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Eat + Drink

Home Cooking

As a magazine editor, I always feel the pressure to be ahead of the curve. But sometimes, I’m about three years too late, as is the case with the Ghetto Gourmet. Attending one of their dinners has been on my to-do list forever, but I just got around to it last Saturday night. I just wish I’d done it sooner (like maybe before Time magazine covered it).

Special Blend

Cameron Hughes is not your ordinary winemaker. He doesn’t drive a tractor, lovingly prune his vines, and soulfully dip into his barrels. Rather, he sits behind a cluttered desk on his phone lines or his email or both searching for great wine that hasn’t been bottled.

Heavenly Food in the Midst of Hell

I dislike Costco as much as any good latte-sipping, intellectually-superior blue-stater. It’s the only place on earth where I start to believe there is indeed a culture war going on in this land—a war between smart, slim, urban people and their opposites. It’s an ugly, us-versus-them reaction brought on by fluorescent lights, over-stimulation, long lines and screaming kids.

So why do I belong to Costco, you ask? Because I needed a flat-screen TV. And like all good liberal elitists, you can bet your sweet patootie that bargains matter more to me than retail atmo. But that’s another story. The real story, for our current purposes, is that Costco has good food. Damn good food. Food that would make a Chowhound blush.


Over the years I’ve collected a mini library of books about all things food—over 100 cookbooks, plus literary musings and oddballs like the one called Strange Foods: Bush Meat, Bats and Butterflies —a favorite that’s not for the faint of heart. Most just sit there looking good, but some, like The Zuni Cafe Cookbook are spattered and stained with use.

In the Ballpark

As baseball season approaches we’re all aware of the myriad places around the ballpark to drink Vodka drinks (e.g. Paragon), stand and chatter in claustrophobic throngs (Momo’s), etc. But just a block down from where you can guzzle margaritas (Tres Agaves), there is now a place to sip Sauvignon Blanc, munch on risotto balls and rhapsodize about Pinot Noir. The name of the place is District and it brings a touch of sophistication to a neighborhood that needed it.

Movia Magic

The good times always roll when Ales Kristancic (ah-lesh Kris-TON-chitch) of the Slovenian winery Movia comes to town to promote his wine. He is a bald, Baltic ball of fun and brings his lively spirit, passion for wine, and inimitable use of the phrase “tzak, tzak” to town (“tzak” has no real translation, but he uses it when he doesn’t know the proper English verb).

World's Best Carbonara

I was just blogging last week about how lots of people would love to cook more, but feel a little overwhelmed by it all. As my little contribution to solving this problem, I’m going to give you one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever attempt: my dad’s carbonara. It’s both lighter (no cream) and tastier (more contrast) than your usual carbonara. Best of all, it comes from an East Coast bookie who’s been cooking since he’s been in short pants. That kind of experience can’t be bought at Le Cordon Bleu.
Senior’s Carbonara
Serves 4
1 lb. spaghetti
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