Holiday Cocktail, Wine Deals, High Tea, Restaurant Openings & More

The Gentleman Jack Frost cocktail at Fleming's. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

You don’t have to be a gentleman to enjoy a Gentleman Jack Frost at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Palo Alto and Walnut Creek.

The new $10.95 holiday cocktail is a warming blend of bourbon, hard cider and cinnamon. It’s available through the end of the year.

Sent Sovi restaurant in Saratoga will team with its neighbor, Uncorked! wine shop, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 6 for the second annual “Wine and Dine” event.

The soiree, held at the wine shop, will offer a chance to sip some fine wines and sample gourmet eats such as Dungeness crab and compressed apple eclairs with 2007 Ceja Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Coast. The shop also will be offering some good deals on wine for holiday gift giving.

Tickets to the event are $65 and must be reserved ahead of time by calling (408) 867-3110.

More wine deals can be had at Brix in Yountville. Throughout December, the restaurant will slash prices half-off every bottle of wine at brunch, lunch and dinner. Who wouldn’t want to drink to that?

Dec. 14 at Coi restaurant in San Francisco, meet one of the most colorful and pioneering figures in wine, Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard.

Grahm will read from his new book, “Been Doon So Long” (University of California Press), as guests enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres. A four-course dinner prepared by Chef Daniel Patterson will follow, which will be paired with Bonny Doon wines.

Price is $175 per person, which includes a signed copy of Grahm’s book.

Tea-totalers are in for a treat Dec. 4 when the Old Mint Building in San Francisco hosts a holiday high tea.

Seatings are available between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at this national historic landmark that was once home to one-third of the nation’s gold reserves.

Enjoy tea, coffee, finger sandwiches and precious sweets in this awe-inspiring setting.

Tickets are $75 per person for members of the San Francisco Museum & Historical Society; $85 for non-members; and $45 for children. For reservations, call 415-537-1105 x100.

If you’re one of the many foodies who fell in love with the flick, “Julie & Julia,” you can now own it on DVD ($28.96) or Blu-ray ($39.95).

Special features on both include commentary by writer-director Nora Ephron, as well as interviews with the cast and crew.

The Blu-ray version also comes with a tour of Julia Child’s kitchen now at the Smithsonian, and cooking lessons with Child, Jacques Pepin, Mark Peel, Suzanne Goin and others.

Baker & Banker has opened in the old Quince restaurant site in San Francisco by the couple, Chef Jeff Banker and Pastry Chef Lori Baker (hence the name).

Settle into a comfy espresso leather banquette to enjoy grilled hangar steak with red wine-marrow butter, cast iron potato gratin and sauteed spinach; dayboat scallops with caramelized sun choke puree; and pumpkin cobbler with cinnamon brittle ice cream.

Bottega in Yountville celebrates its one-year anniversary in posh style with a week of white truffle dinners, Dec. 7-13.

Enjoy either a five-course truffle dinner for $95 per person (with an additional $35 for an Italian wine pairing) or a la carte selections. Among the prix fixe dishes are Howell Mountain porcini mushroom and truffle fettucini; and Piemontese filet mignon with truffle duck liver pate and truffle Marsala jus.

Il Cane Rosso in San Francisco’s Ferry Building now offers nightly family-style dinners at communal tables for $25 per person.

No reservations are required for the three-course meal. And children 10 years or younger eat for half-price. The menu changes nightly, and may include: Star Route Farms arugula with roasted beets, oranges and orange-balsamic vinaigrette; Marin Sun Farms slow-cooked brisket with garlicky rapini greens; and Devoto Orchard pink lady apple crisp with vanilla soft serve.

Park Chalet in San Francisco offers half-off a la carte lunches and dinners on Wednesdays throughout December. It’s the perfect opportunity to try some of the new menu items, such as fritto misto, crispy duck spring rolls and smoked salmon club.

At this time of year, markets are overflowing with turnips, bok choy, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. They’re all part of the brasica family of vegetables.

Learn how to cook all those lovely veggies at the “Brassica Bash,” 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco.

The free event, which includes cooking demos, will take place in the South Driveway.

Also at the Ferry Building, artisan mixologist Scott Beattie, formerly of Cyrus restaurant in Healdsburg, will teach how to make three holiday cocktails in a hands-on class, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 5. Tickets to the event are $40.

Go shopping for holiday gifts at the Dec. 4 La Cocina Gift Fair at the Mission Cultural Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

La Cocina is a business incubator that cultivates food entrepreneurs, whose products are now carried at gourmet stores around the Bay Area.

At the event, you’ll be able to purchase cookies, jams, cooking tools and more from La Cocina businesses. Beer, wine and light snacks also will be served.

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