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The Eat + Drink List: This week's top 7



photo by Stefanie Michejda

1. Master mixology

Want to get your cocktail on? Join Cantina proprietor and head bartender Duggan McDonnell on July 28, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and learn how to blend farmers-market-fresh fruits and premium Latin spirits into irresistible libations. Step behind the bar, shake and stir to your heart’s content and learn how to pair these fruity creations with easy-to-make foods from the chefs at La Cocina. For tickets, click here.



2. More cheese, please
Don’t mind the mold or the stink—at Bar Bambino, on July 27, it’s all about the taste. Join Bar Bambino’s cheesemonger in a tasting of the American Cheese Society’s 25th annual competition and convention winners. The winning cheeses will be paired with award-winning wines; taste them all for a fee of $55 a person. Make your reservation by calling 415-701-8466.



3. The Frisco five
Get to know your neighbors (and resident San Francisco winemakers) at Arlequin Wine Merchant, in Hayes Valley, on July 27. Join Chris Brockway (Broc Cellars), Ed Kurtzman (August West), Andrew Vingiello (A.P. Vin), Carl Sutton (Sutton Cellars) and Bryan Harrington (Harrington Wine) for an afternoon of wine tasting. They’ll be pouring more than 20 wines, all of which will be accompanied by gourmet fare prepared by Arlequin Cafe.  Order tickets in advance ($25) here.



4. Under the SF sun
Here’s something to make “hump day” a bit more bearable—every Wednesday evening, from now until the rain comes, Ducca will be hosting an Italian barbecue on its alfresco patio from 4 to 7 p.m. For $14, guests can chow down on almond-wood-grilled meats, vegetables and seafood, along with a bottle of Peroni beer; a happy-hour wine menu will offer additional choices (red, white and sparkling) for a very budget friendly $3-4 per glass.

5. The pasta princess
Victoria Doggett, owner of a San Francisco–based Italian-food import business, is so fascinated by the bizarre world that surrounds her booth each year at the Fancy Food Shows in New York and San Francisco that she’s turned her experiences into a one-woman show. Doggett depicts the oddities and absurdities of quirky businessmen and scandalously dressed babes hawking pasta—to get an insider’s look at her world, check out the show at the Marsh theater, running from July 26 to 29. Purchase tickets here or by calling 800-838-3006.


photo by Stefanie Michejda

6. Two for the road
Stop by Laïola, the Cal-Spanish gem in the Marina, this Monday, July 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. and help the folks there celebrate the restaurant's first anniversary with a complimentary glass of cava. Make a reservation and stay for dinner (and bring along your favorite bottle of wine): As part of the celebration, the restaurant is launching corkage-free Mondays for its entire second year, and unveiling a new (additional) chalkboard menu featuring little bites of deliciousness. To reserve a table for dinner, call 415-346-5641. See you there.

7. Let me take you down
The Embarcadero’s Delancey Street Theater will premier Ayele Heller’s film, Strawberry Fields, on July 25, which follows the lives of Palestinian farmers caught in the middle of a war zone. The Israeli filmmaker’s documentary won the Special Mention of Honor for Best Documentary at this year’s Slow Food on Film Festival in Bologna, Italy. Wine, beer and small bites will follow the 6:30 p.m. screening. Purchase tickets ($15) here.