Posts for January 18, 2013

Almanac and Dandelion Chocolate Team Up to Make Chocolate Beer

KQED just did an interview with the founders of Dandelion Chocolate, which just opened a café and retail shop last month at 740 Valencia, and in it we learned of a recent collaboration they did with Almanac Brewing. It's called Biere de Chocolat, and it's one of Almanac's seasonal, "farm-to-bottle" brews, featuring Dandelion's cacao nibs. And FYI, you may just get to try some at Beer Week, or look for it at City Beer Store and other fine beer retailers. [KQED]

Details Picks Up on Trick Dog Opening

Local booze scribe Camper English just did a national "Where to Drink in 2013" piece for Details, noting nine bars around the country that have opened or are about to open, and which are helmed by notable bar folk. Our very own Trick Dog makes the list, as does Erick Castro's upcoming San Diego spot Polite Provisions. And we're intrigued about a new-school Tiki spot opening on the north shore of Kauai, Hawaii called Tiki Iniki, featuring mixologist Julie Reiner, who's a Hawaii native but who owns New York cocktail destinations the Clover Club and Lani Kai. [Details]

Try Lots of Wine This Weekend at Winter WINEland in Sonoma

Shh. They're sleeping.Photo: Courtesy of the Wine Road

The group of wineries that are part of Northern Sonoma's Wine Road are hosting the 21st annual Winter WineLand this weekend, January 19 and 20. It's distinct from the annual — and increasingly shitshow-y — barrel tasting weekends that happen in March, and therefore offers a more civilized time to tour the 100+ wineries in the area. Some will have food pairings, others will be hosting special parties and giving tours, and there will be some limited production and library wines on offer too. Here's a Google map to guide you through the various individual events in the three valleys, Russian River, Dry Creek, and Alexander. The tickets, available at the door of any of the participating wineries, are $55 for the weekend, or $45 for Sunday only, with special $5 tickets for designated drivers (who will not be allowed even to share tastings, or have "just a sip"). And make note that the event is ongoing from Saturday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Now Open in Japantown: Ssisso

A new off-shoot of Japantown Korean karaoke spot Playground, called Ssisso (1700A Post Street), is now open. The name is Korean for "seesaw," and as Eater reports, they're bringing over some of Playground's greatest hits, like the soy-garlic fried chicken and the seafood pancake, minus the karaoke. [Eater]

Orange Wine Already Over, Say Two Wine Writers

A spectrum of orange wine.Photo: Ceri Smith/Biondivino

Despite the fact that most of your friends, and possibly even you, have not yet heard of orange wine, two people this week have penned pieces cutting it down and declaring the trend over. Writing for Forbes, Richard Betts declares that Tecate is a superior beverage to orange wine, quoting a friend who calls them "the Kardashians of wine," and lamenting that he "look[s] forward to the faddish / cultish following they’ve engendered in certain wine circles waning." (You'll recall that as far as pop-culture comparisons go, Grub Street thinks the wine is more akin to Bon Iver than the Kardashians.) The San Francisco Chronicle's Jon Bonné, who was one of the first American wine geeks to write about orange wine back in 2009, concurs.

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Caña Softly Opens S.F. Location in Former Circolo Space

Caña S.F.

Back in August, Tablehopper broke the news that Caña, the Oakland Cuban joint, was expanding to S.F. in a big way, taking over the former Circolo space at Florida and Mariposa. After a brief delay, it is now softly open, as Urban Daddy reports. It's a much grander space than their Oakland digs, and with the addition of a wood-burning oven, they're also now doing flatbreads. They're only open for lunch this weekend, until 3 p.m., as construction is completed, but they hope to open for dinner next week. We'll snag a menu for you shortly. [Urban Daddy, Scoop, Earlier]

Cana - 500 Florida Street at Mariposa - 415-580-7888

Sacamento Named Nation's Biggest Producer of Caviar


California may not possess the ancient romance inherent in a name like The Caspian nor the deep, dank mystery of The Black Sea, but it does have one thing the others are seeing a lot less of these days: caviar. Today, the L.A. Times cites Sacramento as the nation's leading producer of the delicacy, mostly due to pollution, poaching, and over-fishing in its traditional epicenters. Alexander Petrossian, of the famous Parisian caviar-empire, tells the paper, "Wild caviar is gone, and we can all forget about it." Instead, farm-raised sturgeon are the next front in precious fish eggs, with the sturdy, strange fish being raised by the thousands by cultivators like Sterling Caviar in the tiny town of Elverta.

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Tank 18, SoMa’s New Urban Winery, Opens January 26

Tank 18Photo: Andrei Riskin/Grub Street

Tank 18, the new urban winery debuting in SoMa, has finally gotten all its sign-offs and will make its official debut with a party next weekend, January 26. After that, in addition to being rentable as an event venue, the tasting room will be open Thursday to Sunday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., offering wines by the glass or bottle, and $15 tasting flights of their house vintages, complete with a cheese sampler. Founders Patrick MacCartee and Cheryln Chin proudly describe the newly renovated, 6,000-square-foot space as a reflection of themselves — "big, loud, and full of alcohol." We showed you some sneak-peek photos before the holidays, but soon you'll be able to step inside for yourself.

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Crafty English People Will Convert Horse Burgers Into Cozy Home Heating

Because food-safety authorities in the U.K. would have a hard time trying to figure out which burgers among the 10,000 frozen patties spread out across inventory at seven chain supermarkets contain trace amounts of horse DNA and which ones are actually 29 percent equine — not to mention which ones are unadulterated, old-fashioned beef — a decision has been made to convert the horsemeat of the apocalypse into energy at anaerobic digestion plants. Earlier this week, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland announced it had found varying amounts of horse and pig DNA in Tesco's line of frozen (and ostensibly) beef hamburgers; up to 10 million burgers may be affected by the recall. [Guardian UK via Daily Meal, Earlier]

Schulzies Bread Pudding Opens, At Long Last, Saturday

Photo: Schulzies

Hayes Valley-ans have been drooling with anticipation over the much-delayed opening of Schulzies Bread Pudding (364 Hayes Street) — the S.F. outpost of the popular Los Angeles "pudding parlor." But, we promise you, this opening date looks for real-for real. Hayeswire reports that they will open Saturday, January 19, offering up flavors like Better Than All the Rest Bacon Maple, The Very Berry Manilow, Blissed Out Blueberry, and PB & Joy.

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Whole Foods CEO John Mackey Takes Back That Whole ‘Fascism’ Thing

This man sure knows his world history.

Oops! Turns out that while Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey stands by his political beliefs, he says he probably shouldn't have called the Affordable Care Act a form of "fascism," NPR reports. "Well, I think that was a bad choice of words," he says. And now he's working the apology circuit, also appearing on the "Brian Lehrer Show" in full-on retraction mode. "I realized that word has so much baggage associated with it, from World War II, with Germany and Italy and Spain," he explains. "That's just a very provocative word, so I regret using it." [NPR, Earlier]


Recent reader reviews on MenuPages

  • Lucca Food Store See the menu

    “Billy's Philly”

    Billy is only there after 5 pm but if you are around go there and ask for his billy philly, the best philly you'll find this side of the Mississippi.

  • Le P'tit Laurent See the menu

    “Elegant Sauces & Fabulous Bread”

    It is the place me and my love go for every intimate moment.

  • Hidive See the menu

    “Are you kidding?”

    You have to be totally drunk to think that this is even acceptable as a public watering hole.


Jay Barmann
NY Mag