This year’s Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 6. Last year, Mario Gutierrez rode Nyquist to victory during the 142nd Run for the Roses. (David J. Phillip/AP archives)
The day of the Kentucky Derby — this year, Saturday, May 6 — is a wonderful time to indulge in the specialties for which the race and that region are known. Here’s what some Bay Area restaurants and bars have planned for the 143rd Run for the Roses:
— In Los Gatos, The Bywater will host a daylong party with a buffet of freshly shucked oysters, smoked brisket, fried chicken — plus Woodford Reserve mint juleps and contests for best women’s hat, most dapper couple and best Derby Day score sheet. All races will be televised, but post time is 3:34 p.m. for the big one. The party starts at 11 a.m. Buy buffet tickets, $50, online at www.thebywaterca.com; 532 N. Santa Cruz Ave.
— At Sabio on Main in Pleasanton, executive chef Francis X. Hogan always serves that classic Louisville sandwich, the Hot Brown (his is BN Ranch turkey, applewood-smoked bacon, Mornay sauce on house-baked pumpernickel), on Derby Day. The open-face sandwich was invented in 1926 at the Brown Hotel. Sabio’s mint juleps are made with Bulleit Rye and Persian spearmint grown in Sunol. (And, Hogan says, “We’ll serve our juleps the proper way too, smashing our ice to order in a Lewis Bag.) Imbibe, then head out for the horse race, as Sabio is TV-free. Reservations: www.sabiopleasanton.com; 401 Main St.
— The San Jose Derby will take over the Mulcahy Grounds (that’s the Garden Theatre parking lot) in Willow Glen for a food- and drink-fueled tent party that features the Kentucky Derby on big TV screens and costume contests. Tickets. $150, benefit the Robby Paine Foundation, a collection of causes favored by a local young man who died at 25. Noon-5 p.m. at 1165 Lincoln Ave.; www.sanjosederby.com.
— At Jack Rose Libation House in Los Gatos, bartenders will serve three special cocktails that evening: a Kentucky mule (with bourbon subbed for vodka), their Derby cocktail (bourbon, grapefruit juice, honey) and, of course, mint juleps. Doors open at the regular Saturday time, 4 p.m., after the race. 18840 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road; www.jackrosebar.com.
— In San Francisco, The Dorian restaurant in the city’s Marina district will host “The Winner’s Circle” viewing party. Upstairs, the $65 VIP option will offer a hosted bar of mint juleps and sparkling wine from 2 to 6 p.m. Derby attire welcome. Downstairs, mint juleps and the regular menu will be available. Reservations, VIP tickets: www.doriansf.com or 415-814-2671. The restaurant’s at 2001 Chestnut St.