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Palio D'Asti: The Three-Martini Tax Break

One of the old-school lunch spots in the Financial District, Palio D'Asti, is offering up one of the biggest incentives we can think of to come back to work drunk. For the entire month of April, in the spirit of tax relief, the Italian restaurant serves $1 martinis (Stoli or Beefeater) at lunch only—as long as you order lunch (which is a good thing, because God knows you need something to soak up the booze).


Palio bartender Ruben Valenzuela is standing by.

Uva Enoteca: On the Radar


Pretty soon, you're going to hear a lot about
this young man.

Boris Nemchenok has a lot of love for Italy and wants to share his passion.  That’s why, after working under Mario Batali at Otto in New York for the last five years, he moved back to his hometown to open Uva Enoteca, his new Italian eatery in the Lower Haight.  The enoteca will serve panini; antipasti; salads; coffee; desserts; beer and exclusively Italian wines all day until midnight.

Americano: Spring Awakening

You don’t just have to look up at the Ferry Building clock tower to know that the city has officially sprung forward: Flashes of bare leg and pink petals are everywhere. While foodies roaming the Marketplace can almost taste the apricots and artichokes on their tongue, across the street at Americano, a literal crush of single professionals huddled around space heaters are fixated on some good ole’ sexual tension paired with a Melograno Cosmo, which is acquired after waiting diligently in line—a very, very long one.


Friday at Americano brings the boys to the yard.

Banquettes: The Horseshoe Issue

In the back of my mind I keep a “hater” list that I add to more frequently than I’d care to admit. On it are things that aggravate me more than they should, things I’m not able to get all Gandhi about at this less-than-fully evolved stage of my young life. This list includes my hatred for people who clip.their.nails. on public transportation (!?), people who stop short in the middle of the sidewalk, lost or confused, so you run straight into them,  and restaurants that have glaring lights, so bright that you cast a shadow on your plate. Add to this list my latest aggravation: horseshoe-shaped banquettes.

Gary Danko: Fire and Disco Balls!

Confession: I dined for the first time at Gary Danko … last week. Yes, Gary Danko, winner for Best Overall restaurant for our 2008 Reader’s Choice Awards, Michelin-star Danko, Relais & Chateau Danko. I was prepped for great service and a great cheese cart, but there was one thing I hadn't considered. Gary Danko can actually be quite thrilling—and I’m not talking about the food.


Pyrotechnics at Gary Danko.

1. It offers great people watching.

Mushrooms: The Black Market

What’s exported to Europe from here, but underappreciated at home? The Bay Area’s black trumpet mushrooms, according to Connie Green, the owner of Wine Forest Mushrooms and long-time forager of wild fungi for some of the Bay Area’s top chefs—from Todd Humphries of Martini House to Thomas Keller of the French Laundry to Hiro Sone of Ame. Green ships out her prized trumpets, which she says grow better here than anywhere else, to cities like Barcelona and Paris. “But only a few chefs [here] really know what to do with them,” she says of what she calls the “blue cheese of mushrooms” because of their full flavor. According to Green, these select chefs include Traci Des Jardins, Mark Franz and Charles Phan.

Michael Tusk's Mind

I'm in the midst of working on a feature story for our April issue, and I don't think it's giving away too much to tell you that in the course of researching the piece I've been spending a lot of time with Michael Tusk, the chef/owner of Quince restaurant. I'd even like to think that in the course of these last few weeks, we've forged something of a nascent friendship. Today, in the midst of a spirited discussion about spring's finest ingredients, Mike grabbed my notebook and started sketching out his vision for a tribute to asparagus, a four-part dish that will likely debut on his tasting menu within the next few months.

Q&A with Yoshi's GM Andrew Generalao


Andrew Generalao, GM of Yoshi's San Francisco
Photo courtesy of John A. Benson Photography

Yoshi's was just awarded 3 stars from the Chronicle. Has your job just gotten harder, or are you able to breathe a bit easier now?

7 Food Finds


Happy Year of the Rat!

Check out these 7 things—all happening this week.

1. You calling me fat?: Fat Tuesday’s today, so join in the debauchery at Townhall and then plan your 40 days of meat-free living. For inspiration, check out Millennium’s Eric Tucker, who’s doing a cooking demo and signing his latest book The Artful Vegan on Saturday at 11:15 a .m. at the Ferry Building Marketplace.

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