Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Food Related

Rare Burgundies Dinner at the St. Francis

WELCOME TO SF, LA PAULEE!



I have to write a brief report on the craziness that was La Paulée, the big Burgundy party in which everyone brings a great bottle (or ten) to share. There was so much great wine at this year's dinner, held on March 1, that had it not been so delicious, it would have been sickening. It was all collected in a back room at the Westin St. Francis, where the army of sommeliers (somewhere around 60 of them, from all over the country) would fetch it and pour it for the guests who brought it.

Blue Bottle Buzz

So I finally made it over to the Blue Bottle Cafe. It's a strangely exhilarating experience, as the old-fashioned burnished hominess of the coffeehouse has been turned into a post-modern coffee laboratory. With all the beakers, tubes and flashing lights, the cafe is just a few caged rats short of being a place I could imagine producing prescription mood drugs.




But coffee is a bit of a mood drug itself, and the steaming cups I had were as delicious as the Japanese siphon system (the first in the US) was perplexing. The coffee is indeed good, but the show is even better.

Fish and Farm



Had a chance to stop by and see the new culinary team at Fish and Farm, Charlie Kleinman and Jake Des Voignes. You might remember that these two were the old culinary team that cooked a memorable meal last year back at the Fifth Floor. I was glad to see that the two had returned with such flair at a small downtown restaurant that bustles with an animated energy, yet preserves a sense of intimacy and discretion.
   

Super Bowl of Dip



At my friend's Superbowl party yesterday, the spread could not have been more classic—chips, guacamole, 7-layer dip, homemade wings and someone brought a tray of sushi that went mostly uneaten. The drinks were, as another friend likes to call them "macrobrews," though, like my beloved Pacifico and that macro masquerading as a micro, Sam Adams. This photo was taken, that's right, deep into the fourth quarter, as the Superbowl party is the year's first opportunity to excuse one's self from new year's dieting plans and eat carcinogenic snacks.

An Epic Training

As you probably know, Epic Roasthouse, the new meat restaurant from Pat Kuleto and Co. down on the Embarcadero, opens today down on the Embarcadero. While resolved to eat less meat, I still have a great interest in it, especially how animals are raised, killed and prepared. So when Epic’s executive chef Jan Birnbaum invited me about a week and a half ago to sit in with the entire restaurant staff for their training on their meats, I went.


Tuna and Beans

My good friend—Sandro Rossi (former Oakland cafe owner, food and wine savant) from our porcini mushroom adventure—was kind enough to drop off a bag of caponi beans and some bottles of Da Capo wines from Italy. (Seriously, life is good.)


How Romantic



Wine that Loves, a new wine brand that doesn’t seem to tell where the wine is from, of what grapes it’s made or the vintage. It just makes things easy for you by declaring on the label that it’s the Wine that Loves Pizza. Or the Wine that Loves Pasta with Tomato Sauce.

I’m not joking—that’s what it says on the label. It’s really brilliant as there’s an endless number of possible versions: Wine that Loves Tiki Masala, Wine that Loves Stale Bagel Chips…. Then they could move on to other areas:

What I Drank on Christmas Eve

I drank sake and a beer on Christmas Eve. We decided to get the homey stuff—pan-seared steak, Caesar salad, a bottle of Napa Cabernet—out of the way on the 23rd while watching season four of The Wire. The Cab was a rather unromantic wine, but still really good.



On Christmas Eve, we went for Sushi at Ebisu. It was packed and convivial, and the walk there and back through SF’s quiet, deadened streets was simply beautiful.

Thanksgiving Drinks

I can’t really tell you what we drank, but here’s what we ate.


Shroomin’



I had the great pleasure of spending the last couple of days in Mendocino, relaxing, eating and spending time searching through the woods looking for one of my favorite mushrooms—the venerable porcini. Oh, and did I mention eating?


Daily Newsletters

Essential SF knowledge in your inbox

Subscribe to 7x7
Renew
Give a Gift
FAQ's