{San Francisco}: Eat Drink SF 2017


photo courtesy of Gamma Nine

Eat Drink SF 2017,  the ultimate celebration of Bay Area food, wine, and spirits, is my favorite way to close out summer. Over 130 Bay Area restaurants, along with over 70 bars, wineries, and distilleries served up a feast of bites at Fort Mason for four days of tasting sessions, demonstrations, classes, and competitions.

Eat Drink SF is organized by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association. Many thanks to them and Magnum PR for inviting me to attend the Sunday Grand Tasting! Last year I went to one of the afternoon tasting sessions; this year I went to the evening session, which made for a splendid night out for me and the husband. If you attend Eat Drink SF next year, I highly recommend going to one of the evening sessions – the festivities take on a special ambience as the lights come on with the sun setting over the bay in the background. Hope you enjoy the following selection of highlights and my favorites from the evening!


Rillettes from The Douglas Room, the perfect starter for the evening.


Moving on to these cute salami cones from Columbus Craft Meats.


Super rich and unctuous braised pork shoulder and polenta from Dobbs Ferry.


Corn and crescenza soup from flour+water, with Oaxacan green cornbread and shishito peppers. Just the right amount of spice in one of my favorite dishes of the evening.


So happy that I snagged one of The Bird ‘s signature fried chicken sandwiches before the line got ridiculously long.


I loved the originality of the desserts at the tasting. Above is Causwell’s housemade ricotta with stone fruit, perfect harbinger of fall.


My favorite drink from the tasting: Lillet ‘s super refreshing spritz made with Lillet Blanc and tonic water, cucumber, mint, and strawberry. I could have had this all night.


Most unusual dessert: the Black Vanilla ice cream made with coconut activated charcoal powder and Papua New Guinea vanilla from Frozen Kuhsterd.


View from the VIP lounge. This luxe oasis in the back of the hall boasts additional dishes and drinks, a lounge area to relax, and an elevated view above the revelry.


So good: the Kona kampachi with puffed sorghum and plum from Michael Mina made me go back for seconds.


Pairing of the evening: Don Julio ‘s 1942 tequila and Valrhona Illanka 63% chocolate. The 1942 is aged for two and half years, and is the smoothest tequila I’ve ever had, with some lovely butterscotch and vanilla notes that make it ideal with the Valrhona. The two are definitely even better together.


In the back of the VIP lounge, Black Bark BBQ served up their famous brisket taco-style.


Besides the stellar drinks, the prime sushi is one of the best parts of the VIP lounge. This salmon tartare from Ichi Sushi was another memorable winner.


I love a good rose: Chateau d’Esclans‘ Rock Angel Wine has enough crisp minerality to be refreshing and a surprising earthiness to ground it.


The most creative dessert of the evening: Kollar Chocolates‘ remarkable chocolate sushi. Cubes of chocolate ganache and pate de fruit rolled up in puffed rice, covered with togarashi spice and sesame seeds. Beautiful and wonderfully addictive.


Finally, the view out to the bay from the upper lounge area, another perk for the VIPs. There is perhaps no experience more quintessentially San Francisco than enjoying some dishes from the city’s best restaurants against a sunset view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Congratulations to Eat Drink SF on another fantastic year; if you haven’t gone yet, don’t miss it next year!


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