Author: Virginia Miller

DISTILLER Bottle Column: August 2023

Spirits reviewed this issue:
— Renegade Cane Rum Pre-Cask: Lake Antoine Upper Crater Lake South (Caribbean island of Grenada)
— Brandy Sainte Louise (Cognac and Armagnac, France)
— TEITESSA Japanese Whiskies (15, 20, 25, 27 and 30 year aged) (Japan)
— Tepache Sazon Pina y Canela (Nayarit, Mexico)
— Something & Nothing Spritzes (United Kingdom)
— Glenmorangie The Cadboll Estate 15 year Scotch (Highlands of Scotland)
and six more… Read more →

September 1, 2023

— Matty’s Old Fashioned: Black-owned, refined tribute to diner food at this new Oakland restaurant from a barbecue master.
— A Pie Shop to a Legendary SF Dessert Reborn: 5 food standouts of the month.
— Lisbon: My Whisky Magazine guide to 10 of the Portugal’s city’s best bars.
— Where to Eat with Your Family in San Francisco: 8 under-the-radar spots to eat with kids, from a game parlor with waffles to Asian chicken boxes covering a few country’s style of street food chicken. Read more →

A Pie Shop to a Legendary SF Dessert Reborn: 5 Food Standouts of the Month

These newcomers or new menus cover the gamut, from a new pie shop to a seductive Venetian Italian destination. Alongside my full restaurant reviews this month, these five spots are also worth visiting, with last month’s standouts here (as always, I’ve personally vetted and visited each one):

—Seductive Venetian-SF Summer: Bar Sprezzatura
—Savory & Sweet Seasonal Pies: Edith’s Pie, Oakland
—Made from Scratch Thai: Funky Elephant
—Taiwan-Style Sticky Rice Rolls: Taiwanese Eats, Redwood City
—Zanze’s Cheesecake at Little Original Joe’s Read more →

Black-owned, refined tribute to diner food at Oakland’s new Matty’s Old Fashioned

Multiple road trips through the South for 17 years, studying BBQ styles across states and regions, does, indeed, make me a barbecue “snob.” I have long known it’s nearly impossible to find the “best of the best” outside of the South. So thank God for Matt Horn, who makes the best barbecue I’ve had in the entire West at Oakland’s Horn Barbecue.

I wrote about his fried chicken spot, Kowbird, after it opened early 2022. Horn and team just opened Matty’s Old Fashioned on July 20, 2023, in Old Oakland as his tribute to the classic American diner, but reinvented and refined. Think burgers and McDonald’s-esque fish sandwiches in a brick-walled, blue-and-gold, diamond wall-papered space… Read more →

Where to eat with your family in San Francisco

Whether you’re going out with your own kids, friends with kids or taking out local niece and nephews as I do, you don’t want to compromise what you eat. And you shouldn’t ever have to in San Francisco.

There is no end to the wealth of food education one can casually participate in with children while eating heartwarming, fun meals. Covering a range of cuisines from Korean to Cajun — across neighborhoods — here are eight places you may not initially think of as kid-friendly: Read more →

August 15, 2023

— Little Shucker: Sunny, chic New oyster bar with low-ABV cocktails & irresistible seafood opening today.
— From Sushi to Gelato, Fresh Pastas Shop to Seafood Outpost Near the Ocean: 6 new SF food standouts.
— El Mil Amores: All-day brunch at this female owned Mexican breakfast newcomer.
— 10 Top Las Vegas Bars Now: My Distiller Magazine guide to top Vegas cocktails bars.
— Top 7 Tastes at Outside Lands 2023: Food and cocktails we’re ready to order again and can get year-round. Read more →

Top 7 Tastes at Outside Lands 2023: Food and cocktails we’re ready to order again

At last year’s August 2022 Outside Lands, I wrote about the festival’s top 7 eats, five of which were back — and still great — this year, and still available locally year-round. August 11-13 impressively marked OL’s 15th anniversary, the largest independently owned music festival in the US…

From a rousing Foo Fighters show (with surprise guest Michael Bublé popping up out of the audience), to an equally spirited Janelle Monáe set, the musical lineup was varied and diverse. So was the food and drink, with highlights here, which we can order year-round locally: Read more →

Sunny, Chic New Oyster Bar with Low-ABV Cocktails & Irresistible Seafood Opening Today: Little Shucker

San Francisco is blessed with iconic oyster bars, from the one, the only Swan Oyster Depot for over a century, to the Castro’s great Anchor Oyster Bar since the 1970s. As the city that gave birth to the likes of cioppino and Crab Louie salad, these oyster houses are decidedly West Coast, often showcasing our glorious local oysters and dungeness crab. But we don’t have one like brand new Little Shucker, opening August 9, 2023, on bustling Fillmore Street. Read more →