“Real Deal” Turkish Food at Palo Alto’s New Meyhouse

When I first dined at Meyhouse in Sunnyvale in 2019 not long after it opened, it was the best Turkish restaurant I’d been to in the West. So when I heard they were opening their second, more elegant Palo Alto location, I was “in,” despite the 45-ish minute drive there and back from San Francisco. As often happens, the opening was delayed, but Meyhouse finally debuted August 9, 2023, in a massive space with open air windows overlooking walkable downtown Palo Alto. Read more →

September 15, 2023

— Adriano Paganini’s Corzetti Comes to Downtown SF: A major San Francisco restaurateur and Italy native brings new Ligurian-Italian life to Union Square.
— Absinthe Turns 25: The craft cocktail pioneer and all-day, classic French restaurant retains old school French spirit with refreshed lightness in their new menu.
— London Cocktails: My Gin Magazine guide to 9 of London’s most interesting bars now.
— Distiller Bottle Column August: This issue I review brandy, tepache, agricole rhum, mezcal, gin, Scotch whisky, tequila, port, Japanese whiskies, RTDs, and more.
— Distiller Bottle Column July: This issue I review rượu dế Vietnamese spirit, rum, Japanese whisky, gin, Scotch whisky, tequila, cider, vodka, American whiskies, and more. Read more →

Absinthe turns 25, retaining old school French spirit with refreshed lightness

French food hasn’t exactly been trending nationally, but thank goodness for stalwarts like San Francisco’s Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, a craft cocktail pioneer way back in the late 1990s also faithfully serving upscale French bistro fare and beloved brunches. It still draws Hayes Valley crowds as it hits 25 years old this summer… an impressive feat for any restaurant. Though I’ve been dining here over 20 years, post-pandemic I’ve only been in for a couple weekday lunches and brunch (with absinthe cocktails, of course). It has been years since I returned for dinner. So it was time to go back to “Green Fairy” central on a recent mild Saturday night.  Read more →

DISTILLER Bottle Column: August 2023

Spirits reviewed this issue:
— Renegade Cane Rum Pre-Cask: Lake Antoine Upper Crater Lake South (Caribbean island of Grenada)
— Brandy Sainte Louise (Cognac and Armagnac, France)
— TEITESSA Japanese Whiskies (15, 20, 25, 27 and 30 year aged) (Japan)
— Tepache Sazon Pina y Canela (Nayarit, Mexico)
— Something & Nothing Spritzes (United Kingdom)
— Glenmorangie The Cadboll Estate 15 year Scotch (Highlands of Scotland)
and six more… Read more →

September 1, 2023

— Matty’s Old Fashioned: Black-owned, refined tribute to diner food at this new Oakland restaurant from a barbecue master.
— A Pie Shop to a Legendary SF Dessert Reborn: 5 food standouts of the month.
— Lisbon: My Whisky Magazine guide to 10 of the Portugal’s city’s best bars.
— Where to Eat with Your Family in San Francisco: 8 under-the-radar spots to eat with kids, from a game parlor with waffles to Asian chicken boxes covering a few country’s style of street food chicken. Read more →

A Pie Shop to a Legendary SF Dessert Reborn: 5 Food Standouts of the Month

These newcomers or new menus cover the gamut, from a new pie shop to a seductive Venetian Italian destination. Alongside my full restaurant reviews this month, these five spots are also worth visiting, with last month’s standouts here (as always, I’ve personally vetted and visited each one):

—Seductive Venetian-SF Summer: Bar Sprezzatura
—Savory & Sweet Seasonal Pies: Edith’s Pie, Oakland
—Made from Scratch Thai: Funky Elephant
—Taiwan-Style Sticky Rice Rolls: Taiwanese Eats, Redwood City
—Zanze’s Cheesecake at Little Original Joe’s Read more →

Black-owned, refined tribute to diner food at Oakland’s new Matty’s Old Fashioned

Multiple road trips through the South for 17 years, studying BBQ styles across states and regions, does, indeed, make me a barbecue “snob.” I have long known it’s nearly impossible to find the “best of the best” outside of the South. So thank God for Matt Horn, who makes the best barbecue I’ve had in the entire West at Oakland’s Horn Barbecue.

I wrote about his fried chicken spot, Kowbird, after it opened early 2022. Horn and team just opened Matty’s Old Fashioned on July 20, 2023, in Old Oakland as his tribute to the classic American diner, but reinvented and refined. Think burgers and McDonald’s-esque fish sandwiches in a brick-walled, blue-and-gold, diamond wall-papered space… Read more →