The Chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
August 23, 2016

Co-founder Chad Robertson. Photo courtesy of Coffee Manufactory.


Magic loaves. Photo courtesy of Coffee Manufactory.


A corner of the dining room. Photo courtesy of Coffee Manufactory.


The line at the end of the day. Photo: ©


The new coffee from Coffee Manufactory. Photo courtesy of Coffee Manufactory.


The Mavam. Photo courtesy of Coffee Manufactory.


The bar. Photo: ©


You should see this lit up at night! Photo: ©


Warm ham and cheese sandwich. Photo: ©


Part of the kitchen. Photo: ©


The airy main dining area and bar. Photo: ©

Last Thursday, I walked up to the brand-new ~TARTINE MANUFACTORY~, the line snaking out of the building on day two, full of the many friends and fans of this unique San Francisco company made of some of our very best craftspeople. Tartine is one of our city’s proudest culinary achievements, and now Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt and their talented team have the space they so deserve to do much more of their crafty magic. We’re talking more than 5,000 square feet, flanking the Heath Ceramics factory, for everyone to stretch their wings and work comfortably and thrive (the conditions at the original bakery on Guerrero were cramped to say the least).

It’s many things, but first, it’s a production facility. A bakery. The massive German Heuft oven is right there, front and center. You’ll be able to watch Robertson and his team of bakers, whether they’re managing the loaves coming out of the oven or in the adjoining dough/fermentation room, purposefully built with plenty of windows so you can peek in. There is nothing but top-of-the-line equipment, and the team even has their own grain mills to make their own flours, so expect to see more fresh-milled loaves.

While bread service is ramping up (lots of quality control going on right now as they use the new equipment), bread is sold as it’s available throughout the day, after 11am. Eventually, it will come out regularly, so you won’t have to plan on that 4:30pm pickup time anymore. But for now, if you have your heart set on some country loaf, breads are still available at 600 Guerrero daily after 4:30pm.

There’s a counter where you order, with a case full of tempting goods that are constantly being depleted, refreshed, and depleted again. (This is what happens when you have more than 600 people you’re serving each day.) In the morning, there are items like Fontina, herb, and pepperoni biscuits, and the Danishes of your dreams, like arugula-hazelnut or ham, cheese, and mustard. There’s poppy seed coffee cake and Liège waffles, and you’ll note some of Prueitt’s wheat-free magic in items like flax-apple muffins. Get up early for breakfast, served from 7am-11am. The savory team also offers a few delicious items including two egg sandwiches, toast (of course!), and coddled eggs with trout roe.

Lunch items and afternoon desserts come out at 11am, like the smaller-sized flatbread sandwiches ($12, salami and tapenade, or tomato and mozzarella with squash blossoms) as well as warm sandwiches like porchetta and salsa verde ($16) or a hearty ham and cheese ($12), which are both pretty substantial. (Savory chef Sam Goinsalvos, previously at Il Buco Alimentari in New York, makes a mean porchetta sandwich!) Salads range from Brentwood corn and green bean with Parmesan to Little Gem lettuce with a Caesar-like anchovy dressing (both $9). More goodies will be added in time, like Roman-style pizza, mmhmm. There are also items ready to go, so all you nearby KQED worker bees should be stoked.

Afternoon desserts include a rice pudding tart ($6.50), gateau Basque ($8), and there’s even a wheat-free chocolate cake with raspberry and whipped cream. I have been happy to see the talented Alen Ramos and Carolyn Nugent (previously Quince and Cotogna) back in the mix, so to speak.

Dinner service will launch in time; there’s also a bar in the corner, where you will find wine, beer, and low-ABV cocktails, plus shrub spritzes, housemade sodas, fresh juices, water kefir, and more. For now, there are beers by Regan Long from Local Brewing Co. on tap and a selection of a few wines for all-day consumption—the offerings will expand over the next few weeks as they ramp up for dinner service. I’m excited to see what wine director Vinny Eng has in store for us (he’s also director of ops, so you can guess who is really bizzee right now). He is also working with beverage manager Ashley Miller, formerly of Plum and Haven (she is developing a menu of items with Liz Prueitt to incorporate the seasonal bounty of fruit and vegetables).

Launching in September is Prueitt’s Tartine Cookies and Cream, which is going to be a dream ice cream counter, with a variety of offerings, including soft-serve. And gelato. And ice cream cakes. You can just imagine.

There is also a coffee bar, the Coffee Manufactory, which ended up revealing some very cool surprises. I was wondering who Tartine was going to partner with for their coffee after the Blue Bottle Coffee merger went south. And whaddya know, they applied their crafty sensibility to it and are roasting their own damn coffee. Of course. Chef-driven roasting, it’s on.

I spent some time chatting with Devin Chapman, the director of coffee retail, who was formerly with Verve Coffee. Actually, a large part of the team was with Verve, including Chris Jordan, Verve’s former CEO, who is COO of Coffee Manufactory, which is actually its own business. They plan to do wholesale business with some accounts, both here in SF and in LA, too, where Tartine is expanding. They will also collaborate with more chefs. (Chad and Liz were present on every cupping.)

The coffee is roasted at a co-roasting facility in Berkeley on a Loring coffee roaster, which uses indirect heat. They are doing three kinds: the 01 is espresso-focused and round, 02 filter is more fruity and floral, and 03 is origin-focused (presently 100 percent Ethiopia, Layo Teraga). You can buy a bag of the 01 for $15.50, the 02 for $15.25, and the 03 for $17.25.

There’s also 00, their single-origin decaf, which, as Chapman puts it, is a nice departure from the usual hot dog water you find with decaf. Ha-ha.

The 01 espresso roast has soft, round flavors, and is balanced. Chapman tells me they are doing a longer-style pull and have dropped the pressure a bit to bring out the roundness while offering clarity of flavor. He also showed me this very cool tool they are using, the OCD: ONA Coffee Distributor—not only does it offer consistency, it’s also much more sanitary. Cool. They are pulling shots off a Mavam, a handmade machine from Seattle.

As far as regular coffee, they are brewing the 02 on a ThermoPro G4—Chapman said he has been using a refractometer to carefully (read: obsessively) monitor the batches.

Chapman is working with Jeremy Brooks, director of coffee roasting, and Maja Vojnovic, director of sales and marketing, both formerly at Verve. He said their ethos is similar to what Tartine did with bread. They want to learn as much as possible, experiment, be excellent, and moreover, they want people to be happy with the product—this isn’t an exercise in personal taste preferences and proclivities. Coffee service is at its own counter in the space, open Wed-Mon 7am-5pm. (Teas are from London-based Rare Tea Company.)

The room was designed by local architect Charles Hemminger, working with Los Angeles design firm Commune Design. It has 96 seats, with a variety of seating areas in the light-filled space. There are camel-toned leather-padded banquettes and booths (the leatherwork was done in the neighborhood), and the tables made of fir are so soft and beautiful—I love that there are some round tables too. The chairs were actually former school chairs and are hella cute.

You’ll note the original fir beams (the building is 102 years old), and the woodwork at the bar by Peter Doolittle is beautiful (the team wanted to use as many local craftspeople as possible). A few additional design notes: the lighting is by Richard Lewis, the kitchen has Calacatta marble counters and (of course) is using Heath Ceramics for all the dishes. Even better: Heath created a special color, Tartine Teal, for the Manufactory. Gorg.

As for the original Tartine location at 600 Guerrero, expect a redesign to happen in 2017. In the fall, and leading up to and after the redesign, the original flagship will continue to offer iconic pastries and introduce new afternoon items into their repertoire.

The Manufactory team continues to evolve their offerings and will be closed on Tuesdays for recipe development, staff training, and to complete final touches to the three-year buildout.

Hours for now are Mon, Wed-Fri 7am-5pm and Sat-Sun 8am-5pm. Follow on Facebook and Instagram for updates as things continue to take shape. Congrats to the team for manifesting this massive undertaking and achievement! Keep on pushing! 595 Alabama St. at 18th St., 415-757-0007.


Chef Claude Le-Tohic’s guest chef visit at Alexander’s Steakhouse in Taipei. Photo via Facebook.

After Joël Robuchon Las Vegas executive chef Claude Le-Tohic left the restaurant earlier this year, word was that he was going to be opening his own project in San Francisco. Mon dieu! I have been keeping tabs on the chef (read: social media stalking), and it looks like he’s involved with … Alexander’s Steakhouse!

He recently did a guest chef appearance at their location in Taipei, and when I asked if Le-Tohic is perhaps a part of Alexander’s Steakhouse project coming to Union Square (the upcoming 165 O’Farrell Street project is supposed to have a fine dining component), all his publicist could confirm is: “I do not have any information on the Union Square project. I can, however, tell you that chef Claude Le Tohic is with the Alexander’s Steakhouse team.” And so the béchamel thickens. Stand by for more.


One of Adam Tortosa’s creations at Akiko’s: caviar and potato chip sushi. Photo via Instagram.


Rice noodle and crispy pork belly tom yum from Nute’s Noodle Nights. Photo via Facebook.


Split Bread’s crispy chicken sandwich. Photo via Facebook.

Let’s take a quick look at some upcoming projects, shall we?

After departing Russian Hill’s 1760, opening chef Adam Tortosa went on to work at badass sushi HQ Akiko’s while formulating plans for his next venture, which will be ~THE STARLING~, coming to Hayes Valley. Tortosa will be joining the SF wave of offering an omakase menu ($79), which will meld traditional Japanese technique and NorCal produce and seasonality (just look at this Santa Barbara uni topped with shiro dashi emulsified egg yolk). Turns out this move toward sushi isn’t so left field, since his background includes an apprentice position under master sushi chef Katsu-ya Uechi. There will also be some small plates available.

According to The Starling’s profile, it will have “hip-hop sensibilities.” Whip whip whap. It’s a tiny spot, with 10 seats at the sushi bar and 20 at tables. Look for a hopeful winter opening; it will be in a new building. 388 Fulton St. at Gough. [Via Eater.]

The same development/building is going to be getting an artisan-made doughnut and coffee shop, ~JOHNNY DOUGHNUTS~, from the Downtown San Rafael doughnut maker (which also has food trucks that visit SF). There will be both indoor and outdoor seating; look for an opening at the end of 2016. 388 Fulton St. at Gough.

Folks in Bernal should be excited that Nute Chulasuwan is taking over 903 Cortland, making her Nute’s Noodle Nights pop-up a permanent thing. We’ll keep you posted on the opening. [Via Scoop.] 903 Cortland Ave. at Folsom.

Russian Hill residents will soon see the former Le Petit Robert/La Boulange corner space opening in September as an all-day eatery, ~SPLIT BREAD~. The founders of Mixt (formerly Mixt Greens)—Andrew Swallow and Leslie and David Silverglide—are behind the café, which has two locations in SoMa. The cafés are more focused on lunch/sandwiches (hence the name). The plan for this location is breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with weekend brunch too.

It will offer cashless service, and guests will order at the table, instead of traditional table service. There will be 60-70 seats, outdoor seating, and a very easy takeout system too. Expect egg dishes and plenty of brunch favorites, burgers, salads, crispy chicken sandwiches, and some dinner entrées. Coffee service will be from Four Barrel Coffee, and there will be wine on tap and beer. [Via Hoodline and Eater.] 2300 Polk St. at Green.

Speaking of fried chicken sandwiches, Adriano Paganini (Beretta, Delarosa, Super Duper, Uno Dos Tacos, etc.) is launching his latest SF business, ~THE BIRD~. Based around fried chicken sandwiches made with local, free-range chicken, this SoMa eatery will be opening for lunch and dinner. It’s due to open in a former Melt location in October. 15 New Montgomery St. at Market.


A look at the chicken banh mi from New Silver Star Deli. Yelp photo by Albertino M.


The new look for Mixt (and shop on Kearny). Photo: ©

Some news tidbits for you. The lunch crew who used to get their wonton soup at The Silver Star Deli have a new option: bahn mi and spring rolls and vermicelli bowls at ~NEW SILVER STAR DELI~. The new owners are also keeping things affordable: everything is $7.25 and under (here’s the menu). 316 Pacific Ave. at Battery, 415-590-2257.

Downtown workers have probably taken note of the latest and airy ~MIXT~ (formerly Mixt Greens) location to open at 240 Kearny Street, the farthest west of the SF locations.

But here’s something you may not know: Mixt is trying out a dinner promotion at their 70 Mission Street location. So for those of you who like to have a big salad for dinner, either at the shop or taking it to go, here’s your opportunity. (Try one of their seasonal salads; I liked the peaches salad with roast pork loin.) You can swing by Monday through Thursday from 4pm-8pm for the later service. Since it’s so close to a lot of transportation, it’s pretty handy. Also, this Mixt location will continue to be open 10:30am-3pm (and is closed from 3-4pm), just so you know.

Remember when we broke the news about the ~MR. HOLMES BAKEHOUSE~ kiosk that opened just outside Workshop Cafe in the FiDi? Unfortunately, they hit a permitting snag, so the stand is on pause at the moment. Stand by for a hopeful reopening date soon. 180 Montgomery St. at Bush.

Since Pete Mrabe won’t be opening his Posole project after all, the latest taker for the former Minako space will reportedly become a ~NAAN N CURRY~ very soon. Look for additions like tandoori burritos and burgers to the regular menu. [Via Mission Local.] 2154 Mission St. at Sycamore.


The fried egg sandwich at Market & Rye. Photo via Facebook.

Potrero Hill residents are going to be losing ~MARKET & RYE~ at the end of August, after five years of business. Chef Ryan Scott is busy focusing on his new project opening in October, Finn Town—he just hired his chef de cuisine, Jason Raffin (previously Bin 38, Evvia in Palo Alto). Scott has other projects, too, including a new cookbook. The landlord is currently accepting applicants for potential new restaurants. 300 DeHaro St. at 16th St.

An ABC permit transfer reveals that after 11 years, ~SAHA~ in the Hotel Carlton has closed and will be replaced by something potentially called Love Crumbs. Saha owners Mohamed and Marmee Aboghanem are actually moving their restaurant to Berkeley, into the recently closed Herbivore location. Since Saha was enjoyable to many vegetarians, their new digs should hopefully be a smooth transition. 1075 Sutter St. at Larkin and 2451 Shattuck Ave. at Haste, Berkeley.

August 16, 2016

The lights are coming on at Nightbird. Photo via @nightbirdsf on Instagram.

Exciting news: Kim Alter is finally opening ~NIGHTBIRD~, her first solo project in Hayes Valley, in the former Stelline and Las Estrellas location. Eater reports it should open this Thursday August 18th.

Back in March, I mentioned the 38-seat room will have custom tables and chairs, with a frosted glass view into the kitchen. It will be a tasting menu format, with 5 strong courses, about 10 in all when you count the amuses, bread, and takeaway treat ($125, tax and tip included). It will change often (Alter goes to farmers’ markets daily), and look for some fun courses and whimsy with the plating and more.

There is also the adjoining Linden Room: a seven-seat bar serving a menu of classic and new cocktailsl. The room feels very Art Deco-meets-New York hotel in the ’30s, with lots of woodwork, etched glass, and a carpeted floor—a muralist even painted clouds on the ceiling. The barware and glassware are also vintage. (You enter the bar from Linden Street.) Reservations available now. Open Tue-Sat 5:30pm-10pm. 330 Gough St. at Hayes, 415-829-7565.


The location of Pizzetta 211’s upcoming restaurant.

I have heard from a couple of sources that ~PIZZETTA 211~ has taken over the laundromat that was next door to the restaurant (on the corner of 23rd Avenue and California Street) and will be opening a Mediterranean-based restaurant, with pastas and seafood. (Nope, sorry, you don’t get expanded seating for Pizzetta 211.) 

I have been contacting owner Jack Murphy for the past couple of weeks to no avail, so I’ll let you know when I finally hear back. One spy says: “Not sure when it is opening, but the paper on the windows is down and you can see the taped-out markings for the bar and tables.”


A sampling of pasta dishes at Barzotto. Photo courtesy of Barzotto.


Little Gem salad at Barzotto. Photo courtesy of Barzotto.


Roasted half chicken. Photo courtesy of Barzotto.

Officially opening on Wednesday August 17th is ~BARZOTTO~ in the former St. Vincent space on Valencia. Chef Michelle Minori (previously executive sous chef of the Ne Timeas Restaurant Group: Flour + Water, Aatxe, Cafe du Nord, Salumeria, and Central Kitchen) is working with Marko Sotto (most recently director of operations for Adriano Paganini’s Back of the House restaurant group). The menu is all about freshly made pasta (five kinds daily), Californian and Italian wines (all wines are $10 by the glass, $40 by the bottle), and seasonal gelato.

Everything is designed to be affordable, with standards like cacio e pepe ($12) and a spin on bucatini all’amatriciana ($15) to seasonal selections, capping at $17 or so—there are also gluten-free versions. You can supplement your pasta with a couple of salads (with add-ons like chicken, an egg, or porchetta), or you can order a roasted half chicken ($15), porchetta (TBD), turkey meatballs ($8), and a few other items.

Dessert is all about housemade gelato, like a nitro coffee affogato with mint, or just topped with salted caramel and dark chocolate.

The renovated space has a lighter, airier, and industrial-modern look. You can also pick up dried and fresh pasta and sauces to bring home. Bottled beer and wine are also available for carryout or delivery. It’s meant to be casual: you order at the counter and your food will be brought to you.

Open Wed-Sun 11am-10pm; they will be open daily in a month or so. 1270 Valencia St. at 24th St., 415-285-1200.


A breakfast plate at Bon, Nene, with toast, red bean paste, soy sauce potatoes, salad, and a sunny-side up egg. Photo via Facebook.

There’s a new neighborhood restaurant that has opened in the Mission, ~BON, NENE~, in the L’Aviateur space, from Stephanie Chan and Miu Frupa. Eater previously explained the quirky name, “an amalgamation of the French word ‘bon,’ which means ‘good,’ and the Japanese name ‘nene,’ which Furuta named her dog.” The menu is built around smaller tapas-style plates, like stuffed chicken wings, chicken or tofu buns, miso beef lettuce wraps, and seafood or pork gyoza with housemade ponzu sauce. Breakfast includes a morning set menu with two pieces of toast with red bean paste, soy sauce potatoes, salad, and a sunny-side up egg.

It’s a small space, about 35 seats, and it’s all about the neighborhood vibe. Lunch, brunch, and dinner are served. There are also Japanese beers (Sapporo slushies!), wine, and more. Hours are Tue-Fri 11am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-9:30pm, Sat 9am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-9:30pm, Sun 9am-2:30pm. 2850 21st St. at Alabama, 415-872-9332.


Medley of NoodleMe options. Photo via Facebook.


The new Sicilian-style pizza at The Mill on Wednesday evenings. Photo courtesy of Josey Baker.


The new Wednesday burger at Mission D&A. Photo via Facebook.

Some quick bites for you: first, according to an ABC license application, Lower Haight’s ~IZA RAMEN~ is expanding to open a second location in the former Triptych in SoMa. Scoop reports that Ritsuo Tsuchida will be adding more izakaya-style dishes and lunch too. Expect an opening this fall. 1155 Folsom St. at 7th St.

More noodles: ~NOODLEME~ from the Dobbs Ferry team has now opened in SoMa, serving customized bowls of takeout noodle soup for the lunch crowd. Guests choose noodles (wheat, rice, or egg), toppings (corn salsa, bean sprouts, and more), broth (pork or mushroom), and flavor (like XO habanero or red curry), plus add-ons like prawns or spicy tofu. You can also order your bowl like a salad. Open Mon-Fri 10:30am-3pm. 333 Market St. (enter on Beale), 415-974-5544.

Fans of ~BATTER BAKERY~ should know that the eight-and-a-half-year-old bakery has moved and opened in a new space in Nob Hill. The bakery and café has large windows; a custom bakery case full of cookies, scones, shortbread, ice cream sandwiches, cakes, take-home doughs and batters; and a rotating menu of seasonal desserts. There’s also a café menu with breakfast and lunch options, including quiche, overnight oats, breakfast quinoa, and a biscuit breakfast sandwich. You’ll also find espresso drinks (made with beans from Equator Coffee) and affogatos.

Look for evening baking and cookie decorating classes come fall. All production for Batter Bakery’s San Francisco locations will take place in this new space. Other Batter locations include the kiosk at 555 California Street, a retail shop at One Market Plaza, stands at Saturday’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and Sunday’s Stonestown Market, and a small satellite in Portland. Open 7am-7pm daily. 1517 Pine St. at Polk, 415-674-1069.

And yes, it really is end times. The stunning and historic Jack’s space, built in 1907 with roots that date back to 1863 (it was most recently Jeanty at Jack’s from 2002-2009), will be opening by the end of the year as a coworking space for 400 freelancers and travelers called ~BAR WORKS~ (it’s an import from New York). Eater reports they bought the landmark space for $3.55 million. The former home of San Francisco’s second oldest restaurant, a gorgeous wedding cake of a space, is to be filled with ugly office furniture. All of this, I just can’t. 615 Sacramento St. at Montgomery.

Let’s focus on something more positive, like the new Square Slice Wednesdays happening at ~THE MILL~. Josey Baker tells me they are using all flour that’s freshly milled on their new custom grain mill that he has been building for the past year—it’s all 100 percent stone-ground whole grain and Cali grown. And to make things even more fun, he’s doing Sicilian/pizza al taglio/slab/sheet pan pizza. Slices are $4, a whole pan is $30, and there are seasonal salads for $7. This Wednesday August 17th is Early Girl tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and opal basil; August 24th is potato, rosemary, whole roasted garlic, Parmesan, fresh herbs; and August 30th is summer squash, piment d’Espelette, parsley oil. 6pm-9pm on Wednesdays.

Also, Wednesdays are now burger night at ~MISSION D&A~ (the former Roosevelt Tamale Parlor). The burger is made with grass-fed beef and comes on a potato roll ($13); there are also fries, pickled vegetables, and a couple of desserts, like Banoffee pudding.

FiDi breakfast (hi, brown sugar-brined and house-smoked McFarland Springs trout on housemade avocado mousse toast) and lunch spot ~HOMAGE~ has launched Twilight Hour, an entirely new service and menu Monday-Friday from 3pm-9pm. Come by for a bite of five gougères for $5, large boards of cured meats (various prices and sizes), Parmesan and smoked tomato cocktail meatballs ($12), and a range of special cheeses. You can enjoy some bubbles or a glass of rosé from Provence, draft beers, and there are aperitif cocktails created by Christopher Longoria of 1760, like the 88 (Alvear fino sherry, Bonal, celery, extra dry vermouth, and lime). Check out the menus on their website. And enjoy the free and fast WiFi. 88 Hardie Pl. at Kearny, 415-800-8741.

Tony Bennett is turning 90, and leave it to ~HUMPHRY SLOCOMBE~ to create a limited edition flavor, Duet, in honor of the festivities taking place on Friday August 19th, when a Tony Bennett Commemorative Statue will be unveiled. Yay, you can try the flavor at both HS shops from August 19th-21st. It has Tahitian vanilla ice cream swirled with limoncello sorbet and housemade fennel biscotti—it was inspired by Bennett’s Duets album. Mr. Bennett will be in town over the weekend for a number of festivities.


Gilberth’s dining room. Photo via Facebook.

After going through a number of tenants, the folks behind ~SECOND ACT MARKETPLACE~ are calling it quits—the last day is Sunday August 28th and they will be offering it for lease. One issue has been the lack of commercial kitchen space for their tenants. Anchor tenant Anda Piroshki announced that it had to cease operations due to a triple increase in their commercial kitchen rent. Betsy and Jack Rix will continue to operate Second Act Events in the back space, hosting musical, theatrical, and comedy events; it will also be available for private party rental. Best wishes to all.

A note from Gilberth Cab that after 10 years in Dogpatch, the home of awesome pupusas, ~THE NEW SPOT~, is closing. But good news: The New Spot is “joining forces with Gilberths Latin Fusion [previously Gilberth’s Rotisserie and Grill] at 2427 3rd Street in Dogpatch still, and creating an awesome Latin eatery.” Stand by for updates on the menu soon. 2427-2429 3rd St. at 20th St., 415-913-7163.

Deep condolences to the ~SONS & DAUGHTERS~ team, who sadly lost one of their line cooks, Frank Galicia, to a horrible and yet-to-be-solved crime (he was tragically murdered and found in a stairwell at Westfield San Francisco Centre). The S&D team is currently running a GoFundMe fundraiser for Galicia’s family, who had to relocate from Los Angeles to the Bay Area to be here during the investigation. Here’s hoping there is a break in the case soon.

August 9, 2016

Some of the swanky seating at Black Cat. Photo: Kelly Puleio.


A sampling of dishes. Photo: Kelly Puleio.


The downstairs revue stage. Photo: Kelly Puleio.

I’m always happy to hear about new venues offering live music, and this recently opened Tenderloin supper club, ~BLACK CAT~, has a dinner menu, cocktail lineup, and wine list that will get your attention as well. New York restaurateur Fritz Quattlebaum and local operations partner Khalid Mushasha (formerly Lolinda) have assembled quite a team for this project, including chef Ryan Cantwell (Zuni, Chez Panisse), bar manager Gabriel Lowe (Locanda, Beretta, and The Battery), and wine director Eugenio Jardim (formerly of Jardinière).

The modern supper club menu includes pan con tomate; two kinds of meatballs, latkes, and potpies; and a Black Cat double brisket patty melt with Munster, Swiss, and pickled and caramelized onions on Jewish rye. The Black Cat is also the only restaurant in San Francisco to carry oysters from The Marshall Store on Tomales Bay. There are cocktails, large-format low-ABV punches, and house sodas, and Jardim’s well-selected wine list includes 90 bottes, with many grower-producer Champagnes (view the wines by the glass here).

Craige Walters (Blackbird, Hecho) designed the two-level space, which has high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and a basement where you’ll find the revue stage, plus velvet-backed banquettes, cabaret tables, and eclectic seating and lighting; there are bars on both levels. Local artist Joe Keefe and photographs from nearby Jessica Silverman Gallery also contribute to the artsy décor.

Dinner nightly until 1am, and there’s a limited bar menu until 1:30am. You can come by for a drink and bites, or a full meal; you need to make reservations for the nightly shows downstairs. Brunch will launch later on. And for those of you who want to brush up on some history, you can read about the original Black Cat here, which played an important part in San Francisco’s gay and bohemian roots over the last century. 400 Eddy St. at Leavenworth, 415-358-1999.


Pizza at Adventure in Food and Wine. Photo via Facebook.

You’ll find a new wine and beer bar serving pizzas, flatbreads, salads, and small plates on 24th Street called ~ADVENTURE IN FOOD AND WINE~. The charcuterie and cheese plates look lovingly assembled! Open Mon-Thu 3pm-11pm and Fri-Sun 3pm-12am. 3331 24th St. at Bartlett, 628-444-3430.

~CENTRAL KITCHEN~ has launched its new menu and format, which includes family-style dining, more pasta dishes, and items from the new wood-burning hearth; take a look here. There were some updates and changes to the interior as well.

It was a damn shame that the vintage diner ~LAFAYETTE COFFEE SHOP~ was unceremoniously forced out of its long-standing Tenderloin location on Hyde back in March, but there’s good news: the owners have reopened in a new location on Larkin. You can once again get an affordable breakfast all day, plus their famed roast turkey on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and prime rib. Open daily 7am-10pm. 611 Larkin St. at Eddy, 415-441-4884.

There’s a new sandwich shop called ~STONER’S~ next to Philz in the Tenderloin, which is also serving bagel sandwiches and wraps. Sadly the humor stops at the name—nothing on the menu is very funny. I mean, come on, at least name a sandwich “The Dude.” Duuuuuude. Open Mon-Fri 6am-3pm and Sat 9am-3pm. 752 Van Ness Ave. at Eddy, 415-913-7753.

North Beach now has a Yucatecan joint called ~PANUCHOS~, serving poc chuc, panuchos, and cochinita pibil, plus some taqueria standards like quesadillas and burritos. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-3am. 620 Broadway at Grant Ave.

Fans of New Mexico Hatch chiles should know Mollie Stone’s Markets are hosting Hatch chile roasts again at rotating Bay Area locations—it all starts Sunday August 14th at the Castro market, 10am-2pm. (You can preorder if you want to be sure you get a bag.) Pro tip: this spice lover found the medium roast to be plenty hot! They let you taste test to decide how hot you wanna go. They make the best addition to a breakfast taco, and then there’s green chile pork stew, and and and…


The new Equator in SoMa, hanging out with a Frank Stella! Photo courtesy of Equator Coffees & Teas.

Marin-based Equator Coffees & Teas has opened a second San Francisco location (in SoMa) in a 8,700-square-foot public space, with floor-to-ceiling windows and three beautiful works of art by Frank Stella. You’ll find plenty of seating and community workspace too.

There are all kinds of espresso drinks (including shakeratos!), batch-brewed coffee, single-origin coffee, and teas. Or maybe you’d like a half bottle of wine or beer? You can get that too. Food options include grab-and-go sandwiches, salads by Urban Remedy, yogurt parfaits, quiches, and more.

This would also be a great time to give a shout-out to Equator for being named National Small Business of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Association, a first for a LGBT-certified company. [Fist bump.] Open Mon-Fri 7am-6pm. 222 2nd St. at Howard.


The former corner location of Nob Hill Grille. Yelp photo by Kevin Y.

Longtime star tablehopper intern Rebecca Kinney let us know the approachable and easygoing ~NOB HILL GRILLE~ has closed. According to a sign in the window, it said: “Thank you for your 10 years of support, it has been an amazing ride.” 969 Hyde St. at Pine, 415-474-5985.

Another sad chapter in the ~DREWES MEATS~ story, which was one of SF’s oldest butcher shops (more than 100 years old!): Inside Scoop reports the shop is closed and the owner is being evicted for nonpayment of rent. The property owner is hoping to find another tenant to run it as a butcher shop; fingers crossed, we shall see if someone can return it to its former glory. 1706 Church St. at Day, 415-821-0515.


It’s time for the Summer Picnic Party at the Marin French Cheese Company creamery. Photo courtesy of Marin French Cheese Company.

Whatcha doing this weekend? On Saturday August 13th, La Cocina is hosting La Lucha de La Cocina, a taquiza (i.e., taco party!) and lucha libre (yes, there will be pro masked wrestlers!) at Pier 70. The party runs from 3:30pm-10pm, with the lucha libre spectacle from 5pm-7pm. Since there won’t be the Street Food Fest this year, here’s your chance to taste $2 regional tacos, traditional Mexican antojitos, and more Latino treats and foods from La Cocina chefs and other partnering chefs—more than 20 in all! There is also a mezcal tasting arena courtesy of the Mezcalistas, cocktails, beer, art exhibitions, live music, Donald Trump piñatas (THWACK!), and a dance party following the main event. Tickets here.

As if ~BAR TARTINE~ chefs Nick Balla and Cortney Burns weren’t busy enough, they now have a second restaurant concept in the works, Motze (and FYI, there isn’t an update on the transformation of Bar Tartine into Crescent just yet). Since they don’t have a location for Motze just yet, they are going to be hosting a Monday night dinner series in the meantime, Motze Mondays. And no, it isn’t a spin on matzoh: the name is in honor of a fifth-century Chinese philosopher, Motze.

The family-style menu will include a range of bites like salmon belly in chrysanthemum sauce and black koji and flaxseed crackers with salmon roe, followed by larger dishes like chicken fat dumplings with egg and shiso, and eggplant with rye shoyu, plus some sweets (like quince steam cake). $58 per person (excluding tax and tip), beverages additional. 5:30pm-10pm. Reservations here or call 415-487-1600.

This gray weather is definitely depressing, so get out of town and enjoy a casual summer picnic—with cheese! Marin French Cheese Company is hosting their second annual Summer Picnic Party on Sunday August 21st from 11am-3pm. You’ll be hanging out on the scenic grounds surrounding the Marin French creamery, 10 miles west of Petaluma. There will be live music, interactive cheesemaking and beekeeping demos, artisan foods, local craft beers, wine, and plenty of local cheeses, charcuterie, jams, pork sliders from Devil’s Gulch Ranch, and more. The event is kid- and pet-friendly. Tickets are $12.50 (not including food and drinks).


Charcuterie, salads, and other options are fit for rosé all day on the patio at Grand Fare Market. Photo courtesy of Grand Fare Market.


The new indoor seating at Grand Fare Market. Photo courtesy of Grand Fare Market.

After abruptly closing for a reconcepting and remodel after just a couple months of business, ~GRAND FARE MARKET~ has reopened in Oakland with a new approach. Owners Doug Washington and Freya Prowe have simplified the experience, which now has guests ordering food and paying in one location—you can have your food brought to you at a table, or have it to go. Online ordering with curbside pickup and delivery is coming soon. Seating has also been added inside (50 seats), although now is the time to enjoy the beautiful garden patio (which also has new heat lamps).

Starting at 7am (daily), you can come by for Linea coffee and housemade pastries. The full menu starts later in the day and is available until 7pm (expect later hours soon). There are sandwiches like avocado toast with sesame seeds, pomegranate syrup, and Maldon sea salt on levain; a BLT with house-cured bacon, heirloom tomatoes, arugula, and basil aioli on grilled levain; and a porchetta number with chow chow and herb jus on rustic Italian. Salads include garden lettuces with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled onions, goat cheese crostini, and red wine-mustard vinaigrette; or spinach and chicken with pine nuts, currants, Point Reyes blue cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.

Small plates like creamy cauliflower mac and cheese with buttered bread crumbs or eggplant Parmesan with basil pesto are available, plus there are larger plates like polpettone meatloaf braised in savory tomato sauce with mashed potatoes, or salmon corn cakes with herb salad and basil aioli. Expect items off the rotisserie too.

You can also shop for an array of local and organic epicurean products, including Baia pasta, cheeses and housemade charcuterie, oysters, wine, and beer. There are also gorgeous floral bouquets and more at Freya Prowe’s Brother & Sisters Flower Shop (she has been producing floral design events for 20 years). Open Mon-Sat 7am-9pm and Sun 7am-8pm. 3265 Grand Ave. at Elwood, Oakland, 510-899-9610.

Quick name change alert: ~THE PASTA SHOP~ in Oakland and Berkeley (a Bay Area institution for nearly 30 years) is changing its name to Market Hall Foods, the parent company and e-commerce site. Signs are set to go up on Tuesday. There are no other changes—it’s the same great food and owners.

Another quick programming note: Off the Grid at the Emeryville Public Market will no longer be every Saturday afternoon—it’s going to become a monthly food truck festival on third Saturdays. This Saturday August 13th is the last weekly one, and Saturday August 20th will mark the start of the new programming, with a wider variety of food trucks, curated live music performances, and community partnerships. Look for children’s activities, local performers, and more.