The cocktail program at Trou Normand focuses on Calvados, Armagnac, and Cognac. But that narrow focus doesn't feel like a gimmick here, and their spin on the Old Fashioned is worth braving the crowds.
'San Francisco' on Serious Eats
Chase White worked in the kitchen during the early popup days of Saison in San Francisco, but it took a move to NYC for him to step behind the bar, first at Brad Farmerie's Double Crown and The Daily, then at the Experimental Cocktail Club. Back in San Francisco, he's returned to Saison in the role of head bartender. His drinks span the spectrum of tiki riffs and fizzy Champagne drinks to spirit-forward stirred offerings, but the words he keeps returning to in his descriptions are 'texture' and 'umami'.
Here is your list of true beer essentials in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley: the bars, restaurants, and breweries that curate the most epic beer menus, employ staff who bleed amber, and take the extra step with great food pairings or an ambience that makes you feel like you just warped to Brussels.
You're probably familiar with a handful of highballs: the classic Gin & Tonic, the Rum & Coke, the Paloma. Not many folks are working at expanding the booze + soda = drink genre. But Morgan Schick of San Francisco's Trick Dog is—a handful of unusual highballs have appeared on every menu since the bar's opening.
The past 10 days in San Francisco have been filled with more than 500 events featuring beers both local and from afar, new and rare, unusual and delicious. Here are a few of the highlights.
We Drink With Sam Calagione: An Aged Dogfish Head Beer Dinner at The Abbot's Cellar in San Francisco
Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Chef Adam Dulye of The Abbot's Cellar collaborated on a dinner they almost called "Stinky Food and Really Old Beer."
We get a peek at the drinks—and the jerky—at the new San Francisco cocktail bar from the team behind Range.
It's not every day that you get invited to a seven course dinner where every dish is paired with beer, and it's even less often that those beers were made by one of your brewing heroes. Let's just say that when the invitation arrived asking if I'd be a guest at the sixth annual Mushroom and Beer Dinner at Mendocino's Little River Inn, I accepted pretty much before the email had fully downloaded. And that was before I knew that I'd get to sit right next to Russian River's Vinnie Cilurzo.
Whether you're feeling like a fresh local beer, a tasty glass of wine, a craft cocktail, or a shot of whiskey, it's all within a couple of blocks: the Divisadero strip is studded with places that have drinks very much worth drinking. Bonus: there are no major hills to climb in the midst of your bar crawling.
Harvest season is wrapping up in California, and soon the region's winemakers will finally get to catch up on some sleep. But before that happens, we wanted to check in with one of our local favorites: Dan Petroski of Massican, an upstart winery focused on making Italian-inspired white wines in Napa Valley.
On Wednesday, November 6 from 4 to 7 pm, La Paulée and American Express are hosting a San Francisco La Paulée kickoff event featuring Burgundy's hidden gems. Tickets are $75, and allow you to taste around 75 different bottles of Burgundy, selected by some of San Francisco's top sommeliers.
Comstock Saloon is a destination for classic cocktails, a haven from the bustling neighborhood of North Beach.
At Bergerac in SOMA (just down the street from Bar Agricole), Russell Davis sprays a mezcal drink with a moonshine tobacco tincture for aroma, flavors another with a Vadouvan spice blend, and attempts to "take barrel aging too far" by serving local bourbon finished in a barrel that has aged a Manhattan cocktail.
Longoria, who previously manned the bar at Aziza, is no stranger to incorporating flavors and techniques often used by chefs into his cocktails. Check out the drinks he's making at Acquerello's new spinoff restaurant, right this way.
The bar at La Urbana in San Francisco is already stocked with 56 different mezcals, with another dozen or so on the way.
Speakeasy Brewery turned sweet 16 this weekend and had a big ol' birthday bash to celebrate at their San Francisco brewery and tap room. Here are a few of the brand-new and limited-release beers we tried.
Though there's always a constant buzz of people at Rye, the bar is busy without feeling crowded. The hours fly by. The drinks are delicious.
Standouts included a killer homemade hot sauce from Plum Bar in Oakland and a pisco drink from Roka Akor's Daniel Hyatt, made with spiced and salted lime juice.
After a successful run at Big, which closed in June, barmen Brian Felley and Mo Hodges have taken up a Monday night residency at Muka, an upcoming tapas restaurant located between Hayes Valley and Civic Center. They're serving rum-focused cocktails alongside tacos from Tango & Stache.
Master distiller Lance Winters produces delicious small-batch gin, absinthe, whiskey, rum, and more at St. George Spirits in Alameda, CA. We recently chatted with Winters about what he's drinking, how he got started in the distilling business, where craft distilling is going in the US, and a few fun projects he's releasing soon.