2017 City Look-Ahead Part Two: Oakland, Philadelphia and New York.

Thank you for returning, really, thank you. Now on to part two of the 2017 city food and neighborhood look-ahead where some of my friends/chummy internet acquaintances share their thoughts on their favorite, or not so favorite parts of town. Remember, these are quick takes to help a curious traveler explore a city from a local’s perspective.


I asked Peter Weltman, of the soon to begin production Index Wine,  to give me some of his thoughts on great places in the bay area he wrote;


This area is not new by any means, but it simply keeps getting better as places settle in. Honestly, I skip Temescal Ally (why try to recreate San Francisco when it’s just a BART ride away?), and I cruise down 40th Street and get my fix. Just off of the MacAurthor stop is a new wine store called the Oakland Yard (420 40th street). It’s the collaboration of two Brooklyn wine buds: Max Daivs and Daniel Schmidt. A clean and airy space, the yard has an impressive selection of wine under $17, but with a selection of harder to obtain bottles, too. It’s Eurocentric wines with healthy dose of new California, and fun things peppered in along the way. Thursday Night’s are reserved for tasting flights, and Sunday is scheduled to have tastings coming soon.

A short distance further down on 40th at Broadway is Clove and Hoof, the butcher shop / restaurant hybrid that continues to hone why I know them as the best in the Bay Area. Butcher husband and wife John Blevins and Analiesa Gosnell make better versions of just about every sausage you have tasted. It’s a testament to their butchery (yes, who animals are broken down daily), their use of the best spices, and flavor-driven-creativity. You can shop for excellent cuts of meat, or sit for lunch or dinner. Clove and Hoof becomes more than just a place to eat – it’s a bonafide lifestyle.


The awesome Beverage Director Mariel Wega of a. Kitchen wrote:

There’s a lot of cool stuff up in Kensington/Fishtown…Martha has a great beverage program with a focus on local stuff, helm byob for food, beddia for pizza. South Philly too…ITV- nick Elmi’s new spot for wine/cocktails. Townsend is still my favorite all around restaurant’s in the city. I’m excited to see what’s happening at the newly reopened Friday Saturday Sunday in Center City’s Rittenhouse neighborhood. Should be a cocktail destination.

General thoughts on New York:

Caleb Ganzer:

New fun favs in NYC: Le Coucou for dinner and drinking nicely. Pasquale Jones for a fancy snack/dinner and also drinking nicely. New Rouge Tomate has a killer list right now.

Joe Z:

Williamsburg is so definitively the worst that it’s abundantly passe to even mention it, so I might go with Prospect Heights is the worst. The best? I dunno. Be weird. Say Mill Basin. Mill Basin is the suburbs within Brooklyn, and has been for generations. The day it gets tapped is the day that NYC is so full, middle America must be completely abandoned.

Since Cecilla Watson is one of the most well traveled people I know, I asked her for a few thoughts on New York:

In terms of favorite food and beverage projects or trends, I was going to say something about NYC’s tea trend and especially the connoisseurs at T Shop, Ippodo, and Tea Dealers who are doing their damndest to show how complex and intellectually engaging teas can be, but a brief googling indicates that Tea Dealers was at Raw Wine this year… plus it’s in Brooklyn… so I feel like a tool for even thinking along those lines.