If there's any bright side to the durned Great Recession, it's that terrific places have embraced some Great Recession prices, such as Stark's Steakhouse, recently lauded in these pages for its crazy cheap weekday happy hour from 3pm to 6pm. Meanwhile, out on the shores of Tomales Bay, Nick's Cove is offering a Local's Combo at the bar every Thursday and Friday night composed of three barbecued oysters, a burger and fries, and a draft beer for a tidy $14.95. They call it a "three-course meal"; we call it pure brilliance when beer counts as a full course.
On the pricier-but-for-a-better-cause-than-merely-your-own-stomach side of things, Marin Organic's annual fundraiser is slated this year for Oct. 25 at Sausalito's Cavallo Point Lodge. More than just a dinner, this is an experience, and it clocks in at the experiential price of $250 per person or $350 a couple. Five hundred dollars buys a chance to dine with either Italian master butcher Dario Cecchini, featured in Bill Buford's book Heat, or artist Douglas Gayeton, author of Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town. Any ticket purchases entry to the art show preceding the dinner, beginning at 5:30pm; those not dining should expect to tithe $75 to Marin Organic for the pleasure. Wood-roasted, pasture-raised lamb, slow-cooked fall greens with black garlic au jus and coal-roasted beets with quinoa, fresh ricotta and a truffle emulsion are among the promised menu items. That's a charitably large yum. To learn more, go to www.marinorganic.org. . . .
"Social Media Sommelier" Gary Vanerchuk, owner of Wine Library TV, a video blog devoted to all things enophiliac that is somehow a $60 million dollar business, will be at V. Sattui Winery on Oct. 24 to read from and sign his newest, Crush It! Why Now Is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion, which details how businesses can harness the power of the web to endlessly expand. V. Sattui is donating a portion of the days' proceeds to a local school. Learn more at www.vsattui.com. . . . Stryker Sonoma Winery takes a funny attitude toward business, pairing wine education with standup comics from the San Francisco Comedy College, launching the Comedy in the Cellar series on Oct. 24, staring with a wine-release party and food, followed by a light-hearted winetasting class and wrapping in the barrel cellar with comics Kellen Erskine and Jeff Applebaum. Call 800.433.1944 for details. . . . Graton Ridge Cellars hosts a Pink Party to honor breast cancer awareness on Oct. 25 with free wine and food and a "Pretty in Pink Wall of Fame" featuring portraits and names of those affected by breast cancer. 707.823.3040. . . .
Longboard Vineyards hails surf legend Peter Mel, the waves of the legendary Mavericks surf spot near Half Moon Bay and those surf photographers collected in the traveling exhibit, "Mavericks: Everest of the Seas," Oct. 23&–25 at the tasting room, with an opening reception Oct. 23 from 5pm to 9pm. Mel is also the guest winemaker for Longboard's new Cabernet, celebrated that night. Hook up with it at 707.433.3473.
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