We’ve got all the haute dining and drinking news in the Bay Area for you—from the latest on the re-opening of The French Laundry, to a cool #TBT bar series kicking off at the W San Francisco tonight to a new, unique museum at Buena Vista Winery and more. Read on for details about the latest happenings at San Francisco’s haute bars and restaurants.
Photo Credit: Kelly E. CarterThe French Laundry, closed since late December for renovations to its kitchen, re-opens on April 7 and is accepting reservations. The new kitchen still isn’t ready so for the time being, chef/owner Thomas Keller will use a temporary kitchen inside a shipping container on the restaurant’s parking lot. In case you haven’t heard, shipping containers are all the rage. The containers, used to ship Ferraris from overseas and everything else, were often discarded at landfills. Now they’re being tricked out and used for homes, offices, buildings and, in the case of The French Laundry, the kitchen of a three-Michelin starred restaurant. You can stand on Washington Street in Yountville and look into the temp kitchen, although trees block the view slightly. The French Laundry will return to offering dinner seven days a week beginning at 5:30 p.m. and lunch on Saturday and Sunday between 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Please note that due to construction, the restaurant will be open for dinner service only on Fridays beginning at 5:30 p.m.
#TBT W San Francisco
The W San Francisco, in the heart of SoMa, is hosting its first #TBT at the hotel’s chic UPSTAIRS Bar tonight, April 2. The weekly bar series invites hotel guests and locals to enjoy throwback tunes, fun sips, and delectable bites inspired by the ’80s, ’90s, and early ’00s. Even better, all drinks and munchies are marked at prices from these past decades. #TBT will offer patrons a breath of nostalgia when they order fun cocktails like Brass Monkey (dark rum, vodka, orange juice; $8), Sex on the Beach (vodka, peach Schnapps, cranberry, and orange juice; $8), and Scooby Snack (Malibu, Midori, Crème de Banana, pineapple juice, and whipped cream; $6) along with $5 #TBT Shots including Jessica Rabbit (peach Schnapps, Jägermeister, and cranberry juice), Kamikaze (vodka, Triple Sec, and lime juice), and B-52 (Kahlua, Amaretto, and Bailey’s).
Executive Chef Jason Rea created a menu of elevated savory bar munchies reminiscent of old-school favorites, including Jalapeno Poppers, the TRACE Burger with french fries, and a dynamite Tater-Tot Casserole with cream of mushroom, green beans, and fried shallots. #TBT will take place every Thursday and Friday from 6 p.m. to closing at W San Francisco’s striking UPSTAIRS Bar on the 2nd floor, just above the hotel’s on-site restaurant, TRACE.
Twilight @ The Presidio
Off the Grid and the Presidio Trust have announced the return of Twilight @ the Presidio. The 2015 season begins tonight (April 2) and expands on an already winning formula that has become one of San Francisco’s marquee evening events. The new Twilight doubles the fireside cabanas and offers a more extensive live music line up to go with delicious offerings from some of San Francisco’s favorite eateries and food trucks. Twilight at the Presidio, a truly unique evening picnic event, comes complete with lantern-lit dining cabanas, cabana-side cocktail service, Adirondack chairs, fire pits, live music, and views of the sun setting over the Bay. Capitalizing on the iconic view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the nostalgia of snacking and conversing next to an open fire, Twilight is a prime location for a family outing, a first date, or dinner with friends.
On April 1, Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma unveiled its first-of-its-kind museum in California dedicated to the history of winemaking and its tools. The museum features a collection of rare and authentic 19th and 20th century European viticulture tools that are theatrically arranged and displayed against the winery’s historic cellar walls, which date back to 1864. Visitors will be guided through a twenty-minute show that presents the story of winemaking through the use of these tools from vineyard to bottle, while also learning about the life of the vivacious and eccentric founder, the self-proclaimed “Count of Buena Vista”, Agoston Haraszthy. Tickets for the museum are $25 per person and include a tasting of four wines plus a guided tour.
“The exhibit is a performance – a dramatic dance of the tools, with lighting, special effects and movement,” said proprietor Jean-Charles Boisset. “It is designed for guests to discover and experience the world of wine and the rich history of California winemaking. It celebrates and communicates the historical significance of wine as part of our civilization and part of our cultural fabric, while paying homage to Buena Vista Winery’s central role in California’s long and storied place in the wine world.”
SF Giants Opening Day at Waterbar
Photo Credit: Courtesy WaterbarWe’re less than two weeks away from the San Francisco Giants Opening Day. On Monday, April 13 the Giants are back on their home turf and ready to steal the World Series crown again, and there’s no better place to ring in the home opener than at Waterbar. Located within walking distance to AT&T Park, Waterbar will open at 11 a.m. that day to give fans the chance to enjoy a Giants-themed menu before the big game. The menu will be complete with a special “orange & black” cocktail, snacks such as Cracker Jacks with a Giants-related prize inside as well as pretzel bites with beer cheese sauce and of course, gourmet hot dogs.
Aveline Adds Brunch
Photo Credit: Shirley Brooks/The EuropeanAveline, the quaint restaurant inside the Warwick Hotel in Union Square, recently introduced a sophisticated brunch that effortlessly blends sweet and savory flavors. Share a Bowl of Bennies, cinnamon and brown sugar beignets with coffee cream, to start and choose a favorite drink from the selection of brunch cocktails. Follow up with something sweet like the waffle with bourbon maple syrup, vanilla butter and fruit compote or satisfy your savory side with Smoked Salmon served on a house onion roll with an herb cheese spread, tomato butter, pickles, and eggs your way. Finish off with Morning Pie, made with cinnamon, honey, toasted nuts, and crème fraiche before delightfully rolling yourself home.