Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

San Francisco Lounges


  • Please log in to reply
114 replies to this topic

#91 ricain

ricain
  • participating member
  • 32 posts
  • Location:Shaker Heights, OH

Posted 05 October 2007 - 03:59 PM

I stopped by Frisson the other night and had a fantastic Manhattan:

1.5 oz bourbon (bulleit I believe)
Dash Cynar
Dash orange bitters
Dash pomegranate molasses
Orange peel

It added a sweetness to the typical bitter kick.

It was fantastic - recommend you have Ben mix it on Tuesdays.

View Post


My only question is whether or not this is a Manhattan? It might be called a Manhattan, but...

View Post


I get your perspective, but if we were that strict with cuisine would Robuchon not be considered French? It was a nice innovation on the traditional drink. And it was good!

#92 eje

eje
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,359 posts
  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 19 November 2007 - 12:27 PM

Got out to a new place in Oakland called Flora last Friday.

It is in a beautiful old Art Deco style building at 1900 Telegraph, a block from 19th Street Oakland BART station. Quite close to the Paramount theatre, so I expect they will have a good bit of concert and movie traffic.

The cocktail program has been conceived by Erik Adkins, who manages the bar at the Slanted Door in San Francisco.

It is a short menu of about 16 cocktails, most of which are pre-prohibition classics. He has also added a few New California originals, including the most excellent "Carter Beats the Devil".

The restaurant has only been open for a week and they've only had their liquor license since November 16th, so there are still some kinks to work out, especially since the establishment seems to have been immediately mobbed by East Bay folks clamoring for quality food and drink.

But, if you're interested in classic cocktails and in the East Bay, aside from the classic Townhouse Bar & Grill, it is an Oasis of cocktail cool.

Edited by eje, 19 November 2007 - 05:31 PM.

---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#93 jsmeeker

jsmeeker
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,505 posts
  • Location:Dallas, TX

Posted 19 November 2007 - 04:18 PM

I'll be back in San Francisco in mid January. I would be nice to find a decent bar/lounge that's within a convenient walk of the Union Square/Moscone Convention center area.

Looks like most of the places mentioned so far here aren't in that area. However, I have been known to hoof to/from that area and places like the Ferry Building (someone mentioned Slanted Door, which I have been to for lunch) and Taddich Grill (been there a copule of times, including last year where I DID get a nice Manhattan while waiting for seat for dinner).

.
Just looking for a decent place where I can get a nice cocktail. It will most likely be a "spur of the moment" type of decision as to when I might want to go or have free time alone or with willing companions.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org


#94 eje

eje
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,359 posts
  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 19 November 2007 - 05:08 PM

Bourbon and Branch, Rye, and Cantina are all within walking distance of Union Square.

Cantina, at 580 Sutter, is particularly close, and I'm told, quite a lot of fun, though, sadly, I still need to get there in person.

Aside from Tadich, a couple other great classic places are Bix and the Pied Piper bar at the Palace Hotel.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#95 eje

eje
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,359 posts
  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 11 March 2008 - 11:00 AM

Just in case you're in the market for a drink, Philip Ward of New York's Death and Company is bartending at Alembic for a few days early this week.

He and Daniel Hyatt are making a number of drinks from the Death and Company menu, while Thomas Waugh is off in New York making Alembic drinks at Death and Company.

It is part of a bartender exchange program between Death and Company and other bars.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#96 mkayahara

mkayahara
  • participating member
  • 1,847 posts
  • Location:Guelph, Ontario

Posted 06 April 2008 - 04:54 PM

I'll be visiting San Francisco the first full week of May. Am I safe assuming Bourbon and Branch and Alembic are still two must-visits? Any others I can't miss?

I'd also appreciate any information on liquor stores to hit, if that won't take the thread too far off course. Thanks!
Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
@mtkayahara

#97 MsRamsey

MsRamsey
  • participating member
  • 1,287 posts
  • Location:San Francisco

Posted 06 April 2008 - 07:07 PM

I'll be visiting San Francisco the first full week of May. Am I safe assuming Bourbon and Branch and Alembic are still two must-visits? Any others I can't miss?

I'd also appreciate any information on liquor stores to hit, if that won't take the thread too far off course. Thanks!

View Post

My favorite liquor stores are Blackwell Wines & Spirits
http://www.blackwellswines.com/

-and-

Weimax in Burlingame.
http://www.weimax.com/marketing.htm

And not necessarily in that order. Weimax is definitely best wine and liquor store I've been to in the Bay Area. Both of those will be a haul--don't know how far you're willing to go or what you're looking for in particular.

Honorable mention for Plumpjack in Noe Valley.
http://www.plumpjack...oe.aspx?loc=noe

I'm sure others will have good ideas.
"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."
-- State Senator John Burton, joking about
how the bill to ban production of foie gras in
California was summarized for signing by
Gov. Schwarzenegger.

#98 Carolyn Tillie

Carolyn Tillie
  • participating member
  • 4,642 posts
  • Location:San Francisco and Napa

Posted 07 April 2008 - 01:01 AM

I'd also appreciate any information on liquor stores to hit, if that won't take the thread too far off course. Thanks!

View Post


D&M on Fillmore has an incomparable selection of Champagne and vintage Armagnacs.

#99 eje

eje
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,359 posts
  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 07 April 2008 - 09:23 AM

I'll be visiting San Francisco the first full week of May. Am I safe assuming Bourbon and Branch and Alembic are still two must-visits? Any others I can't miss?

I'd also appreciate any information on liquor stores to hit, if that won't take the thread too far off course. Thanks!

View Post

I do like Alembic.

I haven't been to B&B recently. Best advice is to get an early reservation, preferably M-R, and ask sit at the bar.

Other places to check out in B&B's neighborhood are Cantina and Rye.

Bar/Restaurants with worthy drink programs include:

Slanted Door
Beretta
NOPA
range
Absinthe
Coco500
Presidio Social Club

I would also be remiss not to mention Forbidden Island in Alameda, one of the West Coast's best Tiki Bars.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#100 jsmeeker

jsmeeker
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,505 posts
  • Location:Dallas, TX

Posted 07 April 2008 - 09:38 AM

I'll second the Slanted Door. Erik tipped me off to their excellent bar program earlier this. They do a remarkable job, especially considering it's a very popular high volume restaurant that's always packed.

If you find yourself down in or near the Ferry Building and get a hankering fora cocktail, stop by and have a drink or two.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org


#101 mkayahara

mkayahara
  • participating member
  • 1,847 posts
  • Location:Guelph, Ontario

Posted 07 April 2008 - 09:51 AM

Thanks to all for your replies so far. This will only be my second time in the Bay Area, so I'm a little fuzzy on geography. We won't have a car, but I'll look into your recommendations and see what's workable.

In terms of what I'm looking for from liquor stores, I'm mostly thinking of American whiskey (Bourbon and rye), since it's ridiculously overpriced here in Ontario.
Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
@mtkayahara

#102 comic4879

comic4879
  • participating member
  • 3 posts

Posted 19 April 2008 - 11:16 AM

That list didn't include The Orbit Room on Market Street, which is hands down one of my favorite places for a cocktail. That "little guy" behind the bar has a mean muddle and a big pour.Sure, Orbit has its quirks. I like it because it is not pretentious, the pricetag is lower than most San Francisco lounges and the cocktails are above and beyond extraordinary.

#103 eje

eje
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,359 posts
  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 19 April 2008 - 02:10 PM

I haven't had much luck at the Orbit Room the last couple times I've been there.

I do like that the cocktails are cheaper than the average and fairly generously portioned.

I have had good experiences there in the past.

But the last couple times the service has been painfully slow and the cocktails pretty mediocre.

Definitely not consistent enough for me to recommend it to out of town guests.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#104 Carolyn Tillie

Carolyn Tillie
  • participating member
  • 4,642 posts
  • Location:San Francisco and Napa

Posted 20 April 2008 - 01:41 AM

I had dinner at Cortez on Thursday and when I arrived, the bar scene was quite active and the two cocktails I ordered were amazing; "The Journalist" Distillery 209 gin, cointreau, red & white vermouth, lemon juice and bitters, and lemon twist and "The Bossa Nova" Rum, walnut liqueur, and bitters.

I would definitely return if only for the cocktails.

#105 ricain

ricain
  • participating member
  • 32 posts
  • Location:Shaker Heights, OH

Posted 20 April 2008 - 11:56 AM

I'll second the Slanted Door.  Erik tipped me off to their excellent bar program earlier this.  They do a remarkable job, especially considering it's a very popular high volume restaurant that's always packed.

If you find yourself down in or near the Ferry Building and get a hankering fora cocktail, stop by and have a drink or two.

View Post


I agree - as popular as it is, their bar is fantastic. They make their own ice cubes, sub zero, and the "Whiskey Cocktail" is incredible (Van Winkle bourbon, bitters and sugar on the rocks).

If you're in Berkeley, I also like Cesar, though I have not been for a few years.

#106 mkayahara

mkayahara
  • participating member
  • 1,847 posts
  • Location:Guelph, Ontario

Posted 13 May 2008 - 08:49 AM

I got back from San Francisco last night. While there, I had a chance to visit both Alembic and Beretta, both of which were thoroughly enjoyable.

At Alembic, I had an unnamed drink with M&R Bianco vermouth, Junipero gin, grapefruit bitters and Campari as well as the Vice Grip. Both were very nice, as was the Paloma my partner enjoyed. We also had some nibbles, including the lamb sliders, which were delicious.

Beretta blew me away, though. And it was packed on a Sunday night, so clearly they're doing something right. I had a Dolores Park Swizzle (Neisson rhum blanc, lime juice, maraschino, St. George absinthe and Peychaud's bitters) and a Lonsdale (gin, apple, lemon, basil, honey), and my partner had a Hemingway Daiquiri and an Airmail. All four drinks were fantastic, but the Dolores Park Swizzle was totally the standout. We raided the antipasto menu, enjoying the fava bean crostini, carciofi alla romana, Boccalone lonza, sardines in saor, eggplant caponatina and charred radicchio with saba. Nothing was a disappointment. What's more, the service was some of the best we had in the city. Can't wait to return!

Thanks to all for your suggestions!

Edited by mkayahara, 13 May 2008 - 10:33 AM.

Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
@mtkayahara

#107 Kohai

Kohai
  • participating member
  • 179 posts

Posted 23 February 2011 - 10:15 PM

OK... so, it's 2011 now, and in early March I'm headed to San Fran for the first time. I'm looking forward to doing some "research" at some of the cocktail bars around there. What's great? Some of the places described above sound fantastic but there's undoubtedly been new places since 2008.

Any recommendations - and fun restaurants, incidentally - would be greatly appreciated.
Pip Hanson | Marvel Bar

#108 johnder

johnder
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 1,340 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY

Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:26 AM

Here is ny short list:

Restaurants with an amazing bar program:

Beretta
Slanted Door
Nopa
Alembic
Bar Agricole
15 Romolo
Comstock Saloon
Prospect
Range
Fifth Floor

Bars where you can get a serious cocktail
Rickhouse
Smugglers Cove
Bourbon and Branch
Rye


And this is just one you should check out on a sunday morning.

Buena Vista for some of the best Irish Coffee
John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2
--
I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#109 Kohai

Kohai
  • participating member
  • 179 posts

Posted 27 February 2011 - 02:11 PM

Awesome, thanks for those suggestions. Very helpful - can't wait!
Pip Hanson | Marvel Bar

#110 Carolyn Tillie

Carolyn Tillie
  • participating member
  • 4,642 posts
  • Location:San Francisco and Napa

Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:23 PM

I would Aziza to the list of restaurants that have exceptional cocktails; their cachaca with cardamom and tarragon is a favorite. And a quick glance shows they have definitely added to theircocktail repertoire.

#111 Kohai

Kohai
  • participating member
  • 179 posts

Posted 03 March 2011 - 11:00 AM

Can anyone tell me the deal with Bourbon and Branch's password/reservation policy? I'd love to go this week but their online reservation system is singularly unhelpful. Any tips for getting in?
Pip Hanson | Marvel Bar

#112 vice

vice
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 901 posts
  • Location:rhode island

Posted 03 March 2011 - 12:19 PM

What problem are you having with the online system? When I needed to change a reservation, I didn't have a problem getting in touch with the hostess on the phone. I don't remember exactly when I called, but it was probably a bit before they open up.
Dave Viola, aka vice
Host, eG Forums
dviola@eGstaff.org

#113 eje

eje
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,359 posts
  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 03 March 2011 - 03:48 PM

Here is ny short list:

Restaurants with an amazing bar program:
...
Alembic
...


"ny short list"? Nice typo, John. I think this is the SF short list.

I would argue Alembic is a bar with an amazing restaurant program, but pataytoe, patahtoe...

Also, you forgot Heaven's Dog.

;-)

Edited by eje, 03 March 2011 - 03:51 PM.

---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#114 paigebrown

paigebrown
  • participating member
  • 7 posts

Posted 05 March 2011 - 01:38 PM

I love having cocktails in the city - my favorites are:
Beretta - its close to my home but consistently great cocktail, really good food and fair prices.
Heavens Dog/Slanted Door - Same owner, but Heavens Dog has more emphasis on cocktails and importantly is a lot easier to get a seat there than the insanely popular Slanted Door. Get Shanghai dumplings & a few cocktails and all is well..
Bar Agricole - great space, great cocktails.

If you want to get a little deeper in the mission, there's a new place, the Royal Cuckoo that makes a lovely manhattan. The play records and its a good mix.

I went a little further back in this thread and i'd also recommend Vesuvious/Specs in North Beach for a shot of Irish and a beer.

Have fun!

#115 Carolyn Tillie

Carolyn Tillie
  • participating member
  • 4,642 posts
  • Location:San Francisco and Napa

Posted 06 March 2011 - 11:07 AM

Heavens Dog/Slanted Door - Same owner, but Heavens Dog has more emphasis on cocktails and importantly is a lot easier to get a seat there than the insanely popular Slanted Door. Get Shanghai dumplings & a few cocktails and all is well..


I'm a dissenter Heaves Dog DOES have fabulous cocktails but singularly uninspiring food making it not worth the trip for me. Far too many great places for cocktails in this city with better eats! The Sidecar at Bix, for example, paired with the incomparable steak tartare...