Food-and-drink spots, deals, events and news
As long-time San Francisco resident and writer, I'm passionate about this city and obsessed with exploring its best food-and-drink spots (in all categories), events, and news, in every neighborhood and cuisine type. I have my own personalized itinerary 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.
NEW RESTAURANT and BAR OPENINGS
RN74 rolls in on French wheels
Start making reservations now for Michael Mina's latest -- and most affordable? -- SF restaurant at the base of the Millennium Tower. RN74 is named after Route National 74, which passes through Burgundy, with the focus on, you guessed it: Burgundian pleasures in wine and food. Wine director, Raj Parr, oversees the 80-page, 3000 bottles, 50 by-the-glass wine list (so you know there'll be many a fine choice), and Chef Jason Berthold, of none other than the French Laundry, prepares an exquisite, reasonably priced ($9-17!) menu with the likes of Smoked Sturgeon Rillettes, Crispy Duck Wings, Pea Tendril Veloute, Chilled Salad of Japanese Big Fin Squid, and Herb-Roasted Lamb Loin. Just opened on Friday for lunch and dinner, it's the new, downtown impress a date or colleague dining destination.
301 Mission Street (in the Millennium Tower)
Gourmet sandwiches from random sources continues with Pal's Take Away
Pal's  is located inside a dodgy corner market, Tony's, at 24th and Hampshire, with sweet, friendly Jeff and David behind the counter making some kick-ass sandwiches and salads, diving into the ever-growing crowd of gourmet food coming from carts, out of garages (Kitchenette ) and whatnot. Just opened last Tuesday, Pal's changing menu includes a banh mi that's becoming a runaway hit in the first week already: tender, pink/brown beef accented with jalapeno, carrot, onion on a crunchy ACME roll. Vegetarians aren't left out with options like Full Belly asparagus tossed w/ Meyer lemon and Reggianno, topped with a Riverdog soft-cooked ranch egg on Acme whole wheat bread. Bet you never got that from a corner liquor/grocery store before.
2751 24th Street
Monday, April 27 - Meatpaper Mag's Pig Party at Camino in Oakland
We haven't tired of pig yet... I crave it most days. Meatpaper , food lover's choice for all things meat, celebrates the launch of Issue Seven: the Pig Issue. Oakland's Camino  is the site of the party with their own Russell Moore, among other great pig chefs, like Ryan Farr and Taylor Boetticher, preparing fresh sausages, roast pork, pig tails, chicharrones, charcuterie, even gourmet corn dogs, plus vegetarian delights for the non-pig eater. Sponsors from Prather Ranch to Trumer Pils get in on the action. Sip cocktails, wine and beer while surveying whole-animal butchery demos from the experts. More details here: www.meatpaper.com/mailings/090413/index.html .
3917 Grand Avenue, Oakland
NO tickets sold at the door so buy in advance: http://pigparty.eventbrite.com 
Sunday, May 3 - Pig-Out Party at Coffee Bar... with screening of Porky's
Coffee Bar  and Ryan Farr’s 4505 Meats  host a Pig-Out party to rival all pig parties (have you had enough of the pig yet?) This is one is unique... Mr. Farr gives a butcher demo with salty snacks (including his ever-popular chicharones), while Speakeasy “Big Daddy IPA” and Balletto Winery Pinot flow. 6pm means it's supper time with a buffet of meats (duh), charred carrots, potato and leek salad, greens and veggies, and the pièce de résistance: Red Waddle Heritage Pig Roasted on a grill and rotisserie. Dessert has to have pig in it, too: bacon, peanut butter chocolate brownies. Being at Coffee Bar means its fabulous coffee and espresso will flow with music from DJ Denizen until movie time. Yes, the whole shebang ends with a wall projection of none other than Porky’s . Need I say more?
3pm - butcher demo, beer, snacks; 6pm Dinner, $35
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org 
Coffee Bar, 1890 Bryant, SF.
Through May 3 - Special Alaskan tasting menu at Pacific Catch
You don't see Alaskan tasting menus too often. In fact, I'm hard pressed to remember ever seeing one. Which is why Pacific Catch's  menu this week intrigued. Exec Chef, Chandon Clenard, pays homage to North Pacific seafood in his series of tasting menus, available at the 9th and Irving and Marin (Corte Madera) locations. With "The Last Frontier" menu, there's a choice of Alaskan King Crab soup or Alaskan halibut skewers to start. Main course is Hickory-smoked salmon with baby bok choy and black rice, and dessert is, what else? Baked Alaska with blackberry ice cream and spiked berries.
$26.95 for three courses
1200 9th Avenue
Whiskey Wednesdays at Fifth Floor
They had me at "whiskey". Head to the classy, but-not-stuffy Fifth Floor Lounge , upstairs in the Hotel Palomar for Whiskey Wednesdays. The whiskey flights (purely for educational purposes, of course) change weekly with three whiskeys from around the world. Yes, this includes our country's own beloved bourbons and ryes, along with the scotches, et. al. There's even "flask service", so bring your flask to fill up. Cocktails for those who don't want it straight will feature the base ingredient and go for $7. Might as well order Chef Laurent Manrique's mother's recipe of duck cassoulet ($12) to go with the brown stuff, which he serves special for Wednesdays.
12 4th Street
ACME Chophouse Happy Hour
There's lots of activity at AT&T Park lately since baseball season began and many surrounding restaurants and bars are offering special happy hours. ACME  is about as convenient as it gets being downstairs from the ballpark, but they're hoping to give you a reason to come out on non-game days, too. $3 draft beers, $4 wines by the glass or $10 for a half-bottle sounds good enough, but there's also $5 apps from Iron Chef/James Beard award-winning chef, Traci Des Jardin, like smoky chicken wings, Dungeness fritters or baby-back ribs.
Tuesday-Friday on non-home game days, 4:30-6:30pm
24 Willie Mays Plaza