Drink Here Now: Five Places to Sip This Week


1) Speakeasy Brewmasters Hold Court at MKT Restaurant
We’ve reached the halfway point of SF Beer Week, and MKT Restaurant – Bar is ready to celebrate. They’ve invited the brilliant brewmasters of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers to hold court on Wednesday evening, February 12. Speakeasy’s crew will be sharing samples of beer and beer-making wisdom while MKT’s bartenders pour pints and beer flights ($7/$12) and mix up a trio of beer cocktails ($12) crafted specifically for the evening. Payback in Velvet is a simple concoction of Payback Porter and Roederer Estate Rosé. Michelada’s Daddy combines Big Daddy IPA with crushed tomatoes, Patrón Silver, Old Bay Rum and Cholula hot sauce. And the Scarlett Shandy introduces Scarlett Red Rye Ale to Charbay Pomegranate Vodka and Ginger Beer. Pair your beer cocktail with MKT's new "haute" dog, a house-made, beef short rib hot dog, topped with bacon, fried onions and homemade kimchi. This event is free, with no reservations required. 757 Market Street @ O’Farrell, in the Four Seasons Hotel.

2) Drink Like a Wisconsinite at Bluestem Brasserie
Bluestem Brasserie’s American Road Trip tour is continuing through the winter, and this week’s stop is the Badger State. Starting Thursday, February 13, the “Sip of the State” is the Wisco Whiskey Sour, which combines Kinnickinnic Whiskey with simple ale syrup, lemon juice, egg whites and bitters. You can drink like a Cheesehead all week long, but if you want to eat like one, Thursday is the day to visit Bluestem. The chef will be serving Wisconsin-inspired dishes all day, including a Beer Bratwurst Sandwich with Wisconsin sharp cheddar, grain mustard and red onion on a torpedo roll with a side of cheddar fries. The Plat du Jour is a Valentine’s Fondue for Two with a “Lovers Salad” of Hearts on Fire. This cupid-worthy dish features three cheese fondue with a spread of meats, fruit, vegetables and breads served with a salad of artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, and celery heart with a blood orange vinaigrette. Be still my heart! 1 Yerba Buena Lane @ Market

3) Champagne and Caviar at The Ritz
Looking for a romantic stay-cation in San Francisco with your Valentine? The Ritz-Carlton is looking to sweeten the deal for you. Their City of Romance Package ($499/night) includes wine and Recchiuti chocolates upon check-in, followed by a champagne and caviar breakfast-in-bed the next morning. If the overnight stay is beyond your budget, you can drop by the Ritz-Carlton Lounge on Valentine’s Day after 5 pm to indulge in the Caviar and Champagne menu. Caviar prices range from $95 - $180 per ounce, and champagne is available by the bottle or glass. Arrive early if you want a table, as they are first come first serve. 600 Stockton @ Pine

4) Italian Valentine’s Dinner at Puccini & Pinetti
If the Ritz is a bit rich for your blood, you can always take your sweetie to Puccini & Pinetti for a hearty alternative this Valentine’s Day. Chef Avery Holt will be offering a Northern Italian prix fixe dinner that takes guests through Northern Italy in four courses. The tasting menu is $55 per person, or $65 with wine pairing. Highlights include zuppa di cippolla (onion soup with red wine, fontina and crostini) paired with 2011 Pertinace Arneis, and Osso Bucco Milanese (braised veal shank with saffron risotto) paired with 2010 Matteo Corregia Nebbiolo. The special menu will be offered Friday, February 14 through Sunday, February 16. 129 Ellis @ Cyril Magnin

5) Learn to Brew Beer at Rainbow Grocery
If you can boil water, you can make beer. Sure, you’ll need a few gadgets, but it’s a lot easier than you think. Find out just how easy it is this Thursday, February 13, from 2 pm to 4 pm at Rainbow Grocery. Alejandro Flores and Kevin Caulfield will be on hand to demonstrate and discuss the basic steps that go into home brewing. You’ll learn to boil wort, pitch yeast, add hops and, finally, bottle the brew. You’ll also find out what supplies you’ll need to brew your own, and where you can buy them. Seating is limited, and you must be at least 21 to participate. 1745 Folsom @ 14th

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