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Mission Bar Unleashes Cocktail Menu with Rare New Orleans Classics

Plus pizza, pizza, and more a.m. intel

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Absinthe suissesse
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Inspired by NOLA

Today, Alba Rays launches Destination New Orleans, a new menu featuring lesser-known cocktails from the Big Easy to match its Cajun fare. Alba Rays lead bartender Zakai Arnowitz (formerly of The Alembic) teamed up with food and drink writer Virginia Miller (The Perfect Spot) to create the historically based menu, which you’ll find below.

Emphasis on the crust

Italian-born Fabrizio Cercatore, co-founder of Hot Italian in Emeryville and Sacramento, is opening another pizza restaurant in Berkeley. Branching off of his wholesale organic pizza dough business, Berkeley’s Passione Pizza, which particularly made a name for itself with the gluten-free crowd, Passione Emporio will set itself apart with four different crusts: classic, sprouted grain, whole wheat, and gluten-free. Cercatore hopes to open at 2326 Fifth Street by the end of the year.

And yet more pizza

The owners of Irving Pizza have remodeled and rebranded their Outer Sunset shop at 1825 Irving Street. Now, it’s called SF Hole in the Wall Pizza, joining a second location in the Marina District. Both restaurants specialize in New York-style pizza by the slice along with whole pies, calzones, burgers, and salads. Ironically, the new SF Hole in the Wall is much less of a hole in the wall with its expanded seating area, additional televisions, and 10 fresh beers on tap.

Happy birthday, Drake’s

Drake’s Brewing Co. turns 29 this week, and the celebration promises to be massive. Among the beer nerd attractions: Drake’s will pour tastes of rare barrel-aged beers and launch cans of brut rose, a new single-batch release. Head over to the San Leandro brewery at 1933 Davis Street on Saturday, August 25 — the party is free.

The story of a wine and a cult

The Chronicle published a fascinating long-read about Renaissance Winery in Yuba County, and the cult that unwittingly created some of the best wines in the state.