Far too many Americans turn up their noses to gin, never expanding their booze palates beyond vodka and the occasional margarita; and this is a damn shame. Juniper can be an aquired taste, but with a wide array of gins appearing on the shelves of the city's best bars – some of which taste more of citrus or cucumber than juniper – there's every reason to believe that there's a gin out there to suit every taste.
This week in the city's food and drink scene we have a speedy switch-up at the the former Incanto location in Noe Valley – it's already been revived as the more casual and family-oriented Porcellino. The former Spire and Baan space on Third Street has found new life as a bar called Woodbury, celebrity chef Rick Bayless has yanked his taqueria concept out of Macy's basement, and you should brace yourselves for a bunch of new restaurants opening in the next two months.
Perhaps it’s a reaction to the recent recession-era dining, or maybe chefs are just kicking off their proverbial heels, but notably casual follow-up restaurants from fine-dining icons have proliferated in the past few years.
Palm Springs and the other desert cities that are its neighbors are quickly evolving and adapting to the desires of a new generation of tourists (and Coachella-goers) from all over California and beyond. The last few years have seen a bevy of older hotels transformed into hip new boutique destinations, and new restaurants have been popping up catering to the demanding palates of Bay Area and Los Angeles weekenders.
Front and center among this week's food news is the planned expansion of Tartine Bakery to the Heath Ceramics building at 18th and Alabama. But elsewhere in town, two-year-old Dixie has called it quits in the Presidio, the Mission's new mini-golf course/bar/restaurant Urban Putt is set to open in a few weeks, and French Laundry is heading for a temporary closure – and possible stint as a pop-up.
Maybe you spent those couple of rainy nights this week huddled at home, or maybe you returned to your favorite, most comforting neighborhood haunts for familiar meals. In any event, here's what's been happening in the restaurant scene while you were hiding out.
Spring is when local asparagus is at its seasonal best. Check out the five spots below if you want to do a tasting tour of some of the best and freshest preparations showcasing one of the greenest of green vegetables.
This week in restaurant and bar news we have a new eating and entertainment venue coming to the former Barnes & Noble at Jack London Square in Oakland, the final bow for Incanto, and a few more details about Corey Lee's upcoming Hayes Valley bistro, Monsieur Benjamin.
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