Toasts, Tastes & Tapas

There are so many great food events going on in the next few weeks, it's hard to choose. Here are three that particularly caught my eye and whet my appetite.

Next Thursday March 27th, 2008 is the Wine Enthusiast Toast of the Town. Attending will be 70 domestic and international wine producers including Trinchero, Mumm Napa, Champagne Piper-Heidsiek, Rodney Strong Vineyards and J. Lohr Vineyards. A complete list of invited wine vendors is available here. The event will be held at the War Memorial Opera House.

I spoke to one of the organizers and got a sneak peek at just a few of the dishes that participating restaurants will be serving.

Bar Tartine
Blood Orange-cured Sardines with Asparagus & Soft-boiled Egg Vinaigrette

Bistro Jeanty
Crème de Tomate en Croûte - Tomato Soup in Puff Pastry


Café Gibraltar
• Moroccan Lamb & Beef Tagine – Savory Mélange of Beef and Lamb Shoulder, with Seasonal Vegetables, Chickpeas and Fingerling Potatoes in a Savory Date-mild Chile-Harissa Glaze

• Algerian Vegetable Couscous – Seasonal Vegetables, Chickpeas and Currants in a Roasted Sweet Pepper-Saffron broth, Served Atop House-Rolled Couscous

Campton Place
Spot Prawn Sashimi on Watermelon Carpaccio Chutnied Mango Chili Fizz with Apple & Wild Rocket Gazpacho Air

Étoile at Domaine Chandon
Braised Veal Cheek, Morel Mushrooms, English Pea Purée and Preserved Meyer Lemon

Go Fish Restaurant
Scallop and Shrimp Ceviche

PlumpJack Cafe
Ramp Panna Cotta with Langoustine and Pickled Cloud

Poleng Lounge
Walu Kinilaw – Hawaiian Butterfish, Toybox Tomatoes, Shallots, Cilantro, Coconut Milk, hand-harvested Philippine Sea Salt

Tuna en Ponzu Gelée with Wasabi Tobiko, Lemon and Shiso

Pres a Vi
Hamachi Two Ways –
• Teradito with Anju Pepper Aioli, Siracha, Blood Orange Oil and Micro Cilantro
• Poke with Inamona, Soy, Lemon Zest and Wasabi Tobiko

Rivoli Restaurant
Rivoli Smoked Beef on a Cheddar Biscuit with Horseradish Cream and Pickled Onion Relish

The Grand Tasting is from 7-10 pm and tickets are $95. A silent auction at the event will benefit America's Second Harvest The Nation's Food Bank.

Share our Strength's Taste of the Nation is also a benefit for America's Second Harvest with a focus on ending childhood hunger. It will be held April 6th, 2008 at Acme Chophouse.

From 6:30-7:30pm you'll enjoy appetizers from top local restaurants before a sit-down dinner prepared by the Next Iron Chef contenders and wine pairings from top sommeliers and live and silent auctions. The chefs for the dinner will be:

Michael Symon of Cleveland's Lola and Lolita

Traci Des Jardins of Acme Chophouse, Jardiniere and Mijita

Chris Cosentino of Incanto

Gavin Kaysen of NYC's Café Boulud

Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake and Orson (dessert)

Tickets are $250 and 100% of your ticket purchase goes directly to Share Our Strength.

If you are still waiting for your economic stimulus check, here's a bargain opportunity to enjoy a taste of Spain.

Tonight, March 19th, 2008, at 6 pm Gerald Hirigoyen of Bocadillos and Piperade will create Basque-inspired small plates at Macy's Union Square as part of A Mosaic of Spain, Macy's Annual Flower Show. Jon Bonne, wine editor at the SF Chronicle and Andy Booth, owner of the Spanish Table will be on hand to discuss wine pairings.

In addition to food and wine samples, you'll receive a 60-day subscrition to and VIP card from City Dish.

Tickets are $10 and benefit the Espanola de California.