Eat and Drink

By The Mercury News | Food and libations features from The Mercury News staff and columnists.

Quick Cook: DIY that favorite Chinese takeout dish

Mapo tofu — minced meat and silky tofu bathed in chile sauce — is our all-time favorite Chinese takeout dish. Yours, too?<p>This simple DIY version …

Recipes

7 fab holiday gifts for wine lovers, cocktail mavens

Whether you’ve got a wine lover or a cocktail maven on your gift list, we’ve got you covered with seven sensational gift ideas to make your holiday …

Napa Valley

6 gifts foodies are craving this year

Holiday shopping can be an exhausting affair. The multitudes of Santa-seeking tots! The preponderance of Santas! The parking nightmares! Not to …

Restaurants

Bay Area wine, spirits and beer events: Nov. 19 and beyond

<b>Holidays in Yountville:</b> Stroll through this cozy wine country town, illuminated in thousands of twinkling holiday lights, as you explore shops, …

Sonoma County

Holiday Recipe: Autumn Salad of Arugula, Persimmon and Spicy Pecans

As the clocks change and the weather cools, I get excited about Thanksgiving with my San Francisco family — and always I like to bring something that …

Recipes

Oakland’s Boccalone holding salami swan song on Sunday

Boccalone, an East Bay maker of “tasty salted pig parts,” will hold its final salumi sale this Sunday, Nov. 19.<p>Citing slow sales, the company …

Salami

A 160-proof vodka-infused turkey??

Stroll the aisles of any BevMo and you’ll see infused vodkas of every kind, from lemon to bacon, marshmallow and birthday cake. But New York City …

Recipes

Nooooo, not another Starbucks holiday cup controversy

Like the Pumpkin Spice Latte, the annual Starbucks holiday cup controversy arrives earlier every year.<p>The 2017 Tempest in a Venti Cup comes courtesy …

Coffee

Best Bay Area burger? The winner is…

Campbell’s Brown Chicken Brown Cow and Super Duper, which has locations in Los Gatos, Santa Clara and San Francisco.<p>Yes, we’re calling a tie.<p>Brown …

San Francisco

The first Dungeness crabs are in, and they’re meaty

Between rainstorms, commercial Bay Area fishermen are heading out with crab pots to snag the 2017-18 season’s first Dungeness crabs — a coveted dish …

California

It’s Beaujolais Nouveau Day: Where to drink this fun, fruity wine

The first wines of the season will be cracked open today, Nov. 16, and Bay Area Francophiles plan to celebrate the fruity Beaujolais Nouveau along …

France

Review: Star chef reimagines modern Indian cuisine, cocktails in swank new SF Rooh

San Francisco is in the midst of an Indian culinary renaissance, where chefs are fusing the exotic flavors of India with modern cooking techniques …

Restaurants

Winemaker Warren Winiarski to be inducted in California Hall of Fame

On Dec. 5, Napa Valley vintner Warren Winiarski will be inducted into the California Hall of Fame along with filmmaker Steven Spielberg, bioscientist …

Wine

Dungeness crab: 5 mouth-watering recipes, from cakes to bisque

The Dungeness crab are back, and as the 2017 season gets underway, we have a handful of scrumptious recipes that from crab cakes to bisque to cobbler.<p>…

Seafood

Dungeness crab 2017: Where to buy, eat in the Bay Area

It’s time to get cracking. California’s eagerly awaited Dungeness crab season is here.<p>Here’s an alphabetical roundup of restaurants, grocery seafood …

San Francisco

After a string of tough years, Dungeness crab season opens

HALF MOON BAY — Only hours away from the official opening of Dungeness crab season, men and their boats swarmed around Johnson Pier on Tuesday …

Fishing

Ayesha Curry’s Thanksgiving dinner advice will save you hours

Celebrity chef-restaurateur Ayesha Curry has one very important piece of advice to impart to those of you who spend hours and hours in the kitchen on …

Thanksgiving

Vote now: Best Bay Area burger? It’s down to the Top 2

Wow, just wow. We started this bracket-style Bay Area burger showdown because we figured readers would want to weigh in on a common and heated debate …

San Francisco

HOM Korean Kitchen expands to Redwood City

After two successful years in downtown San Jose, HOM Korean Kitchen has branched out to the Peninsula.<p>Owner-chef Konan Pi’s second site is in another …

San Mateo County

New brews and beer news from Lagunitas, 21st Amendment and more

The holidays are upon us — and seasonal beers have begun appearing on store shelves. Here’s what’s new in Northern California’s beer world.<p><b>New brews:</b> …

Craft Brewing

LYFE Kitchen closes abruptly in Cupertino

LYFE Kitchen, the healthy eating concept first inspired by celebrity chef Art Smith, has abruptly shut down in Cupertino after 20 months in …

Restaurants

Taste-Off: The best enchilada sauces — and the muckiest of the lot

Great filling, perfectly fried tortillas and top-notch cheese may be key ingredients in an enchilada. But they take a back seat to the real star: the …

Mexican Food

Thanksgiving: A sublime (and ridiculously easy) butternut squash soup

I love this time of year for all the yummy fall vegetables. Butternut squash is a favorite — as is this soup. I often serve it in individual “soup …

Recipes

5 fantastic Thanksgiving desserts — not a pumpkin pie in the bunch

Whether you’re pastry-phobic or specifically pumpkin-pie averse, we’ve got you covered with five spectacular Thanksgiving dessert ideas. Every one of …

Dessert

A gorgeous Thanksgiving pie — no rolling pin required

If you’ve been assigned Thanksgiving pie duty, fear not. Erin McDowell’s gorgeous fruit-topped Vanilla Mascarpone Cream Pie requires no rolling pin …

Baking

Bay Area wine, spirits and beer events: Nov. 12 and beyond

<b>Wine Country support:</b> Livermore Valley’s winemaking and hospitality industry is hosting events to support those affected by the recent Wine Country …

California Wine

Thanksgiving-to-go: Bay Area holiday takeout guide

For some, it’s not the contentious conversations around the holiday dinner table that cause stress. It’s the actual table — and all the work involved …

Thanksgiving

7 Perfect non-traditional Thanksgiving wine pairings

Forget the usual chardonnay and pinot noir. A non-traditional Thanksgiving menu —whether it involves Cajun fried turkey, prime rib or creamed kale …

Thanksgiving

Ketones: Secret weapons in fitness and the fight against fat?

If you’ve been hearing all the chatter about the latest health and fitness fad, you may well be wondering what all the fuss is about ketones. From …

Weight Loss