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Without Reservations

Crème de les crémants

› paulr@sfbg.com Among the many sobering statistics available to today's Americans, none are more jolting — at least to this American — than the numbers on consumption of sparkling wine vis-à-vis the French. They enjoy...

Fantasia: range

› paulr@sfbg.com If fantasies are about transcending limits, then it's no wonder the la Cornue range is the dream love of so many kitchen fantasists, yours truly among them. Here we have a line of...

The un-pork

› paulr@sfbg.com The imminence of a determined pork eater raises certain questions in the porkless kitchen. The largest of these is, Can pork be faked? Meat fakery has come a long way in the past...

Rice makes nice

> paulr@sfbg.com If revenge is a dish best served cold, then paella is a dish best served ... not in a restaurant. Yes, if it's good paella you seek, you are well advised to start...

El butterball

› paulr@sfbg.com Marin is not my favorite county — it is the police state, bristling with bored and predatory officers of the law, that must be traversed to reach the wine country...

Forget me not

› paulr@sfbg.com The server who performs from memory is either a virtuoso or a show-off — and more likely the latter, experience suggests, with muffs and miscues an almost certain result. On Saturday...

Counting tines

› paulr@sfbg.com Marion Nestle's hefty new book, What to Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices and Good Eating (North Point, $30), is on one level the successor to The Supermarket Epicure, Joanna...

The fine print

› paulr@sfbg.com "People will sleep better not knowing how their sausage and politics are made," Otto von Bismarck said — and he might have added wine to the list, though one...

The gadget diarist

› paulr@sfbg.com As a confirmed gadgeteer, I naturally feel a pang of genuine sorrow — and sometimes real inconvenience — when a kitchen gadget expires. Most such instruments...

Splitsville

Without Reservations › paulr@sfbg.com Split is a splendid little word, one of my favorites, at least when we are wandering through the joyous realm of sparkling wine. Who wouldn't want...

Tossing the salad

› paulr@sfbg.com During the long weeks of this un-spring, I have often found myself looking out into the rain-swept garden and thinking: salad. The reasons for this connection have to do, I...

A Twinkie defense?

› paulr@sfbg.com A question too seldom pondered in these parts might be put as follows: Do twinkies eat Twinkies? The latter, of course, is the iconic cream-filled cake from Hostess; the former, a term...

Cuvee organica

Organic wine is on the rise, and the French, no dopes as regards marketing, are on the case. A recent tasting of organic and biodynamic wines by the importer Louis/Dressner (at K and L...

Shooting a pig

A good deal of blood gets spilled in Michael Pollan's intelligently gory new book, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Penguin Press, $26.95), but amid the accounts of chickens' throats being...

Without Reservations

Down on the farm?