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Eat + Drink

Mini-Mandarin Mania



Photo by Stefanie Michejda.

Sparkling Wine Snuff Film

It felt kind of creepy to watch this, so passing it along to you makes me feel, well, sleazy. I know, it’s scary what can happen to you in Europe, as depicted in movies like Hostel, Hostel: Part 2, Midnight Express or the YouTube video of the giant robotic arm of Belgian customs snapping the necks of 3,200 bottles of innocent, whimpering California wine. Like lambs to the slaughter, lambs to the slaughter . .

The Fairest Fast Food of All

Last week, a little-reported bit of food news crossed my desk: Chipotle, that chain of Mexican fast-food restaurants founded here in the Bay Area by Steve Ells (former cook at the now defunct Stars) has gone on record as saying that it will serve some 52 million pounds of naturally raised meat in 2008, marking a 40% increase over last year. I’ve read enough Michael Pollan to be skeptical of the phrase, “naturally raised meat,” but figured it warranted a second look.

Here's to Our Health

San Franciscans have a village mentality. Leave the big-box stuff to the Los Angeles and Miami; let New York have its sweeping fine-dining restaurants. We’re proud of our casual, but conscientious, neighborhood joints that don’t cost an arm and a leg—the little guys, owned and run by a chef who knows your name: the Delfinas, Terzos and Blue Plates; the SPQRs, Mavericks and Frescatis.

By Land and by Sea

Food From Cloned Animals Seems Safe, a Panel Finds—there’s an unsettling headline if I've ever seen one. What's reassuring about a panel saying something as off the wall as eating food sourced from clones "seems safe"? I think I’ll pass.


Wood-oven roasted rib eye

Parr Selections

I've been to many tastings where winemakers put their wines up against the top wines of France—Cabernet versus first growth Bordeaux, sparkling wine versus tête de cuvée Champagne and Pinot Noir versus Grand Cru Burgundy. It's always a good exercise, and as predicted, the California versions usually fare pretty well against the greats of Europe. There's always an element of hubris in the act, though, as implicit in the exercise is the assertion that "my wines that I've been making for 20 years are as good as this French property that's been making wines for 200."


The Before and After

I like to track progress. That’s why I’m a fan of before-and-after shots. Here’s one for Waterbar:

First you see the sketch of the light fixture in the rendering from my visit in October (read more about it here)…



… and voila! Here it is—all blown glass and wire.



Stay tuned. Waterbar’s opening date is slated for January 29.

Waterbar
399 The Embarcadero
415-284-9922

Semi-Homemade Chicken

I haven’t yet been able to sit through an entire episode of Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade show on the Food Network. There’s something about it that gets under my skin. I’m sure she’s a great person with homemaking skills I’ll never have, but where’s her edge? Why does every show involve frilly cupcake frosting? Does she not have one gram of badass Bourdain in her at all? Well, I digress.

Wake Up Call


Me and my pit bull, Olie, both like Coffee Bar.

Italian in the Afternoon

I must have tried getting a seat at minuscule L'Osteria del Forno in North Beach about half a dozen times in the last few years. It's never possible—the few tables are always full and the wait at least a good half hour. And my husband refuses to wait in line for tables. So I had the brilliant idea of having a long holiday lunch there with a dear friend instead. Lo and behold, the place was empty on a Friday at 1 p.m., save for a lone two-top near the window.
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