Eat + Drink
Just got the news that last week Berkeley Wine importer, merchant and living legend Kermit Lynch was bestowed with the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, one of the highest awards given by the French government. If you've read his Adventures on the Wine Trail, one of the most inspiring wine books ever written, you'd know that Lynch is a true rock star of wine. But this award puts him in the company of the likes of Duke Ellington, Clint Eastwood and Julia Child.
I can't say "no" to food, cocktails, art and music, even on a drizzly, chilly Thursday night; so last week I joined crowds of art-and-food lovers at Taste 2007, a fundraising event at Root Division. With eight popular local chefs preparing an array of savory treats, local artists displaying their work and a jazz band playing, my senses were abuzz from the moment I walked in.
Whiskies of the World took place on two floors. On the ground level was the main tasting hall which involved dozens of tables set up around the perimeter, each manned by a different whisky brand pouring its stuff. It was a great showing, but I just can't deal with the crowds. After fighting through people piled up at each table just to get a pour, actually tasting, concentrating on it and taking a note is not easy to do. Which is why I spent most of my time up on the second floor, where in small meeting rooms, guided tastings and seminars devoted to various brands were running almost full time.
The annual Whiskies of the World tasting was last weekend, my first one to attend. This is a pretty big deal, as evidenced by the line of people waiting to get in, which stretched from the Palace Hotel meeting hall where the whiskies were being poured through the lavish main hall of the into the glittering lobby and down another hall. Almost as impressive as the several hundred people who paid over $100 a ticket to taste whiskies was the number of people willing to pay over $100 a ticket to taste whiskies in a kilt.
By root on April 23, 2007 11:15 AM
The breakfast of champions at XYZ.
A couple of months ago, some good friends told me that they no longer are willing to wait in line for brunch of the weekends. In a city like San Francisco, that’s tantamount to going cold turkey and resigning yourself to cold cereal at home. At first I thought they were just being a little on the high-maintenance side, but now I’m starting to get it. What broke me down? An hour and a half outside Dottie’s, followed by 45 minutes at Universal Café. My weekend mornings were being spent on line, and I was ready to throw in the towel, too.
By root on April 18, 2007 5:22 PM
Spork is open for business.
I’m happy to report that a host of new restaurants are flipping their signs to open. Finally! They’re all a short walk from my home in the Mission, meaning I’ll get in the door soon to give you the full scoop.
Enough about Texas--it feels good to be back in the place I really love.
Now, perhaps my future as a drinks writer was predictable given my childhood love of root beer. I loved it so much as a 10-year-old that I was consistently able to taste the root beer blind at restaurants and accurately guess the producer--Fanta, A&W, Mug, whatever it may be. That deep love lives on, so it's hard to convey how pleasantly surprised I was to find homemade root beer at the Magnolia Brewery and Pub. Creamy and delicious, one of its best attributes is that it's not too sweet.