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Christmas Comes Early With Release of Anchor Christmas Ale

Plus seasonal ice creams, Portuguese Cubanos, and more

Anchor Brewing Co./Facebook

Media Noche’s chef’s cubano series

Starting next Tuesday, November 7, the Mission’s California-Cuban counter-service restaurant Media Noche will start playing with new, less traditional Cubano sandwich recipes from popular local chefs. “We're surrounded by such a talented and inventive community of chefs, and we thought it would be fun to collaborate with our friends and peers and see what other interpretations of Cuban sandwiches they all might come up with," says Media Noche chef Casey Rebecca Nunes. First up is Telmo Faria (Uma Casa) with a Bifana “Cubano” with marinated pork loin, sweet pepper and onion sofrito, and arugula. Next will by Ryan Pollnow (Ne Timeas Group), Liza Shaw (formerly of Merigan's Sub Shop), and Evan Rich (Rich Table, RT Rotisserie).

Petit Marlowe called out for big prices

Chronicle wine, beer, and spirits writer Esther Mobley is weighing in on the wine bar and oysterette Petit Marlowe. The latest venture from the Big Night Restaurant Group (Park Tavern, Marlowe, Leo’s Oyster Bar) opened in June with vintage Parisian decor and gorgeous wallpaper — but “[when] your favorite thing about a bar is its wallpaper, it’s probably not a great bar,” Mobley concludes. On bottles of wine, “The markups are not kind,” and “the service was curt” with no effort to explain wine to customers. The food prices — ten dollars for two oysters, $23 Burrata — are downright inexplicable, Mobley implies.

Beer is in season...

Presidio brewers Fort Point are canning their German-style rauchbier, Manzanita, a fall beer that gets its smoky character from beechwood-smoked malts and charred manzanita branches. A release party is this Saturday at Old Devil Moon.

Meanwhile, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Anchor Brewing, who have just released their 43rd annual Christmas Ale. Every year’s dark, spiced ale is different, and true fans save a few bottles from years prior to taste the differences, wrought by age and changing recipes, or at least to admire the yearly labels, drawn by Bay Area artist James Stitt.

... and so is ice cream

Salt & Straw, whose Hayes Valley location just opened, has some new November flavors to put on the Thanksgiving table. Those include buttered mashed potato and gravy fudge ice cream, salted caramel thanksgiving turkey ice cream (made with Turkey stock and candy-coated roast turkey skins), and for dessert — just kidding, they’re all for dessert — spiced goat cheese and pumpkin pie ice cream.

And for the art history lovers out there, Humphrey Slocombe has new fall flavor out this month made in partnership with the Oakland Museum of California. That’s “Diebencorn,” a swirl of sweet corn, lime sorbet, and blueberry ice cream made in honor of the late Bay Area painter Richard Diebenkorn.