May 1, 2023

Dear Friends ~

The Umstead Hotel Herons’ caviar macrons, North Carolina

Just wrapping a busy month of spirits judging (ADI International Craft Spirits Awards and SF World Spirits Comp), family visits in SoCal and lots of restaurant and bar research at home, in May I ready for another week of consulting in Guadalajara and Arandas, Mexico, and Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience May 18-21.

In addition to my regular articles at Medium, my weekly dining column reviews one restaurant each week. I welcome those interested to follow me, or even sign up for a membership for my articles at Medium, which partially goes to support us as writers. Follow or support. I thank you.

Per usual, I’m posting my daily research in dining and drink at @ThePerfectSpot on TwitterFacebook (and why I’m boycotting Instagram here).


Aphotic’s Bay of Biscay cocktail and Gilda pinxtos

The LatestThe New, Dark, Moody, Lush, Unique Aphotic Restaurant: Wildly sustainable seafood and house-distilled cocktails in one of the most exciting new openings of the year thus far.
Imbiber/Top Tastes — April Eats: 8 SF & Oakland spots winning with cocktails AND food.
Wandering Traveler Eating & Drinking Around Raleigh-Durham: My 12-stop North Carolina restaurant and bar guide.
The Latest —  Rare Isaan Thai Platters Hidden Off A FiDi Alley: The new Hed VeryThai reviewed.
Imbiber  DISTILLER Bottle Column: This issue I review rum, shochu, gin, Scotch whisky, mezcal, RTDs (ready-to-drink canned/bottled drinks), port, bourbon whiskey.

I am also available for consulting, moderating, leading classes and tastings and more (info at


ThePerfect Spot Founder
The Worlds 50 Best Restaurants’ Academy Chair
Table8 National Editor/VP — ZAGAT SF Editor — SF Bay Guardian Critic
The Bold Italic Weekly Restaurant Reviews & Travel Column

**Judge or Lead Judge at ADI International Craft Spirits, SF World SpiritsTales of the Cocktail Spirited AwardsIWSC Spirits, Whiskies of World, New Orleans Spirits CompetitionWorld Gin AwardsWorld Drinks Awards**

Regular Outlets:
The Bold Italic — — Food Republic — WhereTraveler — Gin Magazine — Time Out Dining & Drink — Distiller Magazine — Bobcut Dining Column — Haute Living — Google’s Touringbird — Oakland Magazine — Wine Access

Alaska Airlines Magazine,Whisky Magazine UKThrillistThe Times DrinkwirePaste Magazine TravelEaterTasting Panel, PureWow, Drink Me MagazineSpoonwizCitysearch, NBC’s The Feast, Blackboard Eats, Tasting Table, Grubstreet

Books: Pur in Spirit & Distilled Stories