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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Restaurant Dispatch

Just in Time to Collect a Michelin Star, State Bird Provisions Reopens

State Bird Provision's new oyster bar.

San Francisco’s 2014 Michelin Guide ratings are in, and the single newly-starred restaurant is Best New Chef All-Star Stuart Brioza & Nicole Krasinski’s State Bird Provisions. The much-adored restaurant, which serves inventive small plates from roving dim sum carts, reopened just this weekend after 9-month remodel that expanded seating, refined the décor and added a stand-up oyster bar. “This is the more evolved, totally realized version,” Brioza says of the revamp, a collaboration with designer Wylie Price. One of Brioza's favorite details is a sleek, art-deco front door with a massive chrome handle salvaged from the space next door, where he and Krasinkski are planning to build an ambitious, multi-level restaurant called The Progress.

Related: San Francisco Travel Guide
Best New Chef All-Stars 2013
San Francisco Restaurants

F&W Drinks

Editor Picks: Bloody Mary Masterpieces and Blue Bottle Coffee

Bloody Mary Heaven

Coffee, wine, beer, cocktails—if it’s made well and it’s potable, then F&W editors will drink it. Here's what we tried this past week.

Geometric Drinking: Restaurant editor Kate Krader doesn’t have her whiskey on just any rock. At Piora in New York, she drank it on a 50-sided, hand-carved, crystal clear ice cube.

Expert Wine Tasting: At the New York City Wine & Food Festival, deputy editor Kate Heddings took in the beauty of a wine-filled room before introducing an amazing tasting seminar with chef Barbara Lynch and wine writer Anthony Giglio.

Bloody Mary Bonanza: Associate multimedia editor James Pomerantz lived a brunch-lovers dream at the NYCWFF’s Best Bloody Mary Brunch where he tasted a multitude of beautiful Bloody Mary variations garnished with everything from asparagus to raspberries to shrimp.

Quality Coffee: Digital features editor Alex Vallis sipped on Blue Bottle Coffee from a tattooed barista at the preview party for NYC’s new Gotham West Market.

Vodka Martini: At Grey Goose’s pop-up Boulangerie, I, assistant digital editor Justine Sterling, agreed to forgo my usual gin martini and tried a vodka version made with a splash of vermouth, bergamot bitters, orange bitters and Sicilian olives.

Related: Whiskey Cocktails
Bloody Mary Recipes
Delicious Martinis

The Usual

Michael Cimarusti’s IPA Addiction

Ballast Point IPA

After a night on the line, most chefs have a go-to drink, from cheap beer to a house bartender's expert cocktail. Here, chef Michael Cimarusti of Providence restaurant in Los Angeles explains why beer doesn’t get better than a California IPA.

Chef Michael Cimarusti loves IPAs. “Rarely do I try one I don’t like,” he says. “It’s so quenching, yet the bitterness keeps you thirsty, it keeps your palate awake and alive. Russian River’s Pliny the Elder is the benchmark by which most others are judged. Their Pliny the Younger is the holy grail of California IPAs, since it’s so hard to find. But I also love Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point, Wipeout and Mongo both from Port Brewing Company, Racer 5 from Bear Republic, and Stone Brewing Company’s Cali-Belgique. There are too many to choose from.”

Related: Beer is Going Highbrow
Beer Tasting Workout
Bold Beers in the Land of Barolo

Tasting Room

Don't Go Breaking My Heart: Under-$15 Pinot Noir

Gnarly Head Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is often referred to as the “heartbreak grape.” Ostensibly, this is because it is difficult to grow, thin-skinned, finicky, prone to disease, likes to get into pointless arguments with you in restaurants and other public places, and always returns your calls when it knows you aren't there. However, that is untrue. Pinot Noir should be called the heartbreak grape because trying to find worthwhile Pinot under $15 is an exercise in one’s dewy-eyed expectations being run over by the Greyhound bus of reality. Put another way, if Match.com were about hooking you up with drinkable, inexpensive Pinot, it would have been out of business eons ago.

However, you keep looking, and once in a while you get lucky. Here, without further delay—lest despair get the better of you, and you give up and switch to, you know, Merlot or something. Read more >

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Cheap Wine Challenge

A California Wine with Rhône-Inspired Finesse

Hope Family Wines Troublemaker Blend 6

Here, wine experts reveal their favorite bottles costing less than $17. Many of the selections are lesser known but absolutely worth the search. Read more >

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world’s most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.