Side Dish

Fire on the Mountain; Leeward; By Any Other Name; Beat Street

Fire on the Mountain
The wine community is still reeling from the devastating warehouse fire that turned 85,000 cases (that's 1,020,000 bottles) of Northern California's finest low-volume handcrafted wine into ashes. For those of you who haven't been paying attention, an accidental fire broke out on the 14th in the two-story, 40,000-square-foot, Frank-Rombauer Cellars storage facility. The fire was only discovered the next day, after it had burned through much of the second floor, which contained vintages stored there by about 30 different producers. The insurance claim is estimated at around $40 million, but no amount of cash can replace the fruit -- or the labor of love -- that went into those bottles. Gregory Graham said his 1999 viognier, which was awaiting release at the storeroom, was the best he'd ever produced. Brown, Spellitich, D-Cubed, T Vine, and Elyse are among the vineyards that will be in conspicuously low supply next year as a result of this conflagration. Harry promises to buy up anything you guys have left!

Leeward
Lapis, the Mediterranean blue dining room on the Embarcadero, has launched lunch service and monthly wine flights. The midday meal is offered Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the patisserie entrance serving coffee and treats from 6 to 11 a.m. Meanwhile, the grape juice quaffing is the first Tuesday of the month; July 11 will feature wines of Spain and Portugal. Carla Kilgore is the wine director and acting mistress of ceremonies. Lapis has also wooed manager Laura Potts away from mc2 to head up its front-of-the-house staff, just in time for the July 14 Democratic Nat'l Committee fund-raiser at the restaurant, which is sure to include some of the top-ranking politicians in the country.

By Any Other Name
The latest issue of Food and Wine features the 2000 Restaurant Poll, and, as usual, San Francisco figures prominently in the results. Best Restaurant: Boulevard. Best Buzz: Fifth Floor. Best Sommelier: Larry Stone at Rubicon. Best Chef's Hangout: Globe (though if they'd asked me, I would have had to say it's actually downstairs at Danko, next to the chef's personal pony keg of Sierra Nevada Pale). The hard-hitting glossy also reports that Asian fusion is out out out,while "Inventive Asian" is in in in.

Beat Street
Is Laurel Village the new gourmet ghetto? With A.G. Ferrari opening a shop just up the street from Bryan's Meats, Peet's, and Judith Ets-Hokin's Homechef Kitchen Store, it looks like there's more than Kate Spade bags and button-down shirts to be had in this 'hood.

 
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