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San Francisco’s Haute Cuisine Dishes Out Meat, Donuts and an Alchemy of Spirits

When it comes to wining and dining, the most important weapons of choice this season are a spoon, a sharp steak knife and barware for distilled concoctions.

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When it comes to wining and dining, the most important weapons of choice this season are a spoon, a sharp steak knife and barware for distilled concoctions.

Carnivores are Back in Fashion

Meat is popular again. In San Francisco butchers are paying attention to how humanely the animals are treated. This focus has led to specialization in cured meats in restaurants, especially salumi.

At the Ferry Building, the culinary Mecca in San Francisco, Boccalone (Embarcadero) has opened a shop specializing in salumi, with attention to using all the parts of the animal. Its mortadela is an airy blend of pork, pine nuts, chili and cinnamon (although the exact recipe is a family secret).

Other San Francisco restaurants making salumi include:

The Donut – Dressed Up Twists on Old Favorites

Leave it to San Francisco to dress a dessert for a special occasion. In the City by the Bay, donuts are the new “it” treat.

Sometimes called beignets, fritters, churros or cruellers, many tony San Francisco restaurants are serving them with rich, gooey sauces of chocolate, bourbon or dolce de leche.

San Francisco restaurants serving haute doughnuts include:

San Francisco Celebrity Mixologists

A cocktail is just a cocktail unless it’s in the hands of creative mixologists who use spirits, fruit, herbs, and sugar as pure alchemy. The refreshing results have made many mixologists celebrities in San Francisco, many whom have their own following.

Some of San Francisco’s celebrated mixologists include:

Carlos Yturria, Absinthe (South of Market) — Carlos Yturria, Absinthe Brasserie & Bar (Hayes Valley) — http://www.absinthe.com/index.php Creative Selection: Sacred Heart (La Pinta Pomegranate—Infused Tequila, Absinthe, Limoncello, and a splash of lemon—lime juice).

Lisel Brunson, Amber India Restaurant (South of Market) – www.amber—india.com Creative selection: Fire & Ice 12 (Ketel One Vodka infused with roasted cumin and rimmed with house spice).

Thane Khulman, BAR 888 at the InterContinental San Francisco (South of Market) www.grappabar888.com Creative selection: Mojitos made with an extensive collection of Grappa

Ryan Fitzgerald, Beretta (Mission District) — www.berettasf.com Creative selection: Dolores Park Swizzle (rum, lime, maraschino, absinthe, bitters)

Bryan Ranere, Foreign Cinema and Bar Laszlo (Mission District) — www.foreigncinema.com Creative selection: Little Sputnick (Gosling’s Black Rum floated over a tall glass of spicy ginger beer served with lime)

Michelle Fawcett, Kuleto’s (Union Square) — www.kuletos.com Creative selection: Organic Lavender Daiquiri (Papagayo Organic Rum mixed with Organic Lavender Cello, organic Agave Nectar and organic lime juice)

Brandon Clements, Spruce (Pacific Heights) — www.sprucesf.com Creative selection: Lady Marmalade (brandy, Qui White Tea liqueur, orange marmalade, lemon and orange)

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