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Events to Toast

Posted By foodgal On November 13, 2009 @ 5:20 am In Chefs,Enticing Events,General,Restaurants,Wine | 6 Comments

Did you know the iconic cocktail, the Bloody Mary, is 75 years old this year?

Drink a toast to that milestone at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco to commemorate the drink’s invention 75 years ago at the St. Regis New York.

In 1934, bartender Fernand Petiot introduced the cocktail at the King Cole Bar in The St. Regis New York. It was created when Serge Obolensky, a well known man about town whose penchant for vodka was in keeping with his aristocratic Russian background, asked Petiot to make the vodka cocktail he had in Paris. The formula was spiced up with salt, pepper, lemon and Worcestershire sauce. But since “Bloody Mary” was deemed too vulgar for the hotel’s elegant King Cole Bar, it was rechristened the “Red Snapper.” While the name may not have caught on in that era, the spicy drink most certainly did.

The San Francisco hotel is now serving a new contemporary version, dubbed the “Golden Gate Mary.” It’s made with tequila and pepper-infused tomato water, and garnished with a dried heirloom tomato chip. The $14 cocktail is available at the lobby bar through the end of the year. For another fun option, a flight of the new Bloody Mary and the traditional Bloody Mary is offered for the same price.

Like the photos of the drink? I have Hiro Sone to thank for them. Yes, the excecutive chef of the esteemed Ame restaurant inside the St. Regis San Francisco snapped these pics. He’s a multi-talented chef if there ever was one.

Restaurants are gearing up for next week’s release of Beaujolais Nouveau. Just after midnight on the third Thursday of every November, villages and towns in France race to be the first to serve this new wine of the current harvest.

Campbell’s Twist Bistro gets in on the act Nov. 19 with a three-course prix-fixe for $32. A glass of the Beaujolais Nouveau is $8; a bottle is $30.

Left Bank restaurants will do the same with a la carte specials at its locations in Menlo Park. San Jose’s Santana Row, and Larkspur.

Depending upon the location, look for dishes such as house-made pork sausages with red wine-braised lentils, and pear poached in Beaujolais.

For a different twist, Arlequin Wine Merchant in San Francisco will host “No More Nouveau” on 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 19.

More than 10 wines will be poured from different Cru Beaujolais — richer, denser reds than the typically light and sweet Nouveau versions.

Price is $15 a the door.

Enjoy more wine, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 17, at the “End of Harvest Celebration” at the Press Club in San Francisco.

Representatives of Chateau Montelena, Fritz Winery, Hanna Winery and Vineyards, Miner Family Vineyards, Mount Eden Vineyards and Saintsbury will be pouring that night and telling tales of this year’s harvest.

Restaurant O Catering and Black Ridge Vineyards are teaming for a Nov. 21 dinner at the Los Gatos winery.

The $99 per person dinner includes appetizers, intermezzo, plus four courses and five wines. For reservations, call (408) 399-6396.

To mark the opening of the local Dungeness crab season, Nick’s Cove & Cottages of Tomales Bay will host an all-day crab feed.

For $26 per person, you get a whole crab — either grilled, steamed or chilled — with fixings. A $29 “Surf  and Turf” (grilled crab and skirt steak” also will be on the menu.

Twenty-two top chefs will break into teams of two to prepare a lavish four-course meal Nov. 20 at the ninth annual “Taste & Tribute Benefit Gala” at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco.

The event benefits the Tibetan Aid Project, which helps Tibetans preserve their culture. Tickets are $300 per person.

Since the event’s inception, Chef Laurent Manrique has rounded up a stellar array of culinary colleagues to cook. This time around, the participating chefs include Peter Armellino of the Plumed Horse in Saratoga, Mark Dommen of One Market in San Francisco, and Jennie Lorenzo of the Fifth Floor in San Francisco.

Head to Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 15, for its first annual ”Olive Harvest Festival.”

The event includes a farm tour, harvest lunch with wine, and an olive oil tasting. You also can pick your own olives, too.

Tickets are $65.

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