September 23, 2008

September 23, 2008

I learned Aaron Elliott is no longer the sommelier/wine director at ~AME~ (he’s either off to LA or Vegas), and taking his place is Cesar Kusik, most recently of Rubicon. Kusik started this week. 689 Mission St. at 3rd St., 415-284-4040.

~UVA ENOTECA~ has started a happy hour, every Sun–Thu from 5pm–6:30pm. Beer is $1.50, lambrusco Reggiano $4, and the Ultras made with birra bionda, ginger beer, lime, lemongrass and tarragon is $4. For bites, the gnocco fritto with pesto, the corn and basil pizza, and chicken panino with Gorgonzola and onions are all $4 each. 568 Haight St. at Steiner, 415-829-2024.

imageEven more wine bar action. Press Club just opened, and now there’s ~FLYTE WINE BAR~ at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District. Similar idea: feature Napa and Sonoma wines, plus some small bites. Flyte has a wrap-around granite high-top bar and wines are housed in an Enomatic storing system. 750 Kearny St. at Washington, 415-433-6600.

Mark your calendar: Orson’s ~WHISKEY AND PIG DINNER~ is Wednesday October 8th. I’ll have more on the menu and pricing next week.

Also that night, ~OTTIMISTA-ENOTECA CAFÉ~ is doing a tasting of the wines of Mutti from the Colli Tortonesi area, with boutique Italian wine importer Antonio Tartaglione. You’ll taste his wonderful Timorasso along with three other wines, pairing them with traditional food products from the region that Anthony is bringing in just for this event. 6pm–7:30pm, $40 per person. To sign up, please email Lorraine at lorraine [at] ottimistasf [dot] com or call 415-674-8400. 1838 Union St. at Octavia, 415-674-8400.

On Saturday October 11th, ~BARAKA~ in Potrero Hill is hosting a special four-course wine dinner with PapaPietro Perry (yum!). The menu includes an amuse bouche with 2006 Russian River Valley, Peter’s Vineyard Pinot Noir; first course, chanterelle and bread salad with arugula, shaved parmesan, lentil vinaigrette, 2006 Russian River Valley, Peter’s Vineyard Pinot Noir; second course, pepper-crusted ahi with horseradish-potato puree, braised celery, pinot noir-shallot reduction, 2006 Russian River Valley, Leras Family Vineyards Pinot Noir; third course, pinot noir-braised duck leg with turnip puree, quince, cippolini onion, cinnamon duck jus, 2004 Sonoma Coast, Pommard Clones Pinot Noir; and dessert is the Baraka peanut butter “cup” with sea salted chocolate, caramel, praline, vanilla gelato, and 2005 Dry Creek Valley, Pauline’s Vineyard Zinfandel. 6:30pm. $105 per person (not including tax and gratuity). 288 Connecticut St. at 18th St., 415-255-0370.

More wino love: ~CAV WINE BAR & KITCHEN~ is starting up their wine classes again this fall. Brett Ekern, the assistant wine manager, will join wine director Pamela S. Busch in conducting the classes. They are keeping them small, no more than twelve participants each, so that there is room for discussion. I’m giving you some advance notice since these fill up quick: Saturday October 25th at 2pm is Tasting Wine ($45 per person); and Saturday November 15th at 2pm is Sparkling Wine ($55 per person). To sign up, email classes [at] cavwinebar [dot] com.

Oh, CAV is also having their fourth annual Yom Kippur “break fast” on Thursday October 9th, with a spread of bagels, house-smoked sturgeon, lox, and Nanny Sherry’s kugel. The annual fall mushroom dinner is also coming up on Tuesday October 28th, with all dishes served a la carte. And lastly, CAV has also lowered menu prices—here’s more from their newsletter: “We realize that things are a little tighter now but wine and food are two of life’s greatest pleasures, and during stressful times, comforts, so we’re reducing our menu prices by an average of 8% to accommodate the economic change.” Oh jeez, one more thing: CAV has switched their hours, and decided to give in and open up at 5pm. They’re also staying open later during the week, so the new hours are Mon–Sat 5pm–12am. 1666 Market St. at Gough, 415-437-1770.

The ~PISCO~ opening is very close: sometime around the Oct 1st to the 4th is the latest. 1817 Market St. at Octavia, 415-874-9951.

I was bummed to read on All Shook Down that ~CLUB 222~ is closing—I remember throwing a fun happy hour there. Heck, I remember loving the place before they even had full liquor. The club has hosted a lot of great parties there, I know folks are bumming. According to the piece, the owners may be reopening in the Mission. Mrow. I always liked the Spanish bodega-meets-New York vibe of the place, and their tasty pizzas! The last night is October 1st. 222 Hyde at Turk, 415-440-0222.