Halloween Options (Costumed or Not)

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Mmmm, wax moth larvae tacos from Don Bugito! Photo: © tablehopper.com.

October’s up to its jack-o-lantern eyeballs in themed food events all over the Bay Area; check any of these out for some fun, mysterious, or scary—depending on how you like your Halloween—times.

Let’s start with the family-friendly ~HALF MOON BAY ART & PUMPKIN FESTIVAL~ going on for its 41st year this Saturday and Sunday, October 15th-16th. Over 30 nonprofits are dishing up homemade chow to raise money for worthy causes, offering lots of pumpkin-based items from the usual pies, breads, and rolls to the not-so-usual ice cream, smoothies, churros, and even macaroni and cheese flavored with pumpkin pie spices and topped with pumpkin seeds. Look for pumpkin-filled dishes at local restaurants too, like homemade pumpkin gnocchi, pumpkin goat cheese, and pumpkin soup. If pumpkin’s not your thing, there’s plenty more choices you can read about here. Main St. between Miramontes and Spruce, Half Moon Bay.

For a more haunted experience, sign up for The Bold Italic and Stag Dining Group’s ~HAUNTED HOUSE MICROHOOD DINNER IN ALAMO SQUARE~ on Wednesday October 26th at 7pm. It’s a costume/Halloween party in a historic and spooky Victorian mansion, which they’re doing up haunted house-style. The five-course, passed-plate dinner will include crab puffs with togarashi and lemon; roasted beets and carrots with goat cheese mousse, preserved lemon-honey vinaigrette, and rye crumble; squid ink chowda with lobster, kabocha squash, and clams; baby back ribs with smoked maple glaze, apple-celery root slaw; and a ‘drumstick’ with dark and stormy brownie, rum ice cream, and waffle cone. Cocktails by Cocktail Lab, plus art and music to boot. Tickets and info here. Location revealed day of event.

Have a mysterious Halloween without getting all gussied up in costume at ~MAVERICK~’s Seventh Annual Mystery Night. On Monday October 31st, chef Scott Youkilis and team, with wine director Mike Pierce, will test your taste buds with a mystery meal where guests try to ID at least four ingredients from each of the three courses to win points. ID the grape varietal in the mystery wine pairings to earn extra points. Score the most points at your table and win a prize! $40 for mystery three-course menu; $15 for optional mystery wine pairings. All food allergies and preferences accommodated. 5:30pm-10:30pm (multiple seatings).

Are you feeling especially adventurous? A meal buggy enough for the Halloween theme is the ~EDIBLE INSECTS AND OTHER RARE DELICACIES~ event on Thursday October 27th in the Mess Hall at the Headlands Center for the Arts. Bay Area artist and Don Bugito creator Monica Martinez, with assistance from bioartist Philip Ross, is designing a multi-course meal that will feature edible insects from California and Mexico as key ingredients for each dish, accompanied by hand-crafted Factoria de Santos Mescal. Rosanna Yau will also lead a user-friendly cocktail reception tasting for members at 5:30pm. Dinner at 6:30pm. $50. 944 Simmonds Rd. near Bodsworth, Sausalito.

And for two non-Halloween events on Halloween night, ~RANGE~ is having an Arnot-Roberts wine dinner with four courses and wine pairing for $80, excluding tip and tax. And the JCCSF is hosting Adam Gopnik with Barbara Lane to talk about family, France, and food. Gopnik’s newest book, The Table Comes First, is included in the ticket price. More info here. $30-$40. 7pm. 3200 California St. at Presidio, San Francisco.

Updates: more Halloween-themed adventures. Is there anything cuter than a budding gourmand? Parents, bring the kids for this one, and help develop your child’s palate at the Gourmet Walks’ first kid-focused food tour on Sunday October 30th. The two-hour ~GOURMET HALLOWEEN SWEETS TOUR~ will lead costumed kids through nine stops in the Ferry Building for gourmet treats such as pumpkin whoopie pies and Halloween-motif truffles. In between tastings, guides will help expand your child’s food vocabulary. Guides will also share the stories behind the vendors at the Ferry Building. Tours are limited to ten children, and tickets must be purchased in advance. BYO (trick-or-treat) Bag. 11am-1pm, and 2pm-4pm. $38 per child; $5 per accompanying adult. Purchase tickets online here, or by phone 24/7 by calling 800-595-4849.

Jupiter Olympus is putting on another pop-up cocktail event on Sunday October 30th at ~ACME BAR & CO.~ in Berkeley: Cocktails from the Crypt. Highlighted drinks include a housemade candy corn liquor, and an apple and rye punch cooled by dry ice with a Smith and Cross caramel apple; $10 per cocktail. Free punch will be served in a pumpkin. Bonus: no cover charge. 8pm-2am. 2115 San Pablo Ave. at Addison, Berkeley.

~JARDINIÈRE~ will have a special Halloween prix-fixe dinner on Monday October 31st. For $45, guests get three courses with wine pairings. You can see the menu here, but what you won’t see until Halloween night are the ‘tricks and treats’ dreamed up by executive chef Morgan Mueller and team in the kitchen. Please note they are only taking reservations from 5pm until 8pm that night.

~PISCO LATIN LOUNGE~ is holding their third annual Halloween/Day of the Dead costume party on Saturday October 29th. Dress up if you wanna shot to win a $200 Pagoda party, $75 Destino certificate, or bottle of Pisco Portón. 1817 Market St. at Octavia, 415-874-9951.

Event Info

Saturday Oct 15, 2011 – Monday Oct 31, 2011