Burgundy and gold complement lush earth tones and vintage style in the bar’s warm interior. Robust wood, padded leather surfaces, diffused lighting and friendly chatter contribute to a comforting ambience that prevents the bar’s framed portraits of buxom, naked ladies from seeming inappropriate. Veteran bartender Josh Bluh has been a fixture at Homestead since film producer Raub Shapiro and actor Rio Hackford opened the Mission district bar seven years ago. Read More
Ten years ago, people were just starting to get used to the idea of premium wines with screw caps. Now, wine on tap has pushed things further as many top producers are now selling wine in kegs, often to very good restaurants.
You might wonder, what’s the rub? Read More
In San Francisco’s new tech economy, most of the foot soldiers are dudes. You don’t have to like it; I certainly don’t. For now, let’s just say, “It is what it is” (a beloved phrase of jaded New Yorkers).
Myriah Zaytoun says this landscape of young male programmers and engineers is a bit like “one big frat.” These boys may be great at coding and kegging, but many are still brushing up on their life skills. Read More
When Blondie was given the Mission district bar at 21 by her entrepreneur mother, she did not know the difference between a vodka tonic and a gin and tonic. “My mom told me, ‘That’s the glassware, those are the bottles of booze. Go.’” Since 1991, Blondie’s has hosted a sweet and savory 16-ounce martini menu, garnished with home-stuffed blue cheese and sausage olives and pickled asparagus, using local and international spirits. Older crowds frequent the purple-neon-lit bar for the 4 to 8:30 p.m. happy hour. Read More
If there is a time of year to drink port, it is right now.
Made in the Douro region of Portugal, port wine has been a hot commodity for centuries. The British have played a major role in its production and evolution, as indicated by brand names such as Graham’s, Churchill’s and Taylor.
Native producers have been equally important, as have other foreigners such as Dutchman Dirk Niepoort. Read More
Elixir Saloon has the distinction of being the second-oldest bar in San Francisco, but its modern take on serving up high-end cocktails and a unique beer selection is what sets it apart from other bars in the Mission district, particularly along the 16th Street corridor between Valencia and Guerrero streets. Part of the reason is the bar staff. One of the anchors of that staff is manager and bartender Shea Shawnson, a San Francisco native who, five years ago, went from building classic cars to making classic cocktails. BAR info: 3200 16th St. Read More
It’s hard to say what could be more comforting in the foggy Outer Sunset than an impeccable bowl of steaming soup. Maybe that perfect soup with some homemade butter and bread, inventive entrees and artisanal cocktails.
Outerlands has it all, and walking into the cozy, woody retreat — complete with a driftwood, Hobbit-hole loft — is a bit like putting on a favorite, well-worn sweater: warm, soft and inviting. Read More
I’ve been vaguely aware for a couple of years of the Bubble Lounge, that bicoastal temple of Champagne worship.
Inspecting its comic-font website, with a cascade of bubbles framing the city skyline, it always seemed like a place “not for me.”
Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy Champagne, in theory. It’s a toast to victory, or new babies, or sexy times. It’s a way for high rollers to flaunt their wealth, an ostentatious bit of nightclub theater. It’s stiletto heels and shellfish, boats and bachelorettes, cigars and stretch limos. Read More
With the holidays over and big credit card bills about to arrive, let’s talk about how to get you through the throes of January — including a sneak peek into topics I expect to cover in the next few months.
Pinot noir has remained the “it” grape for a decade now, and that appears unlikely to change this year. However, gamay noir, the grape of Beaujolais, has some of the qualities of pinot noir. Fruity, light and high in acid, gamay is spicier than pinot — a trait that you might find appealing. Besides Beaujolais, gamay is grown in the Loire Valley. Read More
B Restaurant & Bar An airy, elegant atrium provides a fitting contrast to commanding views of architectural icons as diverse as the Contemporary Jewish Museum, historic St. Patrick Church and gleaming Marriott Marquis hotel. Order one of bar manager Marjan Simovics’ multifaceted drink creations and reflect again on the interplay between clean and complex elements. Originally from Hungary, Simovics started as a bar back in a small New England seafood restaurant in 2001. Read More