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Eat + Drink

Belgium Meets California



I had an interesting opportunity to taste a new beer that’s made by the highly respected Belgian brewery Brasserie d’Achouffe. It’s called Houblon Dobbelen IPA Tripel. I don't know what all those words mean, but I do know that you don’t often see the term IPA (India Pale Ale) on Belgian beers. Sure enough, this is an interesting hybrid--a Belgian company making a beer for the American market. It’s in the style of a tripel, which the name for a golden-hued, complex mellow style of Belgian beer. Throw in some extra, hyper aggressive hops, and you can start calling it an IPA in hopes of appealing to American fans of beers like the IPA from Racer 5.

Big-Ass Glass



I must say that this glass— a Sommelier series Pinot Noir glass from Riedel—is insanely big. It’s about 10 inches tall and can hold a whole bottle of wine.

And you know me—I like drinking wine from tumblers as much as from fine stemware—but I gotta say, Pinot smells and tastes incredible from this glass. I tried the same wine, Chalone Pinot Noir 2005, from several glasses, and the Riedel sommelier glass was the winner by a long shot. Too bad it costs something like $40 a stem….

Let the Games Begin

Here’s a little tidbit of information about me: I love to win. Well, actually, that’s not entirely true—it’s more that I hate to lose. My family will vouch for me on this one, citing a childhood spent flipping Monopoly boards and getting in fights over games of Uno. Believe me, it’s not something I’m proud of, and as an adult I try to avoid head-to-head competition, lest the evil competitive demon rear her ugly head.

Red Bubbly



If you haven’t had sparkling Shiraz yet, you’re missing out. I just had my first taste in July at a Rye mix-off competition, second yesterday with Mr. Hardy himself and might just swing by the Jug Shop tonight to pick up a bottle.

Hardy Family Shiraz

A few weeks ago, I attended the Family Winemakers of California tasting event at Fort Mason, where hundreds of small, family-owned wineries were pouring their wines. I kept asking one question: How is the family involved? Growing up watching Falcon Crest, I’m guilty of romanticizing the lifestyles of families who own vineyards—you mean they all don’t have chauffeurs and lounge by the pool all day? 

Jonesing for Comfort

When I got word there was a new comfort-food restaurant in the Marina called Jones, I paused, because back in Philly, where I used to review restaurants, there was a comfort-food spot by über-successful restauranteur Stephen Starr called Jones. Turns out this Jones is not related to that Jones (it’s a common enough name, after all); it’s actually a re-do of the Marina Sports Bar & Grill owned by One Industry Group, the guys behind Mas Sake, Impala and Suite One8One.

Labor Day

As a single mother of two (divorcée?) and full-time food editor and writer, I often feel like a bit of a head-case. This is my life: Highly glamorous (fancy restaurants, multiple courses, paired wines), utterly unglamorous (on my hands and knees, cleaning rice off the floor, Finding Nemo on in the background).

Her Bombolloni bring all the boys to the yard



We were saying a fond farewell to one of our fine interns last Friday, over a lovely little breakfast at Boulettes Larder. I swear, eating at that place is like being in a dream—everything is just so delicious and aesthetically pleasing. And there is something about having a proper breakfast like that, all hot cereal and pristine fruit, that makes you feel like you’ve done something good for yourself.

Champagne and Spices



I went to a bizarre little Szechuan restaurant in the Richmond the other day called Spices II. It was bizarre, not because of the food—which was quite interesting and good—but because of the goofy sort of “Hello Kitty”/schoolgirl-motif interior, and the robot-like schoolgirls who waited on our table.


New Zuni Wine Director



I love Zuni Café and could happily eat there every day of my life—if someone wouldn’t mind subsidizing me.

With the golden light that reflects off the towering white walls and the white paper tablecloths, the ambiance inside is wonderful. Furthermore, the food is consistently very good. The worst I ever have is something that doesn’t make me say “wow,” or perhaps a slightly overcooked chicken. Usually, everything is delicious. While in the past there have been some service issues, in the last couple of years I’ve had nothing but exemplary, warm service.
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