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Eat + Drink

Americano: Spring Awakening

You don’t just have to look up at the Ferry Building clock tower to know that the city has officially sprung forward: Flashes of bare leg and pink petals are everywhere. While foodies roaming the Marketplace can almost taste the apricots and artichokes on their tongue, across the street at Americano, a literal crush of single professionals huddled around space heaters are fixated on some good ole’ sexual tension paired with a Melograno Cosmo, which is acquired after waiting diligently in line—a very, very long one.


Friday at Americano brings the boys to the yard.

Banquettes: The Horseshoe Issue

In the back of my mind I keep a “hater” list that I add to more frequently than I’d care to admit. On it are things that aggravate me more than they should, things I’m not able to get all Gandhi about at this less-than-fully evolved stage of my young life. This list includes my hatred for people who clip.their.nails. on public transportation (!?), people who stop short in the middle of the sidewalk, lost or confused, so you run straight into them,  and restaurants that have glaring lights, so bright that you cast a shadow on your plate. Add to this list my latest aggravation: horseshoe-shaped banquettes.

"Simply Organic" Cooking

We got a copy of Simply Organic (Chronicle Books) here in the 7x7 office this week. Written by Jesse Ziff Cool, a longtime local-and-sustainable advocate who owns three organic restaurants down in Palo Alto, it’s a hefty cookbook loaded with semi-glossy pages and gorgeous photographs by SF’s own France Ruffenach.

CSA Boxes: Eatwell Farm

OK—I’m about to get a little bit preachy. We just wrapped our annual green issue, which will be on newsstands at the end of March, and it prompted a lot of conversations around the office about what we could do…me, and you, and even you, and what habits we might change to make a positive impact on our city and world at large. Since I’m the assistant eat + drink editor, my thoughts always turn to food—how we communicate with food, how with celebrate with food, and how we get political with our food.


Green garlic
Photo by Joan Vicent Canto

Damn...

...that's a lot of glasses.



This was a dinner I attended during the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers up in Napa. It was a good three days, and I gleaned some valuable information about publishing. More than that, however, I made some excellent new friends. Not a bad use of time, particularly for people who are just starting their career.

Stony Hill

Last week, I made my first trip to Stony Hill, a winery in St. Helena that I've admired for a long time.



I got to meet Peter McRea, the owner, who has continued making excellent Chardonnay from the Napa Valley in the exact same style his parents did--which is to say, balanced, completely devoid of new oak and extremely age-worthy.


A-Rhone at the Top

March 15 and 16 marks the return of the Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting, to be held at the Log Cabin in the Presidio. If you like inky Syrahs, bright Grenaches, juicy rosés, lush Marsannes, vibrant Roussanes or anything remotely related to Rhone varieties grown in the United States, this is the tasting for you. You can meet winemakers, taste new and old vintages and generally get your Rhone on. Pretty much everyone who's anyone in the world of Rhone varieties, including my favorites like Peay, Qupe, Tablas Creek and McCrea, will be there. Don't miss it.

Drinking Las Vegas

Along with many prominent San Francisco bartenders last week, I took in the unholy jambalaya of libation promotion that is the Las Vegas Bar Show. While boutique brands like Michter's whiskey and Barsol Pisco had small booths on the periphery of the show, the main floor was dominated by big brands, novelty vodkas (such as O2, "the world's first sparkling vodka"),



energy drinks and lots of blondes, such as you see at the Nuvo ("the world's first sparkling liqueur") and Rock Star Energy Drink booths.

Blue Bottle Buzz

So I finally made it over to the Blue Bottle Cafe. It's a strangely exhilarating experience, as the old-fashioned burnished hominess of the coffeehouse has been turned into a post-modern coffee laboratory. With all the beakers, tubes and flashing lights, the cafe is just a few caged rats short of being a place I could imagine producing prescription mood drugs.




But coffee is a bit of a mood drug itself, and the steaming cups I had were as delicious as the Japanese siphon system (the first in the US) was perplexing. The coffee is indeed good, but the show is even better.

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

1. Honk if you love cheeses
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