Bay Area/Napa Valley Foodie Happenings

Sorbet is the finale to the new tasting menu at Mantra

PlumpJack Cafe in San Francisco kicks off its “Women of Wine Dinner Series,” 6 p.m. July 31 with winemaker Cecila Masyczek, who has worked for such labels as Hollywood & Vine Cellars, and Rocca Family Vineyards. The four-course dinner, paired with wines from Masyczek’s portfolio, is $125 per person.

If you miss that event, the next “Women of Wine Dinner Series” on Aug. 19 will feature winemaker Karen Culler of Culler Wines. The four-course dinner with paired wines is $95. For reservations to either dinner, call (415) 563-4755.

In Palo Alto, Mantra has introduced its first tasting menu. Although diners still can order a la carte, there’s also now a four-course tasting menu for $44 (wine pairing is an additional $22) . The tasting menu will change with the seasons. The summer one gives you a choice of entree: baby chicken with wild mushroom risotto or smoked chili organic tofu; and ends with a white-chocolate dipped strawberry sorbet with fresh fruit.

Maybe it’s the cooler weather in San Francisco that leaves diners hungrier, but to satisfy demand, Pres A Vi in the Presidio has added entree-sized selections to its regular small plates offerings. Selections will change weekly, and can include grass-fed rib eye with Villa Manodori cherry balsamico and dolce Gorgonzola ($32), and Hawaiian Mahi-Mahi with Thai red curry sauce ($27).

At Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, Marche on the Square has opened, offering a gourmet market, French-influenced bistro, and wine bar.

On the ground floor of the two-story building is a grocer, where you can pick up Scottish mustards, organic produce, or a savory crepe. On the same level, the wine bar offers 100 wines by the bottle and 25 by the glass. The upstairs bistro serves lobster sliders, French onion soup, and Alaskan halibut tempura-style. 

And up in Yountville, chef Michael Chiarello’s flagship NapaStyle store has opened, featuring wine-country housewares, house-cured meats, wines, and a demonstration kitchen. The interior here, as with his four other NapaStyle stores, is decorated with reclaimed and recycled materials.

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