Burgers, Oysters, Wine & More

Pesto burger. (Photo courtesy of Burger Bar)

San Francisco finally gets its own Burger Bar today.

Chef Hubert Keller of San Francisco’s Fleur de Lys has brought his build-your-own burger concept to Macy’s Union Square in San Francisco. It opens today at 10:30 a.m., joining its sister Burger Bar locales in Las Vegas and St. Louis.

The San Francisco flagship burger joint, on the sixth floor of Macy’s, is open daily for lunch and dinner. Find buffalo, Kobe beef, salmon, and vegetarian burger options. Fresh meat is ground daily in the in-house butcher room.

The restaurant has its own wine cellar, and 24 beers on tap. There’s also a milkshake bar, where diners can customize their shakes any way they like.

Through Oct. 21, enjoy a three-course meal for $35 at participating Silicon Valley restaurants, from Los Gatos to San Carlos. It’s all part of “Silicon Valley Restaurant Week.”

Among those participating are: Nick’s on Main in Los Gatos, Alexander’s Steakhouse in Cupertino, Crimson in Los Gatos, and Quattro in East Palo Alto. For a complete list, as well as the menus offered, click here.

Photo courtesy of Hewitson Winery.

Reserve your seat for an intimate, whimsical dinner Oct. 29 at the Fifth Floor Restaurant in San Francisco, when South Australia’s Hewitson Wines launches the U.S. release of its highly touted 2006 Mad Hatter Shiraz.

For the occasion, Chef Jennie Lorenzo will feature a multi-course dinner served amidst Mad Hatter-decor. Price is $75. To reserve a seat, email madhattertourSF@gmail.com or call (415) 348-1111.

Tonight at 6:30 p.m., Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Palo Alto and Walnut Creek will host a walk-around wine tasting with each featuring five or six Napa Valley vintners. Paired hors d’ouevres also will be served. Price is $45.

Sip more wine at the new Affronti, which just opened in downtown Healdsburg.

Chef-Owner Jude Affronti, who ran Mario Batali’s Po for three years in New York City, serves California-Mediterranean small plates along with more than 30 wines by the glass, and inventive wine cocktails. Dishes include red trout escabeche in tangy marinade, and Sonoma smoked duck with white beans and tomato.

Live jazz is featured Thursdays and at Sunday brunch.

Oyster lovers should make a bee-line to Waterbar in San Francisco, noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 17 for “Oyster Fest 2009.”

Enjoy a hot sauce competition, a shucking challenge, and plenty of oysters and wines to sample. The fee is $50, which includes admission and five tickets, each of which can be redeemed for one drink or one small plate of food.

You can eat — and get some exercise — in the ”East Bay Foodie Bike Tour of Emeryville and Berkeley,” 11:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 17.

Pedal your way on a flat, 4-mile tour that will make stops for culinary refueling at such places as Charles Chocolates in Emeryville, and Vik’s Chaat Corner in Berkeley.

Price is $50. Register by clicking here.

Enjoy an “Organic Harvest Day,” 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 17 at ALBA’s Rural Development Center, 1700 Old Stage Road in Salinas, when you’ll get to pick your own crops.

ALBA, the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, generates opportunities for farm workers and farmers with limited resources to grow and sell crops from two organic farms in Monterey County.

Crops available for picking that day include chile peppers, beets, fennel, basil, carrots, onions, tomatoes, squash, and small pumpkins. Proceeds benefit ALBA.

Two Salinas taco trucks also will be on site to cook up grub using organic veggies. For more information, call (831) 758-1469.

Head to Morton’s The Steakhouse in San Jose, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20, for a delicious cookbook event for a good cause.

Tastes of dishes from the Morton’s second cookbook, “Morton’s The Cookbook: 100 Steakhouse Recipes for Every Kitchen” (Clarkson Potter) will be sampled, along with wines. Delicious items also will be up for grabs in a silent auction. The cookbook, which retails for $32.50, can be purchased at the event for $20.

Price of the event is $35, with $5 of that going to Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. All proceeds from the silent auction also will go to the food bank. It’s all part of a nationwide partnership between Morton’s and Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief agency. The restaurant chain hopes to raise more than $75,000 through February 2010 for that organization.

Bardessono in Yountville has a scrumptious porky time in store for you. Oct. 19, they will be hosting a tasting of three varieties of Jamon Iberico, Spain’s delectable cured ham.

Chefs Sean O’Toole of Bardessono and Sylvain Portay, the consulting corporate chef for Groupe Alain Ducasse, will prepare a four-course dinner paired with select Spanish wines chosen by Master Sommelier Emmanuel Kemiji. Price is $135.

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  • So many great events! I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy some of them again once the toddler is a bit older and will happily stay with a babysitter at night… 🙂

  • re: “… three-course meal for $35 at participating Silicon Valley restaurants, from Los Gatos to San Carlos. It’s all part of “Silicon Valley Restaurant Week.” …”, have you a link to restaurants besides those your post featured? I recall seeing somewhere that Rumi in San Carlos is a participant. Thanks, Food Gal.

  • Your posts always make me wish I had another trip to CA scheduled sometime soon. Everything sounds amazing as always. ::JEALOUS::

  • Wow, this is one amazing burger! so beautiful and tempting! A great place!



  • Wotten: Just put your cursor over the “click here,” and you’ll get the hyperlink for the list of participating restaurants. Happy eating!

  • Ah wow, so many options and only one stomach – life is just not fair

  • Awesome. My husband and I have gotten rid of the kids tonight and were wondering where to have dinner. (I’ve eaten at the four places you mentioned & want to try some place else.) The list of participating restaurants in SV Restaurant Week is great! We’re looking to stay local — have you ever eaten at Twist Bistro in Campbell?

    FoodGal, you’re my hero!

  • I “heart” Twist Bistro, Cheryl. It’s so charming and warm. It’s the neighborhood place we all wish we had. Took a friend to dinner there for her birthday, and we both much enjoyed it.

  • I didn’t know there is a Burger Bar in St. Louis! That’s so great since I fly into STL to visit family.

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  • Thanks for pointing to the “here” link for SV Restaurant Week participants. I must’ve raced by it in my eagerness to read your blog–should’ve known you’re way too thorough to have missed a resource central to the story. Naturally, there’re too many places and too little time (swap “time” to “$$$”) esp. since none of the listed places are part of iDine, a rewards program I always check before eating out. Nonetheless, thanks again, Food Gal for providing that list which remains a great reference.

  • SF has the best foodie events. I am convinced that is my future home.
    And oh Carolyn, you are making me crave burgers again!

  • What a divine & top star looking burger with its trimmings!! looks so yummie!!

    The wine looks fab too!

  • Thanks for this post – it’s being printed and filed away for next summer’s trip to California with my parents and mother in law – quite the family trip but we all love good food and wine so it will be more fun than it probably sounds. Can’t wait to try Burger Bar…

  • This photo looks sort of plastic. Is it real?

  • Thanks for all the great information and links. I’m going to have to check out Silicon Valley’s restaurant week.

  • David: As far as I know, it’s a photo of a real burger. It may be the lighting, which is very direct.

  • Aw, shucks! Gonna miss that Oysterfest.

    Although if I had the choice, I’d probably head down to Salinas. I’d love to try out those taco trucks!

    As always, missing California.

  • I am so stoked to check out Burger Bar, your picture of the pesto dripping off the bun looks messy and delicious! So many fun things going on this weekend, and I missed every single one of them… wish I could make that spanish jamon tasting too!

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