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Allie Pape

SF Chefs Fall Dinner Party Project #1: Maximum Mina

7x7 is proud to sponsor SF Chefs, the annual, hotly-anticipated food/wine/spirits bonanza that is the quintessential San Francisco culinary experience. The event occurs each August, and offers guests exclusive access to the city's most innovative and lauded industry professionals and personalities.

Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

1. OneUp Restaurant & Lounge Opens: The renovated Grand Hyatt hotel just outside of Union Square has added a new restaurant and bar, and they've called in the big guns, with Cass Calder Smith designing the space and Scott Beattie consulting on the bar menu. Cocktails ($13) include the Downtown Manhattan, which combines Templeton rye with Evan Williams single-barrel bourbon and Carpano Antica, and the Millionaire, a combination of rum, sloe gin, and apricot liqueur. Whiskey fans also shouldn't miss the bar's custom, 138-proof whiskey from Napa Valley-based Charbay, aged for 22 months in Chardonnay barrels and served in a flask. If you're peckish, bar bites include a lamb burger and duck-fat potato wedges. (Daily, 11 am-1 am, 345 Stockton St., Union Square.) 

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Andrew Solomon (Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity)

Wednesday, November 28, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Thursday, November 29, 7:30 pm, at the Hillside Club (2286 Cedar St., Berkeley).

Solomon's National Book Award-winning The Noonday Demon shed new light on clinical depression and its sufferers, and in his latest work, he delves into another taboo topic: parents coping with children who were not what they expected. Culled from 14,000 pages of interviews, Far from the Tree examines the home lives of children who are mentally and physically disabled, transgender, deaf, schizophrenic, conceived via rape, and more, focusing on the bonds that unite parents with their children and other, similarly afflicted parents, often driving them to action and advocacy. Tickets to Solomon's Hillside Club appearance are $12 for general admission and $7 for members and students. 

Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

1. Gitane's New Bar Menu: Changes are afoot at the Financial District's Gitane, which is transforming its menu into a seasonal rotation through different Spanish cuisines (including those of Seville, Andalusia, and Valencia) with the help of new chef Patrick Kelly, who's joining wife Bridget Batson in the kitchen. There are also big changes at the bar, including an updated beer program with options like Linden Street amber ale and Scrimshaw pilsner, and sherry-centric cocktails ($12) like the Smoking Lady (vodka, amontillado sherry, Laphroaig, honey, lemon, sage) and the Doblon (Yamazaki single malt, fino sherry, lemon, honey syrup).

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Ellen Forney

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Bookstores are taking most of this week off for the holiday, but early next week features a handful of standout events. 

Ellen Forney (Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me)

Monday, November 26, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Forney, an artist and graphic storyteller who collaborated with Sherman Alexie on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, turns her pen on her own struggles in this new graphic memoir. After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Forney feared that treatment might cost her her creativity and livelihood. Studying the lives of other artists with mental illness, from Georgia O'Keeffe to Vincent van Gogh, Forney explores the cultural trope of the "crazy artist" and tries to determine if it's a myth or a way of life. 

Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

1. Independent Spirits Expo: SF's annual celebration of craft distillers is back for another round tonight, with plenty of small-batch rum, vodka, whiskey, tequila, mezcal, cognac, and liqueurs for drinkers to sample. You'll also be able to chat with distillers and brand representatives, enjoy custom cocktails, and compare spirits side-by-side. Tickets are $60 for the general public and $85 for VIPs (who get in 30 minutes before everyone else), and if you use code MURRAYAID when you register, you'll get $10 off your ticket and send a $10 donation to legendary Seattle bartender Murray Stenson, who's battling heart problems.

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Barbara Kingsolver

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Barbara Kingsolver (Flight Behavior)

Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

1. CUESA's Election Hangover: Whether you're celebrating Obama's second term or mourning Romney's loss, a few drinks are probably in order, which is why CUESA is wrapping up election season with their final cocktail party of the year. Bartenders from Rye, Churchill, Azucar Lounge, Tradition, Rickhouse, The New Easy, Jasper's, Dobbs Ferry, Bocazote, and Acme Bar and Co. will whip up cocktail samples featuring the best of fall produce, while Karlsson's Gold vodka will provide two full-size drinks. They'll have bites from Dobbs Ferry and the Clift Hotel as well. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased here.

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Virgie Tovar

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Virgie Tovar (Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love, and Fashion)

Thursday, November 8, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

In a country where over 60 percent of adults are overweight, and even thin women face pressure to be thinner, how can a fat woman not only accept, but embrace, who she is? Local writer and sexpert Tovar (above) solicited writing from women of size from around the country for this fat-positive book of essays, which discusses everything from how being fat informs personal politics to how to put together a cool, fashionable wardrobe despite limited options for plus-size shopping. Tovar and six of the book's writers will read their work, and the Booksmith will serve cupcakes and champagne.

Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

1. Election Night Cocktails at Blackbird and Solstice Lounge: After you vote on Tuesday, a pair of local bars are happy to reward you for your commitment to doing your duty as a citizen. First up on the list is Blackbird in the Castro, who'll be hosting St. George Spirits for free tastings of their Botanivore and Terroir gins. They'll also be offering two specialty cocktails featuring the gins for $6: the white Negroni (gin, Amaro Montenegro, vermouth, prosecco) and the Poached Pear (gin, lemon, honey syrup, Lambrusco). Simultaneously, St. George will be sponsoring a cocktail competition at Solstice Lounge, with bartenders competing to make the best Terroir gin cocktail as chosen by attendees.

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