If it feels like the entire Bay Area is in a massive tizzy as it eagerly anticipates the nation’s 50th Super Bowl, that’s because it is. Everywhere you look, there’s someone talking about the big game between the Denver Broncos and the North Carolina Panthers. The official festivities started last weekend on January 30th with the launch of Super Bowl City. A week long series of star-studded parties and athlete-driven fundraisers is now ensuing. Wondering where to watch the game and have a grand old time? Here’s the 411 on themed specialty cocktails, where to celebrate if you want to get out of the city, and the best place to throw a private viewing party.
At the recently remodeled Cafe du Nord and Viking Room, the downstairs bar and dining room from the Bon Vivants and chef Thomas McNaughton, they are serving a special football-inspired menu. There’s lamb meatball sliders with harissa, poutine with oxtail gravy, and housemade potato chips with caramelized onion dip. Tables are first come first serve and a large projector will ensure that the game is visible from any seat in the house.
Elixir, in the Mission, is hosting their annual Super Bowl barbecue. Owner H. Joseph Ehrmann will be manning the grill during the game. There will be specials on whisky cocktails, prohibition shots, and classic barbecue eats: burgers, ribs, and sausages. The food is free with the alcohol, so come early and be prepared to get your drink and eat on.
If you haven’t been to Scotland Yard, the new bar and restaurant in the Marina’s old Bin 38 space, Super Bowl Sunday is a great time to check it out. They are serving a menu of game day food including housemade chicken nuggets, shredded chicken taquitos, three bean dip, guacamole, and Yard burger sliders. It’s supposed to be a gorgeous this weekend, so if you want to enjoy the game out back on their patio, it will be shown on their televisions.
Although the Barrel Room is normally closed on Sundays, this downtown haute spot will be open for a sophisticated Super Bowl soiree. While many bars serve beer and shot specials, the Barrel Room, which has an amazing wine program, is offering Iron Horse sparkling cuvee! The kitchen will be open and serving it’s domestic-inspired menu of classic California cuisine: oysters on the half shell, roasted beet salad with burrata, sea scallops with housemade pasta in a white wine cream sauce.
Prefer your football with a view? Head to the Top of the Mark on the 19th floor of the InterContinental. Their mixologist has crafted two new cocktails inspired by the teams playing in the big game. There’s the Carolina Iced Tea with spiced rum, vodka, peach liqueur, and black tea and the Battling Bronco with vodka, orange liquor, and club soda. A special appetizer — pork spare ribs with finger-licking good bourbon barbecue sauce — will also be on the menu Super Bowl Sunday.
Specialty cocktails representing Denver and Carolina are also on the agenda at both Dosa locations in San Francisco. The Mile High Martini is made with Leopold’s gin, which is a spirit native to Colorado. A classic Mint Julep is the most popular libation in North Carolina, so the team at Dosa will be mixing up the timeless combination of bourbon, mint, and simple syrup. Cheers!
Downtown at Bluestem Brasserie, owner Adam Jed is shaking up Rye Tar Heels and Pike’s Gold. The first is an interesting-sounding combination of rye, sherry, sweet vermouth, and saffron-infused simple syrup. The latter also has sherry, but this time it’s mixed with cranberry-infused gin, fresh-squeeze orange juice, and rosemary.
The most over the top cocktail award goes to Madera, the bar at Rosewood Sand Hill in the South Bay. The head bartender has come up with two specialty cocktails, one geared toward men and the other geared toward women. The His cocktail is called Smoke and Fire and is a boozy concoction of bourbon, barbecue sauce, lemon juice, and beer. The garnish? An entire bacon barbecue slider. The Hers cocktail is a lighter mixture of vodka, grapefruit juice, and rosemary-infuesd ginger simple syrup.
With much of the Embarcadero Street and Market closed off, traffic is expected to be a nightmare in San Francisco —especially during Super Bowl weekend. Skip the stress and head to someplace outside of SF to enjoy the game. The Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park has the biggest television screen — it’s 276-inches! — in the area.
Another out of the city option? Sam’s Social Club at Indian Springs in Calistoga. The ground floor of the wine country restaurant is actually their brew-pub known as the Cellar. Guests are invited to sip a pint of Sam’s IPA, which is brewed in house, and nosh on a variation of poutine, the ultimate bar food featuring sweet potato fries, bacon gravy, and blue cheese.
Up in Sonoma at the Glen Ellen Star, chef Ari Weiswasser is cooking up a Mexican-inspired feast. Football fans can have his menu delivered to their party or stop by the restaurant and pick it up. What’s on his Super Bowl menu? Wood-roasted pulled suckling pig with chipotle glaze and a smattering of fixings to make a scrumptious spread of tacos. There’s grilled pineapple, avocado, shaved radish, shredded cabbage, pickled jalapeños, salsa, cilantro crema, and hand made masa tortillas.
If you’re looking to host a private viewing event, might we recommend Roka Akor? Their private room can host up to 18 people for your ultimate Super Bowl party. The room includes an unlimited premium bar package and decadent Omakase menu. Delish! The menu is created with the guest’s palate in mind and is comprised of rare and hand-selected ingredients. Think toro (blue fin tuna), uni (Mendocino sea urchin), and madai (red sea bream).