Good Weekend: Sept. 10-12, 2010

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Eating

Food: Excellent cocktails complement chef Brandon Jew’s impeccable, fresh fare at Bar Agricole, a South-of-Market spot with a focused menu. Quail, sea bass, tomato salad and corn pudding are hightlight dishes. 

Drinking

Meet Your Mixologist: Although its name came as a result of a mistake, there is no mistaking the tasty spirits whipped up by Francisco Benito at Heaven’s Dog on Mission Street. 

On the town

Opening night: The San Francisco Opera launches the season with a new production of “Aida.” Gala events celebrate opening night. [“Aida” at 8 p.m., War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., S.F.; events begin at 5 p.m., City Hall]

Site-specific dance: Flyaway Productions, a company that performs off the ground, presents “Singing Praises,” a dance created to honor the Women’s Building centennial. [8 and 9:30 p.m., Women’s Building, 3543 18th St., S.F.]

A great excursion

Light’s Out: The Robert Ferguson Observatory in Sugar Loaf Ridge State Park in Sonoma will literally have you seeing stars. At 9 p.m., volunteer docents will give viewers access to a 24-inch reflecting telescope and an 8-inch refracting telescope. Spy dynamic star clusters such as the Bee Hive, see Saturn up close and learn about everything from star alignments to black holes. [For more, visit www.WeekendSherpa.com and sign up for e-mail about getting outdoors in Northern California]

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market top picks

  • Blackberries
  • Cannelini beans
  • Donut peaches
  • French prunes
  • Fresh shallots
  • Gypsy peppers
  • Squash
  • Tomatillos

Food and drink

Choco-mania: The Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival features chocolate tasting, wine sipping, chef demos and sundae-eating contests. It benefits Project Open Hand. [Noon to 5 p.m., Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point St., S.F.]

Music

Peace and music: The 12th Power to the Peaceful Festival features music, art, speakers and social-justice themes. Performers include Michael Franti and Spearhead. [9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Speedway Meadow, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Electronic music: It’s the last day to check out the 2010 San Francisco Electronic Music Festival. Featured artists include Stephan Mathieu and Joseph Hammer. [8 p.m., Brava Theater, 2781 24th St., S.F.]

Comedy

Irish comic: Ireland-born Dylan Moran, known for his witty observational humor, is in town. His credits include the sitcom “Black Books” and the film “Shaun of the Dead.” [8 p.m., Marines’ Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St., S.F.]

Dance

Dance for peace: Priyanjali Dance presents a program to promote world peace. The dancers perform bharata natyam, a classical Indian dance form. [6 p.m., CounterPulse, 1310 Mission St., S.F.]

A great family event 

Target Family Day: Hawaii is the theme of free downtown fun for kids and their parents. Live music (including a performance by Kapalakiko Hawaiian Band, pictured), dance, food, games, hands-on art projects and bounce houses are in the lineup; there’s something for everyone. [11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Courthouse Square and  Broadway, Redwood City, www.redwoodcityevents.com]

Movies

Screen gem: “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” David Lean’s 1957 dramatic film about a battle of wills raging in a Japanese POW camp, screens, with a restored print, at the Castro Theatre. [1, 4:15 and 7:30 p.m., 429 Castro St., S.F.]

Museums

Victorian celebration: The San Mateo County History Museum hosts “Victorian Days.” Period-themed festivities include crafts, a theater show and a California-history exhibit. [11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 2200 Broadway, Redwood City]

Music

Outdoor arias: The San Francisco Opera presents its annual “Opera in the Park” celebration, a program of arias al fresco. [1:30 p.m., Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Chamber-music marathon: “Chamber Music Day” festivities feature 31 ensembles on three stages. Styles include classical, contemporary and jazz. [Noon to 6:30 p.m., San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak St., S.F.]

Theater

Indie theater fest: The San Francisco Fringe Festival, a multivenue marathon of edgy, indie theater, presents “Last Fare,” “The Stories of Cesar Chavez,” “Little Tainted Blood” and other shows today. [1 to 10 p.m.; www.sffringe.org]

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