail Week: A Countdown of The Top Five Events

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.

Why What Michael Bauer Doesn't Write Is Just As Important As What He Does

Michael Bauer's reviews have become a hot topic in our office these last few weeks. After Sara posted her response to his harsh review of Acme Chophouse, we received an unprecedented number of emails and comments. Some people told us off. Others, notably lots of chefs, heard just where we were coming from. Many of them said they too were sick of the Bauer tyranny, but also so afraid of his influence—both here and nationally—to go on the record about how they really feel.

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