5 Haute Food & Wine Happenings in the SF Bay Area This Weekend

Whether you’re hanging around or visiting San Francisco this three-day MLK weekend or headed north to wine country or south to Big Sur, we’ve got five haute food and wine happenings guaranteed to please your palate.

 Marlowe to Launch Weekend Brunch


Photo Credit: Eric Wolfinger

A few months ago, Marlowe moved into its new home at 500 Brannan Street. This weekend it launches brunch. You’ll find a mouth-watering menu of inventive brunch interpretations at Marlowe, where executive chef Jennifer Puccio has outdone herself. The menu, available weekends from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., starts with a selection of bites, snacks and starters such as Smoked Sablefish Toast with cultured butter, poached egg, winter lettuces finished with lemon, French Toast Soldiers with vanilla bean crème anglaise and a caramel dipping sauce, and a seasonally-inspired trio of house-made Mini Éclairs.

Diners will also enjoy a variety of fruits, nuts, sweets and grains as well as eggs and breakfast sandwiches. Dishes like Bruleed Winter Citrus highlighting passion fruit curd and candied pistachio and Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with marinated berries and seeded granola will satisfy those looking for lighter options. Those with heartier cravings will savor the Buttermilk Pancakes topped with smoked maple syrup and rich bacon butter and the Tomato Baked Eggs with spiced lamb, chickpeas, artichokes, swiss chard and yogurt.

Rounding out the menu, Marlowe will offer lunch fare like the 14 Anson Mills Polenta with wild mushrooms, parmesan, truffle salsa verde and a poached farm egg, Grilled Calamari and Chorizo flatbread topped with a poached egg, avocado, salmon roe, toasted salmon and cilantro, as well as the signature Marlowe Burger with caramelized onions, cheddar, bacon & horseradish aioli, served with french fries.

To complete the brunch dining experience, Marlowe will introduce signature brunch cocktails such as the Marlowe Reviver, a concoction of Solerna blood orange, lemon, Fernet Branca & prosecco; the John Daly, a mix Russian Standard vodka, sweet tea tincture, lemon & soda; and the Cypress, a mimosa-style cocktail made with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and prosecco.

Cotogna Pop-Up @FOG

Cotogna @ FOG

Photo Credit: Kelly E. Carter

Cotogna fans headed to the second annual FOG Design+Artfair, taking place Jan. 15–18 at the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion [the special Preview Gala is Jan.14] will be glad to know that owners Lindsay and Chef Michael Tusk will demonstrate their passion for the arts and support of San Francisco’s artists and galleries with a Cotogna pop-up restaurant–Cotogna @ FOG. They’ll operate the full-service restaurant with communal seating at the festival from Thursday through Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. through the close of the fair, daily. Expect a menu showcasing Chef Tusk’s rustic Italian fare, including a mozzarella antipasti bar, soups and salads, sandwiches and fried chicken. A full bar will serve wine, beer and specialty custom cocktails.

FOG Design+Art, benefiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), is a celebration and exploration of modern and contemporary design, architecture, and art with dynamic exhibits, custom installations, art galleries, lectures, and discussions with leaders in the art and design worlds.

Big Sur Foragers Festival


food and wine
The Restaurant at Ventana

Photo Credit: Ventana Inn & Spa

If you’re headed down to Big Sur this weekend, you’ll definitely want to check out the Big Sur Foragers Festival, featuring renowned San Francisco chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski of the wildly-popular State Bird Provisions and, their just-opened eatery The Progress. The husband-wife duo are curating and preparing the Foragers Dinner, to be held at The Restaurant at Ventana Inn & Spa. The luxe property is also the site of the Fungus Face-Off, a competition between notable chefs from the Big Sur area, featuring celebrity judges such as Jim Dodge and Wendy Brodie. The festival, a celebration of the amazing array of wild foods, is a weekend of gourmet food, world-class wine and beer, entertainment and expert-led foraging hikes. The event also serves as a fundraiser for the Big Sur Health Center. The community’s non-profit health center will receive the proceeds from the foraging events to support the continued presence of local health care services.

 Winter WINEland

Bottle Shot and Corks

While the vineyards throughout Sonoma County might be dormant all winter, Wine Road is once again shaking the cold weather blues with its annual “Winter WINEland” event on Saturday, Jan. 17 and Sunday, Jan. 18. This event, in its 23rd year, is where you can create your own journey through wine country discovering new wines, tasting limited production wines, new releases or library wines. Over 140 winery members of the Wine Road in Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys participate and each one will have something with a special event price for the weekend. Some wineries will offer food pairings and others will have tours.

New Executive Chef at Dry Creek Kitchen

Dry Creek Kitchen
Dry Creek Kitchen

Photo Credit: Courtesy Dry Creek Kitchen

Healdsburg, wine country’s it city, has a new chef in town. This marked the first official week for new Executive Chef Andrew Wilson at Dry Creek Kitchen, Charlie Palmer’s dining destination inside the award-winning Hotel Healdsburg. Wilson has already acclimated himself to the kitchen and team. Stop by this weekend to experience the scrumptious dishes that show off the region’s diversity of ingredients and where the farm-to-fork philosophy is at its best.

“With a great season of root vegetables upon us and, of course, the end of foie gras’ dark days in California, I can’t wait to get my hands on the best quality ingredients that the surrounding area has to offer,” Wilson says.