June 22, 2010

June 22, 2010

At the end of June, after four years as the barman at ~NOPA~, the talented Neyah White will be leaving to be the West Coast Brand Ambassador for Yamazaki Single Malts. Yanni Kehagiaras and Kent Howard will then be assuming the management of the bar program at Nopa. Yanni was the bar manager at Bourbon and Branch before joining the Nopa team in late 2008 (he will be responsible for the creative aspect behind the bars at Nopa and now Nopalito). Kent, who has bartended at Nopa since 2007, will work jointly with Yanni in the bar operations of Nopa.

I guess the bar at ~ABSINTHE BRASSERIE & BAR~ was already busy enough, so bar manager Carlos Yturria had to open his new monthly “pop-up bar” (called Pickled) in the private dining room (PDR). The last Monday of every month, you’ll be able to go into the PDR for a special cocktail menu (there will be 7-8 cocktails, priced between $10-$12) featuring a variety of spirits. Absinthe’s sous chef Allison Harvey and pastry chef Luis Villavelazquez will be putting together a menu of 5 bar snacks, all priced at $4, including homemade salt and vinegar chips, pickled asparagus, American cheese and prosciutto biscuits, and more. It all starts on Monday June 28th.

This Thursday June 24th, there will be a complimentary wine tasting with Randall Grahm from Bonny Doon Vineyard at ~CODA~ from 5:30pm-7:30pm. This Meet the Winemaker Happy Hour will include a complimentary tasting of select Bonny Doon Vineyard wines, with music from DJ Jacob Pena of Colombia y Panama. Guests must be 21 or older to attend this event.

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Photo from Bellanico.

When I lived in Venezia (Italy), I knew all about grabbing a little “ombra”—it’s a term in Venetian dialect for the small glasses of wine you could get at wine bars (bacari) all over town. Starting Saturday June 26th, from 9pm until closing, ~BELLANICO RESTAURANT & WINE BAR~ is introducing Ombra Hour, offering cicchetti (small Venetian snacks) at half price, with over 25 selections of ombras (3 oz. tastes of wines); the offer will continue to run nightly for the last hour of service. To kick it off, Bellanico will be offering complimentary cicchetti with the purchase of a taste or glass of wine this Saturday. 4238 Park Blvd. at Wellington, Oakland, 510-336-1180.

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This Sunday June 27th, more than 500 acclaimed pinots will be poured at the 6th annual ~PINOT DAYS GRAND FESTIVAL~ in San Francisco, and more than 220 winemakers will be present. There are also three thematic Focus Tastings, a special Producer Spotlight tasting with winemaker Adam Lee of Siduri Wines, and tastings at local wine venues, including District, MO Bar, and Ottimista Enoteca-Café. The Grand Festival entry fee is $60, but tablehopper readers get 15% off the ticket price (the discount code is tablehsf10).

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