San Francisco Culinary Events Culinary Events
January in the Bay Area means values at some of the region's favorite restaurants. "Restaurant Week" deals in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and other areas feature affordable, prix-fixe specials at participating restaurants, from fast-casual to high-end venues. San Francisco Restaurant Week (really 10 days) runs from January 18-29, with a list of participants here; Oakland and Berkeley Restaurant Weeks from January 19-29, with Berkeley's list here and Oakland's list here; San Jose from January 16-26, details here; Napa from January 22-29; and Sonoma County takes the whole month for its event, called "Sonoma Valley Delicious," visit here for details. Bon appetit!
January 25, February 1 & 4
Smitten Ice Cream, a boutique, liquid-nitrogen-based ice cream shop with locations around San Francisco and Oakland, teaches guests to churn their own ice cream flavors at special classes in January and February. Smitten provides the customized ingredients --- whatever participants care to dream up --- as well as machines and kitchen space at its Pacific Heights location (additional classes offered at the Marina District outpost on Chestnut Street). Ice cream students leave with a pint of fresh ice cream in their special flavor. Classes cost $70 per person. Visit here for details and registration information. Open daily. Smitten Ice Cream, 2404 California St., San Francisco, CA 94115, 415-872-9414.
Poggio's executive chef Benjamin Balesteri brings back his annual northern Italian Bollito Misto, a tradition started in Milan that involves slow-simmering rich cuts of meat --- cotechino sausage, beef tongue, veal, brisket, oxtail --- in a savory broth. Meats are kept warm on a special cart and served tableside with a range of accompanying sauces, including kumquat mostarda, bone marrow butter, salsa verde and horseradish crème fraîche. Bollito Misto is offered à la carte nightly from January 25-29, and cost is $25 per guest. Poggio, 777 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965, 415-332-7771.
SF Beer Week 2017 will kick off with an opening gala at Pier 48 on Friday, February 10, and tickets are available now. Stay tuned for the full week's schedule of beer-centric events happening across the Bay Area, from pub crawls to next-level beer dinners, unique tasting events and launches of locally-crafted specialty brews. Visit the SF Beer Week 2017 site for gala tickets, a list of participating breweries and venues, and schedule updates.
The Mission’s meaty WesBurger ‘N’ More, known for a menu of burgers (including a veg option) and fried chicken dishes, offers an afternoon happy hour from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. All Lone Star beers are only $2. WesBurger 'N' More, 2240 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-745-9371.
Distinctive Embarcadero hotspot Waterbar offers a featured oyster for $1.05 from 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily. There's also happy hour from 2 p.m.-5:30 p.m. featuring a variety of beer, wine and specialty cocktails ranging from $6-$8. The view and setting alone are worth the price. Waterbar, 399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105, 415-284-9922.
Terrapin Crossroads serves a prix-fixe family dinner every Monday night from 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., featuring varying specials such as fish ‘n’ chips, taco, pasta or pizza dinners meant to be shared. Prices differ for adults and children, and there are à la carte draft beer or house wine options for an additional $5. The casual Marin County restaurant and live music venue is owned by Grateful Dead member Phil Lesh, and known for crowd-pleasing seasonal cuisine. Terrapin Crossroads, 100 Yacht Club Dr., San Rafael, CA 94901, 415-524-2773.
The flagship Bistro Boudin complex --- demonstration bakery, restaurant, museum, café, great Bay views --- is always a worthy stop on Fisherman's Wharf. But what locals and visitors may not know is that the main bar and recently opened Oyster Bar now feature $1 oysters at a weekday happy hour. More options on the happy hour bar menu include Boudin sourdough sliders , fried calamari, garlic fries and other nibbles, with $5 well drinks and house wines, $4 drafts and other drink specials. Happy hour runs Mon.-Fri. from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Bistro Boudin, Boudin at the Wharf, 160 Jefferson St., San Francisco, CA 94133, 415-928-1849.
Viognier's happy hour provides an inviting, upscale weeknight option for San Mateo locals from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Specialty cocktails in the lounge area of the restaurant are $7, and a dedicated menu includes house-made Muscovy Duck Lumpia, White Cheddar Arancini and truffled fries. Viognier, 222 E. Fourth Ave., San Mateo, CA 94401, 650-685-3727.
California-French destination restaurant Jardinière offers themed "Monday Night Supper Club", three-course, prix-fixe options every Monday night for $55 per person, complete with wine pairings from Jardinière's impressive list. Executive chef Morgan Mueller's menu may include first courses such as warm calamari salad with white beans, fennel and arugula, or pâté de campagne with pedigreed greens, crostini and sauce gribiche, and entrées such as coq au vin, local fish or cioppino. Reservations recommended. Jardiniere, 300 Grove St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-861-5555.
RN74 from Michael Mina and Rajat Parr has introduced a very happy, happy hour special. Glasses of featured red and white wine (rotating selections), select well drinks and small bites, including Fried Califlower and Duck Wings 'a l'orange all cost only $7 each. RN74's happy hour runs Mon.-Fri. from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. RN74, Millennium Tower, 301 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105, 415-543-7474.
Americano inside the Hotel Vitale offers a weekday express lunch menu for busy executives. The sit-down meal features a starter of soup or salad coupled with a panini or half order of pasta. Desserts include house-made cookies and market fresh fruit that are handed to diners to take away with them. Cost is $20 per person and worth it for the hotel hot-spot's pretty Embarcadero location and views alone. Americano, Hotel Vitale, 8 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105, 415-278-3777.
Along with its weekday happy hour (Tuesday through Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., featuring dollar oysters and half-off full bottles of rosé and Champagne), The Dorian has a Thursday "night owl" series of specials. Beginning at 10 p.m., guests can enjoy "old-fashioned drinks at old-fashioned prices," including martinis, old fashioneds and Champagne cocktails for just $5 each until 2 a.m. The Dorian, 2001 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123, 415-814-2671.
Chef Mark Dommen uses the whole animal every Friday and Saturday night as part of One Market's Weekend Beast series. Along with the restaurant's usual seasonal menu that night, Dommen offers à la carte and four-course prix-fixe meals ($45 per person) showcasing humanely-raised animals from area farms and ranches. Beasts include goat and duck from Salmon Creek Ranch, Wyarte Farms lamb, Beeler Farms Duroc pig and Five Dot Ranch beef. As the name suggests, no portion of the animal is wasted in the creation of Dommen's rustic, high-end dishes. Wine pairings are available for an additional cost per person. One Market, 1 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94105, 415-777-5577.
District in Oakland serves "bottomless" brunch specials every Sat.-Sun. from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., including a $22 buffet-style meal. Dishes include buttermilk pancakes with banana-rum syrup, scrambled eggs with cheese, steelcut oatmeal with bourbon vanilla brown sugar, ceviche mixta, bacon, house-made sausage, and Southern-inspired fare such as biscuits and gravy, chipotle breakfast potatoes, fried sweet plantains and chocolate chip bread pudding with bourbon caramel...and more. You can add Bottomless Mimosas to your bottomless brunch for $37. $10 individual mimosas join à la carte breakfast cocktails such as Bloody Marys. District, 827 Washington St., Oakland, CA 94607, 510-272-9110.
Pacifica's Moonraker, located coastside, has launched a weekly Sunday brunch with two hour seatings available at 10 a.m.,12 p/m., and 2 p.m. wherein guests are treated to a complimentary glass of Champagne with their view of the sea. A buffet menu highlights crab legs, peel-and-eat shrimp, chef-carved roast beef and other stations. Also available are omelets made to order and additional vegetarian options. Cost is $44.95 per person and half price for children 12 and under, exclusive of gratuity and tax. Moonraker, Best Western Plus Lighthouse Hotel, 105 Rockaway Beach Ave., Pacifica, CA 94044, 650-557-7025.
Waterfront restaurant Chaya Brasserie hosts "Sundays Uncorked" every Sunday with half-price bottles of wine. Wines are local and international and the half-price discount applies across the list, representing significant value. Chaya Brasserie, 132 Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105, 415-777-8688.
Italian standout Cotogna hosts rustic, four-course, family-style Sunday Suppers for $55 per person, exclusive of tax, gratuity and beverage (the regular a la carte menu is available). Wine Pairing is available for an additional $35. Menus change weekly and seasonally, and reservations are strongly suggested. Cotogna, 490 Pacific Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133, 415-775-8508.
Find out which restaurants and chefs top the list of GAYOT's 2016 Annual Restaurant Awards.