Crush Cupid This Year: Where to Book Valentine's Day Dinner

Categories: Holidays

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Manajari Chocolate Cremeux, Parallel 37
Yes, it's almost Valentine's Day -- again. Instead of throwing together a last-minute homemade "lasagna" and trying to convince your partner that it was your plan the whole time, kill it this year by making a reservation and allowing the restaurant to do all the work for you. Because even though Valentine's Day is known as amateur hour in the restaurant community, nothing says "I love you" like a warm plate of well-cooked food ... and a stellar dessert if you're looking for something sweet in return later on in the evening.

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Three Sweet S.F. Chocolate Factory Tours

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A world of pure imagination? Close enough.
As one of the food capitals of the country, San Francisco has a certain culinary image to uphold. And in addition to the great produce, bread, coffee, pickles, cheese, charcuterie, and so on produced in the city, we have some damn fine chocolate, and not one but three chocolate factory tours to explore. Go behind-the-scenes to learn about single-origin bars, confections, and more -- and even though none of the factories have a Wonkaesque chocolate waterfall, most of the tours do end in tastings so you can put what you just learned into delicious context.

See also: Dandelion Chocolate: Touring the Dogpatch Factory
Sampling TCHO's New Line of Confections
Charles Chocolates' Triumphant Return

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Seven Cold-Pressed Juiceries to Jump-Start Your 2014

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Flickr/thedabblist
Well, it's that time of year again. Your New Year's resolution to eat healthy is on your mind and you're still feeling motivated enough (i.e., overwhelmingly guilty about all of your past sins of indulgence) to follow through with it. And nothing provides the semblance of health better than a pricey bottle of cold-pressed juice, a process that is supposed to be better for you because it offers optimal nutrient retention. Whether you're attempting a cleanse or just want to drink some nutrients instead of empty calories, here are some of the city's best cold-pressed juiceries.

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Four Classes To Help You Keep Your Resolution to Cook More

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Flickr/Eric C Bryan
Some New Year's resolutions virtually beg to be broken: We vow to lose 15 pounds, cut back on our drinking, or give up carbs or dairy. But by the time February 1 rolls around, as we shovel another forkful of truffle mac and cheese into our mouths and wash it down with a third glass of wine, these promises generally have become all but a memory.

Some resolutions, like becoming more confident and deft in the kitchen, are reasonable and constructive, and they stand a fighting chance of sticking past the first few weeks of January. So this year, instead of eliminating dishes from you diet, lean how to master them with these four skill-building classes.

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Three Sparkling Cocktails to Take You Into 2014

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Absinthe Group
Christmas may be over, but the season of holiday indulgence is still going strong until January 1. And whether you're celebrating the impending new year, looking fondly upon the one passing by, or simply numbing the pain inflicted by visiting family members, these three sparkling cocktail are perfect to celebrate the waning days of 2013 -- and so delicious you'll be sipping them throughout the new year.

See also: Bay Area Bubbles: Wrapping it up at Roerderer Estate
Bay Area Bubbles: Mumm's Tour and Oak Terrace Make It Worth a Visit
Bay Area Bubbles: A Visit to Schramsberg's Candlelit Tasting Cave

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Ring in the New Year Right: Restaurants Celebrating New Year's Eve

Categories: Holidays

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Bedlam Champagne Punchbowl - Burritt Room + Tavern
No more Christmas shopping, stocking stuffing, or tree decorating -- but the holiday season isn't over yet. With the New Year just around the corner, there is still plenty to celebrate, and plenty to eat. We've rounded up S.F. restaurants hosting NYE dinner. What says 'fresh start' better than a champagne toast and a great bite?

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Great Bay Area Liquor Stores to Stuff Stockings or Cabinets

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The mighty shelves at Ledger's Liquors
Whether in search of a last-minute Christmas gift, host/hostess offering or party supplies for New Years Eve, chances are you will end up in search of a good liquor store.

Luckily, we have quite a few spots in the Bay Area that are helpful to both the cocktail geek and cocktail meek. Here's a list of some of my favorite spots to pick up a bottle or two of something unique or simply to restock your liquor cabinet in time for company.

See also: The Spirits of Christmas: Three Local Boozes to Sip By the Fire
Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Your Foodie Friends


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Perfect Food and Drink Pairings For Holiday Crises

Categories: Holidays

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Flickr/DC Central Kitchen
The holidays are a time of warmth, family, and good cheer. They're also a time of stress, frustration, and the unwavering feeling that everything is about to fall apart: your parents will start arguing, your drunk aunt and uncle will share their opinions on Obamacare (not favorable), and your significant other -- if you have one -- will either propose or break up with you right around the time the tree sets itself on fire (last time you let your stoner cousin put that thing together). The only way you're going to get through this is by eating and drinking your way into a blissful holiday stupor. Here are the perfect food and wine pairings for any holiday crisis.

See also: http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2013/12/chinese_food_and_movies_on_chr.php

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Chinese Food and Movies on Christmas Day

Categories: Holidays

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Peking duck: A holiday tradition since A Christmas Story.
Santa may not visit everyone's chimney, particularly for those who are non-believers. A remedy on the big Christmas holiday is to eat Chinese food (and lots of it) and catch a movie, a two-fer that is a tradition for many Jews. Actually, the Chinese food outings on December 25 are an interfaith gift for all, if you aren't up for cooking or a big to-do with your family. Thankfully, a majority of Chinese food restaurants are open Wednesday. Here are some of our favorites:

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Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Your Foodie Friends

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Flickr/ KieuvyNguyen
Food-loving friends can be hard to shop for. They seem to already own every kitchen gadget imaginable, have shelves full of cookbooks and a stocked bar. Lucky for you, they're always hungry for more. So here's our last-minute gift guide that will satisfy your friend's never-ending appetite.

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