Appetite: Absinthe gimlets, fancy 'wiches, sparkling spirits, dinner in bed, and more

Food-and-drink spots, deals, events and news

Every week, Virginia Miller of personalized itinerary service and monthly food, drink, and travel newsletter,, shares foodie news, events, and deals. View the last installment here.


Grand Tavern dining room. Photo by Virginia Miller

The Grand Tavern opens in Oakland
Take a turn-of-the-century house on Grand Ave (near Camino) and turn it into The Grand Tavern, making use of each room (dining room with fireplace, lounge areas with chairs from Mission vintage shops, a dark wood bar, and patio)... add a menu cooked by Kay Eskind, aka "Mom", put the entire operation in the capable hands of her son, Temoor Noor, who has, with care and saavy, thought out each detail, from craft beer selection to beautiful artisanal cocktails (I'm ready to go back for the Absinthe Gimlet!), and you're starting to get an idea of what kind of appealing hang out this tavern is.

With a $5-18 menu featuring rib-eye steak, Cornish hen with ginger and onions, and roasted squash with chili, onions and garlic sour cream sauce, it's comforting gastropub fare, paired with an Affligem Blonde on tap or Devil's Whiskers cocktail. The Kold Draft machine means they're serious about perfect temperature and quality in their drinks, and the welcoming ease of staff and owner mean you can sip or sup in any room or move between them as you wish. They're in soft opening phase right now but don't let that stop you (in the first week along, I had a pretty seamless experience). Mi casa su casa.
3601 Grand Avenue, Oakland



6/1 - Supperclub 4-course Dinner with Jamie Lauren and Jennie Lorenzo
Dinner in bed? You'll want to splurge for this one-of-a-kind night at Netherlands-based Supperclub's one US location. Waited on hand-and-foot while lounging in Roman-style beds as you're surrounded by opera singers, contortionists dangling from colorful fabric above you, even flaming sword-carrying belly dancers... who knows what might appear? Don't worry, it's not merely style sans substance. Launched in February, Supperclub's "Uber Dinner" series started with a one-night-only dinner cooked by three Michelin-rated chefs from Europe and our own Elizabeth Falkner. Not bad, eh? Tonight it's another rare gig... come and be surprised by an undisclosed four-course meal, paired with cocktails and wine (all included in the price). Highlighting Great Chefs of San Francisco, "Uber Dinner II"'s guest chefs are Jennie Lorenzo, Exec Chef of Michelin-rated Fifth Floor, and Jamie Lauren, Exec Chef at Absinthe, and recently of, well, you already know... Top Chef.

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