Eat + Drink
The great man died today. His most lasting achievement will be, for better or worse, the elevation of the Napa--and therefore the California--wine industry from small-time regional curiosity to international juggernaut. More than as a maker of phenomenal wines, he has come to be known as a great marketer, for both his own winery and for wine in general.
Last night, for a birthday dinner for a friend, I was asked to bring some Champagne to go with the dessert course. Now, for any wine pairing with a dessert, you must know the simple rule that the wine should always be sweeter than the food. If you get it wrong, it makes both the wine and the dessert taste bad. The most common example of this understandable error is at weddings, when dry Champagne is served with wedding cake. No wedding that I have ever attended when this faulty pairing has occurred has ever resulted in a successful marriage. It is why, at my wedding, we avoided cake altogether.
Ever since I was 15 and traveling through France and Britain with my family, I've loved European dry, alcoholic apple cider. This is probably because my parents wouldn't let me drink beer, scotch or (much) wine, but they would let me get the occasional buzz off cider. While there, I developed an affection for the dry, crisp apple-y taste of the stuff.
We're San Franciscans through and through, so we hate to say anything against Bay to Breakers, but the snacks at Footstock are not the tastiest morsels to treat yourself to after running or walking seven miles. (You thought we were gonna rant on the saggy naked people, didn't you? Nope, we've got priorities.) So whether you're in the race or just watching it, here are some things you might want to eat and drink along the route, beginning down in SoMa at the starting line:
By root on May 15, 2008 8:48 AM
The other night I was headed to a new restaurant, Anchor & Hope (to read a Q and A with co-owner and all-around-nice-guy Doug Washington, click here), and I mentioned to our Executive Editor that I was almost hoping that I wouldn’t like it (I did...but more on that in another post). It’s not that I relish being a crank (at least, not all the time) but just that loving all these restaurants in San Francisco can be debilitating.
Universal Cafe, one of my local favorites.
A friend alerted me to this astonishing development in the world of beer: Happy Tail Ale, the first beer for dogs. It's nonalcoholic, fortified with glucosamine (for the joints) and Vitamin E, and it's beef-flavored. Hell, if it weren't for the nonalcoholic part, I'd probably drink it myself.
So the other day I went to check out Hukilau, that rather nondescript yet somehow noticeable little restaurant on the corner at the big intersection of Masonic and Geary. I'd been wondering about it for a long time and, as one of its bartenders, Kimmie, has come into Cantina (where I sometimes tend bar), I decided to see what it was all about.
I recently had the good fortune of taking my first trip to the famed Pisoni Vineyards of the Santa Lucia Highlands, above the Salinas Valley. Gary Pisoni was the visionary vineyard planter who put the region on the wine map. He's also a legendary wild man, part Dionysus, part Loki, Pan, you name it. Let's just the man knows how to have a good time.