October 1, 2011

“Paris, San Francisco, Tehran, all claim a part of me… I thought about how the kitchens where I was shaped belong to all these places, and yet none claim to be the center. I’ll always negotiate that in-between culture… I’ll always rely on the longing for these places, and I’ll always be learning to move between them without falling through the gaps.” – Donia Bijan, “Maman’s Homesick Pie”

Green Russell, a romantic basement “speakeasy” in downtown Denver (see “Wandering Traveler”)

As you receive this, I’ll be flying back from Bordeaux, France, where I have spent the past week meeting with winemakers all over the region, lunching at their chateaus, roaming the cobblestone streets of Bordeaux (more on the trip forthcoming).

As of last week, I have taken over as the principle food and drink writer at the SF Guardian, so you will now see me in print every week as you have online since February 2009. News on the change here and here.

I’m still dreaming of Michael Tusk’s (executive chef of Quince) summer truffle/Jerusalem artichoke tortelloni from a private, multi-course dinner we recently had on the Quintessa winery estate. Creamy like a gourmet peanut butter, it oozed and comforted, with shaved truffles on top, tying together its earthy essence.

Duck & poached egg at better-than-ever Bar Agricole (see “Top Tastes”)

Though that truly was a “top taste”, my Top Tastes rundown this issue covers the better-than-ever Bar Agricole and Jasper’s Corner Tap. I spend and afternoon with Carlos Camarena, master distiller of El Tesoro tequila in Imbiber.

Wandering Traveler finds a surprising amount of food and drink to love in Denver, Boulder and Louisville, Colorado.

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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,


Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ThePerfectSpot

Follow my “best of” lists on NBC’s The Feast

Recent entries in my Bay Guardian column:
Gin, with wings – four new favorites from gin and wings to smoked wine cocktails and tableside whole animal roasts

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