“If you evade suffering you also evade the chance of joy. Pleasure you may get, or pleasures, but you will not be fulfilled. You will not know what it is to come home… Fulfillment… is a function of time. The search for pleasure is circular, repetitive, atemporal… It has an end. It comes to the end and has to start over. It is not a journey and return, but a closed cycle, a locked room, a cell… The thing about working with time, instead of against it …is that it is not wasted. Even pain counts.” — The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia by Ursula K. Le Guinn
Happy new year, dear friends ~
It has been such a year of loss, strain and trouble on so many levels. I am sending love and comfort to each of you as we continue wading through the mire —and much needed change— that 2020 ushered in. I also send hope and light for a much better 2021 to each of you.
For our beloved restaurant and drink industry, it remains dark — and in SF Bay Area, even darker, thanks to continued extreme decisions (I believe erroneously) still blocking outdoor dining (I will make that displeasure known in future votes for local leaders, as I already have in writing and posting to/about them). It’s a tough way to begin the new year, I know.
I remain in the mix with petitioning the government, as I have since March 2020, for the crucial Restaurant Stabilization Act (why the nation’s biggest private sector employer needs this aid). As I also host numerous online tastings, panels, webinars and consult for numerous clients in food and drink, I will also continue moderating our now monthly Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) “Restaurants Rising” series (viewable here), and supporting our industry by writing for numerous local and global publications about standout restaurants and bars, places to support via delivery, takeout, outdoor dining, etc.
Top Tastes/The Latest — December’s 10 SF Bay Area Restaurants for Takeout or Delivery: Notable new restaurants for “real deal” BBQ, Uzbek, Cuban, Colombian, Middle Eastern, Burmese and Vegan Italian food, plus notable greats in Spanish, Japanese, Gastropub and New American (with cocktails) fare. In addition: local gems for spices, sauces and beer delivery.
Around the Bay — Distiller Magazine Top 10 Wine Country (Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino) Bars.
Imbiber — Distiller Magazine Interviews with Charbay’s Marko Karakasevic & Duke’s Spirited Cocktails Bar Managers/Owners in NorCal Wine Country.
On the Town — Gin (Me) Talking Gin & RTDs at ADI’s 17th Annual Craft Spirits Conference.
I am also available for consulting, moderating, leading classes and tastings and more (info at virginia-miller.com).