Bison burger from Quattro in the Four Seasons

Eat This Town: San Francisco

By Trevor Felch

“Miracle” holiday cocktails return to the Bay Area
After an outrageously popular debut last year, the “Miracle” Christmas-themed cocktail pop-up is back with its Chrismapolitan cocktails (spiced cranberry sauce and Absinthe mist!), custom wintery glassware, and décor straight out of the North Pole. Running through New Years Eve, the pop-up will return to PCH with reinterpreted Christmas shots and cocktail classics like the “Gingerbread Flip” featuring whole egg, Bourbon, and gingerbread syrup; a “Jingle Balls Nog” (adding Pedro Ximenez sherry, cognac, and brown butter); and the “Run Run Rudolph” with prosecco, mulled wine puree, and gin. The merry fun also comes to San Jose’s craft cocktail stalwart, Paper Plane, for the first time, so the South Bay can also imbibe in the complex “Christmas Carol Barrel,” mixing aged rum, amaro, pumpkin pie, lime, vanilla, Angostura bitters, and demerara syrup. Paper Plane’s “Miracle on First Street” program for “Miracle” will also be selling holiday mugs with 10 percent of sales going to Action Against Hunger.
Neighborhood: Union Square MAP Neighborhood: San Jose MAP

Mixiote pops up at Plum Cocktail Bar
The next residency for Plum Cocktail Bar’s guest chef series brings in chef Alma Rodriguez of Mixiote (a La Cocina program alum), who will focus on slow-cooked meats and vegetables steamed in banana and avocado leaves as “botana” snack dishes like fried potato cheese cakes, and “mixiote” plates featuring proteins (lamb, pork, chicken, and mushroom) served with tortillas and traditional accouterments. On the cocktail side, Plum’s Chris Mansury debuts a program inspired by the E.E. Cummings. Who knows if the poet ever wrote about frijoles negro, but you can still enjoy “What Clouds Do” (vodka, tamarind syrup, Seedlip Spice 64, lime juice, and soda) with Mixiote’s fresh guacamole.
Neighborhood: Uptown Oakland MAP

Lazy Bear (photo: Andre Nguyen)

Lazy Bear’s Wine & Bites Den opens
With a bare (bear?) necessity of at least $200 per ticket to enjoy this spectacular tasting menu experience, many a Bay Area diner may dream of dining at David Barzelay’s Mission gastronomic dinner party but can’t quite stomach the price tag. The lucky ones who do go always rave about the opening hour, when drinks and innovative small bites are served in the mezzanine Boy Scouts cabin setting. Starting on December 1, guests will be delighted to hear that the mezzanine’s newly named Den will open for drinks and bites reservations on Tuesday through Saturday nights, with the first booking at 9:30 p.m. (after both Lazy Bear dinner parties have stopped by). The news here is a recent revamping of the already enviable wine list. For the “Trail Mix” à la carte bites, you might find house-made fish sauce–marinated bison jerky alongside smoked honey ham with buttermilk biscuits baked to order, and cranberry bean miso soup made from one-year-old house miso. In the other food section, “Tableside Campfire” (which is more tabletop than tableside) allows diners to use grills to cook their own burnt ends of Wagyu ribeye; Lazy Bear brown rice shio koji-marinated Sonoma king salmon; or, of course, s’mores for dessert. Most dishes are under $30; tickets must be reserved online for a $25 deposit (redeemed with a purchase). Don't be discouraged if the tickets appear to be sold out–the team will also release day-of tickets every day the Lazy Bear Den is open.
Neighborhood: Mission MAP

ALX Gastropub welcomes Sunday brunch
San Francisco has no shortage of starry brunch locations but rapidly growing SoMa has still been in need of more options—though is now less of an issue thanks to the Sunday-only brunch at newcomers ALX Gastropub. Chef Jessie Lugo is one of the city’s rising stars and has been impressing crowds on the weekday lunch and dinner menus. Her Sunday brunch presents blue corn “Jessie cakes” (like Johnny cakes!) with duck confit croquettes–a play on chicken and waffles, plus duck eggs Benedict with Foie-llaindaise (this is a restaurant known for a foie gras-Wagyu burger after all), and seasonal mushroom toast with hazelnut butter and fried egg. The full bar, along with Bloody Marys and fellow Mimosa-family friends, will also be served on the drinks menu.
Neighborhood: SoMa MAP

Quattro in the Four Seasons

Après-ski time in Silicon Valley
There is a Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto but that doesn’t mean that Silicon Valley has, ahem, four seasons. The Bay Area lacks snow and ski resorts, but the Four Seasons luxury hotel at the edge of 101 and Palo Alto is trying to soften our wintery dreams with an Après Winter Lounge pop-up taking over the outdoor terrace of the hotel’s main restaurant, Quattro, until February 28. Summer is usually the prime time for terrace guests — so the hotel asked themself, why not make it a winter destination? On cue, the family-friendly terrace now boasts a winter wonderland of snow flurries from machines, wooden cabins, lighted trees, and chic fire tables. Fridays and Saturday nights will also have winter/holiday-themed movies (starting at 6pm), while the à la carte food menu is far lower than the price of a room at a hotel with dishes starting at $12 like Whistler Poutine; Jackson Hole Bison burger; Gruyère and Champagne Fondue; and S’mores where $2 from each order goes to the Ravenswood Education Foundation. The cocktail menu will feature Veuve Clicquot champagne (because, celebrations!), plus hot cocoa and other wintery concoctions.
Neighborhood: Silicon Valley MAP

Cabin and 1760 pair up for a Polk Street bar and food all-star team
Here’s a great example of how teamwork can help a bar without a kitchen come up with a fantastic solution for hungry guests. Polk Street neighbors Cabin and 1760 have joined forces to offer Cabin drinkers a menu of bites from the contemporary American kitchen of 1760. The partnership allows Cabin guests to order 1760 snacks—duck sliders, lumpia, crispy chicken tenders with aji verde and berbere spices, exceptional fried olives, grilled pork ribs in hoisin sauce, truffle oil fries, and pork tostadas—from Cabin’s bartenders, then a buzzer alerts guests when the food is ready and they just need to walk two doors down to pick up their food. With Cabin’s 35 types of whiskey—and dozens of HD TVs—combined with 1760’s satisfying and creative small plates is a major victory for the Polk Street nightlife scene.
Neighborhood: Polk Gulch MAP

Mid-Market gains an important lunch addition
Amidst the in-house office lunch debates and unfortunately frequent Mid-Market restaurant closings news, San Francisco diners often sing a similar refrain: Mid-Market’s lunch roster isn’t as strong as they’d wish. But there’s a key new addition to the daytime scene with the launch of Kaya’s weekday lunch service. The modern Jamaican restaurant from Nigel Jones (Kingston 11 in Oakland) and Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group has been a hit from the start, and rnning from Tuesday through Friday, the lunch menu features small bites like mango and papaya green salad and sweet plantains with black bean sauce, alongside larger dishes like pulled-oxtail hash with a sunny-side egg. The food menu is complimented by non-alcoholic drinks, like fresh limeade and strawberry melon fresca, in addition to the expected to the rum-centric cocktail program that is such a hit once happy hour arrives.
Neighborhood: Mid-Market MAP

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