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Eat + Drink

Find Me at Le Club

It's hard to avoid the mild feelings of skepticism that accompany the opening of anything that seems like it might be putting on airs—particularly in San Francisco, particularly when a certain someone is telling us that we need economic stimulating. But, then, well...wait just a second. When Le Club opens today it may well exceed our expectations. Though it is a reservation-only restaurant and bar (yes, that means that even if you just want a cocktail you have to plan ahead...sorry, casual Californians), it's interior is more old-fashioned lounge than new slick club: intimate, sleek and polished, with marble floors, an onyx bar and a billiards room.

253...

...cocktails made in one hour (in Las Vegas, by Beam Global Spirits master mixologist Bobby G) to set the Guinness record. See the video. That's a lot of drinks. I'm not sure what the Guinness record is for drinking cocktails in an hour, but I have to believe it's a bit lower. I hope so, anyway.

Stompin' at the Savoy

This was the scene last week at the Alembic, the best cocktail bar between Van Ness and Japan, where intrepid bartenders Thomas Waugh and Daniel Hyatt (in ties and vests) had suspended the use of their standard cocktail list and replaced it with the entire 293-page Savoy Cocktail Book. Originally published in 1930, this volume is both a valuable historical clue to the vibrancy of a distant age and a still-relevant compendium of drinking fun. A dozen copies of the book were available at the bar, and drinkers were invited to simply thumb through it and find something they wanted to drink.

Sugar Pie, Honeycomb


The ice cream truck is no longer reason to scream: It the waffle truck now—on tour all the way from Belgium. The Waffle Mania truck parks itself at the Civic Center Heart of the City Farmers Market on Wednesdays from 8 am to 2 pm and the lines can be long. Some have ordered 12 at a time; bloggers protested when the waffle truck was absent one morning; and according to co-owner Derby, Michelle Williams, of the defunct Destiny's Child, is one of their fans.


Orson Unveiled


  
The crowd at Orson's circular marble bar.
All photos by Josh Reiss.


Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake fame premiered her newest enterprise, Orson, this week in SoMa. All the prerequisites were in place: the line sprawling down Fourth Street, the large doorman, the chocolate-smeared nude waitresses, the usual crowd of power lesbians and prowling thirty-somethings thronging through the lofty space.

Gary Danko: Fire and Disco Balls!

Confession: I dined for the first time at Gary Danko … last week. Yes, Gary Danko, winner for Best Overall restaurant for our 2008 Reader’s Choice Awards, Michelin-star Danko, Relais & Chateau Danko. I was prepped for great service and a great cheese cart, but there was one thing I hadn't considered. Gary Danko can actually be quite thrilling—and I’m not talking about the food.


Pyrotechnics at Gary Danko.

1. It offers great people watching.

Good drinking at the new Yoshi's

Had a chance to visit the new Yoshi's on Fillmore with our food editor, Sara Deseran, the other night. The array of interesting dishes presented to us kept us busy, but not as busy as all the delicious things to drink. We were helped along the way by the impressively knowledgeable and enthusiastic saké expert Ben Baker. He kept our glasses full of everything from a flowery, nuanced daiginjo to a solid, fruity gingo to an earthy shochu. Baker taught us the progression of these that a Japanese person would follow at a similar meal, which, contrary to the order we drink wine in the West, flows from the most fine and flavorful to the most solid and plain.

7 Food Finds



Check out these events—all happening this week.

1. Native Brew Ha Ha
The Slow Beer Festival  being held in Golden Gate Park on Saturday, March 1st, might not be the place to chug a beer in under 15 seconds, but it is the place to enjoy some of the area’s finest cold ones, paired with Hog Island oysters and Fatted Calf charcuterie.

2. Tasting is Believing

Fever time at the Grotto

The Grotto, the writer's collective of which I am fortunate to be a member, was paid a visit by the ever charming and convivial Tim Warrilow of Fever-Tree. Fever-Tree is a new English brand of mixers that uses natural botanicals and flavourings (my nod to the Brits) and less sugar. The desire to start this company came from the experience that Fever-Tree's founders had in running Plymouth Gin (SF's favorite artisanal brand these days), a lovely and complex product that is easily—as any good gin is—desecrated by bad tonic.


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