September 30, 2008

September 30, 2008

This Wednesday October 1st is Nihonshu no Hi (The Day Of Sake) in Japan. Here in the west we call it ~SAKE DAY~—this will be the third annual celebration in SF. The event will be at Ft. Mason, and will include a complimentary sake glass, five cuisine-and-sake paired dishes, five unique tasting stations, eight vendor sake stations, welcome cask sake, a live Okinawa band, and many raffles and giveaways! Sake Day is presented by True Sake, Mari's Catering, and Sozai Restaurant. 6pm–9pm. $85. Buy tickets in advance here. Tickets will be available at the door but CASH ONLY! There is a pay-lot, and Building A is closest to the free lot (wink). Ft. Mason, Golden Gate Room (Building A).

When the whistle blows this Friday October 3rd, you can wet your whistle at ~AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 SIPS~, a wine tasting event to celebrate the book launch of Bottlenotes Guide to Wine: Around the World in 80 Sips, by Bottlenotes founder and CEO Alyssa Rapp. Enjoy light hors d’oeuvres and expand your wine knowledge as you sip wines made from the best boutique producers from across the globe. Book signing and author Q&A to follow. Tickets: $45 in advance, $60 at the door (price includes a copy of the book). tablehopper readers can use the code TABLEHOPPER at checkout for a $15 discount! Order tickets. 6pm–9pm. Frey Norris Gallery, 456 Geary St. at Taylor.

~PISCO LATIN LOUNGE~ should be opening this Friday after its final inspection tomorrow. The “floating island pagoda,” tasty bar food (tiradito of corvina, seared fresh sardines, Peruvian mini burgers, quinoa risotto balls), and original recipe Pisco Punch all await. Closed Mondays. 1817 Market St. at Octavia, 415-874-9951.

Next Wednesday October 8th is Orson’s monthly cocktail dinner—this one is ~WHISKEY AND PIG~, what’s not to love? Consider it a warm-up for WhiskyFest! The menu is as follows: In the beginning: whipped lard on house sourdough, curry lardo-wrapped persimmon on a stick with Jack & Ginger (Jack Daniel’s, ginger, mint, cherry); First Course: smoked trotter and pork terrine, French pear and walnuts with a Sazerac (Mitcher's Rye, Peychaud’s Bitters, anise); Second Course: pork belly & clams, chicharrones, butter beans, chili with Frisco Sour (Famous Grouse, Benedictine, lemon, lime); Third Course: "roasted, confit, fried, stuffed" pork plate, apple tart, cipollini onions, beautiful local carrots with New Fashion (Blanton's, apple, lemon, soda); an amuse; and for Dessert: bacon & beignets, sweet kabocha & whiskey with a Cold Whiskey Flip (Basil Hayden's, cream, egg, sugar, nutmeg). Seriously, where do I sign? $75 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Reserve in advance by calling 415-777-1508 or emailing reservations [at] orsonsf [dot] com. You may also reserve online and just put "Whiskey & Pig" in your note. 508 4th St. at Bryant St., 415-777-1508.

Tuesday October 14th is the ~FIFTH ANNUAL TOP 100~, when the top 100 wineries globally that consistently receive Wine & Spirits Magazine's critics' highest ratings will be highlighted. The event will be one of the first held at San Francisco's historic Mint Building (built in 1874). Events such as the Top 100 Tasting, along with fundraising efforts, will eventually pay for the Old Mint to be renovated into a museum showcasing SF history. In the meantime, the Wine & Spirits Top 100 event is one of the few opportunities for the public to view the building in its original grandeur. In addition to all Top 100 wineries, Bay Area chefs and local, artisanal purveyors will be in attendance serving tastes, such as SPQR, Fish & Farm, Local, Bar Bambino, and CocoLuxe. The Top 100 wineries of 2008 will officially be announced in the winter issue of Wine & Spirits on sale October 14, 2008. 6:30pm–9pm. Tickets are $125. Buy tickets. Mint Building, 88 Fifth St. at Mission, San Francisco.

~TONIC ON POLK~ has new owners, Ben Bleiman, a former GM at Harry’s on Fillmore, and Duncan Ley. The complimentary gummi bears (read: germ stables) are gone, but there are now three TV screens behind the bar (instead of one) playing sports during the day, and old Elvis flicks at night. The bar also has a new look by Michael Brennan that is more neighborhood-y, with a fresh paintjob, new banquettes are coming, and the hanging lights above the bar have been replaced by colored seltzer bottles that are attached to the bar and lit with aquarium lights. 2360 Polk St. at Union, 415-771-5535.

It’s time to vote for some local bartenders! Jacques Bezuidenhout’s drink, The Grand Dram, is a top ten semi-finalist in ~TRAVEL + LEISURE'S BEVERAGE ARTS CHALLENGE~. Vote for him at On December 15th, the top three mixologists who receive the most votes online will compete at the Grand Finale event in Los Angeles for the chance to be crowned Grand Mixologist, and win a trip to the Bahamas. Yo, help send Jacques to the Bahamas!

There’s also the 26th ~MARIE BRIZARD COCKTAIL CHALLENGE~, offering online voting through mid October. The West Coast contenders include: Joel Baker, bar manager at Bourbon and Branch; Joe Parrilli, bartender at Clock Bar at Westin Hotel; H Joseph Ehrmann, bartender at Elixir; Brian Mac Gregor, bartender at Jardinière; Sierra Zimei, bartender at Four Seasons Hotel; Camber Lay, bar chef at Epic Roasthouse; Joe Wrye, bartender at Waterbar; Tim Stookey, bartender at Presidio Social Club; Amanda Washington, bartender at Rye; and Jackie Patterson, formerly bar manager at Orson, now at Zinnia. The challenger who receives the most votes will receive the Hospitality Award, plus there are the regional final events in New York City and San Francisco. The west coast regional final takes place on October 27th at Conduit Restaurant. The USA champions, one from each coast, will travel to Bordeaux in December to attend the 26th Marie Brizard International Bartender Seminar and Cocktail Competition. Vote now!