If the mustache is the measure of a bartender in San Francisco, then the mustache on Craig Lane is the one that every old-hand and newcomer has looked up to since he graced Bar Agricole with his dapper presence in 2010. Ok, maybe it's not so much the mustache, but rather, his near 20 years of cocktailing experience that's the real reason behind his behind-the-bar prowess...but we all know the mustache certainly doesn't hurt. In all sincerity, it's not the mustache or the experience that really separates him from the other distinguished talent in this city. Nor is it the impeccable quality of every drink that he pours - quality is clearly a given here. It's his personable persona, his depth of knowledge, and the way in which every move he makes shows the pride he has in his chosen profession. With many a mixologist in this city, Craig Lane is truly an industry all-star...Continue Reading
No matter how long you’ve lived in this area, if you call San Francisco “Home” then let’s just admit it: we’re really lucky. Anyone who shares my passion for food and feels a constant craving for culinary exploration (…I suddenly feel like a cross between Magellan and KD Lang…) is well aware of how lucky we are to be in such a gastro-centric city. Much like how amazing attractions like Alcatraz or Giants games get taken for granted because they're are so many amazing things to do here, it's easy to overlook just how lucky we are. It's rare to take a step back and think, "Whoa, buying goats milk butter for my day-to-day needs is not normal. That's pretty cool." For me, one of those wake-up calls came when I was introduced to the man I consider the finest sommelier I’ve ever known. His name is Yoon Ha, he works at Benu, and let me tell you my friends, he is one of the finest industry all-stars you’ll ever meet...Continue Reading
A good server has an attentive eye and a "customer is always right" attitude. A good server facilitates your meal, is there when you need him to be there, and otherwise leaves you alone so you can enjoy your dinner without much interruption. A great server goes further than this. A great server has an uncanny ability to read his tables and adapt to the vibe they're giving out. A great server understands when a table wants to be left alone, or when a table wants him to engage and liven up their meal. An exceptional server goes further than this. An exceptional server has a killer sense of humor - pushing the bounds of what's PC in the workplace, but never offensive. Because, again, an exceptional server can read his audience perfectly. Bobi Adle is an exceptional server...Continue Reading
For three years, my writing has been almost exclusively focused on food - literally taking the things I eat off of the plate, and changing them into words on paper. By doing so, I often don't bring enough attention to the hundreds of other facets of the food industry: the dining atmosphere, larger industry discussions a la Michael Pollan, emerging new trends, or the people who make it all possible.
As I was getting my daily morning coffee from Philz, it suddenly hit me: one of the most important reasons for why I keep going back to this place, or any place for that matter, is because of the happiness I feel whenever I interact with the people working at these establishments. It's part of what makes San Francisco feel like home; it's like Cheers - there's nothing better than getting a warm welcome from people who know you're name...and they're always glad you came. So right here and now, I'm starting a new series of posts that puts the spotlight on some of my favorite people in the San Francisco, and what makes them so damn awesome....Continue Reading