Sundress cocktail at White Cap (photo: John Lindsey)


Burger at Bouchon

Eat This Town: San Francisco

By Trevor Felch

Summertime garage sale drinks at White Cap
The Outer Sunset’s popular eight-month-old cozy craft cocktail bar, White Cap, is having a garage sale—sort of. There are no rusty hammers to buy or unwanted articles of clothing to try on, but there is the sherry, rum, and white port Rusty Hammer cocktail, and a refreshing Sun Dress drink tying together vodka, Suze bitters, watermelon, and kaffir lime leaves. “Garage Sale” is the second theme for bar maestro Carlos Yturria’s drinks menu, following in the footsteps of the highly regarded debut “Tools” concept, with cocktails like the Romance Novel, featuring Dewar’s 12-year Scotch and a blackberry-coffee shrub, along with that classic (and useless and gaudy) desk decoration staple—a lava lamp—with vodka, fino sherry, raspberry, lemon, and Aperol. It’s a colorful slushy that tastes straight out of the late ‘60s and looks like it’s from the same era… just like the lava lamp. There are nine cocktails in total, which is a lot easier to choose from than the usual garage sale.
Neighborhood: Outer Sunset MAP

Celebrate burgers and Bastille Day at Bouchon
The fourth of July has come and gone but there’s another Independence Day celebration ahead this month: Bastille Day, France’s big holiday. And what better way to elebrate the occasion than with great French food and wine at one of the Bay Area’s leading bistros? For the eighteenth straight year, Bouchon in Yountville is holding a grand Bastille Day fête on Saturday July 14 from noon to 7 p.m., complete with great food, live music, and fun activities like face painting and a dunk tank. Tickets aren’t French Laundry prices either, available in $30 increments on the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group’s “Finesse” store website. Tickets are worth $3 toward snacks like fries or raw bar bites. Two tickets will get you a light entrée like a tomato tart, three tickets buy a glass of wine or a heavier entrée such as smoked lamb, and four tickets delivers the festival’s signature dish, an indulgent Brie-L-T sandwich. On the subject of great summer specials at Bouchon, don’t tell anyone, but the bistro just started serving an off-menu, late night (10:30 p.m. to midnight nightly) Bourguignon burger—a half-pound of red wine–marinated ground Angus beef with Hobb’s bacon, Gruyère, hen-of-the-wood mushrooms, and a red wine-onion jam.
Neighborhood: Napa Valley MAP

The Snug

The Snug launches brunch in Lower Pac Heights
After a few late Friday or Saturday night craft beers and mezcal-based Prickly Pear cocktails at Lower Pac Heights’ hottest bar, it’s vital to have a fulfilling brunch the next morning. Luckily The Snug recently unveiled weekend brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.. The sun-drenched room with prime people-watching is a great backdrop for a menu mixing brunch classics with decidedly different daytime offerings. French toast comes with Bourbon crème and blueberries, while a smoked avocado toast has the option of adding burrata to the radish and sorrel garnishes. The bar’s tandoor oven (its predecessor was an Indian restaurant) creates an “everything naan” that leans in the normal bagel direction with trout roe and cauliflower schmear. Heavier hangovers will be cured by the breakfast burger or tagliatelle pasta with Jidori egg and fines herbes. “Rehydrate” with familiar hair of the dog drinks or one of their more ambitious beverages, like a mezcal-horchata cocktail or the rum-based Banana Hammock with coconut, curry leaf, and salted banana.
Neighborhood: Lower Pacific Heights MAP

Foxsister’s Benedict brunch pop-up
By night, Foxsister is a groovy, playful spot in the Mission for eclectic takes on classic Korean cuisine staples. But for the month of July and first two weekends of August, chef-owner Brandon Kirksey is completely transforming the menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with clever interpretations of Benedicts, plus bottomless mimosas and bottomless Bloody Marys. Along with DJ’s playing music and sides like house-baked sticky buns and sweet potato hash browns, the roughly half-dozen Benedicts will range from the Foxsister with fried chicken, scallion, and spicy Hollandaise ($12) to the Italian with prosciutto, rapini, garlic, chile, and roasted tomato Hollandaise ($15). There will also be a noteworthy Foxsister burger on the daytime menu, featuring a kalbi-marinated patty with an heirloom tomato and daikon sprouts on a sesame bun, and the option to add a fried egg.
Neighborhood: Mission MAP

Rooftop 25

Hot dogs near (but not at) AT&T Park with the opening of Rooftop 25
San Francisco’s almost non-existent rooftop dining and drinking scene pretty much doubled in 2017, and the trend has continued in 2018. Rooftop 25 is an alfresco oasis atop the venerable chic seafood spot, 25 Lusk, and is a great destination for bites or larger plates cooked in a wood-fired oven, including pizza and sustainably caught fish tacos served DIY-style. Some of the most rewarding deals can be found on Rooftop 25’s surprisingly extensive menu—from a kitchen that barely can hold the aforementioned oven. Skip the overpriced hot dogs and pretzels at nearby AT&T Park and enjoy the $10 offering here—a hot dog served with Cheddar sauce and caramelized onions in a pretzel bun. Pair it with a $9 boozy Otter Pops in a whimsical flavor—piña colada or frosé, anyone?
Neighborhood: SoMA MAP

Manresa and The Bywater’s tiki collaboration
Tiki drinks and wallet-friendly good times are definitely not the first things that pop into mind with a three-Michelin star, four-Chronicle star legend like Manresa. However, the restaurant is collaborating on a summer pop-up with its casual New Orleans–themed Los Gatos sibling, The Bywater, for a tiki night on Tuesday, July 10, from 5 p.m. until “closing time,” at The Bywater. Tropical drinks from The Bywater’s Darren Gardner and Manresa’s Bar Manager, Jason Strich, will be the highlights, complimented by oysters and a few food specials. Some of the playful libations include a Tí Punch with salted passion fruit air; a daunting Zombie cocktail on nitro; frozen piña coladas; and a Trinidad Swizzle with house-spiced rum, falernum, lime, and a touch of Herbsaint. These tiki nights will be held every second Tuesday night through the summer and potentially beyond.
Neighborhood: Los Gatos MAP

BBQ plate at One Market

Drink half-price wine this July and enjoy lunch BBQ all summer at One Market
The Embarcadero’s fine-dining legend has always been known for its extensive wine program, but, no surprise, most of the wines in the cellar that you “want” aren’t close to bargain territory. Thankfully, for the month of July, award-winning sommelier Tonya Pitts is offering half off all wines on the list that are made by female winemakers or from female-owned or managed wineries. This means over 130 choice are now at shockingly reasonable prices, including highly recognizable Northern California names like Donkey and Goat Winery, Iron Horse Vineyards, and Domaine Curry Femme 31—yes, the new brand from Ayesha Curry and her sister-in-law, Sydel (Stephen’s sister). In addition, one of One Market’s annual favorite specials, the Back Porch BBQ Pop-Up Series, is back every Friday at lunchtime until the end of August. You don’t have to pair a half-price wine with the St. Louis-style spare ribs or 12-hour brisket, but, hey, every summer Friday is a holiday in our opinion.
Neighborhood: Embarcadero MAP

Plum Bar’s Creole-Louisiana culinary pop-up
To compliment some of the premier cocktails being shaken and stirred throughout Oakland, Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group decided earlier this year to have a guest chef series in Plum Bar’s kitchen, allowing guests to try a range of different cuisines with their drinks. From now until the fall, the second culinary pop-up features Tekia Anderson and Queen Nefertiti Shabazz of Oakland’s Creole Creed catering company, serving Southern-inspired bar snacks and larger plates, like mac and cheese, vegan corn and sweet potato croquette bites, and po’ girl sliders. Stay tuned for the announcement of when brunch service will start.
Neighborhood: Oakland MAP

Cacao nib coffee is a thing at Dandelion Chocolate
San Francisco has premiered all kinds of technology, from robots making burgers and quinoa bowls to apps for ride-sharing and on-demand laundry. Next up on the never-ending disruption schedule: cacao nib coffee. Yes, you read that right. Made by Oakland-based Voga Coffee’s Ground Control Cyclops machine, this is definitely not like a conventional mocha. It really is coffee, just with cacao nibs used for brewing. The Cyclops’ high vacuum brewing process manages to capture the power and nuances of Dandelion’s single-origin Ecuadoran cacao nibs in this morning-jumpstarting $4 cup. The high fat content usually clogs regular coffee filters but this innovative machine has defeated that obstacle. Dandelion also uses the machine to brew a single-origin Guatemalan coffee with beans (coffee beans) roasted by fellow Valencia Street neighbor, Ritual Coffee.
Neighborhood: Mission MAP

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