Best Bets: Where to Watch the Big Game in the Bay Area This Sunday

February has 29 delicious days in it, thanks to Leap Year, so we’re celebrating all month long with #29ReasonstoLoveFebruary. Reason #1? The bowl is coming to town, and you don’t really want to hover around your television at home and binge on stale chips, do you? Thankfully, you are not limited to rowdy sports bars either. This year, with the game taking place in Santa Clara, many Bay Area restaurants are getting in on the action. Whether you go close to the stadium, stay in San Francisco, or head away from the crowds up in Napa, you’ll be able to enjoy the game in high style. Here’s where to watch the big game in the Bay Area.

Located just a mile from the stadium in Santa Clara, Birk’s is installing a luxury heated outdoor tent to accommodate the crowds expected prior to the game, and will be screening the game on Sunday. On the week leading up to the game there will be special happy hour offerings and on the big day there will be a pre-game lunch, then specials on oysters, oyster shooters, braised pork belly sliders, and carnitas tacos. Make a reservation at Birk’s.

Where to Watch the Big Game in the Bay Area

Hog & Rocks
There might be gridlock ahead of the players hitting the gridiron, but the Mission district is easily accessible by public transportation — and there’s a parking garage on 21st, just a couple of blocks away from Hog & Rocks, for determined drivers. In addition to the regular menu, you can slurp down $1 oysters for the entire game or indulge in a combo of beer, a shot, and Korean-style spicy wings. Make a reservation at Hog & Rocks.

Where to Watch the Big Game in the Bay Area

Nostra Spaghetteria + Bar Mia
Nostra and Bar Mia, also located in the Mission District, will be showing the bowl on their two TV’s in the bar. On Sunday, February 7, they’ll open at 3PM — just in time for kickoff. Happy hour prices will be available at the bar throughout the entire game. Make a reservation at Nostra Spaghetteria.

Where to Watch the Big Game in the Bay Area

Palm House
In the Marina district, Palm House will extend their hours, opening an hour before the game to accommodate fans jockeying for the perfect viewing spot. Specials will most likely include tasty bites, such as mango chipotle BBQ wings, spiced tropical beer nut,s and Cuban fried chicken sliders. Make a reservation at Palm House.

Where to Watch the Big Game in the Bay Area

Bob’s Steak and Chop House
Right downtown, Bob’s Steak and Chop House, located at the Omni, will be adding even more TV’s to the lobby so everyone can easily see the game. The bar will have extended hours and a game day-themed menu with wings, nachos, quesadillas, chili cheese fries, and more. Budweiser and Bud Light, the official beers of the bowl, will be on tap. Make a reservation at Bob’s Steak and Chop House.

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Calling All Chefs: Top Chef Season 12 Auditions in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles + NYC

TCNOLASeason 11 of Top Chef just wrapped (Congrats, Nicholas Elmi!), but we’re already looking forward to the next mouthwatering competition. If you’ve always aspired to compete on the show that has helped usher in the next generation of America’s best chefs, come on down! Casting calls for season 12 of Top Chef are being held in cities across the U.S. This is the ideal opportunity to get in front of the folks who have had a hand in furthering the cooking careers of dozens of Top Chef winners and cheftestants.

Auditions begin TODAY in Atlanta and Dallas and head to other cities in the coming weeks. The current schedule is:

* ATLANTA: February 18 10AM-1PM, at The Spence, 75 Fifth Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia.

* CHICAGO: February 24, 10AM-1PM, at Spiaggia, 980 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

* DALLAS: February 18, 10AM-1PM, at Hotel Palomar Dallas, 5300 East Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas.

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Tweet of the Week: OpenTable Gets a Shout-Out on The CW’s Beauty and the Beast

OpenTable has gotten a few nods in popular culture (Chuck, for one). Diner and Beauty and the Beast watcher Carla M. (aka @misscarla715) tipped us off to the very latest. You can tune in to see it for yourself here (it comes up at the 4:50 mark). Thanks, Carla M. for sending the Tweet of the Week, and thanks to the clever writers of Beauty and the Beast for the name-check!


Dine Out in NYC During the US Open + Tune in to the Tennis Channel!

Better off red? I think Roger Federer looks dashing in any color!

The US Open starts today in New York, and, thanks to Tennis Channel, you (and I) can enjoy hundreds of hours of coverage and analysis *and* a round-up of NYC restaurants to dine at during the US Open if you’re in town for this awesome event during the next two weeks!

No network devotes as many hours of television to the US Open as Tennis Channel does each summer while the sport’s largest spectacle takes place. In addition to full slates of matches most days, highlight and analysis shows US Open Tonight and Breakfast at the Open bridge the late-night and early morning hours with the latest on-court activity. Almost round the clock coverage offers live matches from 10:30AM-7PM, US Open Tonight from 11PM-2:30AM, with an encore shown 2:30AM-6AM, and Breakfast at the Open, 6AM-10:30PM.

Follow all the action on and off the courts at  Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows on Tennis Channel through Sunday, September 6, 2012! And, if you’re lucky enough to be attending the US Open, use our Tennis Channel-OpenTable US Open Dining Guide to find a terrific table before or after the matches!

I’ll be there for some key matches, rooting for Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and David Ferrer, as well as my fave Roger Federer, to take the title this year (Apologies to Djokovic!), and I’m pretty sure the amazing Serena Williams will once again prove unstoppable. Who are your picks? Weigh in here or on Facebook!