4901 Telegraph Ave, Oakl.
March 26: Wine Enthusiast magazine's Toast of the Town
Another pricey deal, this one's your chance to pretend that you're the elite, sipping wine for a local charity at the classy War Memorial Opera House for Wine Enthusiast mag's Toast of the Town gala. Dress up and splurge for the VIP gig at 5pm or buy slightly more reasonable 7pm tix to sip wines from over 70 producers and taste bites from 30 restaurants like Ana Mandara, Campton Place, Millennium, Rivoli, Shanghai 1930 and Slanted Door, to name a few. A charity auction for SF Food Bank gives some meaning to your decadent imbibement.
$75 Early Bird Online/$95 at the door
War Memorial Opera House
401 Van Ness Avenue
March 28: Whiskies of the World is back as part of Artisanal Spirits Fest
How can you not love that San Fran has been the setting for the unique Whiskies of the World celebration for 10 years now? Not only are there classes on Cigar Making or Mixology (using, what else? Whiskies), but the setting is downright idyllic. As the sun sets from aboard the San Francisco Belle, smoke your cigar (BYO or buy there) as you roam the deck while Celtic pipe and drum music plays, and sipping whiskies is the collective activity. Sampling booths cover three floors of the boat, staffed by spirits experts from distillers to blenders, while a dinner buffet shores up the stomach for all that imbibing. On top of whiskies, the Indpendent Spirits Fest portion means there's also local vendors of other types of spirits like St. George Spirits, Charbay, Anchor Steam, Square One, and Osocalis. It's pricey, yes, but I can think of fewer more enjoyable ways to go...
Sat/28, 6pm, $115-$120; additional classes: $15-20
San Francisco Belle, Pier 3
FREE Monday morning coffee at Four Barrel
I didn't want to have to mention this and make the waits for a capp at Four Barrel longer than they already are, but as the word is leaking out everywhere this week, I thought I'd mention this generous turn from owner, Jeremy Tooker. Playfully calling it an “F.U. Recession” giveaway, get an 8oz. cup of French Press coffee, brewed just right... don't say I didn't warn you about looong waits for it, though!
Mondays through April 20th, 8-10am
375 Valencia, SF.
Weeknight prix fixe and Gnocchi Tuesdays at Bar Bambino
Every time I go to Bar Bambino, I walk away feeling like I was just in my favorite enoteca in an Italian town, sipping Italian wines, robust coffees from both North and South Italy, eating housemade charcuterie and cheeses Bambino's been making before everyone in town was. Like many lately, they're offering special menus like an early evening three-course prix fixe for $30. Primi (first course) could be soup, salad, or pasta. Main course is a meat or eggplant polpette, with gelato or signature Citrus Polenta Cake for dessert. Another fun element (for gnocchi fiends like myself) is their Gnocchi Tuesdays, playfully mirroring the tradition of Roman trattorias serving gnocchi dishes on Thursdays.