September 15, 2018

“Northern California is a forager’s paradise. The countryside is so abundant with wild edibles that even a year after a zombie apocalypse, you’d still be able to gather most of the ingredients needed to re-create whatever seasonal salad was trending around the Bay Area just beforehand with only hiking boots and some clippers. But with a snorkel and a wetsuit, it gets even better. After a single dive on the Sonoma-Mendocino coast, you can clamber back onto the beach carrying your weight in mussels, rock crab, gooseneck barnacles, Dungeness crab, abalone, rock scallops, nori, sea snails, and sea cucumbers.”— Ali Bouzari (Culinary Scientist) in Saveur Summer 2018 article, A Delicious Plague

Kantine Scandinavian brunch platters (under top Cheap Eats)

Back from the inspiring, mountainous towns of Albuquerque and Santa Fe last week, it was a sweet week home with family and friends (both local and visiting), and World’s 50 Best Restaurants in town for #50BestTalks, bringing in top chefs from around the globe to SF (my article on diversity and demographics for the #50Best event book here).

As this reaches you, I’m in Amsterdam touring genever (the grandmother of gin) distilleries around the Netherlands — and, of course, Amsterdam restaurants and bars. It’s an ideal time to catch up on the latest surge of genever distilleries getting ready to export to the US and beyond since my last visit to the Netherlands in 2013.

As I judge again for a third year running (on the steering committee) at Golden Gate Restaurant Association’s 3rd annual Saucy Awards held at the beautiful Herbst Theatre on November 12, our nominations are as good as what YOU submit so please submit nominations here (with examples of past noms and winners listed) for the best in Bay Area dining, drink, bars, food and service. Cheers!


Yes, this is a cocktail inspired by ramen at Pabu in San Francisco

This issue:
The LatestTop New Openings of the Month: My top 4 newcomers include a German food and beer hall with Bay views, a boba and jianbing (Chinese crepe) shop, and a fast-casual Portuguese chicken stop.
Top Tastes10 Top Cheap Eats in SF: Many are newcomers in range of cuisines, from Nepalese to Scandinavian.
Imbiber11 Top National Cocktails On Menus Now: Exploring creative drinks on menus in San Antonio, NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, Louisville, Miami, Portland/PDX and Maplewood, MO.
Around the BayNapa & Sonoma’s Love Affair With Japan: My Where Guestbook feature on Japanese influence in food, farm, inn, bars and wineries across NorCal Wine Country.


As your personal concierge who tells it like a good friend would, I create personalized itineraries; provide food and drink consulting for restaurants and bars; and classes at companies for the layperson wanting to dig deeper in food and drink (more info here).

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LINKS to Social Media & Articles:

Time Out Food & Drink International
Table8, National Editor
Wine Access Restaurant & Wine Column
Food Republic
Zagat SF Editor
Editor, Distiller Magazine Drinkwire

SF Bay Guardian Critic (2009-2013)
Where Magazine