The SF Examiner asked notable Bay Area food professionals to share seasonal favorites and dining memories.
Executive chef, Grand Café
The dish: Black kale salad
The ingredients: Black kale, heirloom apples, grilled onions, toasted walnuts, Point Reyes blue cheese and whole-grain mustard vinaigrette
The secret trick: Tenderize the kale by brining it in kosher salt for several hours
“I love kale, and this salad. It’s super healthy and is one of the most well-received dishes on my menu. It’s flexible, and allows me to use whatever is in season. Right now I’m doing apples, walnuts and blue cheese. In winter I also do roasted cauliflower, hazelnuts, pickled shallot and goat cheese.”
Food: SF Examiner restaurant critic Patricia Unterman suggests great places to dine in and around The City in 2012. Patrons will find what they love most: innovation, skillful cooking, local ingredients and moderate prices.
Meet Your Mixologist: Evans Horn likes whisky bullets, skeet shooting and taking care of his guests — a perfect fit for lead bartender at Dobbs Ferry, a bistro in Hayes Valley.
Movie musical: The Castro Theatre opens a four-day engagement screening the participatory “singalong” version of Bernstein and Sondheim’s classic “West Side Story.” [7 p.m., 429 Castro St., S.F.]
Rockin’ blues: Singer Roach fronts the Los Angeles-based band Cafe R&B. [8 and 10 p.m., Biscuits & Blues, 401 Mason St., S.F.]
Improvisation fest: Bay Area Theatre Sports (BATS) presents “The Tryptic,” a one-night-only event in which improvisers create a show of three interweaving tales on the spot from audience suggestions. [8 p.m., Bayfront Theater, Building B, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F.]
New Year’s Eve fiesta: The Latin holiday show features Cuban sonero Fito Reinoso, the Navias, Sukay, Forgona Roupa and Brazilian samba carnaval dancers and drummers. [8:30 p.m., Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell St., S.F.]
Contemporary opera: Goat Hall productions presents “Fresh Voices XI,” a “new music New Year’s bash” performed in a cabaret-style setting. [10 p.m., 544 Capp Street, S.F.]
Funk and jazz: The Greyboy Allstars featuring Fred Wesley and Zigaboo Modeliste and the New Aahkesstra headline a New Year’s Eve show and party. [9 p.m., The Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.]
Nob Hill walking tour: The San Francisco City Guides tour visits rococo palaces of railroad and silver kings, a great cathedral, four prestigious hotels and an exclusive men’s club. [2 p.m., meet at Stanford Court Hotel front entrance, California Street between Powell and Mason streets, S.F.]
Ice rinks: Skating is happening at the Embarcadero and Union Square rinks. Sessions (90 minutes) start on every even hour. [Embarcadero: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Justin Herman Plaza, 1 Market St., S.F.; Union Square: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Powell and Post streets, S.F.]
Irish holiday: “Celtic Yuletide,” starring acclaimed tenor Michael Londra of “Riverdance,” closes its 2½-week run. [2 p.m., Marines’ Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St., second floor, S.F.]
Beethoven program: The San Francisco Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ben Simon performs a free concert of three works by Beethoven; the featured soloist is violinist Robin Sharp. [3 p.m., St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 600 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto]
New Year’s beats: Brass Tax presents “Supper of Survivors III,” featuring DJs DingDong, JoeJoe, Mace and Ernie, and Jess Stockton along with guests Ethan Miller, Dr. Whiskers and the Tsurata Experience. [4 p.m. until 2 a.m., Public Works, 61 Erie St. (near Mission and 15th streets), S.F.]
Blues time: Earl Thomas and The Blues Ambassadors — a Bay Area band composed of African-American, Middle Eastern, European and Hispanic musicians — performs. [8 and 10 p.m., Biscuits & Blues, 401 Mason St., S.F.]
European influences: “Anatomy Lessons: Art and the Male Body” — featuring works on paper by William Hogarth and others — is among the exhibitions on view at Cantor Arts Center; admission is free. [11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Palm Drive at Museum Way, Stanford University]
Stunts and more: “Yes, Sweet Can” combines a traditional circus with physical theater, dance and live music to create a topsy-turvy world in which anything can happen. [2 p.m., Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St., S.F.]
Birder field trip: Golden Gate Audubon Society hosts an event for birders at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. [8 to 10:30 a.m., front gate, Ninth Avenue at Lincoln Way, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]