December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009

I must admit I find it a little strange to think of the bar at ~ABSINTHE BRASSERIE & BAR~ without Jeff Hollinger and Jonny Raglin, but that time has come. Since the gents are busy with the upcoming opening of their ~COMSTOCK SALOON~ in Chinatown, the talented Carlos Yturria (Range, bacar, Rye) is going to be the full-time bar manager at Absinthe. Yturria will be adding new cocktails slowly, and is experimenting more with homemade syrups and tinctures. Look for small spirit-paired dinners in Absinthe’s private dining room in the New Year as well.

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Cool new bar class is coming up through the Beverage Academy at Bourbon & Branch, taught by Douglas Williams of Liquid Alchemy. Nope, you won’t be making Manhattans in this class: it’s all about molecular mixology for use in both a home and bar environment, covering foams such as traditional cocktail foam, airs, and bubbles. You’ll also get to learn about spherification, and how to make those awesome little caviar-like pearls of flavor. And the best part: you’ll get to learn a few varieties of cocktails with liquid nitrogen. FYI, Molecular Mixology 102 will be offered in January 2010, covering more liquid nitrogen, infused candy floss, smoke guns, and an assortment of gels for edible cocktail bites. (Image from Liquid Alchemy).

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~AME~ has kicked in another winter season of serving hirezake: hot sake steeped with roasted tiger fugu (blowfish) fin. Owners Lissa Doumani and Hiro Sone brought the fugu fin from the Osaka Fish Market in Japan. The unique drink is reportedly rich in aromatics, and a natural pairing for fish. At Ame you can order six ounces of “Karatamba” Honjozo, Hyogo Prefecture sake, served warm with fugu fin for $15.

Oh, and for you rare wine auction types, WineGavel (a new fine and rare wine auction company headquartered in San Francisco) will be holding a live fine and rare wine auction on Saturday December 19th at Ame. This auction features over $350,000 worth of fine and rare wines from private collections; classic wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and California will be offered for bidding. (You can view the catalog on the site.) The auction will begin at 10am, and bidders are advised to pre-register and arrive early to ensure seating. Refreshments and Champagne will be served followed by a three-course luncheon which begins at 12pm. The live action will end approximately halfway through lunch. Ame’s wine list will be available, and diners are also encouraged to bring a bottle of their own from their personal cellars. Contact or call 800-774-2130 to RSVP for the event.