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Eat + Drink

Trial-Sized Wine Tubes: Tubular, Dude

I rather like this idea of selling wine in ever-smaller packages. After all, I'm a huge fan of the half-bottle. But this is a great idea for self-education, allowing drinkers to sample, in 2- or 3.5-ounce doses, wines from many different regions. (Two ounces is about one large "shot," while 3.5 ounces is about 70 percent of a normal single-glass pour of wine.)

Green Almonds in the Market Now

I think native Californians have a terrible problem of not realizing quite how lucky they are. There’s the weather thing, of course, but what I’m talking about is the access—with all this gorgeous countryside just outside the city limits, things show up at the farmers markets here that are far from typical. You may already feel tired of asparagus after gorging on it these first few weeks, but elsewhere they’re still picking through the same tired heads of cabbage and barrels of potatoes. It’s not pretty.

Domo Arigato

Welcome inside Hayes Valley's newest restaurant.
photo courtesy of Domo

What Wine Goes with Indian Food?

This question came up while I was lucky enough to be having dinner with Rajat Parr at his house. Rajat is the wine director for the metastasizing Michael Mina Group, which seems to have a new restaurant going up somewhere in the world about every 15 seconds. Known as a miraculous blind taster and to have a deeply knowledgeable mind about wine, Rajat--and this is unknown to many--is also a world-class chef who graduated from the CIA in Hyde Park before deciding to devote his life to pairing food with wine instead of cooking it.

The Eat + Drink List: This week's top 7

Bar Bambino's stellar cheese selection.

1. Ciao, Bambino!

Joey Altman's Matzo Ball Soup

Just in time for Passover (which begins this Saturday at sundown), we bring you a simple and trustworthy recipe for matzo ball soup from SF's own Joey Altman, from his new cookbook Without Reservations: How to Make Bold, Creative, Flavorful Food at Home (Wiley).

Note: Schmaltz is rendered chicken fat. You can get it from some kosher grocers, from Boulettes Larder in the Ferry Building, or you can render it yourself by simply making homemade chicken soup and scooping the solid fat off the top after refrigerating it. The broth and shredded chicken would both come in handy for this recipe too. But if it's all too much trouble, Altman recommends vegetable oil as a substitute.

DeLoach Vineyards: Boisset Rising

Last week, I had the opportunity to have lunch with the irrepressible Jean-Charles Boisset, the French owner of many wine companies worldwide. In California, he owns Deloach Vineyards, the venerable Russian River produce; we met at the winery. J-C is doing many interesting things, including changing the entire style of Deloach's Pinots and Chardonnays to a style much more subtle and French than most of what you'll find in California. It's a bold move, but the wines--given their price and their market penetration in supermarkets--have the potential to really help turn the tide for more tasteful and elegant California wines (especially in the Chardonnay department). Bravo.

Crepe O Chocolate: Food for Shop

Shopping at Barneys always leaves me full of want, yet unfulfilled. There are so many beautiful things there. So many beautiful things that I can’t afford. (This is not to say that I don’t go back often, like some sort of shopping masochist.)
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