January 9, 2007

January 9, 2007

Lovebirds take note: after almost five years of business (Valentine's Day would have been the five-year anniversary), ~L'AMOUR DANS LE FOUR~ is now closed: the building the restaurant was located in was sold and is becoming a real estate office. Partners Laurent Bornier, Adrienne Fair, and her husband, Blaise Bourdais, are sad about the closure, and are currently seeking another location. The last dinner was served on New Year's Eve, but they will be catering a Valentine's Day dinner at the Glas Kat from 7pm-9pm. That night is Bondage-a-Go-Go, so any of you latex lovers out there might want to consider this dinner option, called "Menage a Trois"—for more info and reservations, call the restaurant's old number (415-775-2134).

A couple switcheroos in pastry chef land: Ted Nugent from ~PERBACCO~ scooted over to ~SCALA'S~ last week; he has already added hazelnut panna cotta with oranges and honey to the menu, along with salted caramel gelato, and warm gingerbread with pears and sabayon. At Perbacco, Staffan Terje will be handling the desserts for now—the position might not be filled. And after three weeks at ~AZIZA~, things weren't working out for both sides, so Shuna Fish Lydon is swimming elsewhere, destination unknown.

Sommelier Shana Dilworth is leaving ~CAMPTON PLACE~ in mid February. She will take a month to prepare for the MS exam in the middle of March, and is then relocating to Europe. Good luck to her, her warmth and style will be missed!

Out in the Richmond, the owner of ~BISTRO CLEMENT~ has sold the business. It will most likely be open until the end of January. The new owner will be reopening the business soon thereafter as the ~BEEHIVE CAFÉ~; more on this as details emerge. 127 Clement St. at 3rd Ave.

Quick update on ~FARINA~ in the Mission (the Liguarian restaurant and focaccia bakery moving into the old Anna's Danish Cookies spot on 18th Street): it's looking like March for the opening. Stand by…

Noticed a new café in the Mission that is opening this Friday: ~KAPÉ~ (which is Tagalog/Filipino for "café"). The space has an eclectic colonial look, with brightly colored armchairs that look quite comfy, warm wood floors, a trio of black glass chandeliers above the counter, marble tables, and other cozy touches like plants and woven baskets. They will start serving coffee from Mr. Espresso and special Chinese teas (like the blooming flower ones), plus French pastries from Patisserie Philippe (which still has not opened). Once permits go through, they will also be making soups, salads, and sandos. Wi-Fi will be offered, and folks are sure to linger in this well-lit corner space. 6am-9:30pm daily. 16th Street at Dehon (between Church and Sanchez).

The folks at ~CAFÉ MARITIME~ have a few groovy deals in store: first up, for you boozehounds, there's a happy hour as "real as a $2 bill." Every night, from 5:30pm-7pm, you get $2 off on all drinks, every night of the week. So when you order a beer, a glass of wine, or even a Man Overboard (one of their signature cocktails), your drink will be served on a $2 bill "coaster." I wish more bars did this—I'd almost be rich. There are also some $5 bar apps that will be available, like fish tacos, plus $1 oysters (holla!).

And for you prime rib lovers (that includes me, hell yes), starting today is Prime Rib Tuesdays. For $24.95, you get your choice of house-made clam chowder or their "BLT" wedge salad with blue cheese dressing, shrimp, and bacon, plus some juicy prime rib, twice-baked potato, and creamed spinach. Mmmmm, prime rib. And if you feel like being a little more old school, you can order a $5 martini (vodka or gin) to go with the original comfort meal. 2417 Lombard St. at Scott St., 415-885-2530.

Just a few doors down in the Edward II Bed and Breakfast is ~BLOOMERS~, a small pub/café on the ground floor of the hotel that recently started serving up some rather legit English pub fare. The menu includes a variety of pasties, from Cornish to curried meat or vegetable, plus bangers and mash, and shepherd's pie, which are served with real Heinz baked beans or Batchelors Mushy Peas and mashed potatoes with Bisto Gravy (skip the side salad served with bottled dressing). There's also Cadbury's flake chocolate with vanilla ice cream for dessert. But the real standouts are the Indian specialties, like the feisty meat or veggie samosas with a refreshing raita, and the keema curry, served with some authentic heat and seasoning (the friendly owner, Jai Das, and his wife, the chef, have roots in the Gujarat region, in the south of India). The ambiance is definitely a little lacking (bright inquisition-like lights, standard issue yellow poly-blend tablecloths, weird photos of the owner with girls in bikinis, not many fellow diners), but if you're in the 'hood and you get a hankering for a pastie and a pint, they are open Tue-Sat from 11am-9pm. 3155 Scott St. at Lombard St., 415-922-3000.

A few openings to report: first, breaking all restaurant renovation speed records, is ~TWO~ (22 Hawthorne St., 415-777-9779) the restaurant formerly known as Hawthorne Lane, which is opening this Thursday. Expect a palette of earth tones with some groovy retro design elements, and a new eclectic soundtrack to boot. In the front room, a copper-clad center bar with a concrete top will be encircled with full-backed leather barstools, along with lights hanging overhead that are made of coconut. The dining room will feature tall banquettes along the perimeter, and there will also be a communal table made of solid acacia wood that will seat 14 at its long benches and two wingback chairs on the ends. At the communal table, guests can enjoy a prix-fixe two-course menu along with a terzo of wine (about 1 1/2 glasses) for $25. (The menu changes daily, and the table is available first-come, first-served.)

You can take a peek at a PDF of TWO's appetizing new menu of affordable, casual, and seasonal dishes here (wait until you try the bacon and egg raviolo with spinach and brown butter, it's illegally good). There will also be some tasty yet affordable wines available through their unique "en-vrac" wine program, presenting several house wines (two red, two white) tapped from the barrels. Custom-blended for TWO by winemaker Jim Neal of Jim Neal Wine Company, the wine en vrac, meaning "in bulk," will allow guests to enjoy perfect barrel-aged wine at approximately half the usual cost of house wine. Cheers!

~MISSION PIE~ (2901 Mission St. at 25th St.) is open and ready to greet you with coffee and treats, and ~HAYES AND KEBAB~ (406 Hayes St. at Gough St., 415-861-2977) has fired up the spits and is ready to ply you with gyros and falafel and moussaka, and oh yeah, kebabs.