Category Archives: Spirits/Cocktails/Beer

A Michelin-Starred-Chef Chocolate Box, New Kara’s Cupcakes Locale & More

The Constellation Chocolate Collection. (Photo courtesy of IfOnly.com)

For the Discriminating Chocoholic

IfOnly.com may have created the ultimate chocolate box for big-time foodies.

The e-commerce site asked 10 Bay Area Michelin-starred chefs to create a chocolate bonbon for this special box just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Take a gander at the stellar chefs and their pastry chefs who contributed to the Constellation Chocolate Collection:

Read more

Celebratory Matt Cain Cocktail, Taste of Italian Coffee at Santana Row & More

A cocktail to honor Giants pitcher Matt Cain. (Photo courtesy of Chef Hiro Sone)

Giants Fever at the St. Regis in San Francisco

Look for the bell hops and front desk staff at the St. Regis to sport black and orange baseball caps in honor of the San Francisco Giants incredible World Series sweep.

But that’s just the start. Step inside to toast the team’s victory with “The Perfect Cain” ($14), an ode to Giants pitcher Matt Cain.

The cocktail, available at the bar or at restaurant Ame, is a frothy blend of Breaking and Entering Bourbon, Campari, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, orange water flower and egg white.

First Lavazza Cafe On the West Coast to Open in Santana Row

Italy’s famed coffee roaster Lavazza will open its first West Coast cafe on Oct. 30 in San Jose’s Santana Row.

The Bay Area already may be saturated with coffee outlets, but Lavazza hopes to distinguish itself with its quality, innovation, and integration with high fashion, sleek design and contemporary cuisine, including its collaboration with revolutionary Chef Ferran Adria.

Ferran Adria's liquid-to-solid coffee concoction. (Photo courtesy of Lavazza)

The 35-seat cafe, which will feature stunning artwork, will serve coffee in every preparation imaginable, including the signature Èspesso, Adrià’s ingenious liquid-to-solid coffee creation served playfully with a spoon that sports a hole in it.

Read more

“Edible Selby” Book Events, Silicon Valley Restaurant Week & More

Photographer Todd Selby’s Food-Centric New Book

Fab photographer and illustrator, Todd Selby, has turned his lens on the food world.

The result is Edible Selby (Abrams), a quirky new book that showcases the kitchens, gardens, homes, restaurants, and workplaces of more than 40 food and drink purveyors, including a sea forager in the Bay Area, a Neapolitan pizza maker in Tokyo and a roof-top farmer in Brooklyn.

Each profile is accompanied by Selby’s illustrations, a hand-written questionnaire and a recipe. If that weren’t enough fun, the book also features his illustrated refrigerator magnets.

Meet Selby at a series of upcoming events in the Bay Area:

* Bar Tartine in San Francisco, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 22. Tartine Bakery’s Chef Chad Robertson will be joined by Chef Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco and New York, Chef Russell Moore of Camino in Oakland, New York Chef Ignacio Mattos, and Bar Tartine’s Nick Balla and Cortney Burnes. The chefs will be making sandwiches inspired by the book. Sandwiches are sold individually. Or you can pay $60 to receive a sandwich, book, and Selby tote bag.

* Bar Jules party in San Francisco, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 23. Price is $45 per person, excluding drinks. To purchase, call (415) 621-5482.

* SFMOMA book signing in San Francisco, 5 p.m. Oct. 25. Selby will be signing his book, as will James and Caitlin Freeman of Blue Bottle Coffee, who will sign their book, The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee (Ten Speed Press). At 6 p.m., join the three for a conversation. At 7 p.m., head up to the museum’s rooftop for a reception at the Blue Bottle Coffee Bar. Free with museum admission.

Time for “Silicon Valley Restaurant Week”

Today though Oct. 24, participating restaurants in Silicon Valley will be offering special three-course, prix-fixe dinners.

Read more

Cake Art, America’s Cup Cocktail & More

Artist Gary Komarin paints images of cakes on brown paper bags. (Image courtesy of the artist)

Cake Paintings at March in San Francisco

Cake — without the calories. That’s what you’ll find at Marche, the gourmet kitchenware store in San Francisco, when it hosts an exhibit by artist Gary Komarin, Sept. 28 through the end of November.

The whimsical artwork consists of water-based enamel and spackle paintings of cakes on paper bags.

“I have long been intrigued by the way paper bags are designed and the way that they fold back into such a beautifully flat object after being so very volumetric in their ‘open’ stance,” said Komarin in a statement.   “These bags have a terrific surface on which to paint and an almost puffy physicality once paint is applied.”

Komarin’s work was inspired by his mother, a consummate baker, and his father, an architect.

A cocktail to salute the America's Cup. (Photo courtesy of Michael Mina restaurant)

America’s Cup Cocktail

Hoist a drink to the America’s Cup World Series, which will take place in the San Francisco Bay, Aug. 21-26 and Oct. 2-7.

You can with a specially prepared cocktail, the AC45, available at Michael Mina restaurant and RN74, both in San Francisco.

The beguiling concoction is a blend of Carpano Antica, Velvet Falernum and Earl Grey tea that’s shaken, poured into a tall glass of ice, then garnished with black lava sea salt and nori.

Read more

A Gin-Tastic Time at Brasserie S&P

A taste of "Indian Summer'' at Brasserie S&P, which specializes in gin cocktails

The last time I dined at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in San Francisco a few years ago, I shimmied into a chic cocktail dress and fancy black heels.

On a visit there just a few weeks ago, though, I donned merely dark jeans and a simple cardie.

How times have changed.

Like so many hotels in these still precarious economic times, the Mandarin Oriental has shed its spendy, special-occasion restaurant in favor of a more casual one that’s friendlier on the pocketbook.

Out went its glamorous Silks restaurant. In came the new Brasserie S&P this summer, named for the fact that it’s at the intersection of Sansome and Pine. It’s headed by Executive Chef Adam Mali, formerly of Nick’s Cove in Tomales Bay.

While Silks was perched on the second floor of the hotel, Brasserie S&P is on the main floor, just past the check-in desk and right across from a bank of elevators. While the former was a secluded, hushed space, the latter is smack in the middle of all the action.

I had a chance to check it out, when I was invited to dine as a guest of the restaurant.

The sedate dining room is all cream and blonde, with dark chocolate leather placemats on the tables. The decor may be somewhat too hotel utilitarian, but the snazzy bar and satisfying food more than make up for that.

The vase of flowers at each table keeps the theme going.

Mixologist Priscilla Young clearly is having a blast with the new cocktail menu, which spotlights gin, of all things. She even crafts her own tonics to go along with the extensive brands of gins available.

Read more

« Older Entries Recent Entries »