Archive for April, 2006

Happy Hour Bernal Heights

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Happy Hour @ Sauce

Originally uploaded by Monatopia.

Last week, we hit Hotel Biron for a couple glasses of wine before heading up to Sauce to eat Way Too Much. Hotel Biron was packed because of Happy Hour, but we scored a big comfy couch in which to sink while we drank our way around the world. I would definitely go back for the great wine selection, but maybe not on a Friday night. When the noise level got to be a bit too much, and we realized we needed something a bit more substantial then cheese to absorb the wine, we rolled up to Sauce. They were completely packed, but somehow Trip was able to find a table for all of us. I was actually surprised that so many of the newer members of the Cocktail Confidential Happy Hour are unfamiliar with Chef Ben’s work. I think after Friday’s desert plater, we have 8 more converts! I tried to take a picture of it’s delectableness, but by the time I could shove a donut covered in bourbon sauce in my mouth and grab my camera… it was all but gone.

This week has been so gorgeous that I wanted to find someplace with an out door spot to enjoy and stumbled upon a couple reviews of Wild Side West. I can not believe I’ve not been here before. I guess that would be because it’s in Bernal Heights which is just about impossible to get to from The City.

We will be there at 6:30 Friday the 21st to enjoy, what now looks like it will be rain. There are several cool places for dinner nearby, but I’ve not settled on one yet.

Wild Side West
424 Cortland Avenue

Diamond-Studded Martini Runs a Cool $3,000

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

By SHELLEY K. WONG, Associated Press Writer
Saturday, April 15, 2006

When Jason Silvestri heard about Foxwoods Resort Casino’s new signature cocktail, the police officer almost choked on his Absolut vodka and cranberry juice. “What?” he said. “$3,000?”

Served in a traditional martini glass, the Sapphire martini is made with Blue Curacao, Bombay Sapphire Gin, a splash of dry vermouth and is coated with blue sugar on the rim. But it’s the accompanying pair of custom-made blue sapphire and diamond earrings, set in a sterling silver pick, that makes the cocktail sweet.

With the unveiling of the four-digit cocktail, the casino’s new Mezz Ultra Lounge joins a growing list of bars and restaurants around the world offering pure decadence in a glass.

Luxury trade experts attribute the rising popularity of premium cocktails to a greater number of educated drinkers of all ages and a wider variety of spirits and liqueurs.

“I think people are willing to spend more to have a premium experience so they’re buying less but they’re buying higher quality,” said Brett Anderson, senior vice president and editorial director for the Robb Report, the luxury lifestyle magazine.

Super-expensive drinks, a sort of Louis Vuitton bag for the bar crowd, are a status symbol and a great marketing tool for businesses. “It obviously makes a statement about status and the ability to afford it but I think it’s also a spontaneous, celebratory thing,” Anderson said.

The Algonquin Hotel’s Blue Bar in New York offers a $10,000 diamond martini, accompanied by a diamond from the hotel jeweler. Only two have been sold since the cocktail debuted in 2004.

The Bar Hemingway at the Hotel Ritz in Paris touts a drink called the Ritz Sidecar, a cocktail mixed with an 1834 Cognac so rare German soldiers tried stealing it during World War II, according to the hotel. The cognac drink is priced at 400 euros — nearly $500 — earning it the distinction as the most expensive commercially available cocktail in the Guinness Book of World Records.

And if the cost of that drink doesn’t make you stumble, the next one will.

Created for the Robb Report, the Robb cocktail cost $87,600 when it was offered in 2003 at the Rivoli Bar at The Ritz Hotel in London. Now unavailable, the cocktail was made with 22-carat gold leaf Eskalony vodka, Grand Marnier, peach liqueur and topped off with Ritz private label champagne. It came with a custom-made 13.66-carat yellow diamond swizzle stick that doubled as a bracelet.

“To be honest, I haven’t heard of anything else as expensive,” said Mark Skidmore, a Rivoli bar manager. No one ever purchased the drink, he added.

Cocktails aren’t the only drinks that can have a stiff price.

The Prime Steakhouse at Bellagio hotel-casino on the Las Vegas strip offers 50-year-old aged Chivas Royal Scotch that costs $1,050 for an ounce of the extremely rare blended whisky.

Alan Shayne, president of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Sunrise, Fla., says there’s nothing quite like good whisky — even if it costs a lot more. His choice: a $300 bottle of Classic Cask 35-year-old rare scotch whisky, blended.

“It is unusually smooth and bursting with flavor,” Shayne said. “It’s worth the price I pay for that.”

As for buying a $3,000 or a $10,000 cocktail, Shayne said there’s nothing crazy about it.

“The way I look at it is some people are looking for something unique to spend their money on,” he said. “For them, it’s worth it.”

Happy Hour: Operation Hide From The Rain

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Blue Room Happy Hour

Originally uploaded by Monatopia.

We’re back! Did you miss us? Last week Melani (or Champagne as she is now known as on took the local drinkers to Ottimista Enoteca Café on Union Street. She has done a great little write up on for those of you who couldn’t make it, or, those of you who could and need a few hints as to how they woke up with who they woke up with on Saturday morning. Sounds like Scott and I will need to check it out soon.

While you were all having a bottle or three of wine and watching in the rain, Scott, Kip, Deb and I were in Portland. Or at least trying to be. Our Friday evening started out a bit slow as Alaska Airlines unexpectedly relocated Happy Hour for some of us to SFO… for three hours. Needless to say, we were still able to make the best of it with a long dinner at The Doug Fir and a nightcap at Devils Point – two of my favorite Portland Destinations for gravy and boobies – in that order. We made up it by dragging everyone to Mary’s Club to see the Contortionist Stripper the next night. THAT was a happy couple of hours. Reviews of all these places can be found at

This week I wanted to find someplace with a fireplace and big comfy chairs to hide from the rain, but I’m thinking everyone else will be as well, so I’ve opted for someplace with decent parking instead.

First we will be starting at Hotel Biron at 6:30 on Friday the 14th.
45 Rose Street @ Market – you’ll need to look at the map.

Looks like a cool little wine bar. It’s pretty small, so do RSVP so we can save you a seat if you will be joining us. Afterwards, we will be heading up to Sauce for a MUCH needed visit to Trip, Nate and Chef Ben for a little something to absorb the wine.
131 Gough Street

Should be a fun evening! And yes, we will tell you more about the Contortionist Stripper is you buy us a drink…. and maybe even if you don’t!

Happy Hour Bizzaro

Friday, April 7th, 2006

5 great iPhotos

Originally uploaded by Monatopia.

So, last week has to be one of the best happy hours on record. Really. The movie “The Subject is Sex” was amazingly entertaining, as was the “theater” at OddBall Films. They are showing part two this week if you haven’t planned something else fabulous with your friday. You can email them at to RSVP and get directions. Arm yourself with a bottle of wine and prepare to be overly entertained.

If you are looking for someplace for dinner beforehand, try Experimental Thai in the back of Benders. It was indeed, experimental and a very San Francisco experience.

After leaving OddBall, we wandered the Mission in search of a bar without a line of yuppies out the door freezing in the cold (Majool) or 12year olds with fake ID’s (Beauty Bar). Surprisingly enough it was hard to find. Thank Gawd for Doc’s Clock. It was an evening filled with stalkers with roses and cock-ring hawking drag queens. And that was after the bestiality and japanese go go girls from the film.

And just in case you were wondering, cock rings will not fit over your head no matter how much you think they might stretch.

It truly was a fun filled night.

This week the madness is continuing. Perhaps even picking up speed. I’ve been up in Portland all week doing some intensive research into bars for this weeks Happy Hour. I’m thinking it has to be Mary’s near downtown. It’s a bit of a dive. They have small cocktails, but they are cheap and decent. The music was eclectic and a bit loud. And unfortunately they do allow smoking. There is no food.

WHY do I like this bar? Why am I thinking about relocating to Portland so I can go to this bar every night? Because they have a contortionist stripper.

Oh. Didn’t I mention that it’s a strip club? Yeah. It is. Not anything like the clubs in San Francisco where there is a cover charge and twice as many strippers as patrons all trying to suck your wallet dry through what ever means necessary. This is a dive bar. Just happens to have hot hot hot girls taking there cloths off on a little stage. It’s like the free peanuts you find in some dive bars. Only.. better. Much much better. And if it’s good enough for Sean Penn, it’s good enough for me. Yes. Really. Sean Penn was there to see the contortionist stripper too. Then… he stole my girl. I would have shared! No sign of Robin Wright Penn. I would have shared her too.

Of course, we will also have to check out Devil’s Point. I heard they are supposed to have Stripper Karaoke that night. And there’s still the matter of getting dinner and a decent drink. Who knows where that will happen. So, it you are in Portland this weekend, you might want to give us a call.

If you still need to have a Happy Hour in SF, and I know you do, feel free to join Melani and friends at Ottimista Enoteca Cafe – 1838 Union St. Looks like a cool Italian style wine bar. She’ll be there 6:30ish friday the 7th.