Austin-based upholstering business Spruce is a longtime favorite of mine. With its staff of smart women artisans and its amazing selection of reupholstered vintage furniture, it's one of my favorite online stops. Spruce recently teamed up with artist, designer, and illustrator Leah Duncan, and will be carrying Duncan's wares through its storefront shop and online store. As Spruce noted on its blog, "She has such an appealing and singular style, yet so accessible and current. What’s not to love?" If you aren't familiar with Duncan's work yet, take a look. You're in for a treat!
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to a special dinner hosted by my favorite gin, Plymouth, to celebrate St. George's Day. As seen on last week's Top Chef Masters, the food was paired, course by course, with cocktails. I was excited for the chance to experience this growing trend firsthand, and I wasn't disappointed.
Mixologist Brandon Clements and chef Mark Sullivan from Spruce collaborated and created an exquisite menu that not only highlighted the nuanced flavors of the gin, but also the local ingredients of the season. The first dish was paired with the cocktail shown here, the Violet Beauregarde. With its beautiful garnish, light floral undertones, and refreshing lemon quality, it was a very memorable cocktail.
To see what it was paired with, browse my photos of the dinner after the break.
- Tyler Florence is set to open three Bay Area restaurants.
- Tyler Florence is set to open three Bay Area restaurants. — San Francisco Chronicle
- A buzzkill guide to sustainable seafood. — Huffington Post Food
- How to eat an artichoke. — Chow
- Simple remedies for an upset stomach. — The Epi-Log
- San Franciscans: check out Spruce's sister restaurant in Park City. — Grub Street SF
- Is Gail Simmons the best reality TV show judge? — Feast
- Learn the proper technique for sharpening knives. — Serious Eats
- Has the winner of Top Chef Masters been revealed again? Warning: spoiler alert! — Time Out New York
- Eight ideas for Martha Stewart video games.— Eater
At Spruce, an upscale bar and restaurant in San Francisco, I came across the papa doblé daiquiri on the bar menu and knew I had to order it. I love this drink for several reasons, and one of them is the legendary story behind it. The papa doblé was the signature drink of prolific writer Ernest Hemingway. Back in the '30s and '40s, he frequently ordered it at the El Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba. The cocktail isn't cloying — in fact, it isn't sweet at all — but it's smooth and easy to drink. Beware of impostor recipes, which will use cherry syrup in lieu of true, colorless, maraschino cherry liqueur. To learn how to make this famous concoction, read more