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Eat + Drink

Minty Fresh



Friday was the unveiling of Mint Plaza. Being that it was a busy day for me, I almost skipped the ceremony. But, when I heard there was going to be free Blue Bottle coffee, ‘Wichcraft’s peanut-butter sandwiches and a Gavin appearance, I figured I could squeeze in a visit.

This stretch next to the old Mint on Jessie St., off of Fifth St., is a major improvement over the sketchy alley it once was. Now, sparkly chic and artsy, it’ll attract shoppers from the San Francisco Center and offer green space for the residents of the restored commercial buildings that have been turned into lofts.

Animal Instinct

Ah, the life of a food writer. One moment you're dining on lobster and caviar, the next moment you're in a hotel's chilly fluorescent-lit windowless basement pastry room, among racks of lemon meringue petit fours, squinting as you try to make the world's tiniest eyes out of black fondant and attach them to some fondant hybrid of a duck and a chick (a chuck?) that you've come up. A lot of cursing is involved.



Making fondant pigs is harder than it looks.

Fry Me a River (of Smelts)

Here are the things I dig about the new Bossa Nova on Eighth Street in SoMa.

1.    The supercool website, which will make you want to book a flight to Rio in about two minutes flat.
2.    The live music every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, courtesy of Brazilian hottie Antonio Guedes.
3.    The $7 caipirinhas, especially the classic.


Bossa Nova's fried smelts + caipirinhas.

Feeling Crabby


Photograph by Stefanie Michejda

I Heart NY

Just got back from visiting my brother, Travis, in New York. He lives in the East Village and so I stick with the West Village, Soho, Nolita, Lower East Side circuit, rarely even getting on a train. There’s really too much to love in that city, but I'm always glad to be back home.

Day #1: Met friends at Kuma Inn for dinner. A little upstairs place in the Lower East Side. Asiany, tapasy, dark and nooky. Overall the food was ok, but the Chinese sausage with sticky rice was great. Very LES BYOB, a nice change from SF WBTG (wine by the glass).



Making candy at Papabubble.

Cocktails with Camper

At the Macallan dinner (the name of the house is actually The Macallan, so perhaps that should be “the The Macallan” dinner, I was seated next to San Francisco’s most dogged cocktail blogger and freelance journalist, Camper English. After dinner, I had plans to make some rounds and convinced young English to come along. We caught a cab and flew down to St. Marks, and the unlikely cocktail bar, PDT.


Jim Meehan behind the bar

How Sweet It Is



It’d been three years since I last had brunch at Slow Club (and wrote about it for SF Station), which makes me feel old because I remember that meal like it was yesterday. So I was happy to go back yesterday and be reassured that—even with a chef change and a few years in between—the food remains as good as ever.

A Bite of the Big Apple

Last week, I had an opportunity to do some reconnaissance on the New York bar scene, which is often held up with London as the best in the world with San Francisco generally considered to be tightly nipping at their heels.


Yoshi’s, The Countdown



With an opening date firmly set for November 28, the folks over at the soon-to-open Yoshi’s in the Western Addition might be sweating bullets (the main staircase remains suspended and doorways are just going up—you get the picture). At 29,000 square feet, the space is ginormous and will accommodate just about every dining permutation you can dream up—bar, bar/lounge, mezzanine, dining room, private dining … you name it. Between the dining room, lounges and bars, there are more than 400 seats, and the jazz club seats about 400, too. Massive!
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