Quality Cocktails & Seriously Delicious Smokey Bar Food at The European in Union Square

*Editor’s Note 1/30/15: This bar used to have a food menu, but now serves only cocktails

This is San Francisco’s hot new opening. Near Union Square, at the Warwick Hotel, on the cusp of the truly sketchy Tenderloin neighborhood, famed and well-loved Top Chef contestant Casey Thompson has opened a gourmet restaurant named Aveline and an accompanying cocktail bar called The European.

I happened to be staying in a hotel in the neighborhood and stopped by on the opening Friday night. When I arrived at around 9:15 PM it was still a relatively quiet and empty bar, but it wasn’t long before it filled out with the who’s who of the San Francisco dining scene. I was able to secure myself a seat at the truly sexy bar and ordered myself a cocktail while I looked over the bar menu.

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New Restaurant Union Bar & Kitchen is Just What West SoHo Needed
New Restaurant Union Bar & Kitchen is Just What West SoHo Needed

New Restaurant Union Bar & Kitchen is Just What West SoHo Needed

I love new restaurant openings. There’s always this energy in the air, an excitement, the mystery of what the gut gamble might uncover. That’s why I was so excited to be invited to the soft launch of Union Bar & Kitchen in West SoHo.

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Real Roberta’s Brooklyn-Style Pizza, Cocktails, and More at Oak & Rye in Los Gatos
Real Roberta’s Brooklyn-Style Pizza & Cocktails at Oak & Rye in Los Gatos

Real Roberta’s Brooklyn-Style Pizza, Cocktails, and More at Oak & Rye in Los Gatos

Who’d a thought? A slice of Brooklyn right in the heart of Los Gatos, California. I’m not sure how it happened, but an alumni chef from the famed Roberta’s in Brooklyn relocated out to Silicon Valley and is making pizzas and pastas that live up to the Roberta’s name.

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How I Almost Missed Out On an Awesome Burger at Burger & Barrel
How I Almost Missed Out On an Awesome Burger at Burger & Barrel

How I Almost Missed Out On an Awesome Burger at Burger & Barrel

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Let me tell you a story about how one awful waitress nearly ruined a great restaurant for me. On a random, spur of the moment Saturday evening, Amy and I decided we wanted to go out for date night dinner and drinks.

We had each heard nice things about Burger & Barrel and were particularly excited to try Josh Capon’s food because we frequently watch him on TV fixing awful kitchens on Bar Rescue. I also had heard that a few months back at this year’s NYCWFF Burger Bash, Josh’s burger was voted the best in the city. For all of these reasons, Amy and I were excited to experience Burger & Barrel for ourselves.

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Upscale Cocktails & Small Plates at the Greenwich Project in NYC
Greenwich Project Review

Upscale Cocktails & Small Plates at the Greenwich Project in NYC

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Let’s talk about the weird strip of 8th Street between 6th Ave and Broadway. It’s pretty easy to access but still doesn’t get the same kind of foot traffic as other areas in the Village like St. Marks and MacDougal. It’s been in a constant state of transition over the past few years and is really turning into a formidable restaurant row. There’s a variety of bars, cafes, massage parlors, health food shops, and upscale date-night spots that run the four block span.

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