Souvla celebrates its fifth anniversary with a special feast this week. (Courtesy of @souvla)

20 Fun Things: Dining out for Life, Bay Area Dance Week, Big Bang Gala + More Local Events

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We hoped you saved up some energy after the weekend.

This weekend promises plenty of ways to work it off with free classes and performances at Bay Area Dance Week, Cal Academy's annual fancy gala, the Lexus Culinary Classic in Sausalito, new bar and restaurant openings, an Italian Passover dinner, and more.


Have a good one!

Monday, April 22nd

Riesling Week

Through April 28th

Waterbar, 399 The Embarcadero, waterbarsf.com

Lovers of riesling should head over to Waterbar this week for a special four-course tasting menu with riesling pairings. Dishes may include Alaskan halibut carpaccio, seared sea scallops, and curry braised pork cheek. // The tasting menu is $110 per person, and $35 for wine pairings; reservations recommended.


Passover at Perbacco

Dinner service until 9pm

Perbacco, 230 California St. (FiDi), perbaccosf.com

Pop into Perbacco for their one-night-only, four-course dinner of Jewish-Italian dishes and kosher wines. Expect platters of antipasti, matzo ball soup, simmered brisket, meatloaf, and more. // The dinner is $58 per person, beverages not included; see the sample menu at perbaccosf.com.


Tuesday, April 23rd

Dining out for Life

Dinnertime

Various restaurants Bay Area–wide

For the 19th year in a row, more than 100 local restaurants—think 1760, The Front Porch, Starbelly, Central Kitchen, and more—will participate in this culinary fundraiser, donating 25 percent of each check to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. // For more info and a full list of participating restaurants, go to diningoutforlife.com.


Constant Thought Documentary

7pm to 8:30pm

REI Berkeley,1338 San Pablo Ave (Berkeley) rei.com

This new documentary by Oakland filmmakers, in collaboration with REI and Backpacker magazine, follows the life of an Iraq War veteran as he dives into outdoor therapy—attempting to walk the 2,000-plus miles of the wild Pacific Crest Trail—to tame his PTSD. // Free to attend; find more event details and RSVP at rei.com.

Wednesday, April 24th

Springs Cocktails at the Farmers Market

5:30pm to 8pm

San Francisco Ferry Building (Embarcadero), ferrybuildingmarketplace.com

Spring has sprung and we're in the mood for drinking. Pop over to the Ferry Building for CUESA's annual event featuring cocktails made with seasonal ingredients—think edible flowers, herbs, and spring's first berries—by 13 local bartenders from hot spots including Horsefeather, China Live, and Pagan Idol. Bites will be provided from the likes of 15 Romolo, Waterbar, Gibson, and more. // Tickets ($60-65) are available at Eventbrite.


FiDi's New Golden Restaurant

Opens today for lunch and dinner

The Vault, 555 California St (FiDi), thevault555.com

At the end of last year, Hi Neighbor Restaurant Group (Trestle) shut down Stone's Throw, but now they've got a new restaurant in the game. At the base of 555 California sits The Vault, serving swanky vibes, twists on American classics, and creative cocktails. Dishes include crispy pork belly, dry-aged Liberty Farms duck breast, and Monterey Bay black cod, plus there's a raw bar with uni from Fort Bragg, oysters, caviar, and a singing pink bay scallop crudo.


SF Ghost Hunt

7pm, Wednesdays through Sundays, through Oct. 31

Tour starts near the Healing Arts Center, 1801 Bush St. (Pac Heights)

The season is in for hunting ghouls in Pacific Heights. This popular guided walking tour is back with dish on the city's restless spirits, scandals, and legacy families. See if you can spot the ghost bride of California Street. // Tickets ($20) can be found on sfghosthunt.com.

Thursday, April 25th

Artists Respond to the U.S./Mexico Border

6pm, through September 2019

JCCSF Katz Snyder Gallery, 3200 California St. (Presidio Heights), jccsf.org

La Frontera, a showcase of artworks exploring such concepts as immigration, detainment, border issues, and asylum—by artists including Victor Cartagena, Juan Fuentes, and Matt Gonzalez (a 7x7 Hot 20 honoree)—opens tonight. Can't make it? The show will be open through September. // Reception is free to attend, RSVP on jccsf.org.


Big Bang Gala

6pm to midnight (NightLife at 8:30pm)

California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive (Golden Gate Park)

Cal Academy's annual Big Bang Gala fundraiser returns tonight with two phases of parties: Up first, the gala dinner of sustainable eats with talks from the director of the Charles Darwin Foundation and Google's sustainability officer. Afterwards, the regular NightLife activities ensue with a a silent disco in the aquarium, DJ set by Grammy Award winner St. Vicious, and more shenanigans. VIP ticket holders can hang out with drag artist,Juanita MORE!. // To purchase tickets ($2,500 and up/gala, $125 and up for NightLife), visit calacademy.org/big-bang-gala.


A Dinner to Save the Kelp Forest

7:30pm

The Alice Collective, 272 14th St. (Oakland), thealicecollective.com

Support efforts to save our kelp forests and understand overtaking urchin growth through a healthy dinner conversation with ocean conservationists. Dishes for the night are in-theme and include sea urchin tostadas, abalone, and seaweed salad, all sourced by sustainable provider FreshCatch. // Tickets ($75) are available on Eventbrite, and support Reef Check.

Friday, April 26th

Tropical Thunder Opens

4:30pm to 1am (Thursday through Sunday)

Tropical Thunder at Don Pistos, 2030 Lombard St. (Marina), donpistos.com

Mexican cantina and tiki bar collide inside Don Pistos where a new, brightly colored pop-up bar decked with tropical greenery is slangin' a variety of tequila- and mezcal-based drinks alongside noshes like poke, chicken wings, tamales, and tacos. $1 from every cocktail served will be donated to The San Francisco Clean City Coalition.


Bay Area Dance Week

Through May 5th

ODC Dance Commons, 351 Shotwell St. (Mission), odc.dance

The next 10 days are dedicated to getting your groove on with free classes, a special showcase performance, health clinics from nutritionists and physical therapists, and an open house at ODC Theater. // Some events require an RSVP and are free to attend, others require tickets. View the few schedule and get more info at odc.dance/BADW.


Lexus Culinary Classic

Through April 28th

Cavallo Point Lodge, 601 Murray Cir. (Sausalito), cavallopoint.com

Foodies looking for an indulgent weekend can head to Sausalito for cooking demonstrations, a farmer's market adventure, a biking trip with a pro cyclist, and more—all culminating in a grand tasting event on Sunday. // Tickets ($120 to $250 per event, or purchase an all-access pass) are available on lexusculinaryclassic.com.

Saturday, April 27th

Songkran Festival

9:30am to 4pm

Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine, 336 Water St. (Oakland), farmhousethai.com

Celebrate the Thai, Lao, Myanmar, and Cambodian New Year with an all-day festival at Farmhouse Kitchen Thai, starting with an opening ceremony with local monks. There will also be a parade and a competition where you dance and make papaya salad at the same time. No pressure. Of course, there will be loads of food vendors and a beer garden, too. // Free to attend, more info on tlmcbayarea.com.


Oakland Murder Mystery Dinner

6pm to 9pm

Waterfront Hotel, 10 Washington St. (Oakland), jdvhotels.com

A diamond has been stolen! Get dressed to the nines and channel your best game of Clue while trying to solve the mystery of a missing glittering rock. Your ticket includes a drink, dinner, and all the murder mystery entertainment you can handle. // Tickets ($125) are available on Eventbrite and benefit Wardrobe for Opportunity.


Cyclists' Night at the Speedway

5pm

Calistoga Speedway, 1415 Oak Ave (Calistoga), calistogaspeedway.org

Get your bikes in gear for CampoVelo's Saturday Night at the Speedway. Assemble your best team of four and pedal your hardest to win a relay race (where you pass your single-speed bike, not a lame baton). Live music, food trucks, beer, and wine will be on hand for the festivities. // Proceeds support the Napa Valley Vine Trail non-profit, tickets ($35/person) can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com.


Annual Gala for SF Gay Mens' Chorus

5pm cocktails, 6pm dinner

Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason St. (Russian Hill), fairmont.com

Crescendo, the 41st annual fundraising gala for the SF Gay Men's Chorus, guarantees to be a big time with special honorees including Olympic medalist Adam Rippon and Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth. Mayor London Breed will give the keynote. // Tickets ($250 and up) are available at sfgmc.org.

Sunday, April 28th

Croissant-Making Brunch

11am to 2pm

Le Marche,1144 Sutter St. (Nob Hill), lemarchesf.com

If Parisian-style croissants are your Sunday-morning raison d'etre, then don't miss this chance to get hands on with pastry experts. You'll make your own twice-baked croissants, stuffed with the filling of your choice and boxed to take home. End the class with a tour of the Le Marais bakery and enjoy a brunch spread of croque monsieurs, salads, and more. // Tickets ($65) are available on Eventbrite.


Souvla's 5th Anniversary & Greek Easter Feast

2pm to 7pm

Souvla, 531 Divisadero St. (NoPa), souvla.com

The restaurant responsible for coining "granch" is having a party to celebrate their five years in biz. It will be a feast with all you can binge on their roasted meats, frozen yogurt, wine, and beer, plus live Greek music. // Tickets ($75) are available at eventbrite.com.


Sonoma County Agricultural Tours

10am to 4pm

Sonoma County, farmtrails.org

Take your weekend Sonoma escape to a new level with tours of various farms that are thriving with the spring season. Meet baby farm animals, milk goats, make cheese, shop local farm produce, and make your own flower bouquets. // Free to attend; get details and RSVP at Eventbrite.

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