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.
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.
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 get a peek at the drinks—and the jerky—at the new San Francisco cocktail bar from the team behind Range.
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.
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.
Darren Crawford of Bourbon & Branch describes the cocktail list he's designed at The Vestry—the restaurant and bar next door to the popular Valencia Street music venue The Chapel—as "a little bit of everything, something for everybody."
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.
It's become a San Francisco must-Instagram: the iconic Pantone-swatch menu of the Mission's Trick Dog. But seven months into the bar's tenure on 20th Street, they've done away with the vivid color-swatch booklet, and started fresh with a record album full of new drinks.
"This place is over the top," says bar manager Daniel Hyatt (formerly of The Alembic) of his new bar at Roka Akor in San Francisco's Jackson Square. We took a peek at the bar, the massive ice-making machine, and Hyatt's summer cocktails.
When Kate Bolton and Alex Smith sat down to develop the drinks list for Novela, they found themselves facing a familiar challenge. How can you reconcile a craft cocktail program with a high-volume, potentially impatient clientele? The answer: punch on tap.
The dinner showcased new releases from Sierra Nevada Brewery and Boulevard Brewing Co., including Terra Incognita, a collaboration between the two breweries, paired with specially-designed dishes from Chef Adam Dulye.
Though summer nights elsewhere might have you craving a tall, frosty Tom Collins, the truth is that even the warmest San Francisco days dissolve into cool evenings. What's a bar manager to do? For Danny Louie and Ethan Terry of Alembic on Haight Street in San Francisco, the answer is to craft seasonal drinks—"but not too seasonal," says Louie. You'll see ripe strawberries, but not in a highball. There's a tart tequila drink, but it has added complexity from Oregon-made coffee liqueur, Mexican Fernet, and Spanish brandy.