“Seven Layers of Heaven” pork belly – Anson Restaurant

"Seven Layers of Heaven" pork belly - Anson Restaurant
Spicy BBQ glaze, house ground grits, fried field peas, brussels sprouts leaves, maple jus. $12
Anson Restaurant, Charleston SC

Omg, this was SO frickin’ good! Not only was it plated beautifully, the pork belly and all the components were super delicious! One of the best appetizers I’ve had in a while! Noms!

The Willow Salon mural, Liberty Street
The Willow Salon mural, Liberty Street. This cute mural is on the side of the building. You don’t come across many random murals in Charleston so I’m glad that The Willow Salon has this one.

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Cocktails – Anson Restaurant

Manhattan Project cocktail - Anson Restaurant

Manhattan Project – Bulleit rye whiskey, maraschino liquer, bitters. $12

Charleston Punch cocktail - Anson Restaurant

Charleston Punch – Myers rum, grand marnier, orange juice. $11
Anson Restaurant, Charleston SC

Love the bartenders at Anson. They’re super friendly and their drinks are always neatly made and delicious. The Manhattan Project is killer and the Charleston Punch is sweet and refreshing.

Pineapple Fountain, Charleston Waterfront Park

Pineapple Fountain at the Charleston Waterfront Park. The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality in the low country. Perhaps it’s the botanist in me, but this fountain is one of my favorites among the MANY fountains I’ve seen in my lifetime. It’s not overly large, but it’s elegant, dramatic, and beautiful!

The Laphroaig Project cocktail – Rickhouse

The Laphroaig Project Rickhouse

Green and yellow chartreuse, Luxardo maraschino, Laphroaig Quarter Cask whiskey, fresh lemon juice and peach bitters. $10
Rickhouse, San Francisco

“A tropical and light cocktail featuring a peaty single-malt? Balderdash, you say? We insist that you reserve judgment before you arrive to such hasty conclusions, good sir. Lest you tragically deny yourself that rare and elusive pleasure that is both delightfully intellectual and wickedly visceral. Godspeed!”

Rickhouse uses large ice cubes – love that! This drink was absolutely delicious and true to it’s menu description, tropical and light. Noms! I had some preconceived notions about Rickhouse before I went. I figured that since it was a nicer bar in the middle of the Financial District, that it would be full of douche-y guys drinking early to avoid their lame corporate jobs. Not true! The place is tastefully decorated inside and the bartender was super friendly and inviting. The guys sitting at the bar were chill and at least didn’t give off much of a douche-y vibe. I’d go back and try more of their intricate cocktails. The bartenders must be good to execute such involved recipes.

The Laphroaig Project Rickhouse

Did I mention I love large ice cubes?! Hehe.

The Laphroaig Project Rickhouse

All gone!!!

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2011

Yummy "dim" dinner – Range

We had an absolutely wonderful dinner at Range on Valencia Street in the Mission. The restaurant is dimly lit so I wasn’t able to take any good food pics, but I thought I’d post these anyway for posterity, hehe. We also had the creamed nettles with a poached farm egg for an appetizer, but that pic didn’t come out at all.  Enjoy!
Range, San Francisco

Pink Panther cocktail Range

Pink Panther cocktail – Tito’s vodka, pomegranate, tawny port, black pepper, lemon.
Yummy yummy cocktail and I loved the soft pink color!

Smoking Gun cocktail Range

Smoking Gun cocktail – Bulleit bourbon, maraschino, Dolin sweet vermouth, scotch rinse.
I didn’t like this cocktail as much.  I think the scotch rinse was too much for me.

Pan roasted bavette steak Range

Pan roasted bavette steak with horseradish, barley, brussels sprouts, shiitake mushrooms and baby turnips. $28
Yum!  I’m not a huge horseradish fan, but these were mild and tasted great with the perfectly cooked steak.  The brussels sprouts were yummy and the baby turnips were so frickin’ cute!

Coffee rubbed pork shoulder Range

Coffee rubbed pork shoulder with creamy hominy and braised greens. $25
Omg!  I’m hungry just recalling this dish!  The pork was so tender and juicy and the coffee rub gave it a great flavor.  The sauce was to die for and tasted SO good with the hominy and greens.  A definite winner dish!

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2010, 2011, 2014

Cocktails – Beretta

Nuestra Paloma Beretta

Nuestra Paloma – tequila, elderflower, cointreau, grapefruit, bitters. $10

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2010

Dolores Park Swizzle Beretta

Dolores Park Swizzle – rhum, lime, maraschino, absinthe, bitters, garnished with mint. $9

Airmail Beretta

Airmail – rum, honey, lime, prosecco. $9
Beretta, San Francisco

If I had to rank these 3 cocktails from best to OK, I would say Nuestra Paloma, Airmail, then Dolores Park Swizzle.  The Nuestra Paloma had a great, distinct flavor combination.  I personally love tequila, and the addition of the other ingredients made for a wonderfully bright (and strong) drink.  The Airmail was good and very drinkable.  It didn’t taste particularly special though.  I didn’t enjoy the flavors int he Dolores Park Swizzle.  The cocktail was beautiful, but there was something in it that turned me off.  Perhpas it was the addition of absinthe.  I must say that I’m always impressed by the bartenders at Beretta for their cocktail making abilities, and almost all of their speciality cocktails are DELICIOUS!  During my last visit, though, our first drinks didn’t arrive at our table until our second dish was out.  Now that’s kind of inexcusable – sorry!

Cocktails – Bar Agricole

Brown Derby Bar Agricole
Brown Derby: bourbon, grapefruit, lemon, honey and bitters.  $10

Tequila Cocktail Bar Agricole
Tequila Cocktail: tequila, sweet vermouth, stonefruit bitters and orange.  $10

Brandy Scaffa Bar Agricole
Brandy Scaffa: brandy, maraschino, raspberry, chartreuse bitters.  $10
Bar Agricole, San Francisco

These signature cocktails were absolutely delicious, although on the small side.  So at $10 a pop, these are definitely drinks to sip and savor.  I love the large (hand cut?) ice cube in the Tequila Cocktail.  These always increase the classy factor.  In order of taste preference, I would re-order the Brown Derby, Tequila Cocktail, then the Brandy Scaffa.  The Brown Derby wasn’t too heavy tasting and you could taste the citrus and honey flavors.  The Tequila Cocktail went down really easy – danger, danger!  The Brandy Scaffa was a little too dark and heavy tasting for me.  Bar Agricole has a nice, long list of house cocktails so there’s something for everyone.  Yes please!

Signature cocktails – ANZU

Sweet Heat ANZU
Sweet Heat – Don Julio Silve Tequila, Grand Marnier, Nevan Liquer, agave nectar, kiwi, jalapeno, fresh lime juice.

Bulleit Manhattan ANZU
Bulleit Manhattan – Bulleit Bourbon, sweet vermouth, dash of bitters and amarena cherries.

Nikko Royal ANZU
Nikko Royal – Crown Royal Black, Luzardo Maraschino Liquer, Harlem, bitters and amarena cherries.
ANZU, San Francisco