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Famished: The Best Things I've Eaten This Week

San Francisco's food editor on what's eating S.F.

The McClaren cocktail from Park Tavern (Photography by Alex Farnum)

We’re still wrapping up the food issue, so I’ve been at my desk more than I’ve been out and about eating and drinking.

This is not to say that on Saturday night I didn’t attend a farewell to foie gras dinner at Spruce with a bunch of good friends. It was a fun and decadent night to say the least. (However, I think the ban might be saving not just the ducks' liver but my own.) I sat next to Michael Purdy, the creative director of the new home store Cavalier (and partner in business and life to interior designer Jay Jeffers). He made the crack that now that foie gras is illegal here, it's going to be sold on the Nevada border, right next to the fireworks stands. New Yorker: I will bequeath you this cartoon.

Something that makes me as happy as a foie gras torchon is a Vietnamese crepe. I know—apples and oranges. But equal happiness. Last night, Joe and I ordered dinner from Lotus Garden, my favorite Vietnamese delivery on the south side of town (specifically the Mission/Bernal/Noe area). Sitting down to a beer and a crepe wrapped in lettuce and cucumber and herbs is my kind of a no-cook dinner.

Technically it's summer, even if I'm wearing boots. So, I’ve secured the only cocktail recipe you’ll need this season. It comes via Anna Weinberg, the proprietress (as she calls herself—so much cooler than restaurateur) of Park Tavern. The other day, she made me a McClaren, a light and lovely drink, or a “breakfast cocktail” as she put it. A mix of cucumber juice, lemon, gin, and ginger beer, it’s gorgeous to look at and very easy to drink—a morning activity that I can get behind.

The McClaren
Making cucumber juice is easiest with a juicer, but since I don’t have one, I puréed English cucumber (leaving on just a touch of skin) in a food processor and then strained it in a fine mesh strainer.

1½ oz gin
¼ oz fresh lemon
¼ oz fresh lime
¼ oz simple sugar
1 ounce fresh cucumber juice
Ginger beer for topping (preferably Fever Tree)

Shake, strain over ice, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with sliced cucumber and a lemon twist.