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Foodie Agenda: Brunch at Bluestem Brasserie, CHAYA's Raw Bar, and More

Photo courtesy of Blustem Brasserie. 

Your guide to the tastiest foodie happenings going down this week. Bon Appetit! 

Thursday, April 3 - Sunday April, 6

Local nonprofit 18 Reasons is teaming up with the Roxie Theater, Bi Rite Market, and Earthbound Farm to present the second annual Food & Farm Film Fest. The festival brings together over 24 short and feature-length films in all styles, including documentary, narrative, and animated films. Plus, all the films will be paired with a tasty bite from a local restaurant or farmer; pairings include toast from Josey Baker, Goat Hill pizza, mussels from Frjtz, and ice cream from Smitten. This brings a whole new meaning to dinner and a movie.

Food and Farm Film Festival: 4/3 - 4/6, $15 per screening, $150 for the festival pass, Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St. Get tickets here

Saturday, April 5 

Executive Chef Francis Hogan’s revamped brunch menu for Bluestem Brasserie will make it your go-to spot for the rest of the season. Featuring an array of sweet and savory shareable items, like the Bakers Board (housemade breakfast breads with accompaniments) or the Brunch Board (an assortment of rustic sausages, smoked fish, and ham with seasonal accompaniments, griddled bread), the new menu includes classic breakfast and lunch fare combined. Favorite items include the Mocha Stuffed Brioche French Toast, a sweet delight that takes up the entire plate and is a little like tiramisu in the morning. Yum. Main dishes with a twist include the Grass-Fed Flat Iron Steak and Eggs with duck fat potatoes and chimichurri, and the scrumptious Chicken and Waffles featuring crispy fried Mary’s chicken and a bacon waffle(!) with whipped maple cream cheese you'll want to lick straight off the plate. Double yum. And don't forget about the Bluestem Brunch Burger, with a grass-fed beef patty, hash browns, breakfast sausage patty, bacon, housemade American cheese, fried egg, bread & butter pickles, avocado, and spicy ketchup it's like two meals in one. Your only problem will be the desire to eat everything. 

Bluestem Brasserie: Every Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m., 1 Yerba Buena Lane 

Trappist in Oakland is gearing up for a day of sours and funk with a special new tap list with one thing in common: native, wild yeast fermentation. Featured beers include: Cantillon Fou Foune, Saint Lamvinus, and Vigneronne; Mikkeller Spontan Cassis, Gooseberry, Rosehips, Peach, Seabuckthorn, and Elderflower; Gueuze Tilquin 2012 and 2013; De Troch LambikX; Boon Oude Lambic 2009; Russian River Sanctification; Allagash Avance and Midnight Brett. Head over for a boozy day of fun. 

Trappist: 4/5, 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 a.m., 460 8th Street, Oakland. 

Sunday, April 6

This annual party is the sweetest event in San Francisco. Over 20 chefs will get together for Dessert First, a celebration of decadent sweets, creative cocktails, and fine wines. Featured chefs include: Yigit Pura of Tout Sweet Patisserie, as well as chefs from AQ, Baker and Banker Restaurant, Bisou,  Bocanova, Candybar Dessert Lounge, Delfina, Dynamo Donuts, Farallon Restaurant, Dirty Habit, MKT Restaurant & Bar, Grand Café, Hopscotch Restaurant, Les Elements Patisserie, Luce, Michael Mina, Millennium Restaurant, Scala’s Bistro,  Sir Francis Drake Hotel, Spruce Restaurant and Waterbar. There will also be live and silent auctions, LiveWire band, photo booth, and a dynamic mixology competition for VIP ticket holders. Sounds sweet. 

Dessert First: 4/6, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m., 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. VIP Party, Four Seasons Hotel, 57 Market Street. Get tickets here

Monday, April 7

CHAYA unveiled a new raw Kaisen bar and a new Temari- and Gunkan-style sushi menu last week, and now is the perfect time to check it out – just in time for the Cherry Blossom Festival. The intimate new Kaisen bar offers hard-to-find varieties of fresh, local catches and is the perfect place to nibble on small bites and drink a cocktail before dinner while you enjoy panoramic views of the Bay Bridge. Get the Kaisen platter for a selection of raw seasonal options such as whole dungeness crab, uni in a shell, or a whole lobster served with raw oysters, assorted sashimi, Madagascar shrimp, and Peruvian ceviche. The Temari-style sushi and Gunkan-style sushi menu uses traditional Japanese ingredients fused with Northern Cali seasonal accents such as Dungeness crab with Yuzu Miso, salmon with charred balsamic tomato, mustard seeds and lotus root; tuna with pickled wasabi and avocado; hamachi with jalapeño aioli, and madagascar shrimp with uni and rayu oil. The new menu is available everyday during lunch and dinner, and select dishes from the Kaisen menu will be featured during the annual cherry blossom festival from April 7 - 19. 

CHAYA Cherry Blossom Festival: 4/7-4/19, 11:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., 132 The Embarcadero 

Wednesday, April 9 and Thursday, April 10

It's a big week for Michael Dorf. City Winery Napa officially opens on Thursday in the historic Napa Valley Opera House. The new Wine Country restaurant and venue will boast a 500-bottle wine list focusing on West Coast producers and an impressive 36-wine tap system. Dorf is also hosting his annual Downtown Seder event – an annual tradition at the City Wineries in New York and Chicago. This year the JCC will host the Jewish holiday on April 9. There will be a cast of musicians, artists, and comedians to celebrate the holiday including Israeli superstar David Broza, comedian Nato Green, musicians Keren Ann, Allison Faith Levy, Sara Felder, Peter Stein, The Kitchen founder Noa Kushner and and the world premier of Lewis Black’s Plagues, created by the legendary comic who will be headlining at City Winery Napa this summer. A Kosher vegetarian meal prepared by Milk & Honey Catering will be served. The traditional four glasses of wine will come from Napa’s only Kosher wineries, Covenant and Hagafen, and winemakers Jeff Morgan and Ernie Weir will be on hand to do the pouring.

The Annual Downtown Seder: $95 standard, $115 premium, 7:00 p.m., 3200 California St.

Friday, April 25 - Sunday, April 27

The Vineyard to Vintner experience in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District is one foodies look forward to every year. This exclusive 3-day weekend offers intimate opportunities to taste the appellation’s world-class Cabernets while mingling with the winery owners and vintners. Events include dinners, open houses (many at wineries that are not open to the public), and intriguing panel discussion and tasting on what has made this region so distinctive over the past 25 years. A grand finale vintner-hosted brunch on Sunday, featuring a sneak preview of the upcoming Appellation Collection to be released Fall 2014. Visitors are able to choose their experiences, Friday through Sunday, and visit any of the 19 Stags Leap District Winegrower member wineries on Saturday. Get your tickets before they sell out! 

Vineyard to Vintner: $175 for a single day pass, up to $725 for 3 days,  $2995 for the Signature Weekend for Two. Napa.