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Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

Cocktail Shaking

"Step Up to the Plate" at AT&T Park. Image provided by Camarena Tequila.

1) $2 Martini Lunch at Lark Creek Steak

If martinis cost the same today as they did during the Mad Men era, would two martini lunches make a comeback? Lark Creek Steak seems to think so. This old-school steak house on the fourth floor of the Westfield Shopping Centre (845 Market St, Ste. 402) is offering $2 martinis with entrées, Monday through Friday during lunch. Food choices include the Bacon-Wrapped Mary’s Free-Range Chicken Breast with chicken leg confit, parsnip puree, broccoli rabe and natural jus ($22.95), a vegetarian Wild Mushroom Pot Pie with root vegetables, glazed pearl onions and herbs ($20.95) and, of course, a 10 oz. New York Steak served with your choice of signature steak sauces ($33.95). The bartender will make your martini with either Stolichnaya Vodka or Hendrick’s Gin, and two is your limit.

2) Fringe: The Indie Music Video Dance Party
Madrone Art Bar (500 Divisadero @ Fell) serves up music and cocktails with a side of sass, this Saturday, April 20. DJ Blondie K and subOctava will be mixing indie music videos with underground visual effects for FringeSF. Madrone’s bartenders will mix the drinks, described as “specialty cocktails with an emphasis on creative, fresh blends of healthy fruits and flavors with unhealthy spirits of all kinds.” Try a Pisco Llama ($9) with Pisco Porton, Ginger Beer, Fresh Lime and ChunChu Bitters, or a Dirty Sanchez ($9) with Centenario Azul, Ginger Beer, Fresh Lime and Agave Nectar. Just beware: Madrone’s cocktail menu includes a warning that “...a night full of strangeness is only a few drinks away.” FringeSF kicks off at 9 pm. Admission is free for the first hour, then $5 at the door after 10 pm.

3) Off the Grid Picnic at the Presidio
What could be better than a weekend picnic in the Presidio? How about a cocktail delivery service? Yes, blanket service is back for this year’s “Off the Grid Picnic at the Presidio” season, which kicks off on Sunday, April 21. Just bring a blanket, some cash and your appetite to the Main Post in Presidio National Park for a feast of local food from the likes of Nopalito, Humphry Slocombe, Haven and Del Popolo. Keep an eye out for the blanket bar service, delivering small batch cocktails (think Bloody Mary or Mimosa) directly to your red-and-white checkered tablecloth. Starting this weekend, you can join the Picnic at the Presidio any Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm through October 27.

4) Step Up to the Plate with Camarena Tequila and the SF Giants
Shake, muddle and cheer the Giants to victory on Tuesday, April 23 at AT&T Park, courtesy of  SF Giants’ sponsor, Camarena Tequila. San Francisco Mixologist Duggan McDonnell of Cantina hosts this interactive, hands-on mixology session featuring 100% agave Camarena Tequila in Giants-inspired cocktails. “Step Up to the Plate” will include mixology tips and tasting, a photo opportunity with the 2010 and 2012 World Series Trophies, and a ticket to that evening’s Giants vs. Diamondbacks game. The mixing begins at 5:30; the game starts at 7:15. Tickets are free but limited due to space constraints. RSVP online to reserve your seat.

5) Ribolla Fest at Arlequin Wine Merchant
What happens when seven different winemakers get their hands on the same obscure grape? Seven different interpretations of Ribolla Gialla, a little-known Friulian grape native to Italy. First grown in Napa by Vare Vineyard, this white Italian wine grape has been described as a “dryer, leaner varietal” that is “high in acid and finicky in the vineyard.” On Thursday, April 18, winemakers from Arnot-Roberts, Ryme, Grassi, Massican, Forlorn Hope, Vare, and Matthiasson will be educating guests about Ribolla Gialla and showcasing their individual bottlings of this ancient grape. The two-hour tasting begins at 6 pm at Arlequin Wine Merchant (384 Hayes St. @ Gough). Tickets are $25 at the door, and all featured wines will be available for purchase at a discounted price. Note: This is an appropriate venue to show off your Friulian language skills: “Il gno hovercraft al è plen di bisats!”