Tagged Under Luke Sykora

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Bellota (Restaurant/Bar/Retail Reviews)

Start at the grand bar in the middle of the dining room, and get there before 6 p.m. “At $3 a glass, their happy-hour Sherry deal is difficult to fathom,” says wine writer Bryce Wiatrak. Then move to a table for olive oil–poached Gulf prawns, 5J Jamón Ib...Read Full Story

Benu (Restaurant/Bar/Retail Reviews)

Corey Lee was the head chef at The French Laundry before he opened Benu in 2010; Yoon Ha, MS, came from La Toque in Napa Valley. Together they create mind-bending tasting menus, Lee’s Korean heritage inflecting the menu in ways that make the...Read Full Story

Birba (Restaurant/Bar/Retail Reviews)

“Any time the sun peeks out in SF, I like to grab a Sherry and boquerones on the patio,” says Barcino GM Michael Goss of Angie Valgiusti’s Hayes Valley wine bar. That patio, added last year, expands what used to be a love-it-or-leave-it compactness, and the...Read Full Story

Cadet (Restaurant/Bar/Retail Reviews)

The popularity of this downtown Napa spot from Colleen Fleming and Aubrey Bailey hinges on its flexibility: You can get fancy with St-Chamant Champagne, grab a can of Stiegel lager and a grilled cheese, or geek out with a comparison of rieslings from Napa’s Spring Mountain (Smith Madrone)...Read Full Story

Cala (Restaurant/Bar/Retail Reviews)

Tofino Wines proprietors April Sack and Mark Nevin count Cala as one of their favorite spots in the city. That’s partly because Mexico City–based chef Gabriela Cámara is constantly evolving her nuanced approach to Mexican flavors. But it’s also because the wine list...Read Full Story

Californios (Restaurant/Bar/Retail Reviews)

Between the jewel-like courses on chef Val Cantu’s Mexican-influenced tasting menu and the artful wine pairings from wine director Charlotte Randolph, Californios is luxurious, for sure, but it feels more intelligent than decadent. Cantu tends to elevate local ingredients rather than look far afield. For example,...Read Full Story

Chez Panisse (Restaurant/Bar/Retail Reviews)

A sizeable offsite cellar (plus the buying power Chez Panisse has earned over its decades as California’s culinary ambassador) allows longtime wine director Jonathan Waters to stock up on truly interesting wines and serve them when he feels they’re ready, whether that’s a little...Read Full Story

Foreign Cinema (Restaurant/Bar/Retail Reviews)

“It still has that magical ambiance,” says Mark Thompson, the Saison and Mourad vet who is in the process of launching his own wine-focused restaurant. The name references the classic films shown every night on a wall of the protected central patio, where abundant string...Read Full Story

Ridgetop Reserve (News & Features)

Back when that 1996 was made, she was still a teenager. And while the Hirsch Vineyard is now one of California’s most highly regarded pinot noir sites, it didn’t have much of a track record in the mid-1990s. Kendall-Jackson bought the fruit for a while, and the...Read Full Story

The New (Old) Gateway Syrah (News & Features)

When trying to explain why so many sommeliers adore syrah while so many casual wine drinkers remain gun-shy, many in the trade talk about its muddled identity—savory, trim and Old World, or bombastic critter wines and their ilk—and how it confused many wine drinkers. These days, wines...Read Full Story

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