Eat + Drink
1. Half-Off at Bar 888 Tonight: Social networking is apparently so popular at Bar 888 that they slash their prices at the mere mention of it. Name-drop Twitter or Facebook and get 50% off your entire bar bill: drinks, bites, the works. It's like a big, Silicon Valley-shaped hug. (Tonight, Thursday, February 25, 11 am-12 am, at Bar 888, Intercontinental Hotel, 888 Howard St., SOMA.)
If San Francisco's restaurant world was a high-school cafeteria, there would be one table in the middle where the cool kids sit: This table perpetually has seats reserved for the Delfinas, the Zunis, the A16s, the Slanted Doors.
But we (and I include myself in this) so often forget about restaurants on the periphery—the wallflowers, the Duckies (am I dating myself with this reference?). The restaurants that open quietly, in true neighborhood spirit. They often don't have a publicist or even … a website. There are plenty of these establishments, and in 7x7's ongoing quest to bring to you the latest and greatest, I unfortunately rarely find the time to patronize them.
The rain, the cold, the grey: Instead of running away from it, last week I embraced it and headed up to Tomales Bay which, to my mind, is best experienced in the winter. The crowds are gone, fields of hot yellow mustard flowers pop off the mottled grey sky, the bay is calm and moody and the oyster-eating is very, very fine. Add a fire to this scenario and the word hunker suddenly doesn't seem so silly after all.
Here's the escape plan:
When this whole cupcake trend started a few years ago, most of us excused it as a Hollywood trend. No, we were better than Paris Hilton and her little cupcake and her little Chihuahua. Well, we were wrong—this city has embraced the miniature cakes to their collective breasts. This Sunday, February 21, Cooks Boulevard will host a charity event for the San Francisco Food Bank. Tasty cupcakes will be provided by Jasmine Rae Bakery, Mission Minis, Kingsom Cake and Teeny Cakes.
Make sure to RSVP to guarantee your cupcake tasting experience. Every dollar will go towards alleviating hunger in our city.
There is so very little to celebrate the last Monday in February. Long weekends behind us for the foreseeable future, the weather still not quite cooperating, caught between winter food and spring food. In other words, I know you don't have plans on February 22, so you should certainly plan to attend EAST MEATS WEST, a collaborative rabbit themed dinner cooked (and hosted) by Bar Tartine chef Chris Kronner and Sean Rembold, chef of Diner in Brooklyn. Meatpaper has spearheaded the collaboration, and this is the second in a series (the first was hosted at Diner back in November). This is truly a once-in-a-long-while happening and promises to be a fun and festive evening.
Lulu Meyer brings the best of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market to us every week.
Back in college, my get-rich-quick scheme was a grilled cheese cart that I would pedal around to festival, Phish concerts and the like (this was back on the East coast and long before Burning Man had swept up free spirits across America). Little did I realize how prescient that scheme would be. It was based on very simple deductive reasoning: people like grilled cheese. A lot. They like it so much, in fact, that some savvy local Lit folks are using it to lure people to a book reading.
The James Beard Foundation announced the James Beard Awards semifinalists for restaurants and chefs today. Like the Academy Awards, there are always some nominees that make me go, Hmmmm. For the Best New Restaurant category, as lovely as it is, Frances seems incredibly new. Acquerello for wine service (and Outstanding Service service) but not RN74? Then there's the sad fact of Ubuntu.
Each week, we bring you our picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in San Francisco.
Free Beer for Tigers: People born in 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, and 1986 (including yours truly) are in luck this week, as E&O Trading Company is offering free beer to those born in the Year of the Tiger, which began again on Sunday. The beer of choice? Tiger, of course. If you weren't born in one of the lucky years, take heart: they'll still have special cocktails and a Chinese New Year menu available for you. (Tuesday, February 16-Saturday, February 27, at E&O Trading Company, 314 Sutter St., Financial District.)