June 3, 2014

June 3, 2014
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La Botella Republic. Yelp photo by Jwg O.

Berkeleyside Nosh caught the story on ~LA BOTELLA REPUBLIC~ back in August, and then updated in March with more details. The new spot, from husband-and-wife team Christopher Clarke and Lauren Brody-Clarke, is a wine shop and “tasting salon” where you can check out some hard-to-find, small-batch local wines. The wine bar will offer Northern California wines (some for less than $15 a bottle), as well as beer and small bites. Any bottles you particularly enjoy can be purchased from the shop. They’re also hoping to offer special events, with sommeliers, winemakers, and chefs. Hours are Tue-Thu 4pm-9pm, Fri 4pm-10pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 1pm-9pm. 2055 Center St. at Shattuck, Berkeley, no phone.

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The Hotspot. Photo from Facebook.

It looks like yet another San Francisco dive bar is in danger of closing. This time, Mid-Market’s ~HOTSPOT~ is on the chopping block. Uptown Almanac reports they’ve gotten into a dispute with their landlord after closing for renovations in January, and it’s not clear if they’ll be able to reopen. Their Facebook page cites ongoing legal action, and mentions that the bar is not currently functional. While it’s not clear that the bar has closed permanently, things are not looking good. Sigh. 1414 Market St. at Fell.

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The classic Negroni. Photo by Wes Rowe.

Negroni Week kicked off last night, and the city is going to be awash in all kinds of Negroni specials around town. Here are a few highlights you can hunt down:

I love the special Campari ice made by bar manager Christopher Longoria at ~1760~, where you’ll find three kinds of Negroni variations on the menu. Order the Negroni Sbagliato to experience the Campari ice cube.

~HUMPHRY SLOCOMBE~ is serving a limited special-edition Negroni Pop ($3.25), made with Campari, gin, vermouth, and grapefruit.

Negroni popcorn? Yup, Negroni popcorn. You’ll find it at ~PERBACCO~.

On Wednesday June 4th (from 6-10pm), Tango & Stache will be at ~HOLY WATER~ (warning: music on that link) serving Negroni bacon tacos with Bulldog gin-soaked berries, and on Thursday June 5th from 6pm-10pm, he’ll be at ~RYE~; both bars will be serving Negroni specials all week/night long.

At the ~BURRITT ROOM/BERLINETTA~, swing by for the Berlinetta Playlist on June 6th from 7pm-11pm. Try the Local Yokel Negroni made with Campari, Aperol, 209 Gin, the brand-new Jardesca Aperitiva, and seltzer. Bonus: Mo Hodges, formerly bartender at Big, will be there!

I will definitely need to try the Calabrese Negroni (made with Calabrian chile peppers and apricots) at ~MICHAEL MINA~.

You can check out the bar of the brand-new ~THE EUROPEAN~, opening Friday June 6th—Adam Wilson will have plenty of Negroni variations for you, and Aveline’s pastry chef Kaley Laird is making Negroni gumdrops.

That’s just a sampling! There are so many things going on through June 8th, here in the city and beyond. Check out the full list here. And don’t forget: participating bars and restaurants will be donating a portion of every Negroni sale to a charity of their choice, so some of your boozing will go to a good cause.

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Sherryfest Grand Tasting, New York. Photo courtesy of Sherryfest.

Anyone who loves sherry (raises hand) or wants to learn more about it should check out Sherryfest 2014, which will include tastings, seminars, and dinners held at various locations in San Francisco from June 17th-20th. This is the fifth Sherryfest from Peter Liem, but it is a premiere of the event in California.

The main event is the Sherryfest Grand Tasting at Bluxome Street Winery on Wednesday June 18th, with more than 100 sherries offered from 20 sherry houses; winemakers, bodega principals, and the president and director of the Consejo Regulador of Sherry will be in attendance (trade is from 11am-4pm, consumers from 2pm-4pm). Though it is a free event, preregistration is required for admittance.

Four dinner events will showcase rare sherries paired with special menus at Central Kitchen, Trou Normand, Bar Agricole, and St. Vincent Tavern & Wine Merchant (each dinner is $130, which is all-inclusive of food, sherry, tax, and gratuity). Seminars ($30-$50) will be conducted at the 18 Reasons event space and the newly opened Upstairs Central Kitchen.

Primary bodega hosts for the dinners and seminars include Rey Fernando de Castilla, Williams & Humbert, González Byass, Barbadillo, Sánchez Romate, Tradición, and Lustau. Also participating in the Grand Tasting are such distinguished names as Valdespino, Gutiérrez Colosía, Delgado Zuleta, Osborne, Bodegas 501, La Guita, Urium, Hidalgo-La Gitana, Aecovi, Dios Baco, and many others.

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