San Francisco: Dessert and Cocktails at Michael Mina
The three of us decided to sit at the beautiful bar. The cocktail list is straight-forward with about 7 cocktails. Considering it is a fine dining restaurant, I was not surprised by the emphasis on wine but rather how many great spirits dominated the back bar.
I started the party with a little whiskey. It never hurts to put together a classic brown, bitter, stirred cocktail. With a good rye base, modifier like Yellow Chartreuse and Gran Classico working as the bittering agent, this was a lovely cocktail. I later found out our bartender Eric had gone to Portland Cocktail Week and we reminisced about the amazing Multnomah Whiskey Library in Portland.
Lou Reed – Bulleit Rye, Gran Classico, Yellow Chartreuse
Drago Centro is one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles and I became good friends with many people there. Brittany, one lovely gal is now in San Francisco and I was very excited to see her working at Michael Mina. She surprised us with delicious desserts. She brought some of her favorites including this yuzu cream roll and pastry pop.
The balsamic glass was super cool. It’s balsamic that’s been dried out and then covered with chocolate. Very different and modern. Our dessert amuse bouche was also fun leading to questions what the little pops were. I figured it was fruit but modernist cooking is full of surprises sometimes. It was a cool little bite.
Eric asked what was next and I decided to stick to the stirred cocktails and Chartreuse vein. I asked for a Bijou though I almost went with a Martinez. It was perfectly executed.
Bijou – gin, sweet vermouth, Green Chartreuse
My friend ordered the date cake since dates are a favorite of hers. I was stuffed on all the other sweets but nabbed a bite of cake. It was very well done. Still moist and I appreciated the shaved green apple. It added a freshness to the dessert.
People often ask me why I like Drago Centro so much because it’s full of downtown suits and other corporate types. Being a writer and artist, you would think I would like only small, mom & pop joints but I like a range of things. There’s a certain elegance to that restaurant but it was the people who made it home for me. Although I hadn’t been to Michael Mina before, Brittany, my server turned friend made it home for me in San Francisco. If I lived in SF, I would consider this bar my home bar.
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