The Bay Area does autumn the right way. From sandcastle contests to tempting new menus and hotel stays, the region offers plenty of exciting experiences this month.
Stony Hill Vineyard offers guests staggering views and great wine.
The recently opened Residence at Stony Hill, located on Spring Mountain in Napa Valley, reimagines an iconic winery. Surrounded by forest and the Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, the estate offers staggering views of the Napa Valley among terraced vineyards with 70-year-old vines—the first planted on Spring Mountain after Prohibition. The Residence, originally owned by Fred and Eleanor McCrea, was redesigned to preserve the warm aesthetic of the original home while delivering a modern experience for guests. 3331 N. St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, 707.963.2636, stonyhillvineyard.com
Award-winning Scottish actor and songwriter Alan Cumming is set to headline SF’s Curran Theater for one night only on Nov. 2. His solo show, Alan Cumming Is Not Acting His Age, responds to criticisms to mature his act, imparting wisdom on the stigmas of aging with his characteristic childish quips and a set list as multifaceted as himself. 445 Geary St., 415.358.1220, sfcurran.com
Stone fruit Gazoz at Lazy Bear
A nonalcoholic menu is an inclusive delight for a critically acclaimed wine program. Beginning in August, Lazy Bear has expanded its beverage expertise by introducing a new nonalcoholic beverage procession. Inspired by seasonal ingredients and the ever-evolving dinner menu, the mocktail selection includes a botanical tonic that promises to tickle the senses. At the same time, a chamomile and honey soda concoction soothes the palate. 3416 19th St., 415.874.9921, lazybearsf.com
Elyse Walker opens her eponymous boutique in St. Helena.
Luxury meets lifestyle at Elysewalker. The high-end fashion retailer has expanded to a seventh location in the heart of St. Helena. In a warmly lit building designed by Janson Scuro, architect for the New York location of Elsyewalker and other luxury stores, brands like Gucci, The Row and Valentino dazzle shoppers perusing racks of clothing, shoes and handbags. Plush velvet curtains and carpeting adorn the fitting areas so guests can feel and look their best. 1381 Main St., St. Helena, 707.968.6105, elysewalker.com
Daniel Lanois’ work “Purple” is part of a new exhibit at the Solstice Gallery in Mill Valley.
Witness the creative genius behind the music of U2, Neil Young and Bob Dylan as Grammy award-winning producer Daniel Lanois unveils his abstract photography exhibit at Solstice Gallery. Titled Artworks I and II, the exhibition showcases Lanois’ musical inclinations and unique perspectives that drove the work of world-renowned artists. On Oct. 14 during the opening reception, Lanois will perform and discuss his never-before-seen work. Oct. 14-Nov. 30, 314 Miller Ave., Mill Valley, 415.326.5100, solsticegallery.com
Joseph Young, Berkeley Symphony’s music director
The curtains will rise on the Berkeley Symphony’s 52nd season this month. The program features four symphonic performances and five chamber performances, led by music director Joseph Young. On Oct. 15, the American Kaleidoscope symphonic series begins at Zellerbach Hall and features jazz-influenced performances by the Marcus Roberts Trio. Alongside the symphonic series, the chamber series opens with American Intersections, intending to expand the perception of the American classical sound with influences from blues, jazz, funk and folk genres. 1919 Addison St., Ste. 201, Berkeley, 510.841.2800, berkeleysymphony.org
Kombu and raki (cured kampachi, compressed melons, limemelon gel, yellow peach caviar, raki-lime granita, raki perfume)
After working in Michelin-starred restos across Europe, chef Deniz Sezer brings his world-class culinary skills to the Bay Area with Ember, a Mediterranean bistro inspired by Californian gastronomy. Drawing from the chef’s Turkish heritage, the menu’s highlights include fish and raki, a light arrangement of cured kampachi, melon and peach caviar that honors Turkey’s national beverage. The lamb mutancana is also popular among reviewers for its rich, tender meat that has been slow-cooked for 18 hours. And don’t skimp on dessert—the burnt chicken pudding is sure to surprise. 1298 Church St., 415.655.9265, bistroember.com
The AC Hotel is new in San Rafael.
Having opened to thorough fanfare last summer, AC Hotel San Rafael is the Bay Area’s latest crown jewel. Understated European elegance abounds, from modern open layouts in each well-appointed guest room to one of the many fine-dining offerings. The Spanish-inspired AC Lounge Bar boasts signature gin cocktails and delectable tapas, while the Above Fifth rooftop bar focuses on fresh California cuisine. Add 915 feet of meeting space, a state-of-the-art fitness center and pet-friendly amenities, and this is one stay not to be missed. 1201 Fifth Ave., San Rafael, 628.336.5600, marriott.com
Courses during the eight-course tasting menu at Luce include Octopus Garden and Earth and Fire.
Transcend borders with each plate of chef Dennis Efthymiou’s new eight-course tasting menu at Luce. Chef Efthymiou pays homage to his Greek and Mediterranean heritage while also exploring the cuisines of the Hawaiian islands and the Mayan and Aztec empires. Travel back in time to the origins of caviar in ancient Greece while simultaneously savoring Latin America’s exquisite history with Equatoriale chocolate. 888 Howard St., Ste. 3011, 415.616.6566, lucewinerestaurant.com
Wear a costume, build a sandcastle and support a local charity.
BUILD + PARTY
Dig up haunted mansions and ghoulish moats at the 41st annual Sandcastle Classic supporting Leap Arts in Education. On Oct. 28, teams will construct spooky sand creations at Ocean Beach, transforming the shoreline into a graveyard of ghostly figures. Costumes are encouraged! 415.512.1899, leapsandcastleclassic.org
Bay Area startup Persimmon’s business model promotes athome visits for services like Botox and vampire facials.
In-home Botox and vampire facials? That’s the concept behind the new Bay Area-based brand Persimmon. The company conducts one-on-one home visits and performs professional aesthetic care to ensure privacy. Clients achieve rejuvenated, glowing skin and hair at the hands of expert nurses. Extensively trained, they work with each client to reach their skin goals while suiting individual budgets and needs. Make it a Botox party? Persimmon’s team also can accommodate groups. 100 Larkspur Landing Circle, Ste. 104, Larkspur, persimmon.life
Virtoisity is a way of musical life for sitarist, producer and composer Anoushka Shankar. The musician embarks on a three-week tour this month, with a stop at San Francisco’s Herbst Theater inside the War Memorial & Performing Arts Center. She will showcase work from Chapter I: Forever, For Now, a new album with four new tracks that make up the first chapter in a trilogy of mini-albums Shankar will write and release as an evolving story between tours. Oct. 18, 401 Van Ness Ave., ticketfaster.com, anoushkashankar.com
Photography by: COURTESY OF STONY HILL VINEYARDS; FRANCIS HILLS; COURTESY OF LAZY BEAR; COURTESY OF ELYESEWALKER; DANIEL LANOIS; DEREK BLANKS; COURTESY OF BRAND; COURTESY OF BRAND; COURTESY OF BRAND; CHRIS WATLEY; MICHAEL SULLIVAN, NEWWORK.AGENCY; LAURA LEWIS