Food-and-drink spots, deals, events and news
Every Monday, Virginia Miller of personalized itinerary service and monthly food, drink, and travel newsletter, www.theperfectspotsf.com , shares foodie news, events, and deals. View the last installment here .
'Tini time at SF Cocktail Week
May 11-18: SF Cocktail Week
SF Cocktail Week  is here... In honor of SF's truly vibrant cocktail culture and supporting the fab Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans (if you're there, go!), the mission is "to preserve the Cultural Heritage of saloons and their cocktails in San Francisco, while also celebrating California’s Culinary Philosophy and Tradition". Sounds like a great mission to me. The third year in, this just keeps getting bigger. It's no Tales of the Cocktail  but it's certainly a stellar line-up of parties, classes, competitions and events, taught and presented by a long list of the many of SF's bartending greats.
A few highlights include opening (at Le Colonial ) and closing (at Jardinere ) parties, the US Bartenders' Guild  National Competition (all day Tuesday: 11am for SF competitors; 5pm for national finalists), CUESA's Cane Spirits & Farmer's Market Cocktails  event is Wednesday night (their Winter Cocktails event was a blast - excellent cocktails at every turn!), there's a historical cocktail and bar crawl with Tablehopper  herself on Saturday, a Saturday class with artisanal cocktail genius,Scott Beattie , and monthly Savoy night at the one-and-only Alembic  on Sunday. Thursday is Bar School, a day of classes around town, ranging from $25-45, the line-up includes Distillation 101 from Hangar One's  Lance Winters, Erik Atkins' walk through the Gentleman's Companion , Jeff Hollinger (Absinthe ) and Neyah White (NOPA ) teach you how to make your own cocktail ingredients from syrups to bitters, plus more worthy classes for the budding mixologist to take it to the next level.
All around SF; events free to $45
May 12-16: The Big 4's Wild Game Week returns
The Big 4 Restaurant  (PSF) in Nob Hill's Huntington Hotel has been around for decades and is just the kind of atmosphere I want when craving old world elegance and cocktails by the fireplace. On the food tip, its bi-annual Wild Game Week offers a menu so unique, it's one of the only times you'll see dishes like Himalayan yak or Rocky Mountain wapiti (elk chop, to you). This year a first is added: Brazilian piranha "ribs" with a creamy mustard dressing ($18). That's right, piranha. Come hungry as the deer and the antelope certainly will play.
1075 California Street
Schmidt's: Ready and German
NEW RESTAURANT and BAR OPENINGS
German haufbrau-reminscent Schmidt's Deli opens in the Mission
Walzwerk's  Christiane Schmidt and David Pierce opened Schmidt's last Wednesday, and I was warmly welcomed by the sweet staff that day. (I'm ready to go back!) The space is roomy, sparse with neatly ordered shelves stocking grocery items (and beer steins) from Germany -- think herring, gooseberries, curry ketchup, rosti-in-a-box. They'll be easing into hours, open from 11am-3pm on weekdays only for now. The plan is soon to be open all day from 11am-11pm, meaning it'll be the go-to spot for veal schnitzel sandwiches, house-made sausages, spaetzle, kohlrabi (German turnip) and rutabaga gratin, sauerkraut, and German baked goods from Esther's Bakery  in Mountain View. And all under $11! Once the imported beers begin to flow (soon), I imagine the space cacophonous with happy locals at communal tables, clinking glasses over sausages.
2400 Folsom Street
Korean tacos and burritos at John's Snack & Deli
With the Korean taco craze in Los Angeles reaching a fever pitch (can anyone say Kogi ?), John's Deli  owner (John himself) throws his hat in the Korean taco ring at his tiny deli offering Korean specials. Pairing kimchi with burritos and tacos includes meats (bulgogi beefbq chicken, pork, tofu) cooked Korean-style (with his Mom's secret sauce) and toppings on the Mexican side (cilantro, onions, cheese). I dig the combo of sweet/savory meat mixed with spicy, pickled kimchi. Occasionally, come mid-afternoon, they sell out of certain meats (beef, last time I was there), but if you aren't picky, they're all good.
40 Batter Street
Workday gourmet lunches at Carte 415
Is there no end to food cart mania? It appears not. Downtown workers have gourmet-casual sandwiches and salads at The Sentinel , which set the standard. In cart form, there's Carte 415  inside the Atrium at Second and Mission. Joshua Skenes, formerly Exec Chef of Chez TJ  and Michael Mina's Stonehill Tavern , launches out into gourmet food cart territory with, you guessed it: a changing, market-fresh lunch menu. A Bacon-jam BLT with burrata and heirloom tomato sounds particularly good to me, but there's meat and veggie salads, sandwiches and snacks, like their granola or bbq vegetable chips. Call first as they're not open yet but should be any day now. With plans for more carts around the city in the future, there will be no shortage of gourmet-on-the-go options.
101 Second Street