Food-and-drink spots, deals, events and news
Chocolate time! See "events" below
As long-time San Francisco resident and writer, I'm passionate about this city and obsessed with finding and exploring its best food-and-drink spots, deals, events and news, in every neighborhood and cuisine. I started with my own service and monthly food/drink/travel newsletter, The Perfect Spot , and am thrilled to share up-to-the minute news with you from the endless goings-on in our fair city. View the last installment of Appetite here 
NEW RESTAURANT & CAFE OPENINGS
Caffeinated Comics, the breakfast of champions
Four Barrel coffee, free wi-fi, comic books and donuts? Could this possibly all be in one place? It is now with Caffeinated Comics , SF's first comic book/coffee shop rolled into one. The Outer Mission shop is a bright red, orange and yellow space where you can sift through superhero memorabilia or check out DC or Marvel's latest comic books, all while sipping a high-quality espresso. (Note: there's also affogatos using neighbor, Mitchell's , legendary ice cream). CaffCom's applied for green certification with green lighting, building materials and energy efficient freezers and fridges. Holy caffeinated geekdom, Batman.
3188 Mission Street
Livin' La Dolce Vita at Pizzanostra
Jocelyn Bulow of the Chez Papa  and Chez Maman  restaurant group and Italian chef, Giovanni Aginolfi (who was cooking pizzas in Nice, France, prior to coming to SF), join forces for a new pizzeria/osteria on Potrero Hill called Pizzanostra . Aginolfi placed sixth in the World Pizza Championship and now we can get 'em right here. There are two themes to this restaurant: a pizzeria serving Aginolfi's famed pies, and an osteria with a menu of antipasti, foccacias, salumi, pastas, gelatos and Italian wines. The outdoor sidewalk terrace will be a huge hit on sunny days for filling up on bruschetta topped with eggplant, prosciutto, mozerella and tomato, a salad of celery hearts and fennel, or pizzas covered in lamb sausage and egg or clams and prawns. This is la dolce vita realized.
300 De Haro Street
March 17: Screening and Iyemon Cha Tea Reception as part of the Asian American Film Fest
Asian film screening and tea tasting sound good? Iyemon Cha  is a one-of-a-kind organic bottled green tea made at the historic Fukujuen tea house in Kyoto, Japan. Only recently available in our city, the tea and complimentary appetizers will be served at an exclusive pre-screening reception you have to sign up for online . At the reception you'll meet the director, Dave Boyle, and cast of that night's film, "White on Rice ." Consider it a culturally fun education in tea and Asian film.
5:30pm reception at Bar Bistro; 6:45pm Film Screening
Free for pre-screening reception but must register on website ahead of time
Film screening, $10: www.festival.asianamericanmedia.org/2009 .
Sundance Kabuki Theatre
1881 Post Street
March 21: Spend your Saturday at the Third Annual SF International Chocolate Salon
The SF International Chocolate Salon  is back for it's annual showdown of over fifty gourmet chocolate vendors covering 30,000 square feet of ground. Let's see, spending a Saturday sampling rich chocolates, velvety wines and all things chocolate? Can do. There's chef and author talks, demos, chocolate fashion and body painting (?!) and wine pairings, so you won't be bored. I would concur with the well-known adage, "I never met a piece of chocolate I didn't like", and this event will surely confirm it.
$20 advance; $25 at the door
Fort Mason Center: Herbst Pavilion
99 Marina Boulevard
Adesso opens in Oakland - finally, a sports bar for cocktilians
Jon Smulewitz of longtime Piedmont Ave. Italian restaurant, Dopo, just opened an Italian-chic sports bar (yes... chic, Italian and sports). Adesso may have a Foosball table and flat screens, but it also has 15 drinks assembled by Jay Kosmas of New York City's Employees Only , an industry insiders' culinary cocktail hang-out. In a casual, mod space, imbibe cocktails or Italian wines while pulling up a seat at the bar... salumi bar that is. You heard right: salumi bar and foosball, all in one place.
4395 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611
Sens gets special
Sens: $19 lunch special with entree, dessert and a 12 oz. beer
Sens , Embarcadero's Mediterranean Rustic Chic restaurant overlooks Embarcadero Plaza from big, picturesque windows. I enjoy the fresh dishes but find the place pricey in general, though I have a reason now to return for their new $19 lunch special, with soda or 12 oz. beer, entree and dessert. The menu rotates weekly with recent dishes including a lamb and feta meatball sandwich on rosemary ciabatta with sweet potato chips and mesclun greens and a lush chocolate bread pudding for dessert. Sounds like my kind of lunch hour.
Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:30pm Lunch; 3-7:30pm Happy Hour; 5:30-10pm Dinner
4 Embarcadero Center, Promenade Level
Masa's makes fine dining affordable
Masa's  is one of SF's most revered fine dining destinations for more than 25 years, but set menus run $105 for six courses or $155 for nine courses per person. Yeah... definitely a special occasion splurge at best. But Masa's is feeling the economic times, too, responding with something they've never done before: offer a three course menu for $55 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for early bird diners. Exec chef, Gregory Short, serves dishes like roasted beets en terrine or potato agnolotti with fava beans and black trumpet mushrooms. Pastry chef, John McKee, won't leave you hanging on dessert either, with delectables like a fleur de sel caramel bon bon or Winter citrus tart. An ideal chance to try out this upscale dining mecca at a "discount".
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 5:30-6:30pm
$55 three-course menu; $30 for three wine pairings
648 Bush Street