Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Riddler

WHERE: Hayes Valley, San Francisco | AVG. GLASS: $20 | HIGHLIGHT: Gold leaf ceiling, greenery & oh, yes, the complimentary popcorn

     Woo-oooo-oo! We got invited to taste bubbly at our favorite bar in the city you guys!

      We literally danced on top of our IKEA furniture when we opened our inbox to find an invitation to an "intimate Champagne tasting" with the world renowned Peter Liem. If you don't know who he is, he's an American wine critic and very popular within the community. And considering that this was all going down at The Riddler, one of San Francisco's hottest bars, we were quite thrilled.

       Just like its prices, the Riddler's scene is known for being high end. And although it's not a place with a specific dress code, we thought it would be weird to show up in muggy sneakers and our grungy uniform. So we ditched our converse and denim jackets for blush pink tops and black booties. And we're glad that we did. Squeezing into the quaint little bar, we were so nervous being the youngest girls in the room and, seemingly, the only two people that weren't in the wine industry!

     Yet being beer girls in a sea of wine-connoisseurs didn't phase us much! We happily sat three feet away from Peter Liem as he gave a presentation on his new book, sipped on Champagne and cleared out all of the complimentary cheese, jam and crackers offered. It was two hours spent that was anything but short of euphoric.

       With Mr. Liem we tried three champagnes: PIERRE PÉTERS Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, MARC HÉBRART'S  Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Brut and  MOUSSÉ FILS ANECDOTE Blanc de Blancs Brut.  Our favorite was the Marc Hébart, the rounder of the three with an underlying saltiness and chalkiness. Sadly, this was also the first champagne to run out. Damn. I guess we weren't the only people with good taste :P And at the end of the session we were each given a signed hard copy of Peter's latest book, CHAMPAGNE, along with several maps of France's wine regions -- which we can't wait to frame later!

      Although The Riddler doesn't always have a Peter Liem around to casually give intimate wine tastings and book signings, The Riddler does offer up a menu of over 100 Champagnes. If you're not into Champagne, we'd still recommend swinging by just to check out the ladylike decor adorned in plush greenery and gold accents. Also their menu includes a small white wine and beer selection for those that would prefer to drink something... well... less bubbly.

     As for food, The Riddler doesn't hold back. If the free popcorn isn't enough to satisfy your cravings, dive into some caviar or, we said it, a tater tot waffle. (Can you say dee-lish?) And honestly, the tater tot waffle is enough to bring us back alone :9

    So if you're ever in Hayes Valley, pop on over to The Riddler! It's only been open for less than a year, so you better get over there quick before the hipsters take over!

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