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Valentine’s Day 2016: celebrating at San Francisco restaurants

Valentine’s Day dessert: Red Velvet Crepe “Cake” from SF’s Presidio Social Club

Valentine’s Day dessert: Red Velvet Crepe “Cake” from SF’s Presidio Social Club

We are 3 days away from Valentine’s Day — if you’re planning to dine in San Francisco, here are a few restaurants to consider.

Roka Akor
On Valentine’s Day weekend at Roka Akor there will be a five-course tasting menu. Led by Executive Chef Roman Petry, the robatayaki-style menu ($98 per person) features dishes to share, such as Tuna Tataki with spicy ponzu, red onion and lotus root chips; Robata Grilled Wagyu Filet with grilled bone marrow and spicy sweet garlic soy; Sake Kasu Marinated Sea Bass with shiso and lime; and Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake with almond caramel and vanilla ice cream, among others. Additionally, the lounge downstairs, Roka Bar, will be offering five love-inspired cocktails ($7-13), including the Fatal Attraction ($13) with Zaya rum, Appleton Estate rum, Dumante pistachio liqueur, Combier triple sec, fresh blackberries, lime, and fresh mint; and At First Glance ($7) with cherry blossom infused rice milk, Rihaku Nigori Sake, hibiscus bitters, pomegranate seeds, orange zest, and fresh shiso. A limited a la carte menu will also be available. Reservations are required, and can be made by calling 415-362-8887 or visiting the restaurant’s site.

A16
A16 in San Francisco is celebrating Valentine’s Day (and their 12th anniversary) with a multi-course menu from Executive Chef Rocky Maselli and traditional wine pairing options from Wine Director/Co-Owner Shelley Lindgren. The five-course menu will be available on both Saturday and Sunday night with dish highlights including Southern Italian specialties like Squid Ink Tonnarelli Puttanesca with chili, capers, and oil cured olives, and a special Coccola – a heart-shaped blood orange Cappelletti jello shot – for dessert from Executive Pastry Chef Hannah Buoye. The prix fixe dinner is $85 per person with optional wine pairings optional. Reservations can be made by visiting the restaurant’s site or calling 415-771-2216.

Flour + Water
Chef Thomas McNaughton and Chef de Cuisine Evan Allumbaugh have created a menu that focuses on traditions from the Umbria region interpreted through the flour + water style of cuisine. Umbria is rumored to be the birthplace of San Valentino making it the perfect reason to celebrate. The menu is $95 per person with wine pairings available for an additional $70 per person. Menu highlights include: Mushroom Mousse and Perigord Truffle Bruschetta, Beet Cured Trout with roasted beets, compressed beets, poppy seed, creme fraiche, and horseradish, Pappardelle with rabbit ragu, Suckling Pig Porchett, and Chocolate Hazelnut Torte. Call 415-826-7000 for reservations.

Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco
Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Luce with dinner prepared by Michelin-star chef Daniel Corey. Guests can order off the regular a la carte menu or enjoy a three course Valentine’s Day menu for $75 per person. Highlights from the a la carte menu include handmade sweetbread ravioli with crispy sweetbreads with black perigord truffles and mustard leaves;  prime new york strip steak, slowly cooked with rosemary & garlic caramelized salsify, date-coffee marmalade, and trumpet royale; and duck breast, poached & roasted, baby carrots with honey & lavender, apple, and trompette de la mort. For reservations, visit the restaurant online.

Presidio Social Club
Along with the regular menu, Presidio Social Club will have several special items available a la carte throughout the entire weekend, including a blood orange and shaved fennel salad with black olives and sumac vinaigrette; smoked salmon carpaccio with fried capers, caviar cream, chervil and rye toast; chitarra pasta with jalapeño, cilantro, uni butter and dungeness crab; and braised beef short rib with celery root purée, pickled red beets and chocolate red wine sauce. For dessert, pastry chef Rene Cruz will be serving a delicate Red Velvet Crepe “Cake” made of thin crepes layered high with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut tuile, and the Passion Parfait made with passion fruit mousse, coconut brittle, honey roasted cashews, and white chocolate crisps. Visit the restaurant’s site for information or reservations.

SPQR
This Valentine’s Day, Executive Chef Matthew Accarrino of SPQR will be offering a three-course prix fixe lunch for $52 per person and a four-course prix fixe dinner for $94 per person with an optional truffle course. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 415-771-7779.

SalumeriaMake Valentine’s Day Dinner at Home
This Valentine’s Day, Salumeria is offering a “flour + water” pasta project for $45 plus tax, ideal for two people. The kit includes all you need to make beet caramelle with salsify, prosecco and calabrian chili. Make it a complete meal by adding on cured meats and cheeses or chocolate budinos. Order by calling 415-471-2998.

Aatxe
Celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend with Aatxe and enjoy a special supplemental menu created by Chef Ryan Pollnow on Friday and Saturday evening – highlights include oysters on the half shell and California Osetra Caviar Montadito. In addition, guests can let the kitchen decide, where chef will bring out a tasting of his favorite tapas for $65 per person. Aatxe will be closed on Sunday, February 14 so that their staff can enjoy Valentine’s Day. For reservations call 415-471-2977 or visit the restaurant’s site.

Fogo de Chão 
Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Southern Brazilian Steakhouse Fogo de Chão in San Francisco, which opened in late December. The restaurant is located on the corner of 3rd and Howard in the heart of San Francisco’s SoMa District. Fogo de Chão will be offering one complimentary dining card to each couple that dines with them during Valentine’s Day weekend (February 12-14). Complimentary dining cards are redeemable for one lunch or dinner on their next visit (valid February 15 – April 28). For more information on location and pricing for San Francisco please visit the web site.

If you’re on Twitter, please follow me @santacruzfoodie.

San Francisco restaurant highlights for New Year’s Eve 2015-16

centralkitchen-0065

Central Kitchen in San Francisco

It’s almost New Year’s Eve 2015-2016! If you’re planning to dine in San Francisco, here are a few restaurant highlights.

Aatxe
Inspired by the New Year’s tradition of Spain in which twelve grapes are eaten at midnight in sequence with each bell strike, Aatxe is creating a special $95 menu of 12 offerings featuring grapes. Guests will be greeted by an introduction bite, followed by a set of three pintxos, five tapas such as Cana de Cabra with sultana membrillo, persimmon, grape-nuts, grape lees cured salmon with arbequina, celery root, kale, and Ajo Blanco Raw Scallops with pickled green grapes, jalapeño, and a plated entree before finishing with a palate cleaner and individual dessert. Reservations can be made via OpenTable or via phone at 415-471-2977.

A16
This New Year’s Eve, A16 will ring in 2016 with truffles, lobster, and the requisite lentils for good fortune! With lovingly selected wine pairings from wine director/owner Shelley Lindgren, chef Rocky Maselli will prepare a multi-course feast promising traditional Southern Italian cuisine and a bountiful party including selections like Cioppino with lobster, clams, mussels, black cod, potato, fennel, and tomato and Baked Cannelloni with lamb sausage sugo, rapini, pecorino, and fried senise peppers. This special Southern Italian feast will be offered at $110 per person with truffle supplements and wine pairing options available. Reservations can be made by visiting the website or calling 415-771-2216.

Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco
Chef Daniel Corey collaborates with Beverage Manager Marissa Payne on a festive menu to ring in the New Year!  Luce invites guest to build their own three-course menu with wine pairings. Highlights include baked potato mousse, crispy sweetbreads, onions cooked in port wine, truffle with grosjean, ‘Vigne Tzeriat,’ Pinot Noir, Vallée d’Aoste, Italy, 2012; Dungeness crab & cauliflower, winter citrus, crab vinaigrette paired with Edwards, Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, 2013; filet of certified angus beef & glazed short rib, fermented black garlic, red Russian kale with Justin, Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, California, 2013; and duck breast, poached & roasted, chestnuts in honey, quince, local mushrooms with Paolo Scavino, Langhe, Nebbiolo, Piedmont, Italy, 2012. Dinner is $95 per person and $140 with wine pairing, excluding tax and gratuity. Children ages 4–12 are $45. For reservations visit OpenTable. Call 415-616-6566 for more information.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins-New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day
From 7:30 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. NYE, enjoy a special reception, entertainment, dinner, dancing, and a champagne toast at midnight at at Top of the Mark. Start your evening with champagne and hors d’oeuvres including assorted caviar, ceviche shooter, Tomales Bay & Rockefeller oysters, Spanish Serrano ham carving station, raw seafood selections, and more. Following the reception, guests will enjoy a seated five-course dinner with bottle of Moet & Chandon Rose before dancing the night away and toasting the New Year with a glass of Moet & Chandon rose. Rounding out the festivities is live entertainment by Mirage, whose style ranges from jazz to rock. Formal dress is required. Regular reservations are $400 per person; window seating is $450 per person. Reservations required. Please call 415-616-6941.

On New Year’s Day, a special brunch at Top of the Mark will go from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Chef Nenad Stefanovic will be serving up a variety of brunch items from an omelet and waffle station, small plates and antipastos featuring lobster medallions with spiced mango-ginger gazpacho, assorted maki sushi rolls, local and international cheeses, charcuterie with homemade pates, and a selection of salads. Stefanovic will prepare entrees and roasts including braised beef short rib with root vegetables and natural jis and stuffed free range chicken breast with pine nuts, spinach, goat cheese and red wine chicken jus. Pianist Michael Athens will provide the tunes for New Year’s Day guests. Brunch is $109 per adult and $59 per child (ages 4 – 12). Reservations are required at 415-616-6941.

Nob Hill Club at Intercontinental Mark Hopkins
This will be an evening of California wines and bites prepared by Chef Nenad Stefanovic. The four-course meal at Nob Hill Club at Intercontinental Mark Hopkins includes  lobster shooter; seared scallop with horseradish salsify crème, mizuna pesto, and rainbow carrot chipsl and filet mignon with smoked corttin de chavignol, pepper chimichurri, sweet potato gnocchi and baby romanesco; and poached rubarb, marscapone, hibiscus ice cream, and gin & tonic syrup. Throughout the evening guests can enjoy songs from the Al Marshall Trio. New Year’s Eve Dinner at Nob Hill Club is $79 per adult, $99 per adult with wine pairing and $49 per child (ages 4-12). Call 415-392-3434 for reservations.

Foreign Cinema
This New Year’s Eve, Foreign Cinema will be celebrating with a Belle Époque themed celebration with a champagne toast and a “Golden Age” a la carte dinner menu (priced at $120 per guest) from the 20th Century American Brasserie movement. Period attire is welcome, but not essential. Festivities begin at 5:30pm. Reservations are highly recommended at 415-648-7600.

flour+water
Chef Thomas McNaughton of flour+water presents a festive five-course tasting menu for $95 per person highlighting the best of the season. Optional wine pairings begin at $70 per person. Spaces available online and subject to availability. Not seeing what you are looking for? Try asking for seats at the bar and communal table by reaching out to the reservationist at info@flourandwater.com or calling 415-826-7000.

central kitchen
Central Kitchen is another one of Chef Thomas McNaughton’s restaurants. There will be a six-course tasting menu created by Chef Thomas McNaughton for $125 per person and optional wine pairings beginning at $75 per person. Reservations can be made online or by calling 415-826-7004. As of Dec. 29 there were still reservations available. A sample tasting menu features dishes such as truffle canapés; California sturgeon with caviar, cauliflower, preserved lemon and seeded sourdough; bruleed onion consomme with leek,  wagon wheel and bone marrow brioche; Matsutaki mushroom and sunflower porridge with foie gras and huckleberry; beef with sunchoke fonduta and cabbage; and chocolate custard.

Presidio Social Club
The restaurant is offering a special a la carte dinner menu. Dishes at Presidio Social Club will include seafood items like caviar deviled eggs, a petite Maine lobster roll, and local sea urchin on toasted rye. A selection of first courses will include a Sonoma foie gras torchon and hearts of palm and winter grapefruit salad. Main courses will include a variety of sea, land, and vegetarian options, such as oven-roasted Alaskan true cod, roasted Sonoma lamb, and cardamom roasted butternut squash. Live music will be playing all evening long. Call 415-885-1888 or visit OpenTable.

SPQR
The restaurant serves progressive Italian cuisine in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. SPQR will host a special New Year’s Eve dinner where chef Matthew Accarrino will prepare a six-course tasting menu for $160 with optional wine pairings from wine director Shelley Lindgren for $80. Reservations are required and can be made through OpenTable or by calling 415-771-7779.

If you’re on Twitter, please follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Restaurants for Easter in San Francisco and the East Bay

Top of the Mark in San Francisco is serving an Easter Brunch bruffet

Top of the Mark in San Francisco is serving an Easter Brunch buffet

Dining out for Easter 2015? It’s this coming Sunday; here are some restaurant highlights for San Francisco and the East Bay.

San Francisco Restaurants
A16

A16 will host a festive Easter brunch and dinner featuring with creations from Executive Chef Rocky Maselli. For brunch, A16 will offer the restaurant’s regular a la carte menu plus traditional Italian Easter staples like Verdetto. This is a dish from Bari in Italy’s Puglia region where young lamb is braised in white wine until tender; the sauce is thickened with a mixture of egg and grana padano, served with snap peas and English peas and shoots. A16 will be open from 11am-9pm. For more information on A16 San Francisco or to make reservations, visit www.a16sf.com or call 415.771.2216.
Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
Top of the Mark Executive Chef Nenad Stefanovic presents the annual Easter buffet on Sunday, April 5. Guests will enjoy a selection of raw bar items, antipasto, salad, and small plates including roasted marinated beets, with goat cheese, walnut oil and roasted heirloom tomato gazpacho. Entrée selections include pesto marinated sliced strip loin of beef with potato timbers, jasmine tea demi; muscovy duck l’orange with roasted parsnip; and grilled dorado with white bean mash and tomato relish. Brunch favorites can be had at the omelet station and a build-your-own-buttermilk waffle station. Guests of Top of the Mark’s Easter brunch will enjoy entertainment by pianist Ricardo Scales, and a special visit from the Easter Bunny. Reservations can be made by calling InterContinental Mark Hopkins: 415.616.6940.  Easter brunch is served from 10am – 2pm; Adults are $119 and children between the ages of four and 12 are $59. Visit www.topofthemark.com.

Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco
Luce will feature an Easter brunch buffet on Sunday, April 5, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Michelin-star Chef Daniel Corey is offering a selection of dishes including chilled poached prawns with a spicy cocktail sauce, herb & garlic roasted tenderloin of prime beef with au jus horseradish and salsa verde, and traditional brunch items such as french toast with banana and whipped cream. Pricing is $75 per person (including bottomless mimosas), $45 per child 4-12 years (4 and younger are free). This excludes tax and gratuity. The traditional Luce a la carte breakfast/brunch items will also be available Easter morning, but only until 10:45 a.m. Reservations can be made by calling 415.616.6566 or visiting opentable.com. Learn more about Luce at lucewinerestaurant.com.

Presidio Social Club
Presidio Social Club will be offering an Easter feast on Sunday, serving both brunch and dinner. Offerings include sea salt baked ham and roasted leg of lamb with spring vegetables.  You can top off the experience with wine, champagne, or specialty cocktails from the PSC Bar. Call 415.885.1888 for reservations. Learn more at presidiosocialclub.com.

Central Kitchen
Highlighting a traditional Easter feast, Central Kitchen invites patrons to celebrate Easter with a three-course family-style dinner for $65 per person featuring lamb. Guests are also welcome to enjoy Easter Brunch, offered from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Central Kitchen’s brunch menu features sweet and savory delights. From a Medjool date sticky bun to fried chicken benedict, and french toast bread pudding to the CK brunch burger, there is a wide array of dishes. Also available: seasonal Bellinis made with Mercat Cava, a beer float with Death and Taxes black lager, and fresh-squeezed mimosas. Reservations can be made at 415.826.7004 or opentable.com. Learn more at centralkitchensf.com.

OneUP
OneUP, located at the Grand Hyatt in SF in Union Square, is serving a 3-course prix-fixe Easter Brunch with a glass of champagne or mimosa for $60 per person.  Call 415-848-6187 or visit opentable.com for reservations. Learn more about the restaurant at hyatthotels.hyatt.com/corporate/restaurants/oneup/en/home.html.

East Bay
A16 Rockridge

A16 Rockridge in Oakland will offer special brunch and dinner offerings by Chef Rocky Maselli. For brunch, A16 will offer the restaurant’s regular a la carte menu plus traditional Italian Easter staples like Verdetto. This is a dish from Bari in Italy’s Puglia region where young lamb is braised in white wine until tender; the sauce is thickened with a mixture of egg and grana padano, served with snap peas and English peas and shoots. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.a16rockridge.com or call 510.768.8003.

FIVE
This Easter Sunday, join FIVE at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley for a special a la carte menu from chef Stéphane Tonnelier. Dishes include both savory and sweet items, such as duck confit and potato galette; crab omelette; orzo ‘mac and cheese;’ eggplant parmigiano soufflé, honey mustard glazed ham; and chocolate chip pancakes. Contact opentable.com or 510.225.6055 for reservations. Visit five-berkeley.com for details.

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San Francisco restaurant A16: female guest chefs & wine experts for International Women’s Day

A16 in San Francisco

A16 in San Francisco

A16 is hosting its 10th annual Festa della Donna celebration on Sunday, March 8, 2015. The dinner will feature southern Italian fare from prestigious Italian chefs Laura Brunelli and Rosetta and Maria Costantino. Make reservations at 415-771-2216 or a16sf.com. Note that walk-ins are also welcome.

Location: A16, 2355 Chestnut Street (at Scott), San Francisco

Women winemakers from California and Italy including La Colombera’s Elisa Semino and POE Wines’ Samantha Sheehan will be pouring throughout the evening.

Each year, A16 serves a special dinner honoring women in food and wine and donates a portion of the proceeds to La Cocina, an organization that helps low-income entrepreneurs formalize and grow their businesses. Learn more at lacocinasf.org.

Festa della Donna, or International Women’s Day, commemorates the women who were killed in the 1911 Triangle Shirt Waist Factory Fire in New York and recognizes the achievements of women past and present.

“International Women’s Day is widely celebrated in Italy and many other countries around the world as a ‘Girl’s Night Out’ where we honor women and support our community,” says A16 co-owner/ wine director Shelley Lindgren. “We have some very talented and amazing women sharing their gifts with us this year.”

Attendees will enjoy a special selection of dishes such as Rosetta and Maria Costantino’s Polpette di Ricotta and Laura Brunelli’s Tortelli di Bieta. The restaurant’s normal a la carte menu will also be available. Lindgren will be present on Sunday to showcase a selection of California and Italian wines by the evening’s featured winemakers.

Details on the women involved with March 8 event:
Laura Brunelli
Owner of the world-famous in Sienna restaurant Osteria Le Logge and Tuscany’s Gianni Brunelli winery, Brunelli creates wine with organic farming methods. She has generously shared her recipes for A16 to prepare at Festa della Donna.

Rosetta and Maria Costantino
Mother and daughter Rosetta and Maria Costantino are this year’s celebrated chefs. They will serve some of their springtime specialties highlighting their Calabrian heritage. The Constantinos grow their own produce, make their own ricotta, and cure their own salsiccia calabrese and have created two Southern Italian cookbooks.

Elisa Semino
A16 will be pouring two of the Timorasso wines that La Colombera Winery’s Elisa Semino has been making with her father in Piemonte, Italy. With a passion for farming and viticulture, the father and daughter duo are presenting two wines from Timorasso: Derthona and Il Montino.

Samantha Sheehan
A16 will be pouring from POE Wines, a winery founded by Samantha Sheehan. There will be Ferrington Chardonnay, Rose of Pinot Noir/Meunier, Pinot Nouveau, Pinot Noir, and Hudson Vineyard.

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Valentine’s Day 2015: celebrating at SF and Oakland restaurants

We are one week away from Valentine’s Day 2015! If you’re planning to dine in San Francisco or Oakland for the occasion, here are a few restaurants to consider.

SF
A16 in San Francisco
A16 is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a festive four-course menu from Executive Chef Rocky Maselli and traditional wine pairing options from Wine Director/Co-Owner Shelley Lindgren. Dish highlights include Wild Nettle and Ricotta Ravioli with green garlic and asparagus, Abalone Crudo with fava leaf and castelvetrano olive, McFarland Spring Trout with black truffle and roasted sunchoke, and Velrohono Manjari Chocolate with Hazelnut Torta and coffee mousse. The prix fixe dinner is $85 per person. Reservations can be made by visiting www.a16sf.com or calling 415-771-2216.
central kitchen
For Valentine’s Day, Chef Thomas McNaughton will be offering a special “Mine & Yours” five course tasting menu for $125 per person with optional $75 wine pairings. Highlight dishes include Lobster with Vietnamese herbs and celeriac, Maitake with black garlic and cured yolk, Duck with beet, lime and nasturtium. This evening will be reservation only, so call 415-826-7004 or book via OpenTable.com.

CLIFT
Celebrate Valentine’s Day all weekend long at the iconic CLIFT hotel. The weekend will kick-off with the 4th Annual Love Bitten x Love Smitten party from 9pm-2am on Friday, February 13 where Motown on Mondays DJs Gordo Cabeza, The Captain Hat, and Timoteo Gigante will provide entertainment. Free entry. See www.facebook.com/events/352656041585263.

On February 14, CLIFT’s Valentine’s Day celebration will run with the theme of First Crush – “Meet the love of your life or just for tonight.” Red Light Lit, an erotic literary journal that explores love and lust in the form of poetry, prose and song, will take over the Redwood Room from 6:30-9pm with a musical performance by Francisco Fernandez of the Ferocious Few. This sensual poetry slam will be followed by an over-the-top Valentine’s Day party from 9:30pm-2am with DJs JT Donaldson & GE-OLOGY. Admission is free. See www.facebook.com/events/1597703960462349.

CLIFT will also offer a romantic Valentine’s Day package throughout the entire month of February. The First Crush package includes a bottle of champagne with chocolate covered strawberries, 20% off all services at Cowboys & Angels salon, and a complimentary glass of wine at First Crush restaurant (firstcrush.com) in San Francisco’s Union Square. Booking details can be found here.

Farallon
Grab your special someone for a romantic evening under-the sea this Valentine’s Day weekend. Farallon will offer a special five-course tasting menu from Friday to Sunday in addition to their a la carte menu. Dish highlights from Executive Chef Ryan Simas’ tasting menu include Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Poke with taro root chips, wakame salad, and avocado, and Seared Georges Bank Diver Scallop with french green lentils, foie gras torchon, and cognac reduction. The dinner menu will be offered at $90 per person with $70 optional wine pairings from Wine Director Luke Kenning. Reservations can be made by visiting  www.farallonrestaurant.com or calling 415-956-6969 and there is a 72 hour cancellation policy.

Flour + Water
Grab your favorite partner in crime for a special valentine’s day at flour + water. Chef Thomas McNaughton and his team have created a four-course menu for $95 per person highlighting some of their favorite dishes of the season.  Flour + Water’s wine director has worked with the culinary team to pair some unique selections with the menu. Wine pairing is optional for the evening, but the menu is set for the restaurant. Make your reservations online via OpenTable.com.


Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Luce with dinner prepared by a Michelin-star chef Daniel Corey, who will be preparing a three course menu of seasonal, California fare with dish highlights including Handmade Ricotta Tortellini with green asparagus, hazelnuts, and delicate herbs, Yellowfin Tuna slowly poached in California Olive Oil with baby artichokes, and green garlic, and Textures of Lemon Verbena with buttermilk panna cotta. The prix fixe dinner is $82 per person, with a complimentary glass of Rosé upon arrival. Make reservations at OpenTable.com or call 415-616-6566.

Presidio Social Club
For Valentine’s Day, Presidio Social Club is offering three special cocktails, in addition to three new dishes which will be offered throughout the month of February. Cocktails, all $13, include:

  • The First Blush (Calvados, Lemon, Brut Rosé, and Apple Chip Garnish),
  • Afternoon Delight (Riesling, Framboise, Crème de Pêche, Peychaud’s Bitters, garnished with a floating rose petal)
  • Love Potion #563 (Aperol, lemon, and Sparkling Wine, with a long lemon twist garnish)

Valentine’s Day desserts include:

  • PSC Brownie Banana Split for two with Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Salted Caramel ($12)
  • Roasted Marcona Olive Oil Almond Cake ($8)

Three new dishes available for the month of February include:

  • Bistecca for Two (36 oz bone-in Beef Porterhouse) with Oven Roasted Broccoli and Twice Baked Potatoes
  • Chilled Seafood Selection (Mendocino Uni, Shigoku Oysters, and Hawaiian Ahi Tuna—can be ordered separately or to share)
  • PSC Chopped Salad with Red Wine and Pork Belly Vinaigrette

Rose Pistola
North Beach institution Rose Pistola, bringing classic Italian dishes to its many loyal fans over the years, is offering a special Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu for $60 per person in addition to the regular menu. Valentine’s Day dish highlights include Beet and Goat Cheese Agnolotti with tarragon burro fuso, Quail al Mattone with mushroom-Parmesan pudding and caramelized carrots, and Pan Roasted Branzino with fennel pollen and mussels cream sauce, and Chocolate Mousse with raspberry macaroon. Reservations can be made via OpenTable.com or by calling the restaurant at 415-399-0499.

SPQR
This Valentine’s Day, Executive Chef Matthew Accarrino of SPQR will be offering a three-course prix fixe lunch for $48 per person and a five-course prix fixe dinner for $90 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by emailing bianca@spqrsf.com or by calling 415-771-7779.
Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
Top of the Mark provides an unforgettable setting for the most romantic day of the year with a five-course dinner on Saturday, February 14 starting at 7:30 for $495 per couple. This dinner includes one bottle of Moët & Chandon Rosé, live entertainment from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., and a rosé for lady guests. Highlights of the night’s menu include Sturgeon Caviar with blinis and creme fraiche, Maine Lobster and Wagyu Beef with salsify, espelette, and artichoke truffle jus, and Valrhona Chocolate with strawberry meringue, almond, and Grand Marnier. A separate menu is available for vegetarian guests. Dinner guests will automatically be entered into a drawing for a one-night stay in the luxurious Presidential Suite, valid on Valentine’s Day. Reservations required. Please call 415-616-6941.

InterContinental Mark Hopkins Romance Packages
Couples can enjoy the city lights with a special dinner experience available from Saturday, February 7 through Friday, February 13. The Head over Heels package guarantees guests a highly coveted window table at Top of the Mark, a bottle of Moët & Chandon Rosé, a special appetizer, a chocolate dessert, a framed souvenir photo, and a rose for lady guests ($250). Guests can indulge a bit further with the Endless Love package, which includes the Head over Heels package along with a bottle of Dom Perignon ($450). Reservations are required.
Salumeria – Make Valentine’s Day Dinner at Home
This Valentine’s Day, Salumeria in bringing back their flour + water pasta project for $45 plus tax, ideal for two people. Stay in this Valentine’s Day and cook at home by trying something new with flour + water. The kit includes all you need to make Beet and Rose Caramelle with Ricotta, Truffle & Whey Champagne. Make it a complete meal by adding on cured meats & cheeses, chocolate budinos or go big with the addition of the blini kit. Order online or by calling 415-471-2998.

East Bay
A16 Rockridge in Oakland
Celebrate Valentine’s Day at A16 Rockridge with a four-course menu prepared by Executive Chef Rocky Maselli and wine pairings from director/co-owner Shelley Lindgren. Valentine’s Day dish highlights include Buffalo Ricotta Gnocchi with green garlic and asparagus, Lucky Dog Ranch Prime Rib Roast with spinach, carrot, and salsa verde, and Chocolate Espresso Mousse with dark chocolate ganache, cacao nib, and amaro caramel. The prix fixe dinner is $75 per person. Reservations can be made by calling 510-768-8003 or visiting a16rockridge.com.

If you’re on Twitter, please follow me @santacruzfoodie.

New Year’s Eve 2014-15: celebrating at SF and Oakland restaurants

Oysters and champagne at Farallon Restaurant SF

Oysters and champagne at Farallon Restaurant SF

It’s almost New Year’s Eve 2014-2015! If you’re planning to dine in San Francisco or Oakland for the occasion, here are a few restaurants to consider.

San Francisco

A16
Details: A16 is ringing in 2015 with a festive New Year’s Eve tasting menu from Executive Chef Rocky Maselli and traditional wine pairing options from Wine Director/Co-Owner Shelley Lindgren. The special menu embodies the flavor of Southern Italy with dishes like Maccaronara with liberty duck sugo, black trumpet mushrooms and duck fat bread crumbs and Roasted Devil’s Gulch Rabbit Saddle wrapped in pancetta, lentils, sage and rosemary. The four-course tasting menu will be offered at $95 per person with $75 wine pairings. Reservations can be made by calling 415-771-2216.

Rose Pistola
On Wednesday, December 31st plan to celebrate the end of 2014 and ring in 2015 with Rose Pistola in North Beach. Come early to enjoy a special 4-course prix fix dinner (choice of hot & cold antipasti, entrée & dessert). Reservations will be available from 5:30 until 7:00pm. Music is by The Cosmo Alleycats, who will be playing vintage jazz/dance music with a dynamic, but soulful delivery from 7:00 until 9:45pm; $65.00 per person. Rose Pistola’s later seating, starting at 8:00pm, provides the option to stay and toast the New Year with them, while enjoying The Cosmo Alleycats, playing livelier, danceable American music drawing from eras spanning Swing & Big Band, Blues, 60s, soul & R&B and Motown from 10:00pm until 12:30am.  Enjoy a 5-course prix fixe dinner (hot & cold antipasti, pasta, entrée & dessert) and toast the New Year with complimentary Prosecco & party favors for all; $95.00 per person. You can make a reservation online or by calling the restaurant at 415-399-0499.
Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco
Guests are invited to ring in the New Year with dinner prepared by a Michelin-star chef and live entertainment throughout the evening at Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco. Chef Daniel Corey presents a multi-course menu of seasonal, California fare with dish highlights including Tartare of Kona Kampachi, avocado, smoked trout roe, and crème fraiche; Dungeness Crab with aged Carnaroli rice, Marcona almond milk, and espelette; Butter Poached Maine Lobster with fennel, apple, and onion; and Roasted Breast of Squab, leg confit, chestnut, and orange marmalade.  Live entertainment by jazz group The Steve Carter Trio kicks off at 8:30pm and rings in the New Year until 12:30am. Pricing is $125 per person for the four-course dinner or $195 with wine pairing. Luce is taking reservations from 6:30pm – 10:30. Reservations are required. Call 415-616-6566.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
Intercontinentalmarkhopkins.com
New Year’s Eve at Top of the Mark
From 7:30 p.m. until 1:30 a.m., enjoy a special reception, entertainment, dinner, dancing, and a Champagne toast at midnight. Start your evening with Champagne and hors d’oeuvres including assorted caviar, Tomales Bay & Rockefeller oysters, Spanish Serrano ham carving station, raw seafood selections, and more. Following the reception, guests will enjoy a seated five-course dinner with bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial before dancing the night away and toasting the New Year with a glass of Moet & Chandon Rose. Rounding out the festivities is live entertainment by Mirage, whose exciting style ranges from Jazz to rock. Formal dress is required. Regular reservations are $400 per person; window seating is $450 per person. Reservations required. Please call 415-616-6941.

Nob Hill Club at Intercontinental Mark Hopkins
Raise a glass to the New Year at the Nob Hill Club at Intercontinental Mark Hopkins. Guests are invited to enjoy a sophisticated evening full of California wines and tantalizing bites prepared by Chef Nenad Stefanovic. A delicious four course meal will be served including Oysters with grape mignonette, Shredded Duck Confit with dried figs, wild mizuna and pistachio pesto, Filet Mignon with smoked corttin de chavignol, pepper chimichurri, sweet potato gnocchi and baby romanesco, and a Valrhona Chocolate with whiskey, sea salted caramel and praline. Each dinner is $79 per adult, $109 per adult with wine pairing and $49 per child (ages 4 – 12). Call 415-392-3434 for reservations.

Foreign Cinema
This New Year’s Eve, Foreign Cinema will be celebrating with a “Purple Rain” inspired evening. Relive the ‘80s while rocking into 2015 with a four course celebratory menu, priced at $100.00 per guest, excluding wine, tax, and gratuity. Festivities begin at 5:30pm. Reservations are highly recommended.

Farallon
Ring in 2015 under the sea with Farallon’s New Year’s Eve six-course tasting menus from Executive Chef Ryan Simas. Guests will have an option between a traditional tasting menu, offered at $120, or a special Caviar and Truffle menu, offered at $155. Farallon’s decadent seafood fare fused with the whimsically aquatic décor offer the perfect way to celebrate the New Year. Guests can enjoy dishes such as Broiled Maine Lobster Tail with cauliflower mousseline, celery root, apple salad and lemon aioli, and Seared Georges Bank Diver Scallop with warm potato, leek latke, mache and caviar fondue and a limited à la carte menu will also be available. Both menus will include wine pairing options from Wine Director Luke Kenning with the traditional pairing priced at $65 and the Caviar and Truffle pairing at $85. Reservations can be made by visiting www.farallonrestaurant.com or calling 415.956.6969.

CLIFT
Step back in time to a different era at CLIFT’s early 1900s themed New Year’s Eve party. The hotel will be celebrating its 100th anniversary at the turn of midnight with a black tie optional red carpet event from 8pm-2am on December 31, 2014. There will be four areas of festivities including a special musical performance by Donovan, a Billie Holiday tribute, a Ziegfeld Follies show, and a silent film showcase. The festivities will take over the Redwood Room and the first floor of the hotel. Guests can also enjoy a champagne reception with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a glass of bubbles from 8-9pm. Additional details and tickets starting at $49.99 can be found at cliftnye.nightout.com. Hotel room packages are also available here.

flour+water
Close out 2014 and celebrate New Year’s Eve with flour+water. The restaurant will be offering a five course tasting menu for $95.00 per person, excluding tax and gratuity with a $70.00 optional wine pairing. Sample menu dishes include Dungeness Crab with shrimp, n’duja and Brussels Sprouts, Chestnut Agnolotti  with pheasant, sunchokes, and speck, and Mixed Roast of Beef with creamed nettles, beets and blue cheese.

central kitchen
Spend the last evening of 2014 at central kitchen. The restaurant will be offering a five course tasting menu for $125 per person, excluding tax and gratuity with a $75 optional wine pairing. Sample menu dishes include Dungeness Crab with parsley root, beet, and vanilla, Matsutake Mushroom with sunchoke, black, lentil, and smoked egg yolk, and Dry Aged Rib Eye with oxtail, date, and cauliflower.

Presidio Social Club
If you’re looking to skip a formal prix-fixe dinner, ring in 2015 at Presidio Social Club, where they’ll be offering a variety of a la carte dishes in addition to a seafood bar with items such as Oysters on the Half Shell, Cracked Dungeness Crab Legs, and Scallop Ceviche. Other tasty options include an Avocado & Winter Citrus Salad, Brown Butter Roasted Maine Lobster Medallions with Meyer Lemon Mascarpone Risotto, and a Truffle Roasted Chicken. A live band will provide entertainment all night long.

SPQR
Modest and inviting, SPQR serves progressive Italian cuisine in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. Under the direction of Executive Chef Matthew Accarrino, SPQR has been recognized with a Michelin star in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 San Francisco guides. On Wednesday, December 31, SPQR will host a special New Year’s Eve dinner where Accarrino will prepare a nine-course tasting menu for $160 with optional wine pairings from Wine Director Shelley Lindgren for $80. Reservations are required and can be made through Open Table or by calling 415-771-7779.

East Bay
A16 Rockridge in Oakland
Details: Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a special tasting menu from Executive Chef Rocky Maselli and traditional wine pairings from Wine Director/Co-Owner Shelley Lindgren. The four-course meal will feature Southern Italian dishes including Water Buffalo Veal Polpettini with crispy fried mushroom and Grano Arso Capunti with wild boar sugo, rapini and pecorino riserva. As a New Year’s treat, guests will have the option of a “White Truffle Supplement” for the tasting menu dishes. The menu will be available for $85 per person with $68 wine pairings. Reservations can be made by visiting calling 510-768-8003.

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Christmas 2014 highlights for San Francisco and Oakland restaurants

Luce Restaurant's Maine lobster -- from traditional dinner menu

Luce Restaurant’s Maine lobster — from traditional dinner menu

It’s almost Christmas 2014! If you’re planning to dine in San Francisco or Oakland for the occasion, here are a few restaurants to consider including ones that feature additional holiday events like special teas and brunches.

A16 in San Francisco and A16 Rockridge in Oakland will once again celebrate Christmas Eve with “Feast of the Seven Fishes.” An honored Italian-American tradition, the seven-course meal will feature seafood fare from Executive Chef Rocky Maselli including dishes like Dungeness Crab with fried Brussels sprouts, Calabrian chili and Meyer lemon and Roasted Monterey Squid with saffron potato and salsa verde. This special Christmas Eve menu will be served family style with three optional wine pairings from Wine Director/Owner Shelley Lindgren including a classic pairing, a Rosso pairing, and a unique and rare pairing. Dinner is priced at $80 per person with wine pairing selections from $55-75 per person at A16 and $48-68 per person at A16 Rockridge. For reservations visit Open Table or call 415-771-2216 (SF) or 510-768-8003 (Rockridge).

Bocanova

If you want to celebrate Christmas Eve on the water this year, Bocanova on Jack London Square is serving dinner. Chef/Owner Rick Hackett and Executive Chef John Jackson have put together a prix fixe four-course tamale menu for $38 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Menu highlights include the Cuban Tamale with Dungeness crab, the Green Tamale with chicken, chipotle, and tomato, and the Persimmon Pudding with eggnog ice cream. Call 510-444-1233 for reservations.

Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco
Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco, awarded a Michelin star for six consecutive years, is open for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. Chef Daniel Corey is offering a four-course dinner to celebrate the merriment of the holiday season. Diners will enjoy a globally inspired meal prepared by Michelin-star Chef Daniel Corey with seasonal, local ingredients. Menu highlights include local mushroom potage with crispy chicken skin and herb pistou; marinated baby beets, pickled apple, turnip and burrata; sweetbread ravioli with crispy sweetbreads and truffle; black bass, Dungeness crab jus and cauliflower; and a poached and roasted duck breast with onions and quince. Desserts will include pear cake with roasted white chocolate mousse and crème fraîche ice cream and chocolate pound cake with ginger infused custard, orange marmalade and a cranberry reduction. The special menu, served exclusively on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, will be $90 per person or $130 with wine pairing. Children ages 12 and younger are $45. Reservations are required. Call 415-616-6566.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
The Top of the Mark is serving a buffet for Christmas Eve dinner, a buffet for Christmas Day brunch and dinner, plus special events listed below. For reservations for any event or meal, please call 415-616-6941.

  • Christmas Eve Dinner

Celebrate Christmas Eve at the festive Top of the Mark with the city of San Francisco twinkling in the background. Enjoy a dinner buffet including a raw bar, antipasto selection, chef station, small plates, entrees, roasts, and more. Chef Nenad Stefanovic will feature some traditional holiday favorites including Rosemary crusted prime rib, Upland Cress with frisee, white asparagus and horseradish mustard dressing, Bruschetta station with fava bean, manchego cheese, grilled pear, blue cheese, honey sweet potato and pancetta hash, and much more. Dessert will include Crepes Suzette with Grand Marnier sauce and orange supreme, as well as traditional holiday classics. Guests will also enjoy live music from San Francisco’s renowned pianist, Ricardo Scales. Top of the Mark’s Christmas Eve dinner buffet is offered from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Adults are $119 per person and children (ages 4-12) are $59.

  • Christmas Day Brunch and Dinner Buffet

There is a holiday brunch and dinner buffet on Christmas Day at Top of the Mark. From 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., enjoy every delicious holiday treat you could imagine from traditional prime rib and turkey to a sweet selection of holiday cakes and pies. Brunch highlights include an omelet and waffle station, Scrambled eggs with chives and seasoned breakfast potatoes, and La Mer Benedict with béarnaise sauce. Additional highlights include Bone in Ham with charred pineapple sauce, Beef Medallions with caramelized shallots au poivre and fried parsnip chips, Grilled Lamb Chops with spiced lamb breast and honey mint dressing, Lobster bisque, and more. Guests will also enjoy live entertainment from pianists Michael Athens and Ricardo Scales. Top of the Mark Christmas Day Brunch and Christmas Dinner buffet is $119 per adult and $59 per child (ages 4 – 12).

  • Holiday Tea

Celebrate at Top of the Mark’s annual afternoon Holiday Tea, which began Thanksgiving weekend and continues for a few more days. A selection of fine teas and delectable three-tier presentations of desserts, scones and tea sandwiches will be offered by Chef Nenad and will feature classics like Cranberry scones with Devonshire cream and lemon curd and Mini Yule Logs. Holiday Tea is held Mondays and Tuesdays from December 22nd to December 29th. Holiday Tea at Top of the Mark is $50 per person.

  • Children’s Magical Holiday Tea

Magical Holiday Tea is an entertaining family-friendly event open to kids and adults of all ages, featuring Perry the Magician and face painter Pixie. Guests will also enjoy a cookie decorating station with Chef Nenad. Adults are offered an array of both sweet and savory tea sandwiches as well as special items from the kitchen including Kobe beef sliders, meatball kebabs, and Bacon Monte Cristo Finger Sandwiches. Young tea-goers will receive a selection of popular kids’ treats and finger foods including Pigs in a blanket, Macaroni and cheese, and Chicken nuggets. Guests may also enjoy the elaborate dessert buffet filled with a Christmas Yule log, fresh fruit tartlets, homemade marshmallows, and more. Magical Holiday Tea began in early December. Remaining days are Friday, December 26 and Saturday, December 27 with seatings at 12:00 p.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. In the spirit of giving, Top of the Mark invites guests to bring a new toy to donate to the Toys for Tots drive. Magical Holiday Tea is $60 per person, or $56 with toy donation.

  • Holiday Champagne Brunch

Top of the Mark’s luxurious holiday Sunday champagne brunch began Nov. 30 and occurs each Sunday until the end of December. Chef Nenad’s buffet has a raw bar, soups, salads and small plates, as well as roasts and breakfast selections. Menu highlights include Cioppino, Black Cod & Prawns with flageolet and braised chard stems, Turkey hash benedicts, Caviar selections, Porcini ravioli with seared Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and brown butter cream, and more. The brunch will also feature a decadent Viennese table dessert buffet and bottomless sparkling wine. Guests will also enjoy entertainment from a live jazz pianist. Brunch is from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and is $99 per adult and $59 per child.

Nob Hill Club at Intercontinental Mark Hopkins
The Nob Hill Club offers Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner. Christmas Eve Dinner showcases Chef Nenad’s selections of upscale holiday creations including Quince & Brie with pistachio and lavender honey, Braised Sea Bass with endive, pomegranate and fennel cream, Pork Tenderloin with honey & thyme braised tangerine, rapini and pommes dauphinoise, and a sophisticated dessert of Elderflower Panna Cotta. For Christmas Day, the menu includes Lobster bisque with tempura chives, Grilled Chicory with artisan lettuce, crispy duck prosciutto, grapes, olives and candied walnuts, Beef Tenderloin served with bone marrow butter, white asparagus bundles and duchesse potato. Dessert is a Lemon & Pink Peppercorn Pot de Crème with olive oil and rosemary water. Each dinner is $79 per adult, $109 per adult with wine pairing and $49 per child (ages 4 – 12). Call 415-392-3434 for reservations.

One Market Restaurant
For Christmas Eve, One Market is serving a special a la carte menu by Chef Mark Dommen and Pastry Chef Patti Dellamonica-Bauler. The seven first course choices include Dungeness crab cakes; shaved lamb’s tongue with mache, Asian pear, and puffed quinoa; and beet carpaccio with radish, chèvre, and sherry vinaigrette. Seven entrée selections include wild arugula risotto with pears, black walnuts, and parmesan; roasted Liberty Farms duck with turnips, chanterelles, and honey jus; and day boat scallops with artichokes, potato puree, and lobster emulsion. Four dessert selections include Valrhona chocolate palet d’or with white chocolate sorbet. Please call 415-777-5577 for reservations.

Happy Holidays!

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A few 4th of July restaurant & food events: San Francisco, Oakland, & Monterey

A past Picnic at the Presidio with Off the Grid in SF

A past Picnic at the Presidio with Off the Grid in SF

Crazy how time flies; we are two days from Independence Day 2014 — here are a few highlights for menus or events in San Francisco, Oakland, and Monterey.

SAN FRANCISCO
A16

For those headed to Chrissy Field to watch the fireworks, start the night at A16 in the Marina for Chef Rocky Maselli’s delicious dinner service. Guests can enjoy summer favorites like Lucky Dog Ranch Beef Shortribs with red wine, red onions, arugula and black pepper; Tomales Bay Clams with tomato, white wine, chiles, and grilled bread; or Wood Fired Dry Creek Peach Crostata with buttermilk sorbet.

Off the Grid: Picnic at the Presidio
Wind down the holiday weekend picnic style with Off the Grid. The weekly gathering on the Main Post Lawn in the Presidio is offering two festive 4th of July packages for groups to enjoy. Adults can toast with patriotic drink kits while kids enjoy some bubbly fun. Each $100 package includes a specialty alcoholic punch kit, beer basket, Off the Grid blanket and a bubble activity kit.

To book: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/eat-drink-and-toast-america-tickets-11951500259
OAKLAND
Bocanova
Bocanova is taking the age-old tradition of a 4th of July B-B-Q and doing it Argentine style for this month’s Rick’s Supper Club. Join Chef Rick and kick-off the holiday weekend with a menu featuring delicious summer vegetables, juicy meats and an array of complementary wines. The five-course, pre-fixe dinner is $72 per person, including wines and excluding tax or gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 510-444-1233.
A16 Rockridge

Chef Rocky Maselli has crafted a 4th of July menu as fun as it is festive to celebrate the holiday in the East Bay. Standout dishes from the special menu include a 4505 Bacon Hotdog Pizza with mozzarella, basil, and corn, House Made Fennel Sausage Corndog with Cherry Mostarda and Spicy Tomato Sauce, and Spicy Chicken Wings Agrodolce with cucumber and yogurt. The restaurant will be open from 2 pm to 8 pm.

Monterey

Cannery Row Brewing Company
Cannery Row Brewing Company (CRBC) is located in downtown Monterey right off the historic Cannery Row offering over 70 beers on tap paired with casual dining in a family-friendly environment. On Friday, July 4, CRBC will host a “sausagefest” on the outdoor patio with a live band. Chef Daniel Furey will be grilling up several varieties of sausages including Spicy Andouille, Pat Lafreida Sweet Italian, and Hebrew National Dogs, alongside a complete lineup of toppings such as grilled onions, peppers, sauerkraut, raw onions, relish, pepperoncini, ketchup, mustard, and Sriracha. Sweet treats will feature red white and blue Funfetti Cupcakes and guests can also enjoy bottled or canned domestic beers at a reduced rate.

Restaurant 1833
Located in the historic Stokes Adobe House in downtown Monterey, Restaurant 1833 will celebrate Independence Day with a strolling buffet on Friday, July 4 from noon – 4:00 p.m. for $40 per person. Guests can enjoy summer dishes from Executive Chef Abby Burk including Charred Sweet Corn on the Cob with Basil Butter, Espelette and Sea Salt; Herb Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes with Peaches & Burrata; Smoked & Pulled Pork Shoulder; as well as signature items such as The Fried Chicken and Bacon and Cheddar Biscuits. In partnership with Young’s/Grey Goose, Restaurant 1833 will set up an outdoor bar on the patio featuring drink specials on select spirits and a live band on the deck.
Cibo Ristorante Italiano
Cibo has music plus cocktail specials during the Fourth of July weekend. At 10 p.m. Friday, July 4, celebrate Independence Day at Cibo Ristorante Italiano with the “Red, White & Rewind 4th of July Bash.” At 10 p.m. Saturday July 5, the Chicano All Stars Band is performing. Both events last until 1:30 a.m. and there is no cover charge. Cibo welcomes guests to come for a late dinner and then stay for the music. On Friday, it’s “Best of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s remixed with resident DJ Hanif.” Patriotic-themed drink specials will include the “4th of July Citrus Splash” with Svedka Vodka, Blue Curacao, Lemon Juice, served up, rimmed with Cherry Pop Rocks, and The “Firecracker”  with Fireball Whiskey, Splash San Pellegrino Limonata, Splash Grenadine, on the rocks, garnished with Hot Tamales Cinnamon Candies.

On Saturday, the Chicano All Stars Band performs; its musical styles include Latin rock and rhythm and blues. The band recently added a horn section. Other members include lead vocalist Sam Martinez and lead guitarist John Mallare, who also helps out on vocals. They have performed with musicians including Maria Muldaur, Sista Monica, The Turtles, and Tower of Power.

The restaurant hosts live music six nights per week. There is dinner jazz from 7 to 10 p.m. Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and there is late-night music with reggae, R&B, rock or salsa dance music on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. (with no cover charge). Cibo’s menu includes pasta, gourmet pizza (including gluten-free options), cocktails, and wine. The restaurant is at 301 Alvarado St. Call 649-8151.

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Bay Area restaurants for Mother’s Day Part 1 — includes San Francisco & Oakland

Strawberry Rhubarb Gelee with vanilla bean cremoux, huckleberry foam, masago, fresh berries, and lemon verbena coconut snow - Mother’s day dessert from The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse

Strawberry Rhubarb Gelee with vanilla bean cremoux, huckleberry foam, masago, fresh berries, and lemon verbena coconut snow – Mother’s day dessert from The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse

Did Mother’s Day 2014 sneak up on you? It’s less than a week away, on Sunday May 11 – better make reservations if you haven’t already! Here are details on a few Bay Area restaurants; I’ll publish more in the next couple days.

SAN FRANCISCO
A16

Celebrate Mother’s Day in the Marina at A16 with a special a la carte menu boasting festive dishes and beverages for the occasion. After their meal, moms will be gifted with flowers for the holiday.  Lunch service will run from 11:00 – 2:30 and dinner will go from 5:00-10:00 pm.
CHAYA Brasserie
Join CHAYA Brasserie for Mother’s Day Brunch as the restaurant hosts a delicious 3-Course Chef Selection menu for $45 with $12 bottomless mimosas. Guests can choose dishes like the Castelle French Toast with caramelized banana, almonds, and fresh fruits or the Dungeness Crab Egg Benedict with avocado, miso hollandaise, and home fries. For dessert, try the Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches or the Warm Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding with caramel ice cream. Young adults can enjoy a special $15 prix fixe menu featuring an entrée and a dessert.

1760
In addition to its regular menu, guests are invited to enjoy special brunch dishes from 1760‘s Executive Chef Adam Tortosa from 11:30am -3:00pm on Sunday, May 11. Dishes include French toast with roasted strawberries and whipped creme fraiche; Fried egg sandwich with basil aioli and smashed avocado; Lollipop kale with Guanciale and 63 degree egg; and Avocado toast with parsley, lime and Biber pepper. Bar Manager Christopher Longoria will also offer special brunch cocktails for the day including a Green Strawberry Bloody Mary. The restaurant will be closed for dinner service after 3:00 p.m. that evening.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins 
On Sunday, May 11, Top of the Mark not only celebrates moms – it celebrates its official diamond anniversary, having opened 75 years ago to the day.  Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day, Top of the Mark and Executive Chef Nenad Stefanovic present a delicious buffet including a raw bar, carving station, salads, entrees, breakfasts and desserts along with limitless mimosas and entertainment by pianist Michael Athens. All mothers are entered into giveaways throughout the day which includes $100 and $75 gift cards to Macy’s, as well as a grand prize of a $750 gift card to Tiffany & Co. and one hundred roses. Pricing for Mother’s Day is $109 for adults and $59 for ages four through 12. Children three and under are complimentary. Brunch is served from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. For reservations, please visit www.intercontinentalmarkhopkins.com and www.topofthemark.com or call 415-616-6916.

Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco
Mothers dining at LUCE for Mother’s Day brunch will also be automatically into a drawing for $100 Macy’s card on the hour during brunch hours. A grand prize of a gift card worth $300 at Tiffany & Co. and 100 roses will be given away. This delicious buffet service with mini hot dishes is $45 per person with unlimited bubbly or $22.50 for children 4-12 years old. Call 415-616-6560 to book or visit opentable.com.

Off the Grid: Picnic at the Presidio for Mother’s Day 

Sit back and treat mom to a Mother’s Day experience complete with a reserved blanket and flowers for her to take home as a souvenir. Book here — The $100 package includes:

  • A signature Picnic at the Presidio blanket, for you to keep
  • A Mimosa kit for the group to share
  • Home Sweet Flowers Bouquet Class for two (bouquet to take home included)

Presidio Social Club

Stop in for selections from PSC‘s iconic dinner and brunch menus, and to sample the Mother’s Day Special, Sweet Bay Shrimp with a citrus dressing served over butter leaf lettuce, available throughout the day. Dine indoors, or take advantage of Spring’s beginnings with a table on the back deck.

EAST BAY
Bocanova
Oakland

Celebrate mom with Mother’s Day at Bocanova this year. Special dishes offered for the day will include a Crab Benedict with Arepas for brunch only; and a Stone Valley Pork Leg with butter beans, poached egg and tomatillo crudo for brunch and dinner.

A16 Rockridge
Oakland

Take mom to the East Bay this Mother’s Day holiday for a special a la carte menu by Chef Rocky Maselli. From 11:00am-3:00pm for lunch or 4:00pm-close, guests can enjoy classic A16 Rockridge fare or sample new dishes created for the day. At the end of the meal, moms will be gifted with a sweet treat to take home- a pound cake from Pastry Chef Hannah Buoye.

PALO ALTO
The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse

Chef Yu Min Lin has crafted a special $45 prix fixe menu for the holiday with dishes such as the classic Hamachi Shots and Lobster Scrambled Eggs with tarragon, lemon, and parmesan. For dessert, guests can enjoy the creations of Pastry Chef Dan Huynh like the Chocolate Gateaux with vanilla crème, apricot, and cherry or the Strawberry Rhubarb Gelee with vanilla bean cremoux, huckleberry foam, masago, fresh berries, and lemon verbena coconut snow (see photo above).

NAPA
Silverado Resort and Spa

Mother’s Day Brunch – 10:30 am-2:30 pm
Chef Jeffrey Jake and the Silverado culinary team will create a menu, priced at $60 for adults and $25 for children ages 4-9, that showcases the local bounty of Napa’s spring harvest. Local fruits and vegetables from farmers stretching from Napa into Marin counties, pristine sustainably caught seafood, hormone-free beef and poultry from Northern California ranches, farm fresh eggs from the Hen Pen Farm on Hardman Lane, and local fruit from Silverado Trail and K&J Orchards. Silverado’s pastry chef creations will also include a dark chocolate fountain. In addition, the resort will be serving a limited Mother’s Day menu in the Grill for $32 per adult.
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Restaurants for Easter in Santa Cruz, SF and the Greater Bay Area

Fogo de Chao on Santana Row is serving Easter Brunch

Fogo de Chao on Santana Row is serving Easter Brunch

Dining out for Easter 2014? It’s this coming Sunday; here are some restaurant highlights for Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and the Bay Area.

Santa Cruz Restaurants

Chaminade
The Chaminade offers its annual Easter Brunch Buffet from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; the price is $50.95 (adults), $17.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. Selections include prime rib, honey baked ham with Jack Daniels glaze, rosemary and garlic encrusted lamb leg, a seafood bar with teriyaki salmon, peel and eat prawns, fried calamari and more, omelets made to order, and Belgian waffles. Additional highlights: several salads, fresh berries, chocolate fondue, and a chocolate fountain. There will be Easter egg hunts for the kids at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz, www.chaminade.com

Johnny’s Harborside
Johnny’s Harborside is offering a special Easter brunch menu from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (last seating at 2:15 p.m.). Dinner service begins at 4 p.m. with a few specials in addition to the regular menu. Easter brunch specials include a variety of Eggs Benedicts (such as a crab cake variation for $16, traditional for $12), a smoked salmon and goat cheese quiche ($14), and a proscuitto omelet with asparagus, hearts of palm, spinach, and housemade dou latte cheese ($14). Call (831) 479-3430 for reservations.
493 Lake Avenue, Santa Cruz, www.johnnysharborside.com

Hoffman’s is serving brunch until 2:30; dinner is served from 3-9:30. Make reservations via OpenTable or at (831) 420-0135.
1102 Pacific Ave., hoffmanssantacruz.com

San Francisco Restaurants
A16

A16 will host a festive Easter brunch and dinner featuring an a la carte menu with creations from Chef Chris Thompson and Pastry Chef Candace Rowan. For brunch, A16 will offer dishes such as Ceci Fettucine with braised sugo, fava, and pecorino and Pastiera Napoletana, an Italian cake made of ricotta cheese that hails from Naples. For dinner, guests can choose from menu items like Roasted Leg of Lamb with senise peppers, English peas, and tendrils and Cassata Siciliana, a traditional round sponge cake from Palermo with fruit juice and ricotta cheese. The special brunch offerings will be available in addition to the restaurant’s regular menu. A16 will be open from 11 am to 2:30 pm for lunch and 5-10 pm for dinner.  For more information on A16 San Francisco or to make reservations, visit www.a16sf.com or call 415.771.2216.

CHAYA Brasserie
This Easter, celebrate the holiday on the water at the Embarcadero gem, CHAYA Brasserie. Offering a special menus like the young adults’ menu for $15 and the 3-course menu for $42, CHAYA will feature dishes such as  Smoked Trout and Crispy Potato with crème fraiche, ikura, and shiso salsa verde; Castelle French Toast with caramelized banana, almonds, and fresh fruits; and Five Spiced Duck Confit Hash with piquillo peppers, red onions, and fried duck egg. For an additional $12, guests can enjoy bottomless champagne or mimosas. Reservations can be made by calling 415.777.8688 or visiting thechaya.com/SanFrancisco.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
Top of the Mark Executive Chef Nenad Stefanovic presents the annual Easter buffet on Sunday, April 20. In additional to the views to be had from the legendary sky lounge, guests will enjoy a selection of raw bar items, antipasto, salad, and small plates including Almond cucumber gazpacho and Roasted Wild Mushroom with crostini and basil oil. Entrée selections include Alaskan Halibut with caramelized fennel, fire roasted peppers and citrus beurre blanc; Kurabota Pork Loin with Brussels sprouts and whole grain mustard sauce; and Saffron Couscous with spring vegetables and parmesan broth. Brunch favorites can be had at the omelet station and a build-your-own buttermilk waffle station. Guests of Top of the Mark’s Easter brunch will enjoy limitless mimosas, entertainment by pianist Michael Athens, and a special visit from the Easter Bunny. Reservations can be made by calling InterContinental Mark Hopkins: 415.392.3434.  Easter brunch is served from 10am – 2pm; Adults are $109 and children between the ages of four and 12 are $59. Visit www.topofthemark.com.

Napa
Join Silverado Resort & Spa for their spectacular Easter Sunday Brunch Buffet from 10:30 am-2:30 pm with a menu designed and prepared by acclaimed Executive Chef Jeffrey Jake and his team. Traditional brunch selections include hand-carved gently roasted meats, lavish hot & cold displays and an array of decadent desserts for $60 per adult and $25 per child (ages 4-9).

Los Gatos
Visit award-winning Dio Deka for an Easter filled with traditional Greek favorites seasoned with California technique from Chef Jeff Fitzgerald. Weather permitting, seating will be available in the restaurant’s beautiful outdoor patio as well as in the dining room. The à la carte brunch menu will feature dishes such as Keftethakia, lamb meatballs with blistered grapes, kalamansi yogurt and a light herb-broth ($13); Zambonopita, a crispy puff-pastry stuffed with smoked ham, green onion, feta, kasseri and ricotta cheeses ($16); Plevrakia, slow-cooked pork ribs rubbed with Greek spices, Attiki honey and lemon glaze, and sour cherries with ouzo ($15); and Cinnamon “Greek” Toast with whipped vanilla butter and maple syrup ($14). Brunch will be available from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 408-354-7700. Regular dinner service will resume that evening.

San Jose
Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse in San Jose will offer a lively and elegant dining alternative – a Brazilian twist on Easter brunch. The Easter Sunday menu will feature the restaurant’s extensive variety of fire-roasted meats that are specially carved to each guest’s preference. Diners can enjoy selections such as the house specialty picanha sirloin, filet mignon, ribeye, lamb chops, chicken wrapped in bacon, and pork ribs, to name a few, or try the newly-introduced lighter seafood selection. Additionally, Fogo offers a gourmet salad and sides bar with an abundance of choices, and Southern Brazilian side dishes such as pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, and caramelized bananas are served family style. A tempting dessert menu, creative and classic cocktails, and an award-winning wine list complement the dining experience. Lunch is served from 11:30am – 3:00pm and dinner is served 4:00pm – 9:00pm on Easter Sunday. Price: $51.50 (salad bar only – $26.50); kids 6 and under are complimentary. Children 7 to 12 are half price.

Palo Alto
The Sea by Alexander Steakhouse located in Palo Alto offers a special three-course pix fixe brunch menu for Easter Sunday. Tuna tartare, lobster scrambled eggs, scallops and New York steak are just a few of the selections on this lavish menu prepared by Executive Chef Yu Min Lin. Three courses for $45, and other items a la carte. From 10:30am – 1:30pm. Reservations: (650) 213-1111.
Monterey
On Sunday, April 20, 2014 Restaurant 1833 will open early and host a special Easter Brunch from 10:30-2:30 with a three-course menu for $50. Located in the historic California landmark, the Stokes Adobe house, guests can enjoy dishes from New Executive Chef Abby Burk with selections such as Smoked White Sturgeon Tartine with pumpernickel bread, pickled red onions, capers, and cream cheese; Lemon and Ricotta Waffles topped with marinated berries and whipped cream; Slow Roasted Spring Lamb Rachetta with feta, black olives, tomato confit, bread salad, and rosemary jus; and Mignardise Board of marshmallow peeps, raspberry jellies, chocolate mendiants, and pistachio financier. As always, available for a $6 add on are 1833’s infamous Bacon Biscuits served with a sausage gravy. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made with a credit card through Open Table or by calling (831) 643-1833.

East Bay
A16 Rockridge

Celebrating its first Easter in Oakland, A16 Rockridge will offer special brunch and dinner offerings by Chef Rocky Maselli. For brunch, guests can choose from an a la carte menu with dishes such as Crespelle with rhubarb compote and whipped cream fraiche and candied almonds and Capunti with lamb heart sugo, gava beans, and pecorino reserva. For dinner, the a la carte menu will feature savory dishes such as Verdetto, Easter Lamb with egg, snap peas, pea greens, and grana padano and a special dessert of Pastiera Napoletana with cinnamon, gelato, and orange caramel. An Easter-inspired libation will be available for the holiday as well. The Carrot Top features Boyd + Blair vodka, carrot, grapefruit, and lemon juice with ginger syrup and garnished with festive carrot fronds.  A16 Rockridge will be open from 11 am to 9 pm and switch from its dinner menu at 4 pm.  For more information or to make reservations, visit www.a16rockridge.com or call 510.768.8003.

Bocanova
This Easter Sunday, join Bocanova for two special dishes: A 7-hour leg of lamb Oaxacan-style with beans and tomatillo salsa and a Dungeness Crab Benedict for brunch. Visit www.bocanova.com.

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