September 12, 2006

September 12, 2006

This town seems to have baked goods on its mind lately (glad it's not just me): Potrero residents/Dogpatchers are starting their morning with fresh (organic) breakfast pastries and tarts at ~PETITE PATISSERIE~. Rachel Leising is behind this new venture, with over 20 years of baking experience, including working with Fran Gage at La Patisserie Francaise, Elizabeth Falkner at Citizen Cake, and even teaching classes at Tante Marie. The tiny space used to be Scoops, so you just walk up to the counter and order—no room to sit, darlings! They also offer brewed coffee (fair trade, organic) but don't expect decaf, lattes, or cappuccinos—just a cup of nicely brewed Joe, that's it! Cookies and cakes will be coming soon—you can also place custom cake orders. Hours (for now) are 7am-2pm Wed-Sat, and 8am-3pm on Sun. They're currently looking for a counter person and baking assistant, so feel free to get in touch (it also means they'll have longer hours once someone is hired!). 1415 18th St. at Connecticut St., 415-794-0319.

And you gotta love the irony of this one: the former "Daily Method" workout space on Scott St. in the Marina will become ~KARA'S CUPCAKES~ (hopefully) by Halloween. The husband and wife duo of Kara and Michael Lind are working with Montalba Architects on the space, the same folks who did the chic I Dream of Cake "cake atelier" on Grant Street. The cute cupcake space will balance the modern and the feminine; you'll soon be picking out your frosted baby (Meyer lemon buttercream? Or how about chocolate velvet?) from pink glass and white Corian cases and then be able to nibble on it (or scarf it) while sitting on some outside seats. All cupcakes are made with organic ingredients, and they also try to use local ingredients within a 100-mile radius of San Francisco. Kara will also continue to please her catering clients with any birthday and wedding cupcake needs. 3249 Scott St. at Chestnut St.

Some changes at ~CORTEZ~ are happening as of today: although famed for their small plates format, Cortez has decided to add some full portion-sized main courses to the menu. After three years of the small plates format, they've listened to customer comments about the timing, value, and style of this kind of dining, and decided to give diners the choice of small plates or large plates—you'll be able to enjoy the larger mains individually, or you can order them family style for the table. Some new dishes are sautéed Japanese sea bream with sweet onion soubise, roasted chiodini mushrooms, Thai basil, and coconut lime broth ($23); and crispy poached organic poussin and "southern style" crispy legs with caramelized artichokes, white asparagus, and chervil-scented hollandaise ($21).

Some closures to report: ~KELLY'S BURGERS~ at 3141 16th Street in the Mission has closed, in addition to ~LA FELCE~ in North Beach (1570 Stockton St.). Seems lots of folks are interested in the now-vacant space… Another North Beach icon, ~JULIUS' CASTLE~ (1541 Montgomery St.) has been sold—it closed at the end of August, and is now being completely remodeled and renovated by the new owners. More on this as details emerge… Former owner Jeffrey Pollack, who had Julius' Castle for 26 years, is still at Nick's Lighthouse in Fisherman's Wharf, but will be enjoying a return to a more "civilian" life.

Another old-school establishment, ~ALFRED'S STEAKHOUSE~, is going to be serving lunch, with a light menu of pastas, fish, sandwiches, and big salads. The opening for lunch is today, September 12, and will be offered Tue-Fri from 11:30am-3pm. There's also a happy hour from 3pm-6pm with $3-4.50 drinks and $5 small plates.

A fellow egg-lovin' tablehopper reader told me about their tasty, albeit slow, breakfast at ~TOAST~, the new BLD (my term for breakfast/lunch/dinner) destination that moved into the old Hungry Joe's space in Noe Valley. The Naser brothers (who also own the Grind in the lower Haight) are behind the space, which just opened last Tuesday. They are serving up scrambles, omelettes, and classics like eggs Benny for breakfast, with sandwiches (like BLTAs), burgers made with Niman Ranch beef, chili, and huge salads for lunch, and dinner will soon have some hearty classics, like meatloaf.

The ~MARINA SPORTS GRILL~ has been bought by the One Industry Group (Mas Sake, Impala). Things are going to pretty much remain status quo until February (so don't worry, you can continue to watch all your football games there), but then they will close for a cosmetic remodel, and reopen in time for March Madness. The space will re-launch with an old-school sports club vibe, with new flat-screen TVs, leather banquettes, and a menu that will offer good steaks (and wine) plus some "wife/girlfriend friendly items" (read: lighter bites) as well. Kerry Simon and Jamaal Taherzadet (of Impala) will help oversee the menu. The casual bar menu will continue to be offered, with hot wings, tater tots, and other eats you'd expect at a sports bar. 2400 Lombard St. at Scott St., 415-440-2000.

~FRISSON~ has a couple new deals geared for early drinkers and late eaters (hey, that's me!), the 5@5 and 10@10. 5@5 features five bar bites (like duck confit and mint empanadas, and crispy pork croquettes) and five drinkie-poos (hello mojito martini, or a boutique label white or red vino) for $5 each from 5-7pm every day in the lounge.

10@10 means guests can sample a variety of fave menu items for $10 each, starting at, you guessed it, 10pm. 10@10 will feature half-entrée portions of chef Sarah Schafer's popular dishes, like miso-glazed Alaskan halibut and the signature foie gras "PB & J," while the ten $10 drinks are all generously portioned, from a glass-and-a-half of wine served in an Erlenmeyer flask, to a flight of cocktails served in test tube beakers, to a martini poured tableside, with leftovers in the shaker. Hic. 10@10 takes place Thursdays through Saturdays throughout the restaurant.

Lastly, feel like digging into some fried chicken or chicken-fried steak tonight? It's ~MAVERICKS'~ monthly Southern Fried Night tonight!