By Lina Broydo
Lunar New Year Celebration in San Francisco
San Francisco Chinatown: February 8 at 5 p.m.
A street fair on Kearny Street will be held all day before the parade and all day after the parade on February 9.
Ring in the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat or the Mouse, if you prefer the slightly cuddlier name, the first animal in the Chinese zodiac. Head to San Francisco’s Chinatown, the nation’s largest and oldest destination for Chinese family owned restaurants, teahouses and cocktail bars and lounges. Celebrate Chinese history and culture, with innovative cocktails and bites inspired by the lunar calendar. But first let’s start with your plan to attend the San Francisco parade, the largest celebration outside Asia, sponsored by the Southwest Airlines. And it is one of the few illuminated nighttime parades in the world. Plan accordingly and expect huge crowds.
And who does not like Chinese food? From the Moongate Lounge, a moody and stunning bar hidden in the lantern-decked Waverly Place, to the historic Golden Gate Fortune Cookies factory at Ross Alley off Clay and Grant Streets, to the original double doors of Four Seas restaurants, where for half a century families poured in for weddings and red egg and ginger ceremonies.
It is also a location for Mister Jiu’s, the world renowned Michelin Stars restaurant where the tourists flock to for an outstanding dining. Quite reasonably priced Chef Jiu and his team created some memorable small plates ($16) for you to enjoy and brag about to your friends upon returning home.
You may wish to attend the Miss Chinatown competition which attracts young women from throughout the United States who will come to San Francisco to compete in the annual Miss Chinatown U.S.A. pageant. The event starts at the city’s Palace of Fine Arts, located at 3301 Lyon Street. Tickets: $40 to $70. And many more celebrations in store for you… It’s all enticing, colorful and delicious.
Happy Chinese New Year: Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Find all the events at chineseparade.com
Rain or shine: the parade will go on…
Photo courtesy of Chinese Parade
San Francisco Beer Week’s Cheers-ful Festivities
February 7 through 16, 2020
Northern California’s biggest brew festival takes over breweries, restaurants and other venues for ten days of hundreds of sudsy events starting with the SF Beer Week Opening Gala on February 7 at San Francisco’s Pier 35.
Other fun events include an IPA Festival, barrel-aged release party, dim sum beer brunch, live flamenco show, beer and food pairings and beer trivia.
Example: “Why do the drink only warm beer in Europe?” A perfect way to warm up on the cold February nights and include a Valentine’s Day celebration with your sweetheart. Who says it has to be a champagne? Cheers!
Tickets and Information
For detailed information visit sfbeerweek.org
Photo courtesy of SF Beer
Valentine’s Day Romance is in the Air at the Fabulous Restaurants on the Peninsula
February 14 & February 15
Valentine’s Day Celebration at LB Steak in San Jose: On Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14, LB Steak on Santana Row in San Jose will be open from 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM serving a reduced a la carte dinner menu all day, plus a $110.00 four-course prix fixe menu with an amuse bouche; a Champagne Oyster Shooter with caviar pearls; Scallop Tartare with avocado and citrus supremes; Surf And Turf, an 8 oz. filet with olive oil poached lobster tail, mashed potatoes and sautéed lacinato kale or a 14 oz. Rib Eye with two seared day boat scallops, mashed potatoes and pan roasted foraged mushrooms; and a Valrhona Chocolate Torte with feuilletine hazelnut crunch, Chantilly cream and strawberry bourbon.
Happy Hour will not be offered that day. Every couple dining at the restaurant for dinner will receive a complimentary rose. The prix fixe will also be available on February 15 and 16 in addition to the regular menus. Prices exclude tax and gratuity.
Park: On Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14 (also on February 15), Left Bank Brasserie in Menlo Park will be open from 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM serving their regular à la carte lunch menu and, for dinner, a $65.00 three-course prix fixe menu with a glass of sparkling wine to start that includes main course choices of Duck a la Vanille with pan roasted duck breast and duck confit, wild rice medley, braised endive and vanilla gastrique; Filet Mignon, a pan roasted 6 oz. filet mignon with Yukon Gold potato purée, red wine braised shallots and truffle Bordelaise; Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops with grilled asparagus and radicchio, and saffron emulsion; Braised Lamb Shank with Brussels sprouts, Parmesan polenta and gremolata; Swanson Island BC Salmon with roasted butternut squash, baby kale and vanilla saffron emulsion; or Crème Fraîche Risotto with wild mushrooms, asparagus and truffle zest.
All prix fixe items will also be available à la carte and each couple will receive a complimentary rose. Prices exclude tax and gratuity.
Left Bank Brasserie Menlo Park
635 Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park
LB Steak Brasserie at Santana Row in San Jose
334 Santana Row in San Jose
Wine and Chocolates are on the Sweet Pairing Menu in Beautiful Lodi
February 7 through 9, 2020
I left the best for last for this week’s culinary column. A wine and chocolate weekend is buzzing in Lodi and it’s a dreamy mix: wine and chocolate! The city of Lodi dedicates an entire weekend to that delectable pairing, sort of an early Valentine’s Day celebration for all in love!
More than 45 wineries throughout the appellation will participate in the delicious fun with chocolates and wine. One of Lodi’s newest hot spots is Bubbles n’ Birds, a chic, chandelier adorned Champagne bar with brunch served on the weekends at 10 a.m.
Don’t miss the fried chicken and waffles ($18) served with a grilled watermelon salad (my favorite) accompanied by a glass of bubbly.
Make it a weekend get-away and try to taste as many wines and chocolates produced in the local region. Its only 90 minutes drive from San Francisco.
117 West Elm Street in Lodi
Photo by Lodi’s Wine & Chocolates Weekend