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Restaurants & Bars

Moving



We have to move apartments, not altogether a bad thing, just a pain in the you-know-what. The biggest problem for me is relocating my bar, which over the years had swelled to more than 100 bottles.

My old apartment had a built-in bar/buffet, which was large enough to accommodate everything. The new place has nothing like this. It took me hours to box up all the bottles (11 cases worth), put them in the car and take them up the stairs. I did this alone to avoid any sort of complaining from the wife about how sprawling the bar has gotten.

The Beauty of Nopa


Neyah with a special, unlisted cocktail

You know they're doing something right at Nopa when you’re willing to wait 25 minutes for a bar stool, and fight off vicious competitors while doing it. It's clear why people are so eager to get seats here: The bar is genius.

More of Italy's Finest


Gaia Gaja with Mauro Cirilli

Next winemakers to come into town was Gaia Gaja (the first and last name are actually pronounced the same way), the daughter of perhaps Italy's most famous winemaker, Angelo Gaja. Here is Gaia, sitting next to Mauro Cirilli, Perbacco's terrific sommelier.

The Gajas, father and daughter, produce many different wines, but are best known for the Nebbiolo-based wines from the Piedmont region of Italy, as well as for Brunello di Montalcino, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Italy's Finest

When I say “Italy’s Finest,” I'm not talking about the Carbinieri, Italy's state police force that’s the butt of many jokes (e.g. "Why do Carabinieri always work in pairs? Because one knows how to read, the other how to write").

Not long ago, I attended a couple of tastings featuring Italy's finest wines—the ones you don't get to taste every day, but are worth writing about when you do.


Big Beer Phenomenon

A few months ago, I wrote “Drink Big” about the very large, German-style glasses at the beer and sausage hangout, Gestalt. And now, I’m here to tell you about another, entirely different sort of place where you can get more extra-large beers—Osha Thai.


Cidre



That's how the French say "cider," and it was in France where I learned about this beverage that I still love. Traveling with my parents as a teenager, I was not allowed to drink much with them, besides a taste of wine or beer. But sometimes the rules were lifted when it came to cider, which I quickly learned to enjoy for its dryness, essence of apple flavor, bubbles and, yes, the little buzz.

Your Hardworking Sommeliers

Last Saturday night, a group of sommeliers gathered together for what is a unique San Francisco tradition--the late-night sommelier blind tasting.

That our hardworking restaurant wine professionals will bother to assemble at midnight on a Saturday—each bearing a bottle or two of expensive, classic wine to give to his or her comrades blind—for the purpose of learning and understanding is admirable.


Paul and his sister, Noah, Allen and Jean-Laurent Vacheron                           

Reminder for Monday



Kissui Vodka: the required ingredient

The field of bartenders is set and includes some of the city's best, and the favorites that you voted for:

•  Cantina's Duggan McD
•  H.  from Elixir
•  Jackie P. from Le Colonial
•  Amanda from Rye
•  Tim Stookey from Presidio Social Club

The Globe Theatre

Though I've written about him before, it's never enough. So a late-night jones for a pizza and a cocktail the other night afforded us an excuse to stop by the bar at Globe to see our friend Shane McKnight. Part serious mixologist, part host, part clown, he and his beverages always comprise an engaging two-ring circus.


Shane

Mojitos at Farm

The Carneros Inn, with all of its understated luxury, is certainly one of the premiere places to stay in Napa. Not being a connoisseur of such things, however, I can more confidently attest to the cocktails served at its restaurant, Farm. Pictured here is their modification of Cuba's famous drink. It's called a cucumber mojito.


The cucumber mojito at Farm.

The key to it is not only the cucumber, but the fact that the mixologists dialed back on simple syrup, this reduction of sweetness clarifies the flavors and makes it all the more refreshing.
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