10 Haute SF Bay Area Dining and Drinking Happenings You Don’t Want to Miss

From the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival, which kicks off April 9 and runs through Sunday, to haute happenings in Napa, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best ways for you to spend your hard-earned money on dining and drinking in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond in the coming weeks.

TK and Daniel Boulud
Chefs Daniel Humm and Daniel Boulud

Photo Credit: Courtesy Coastal Luxury ManagementHopefully by now you’ve purchased your ticket to the hautest gastronomy event in the area: Pebble Beach Food & Wine, now in its eighth year and taking place April 9-12 at Pebble Beach Resorts, one of the country’s premier destinations. This three-night/four-day epicurean experience brings together the world’s most revered culinary talent with more than 100 celebrity chefs and 250 wineries to showcase a dynamic weekend of exceptional dinners and chef collaborations, Grand Tastings, and cooking demonstrations. Some of this year’s big names include Dominique Crenn, Charles Phan, Daniel Boulud, Richard Reddington, Matthew Accarrino, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Curtis Stone, Iron Chef Jose Garces, Cindy Pawlcyn, Daniel Dorey, Paul Corsentino, Justin Everett, Dmitry Elperin, Stephanie Izard and David LeFevre, not to mention all of the winemakers.

Burger Butler at Merryvale

merryvale vineyardsPhoto Credit: Courtesy Merryvale Vineyards

We’re all into service and that’s what you’ll get at Merryvale Vineyards in St. Helena, which has come up with a clever way to beat the line at Gott’s Roadside, the legendary burger joint with a cult following.  Starting April 15 and running through October 2015, there will be a majordomo to fetch your fries and burger fresh from across the street while you enjoy a private tour of the historic winery. Select your burger, your way from along with Gott’s signature French fries or onion rings, and Merryvale’s will provide seamless service from order to delivery from the Burger Butler, pairing your meal with three of the estate’s wines, two of which will be barrel tastings not yet released.

Guest Bartenders at DOSA Valencia

Courtesy DOSADOSA is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Valencia location by hosting a series of guest bartender events beginning this week.  Leading San Francisco bartenders from Chino and La Urbana to The Bon Vivants/Trick Dog, will be creating a special cocktail and making a guest appearance.  The events will benefit Narika and The Bon Vivants Charitable Events series. Each week will highlight a different San Francisco bartender who will create a cocktail to be featured on the bar menu, as well as make a guest appearance at DOSA Valencia. Here’s the lineup:

April 7 – April 11
Trent Simpson (La Urbana) was in on April 7

April 14 – April 18
Jonny Raglin (Comstock Saloon), appears on April 14

April 21 – April 25
Danny Louie (Chino), appears on April 21

April 28 – May 30
Josh Harris (The Bon Vivants; Trick Dog), appear on April 28

May 5 – May 9
Duggan McDonnell (Cantina), appears on May 6

Hogs & Rocks’ Korean Pop-Up

hog & rocksPhoto Credit: Courtesy Hog & Rocks

Chef Robin Song of Mission fave Hog & Rocks re-launches his popular Korean pop-up, this time on Sundays from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., beginning April 19.  This new Korean Sunday Supper series, Junju, is a unique interpretation of traditional Korean barbecue, focusing on classic banchan dishes enhanced with seasonal ingredients. The pop-up series will run for three nights only: April 19, April 26, and May 3.

Chaya Refreshes Its Concept

Chaya Entire Bay Bridge RoomPhoto Credit: Courtesy Chaya

Chaya, the iconic 390-year-old restaurant brand deeply rooted in Japan, debuts an all-new menu on April 8 at its Embarcadero location. Completely refreshing its current concept, San Francisco Executive Chef Yuko Kajino will unveil a new menu that is reinvigorating modern Japanese cuisine and blending it with New American twist. The new menu focuses on bold new flavors, while keeping Japanese soul at the heart of each dish. Think starters such as Shigoku Oysters with lime, coconut, and cilantro tapioca, spring tai sashimi with Ikura and white soy dashi buttermilk, and Escape from Alcatraz sushi with crab, shrimp tempura, charred tomato wrapped in soy paper. Entrée selections will include options such as: Black cod with charred cabbage, tempura artichoke, and hoba miso, duck breast with spring onion and goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms, and Mochi gnocchi with fava beans, burrata and Gochujang brown butter. Don’t worry tuna tartare fans! The restaurant’s signature dish (Chaya’s Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe is credited as the original creator of the dish over 30 years ago), remains on the menu.

Rosé Week at Dirty Habit

dirty habit rose weekPhoto Credit: Courtesy Dirty HabitYou still have time to enjoy Rosé Week at Dirty Habit, taking place April 6-11. Sommelier Jose Aguirre has curated a special rosé list for the week and is offering killer pricing for some bottles that are available at more than half off to celebrate spring. Enjoy your rosé on Dirty Habit’s fab patio or indoors with dishes from Chef David Bazirgan’s new spring menu, such as St Andre Ravioli, morels, green garlic; fava and strawberry tartine with herbed ricotta, spring onion confit and pickled herb garnish. Rosé offerings include Champagne Dumangin Rose NV, Champagne Billecart Salmon Rose NV and Champagne L.Aubry Rose NV, to name a few.

Guest sommelier at Foreign Cinema

foreign cinemaPhoto Credit: Charlie Villyard

Foreign Cinema, one of our fave places, will host Stephen Singer as guest sommelier on Thursday, April 16 during regular dinner service (5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.) to showcase wines from Baker Lane Vineyards located in the beautiful hidden valley on the Sonoma Coast. Throughout the evening, Singer will interact with guests and provide tasting notes as well as pairing suggestions. A selection of wines will be available for purchase at special prices by the flight or bottle.

HALL Cabernet Cookoff

hall cabernet cookoffThe 6th annual HALL Cabernet Cookoff returns on April 25th featuring an all-star line-up of both Napa Valley and San Francisco-based chef teams. Bringing together foodies and wine for a culinary pairing challenge, chef teams will compete before a panel of all-star judges including Ken Frank, Virginie Boone, Ian White and Lars Kronmark, for a local charity of their choice by creating small bites paired with HALL 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. 100% of proceeds from ticket sales and 100% of donations made online and from sponsors will go directly to charities. During the event, guests will be invited to taste farm-to-table dishes from each chef team paired with HALL wine and then vote on their favorite for the People’s Choice Award.

“The Cabernet Cookoff is a fun way to experience great Napa Valley cuisine and wonderful wines while helping our community,” says vintner Kathryn Walt Hall, who will be profiled in the May/June issue of Haute Living San Francisco. “Everyone involved with this event including our generous sponsors, talented chef teams, enthusiastic non-profit organizations and the entire HALL and WALT staff all donate their time to create a spectacular day. Every year, everyone at the Cabernet Cookoff comes out a winner.”

Girl Power at Wente Vineyards

Wente Guest Female ChefsPhoto Credit: Courtesy The Restaurant at Wente VineyardsWente Vineyards, the country’s oldest continuously operated, family-owned winery, has announced its lineup for The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards’ Guest Chef Dinner Series 2015: The Chef & The Winemaker – A Celebration of the Bay Area’s Most Acclaimed Women Chefs. Beginning this month, The Restaurant will welcome four highly acclaimed female chefs to share their culinary expertise, passion and vision. Guests will be treated to an intimate dining experience prepared exclusively by the evening’s visiting chef, including a welcome reception of wine and hors d’oeuvres and a seated four-course dinner, with each course being paired with Wente Vineyards’ award-winning wine. In addition, guests will have the opportunity to speak with the evening’s chef as well as members of the Wente family.

The lineup is as follows:

  • Jen Biesty (Executive Chef/Partner of Shakewell, “Top Chef” Season 4 participant, Star Chefs’ “Rising Star): Thursday, April 30, 2015
  • Gayle Pirie (Chef/Co-owner of Foreign Cinema, Laszlo, and Show Dogs, cookbook author, James Beard nominee): Thursday June 4, 2015
  • Tanya Holland (Executive Chef/Owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen, TV personality, Regular guest on Today Show and The Talk, cookbook author, 2013 California Chef of the Year): Thursday, September 10, 2015
  • Joanne Weir (James Beard Award winner, TV Personality, cookbook author, Chef/Partner of Copita): Thursday, November 12, 2015

Space is very limited and reservations are required so mark your calendars! Click here for more information and to purchase tickets online.

 Sherry Month at Gitane

Sherry BottlesPhoto Credit: Courtesy Gitane

Calling all sherry loves! Gitane, located on charming Claude Lane in the heart of the downtown San Francisco, is spotlighting its robust sherry list all month. From a playful sherry-based punch to a unique “Sherry Secrets” class at the bar, April offerings will not only add to Gitane’s current dynamic beverage menu, but also enable guests to participate in hands-on experiences. The sherry drinks will add to Gitane’s existing sherry program and complement the menu, which incorporates flavors from Northern Spain, Southern France and Italy. The featured beverages will be available nightly during the month of April. Gitane will also host two special events during the month to highlight the versatility of this fortified Spanish wine. Sherry Secrets: Learn About Different Styles of Sherry takes place on April 25 and gets you in the mood for a four-course menu paired with sherry from renowned producer, Lustau, on April 28 when Sherry Dinner with Lustau occurs.