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Eat + Drink

Fighting Palate Fatigue


It’s that time of year, when a high level of fatigue seems par for the course. With the holidays behind us and very few big events to look forward to, mid January usually marks the beginning of a personal hibernation of sorts, one that usually lasts until the start of March, when green things return to the market in earnest and the sun shines at least a few days of the week.

 

The Year Ahead



I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions, but I’m a huge fan of to-visit lists. (I keep a running tally of all the restaurants I want to eat at with me at all times.) Here’s a list of 7 openings that I’m keeping on my radar:

1. Star chefs take on the locavores: Former Fifth Floor chefs Charlie Kleinman and Jake Des Voignes take over Fish and Farm.

2. A jolt of java comes to Mint Plaza: Blue Bottle Cafe is projected to open this month (January).

How Romantic



Wine that Loves, a new wine brand that doesn’t seem to tell where the wine is from, of what grapes it’s made or the vintage. It just makes things easy for you by declaring on the label that it’s the Wine that Loves Pizza. Or the Wine that Loves Pasta with Tomato Sauce.

I’m not joking—that’s what it says on the label. It’s really brilliant as there’s an endless number of possible versions: Wine that Loves Tiki Masala, Wine that Loves Stale Bagel Chips…. Then they could move on to other areas:

Mazel Tov



Good news for the wine industry of Israel. While I have my own opinions about the merit of critic’s points, there’s no question as to the value and importance in the marketplace of high scores from Robert Parker. These scores give the industry the legitimacy that I, among others, have been lobbying for over the last several years. Maybe now I won’t have to trot out that old, “You don’t have to drink Israeli wines just because they’re kosher” column at Passover anymore.

Apple Strudel Done Right

I don’t have extra space to say much this week, other than the fact that on Christmas Day at my friend’s house, I ate one of the best things to ever enter a human mouth: her German mom’s homemade apple strudel. I learned that true strudel is (1) painstakingly difficult to make and (2) more similar in consistency to a baked pasta than a pastry dough. You will probably never attempt this at home, and neither will I, but isn’t it good to know that a recipe this authentic and delicious is being preserved for eternity on the Internet?

Hedy’s Apple Strudel
Makes three strudel rolls, each about 13 inches long.

For the Dough

Are You Hung Over?

Hopefully this was not you on the morning of January 1, 2008.

Without Constraint


Sonoma sparkling wine, meet ma po tofu.

I think I spend the majority of my life stepping backwards into good things. Kind of like an eyes wide shut sort of thing, I guess. If I were the resolution making type, maybe I’d resolve to spend 2008 devoted to mindfulness. But sometimes the surprises are nice.

Absinthe Obsession

Wow, this headline “Hundreds Line Up in Alameda for Ancient Liquor” is crazy. Absinthe is cool, but who expected this response? I still stand by my prediction—at least half those people are not going to like the product once they taste it. (H/T to Camper for the link.)

Dept. of Silly Products, II



An electric martini maker? This should insult every bartender—or really anyone with use of his or her arms. Is it that hard to stir a martini or shake a margarita? C’mon!

What I Drank on Christmas Eve

I drank sake and a beer on Christmas Eve. We decided to get the homey stuff—pan-seared steak, Caesar salad, a bottle of Napa Cabernet—out of the way on the 23rd while watching season four of The Wire. The Cab was a rather unromantic wine, but still really good.



On Christmas Eve, we went for Sushi at Ebisu. It was packed and convivial, and the walk there and back through SF’s quiet, deadened streets was simply beautiful.
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