November 4, 2008

November 4, 2008

Some bar ownership changes around town: ~CASSIDY'S BAR~ in SoMa is currently in escrow, and once that wraps up in about or month or so, Darin Brunson and Mike Goebel of Double Dutch will be leading the helm. There will be a complete remodel, with a different name and vibe once the bar reopens. While things are currently TBD, the new owners did say they are keen to keep it a neighborhood bar and lounge, but less grungy—stand by for more in a month or so. 1145 Folsom St. at 7th, 415- 241-9990.

Over in Potrero Hill, the closed Sadie’s Flying Elephant has changed over to ~MISSION HILL SALOON~ this last weekend. This project is from Mike Shelton, a former part owner of Whiskey Thieves (that smoky whiskey bar on Geary Street). There’s a new paint job, new seating, new tunes on the jukebox, and the popcorn machine is MIA. 491 Potrero Ave. at 17th St., 415-551-7988.

Last Monday at the ~MARIE BRIZARD COCKTAIL CHALLENGE~ west coast regional final held at Conduit, Jackie Patterson (Zinnia) won the title of USA Champion. Joel Baker (Bourbon & Branch) came in second place, and Sierra Zimei (Four Seasons) won this year’s special Hospitality Award by receiving the most public votes on the Marie Brizard website. As one of the two USA champions, Jackie Patterson will travel to Bordeaux, France, in December to compete in the international final. David Nepove, national vice president of United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG), conducted the technical judging, while Steven Oliver, general manager of Le Colonial; Scott Hocker, senior editor of San Francisco magazine; and Patrick Heig, editor of CitySearch San Francisco, were on the blind tasting panel.

Last week I swung by a private event where local bartenders were competing with their recipes for a featured drink, the ~CONSERVATINI~, for the upcoming Conservatory of Flowers’ gala, The Golden Gate Express. Since they were down a judge, I ended up becoming an impromptu judge alongside Leslie Sbrocco of KQED's Check, Please, and Tiffany Martini, the Examiner's Meet Your Mixologist columnist. Hey, as a former girl scout, I help when I can! The winner was Kevin Diedrich (of Clock Bar, Bourbon & Branch, and the upcoming Cask store) with his killer drink, made with Hangar One Mandarin Blossom, fresh lime juice, Velvet Falernum, homemade orgeat, Whiskey Age Barrel Bitters, chipotle tincture, and an orange twist. In case you’re interested, the gala event on November 19th will feature the winning cocktail (you gotta try it!), plus wines, and bites, a new garden railway exhibition, and the chance to experience the Conservatory at night. All proceeds benefit the Conservatory of Flowers’ youth environmental education programs. $200 ($125 for those 35 and younger). 6:30pm. Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, 415-831-2090.

I had quite the time attending the very moving ~MILK~ premiere last week at the Castro Theatre (do not miss this very important film—it opens on November 26th!). It was exciting to spot Josh Brolin, Diane Lane, and Emile Hirsch on the red carpet, plus the excellent Alison Pill, and Diego Luna and James Franco at the after-party at City Hall (although the last two weren’t the most gracious nor friendly actors I’ve met, ahem). Found out SKYY Spirits is running a Milk cocktail charity program in bars throughout the city featuring the Milk signature cocktail, the “Talk of the Castro,” made with SKYY vodka, raspberry liqueur, lime juice, orange juice, and mint. For every cocktail sold, Skyy Spirits will be donating one dollar to LGBT organizations. The cocktail charity program will run at select spots around town from November 15th–December 15th. Participating bars and restaurants (to date): Lime: 2247 Market St.; Midnight Sun: 4067 18th St.; Mix: 4086 18th St.; The Bar: 456 Castro St.; The Cafe: 2369 Market St.; and The Lookout: 3600 16th St. Time to get drinkin’!

Last week I mentioned ~SAN FRANCISCO WINE WEEK~ (please check the updated socialite listing because there have been a few changes), but I also just received this email: “If you have any friends or wine industry friends who have interest in attending as a volunteer for any of the SF Wine Week night of tastings, please forward to me.” You can email neil [at] sfwineweek [dot] com or call him at 415-377-6223.

This Saturday November 8th, ~UVA ENOTECA~ is hosting a class, Introduction to Italian Wines, covering the fundamentals of winemaking, history, and tasting. $40 per person, 3:45pm. Call 415-829-2024 or email info [at] uvaenoteca [dot] com to sign up. 568 Haight St. at Steiner.

Yo winos! At Book Passage on Monday November 10th is a special event called ~A WINE EXTRAVAGANZA~. Here’s more on the event: “Please join Clark Wolf, internationally known food and restaurant consultant as he hosts an evening with David Kamp and David Lynch. Witness the vibrant intersection of the country’s top sommelier, David Lynch, wine director of Babbo in NYC, with David Kamp, renowned editor, food writer, and humorist as they explore the power and range of cult and other brilliant wines in a vastly changed and charged wine world. Welcome a couple of New Yorkers to the city of ultimate connoisseurship and become convinced that it’s not just money that makes a snob! Charles Krug wines will be poured!” 6pm. Tickets are $20, and the price includes a copy of The Wine Snob’s Dictionary and a donation to CUESA. To sign up, call 415-927-0960, ext. 1, or order online by clicking here. Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, #42.

On Sunday November 16th, there will be a sparkling wine dinner at ~SLOW CLUB~. The menu will be served buffet style from several stations in the room. Guests will be able to help themselves to all of the offerings and find a seat wherever they like or just mill about. The wines showcased at the dinner and additional bottles of bubbly will be available at Slow Club and Serpentine throughout the month of November for 40% off the normal list price. Chefs Chris Kronner and Matt Paul will prepare the following menu: crispy fried oysters with sauce gribiche / sunchoke soup / avocado and grapefruit pintxos with nepitella; little gems, cherry tomatoes, bacon, roasted shallots and tarragon vinaigrette / beet and herbed fromage blanc napoleons / leeks vinaigrette; braised pork with roasted red carrots / grilled quail with balsamic radicchio; pumpkin cake with whipped crème fraîche / rose geranium pot de crème. Tom Hunter of Revel Wine will be present and pouring Caves Sanstravé Gran Reserva Brut Nature Cava Catalonia, Spain, 2003; Parigot & Richard Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé, Savigny les Beaune Burgundy, France, NV; Barbolini Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Emilia Romagna, Italy, NV; and a sweet, sparkling surprise. The cost of the dinner is $65, which includes a glass of each of the four wines. Tax and tip are additional. To reserve a spot at the wine dinner, email erin [at] slowclubsf [dot] com. 6:30pm. 2501 Mariposa St. at Hampshire, 415-241-9390.