February 24, 2009

February 24, 2009

The tiki community is taking two hits this week. First, Martin Cate has left ~FORBIDDEN ISLAND~ tiki bar in Alameda. You can read his goodbye note in its entirety here, but the net-net is, “I was a minority partner in FI [Forbidden Island], and we just had different ideas about the future of the business, so I made the choice to leave.” There are rumors about Cate potentially opening his own place—I am sure my buddy Camper at Alcademics will have the story soon!

And a bunch of boards are all in a-flurry about the potential loss of the ~TONGA ROOM~ at the Fairmont, which is pointedly absent in some proposed condominium plans for the historic hotel site. I say what the hell? I know I’m not the only one who finds this hard to believe. Really? We’re just going to do away with one of the best landmarks of kitsch in the entire city? My dad and his buddy actually dove into the lagoon back in the 60s, when you could do such things without getting hauled off to the police station. According to one post, here are some emails of people to contact to protest the demolition. Will let you know if I hear something next week about an organized protest or petition... Raise your swizzle sticks!

There are a few new happy hours around town: ~EPIC ROASTHOUSE~ is starting the “Holy Cow!” happy hour in the Quiver Bar, with $5 specialty cocktails, including the Sazerac, plus $7 martinis made with Russian Standard Vodka, $5 wines by the glass, and a selection of $2 bottled beers. There’s also a new bar menu featuring soft homemade pretzels ($3), crispy-fried potato curls and skins ($3), and slow confit of chicken drumettes with molasses-blood orange BBQ sauce and celery root slaw ($5). Mon–Fri 4pm–7pm. 369 The Embarcadero at Folsom, 415-369-9955.

~WATERBAR~ is also in on the happy hour act, with $1 featured oysters of the day and the “A Spa in Cabo” drink for $5 every Mon–Fri 3pm–6pm. 399 The Embarcadero at Folsom, 415-284-9922.

Not to encourage further drinking in the area, but on the other side of town,
~EASTSIDE WEST~ has half-off on bar snacks and appetizers on Tuesdays (so the Wagyu beef sliders, fried chicken sliders, and lamb meatballs are suddenly only $4), plus half-off on bottles of wine on Wednesdays, and drink specials on Thursdays from 9pm–12am. There’s also live jazz on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and a happy hour Tue–Fri 4pm–7pm. 3154 Fillmore St. at Greenwich, 415-885-4000.

Ready to get your wine on? It’s shaping up to be quite the wino week. This Wednesday February 25th, ~WILLIAM CROSS WINE MERCHANTS~ is featuring a tasting with Luca Corrado of Vietti Winery. Here’s what will be poured: 2007 Vietti Arneis; 2006 Vietti Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne; 2006 Vietti Barbera d’Alba Scarrone; 2005 Vietti Barbera d’Asti La Crena; and 2004 Vietti Castiglione Barolo, all for $15. 6pm–9pm. 2253 Polk St. at Green, 415-346-1314.

Over in Potrero, Stephen James from Melville Winery will be a guest at ~RUBY WINE~ this Friday February 27th from 5pm–8ish. He'll be pouring some Central Coast pinot, chard, and syrah. $10. 1419 18th St. at Missouri, 415-608-7660.

This Sunday March 1st, ~BAR BAMBINO~ and ~BIONDIVINO~ are hosting a four-course Northern Italian dinner with a twist, highlighting regional dishes that don't necessarily fit the "Italian" stereotype. Biondivino’s Ceri Smith has handpicked wine selections from her own list, echoing regional influences that stretch to the vineyards of Georgia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary. $85 per person. 5:30pm–8pm. 2931 16th St. at South Van Ness, 415-701-VINO (8466).

Mark your calendars: ~DELFINA~ is going to be celebrating the food and wine of Campania with guest winemaker Bruno De Conciliis on Wednesday March 11th, who will be pouring a selection of his latest vintages. The evening’s à la carte menu will include dishes inspired from Campania. 3621 18th St. at Dolores, 415-552-4055.

If you are anywhere near Princeton by the Sea the night before, Bruno De Conciliis will also be at ~MEZZALUNA RESTAURANT~ for “Una Notte a Napoli” on March 10th. The multi-course meal (try six!) is $85, and there will be entertainment provided by a Neapolitan singer. There will be a meet-and-greet with pizzette at the bar at 6pm; dinner begins at 7pm. 459 Prospect Way, Half Moon Bay, 650-728-8108.