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Christmas and New Year's Eve Dining Guides; Verbena Debuts on Polk; Boozy Eggnogs; More!

Welcome to Eater Tastings, where Eater SF editor Allie Pape shares the best restaurant and bar news of the week.


Verbena, now open on Polk. [Photo: Patricia Chang]

SAN FRANCISCO—Holiday dining is upon us, and we've compiled a go-to guide of where to eat on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in SF.

BAY AREA—You're probably also thinking about New Year's Eve reservations, and on this night of restaurant price-gouging, we managed to find 12 places to dine and drink for under $100 per person.

RUSSIAN HILL—The last big restaurant opening of the year went down on Wednesday, as Verbena, the new restaurant from the team behind Berkeley's acclaimed Gather, made its debut on Polk. We've got photos and menus.

SAN FRANCISCO—The temperature's dropping and the lights are twinkling—time for a boozy eggnog. We found eight versions from top local bars that are chic, not sickly-sweet.

NOE VALLEY—La Nebbia, the new enoteca from the La Ciccia team, made its debut in Noe late last week with wine, pizza, and three kinds of lasagna. Look around and see the menu.

CIVIC CENTER—Daniel Patterson's Alta CA has been heating up mid-Market in its first week. We sat down with the chef, GM, and bar manager to dish on the good and bad of their first seven days in business.

HAYES VALLEY—Corey Lee's forthcoming French bistro, Monsieur Benjamin, is starting to take shape. Get the intel on what the Benu chef plans to do for his second act.

BERKELEY/FINANCIAL DISTRICT—Other crucial openings this week: the return of fire-damaged Berkeley icon Great China in a newer, nicer building; a Rockridge sequel to SF wine bar The Barrel Room; and two Asian-fusion hot spots, Street Food Dojo and KoJa Kitchen.