The Eat + Drink List: This Week's Top 7


photography by Michael Sugrue

1. Chocolate = Love

If you’re one of those people who regularly breaks the bank for the best chocolates, perhaps it’s time to start making your own. Chuck Siegel, of Charles Chocolates in the East Bay, is holding a series of public chocolate-making workshops. Classes take place on Saturdays at the Emeryville factory and run for five hours; participants get a deluxe kit containing molds, an offset spatula, sheet pans and several recipes developed by Siegel, so they can put their skills to work at home, plus goodies made during the class. Tickets are $300 per person, and the first class is on Saturday, June 14, from 1 to 6 p.m. Call 510-652-4412 x311 for more information, or book online at

2. Choices, choices…

Talk about tough choices: Tonight, Wednesday, June 11, sees three dinners so tempting we’d like to attend them all. Incanto’s fifth annual Head to Tail dinner, which offers a five-course meditation on the theme of pork ($75), entices, but then we’d have to miss the “Gin and Stone” evening at Orson, where the chef will pair various gin and absinthe cocktails with five courses ($65) that incorporate stone fruits (for instance, a grilled-peach-and-lobster gazpacho accompanied by a “minted marble” cocktail, made with gin, Manzanilla sherry, mint and lemon).

And right across the Bay, starting tonight and running until June 14, beloved Oakland restaurant Oliveto is again hosting its yearly Oceanic dinners. This year's à la carte menu includes new numbers, like green sea-urchin flan, a Hangtown fry omelet crèpe and potato gnocchi with tiny Tomales Bay mussels.

It’s essential that you make reservations for these dinners right now!

3. Donkey and Goat

K&L Wine Merchants is having a tasting with Tracey Brandt from A Donkey and Goat winery, which is based in Berkeley, this Thursday, June 12, from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. This is a rare treat because Tracey and her husband, Jared, make only minuscule quantities of Rhone varietals and Chardonnay with grapes from sustainable vineyards, using natural wine-making techniques. There will be a fee of $1 per tasting, and Tracey will be pouring a 2005 Brosseau Vineyard Chardonnay, 2006’s The Recluse Syrah and a 2006 Three Thirteen. Call 415-896-1734 for more information.

4. Friday the 13th
Turn a bad-luck day into good opportunities for someone else. For the last four years, members of San Francisco's food community have organized SummerTini, a benefit for the CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Service) program of Episcopal Community Services (ECS). SummerTini guests will enjoy infused martinis, special alcohol-free creations and hors d’oeuvres from top Bay Area restaurateurs. The event is on Friday, June 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Tickets are $85; purchase them at, or call 415-487-3736 for more information.

photography by Stefanie Michejda

5. Any Game You Desire
On Sunday, June 15, O Izakaya is offering a Father’s Day special: Fathers accompanied by a child will receive a free pitcher of beer or a flight of sake as well as a complimentary yakimono (grilled chicken skewer) appetizer. In addition, the restaurant will televise any baseball game Dad requests. Parties must be of three or more. For more information, call 415-614-5431.

6. Say Cowgirl and We Come Running
Join local wine expert Debbie Zachareas and Cowgirl Creamery's Peggy Smith at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant for an introduction to wine-and-cheese pairing. On Tuesday, June 17, from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m., the pair will try to dissuade you from mixing Emmenthaler with Burgundy, or Brie with Manischewitz (we’re not pointing any fingers). The cost is $75, and tickets can be bought at
7. Amber Waves
Word on the street is that the long-awaited Amber India (the restaurant anchoring the corner of Yerba Buena Lane that has been under construction forever) will open in the “next seven to 10 days.” To pass the time until the SF outpost of the Michael-Bauer-approved mini-chain opens, take a look at the menu from the Mountain View original here.

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