June 1, 2011

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” – Langston Hughes

I am off to London, then Ireland, for two weeks of exploring restaurants, distilleries, cocktail havens, pubs, the Irish countryside, theaters, bookshops, and seeing old (and new) friends.

As I won’t be back before the next issue would normally come out, there will not be one on the 15th this month. I will resume again with bi-weekly newsletters July 1st.

There’s no Top Tastes this month, though I dined out frequently. My top new opening pick is Chambers Eat+Drink, which I’ll write more about at a later date after I’ve returned (I was already a fan of chef Trevor Ogden’s cooking from his Mission Beach days). I was less enthralled with, though still found merits in, Criolla Kitchen and Oenotri in Napa. With family in town, I did a lot of revisiting of stand-bys and favorites like Rosamunde, Leopold’s, Kitchenette, Magnolia Pub, Citizens Band, Evvia in Palo Alto, Solbar in Calistoga, and back to Outerlands for a menu that keeps getting better.

The Latest talks sustainable fish with Peru’s leading chef, Gaston Acurio, including recommends on eating sustainably locally. Imbiber comes in two parts: part one sips Carlo Splendorini’s cocktails of artful understatement. Part two meets with three Napa and Sonoma winemakers.

Around the Bay dines on the cheap (and not-so-cheap) around Napa, uncovering a number of surprises from a perfect chorizo burger in a hotel to impeccable coffee.

Wandering Traveler wraps up in Hawaii on the island of Kauai for the best in hotels, coffee and rum. On the Town introduces Gilt Taste, a new gourmet food source and online magazine helmed by none other than Ruth Reichl – she hosted the recent launch dinner held here in SF.
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I’d love your feedback on any spots visited from my site. As your personal concierge who tells it to you like a good friend would, I also create personalized itineraries: trips, meals, explorations (under “Services“).

Let me guide you to the perfect spot,


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Recent entries in my Bay Guardian column:
Island Bites: Hawaii, Part Five
Napa’s Affordable Eats & Surprising Treats
A Tale of Two Cocktail Trends
Island Bites, Part Four – Kauai

**Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Virginia Miller**