Living on the edge

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“He’s played us. Don’t you think he’s played us beautifully?” The setting was a Paris apartment. The “us” referred to a small gathering of folks who, mostly, work in or around the alcohol and media worlds. And the “he” of …

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The stars, like dust

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While the world’s culinary landscape flows swiftly on to unknown horizons, the lords of French cuisine laze enthroned in their mountaintop fortresses, trapped by tradition and (at times) arrogance, kings of only that which their ancestors surveyed. At least, that’s …

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Clothes do not make the woman

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We lip-serve the idea that the moment of preconception is important. Dangerous from one perspective, necessary constancy from another. But from neither do we reject it outright. How could we? Our ability to navigate through life’s encounters is almost entirely …

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Pasta the mission

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Cowgirl Creamery Sidekick – Grilled cheese is nice. Perbacco – A restaurant that feels a lot more mass-market and corporate than the food it serves, Perbacco is located where few would think quality Italian food would be on offer. And to …

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The Saison of the wretch

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Saison – Some relationships go wrong from the start. Others fall apart over time. In either case, the reasons are usually clear to all involved parties. But there’s a third sort of devolvement: a collapse that comes out of the …

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Nopa, no gain

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nopa – Operating this evening (and, one suspects, most evenings) as a high-pitched zoo, which is a testament to its popularity. A popularity not in the least unwarranted, given the quality of what I eat. The wine list is good, …

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Camino royale

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Camino – It did not used to be the case that one left San Francisco for Oakland to dine, except in search of non-Western European cuisines that had been priced out of SF. There were a few good options, nice …

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Tartine wolf

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Bar Tartine – When I lived in Boston, I often complained about the dining scene (or more precisely, the eating scene). “But…don’t,” confused interlocutors would object, “we have great ingredients and talented chefs?” Unquestionably yes to the first, especially piscatorial, …

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The Cagliari of the wild

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La Ciccia – The relationship between hype and execution is frequently one marked indifference, seething resentment, and serial infidelity. And it’s thoroughly individualized; there exists no devotional object for which there is not proportional loathing. Still, it is very, very …

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Commitment

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In-n-Out Burger – I know, I know. It goes against everything I believe about ingredient sourcing. Sometimes, I’m weak. And sometimes, I’m driving from Ballard to San Francisco on a tight schedule and the need for faster food enables my …

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