|table of contents
the boozer of Oz.
the word on the street
get outta dodge
in vino veritas
put it on my tab
no photos please
MAY 1, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO As
you’re reading this,
I am actually on my way back from Palm Springs, probably asleep
and drooling in the car after a weekend of mayhem and now in
a food coma from scarfing down a Double-Double at In-N-Out. Knowing
me, I have lost my voice, I am hungover, I have suntanned shoulders
but my nose is pink, and have been talking ad infinitum about
how amazing the LCD Soundsystem and The Cornelius Group sets
at Coachella were. Since I am writing this the Wednesday prior,
this entire scenario is all a projection, but if I know myself
at all, it’s a likely portrait.
feels like eons ago when I was tearing things up in Australia
in February with my sis and pal (their aliases are Ranger Rick
and Chocolate Mousse—fair
dinkum). Here is the first of my recaps about the trip. Although
I far preferred Melbourne for its hip culture, peeps, dining,
and dranks (more on that de-groovy city soon), I am writing up
Sydney first because I have a guest wino (Franck Moreau) from
est in Sydney who turned his piece in on time! Sweet as.
|MAY 1, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Although
I am not doing a full tablehopper this week, I had to at least
give you some news about a few projects…
think the new bougie mantra in the city is, “A certified
humane organic free-range chicken in every pot, and a new wine
bar in every neighborhood!” Coming to the Lower Haight by
October or so will be ~UVA~, a project from Boris
Nemchenok, who worked three years under Mario Batali at Otto Enoteca
and Pizzeria in NYC as a sommelier and manager, and Ben Hetzel,
a Johnson and Wales grad who has been at the SF Ritz since 2000
as a cook, captain, and cheese buyer, and who is incidentally married
to Camber Lay, barmixtress extraordinaire at Range (she will actually
be helping out by concocting some sparkling wine cocktails for
the drinks menu). A variety of enoteca antipasti will be on offer,
with many under $10 and served family style, like a variety of
fish and vegetable dishes, 12-15 cheeses, salumi (they hope to
be making them in-house down the line but for now many will come
from Salumi, the Batali family outpost and Meat Mecca in Seattle),
panini, bruschettas, tramezzini, piadine, and a tight dessert list.
space is the old Horseshoe Coffeehouse—there was some
fire damage, so the place has been totally gutted. At last, they
have finally been able to start construction. There are two dining
rooms, totaling 49 seats, including a 10-seat bar. The look will
be rustic and clean, with lots of wood and a marble-topped bar.
It will open Monday–Friday at 5pm, and since it’s a
young neighborhood, they are hoping to stay open late, like 1am.
But for now the closing hours are looking like 11pm or midnight
(no thanks to the cranky neighbor who is raising a fuss). Brunch
will be served on Saturday and Sunday starting at 11am all day,
plus there will be a happy hour during the week (from 5pm–6:30pm)
and on the weekends, too. Group dining will be encouraged, and
there will eventually be some wine classes on Sundays. About that
wine: the wine list is all-Italian, with 75-85 to start, and they
hope to go up to 200. 20-25 wines will be served by the quartino
in an 8 oz. decanter, or you can do 3 oz. tastings. Jim Kennedy
from Sociale, an investor/partner, will be consulting and sourcing
some wines unique to California, if not the U.S. Cin cin. 568 Haight
St. at Fillmore.
in Cow Hollow, Home on Union Street will be morphing into ~PALMETTO~ in
June—it will close the day after the Union Street Fair (on
June 3) for a week or so, with plans to reopen by June 12. Executive
Chef Andy Kitko, formerly of Gary Danko, the opening chef of Bar
Tartine, and most recently a sous at Aqua, has been brought on
to transform the menu of regional American comfort food into one
that’s based around international comfort food. His fine
dining background will integrate fab flavors and techniques but
he’ll be keeping any fussiness at bay. Right now Kitko is
integrating new dishes as specials (just last week he had a warm
fava bean salad with pecorino, pea shoots, and romaine hearts on
there) and is excited to add more as the kitchen gets up to speed.
There will also be a bar menu added, encouraging people to just
swing by for a drink and bites if they are up for some low-impact
dining. Cass Calder Smith is overseeing the redesign, and will
brighten the space up and and make it feel more energetic, with
new carpets, paint, a new bar, lighting, and other touches. The
hours will be the same, and the buzzing weekend brunch isn’t
going anywhere. 2032 Union St. at Buchanan, 415-931-5006
mentioned a couple weeks ago the Juni space closed on Sutter—moving
into it will be ~SUDACHI~,
a loungey joint that will be serving sushi and Mediterranean-Asian
fusion tapas, with live jazz late into the evening. (Sudachi is
a Japanese type of citrus, more like a Kaffir lime than, say, yuzu.)
There will be a full sushi bar with sashimi specialties, a raw
bar, plus family-style shared plates, many with a vegetarian focus.
I took a look at the preliminary menu, and some dishes definitely
have an inventive spin, like organic homemade tofu fries served
with garlic, momiji oroshi (grated daikon seasoned with chili paste),
and white truffle oil; and a carpaccio trio of Kona kampachi (young
yellowtail) with pistachio oil, and ruby red zest, plus Hokkaido
hotategai (scallops) with heirloom tomatoes, shiso oil, and black
sea salt, and then Kobe beef with fresh ground wasabi, young ginger,
sudachi vinaigrette, and micro red shiso. The owner is Ming Hwang,
who recently opened Shiso in Sonoma, and has also opened places
in Texas, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. He also has worked at
Tokyo Go Go as a sushi chef and GM. The beverage program will be
highlighting quality sojus and wines, with some medium to high-end
sakes served as well. The designer is Oblio Jenkins, who was behind
the moody atmosphere of the Oola space in SOMA; the teppan setup
will be yanked, and in its place will be a 12-seat cocktail lounge
in the front with a custom bar, and a custom sushi bar is going
in as well. The intention is to employ as many green build-out
practices as possible—for example, the bar is made from sustainable
walnut from Pt. Reyes. There will be panels of fabric hanging from
the ceiling, and mobiles that will change with the season, plus
three or four tatami tables and a private tatami room. The front
is designed to be more casual and social, with the back of the
3,400-sq.-foot space offering a more intimate vibe. Hwang has
a community focus, and will be rotating local art every three months.
Dinner only will be served, with the lounge vibe kicking in at
10pm and serving a late-night menu until 1am. The plan is to launch
the jazz program in July, with live jazz Wed–Sat. The restaurant will have
a soft opening in early June, and be open nightly. 1217 Sutter
St. at Polk, 415-623-8625.
fanatics: guess what? Mr. Espresso is launching their new coffee
bar concept in SF, appropriately named ~COFFEE
This first coffee venue will be moving into the former Arc Café space,
which is now closed. The plan is to open by August, if not sooner,
with other locations to follow. The project is from Jason Paul
and Luigi DiRuocco, who have been friends since they were little.
A really skilled staff will be going in, with trained baristas
who know what a quality coffee is, from ristrettos to a proper
drip coffee. There will also be beer and wine, plus a kitchen turning
out small plates for lunch and in the evening. Overseeing the kitchen
is Rob Pevitts, a CCA grad, and Michael Richardson from Axis Café will
be acting as the GM. The outdoor area
is going to be majorly overhauled, and the indoor will be more
inviting, and will include a tasting room where Luigi’s father
will be leading some seminars. Coffee Bar will be open all day.
More to come as details emerge. 1890 Bryant St. at Mariposa.
launching “Art-First Monday,” a free monthly art
gathering from 9pm–midnight, celebrating the work of local
artists. The first event will be on Monday, May 7th, celebrating
the 30th Anniversary of Precita Eyes Muralists. Going forward,
Andalu will host a monthly rotating installation of San Francisco-based
artists, co-curated by Suaro Cevantes and Robert Melton, and underwritten
by Andalu’s owner, Calvin Schneiter. “Art-First Monday” is
the result of a collaborative vision between all three men to have
greater support locally for the arts and artists. For
the launch, Cervantes and Melton have created a show of work by
San Francisco muralists Luis Cervantes and Susan Kelk Cervantes,
and will be unveiling the newest mural above Andalu’s bar.
3198 16th St. at Guerrero, 415-621-2211.
a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just reply
to this email!
MAY 1, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO It’s
funny, everyone usually says Sydney is the can’t-miss city
in Australia, and while I found it beautiful, fun, charming,
and unique, I didn’t feel like I’d want to live there.
It reminded me of a gourmet and slightly more scenic San Diego.
VERY privileged city—you gotta have some cash. Rather homogenous
too. Didn’t click with as many people as I did in funkified
Melbourne. Melbourne, heck, I would pack my bags tomorrow (and
it’s not just because of the hottie Greeks running around
want to live there” caveat aside, I definitely made some
fab discoveries in Sydney, and there were a number of places
I’d be thrilled to return to again. (And thanks to all
the great folks who made recommendations for me! Good on ya,
mates!) Note: all prices below are Australian. While everything
was still massively expensive, the exchange did help lower the
prices a little. Not enough, but oh well.
132 Darlinghurst Rd.
there are all kinds of unknown-to-me types of seafood in Oz,
I wanted to get my fill of barramundi, Moreton Bay bugs, yabbies,
and the like. ~FISH
FACE~ in Darlinghurst was a total hit,
and a swell spot to tuck into some fresh Aussie seafood, from Euro-style
preparations to sushi. Since it’s rather popular with the
locals we had to wait a bit for a table, so we swung by the neighboring ~DARLO
BAR~ for a drink (how convenient) in the Royal Sovereign
Hotel. Total 60’s kitsch,
with groovy lights, low-slung tables, a padded bar, and a pool
table in the back. Very “San Francisco garage sale” kind
to Fish Face: dug the modern and clean look of this boisterous
little place. The tiny kitchen works at a furious pace—just
slammed. There’s a counter and sushi bar, plus some tall
tables and the de rigueur outdoor seating (Sydney’s outdoor
life was downright enviable). I loved that the menu didn’t
have any meat or vegetables, just fish. Was rather impressed with
the whole meal, from the spanner crab linguine with shaved fennel,
tomato, and lemon balm ($18.90) to the crispy skin kingfish with
Sicilian caponata ($29.90). I personally couldn’t resist
the crispy fish and chips made with flathead ($25.90)—almost
every other table had a cone of chips on it.
convenient is there’s a bottle shop just next door—Aussies
are way into BYO and charge about a third of what U.S. restaurants
charge for BYOB. I’m all for supporting restaurants’ wine
programs, but the easygoing BYO policy provides a fun way to try
more wines while you’re there. Since Fish Face only charges
$6.50 AUS for BYO, we were all over it.
433 Liverpool St.
thing that really rocked me hard is Aussies really get breakfast.
Or, I should actually say brekkie. (They love to shorten things:
e.g. sunglasses are sunnies.) A trip to Sydney is not complete
without the famous scrambled eggs ($12.80) at ~BILLS~.
Yeah, I know, they’re just eggs. But they are so not. These
cream-laden and silken organic fluffs were total egg perfection.
Our server told me they even have a special automatic whisk that
keeps the eggs moving in the pan slowly while they cook on the
lowest heat. I want one.
common to get some oven-roasted tomatoes ($3.80) with your eggs—since
I was there in summer, I was lovin’ the tomatoes. Oh, and
they don’t cook bacon like we do—if you like it crispy,
you gotta ask for it extra-crispy ($4.50). The ricotta hotcakes
were also pretty fab, but it’s all about the eggs. The
logo on their biz card even has an egg motif on it. There are
three locations, but this original location was on pointe, with
a clean spare look: industrial fans, wood floors, a sprawling
communal table with magazines on it, handwritten specials on
a blackboard, natural light, and a friendly staff. Word was they
were renovating it in March, so I have no idea what it looks
like now. Quite cool, I would wager.
252 Forbes St.
breakfast that turned me on my ear was at ~FORBES & BURTON~.
It was so scrumptious I hit it again for lunch (separate days,
mind you). The breakfast was just sick: some of the most perfect
poached eggs on top of potato cakes with oak-smoked salmon and
a “pash” (kiss) of onion jam ($16). Totally illegal.
Oh, and the croque madame ($13) with double-smoked leg ham, Gruyère,
chive mascarpone, and a fried egg on top made we want to cry. Ditto
on the BLT ($8). Oh man, these people do one of the best BLTs I’ve
ever had. It sounded so good we had to upgrade it to a BLTA ($9.50).
The space was a cool corner spot, with thick stone walls, some
70’s hot pink mirrored panels, smooth Sunday soul music playing,
big windows, modern chairs, and a total neighborhood vibe. The
staff was fun and funky and totally felt like they were Burners.
The women’s bathroom had a pink sink and toilet, with naughty
limericks on the wall (the limericks were in the men’s too).
Sassy. They also serve dinner, I trust it’s sublime.
North Sydney Olympic Pool
Paul and Northcliff Streets
we’re on lunch, I had one of my most scenic lunches, ever,
DINING~. I think it should be everyone’s first
lunch destination upon arrival in Sydney. Aqua dining is positioned
directly above the North Sydney Olympic Pool and is smack dab
next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, with views of the Opera House
too. So while you’re sipping your flute of Jansz bubbles
from Piper Valley ($15) you get to check out some pretty nice
physiques down below doing their thing. Butterflying hunks, you
get the drift—I suddenly understood why the view was described
as breathtaking. We dined alfresco, but admired the slick and
moderne dining room, with a Calvin Klein kind of palette, and
it’s totally glass-walled so the view is unobstructed.
The staff, outfitted in light blue shirts and black aprons, is
friendly, easygoing, and knowledgeable.
Chef Jeff Turnbull’s contemporary Aussie menu was full
of luxurious touches—we started with a bug salad ($29)
paired with tangy segments of blood orange, and Parmesan-crusted
lamb’s brains ($27) on a caponata-esque bed of tomato,
shallot, capers, pine nuts, and mushrooms (I know, a light lunch).
We also started knocking back a bottle of 2004 Kooyong Chardonnay
from the Mornington Peninsula, fab. My friend’s main, the
ridiculously stuffed crab omelette ($39) really took the cake—it
was a three or four egg omelette, with dollops of cream, pesto,
and tomato on the side. Portions were rather hefty—my snapper
($38) was dinner-portion size, so at least you’re not paying
$30 for three bites of fish. Great wine pairings by the staff,
which adds to why it’s a nice place to celebrate. Celebrate
what? Heck, just celebrate having lunch outside in a dreamy place.
33 Bayswater Rd.
of folks were raving about ~HUGO'S
Oh lordy, what a scene. It was like being in LA—lots of
leggy model types, a supercilious hostess, dark and clubby lighting
(so dark I couldn’t even get a pic of our pizza), and don’t
get me started on our feckless server. But we were on a pork
belly pizza mission—once I heard about it, we had to hunt
it down—there was no turning back. The pizza did not disappoint:
the pork belly was slow-roasted, and served with sweet and sour
onions and ribbons of radicchio ($24). We also dug the chilli
(it’s how they spell it over there) prawn pizza with tomato,
capsicum, and salsa verde ($24). The thin wood-fired crust had
nothing on our local stars, but I will say the 13 different types
of pizzas all sounded delish, inventive, and there didn’t
appear to be a dog in the bunch. There was even roasted lamb
with potato, anchovies, and parsley with buffalo mozzarella.
Too bad about everything besides the pizza.
118 Devonshire St.
you just want a good burger, and man, did we find one at ~BURGER
BAR~ on Devonshire in Surry Hills (no, it’s
not part Hubert Keller’s burgeoning Burger Bar empire). I
wish all buns were like theirs: fluffy, fresh, homemade tasting.
Nice hand-formed patty cooked a perfect medium rare. Beautiful,
this burger. I miss you.
186-188 Victoria St.
had to do at least one “fusiony” Aussie experience
since that continues to be a big culinary theme over there. Huh.
We hit up the hip ~JIMMY
LIKS~ for an early dinner before catching a performance
at the Opera House. I liked the long shotgun room with what was
practically one big communal table (each table had room for eight
or so), and then there was a completely different side housing
the bar area. The modern Thai food here was fresh, tasty, and balanced—a
few dishes were a little heavy with the garlic or the ginger, but
I do wish we had more food like this here in SF. Great staff too.
We scarfed down the fried salt and pepper cuttlefish ($18/$28),
and the grilled baby octopus ($29) had a nice caramelization, which
made the accompanying salad of pineapple, lemongrass, and mint
an inspired combo. A few other dishes we ordered were all quite
salad-y, just right for the warm Sydney summer nights.
122 Oxford St.
place we hung out a lot at was ~JACKIES CAFÉ~ in
Paddington (or Paddo, as the locals say), smack dab in the middle
of a ‘hood full of cute boutiques and art galleries. (My
friend worked here.) I gotta say it: for a country that loves espresso
so much, I sure had a lot of lousy coffees. Lukewarm cappuccinos
in the morning, watery espressos in the afternoon, ick. Not here.
Jackie Milijash does not mess around. I especially loved my iced
latte one hot arvo (afternoon), with its napkin that looked like
a jaunty scarf! Jackies has a lovely little outdoor patio where
you can watch the ladies who lunch, with a Champagne bucket and
stroller parked alongside their tables, or you can read magazines
in the sunken downstairs section (I noticed a number of places
offer free glossy magazines for their guests to read). The menu
is eclectic, with breakfast dishes like ricotta pancakes, or grilled
sandwiches and pastas at lunch, plus a sushi bar with fab hand
rolls (she also has a sushi place in Bondi Beach). And just to
meet Jackie, you gotta go. She is a piece of work, in the best
way possible. I loved her husky voice and crazy speech cadence
so much I want her to call me once a month and just leave me a
message saying, “”Daaaaaaaaarling, hi! It’s Jacks!”
12-16 Challis Avenue
to coffee: we luckily got steered to ~FRATELLI PARADISO~ after
I complained to a local about all the lousy coffee I was having.
She brought us to this super-slick Italian café that reminded
me of Milano. Spare arty look, with simply ridiculously good pastry.
Focaccias too. Coffee verdict: pretty darned good.
since we’re all hopped up on coffee, let’s recap
some fun Aussie barista nomenclature I learned:
Long black=two shots
Flat white=with milk, no foam
You order your milk either skinny or fat.
They serve lattes in bistro glasses (never pints like they do here).
Bondi Italian Food
118-120 Ramsgate Ave.
course we had to hit Bondi Beach during our stay. What a gorgeous
beach—nearby Bronte was where we hung out, actually. Didn’t
get to eat at the famed ~ICEBERGS~ because
as luck would have it, we were there on Valentine’s Day.
Everything was booked, so we just ate at a simple pizza place along
the water. (We came up with some fun singles-themed songs for the
night: Cars: Drive,
or De La Soul: Me, Myself, and I.) Okay, enough of the
lame Valentine’s Day. What was more my speed was the sister
BONDI ITALIAN FOOD~.
What a fab space and dreamy-looking menu, full of salumi, offal,
seafood, yum. Hot identity/look too—(check
out the site for a peek). We only swung by for some post-beach
beers. Oh well, another time.
106 Curlewis St.
did have a smashing hangover breakfast at ~BONDI'S BROWN
off the main drag, with a chill seaside vibe. Really moderate prices
(for a change) and a decent coffee to boot. Sold. Seems they serve
lunch and dinner too.
Level 1-235 Victoria St.
some dranks at the ~VICTORIA
ROOM~, an eclectic and sultry space chock-full of
Victoriana, like brocade wallpaper, vintage settees and armchairs,
low tables, and a lazy, loungey vibe. The place is quite huge,
especially with the tall ceilings. There’s also a restaurant—I
was curious about the high tea weekend afternoons, sounds fun.
22 Challis Ave.
top it all off, I had one of the best cocktail experiences of my
life at ~LOTUS
BAR~ in Potts Point. Tucked in the back of the restaurant
is an intimate lounge, with glam wallpaper, mirrored tables, and
an insider vibe. You can peruse the thoughtful list, but even more
fun is to work with the snappy mixologists and divine your drink.
This particular night, Michael was our cocktail dowsing rod (although
we were drooling over Ollie like a bunch of schoolgirls), who concocted
four very divergent drinks for our group, each cocktail totally
apropos for our different personalities. It was like having your
tarot cards read. Funny, I ended up with a bourbon cherry cocktail,
a frothy little number with some Maker’s, Amaretto, crushed
cherry and I can’t remember what else, but I would drink
if by the gallon, daily, if I could. My friend had the “Courtesan,” with
purple basil, vanilla, lime, and Muscovado sugar, shaken with hibiscus
tonic and Glenfiddich Solera Reserve. Like, whoa. Yo. Sure, all
four drinks came to $70 AUS, but it’s a small price for the
swell memory of a drink I am going to pine after.
are some other places I hoped to hit, either from recommendations,
or discoveries while I was there but didn’t get to try:
a new izakaya that just opened up in Surry Hills. Groovy ambiance
and cool crowd at the bar and wood communal tables.
Didn’t have the ducats to shell out for ~est~ (Australia
cleaned me OUT) but it’s supposed to be pretty top drawer.
You can grab drinks downstairs—since it’s smack-dab
in the CBD (Central Business District) it can get pretty swamped
with a randy post-work crowd.
CUCINA~, the sister to ~OTTO~ just
next door, looked slick, and it’s right on the water—and
hey, it’s in Woolloomooloo! Say it! Woolloomooloo!
get a chance to hit ~BENTLEY
RESTAURANT AND BAR~, but it’s supposed to
be pretty hot. One of my few regrets of the trip!
to go do some Aussie Outback-style feasting at ~DEEP
BLUE BISTRO~, a beachside joint in Coogee (supposedly
all kinds of kangaroo preparations on the menu).
Bondi looked pretty hip and I heard the eats are good—another
one we couldn’t get into on V-Day.
PANORAMA~ is a Bondi institution—the bread
there is supposed to be pretty fantastic. Dang, how did I
miss this? I did. Oh well.
few more tips:
up a LUXE
Sydney Guide before you leave, or at a bookshop
when you get there—really helpful, full of snazzy and sassy
info and tips on what’s hot.
also like the your
Restaurants site, with small overviews and Yelp-like
lingo notes: tasty cheese is cheddar, capsicum is bell pepper,
and if you’re really drunk, you’re “shattered” (hey,
these are useful terms to know!). You’ll find pumpkin and
beetroot (beets) on everything, ditto on rocket (arugula). And
don’t let anyone get away with calling you a SEPPO (Septic
Tank, rhyming with Yank).
MAY 1, 2007 | The Margaret River From Surfing to Semillon–Why This Wine Region
Has It All
Moreau, Head Sommelier, Est.,
With more than 120 wine producers and around 80 winegrowers, Margaret
River represents just 3% of Australian wine production.
So what makes the Margaret River such a popular destination
for wine lovers and foodies alike?
my working career to date, I've had the opportunity to work at
several Michelin-starred restaurants, both in my country of birth
(France) as well as in the U.K., at establishments including
La Tour d’Argent in Paris, Gordon Ramsay at Claridges,
and Marcus Wareing at the Savoy Grill in London. Since September
2005, I've been based in Sydney, and now work for The Merivale
Group, as Group Sommelier for a range of different restaurants,
bars, and nightclubs including Establishment, Hemmesphere, Lotus,
and the three-hatted Est. Restaurant.
Yet it is only in recent years that I have become acquainted with
the truly exciting and high quality range of wines being produced
in the Margaret River in Australia. Whether you prefer your Shiraz
to Tempranillo or Sauvignon Blanc to Chenin Blanc, you'll find
it in the Margaret River, along with several bronzed Aussies and
a range of terrific surf beaches, boutique hotels, and restaurants
of the vineyards located in the Margaret River are situated between
three–seven kilometres from the coast, at an elevation
between sea level and 200m. This offers the perfect condition for
growing grapes; the region is best characterised by mild to wet
winters and summers which are warm to hot and dry. Margaret River’s
coastal location also contributes to cooler evening temperatures.
The first significant planting of vines took place in 1967. Cape
Mentelle was created by David and Mark Honnen, who were also one of the
first producers to develop and implement the famous classic blend
of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc (otherwise known as the classic
Bordeaux white blend). Now this blend is one of the benchmarks
of this region and enjoys a growing popularity worldwide. After
spending some years in California, David and Mark returned to Australia,
bringing with them the technique to produce some terrific Zinfandel.
They are also the people who created Cloudy Bay in New Zealand.
course, a visit to the Margaret River would not be complete without
a trip to Vasse
Felix. Started in 1967, this vineyard is producing
some truly fantastic good value wines, not to mention their Premium
Heytesbury labels, which taste even better washed down with a
serve of freshly pan-fried marron as you watch the sun set over
Surfers Point Beach.
is another grape variety produced in the Margaret River, and Leeuwin
may be the most synonymous with its prestige “Art Series” labels.
These are beautiful, well-structured wines, with some buttery and
toasty characters, and age very well. Talking about Chardonnay,
Dr. Michael Peterkin from Pierro
Winery is also producing some
and are well worth a visit.
Sauvignon is the most prestigious red grape variety, and several
wineries in the Margaret River are producing some of the world's
best varieties, including Cullen
or Moss Wood.
These wines are quite full bodied and express some great flavours.
Their tannins are always finer and more elegant than many other
red wines originating from Australia.
all avid travellers considering a stop in the Margaret River
as part of your Antipodean voyage Down Under: this region is
so terrific because it represents all which is essential to the
of life.” It represents and offers a wine industry that is
respectful of tradition but not afraid to challenge it through
new techniques and blends, a natural environment that is truly
stunning, and a burgeoning restaurant industry with accessibility
to incredibly fresh produce and exciting new ideas.
Or, if you can't make it over the 9,000 miles to Australia, consider
a bottle of Margaret River wine on your next visit to the liquor
store. You won't be disappointed.
580 Sutter St.
Cross: Mason St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
MAY 1, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Last
year I reported
on the funk-a-riffic ~CANTINA~ opening
in the former Johnny Wok’s space on Polk Street.
Well, after permit issues and typical bureaucratic delays, partners
Duggan McDonnell and his wife Kristina, along with friends Aaron
Prentice and Christene Larsen, decided to steer the ship to a
new location, the former Lucid Gallery near Union Square (just
next door to the Hotel Rex). The space is currently being completely
transformed, including the installation of brightly colored walls
of tropical sky blue and evening green accented with rusted cork,
plus wallpaper and some funky vegetation. Think rustic salon
on the bordello tip. The space is being designed and furnished
by Shawn Ball—I personally can’t wait for the longhair
cowhide chairs to come in from Texas. Yee haw.
concept is a Latin art bar, and get ready for some sick talent
behind the bar. All four partners have some serious wine and
beverage experience, and Christine is actually going for her
Masters of Wine right now, so it seems Cantina just might be
the first bar in SF with a sommelier. I said this in the previous
posting about Cantina, but to repeat: they will be putting
together some totally fab and fresh wine-based drinks, like
the Alsatian Daiquiri (La Favorite cane rum, Trimbach Gewürztraminer,
lime, peach bitters, turbinado nectar), the Five-Spice Margarita
(Don Eduardo Reposado Tequila, Qi white tea liqueur, lemon, lime,
five-spice-infused agave nectar) and the Duende (Del Maguey Crema
de Mezcal, Benedictine, Badia di Morrona Vin Santo, served up
in a classic cocktail presentation). Here's the best part: these
dranks will be available in pitchers. Yeah, hello. There will
also be a bunch of wines available by the glass, and well-priced
numbers by the bottle too.
will be quietly opening in the coming weeks—just
watch for a light on.
Wed., May 2, 2007
1710 Mission St.
Cross: Duboce St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
$69 per person
not including tax and gratuity
MAY 1, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Those
of you looking for something cool to do tomorrow, Gundlach Bundschu
is hosting a special five-course ~VINTNER'S DINNER WITH
JEFF BUNDSCHU~ at Levende
You can check out the menu here (it's
Space is limited to the first 50 guests.
MAY 1, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO I
know some people who will appreciate this: Peter Berlin was
seen dining at 2223 (he was a famous skin flick star, activist,
actor, and artist in the 70s and 80s). Reportedly a big tipper
Natalie Portman and an entourage of six were
at Salt House Wednesday night. No other details, except she's reportedly
very tiny and really is that gorgeous.
Serious star wattage continues, this time in the Gourmet Ghetto: Kate
Hudson and Owen Wilson were spotted getting cones from
Bi Rite Creamery Saturday night. They also had an early Sunday
dinner at Delfina, “sitting unpretentiously at the counter
space near the front door.” They were also seen having
breakfast/brunch in the restaurant at Sports Club/LA at the Four
Seasons. Another tablehopper reader reports, “She was wearing
a backless top (a little much for breakfast?) and crop pants...
he: blue slippers (possibly from their hotel room upstairs).”
And on the completely other side of things, the Dalai Lama dined
at LarkCreekSteak on Friday night for dinner. Reportedly, “He was there
with a group of 15 other people and was most gracious, shook the managers' hands
and had a great time. He was in town teaching a seminar in San Francisco on April
27 & 28 at the Civic Center.” One tablehopper reader surmises, “I
bet Kate [Hudson] had front row seats. After all, her momma's book is Tibet-ly
titled A Lotus Grows in the Mud.