March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011
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Photo from The Tenderblog.

While trawling through some liquor license changes a while back, I mentioned the Future Bars/Bourbon & Branch chaps were in escrow to take over a dive in the TL, Club 441. Well, it’s a go because they’re slinging drinks. Right now it’s called ~MISTER LEW’S WIN-WIN BAR AND GRAND SAZERAC EMPORIUM~, which started off as a joke (all nicely recapped here on Eater). So for the moment, it’s all about classic cocktails at a nice price in a dive setting—which sounds like heaven to me. The Tenderblog has more details on the drinkies here. Time will tell what the Future Brands crew has in store for the place (concept, renovations, timing are TBD). Open Wed-Sat 6pm-2am. 441 Jones St. at O’Farrell, 415-474-2284.

And now, let’s move up the street. I mentioned a year ago that ~BOURBON & BRANCH~ was expanding into the neighboring Bang San Thai location at 505 Jones Street. Meet their new addition: ~THE WILSON~, a new reservations-only annex with room for 20, serving a nightly three-course cocktail tour (read all about it on Alcademics and UrbanDaddy). Grub Street mentions the opening is Friday March 25th. Open Tue-Sat. 501 Jones St. at O’Farrell, 415-931-7292.

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Photo by Anna Hiatt.

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Photo by Anna Hiatt.

Now open in the former Dragon Bar space on Broadway is ~MONROE~, a new, upscale bar and lounge that has bailed on the bottle service and velvet rope B.S. found elsewhere around town. The space looks rather fantastic; designed by Mr. Important (Charles Doell)—who also did Gitane—the look is very Hollywood glam. (Grub Street has a nice slideshow of the swank interior here). There’s also a smoking patio.

Cocktails are hand-crafted with fresh ingredients, and there are also wines on tap, local and regional beers, and small bites. To celebrate their grand opening, Monroe is offering half off their entire beer and wine list Mon-Fri from 5pm-9pm through April 1st. Open Mon-Sat 5pm-close. 473 Broadway at Kearny, 415-772-9002.

On Monday nights, ~CITIZEN CAKE~ is offering selected bottles of wine (many of them from Kermit Lynch) at 50% off during dinner service (starting at 5:30pm).

From now through April 15th, ~AMERICANO~ at Hotel Vitale is trying to take the sting out of tax season with half-off bottles of wine and no corkage with its month-long “Tax Relief” promotion. You can order “Tax Relief” Mon-Fri for lunch and/or dinner.

You a fan of nebbiolo? (I can imagine your answer would be yes.) Then you’ll be pleased to know ~BAR BAMBINO~ is spotlighting the wines of Produttori del Barbaresco from now through Saturday March 26th. So here’s the deal: seven of Produttori del Barbaresco’s single vineyard riserva offerings from the 2004 and 2005 vintages will be offered at 50% off the regular wine list price. Score.

There is also a special à la carte menu with a Piemontese/Alpine theme, including dishes like a fonduta ($12), a fricassee of snails and wild mushrooms ($13), and tajarin all’albese ($15), rich homemade pasta threads tossed with an earthy sauce of chicken liver.

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Photo from Anchor & Hope.

Swing by ~ANCHOR & HOPE~ on Wednesday evenings (starting at 4:40pm) for a half-dozen oysters (chef’s choice) and a pint of stout for $10. Don’t ask me what’s up with the 4:40pm start time—only goes until 6pm.

Over in Cow Hollow, ~EASTSIDE WEST~ has updated their look and feel, offering a new menu of small plates served family style. But here’s the special: from Tue-Fri 4pm-7pm, you can get $2 beers, $4 glasses of sparkling wine or wine, and snacks like smoked salmon bruschetta, Beausoleil oysters, and housemade pigs in a blanket for $6 or less.

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This Saturday March 26th is the 12th annual ~WHISKIES OF THE WORLD EXPO & ARTISANAL SPIRITS FEST~. From the biggest brand names to whiskies that are not even available for sale, there will be whiskies from the U.S., Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Japan, Australia, and more. There will also be handcrafted vodkas, gins, liqueurs, and other varieties of distilled spirits, over 200 in all.

The Expo is back at the San Francisco Belle Yacht (docked) with its three ballroom-size tasting decks, and an open roof Whisky and Cigar Pairing deck. There will also be a full buffet dinner, seminars conducted by world-famous master distillers and brand ambassadors, a live pipe and drum concert and other live music, mixology demonstrations, Celtic craft and whisky gear booths, artisanal food pairings with exclusive whiskies, and more. You can get a $10 discount on the $110 WoW general admission tickets using an exclusive discount code for tablehopper readers: simply use code TBLHPR on the checkout page. 6pm-10pm. The SF Belle Hornblower Yacht, Pier 3 Embarcadero at Washington St.

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On Wednesday March 30th, ~LOCAL MISSION EATERY~ is launching their monthly series of winemaker dinners, to be held on the last Wednesday of each month. This one will feature Natural Process Alliance’s winemakers Hardy Wallace and Kevin Kelley, pouring their 2010 wines. Details here.

On Thursday March 31st, ~FOREIGN CINEMA~ is hosting a winemaker dinner with Eric Sussman of Radio-Coteau. Four courses (highlights include warm truffled popcorn; spring vegetable velouté; roasted chanterelles, squab, and mache toasts; Dixon California lamb and Llano Seco pork belly, mint-rose petal sauce; and apple-huckleberry crostata); starts at 6:30pm. The intimate event is limited to 27 guests. $100 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Call 415-648-7600 for reservations.

On Wednesday April 13th, ~1300 ON FILLMORE~ is hosting both Master Sommelier Emmanuel Kemiji and winemaker Celia Tejada with a five-course prix-fixe menu paired with wines from Kemiji and Tejada’s public and private collections. Both Kemiji and Tejada will be on hand to share their stories and insights, and answer any questions. 6pm cocktail reception; 7pm dinner. $95. Click here to make your reservation or call 415-771-7100.

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Photo from EBVA.

On Saturday April 2nd, 21 urban wineries in the East Bay are coming together for the 4th annual ~PASSPORT TO THE EAST BAY~. Six tasting rooms in Oakland and Alameda will pour the many different wines of the EBVA (East Bay Vintner’s Alliance). Guests will be able to sample EBVA wines at any of the six tastings rooms listed below, all within eight miles of each other:

Dashe Cellars/JC Cellars*
55 4th St., Oakland
510-452-1800/510-465-5900
*also featuring Aubin Cellars, Eno Wines, Prospect 772 Wines, Stage Left Cellars, and Tayerle Wines

Cerruti Cellars (Tudal Family Winery)
100 Webster St., Oakland
510-550-2900

Periscope Cellars/Linden Street Brewery
95 Linden St., Suite 7/8, Oakland
415-655-7827

Rock Wall Wine Co.*
2301 Monarch St., Suite 300, Alameda
510-522-5700
*also featuring Andrew Lane Wines, Blacksmith Cellars, Carica Wines, Ehrenberg Cellars, JRE Wines, and R&B Cellars

Rosenblum Cellars
2900 Main St., Alameda
510-865-7007

Urban Legend*
621 4th St., Oakland
510-545-4356
*also featuring Adams Point Winery, Stomping Girl Winery, and Urbano Cellars

Tickets can be purchased for $40 in advance or for $45 at the door. (Designated drivers only pay $10.) Each ticket purchased supplies a wristband that guarantees free access to each of the six tasting rooms from 12pm-5pm, an assortment of appetizers, and also a souvenir glass. Designated drivers will receive a complimentary coffee mug.

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