Restaurant Architecture Tours, Bobby Flay Comes to San Jose, New Splashy Sonoma Winery & More

The interior of Twenty Five Lusk in San Francisco. (Photo by Paul Dyer)

Behind the Scenes Look at San Francisco Restaurant Design

The San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects is presenting a program this month that will have you looking at your favorite eateries in a whole new light.

Part of its “Architecture and the City Festival,” this “Tour, Talk, Taste: Food and Design in the City” series invites you into a couple of San Francisco restaurants, where you’ll have a chance to listen to the design and culinary teams explain their visions for each restaurant. Then, you’ll get to sit down with them over food and drink to learn even more.

Find out what went into creating Local Mission Eatery, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 25, which was built with environmentally conscious materials.

Learn about the creative process for hip Twenty Five Lusk, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 27.

And find out how designers created a Ligurian Italian restaurant in the Mission at Farina, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30.

Tickets to each event are $40 for AIA members; $50 for general admission. To register and buy tickets, go here.

The interior of Local Mission Eatery, which boasts environmentally friendlyl materials. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Get Your Beloved Meetinghouse Biscuits

Long-time Bay Area foodies know well the legendary biscuits that Chef Joanna Karlinsky used to turn out when she owned the Meetinghouse restaurant in San Francisco.

That restaurant may be long gone. But you can still get your fix of those impossibly fluffy, tender biscuits a couple of ways. First, Thursday and Friday evenings from 6 p.m. on, she’s doing a pop-up at the Oasis Cafe in San Francisco, where she’ll be selling her wonderful chili and biscuits, both freshly baked and frozen ones to take home for later.

Second, she’s cooking brunch on Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at The Corner in San Francisco. The simple, sit-down brunch will include such offerings as eggs Benedict, chili, Southern sides, and plenty of biscuits.

Finally, you also can buy the frozen biscuits via her Web site. A box of 24 frozen dough squares is $35.

Bobby Flay Book-Signing Event at Santana Row in San Jose

Meet New York celeb Chef Bobby Flay at 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at Sur La Table in San Jose’s Santana Row.

Flay will be signing copies of his new book, “Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook: Celebrate America’s Great Flavors” (Clarkson Potter).

Books will be available for purchase starting Sept. 20. Those interested are advised to pre-purchase books by visiting Sur La Table or calling the store at (408) 244-4749. Those who pre-purchase a book will receive a ticket, allowing access to the book signing line the day of the event. But pre-purchasing and receiving a ticket does not guarantee a signed book. Got all that?

Jason Rose, executive chef, and Marc Hartenfels, hospitality manager, of the new Ram's Gate Winery. (Photo courtesy of the winery)

Big Names Behind the New Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma

Are there ever for the new Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma, which specializes in small bottlings of estate and single-vineyard wines, primarily Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, available only at the winery.

The 22,000-square-foot winery is expected to open Sept. 19. Housed in an expansive barn, it will feature tours, chef demos and the capacity for private events. It was co-founded by Jeff O’Neill, owner of O’Neill Vintners & Distillers.

The star wattage begins with the executive chef. That would be Jason Rose, former culinary project manager at the Delfina Restaurant Group in San Francisco and former culinary director for the Tyler Florence Group. Rose will offer an array of small plates, as well as oversee the winery’s fruit and veggie garden.

Then, there’s the hospitality manager, Marc Hartenfels, who was the opening general manager for Benu in San Francisco and the former assistant general manager of Bouchon in Yountville.

The new Ram's Gate Winery on the site of the former Roche Winery. (Photo courtesy of Ram's Gate)

And winemaker, Jeff Gaffner, a 25-year veteran of the industry, who was part of the wine-making team responsible for Chateau St. Jean’s stunning 1996 Cinq Cepages, named the 1999 “Wine of the Year” by Wine Spectator magazine.

And interior designer, Orlando Diaz-Azcuy, who did Masa’s in San Francisco; as well as architect, Howard Backen, who has worked on such amazing properties as Harlan Estate Winery and Meadowood in St. Helena.

With that kind of team, you just have to take a peek, don’t you? Once complete, the winery is expected to be open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Silicon Valley Restaurant Week

Today marks the first day of Silicon Valley Restaurant Week,” in which participating restaurants will offer a discounted three-course prix-fixe dinner menu each night through Sept. 21.

Restaurants include California Cafe in Los Gatos and Palo Alto; Los Gatos Brewing Company in Los Gatos and San Jose; Scratch in Mountain View, Sent Sovi in Saratoga and Paolo’s in San Jose. For a complete list with menus offered, click here.

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