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Good Eats & Drinks

Nosh on a special three-course menu from the Italian countryside every Sunday and Monday evenings this summer through Aug. 31 at San Francisco’s Incanto.

Executive Chef Chris Cosentino changes the prix fixe “Cocina Povera” weekly, highlighting a specific region each time. Price is $30, or $39 with two wine pairings included.

Four of Northern California’s best chefs will be serving up specialties at the 27th annual Vintage Affaire June 27 at a spectacular Atherton private estate.

Enjoy the creations of Alessandro Cartumini of Quattro Restaurant and Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley in East Palo Alto; Daniel Patino of Michael Mina’s Arcadia in San Jose; Xavier Salomon of the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay; and Cal Stamenov of Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley. More than 25 of California’s best wineries also will be pouring special vintages.

Live and silent auctions will give guests a chance to bid on rare wines, wine dinners, and special vacation packages.

Tickets are $300 per person. The event benefits Palo Alto’s Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. During the past 26 years, this gala has raised nearly $6 million for the center clinic, counseling, and computer training services.

In this stagnant economy, restaurants and hotels are realizing that more than anything, diners want options and values.

That’s why all Ritz-Carlton Hotels around the world are introducing a new bar menu that invites guests to linger, share, and relax. It’s also an attempt to show that even in these tough times, you don’t have to sell the family jewels to afford a bite to eat and a drink to sip at this chain of luxury hotels.

Look for smoked salmon and arugula egg rolls, calamari in remoulade sauce, comforting crab cakes, barbecue pork sliders, and an array of cool cocktails. Items range from $10 to $20.

For another deal, head to Urban Tavern in San Francisco, June 8-12, when the downtown gastropub will allow diners to “pay what they think it’s worth.”

Yes, you got that right. Diners can enjoy up to a three-course meal at lunch. At the end, they’ll be asked to pay what they think the meal was worth. The server will then ring up that amount, plus tax. Lunch can include food, soft drinks, coffee, and tea, but not alcohol.

The offer is limited to 100 diners per day. Reservations are required.

For more bar goodies, sidle up to the one at Zinnia in San Francisco every Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night for its new “Burger & Brew” special.

Chef Sean O’Brien offers his grilled chuck and chorizo burger on a Dutch Crunch roll with Kennebec fries with a bottle of local beer — all for $15.

Tiny bubbles will be featured June 12 at Paolo’s in San Jose.

Sparkling wine experts, Tabitha Stroup and Amanda Rehn, will lead a session all about sparkling wines. Price is $35. Reserve a spot by calling (408) 294-2558.

Two weekends in June, taste the best wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains at the Vintners Festival, organized by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association.

June 6-7, wind your way to 30 locations on the western side of the mountains in Santa Cruz County to partake of wines, complimentary appetizers, and live music. June 13-14, tour 20 venues in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties for more of the same.

Tickets are $30 in advance; $35 at the door. For more information, call (831) 685-8463.

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