Appetite

Maven

Superb cocktails and eclectic, well-paired dishes at this new destination restaurant in Lower Haight

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Ice Cream Bar

Step into the Wayback Machine: this new Cole Valley spot serves a panoply of delicious soda fountain treats

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE I was born of another time. As much as I wouldn't trade the rights and access of today, I hunger for the romance, artistry, and intellectual pace of eras gone by. As a child, I grew up on classic films and whitebread shows like Father Knows Best, where youth hung out at soda fountains listening to the jukebox. Naturally, I was delighted upon hearing a retro-inspired soda fountain was opening near my home.Read more »

State Bird Provisions

Jazzy flights of fancy (and a nice play on that eponymous bird) at this innovative, eclectic Fillmore newbie 

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Whiskey punch

Concannon toasts its new Irish whiskey with a good scrap in the Mission and a round of spiked coffee in Livermore

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE An Irish whiskey with a Bay Area connection... Livermore, to be exact? It's true. January saw the release of a brand new whiskey, not a common occurrence in Ireland. What better way to initiate this new release than with a Bon Vivants party?

My recent travels through Ireland, particularly exploring whiskey production in County Cork (from pot still beauties like Redbreast to mass production Jameson), amplified my love for the smooth pleasures of Irish whiskey.Read more »

Appetite: Alchemical delights at Science of Cocktails 2012

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Although the Science of Cocktails event may be on hiatus next year due to the Exploratorium's big move to the Embarcadero, this year's party is worth highlighting. Attending since the inaugural event three years ago (check out my previous review here), I enjoy Science of Cocktails more each year.

I'm not sure if the new VIP area added much other than a bird's-eye view from above with a few additional (but minimal) bites and drinks, the bulk of food being downstairs. Options were more enticing than ever in the ideal museum space, where one can interact with exhibits, kid-free, cocktails in hand. The cavernous space easily holds hundreds of people without feeling packed.

Drinks were poured by some of the Bay's best bartenders and distillers, sporting white lab-coats, delivering concoctions from test tubes, beakers and hand-crafted contraptions. Cocktails were served in pre-bottled, liquid nitrogen, jello, even powdered forms. (Let us not forget the shiny, porcelain toilet spouting Speakeasy beer).

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Baumé

We'll probably never be able to afford to eat here again, so this review -- including Alba white truffles, suckling pig, and hints of Calvados -- will just have to do.

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE There are meals that live on in memory: dioramas of conversation, heartwarming food, and that misty glow from a fine bottle of wine. Then there are those that are game-changers, the food an elaborate tapestry, weaving complex threads of creativity into an unexpected whole as impacting on the taste buds as to the eye. It borders on art.Read more »

Barrel-aged beauties

New barrel-aged spirits for 2012 include 1512 rye and Bols Genever. Plus: our cocktail picks from the revamped lounge at Fifth Floor

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Here are two new barrel aged beauties worth seeking out, plus more to look forward to in 2012.

1512 SPIRITS BARREL-AGED 100% RYE

I've enthused about small production 1512 Spirits (www.1512spirits.com) rye before, crafted by Salvatore "Sal" Cimino with a unique custom still up in Santa Rosa. During the day you'll find him giving shaves and cutting hair in his classic Nob Hill barbershop, at 1512 Pine Street (www.1512barbershop.com).Read more »

Fresh and fancy-free

3 fantastic new thrifty dining options: Chubby Noodle, Roostertail, Galette 88

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Despite all its high-end culinary buzz, San Francisco is loaded with amazing cheap eats (as my colleague L.E. Leone has been documenting for decades for the Guardian). Here are three new places I consider worth adding to your go-to list.

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Appetite: Cocktailing the East Bay

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In this week's paper we poured out our thoughts on two delicious new additions to the East Bay bar scene, Honor Bar and the New Easy. Below, we glass up some other exciting East Bay drink destinations we think are worth your swizzle:

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Easy honors

The East Bay cocktail scene continues to rise with Honor Bar and the New Easy

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