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Don't Buy Art, Buy Drinks: Friday at Alembic and Beretta

With my rapidly advancing age, marital state and experience working at Cantina on many Fridays over the last year, I have largely stopped going out on weekend nights. Bars are just too crowded, too loud. You know . . . too "too." And I don't even have kids.

But I had friend in town from LA this weekend who was interested in the SF cocktail scene, so Friday was a good chance to observe the weekend nightlife at a couple of the city's more happening cocktail outposts.

Cocktails Worth a Thousand Pictures

As the second part of our series of guest food bloggers, 7x7 welcomes food stylist Katie Christ. Katie worked as Culinary Producer for the first season of Top Chef and in 2008, she won the first ever Food Network Challenge for food stylists. Tune in to get a taste of Katie's inspirations as she eats and drinks her way through our fair city.

The Perfect Martini Glass

We recently sat down with designers Philip Wood of CITIZEN:Citizen and Becka Citron to discuss the perfect martini glass.  We set up shop at B Restuarant and Bar, where Don Harbison mixed what he thought was the perfect cocktail for each specific glass.  From the ridiculously inexpensive to the jaw-dropping three figures, each glass is very different and brings something unique to your tabletop (or party!).

1.  Phases martini glass from Rosenthal, $245 each
We like that the glass is unconventional and opaque, and how it really makes you consider the color and contents of the cocktail you'll put it in. 

For the Best Cocktails, Go West

Well, it’s official. New York (or, at the very least, the gray lady) seems to be looking westward when it comes to cocktails. Remember the article a couple of weeks ago (which caused me to grouchily wonder why Bourbon and Branch wasn’t included)? Well, hot on its heels comes a second article in the Times travel section, this one written by local drinker Gregory Dicum who, we think, gets it just right.

Even a Bad Year Deserves Toasting - A Pomegranate Sparkler Recipe

Hey, this has been kind of a rough year, eh? The last couple of months have kind of made us want to hide under our desks. But as this year ends and the next begins, it would seem a shame to let it go by without a proper toast, something like “Thanks for nothing, 2008. See you on the flip side.”

What we know about the SF cocktail scene that the Times doesn't

Did anyone else read the article in the New York Times food section Wednesday about bartending philosophies? Rather fitting, given that this is the anniversary of Repeal Day. We were pleased as rum punch to see a mention of hometown hero Daniel Hyatt from the Alembic, who was categorized, rather grandly, as a neo-classicist. You can keep tabs on Daniel’s activities at the Alembic by visiting his blog, alembicbar.blogspot.com.

Slow Drink Nation

Drink Tables

They call it Slow Food, but let me tell you that some of the biggest lines are at the drinks tables. Of all the sections, though, I have to give the nod for the beer pavilion as the best of them all. Why? Not just because it's the quickest service, but because of the diversity and breadth of the selection. The beer pavilion is divided into three bars, each representing a method of beer delivery: bottle, cask, and draught (below).

Orson: Six Months In

 

After months of traveling and nose-to-the-grindstone work, I finally made it to Orson, only about six months after it opened. Considering that restaurant critics don't even give new joints the customary two-month lag before reviewing them anymore, my tardiness could be seen as more than genteel. Anyway, I wasn't going in to review it but to enjoy it. And, largely, that's what I did.

Brooke Arthur: She's Back and Better Than Ever



Well, she's been back for a while, but I never made a note of it. If you remember, I posted back in January about Range bartender Brooke Arthur, who was injured with smoke inhalation in an apartment fire back on New Year's Eve. Well, after several long months of recuperation, she returned first to the city and, a couple of months ago, then to her job.

New Orleans Report: A Spirited Dinner at August

Thursday night, I was fortunate enough to have wrangled an invitation to one of the many spirited dinners going on throughout town, in which fine food and cocktails were paired on a fixed menu. Then my good fortune continued as I was able to end up at a table with Jen Colliau (sorry about the blur) of the Slanted Door, John Santer of Beretta, and Jill Santer of Laszlo. Always nice to dine amongst friends in a distant place . . .

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