What To Eat & Drink In San Francisco

The following are some casual eateries and bars that I enjoy the most when in San Francisco. It strikes me as more or less easy to find information on fine dining, but finding places like these takes a bit more dedication. Enjoy!

Denver Dining

Although the Denver fine dining is far short of world class, there are some amazing casual eats well worth trying. Beyond casual eats, Denver has a budding cocktail scene. My recommendations for all are below.

How to Find a Better Restaurant (Or My Collected Restaurant and Bar Guides)

I’ve been traveling fairly regularly to San Francisco for years. Yet, until recently, I’d mostly dread those trips. San Francisco is expensive, its people half kind and generous, half aggressively irritating and it’s food scene, pretentious, fickle, boring (or so I thought). As it turns out, and to my delight, there is some good food in…

The Violet Hour, Chicago

Whenever poetry is quoted out of context on a bar’s web site, it commonly isn’t an indication of better things to come. The quote to which I’m alluding, appearing in the “About” section of the The Violet Hour’s web site, is from section III, “The Fire Sermon,” of T.S. Eliot’s long poem, The Waste Land….

Gather, Chicago – Autumn 2013 Update

The following is a shortened update to my prior full review of Gather, from Summer 2013. I’m certain everyone will be happy to know that the group at Gather is still doing a fantastic job. My most recent meal from Chef Ken Carter gave a hint at what is coming for the fall. From what I gleaned from…

Earth + Ocean – Brunch Only, Mount Prospect

View my full, one-star review of E+O from autumn 2013. The suburbs of Chicago have historically been a food circus, an unfortunate joke that suburban residents reliably attempt to convince themselves and city-dwellers is at least vaguely comparable to Chicago-proper. The best of one’s hopes for good food in the suburbs are the same hopes…

Hopleaf, Chicago

Chicago has historically had two beer poles: Bucktown’s storied The Map Room and my neighborhood’s own Hopleaf. Although I’ve always loved both bars, my favorite of the two was Hopleaf. After all, Hopleaf has always served excellent Belgian bistro fare, accepts credit cards and has all the beer a brewhead could ask for. The Map…

Three Dots and a Dash, Chicago

The story of the tiki cocktail and tiki culture dates back quite a while (but probably not as far back as you may think). Its story is wrapped in history, America’s perception of the world and the evolution of that perception. As a result, this will be an unusual review of one such tiki bar,…

Gather, Chicago

Excellent “neighborhood restaurants” can often be difficult to first find and then to evaluate. Often the best way to learn of such places is through regular patrons who reside not far away. However, such folks can often see the establishment through a filter of feelings of kinship and solidarity with the staff and owners. Once…

Mott Street, Chicago

Our meal at Mott Street might be best characterized as a bit of a Pan-Asian street food feast from the folks that brought you Ruxbin. Our meal included nine courses, some of which were absolutely flawless from a technical perspective. Among the highlights were the pork jowl, marinated in garlic and chili oil, grilled and…

Found Kitchen – Quick Take, Evanston

Found, the new Evanston word-of-mouth darling, serves often delicious and well executed farm-to-table pub fare, elevated to the level of a fine cocktail menu. That said, cocktail execution was often mixed (no pun intended). Stick to the batched cocktails if you wish to avoid watery ice and glass-constructed high balls. Overall, there are better versions…