The Edwardian Ball returns to SF for its 19th year this weekend. (Michelle Barnett)

20 Fun Things: Restaurant Week around the Bay Area, SF Ballet's season opener + more delish events

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The word of the week: eat.

SF Restaurant Week returns this week with affordable pre-fixe menus at 100-plus eateries. Plus, drink rum, and beer, and hang out with Neil Patrick Harris. Have a great week!


Monday, January 21st

"Bringing the Noise" for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When: 7pm to 9pm

Where: Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes St. (Hayes Valley)

It's MLK Day, to celebrate the man himself at Youth Speaks' 22nd annual gathering, of young poets and writers in conversations about justice and liberation. // Tickets ($10) are available at cityboxoffice.com.


San Francisco Restaurant Week

When: Through January 31st

Where: 100+ restaurants throughout SF

SF Restaurant Week will be in full swing with special two- and three-course menus at some of the best new and mainstay eateries in town—think Bellota, China Live, Namu Gaji, Rooh, Son's Addition, and more. // Lunch menus range from $15 to $25, dinner ranges from $40 to $65; for a complete list of participating restaurants and menus, go to sfrestaurantweek.com.


Napa Valley Restaurant Week

When: Through January 27th

Where: Restaurants throughout Napa

Wine Country is home to some of Northern California's finest restaurants, and this week, more than 30 eateries are offering multi-course prix-fixe menus ($20/lunch, $36-$46/dinner) for Napa Valley Restaurant Week. Make the drive for a taste of some of our faves including Charlie Palmer Steak, Gran Electrica, Acacia House, and Solbar. // For a full list of participating restaurants and menus, go to visitnapavalley.com.


Berkeley Restaurant Week

When: Through January 27th

Where: Restaurants throughout Berkeley

Dear old Berkeley may not got the same foodie cred as SF and Oakland these days, but let's not forget that the whole California cuisine thing basically started here at Chez Panisse. This week, revisit the seat of the culinary movement as more than 45 restaurants—including Gather, The Rare Barrel, and Bear's Lair—offer $20, $25, and $30 pre-fixe menus. // For a full list of participating restaurants and menus, go to visitberkeley.com.

Tuesday, January 22nd

Drink rum tonight.

(Courtesy of Wine Dharma)

Write Your (****)ing Novel

When: Nine Tuesdays, starting tonight

Where: The Escapery East, near 19th St. Bart (Oakland), theescapery.org/writeyournovel

Dream of penning the Great American Novel? Got a severe case of writer's block? Get your words on the page at this intensive course. // $400/person; register online.


Yo Ho and Bottles of Rum

When: 7pm to 10pm

Where: Hawker Fare, 680 Valencia St. (Mission)

Set sail on the high seas with self-proclaimed Minister of Rum Ed Hamilton, who's coming to Hawker Fare to talk about the sweetest spirit. The evening kicks off with a Punch Bowl reception followed by a tasting and special rum cocktails. Soak it all up with a buffet dinner. // Tickets ($25-$45) can be purchased at eventbrite.com.

Wednesday, January 23rd

SF Ballet's Opening Night

When: 5pm to midnight

Where: City Hall and San Francisco Ballet, 455 Franklin St. (Hayes Valley), sfballet.org

Don your evening attire and glass slippers and set out for the ball: The San Francisco Ballet returns for its 2019 Repertory Season with tonight's black tie Opening Night Gala at City Hall. There will be bubbly, dinner, and a performance at War Memorial Opera House, of course. Plus an afterparty back at City Hall. // Individual gala tickets ($2,000) and afterparty tickets ($175) may be purchased online.


Fire Relief Dinner

When: 7pm

Where: Boot and Shoe Service, 3308 Grand Ave. (Oakland), bootandshoeservice.com

While it's been a few months since the Camp Fire took its toll on Butte County, the region is still working towards recovery. Oakland's Boot and Shoe Service is hosting a series of multi-course, guest chef dinners with drink pairings to benefit aid efforts. Tonight's feast is cooked up by Stuart Brioza (State Bird Provisions) and Jerry Jaksich and Rayneil De Guzman (Ramen Shop). // Tickets ($250) this event and future dinners are available on brownpapertickets.com.


Japanese Pop-up Dinner

When: Two seatings, 5:30pm and 9:30pm, through January 25th

Where: Avery, 1552 Fillmore St. (Fillmore), averysf.com

Chef Marc Zimmerman (previously of Alexander's Steakhouse and Nobu) is launching a new Wagyu-focused project in SoMa later this year called Ittoryu Gozu. Before that all gets going, he's teaming up with Avery chef Rodney Wages for three nights of pop-up dinners featuring four courses by each chef. Expect delicacies made from rare cuts of Japanese beef, with some dishes prepared in the robata cooking style. // $98/eight-course dinner; and reservations can be made on Tock.

Thursday, January 24th

The Next Big Dinner Series

When: 6pm and 8:30pm seatings on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays

Where: The Table at Merchant Roots, 1365 Fillmore St. (Fillmore), merchantroots.com

Merchant Roots was a nice new addition to lower Fillmore last year—a hybrid craft food grocer and casual eatery with sandwiches, pastas, and salads. But now phase two has arrived. The Table at Merchant Roots serves an intimate nine-course, themed tasting menu for just eight lucky guests at a time, three nights per week. // Dinner is $110/person, $75/optional wine pairing; reservations available at exploretock.com.


Somm Takeover

When: 5:30pm to 11pm

Where: Foreign Cinema, 2534 Mission St. (Mission), foreigncinema.com

For one night only, four sommeliers—from Che Fico, Ayala, Fool's Errand, and Trundle Bar—will stir things up at Foreign Cinema. Stop in for a curated selection of wines. // Glasses and wine flights will have a la carte pricing; reservations are recommended through opentable.com.

Friday, January 25th

Humphry Slocombe's hot toddy sundae made with Glenlivet Scotch.

SF Movement Arts Festival

When: 6pm to 9pm

Where: Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St. (Nob Hill)

Get a move on to Grace Cathedral, where the Nob Hill icon will be transformed for the SF Movement Arts Festival, with performances from more than 250 local artists in the categories of dance, music, theater, and visual arts. // Online tickets are sold out. 100 first-come first-served tickets ($35 cash only) will be made available at the door. For more information, go to sfmaf.org.


Crabs for Days

When: 4pm to 9pm

Where: Temescal Brewing, 4115 Telegraph Ave. (Oakland)

Local seafood delivery company FreshCatch is celebrating the end of its second year in business with a crab feast. Expect Dungeness crab from Half Moon Bay, Rock crab from Santa Cruz, Gilroy garlic noodles, bread, and five more delicious sides. // Tickets ($50-$70) are available on eventbrite.com.


Hot Toddy Sundaes!

When: 6pm to 10pm

Where: Humphry Slocombe, 2790a Harrison St. (Mission), humphryslocombe.com

The guys at Humphry Slocombe are planning a year's worth of boozy ice cream flavors (have we mentioned we love these guys?). Live up at the Mission scoop shop tonight for free Hot Toddy Sundaes made with Glenlivet 12-year single malt Scotch, clove caramel, and candied lemons.


19th Annual Edwardian Ball

When: 8pm to 2am, Friday and Saturday nights

Where: Regency Ballroom, 1300 Van Ness Ave. (Tendernob)

More than 100 artists and performers will come together for this yearly grand circus of art, music, dance, theater, and fashion. Co-founded by "Godfather of Goth" Edward Gorey, this all-ages, steampunk-tinged show will literally have it all, from puppet theater to gypsy jazz. // For tickets ($140-$240) and info, go to edwardianball.com.

Saturday, January 26th

Pour your own beer.

When: 10am to 11pm

Where: The Brew Coop, 819 Valencia St. (Mission), thebrewcoop.com

The Brew Coop has opened its doors on the south end of Valencia Street and is offering self-pour taps to let you sample your way through their selection of 26 beers, ciders,, and wines. Open up a tab, receive a special card, and scan it at each tap to pay for your beverages by the ounce. With bar bites and 65-inch TVs, we could be here for a while.


Wanda Sykes' "Oh Well" Tour

When: 8pm

Where: The Masonic, 1111 California St. (Nob Hill), sfmasonic.com/event/wanda-sykes

She's one of the funniest women in America, and she's coming for San Francisco. LOL this Saturday evening when Sykes brings her "Oh Well" tour to the lovely, intimate Masonic. // Tickets ($55) are available at concerts1.livenation.com.


Hopocalypse Now

When: 12:30pm to 5pm

Where: Drake's Brewing Company, 1933 Davis St. #177 (San Leandro), drinkdrakes.com

Drink like it's the end of the world at Drake's Brewing Co. in San Leandro today as they unleash absurd amounts of their Hopocalypse Triple IPA. Carb up at any or all of four food trucks and don't even worry about calling an Uber: Drake's is providing free transport to and from the San Leandro BART station between noon and 5:30pm with the purchase of a ticket. The end is beer. // Tickets ($40-$130) are available at eventbrite.com.

Sunday, January 27th

White Elephant Preview Sale

When: 10am to 4pm

Where: White Elephant Sale Warehouse, 333 Lancaster St. (Oakland)

A 60-year Bay Area tradition, NorCal's biggest rummage sale (March 2-3, 2019) is giving us a sneak peek this weekend. Shoppers will find furniture, art, sporting goods, jewelry, music, books, vintage clothing, and more; proceeds will benefit OMCA. // For tickets ($18/advance, $20/door) and info, go to whiteelephantsale.org.


Jog with Outdoor Voices x Credo Beauty

When: 2pm to 4pm

Where: Outdoor Voices, 555 Hayes St. (Hayes Valley), outdoorvoices.com

Run or walk from three miles from Hayes Valley to Credo Beauty on Fillmore St. where you'll make a new year's clean beauty makeup bag. // Tickets ($20) are available at eventbrite.com.


Neil Patrick Harris @ SF Sketchfest

When: 4pm to 5:30pm

Where: Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3601 Lyon St. (Presidio)

Doogie Howser, M.D. Barney Stinson. Count Olaf. The actor otherwise known as Neil Patrick Harris is closing out Sketchfest today at the Palace of Fine Arts. // Tickets ($45) are available at sfsketchfest2019.com.


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