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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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September 9-15, 2008


go to next week's blogs


  Monday, September 15, 2008

The private dining rooms of Farallon Restaurant were swimming with wine buyers:

... from some of the Bay Area's best restaurants and shops during today's West Coast Wines trade tasting.

We were struck by Staglin Family Vineyard's:

...lush and elegant, 2005 Rutherford Cabernet before we braved the crowds at the Miura Vineyards table:

... where we joined the worshipers of their 2006 Antiqv2s, Gary's Vineyard Syrah.

I ran into a McEvoy Rancher in the tasting crowd. She plans to attend in another capacity next year.

McEvoy Ranch is not just for olive oil and condiments anymore, they interplanted grapes and will release their pinot next year and if you were wondering what was up with all the packing up at their Ferry Building shop today:

... all the activity doesn't mean they are moving, they are just closing up shop to remodel - but you will still be able to buy their goods at the Farmers' Market or online until their new improved shop opens its doors in October.

West Coast Wines 4th Annual San Francisco Trade Tasting.
Farallon Restaurant
450 Post St.
San Francisco, CA




  Saturday and Sunday, September 13-14, 2008

Finally - the weekend we have been waiting for - poker at C and M's cabin in the mountains.

Cards hit the felt right after breakfast and the chips didn't get cashed in 'til Sunday when it was time to hit the road.

Fantastic grilled pork chops, artisanal ravioli, boudin blanc, and more heirloom tomatoes than we could possibly eat.

I have been reading David Tanis' new cookbook:

... A Platter of Figs, since it arrived at the cyberhutch but I hadn't gotten around to cooking from it. J beat me to the punch by making David's delectable rabbity preparation of saffron carrots:

... in which she used the best, sweetest orange specimens to achieve taproot tastiness.

We worked off the fruit pies, ice cream, pancakes, fruit and cheeses by taking a lap around the lake.

M turned us onto the local Stevenot wine and J and D uncorked a magnum of Chateauneuf-du-Pape as well as Mr. Thackery's stellar Pleiades.

There is nothing better than hanging out with great people, playing poker, talking politics, eating and drinking in the woods.






  Friday, September 12, 2008

Mark your calendar

San Francisco Restaurants Unite to Fight Hunger

Perbacco, Spruce and Foreign Cinema are just a few of the restaurants that will be dishing up appetizers at a benefit for the San Francisco Food Bank next week.

There will be live entertainment, drinks and some good grazing. Check out the website to see the list of participants.

San Francisco Restaurants Unite to Fight Hunger
September 18th 5:30-7:30 p.m.
One Ferry Plaza (behind the SF Ferry Builing)
$40 per person, tickets available at the door

Asian Food without Borders

Asian Culinary Forum's cultural/culinary celebration includes tastings, classes and a symposium. Asian Food without Borders takes place from October 10th-12th and whether you are keen on kimchi or interested in India, there are events for all levels of curiosity and budget.

The symposium speakers include Madhur Jaffrey, Olivia Wu and Martin Yan with discussions spanning the personal to political.

I love the concept of the (free) clinic called "What is this?" You can bring that mysterious jar, tool, recipe, or ingredient to present to the experts who will add clarity to your kitchen.

If you are bordering on a decision, don't wait too long, they have already sold out on one of the events.

Asian Culinary Forum
Asian Food Beyond Borders
October 10-12, 2008
Check their website for the various locations/prices

Mariquita Mystery Box

The next Mariquita Mystery Box rendezvous will take place Thursday, September 18th from 5-7 p.m. at Incanto Restaurant.

$25 bucks buys a bounty of fresh, local produce that will make you feel so virtuous that you will have earned that extra Dynamo donut when the weekend rolls round.

Mariquita Mystery Box
Incanto Restaurant
1550 Church St.
San Francisco, CA




  Thursday, September 11, 2008

We dropped by Serpentine for a cocktail this evening and happened upon their once a month happy hour. The second Thursday of each month is the day to drop by around 5:30 for specially priced drinks and a simple, delicious buffet. A refreshing Bramble ($7.00) with Plymouth gin, crème de cassis, lime and soda on the rocks whet our appetites for the tuna confit, pork rillettes, golden beets:

...hot bread pudding:

...with vegetables and salad. This once a month treat is worth winding over to Dogpatch to catch.

We drained our glasses and headed down the road to Crushpad which was the site of this evening's TasteTV chocolate and wine paring event.

The winemakers at this urban grape mashing mecca formulated a trio blends to compliment artisanal chocolates including San Francisco's very own TCHO, Coco Delice and Art Pollard's Amano.

We got to catch up with some other dessert enthusiasts:

... as we sampled Schoggi and Saratoga Chocolates:

... with a merlot, zinfandel and cabernet.

The evening ended with a vote for which wine went best with the dark chocolates. The Cabernet was the crowd favorite.

Chocolate Seizure
2573 Third St.
San Francisco, CA

Serpentine Restaurant
2495 Third St.
San Francisco, CA





  Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ducca minus the ducats

You may have heard about
today's scientific accomplishment at the atom collider in Switzerland. We decided to join in the celebration by smashing some atoms in our own reactors to see if they created a big bang.

We accelerated ourselves to Ducca Restaurant at the Westin, where a BBQ takes place on the patio:

... every Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. $14 gets you a plate of tasty 'que and a glass of beer or wine.

You may choose 2 from the list of 4 meaty options. Chubby got the flavorful porchetta and wonderful, tender, octopus:

... while I went with the perfectly cooked beef and strangely crumbly-textured house made sausage:

The neighboring table got versions of this meat tube that looked much better, so maybe this one was a fluke.

Chubby washed his down with a glass of Sierra Nevada while I went with the Peroni.

Each plate came with a nice minted fruit salad with peaches, blueberries, figs, and melon. My grilled vegetable skewer was cooked perfectly, while Chubby's was practically raw. The peppers and squash weren't the issue as much as the harshness of the untamed, raw red onion.

This was a seriously crowded event with lots of hovering table vultures waiting to pounce once you paid your (very low) bill.

The delicious pork and octopus made our other little issues disappear into a black hole, and it will be difficult to resist Ducca's gravitational pull when next week loops around - this al fresco collision of 'que and brew was a smashing success

50 Third St.
San Francisco, CA




  Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Starpucks, or Brewhaha

Starbucks' P.R. company read our blog and summoned us to an informal event at the Starbucks San Francisco regional office. We registered a notarized statement of our intended whereabouts with the local police before reporting to San Francisco's Starbucks HQ. We also mentally prepared ourselves by running through scenarios including what we should do if the supporting bolts for a catwalk would suddenly give way above a large vat of frappuccino mix. We knew that the judge would probably rule in their favor deeming it justifiable frappuside due to our recent coverage.

Even so, we tried to be Ethiopian-minded while walking into this potential trap.

A friendly greeting was followed by a buffet presentation of their new breakfast line (which reinforced our previous thoughts on this chow) but what we really wanted to check out was their Clover small batch coffee program launching in October.

There has been a lot of brew haha about Starbucks purchase of Clover. You may have already sampled coffee processed in this $11k vacuum-press device over at Ritual Roasters. It's kind of like a Japanese tea ceremony meets the Jetsons…except with coffee and without the cartoon characters. David Latoureli walked us through the process:

... of weighing, grinding, whisking, extracting and cleaning. This vacuum-press machine is pretty neat. There are controls for size, steep and water temperature and after the coffee is extracted, a puck of grounds elevates to the top of the machine:

... to be squeegeed away. According to David, the density and bubbly characteristics of this dark disk indicate the freshness of the beans (lighter = fresher).

An interesting element of this new program is that rare, small batch coffees will be spotlighted on a rotating menu of 5 featured beans. They will be using a German-made grinder engineered to clear the residual coffee as each dose is prepped to minimize co-mingling of varying varietals.

Anthony Carroll gave the background stories on the coffee regions and growers as we sniffed and slurped 5 different offerings, which were all unique and delicious. When they mentioned the inclusion of a decaf option (which was not part of the tasting) I asked them if this could appear to be a compromise of standards. They noted that this option would not be featured, but they did not want to alienate stimulant-shunning customers.

Only 3 US cities are slated to participate in this Clover rollout: San Francisco will get 9 machines, Seattle 10 and Boston 33. They will post the locations on their site once all the arrangements are finalized.

If the beverages we sampled today were any indication of what will be available around town, Clover will cultivate a cult contingent. These made-to-order cups of Joe will reflect their couture line cost in contrast to the prêt a porter of Pike Place Roast.

We're happy that they didn't lure us there to kill us. They even gave us some good coffee.. but we can't shake our suspicions. If you see no updates after this posting, you will know that they tailed us back to the cyberhutch, I mean, if these characters can afford to pay 11k on a single coffee maker, hit money must seem like chump change...






back to last week - September 1-8, 2008



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