August 8, 2006

August 8, 2006

So after some remodeling and a repainting, the old Julie's Supper Club on Folsom location is reopening within a week as ~CLUB J2~ (as in Julie's Two). The former business office was transformed into a dance floor, and the tented back room is currently closed until they bring it up to code—it might become a patio instead. Meanwhile, the rest of the space got a serious modernization—I barely recognized the joint. They plan on serving small plates nightly, with DJs and jazz. Lunch will be served by mid-August or so. 1123 Folsom St. at 7th St.

So I have more details on the weekly dinner I mentioned last week at ~WINTERLAND~: every Thursday, Chef Vernon Morales will prepare a special six-course tasting menu, for $110 per person, tax and gratuity included. Seatings are available at 6pm and 8:30pm. The whole thing starts August 17. Sweet!

Okay, some downtown workers are gonna be bummed with this: ~CAFÉ VENUE~ on Market Street is no more. (When I worked on Maiden Lane, that place was totally my go-to for lunch.) Ends up there is a new building owner and they're remodeling, so Café Venue got squeezed out and is down to their other two locations (at 218 Montgomery Street and 70 Leidesdorff Street). However, they are trying to reopen in the old Bistro Boudin space on 5th St. at Mission—if all goes well, they should be open in October.

Gardeners around town are probably well acquainted with Flora Grubb Gardens (yes, one of the proprietors is really named Flora Grubb—her name is crazy like that, like Emily Wines, the sommelier at Fifth Floor), formerly known as Guerrero Street Gardens and the Palm Broker. Well, in Spring 2007 Flora will be opening a second location in the Bayview district. So you're probably wondering, "Yo, where's the food news?" Well, anyone living out in this newly developing district is gonna be stoked to know that ~RITUAL COFFEE ROASTERS~ is going to be opening a café in the new nursery location. So not only will you get to enjoy their sublime coffee, but there will also be seating in the courtyard. Dreamy. 1634 Jerrold Ave. at 3rd St.

The very kind and talented chef at ~ANNABELLE'S BAR AND BISTRO~, Matthew Lee, is returning to his native New Zealand—ends up he bought a restaurant in the Opua Marina in the Bay of Islands area, a premiere destination for yachters. Sounds downright blissful to me. His last day is August 15, but attention chefs out there: he is still interviewing for the position. Annabelle's has a great chef's kitchen since it was newly renovated, so if you feel like running the rotisserie there, give him a buzz.

Oenophiles, you are gonna be fired up with this bit of news: by the end of September (or early October), you're actually going to have a place to safely store your wine in San Francisco! After a two-year quest for the right space, the ~SF WINE CENTER~ is opening in the former Del Monte Meat Company space in SoMa. It will offer state-of-the-art storage, with temperature and humidity control, plus ease of access—this is what happens when you have some wine guys who want to create a place for real wine storage. Partners Paolo Mancini and Brian McGonigle have a wholesale business, Indy Wines, which is focused on independent and small artisan producers—their portfolio covers California, Oregon, Australia, and New Zealand, and will be extending to Europe soon; so they'll have a consulting office on the premises as well. The SF Wine Center is being designed by Architects II, but it's going to be more than 7,000 square feet of storage: the proprietors are really keen on creating a community around wine. So wine collectors will be able to interact with each other, and there will be winemaker tastings, and even some classes. If you want to learn more about getting your Silver Oak Cab out of your apartment and into some storage, you can email Paolo (paolo.mancini [at] 757 Bryant St. between 5th and 6th St.

Okay, this wins my newly founded "Bad Ass Chef of the Month" award: Chef Mike Selvera of ~BAR CRUDO~ is now diving every Wednesday in Bodega Bay for his own sea urchin, and serving it up on Thursdays. (I know, is that obsessed or what?) This week will be a special with three types of tobiko (red, wasabi, and citrus), quail eggs, and ponzu sauce. That sounds too freaking delicious, and the presentation is supposed to be awesome. Bring it on—who's next month's bad ass?

I read this on Chowhound—the old BY Grill on Geary is now ~SANMI~, a third restaurant for the Suzuki family. Expect sushi with some not-your-usual-Japanese-restaurant-in-San Francisco home-style cooking—like hiyashi chuka, a cold noodle dish you typically eat in the summer. Yum. Tue-Sat 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-9:30pm, Sun 5-9:30pm, closed Mon. 3226 Geary St. at Spruce St.

~BELDEN TAVERNA~ has decided to stay open between lunch and dinner, and started offering a patio/bar menu from 3pm-5:30pm during the month of August. Eats like BLTs and burgers (for $7 and $8, respectively), yucca fries ($5) and spicy fried olives ($5) are available outside or inside at the bar, plus bar drinks, wine and beer for $4. The menu may change up a bit in September.

Also, those of you who like to read ~EDIBLE SAN FRANCISCO~ will be happy to know the latest issue is out! You can find it at Rainbow Foods and the Ferry Building, and other spots, like Green Apple Books, Period George, Bi-Rite Market, Cheese Plus, 24th Street Cheese, Lettus Café, SF Wine Trading Co., and the West Portal Book Store. (Real Foods and Whole Foods should have copies of it by the end of the week.) In case you haven't read Edible SF before, you should check it out—a number of fab local writers contribute to it, and it's, like, free. Cool.