March 2, 2010

March 2, 2010

~RADIUS~, the new cafe-restaurant opening in the former Julie’s Supper Club is in the final stretch of inspections this week, and may even open on Friday. The cafe has 30 seats, and Kelly Hughett’s menu includes seasonal soups, salads (duck confit, quinoa), sandwiches (truffled egg, pork loin and cheese), hot-pressed panini (eggplant, pork belly), and starting at 5:30pm, there will be a nightly pasta dish, fried chicken, and a vegetable torte. Ingredients will be sourced from within a 100-mile radius, hence the name. I’ll have pics and more details next week about the interior, patio, and the beer and wine list once things are official, stand by. The hours will be 11am-11pm Sun-Wed, and 11am-1am Thu-Sat.

Since covering for Greg Dunmore after his departure in October, Lissa Doumani and Hiro Sone have brought on Orlando Pagan as the new executive chef at ~AME~. Pagan was most recently the chef de cuisine at Silks Restaurant, and has also worked at Restaurant Gary Danko and Ducca Restaurant. Under the guidance of Sone, together with influence from Pagan, Ame will launch its spring menu on March 5th, showcasing new, seasonal items alongside Ame’s signature dishes (like Lissa’s Staff Meal, which is thankfully staying put). Meanwhile, over at the Mandarin Oriental, executive chef Rick Bartram will continue to oversee the hotel’s entire culinary program, which includes catering, in-room dining, VIP service, MO Bar, and Silks restaurant. A replacement for the chef de cuisine position has not been named.


The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco: Find the Right Spot for Every Occasion is now on sale, so I’ll be making a variety of appearances at all kinds of events around the Bay Area. You can keep track on my Google calendar, and here’s the current lineup below.

Details will be added in coming weeks about each event, like, what we’ll be eating and drinking (oh you know it!). Looking forward to seeing you out and about!

Friday March 12th, 7:30pm, free
Book Signing at Booksmith
1644 Haight St. at Cole, San Francisco
Event details.
Treats: orange-cardamom-ginger with saffron gobs from Gobba Gobba Hey, and cardamom-ginger chai (and another surprise flavor) from The Chai Cart. Pompadour Rosé bubbles provided by Domaine Carneros.

Thursday March 18th, 7:30pm, free
Book Reading and Signing at Books. Inc. Chestnut St.
2251 Chestnut St. at Pierce, San Francisco
Event details.
We will be tasting “Suria,” a blend of dark and milk chocolates infused with cardamom from Maison Mitchell and Durigutti’s Malbec “Clásico” (many thanks to Bock Wines and Spirits for the donation).

Wednesday March 24th, 6pm, free
Book Reading and Signing at Omnivore Books
3885 Cesar Chavez St. at Church, San Francisco
Event details.
Andrew Mariani of Scribe will be pouring his delicious 2008 Pinot Noir, Carneros, Sonoma. And Patrick Horn, owner of the Pacific Brewing Laboratory, will be serving “Blood of the Lamb,” a Belgian dark strong ale aged in bourbon oak (it will be paired with some good Irish cheeses, even though it’s past St. Patrick’s Day!).

Thursday March 25th, 7pm, $18 members/$20 public*
Moderating an Event with Michael Chiarello (and Book Signing)
Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, 200 North San Pedro Rd., San Rafael
Event details.
*Mention in the comment area when purchasing tix online and get the member price.

Wednesday March 31st, 12pm, $100 (includes book, tax, tip)
Cooks With Books Lunch at Perbacco
230 California St. at Front, San Francisco
Tickets/event details.
Read the delicious menu here.

Thursday April 1st, 7:30pm, free
Book Reading and Signing at Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park

Saturday April 3rd, 2pm, free
Chat and Tasting with Jake Godby Humphry Slocombe/Signing at Bloomingdale’s
Mini duck fat pecan pies and of course ICE CREAM will be served.
845 Market St. at 7th St., San Francisco

Monday April 5th, 5pm-7pm, $35 ($50 door)
Book Signing at Wines of Portugal—A World of Difference Tour 2010
Westin St Francis, 335 Powell St., 32nd Floor, San Francisco
Tickets/event details. First 150 ticket buyers get a free copy of my book!

Thursday April 8th, 7pm, $5 members, $10 general
18 Reasons Event (with bubbly and bites from La Cocina producer Onigilly)
593 Guerrero St. at 18th St., San Francisco
Event details.

Saturday April 10th, 12pm, free
Book Signing/Meet and Greet at The Pasta Shop
We will be grazing on a variety of my favorite pantry items, from honey and olive oil to cheese and olives (we’re calling it a pop-up party)!
The Pasta Shop (inside Rockridge Market Hall), 5655 College Ave., Oakland

Wednesday April 14th, 6:30pm-8:30pm, $15*
Hop Dog Happy Hour
CUESA’s kitchen in front of the Ferry Building.
*SOLD OUT Books will be for sale at the event for $17.50 (tax included).

Friday April 16th, 12pm-2pm, free
Book signing and chocolate tasting at Fog City News.
Featuring samples from the amazing Xocolatl de Davíd. We’ll be tasting the following chocolates: Almond Pimentón, Salted Caramel (probably the darkest and saltiest caramel bar they sell, 72% dark chocolate base), and my favorite, the Bacon Raleigh bar (nougat, pecans, fleur de sel, 72% dark chocolate, and bacon-infused caramel).
455 Market St. at 1st St., San Francisco

Saturday April 17th, 2pm, free
Book Reading and Signing at Read Booksellers in Danville
Blackhawk Plaza, Danville

Thursday April 22nd, 6pm, free
Book Reading and Signing at The Tyler Florence Shop
Tyler will be there, and Jackie Patterson will be making cocktails!
59 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

Thursday April 29th, 12pm, $67 members, $77 non-members
Two-martini lunch with the tablehopper at Bix
This event is part of the Bay Gourmet/Commonwealth Club program. Moderated by Jordan Mackay.
56 Gold St. at Sansome, San Francisco
Tickets and more.

Saturday May 8th, noon-2pm, $15
Sandwich Social with the tablehopper at Purcell Murray
To register, call 415-330-5580. More event details.
185 Park Lane, Brisbane
Marcia will lead a Q&A with two of San Francisco’s best sandwich makers: Douglas Monsalud of Kitchenette, Jeff Mason and David Knopp of Pal’s Take Away, and Timothy Brown of Morty’s Deli, who will also demo his house-made Russian dressing. And of course we will eat! And drink bubbly. Cheers!

Saturday May 15th, 4pm, free
Book Reading and Signing at Mrs. Dalloway’s
2904 College Ave. at Russell, Berkeley
There will be snacks provided by their charming neighbor, the Elmwood Café.

Thursday May 20th, 5pm-9pm
Appel and Frank Event
(*RSVP in advance)
You get 50% off the $10 admission with code: tablehopper.
It’s a fun night of shopping, cocktails, wine, and more, and tablehopper will be there. I will also have treats from Pinkie’s Bakery to share with you!
Regency Center, Sutter Room, 1270 Sutter at Van Ness, San Francisco

Saturday May 22nd, 4pm, free
Book Reading and Signing at Readers’ Books Sonoma
130 E. Napa St. at 1st St. E., Sonoma

Thursday May 27th, 7:30pm, free
Book Reading and Signing at Books. Inc. Market St. (Castro)
Featuring delicious bittersweet cocoa truffles from Neo Cocoa.
2275 Market St. at 16th St., San Francisco

Saturday June 5th, 2pm, free
Book Reading and Signing at Copperfield’s Books
140 Kentucky St. at Western Ave., Petaluma

Sunday June 6th
Book Signing in the VIP Reception at Cochon 555
Details and more (like a discount code for the event!) here.


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Almost on schedule, ~BI-RITE CREAMERY~ is due to reopen this week (perhaps tomorrow, Wednesday March 2nd) after a short closure, with expanded room inside (formerly three seats, now ten!). And it’s time to loosen the belt one more notch: there’s going to be a new soft-serve ice cream window, featuring chocolate, vanilla, or the classic swirl, all made from Straus Family dairy; future plans for custom soft-serve flavors are in the works. You’ll also be able to pick up the bakeshop’s cupcakes, cookies, pies, and galettes from the window.

The Creamery family invites the public to visit next week on Our Treat Day on Thursday March 11th: anyone who makes a purchase at Bi-Rite Market across the street will be entitled to one free small soft-serve ice cream at the new window from 4pm-8pm—their treat! 3692 18th St. at Dolores, 415-626-5600.


Starting this Thursday March 4th, some of the city’s best chefs will have their own taco on offer at the ~TACOLICIOUS~ market stand every week for the next six weeks. Here’s the lineup: this week (March 4th) is Chad Newton from Fish & Farm, serving slow-poached then seared octopus, confit potato, smoked crema, lightly pickled cabbage, lime, and cilantro plus (bonus item), a pineapple and celery agua fresca.

Then on 3/11 is Craig Stoll of Delfina, 
3/18 is Alex Ong of Betelnut (reportedly doing pork leg braised in duck fat, topped with fish sauce infused with chiles, anise, and Szechuan peppercorns, hold the freaking phone), 
3/25 is Mark Denham of the soon-to-open Bishop, 
4/1 is Liza Shaw of A16, and 
4/8 is that wild man Robbie Lewis (formerly of Bacar and Jardinière) who is doing conejo al guajillo con ensalada de fabas (guajillo chile-braised rabbit with fava bean and radish salsa, cotija cheese). 

Kudos to Grub Street for sleuthing some details on Anthony Mangieri’s upcoming pizza project in San Francisco, ~UNA PIZZA NAPOLETANA~. According to the post, his wood oven from Naples is already installed and he’ll hopefully be open by May—while the exact location isn’t revealed, he’ll reportedly be quite close to Thad Vogler’s upcoming Bar Agricole. Also noted: his pies clock in around $20, so start saving your yuppie food stamps.

In the meantime, in case you never saw this gorg video about his pizza-making, Naturally Risen, check it out. May can’t get here fast enough.


Copyright © 2006-10

This weekend marks the kickoff of brunch at ~ORSON~, which is going to look swell during the daylight hours. Full bar, check. The hours are also civilized: Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm. I got a preliminary peek at the menu, which promptly made me wish it was Saturday already (prices might shift a little, FYI). Here goes: brown butter-vanilla donuts, jam, and glaze ($8); Betty’s pancake, a Dutch-soufflé with citrus marmalade ($11); ramen with egg and pork—hey, it’s what’s for breakfast! ($13); beef and beet hash with two poached eggs and horseradish cream ($15); and a rösti roll with scrambled eggs, scallion, chili, and paneer ($14).

For those who want lunch-y items, there are items like a pastrami and Swiss sandwich ($12), a fried chicken sandwich ($12), and of course the Orson burger ($15), but there’s now a new burger coming to the table: the OTT Burger, with fried egg, cheddar cheese, house-made kimchee ketchup and tonkatsu mayonnaise, served with duck fat fries ($16). Yeah, get an extra napkin for that bad boy. Sorry I didn’t include any of the healthy items, like the house-made granola. What can I say, I’m hopeless that way.


Photo from Heart.

Yup, you read that correctly: ~HEART~ is now offering brunch on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (yes, industry folks, Monday!) from 11am-3pm. You know those sick minds from Kitchenette are doing up some fierce vittles (like braised duck scrapple with pear and cabbage slaw, 4505’s maple bacon breakfast sausages, and Berkshire pork blade steak with poached eggs), plus there are oysters on the half shell (Hog Island Sweetwater oysters with radish-coriander mignonette), bubbles, and musica. Salivate over the menu here

~LA MAR CEBICHERIA PERUANA~ is now offering a new lunch option: almuerzito peruano (don’t worry if you can’t remember what it’s called, or how to say it—it means “Peruvian small lunch”). For $17, you’ll get a sampler plate of four of the restaurant’s most popular items, plus dessert: cebiche classico (California halibut in a classic leche de tigre, red onions, habanero), arroz chaufa (fried rice with chicken, scallions, ginger, crispy egg noodles), empanada choclo (stuffed with Peruvian corn “choclo,” butter, and aji amarillo), ensalada nikei (mixed greens with bell peppers, green papaya, jícama, soybeans, pickled carrots and daikon, crunchy quinoa, Peruvian purple corn, and rocoto vinaigrette), and for dessert, arroz con leche (rice pudding with fresh strawberries, sweet balsamic reduction, and butterscotch sauce).

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Mural on the Gracias Madre patio.

Also learned ~GRACIAS MADRE~ in the Mission is now offering a $10 lunch special every day from 11am-3pm. On the menu: a handmade organic tamal made with heirloom corn, filled with butternut squash and green chiles, covered with a spicy enchilada sauce and cashew cream and served with rice and beans. The other is an Acme torta filled with black beans, rajas (grilled poblano strips), cashew cheese, avocado, pico de gallo, and romaine grilled in garlic oil, served with a small Caesar salad and spicy pickled vegetables. Items subject to change, but this is what’s available now—based on the dinner I had a few weeks ago, it seems like it’s a substantial lunch.


Photo: Kelly Ishikawa; Art Direction & Styling: Rod Hipskind.

Call it a quirky sort of destiny: David Williams of Hooker’s Sweet Treats will be opening a café in the TenderNob named after his addictive sea salt-orange cream-dark chocolate caramels. (The name is sure to make some neighborhood folks wonder exactly what kind of business he’s running.) Williams will also be offering espresso service, courtesy of Sightglass Coffee. The new space will allow him the room to do both manufacturing and selling of his caramels, in addition to potentially offering a monthly meal (let’s hope his gumbo makes the first appearance). While it’s a petite space (there will be room for about 14 folks), it’s sure to be high on style, since he’s working with Rod Hipskind and Kelly Ishikawa of The Perish Trust. And in case you’re wondering what was in the space previously, it was Chez Momo. He’s hoping for a late spring opening, perhaps mid- to late April—I’ll keep you posted. 442 Hyde St. at Ellis.

In case you were curious about former A16/SPQR chef Nate Appleman’s project in New York with Keith McNally, ~PULINO’S BAR & PIZZERIA~, here’s an update on Grub Street New York for you, menus included.


I know, at first glance, I was like, huh? A 99-cent store and the ~OASIS CAFE~? It ends up that the businesses are next door to each other, almost like a Taco Bell/KFC combo space, but instead of getting an enchirito and a bucket of wings, you can get some aluminum foil and a coffee. Owner Taddesse Haile is from Ethiopia, and quite a lover of coffee. He’s going to be offering what I think is a first in town: ten different kinds of individual drip coffee. There will be sandwiches, juices, and other affordable eats (hours will be 6am-11pm daily). Also in the works: beer and wine, but being budget-minded and all, he said his prices will be like happy hour all day. He expects to open around March 15th. 901 Divisadero St. at McAllister, 415-474-4900.

One of my favorite pastry chefs EV-AH, Nicole Krasinski, is working with Caitlin Freeman to develop some yeasty sweets for Blue Bottle. Items include new cinnamon buns, savory brioche, and here’s what really got my attention: a stout and currant cake with a caraway and pecan topping, made with stout from local suds outpost Magnolia. The treats are available at all locations but seems to be running out in the day, so the early bird gets the buns. Ahem.


There’s no shortage of events this week, starting with the Divisadero Art Walk this Thursday March 4th. There will be all kinds of deals up and down Divis, like $1 oysters and $5 chowder at Bar Crudo, 50% off one pizza (dine in only) from 5pm-7pm at Little Star Pizza, $4 sparkling cocktails and sangria all night at Candybar, and art receptions at a bunch of businesses. Check out the entire lineup of offers and entertainment and art openings here. Everything kicks off at 5pm.

Then on Saturday March 6th is the next SF Underground Market (5pm-11pm). The lineup of vendors is rather hefty, from organic beef jerky to jams to chai to kimchee. Here’s more from the post: “This time around we’ve got twice as many vendors, 3 times as much space (so the lines should be shorter), and more great music and workshops. Come early to avoid the lines.” In order to get in, you need to sign up to be a free member first. 9 Langton St. (near 7th St. and Howard).

Lastly, La Victoria Bakery in the Mission is going to host SF food carts and live music every Saturday, starting this Saturday March 13th from 6pm-9pm. 2937 24th St. at Alabama, 415-642-7120.

Okay you fearless meat-eating types: ~INCANTO~ is hosting its 7th Annual Head to Tail Dinner on Monday March 22nd and Wednesday March 24th. You can check out the menu here. But please note the menu items are subject to change, so don’t get your heart set on the oxtail and beef lip terrina with artichokes and tarragon. The five-course menu is priced at $75 per person, excluding beverages, service, and tax.
Optional wine pairings will be available by the glass or flight.

It will be a good time to check out Incanto’s new look, which has swapped out the brocade curtains for some large-fomat photos (which are cleverly obscuring some noise-dampening panels), plus there are new floors, refinished tabletops, and now some banquette seating. You can read more in Incanto’s post about some new dishes to be found on the “Odds & Ends” board, and the new group dining option called “Ham in Hay,” which sounds like some kind of quirky children’s song.

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A few tidbits: ~GATHER~ is starting full lunch service today, Tuesday March 2nd. The menu includes salads (like baby escarole with toasted nori in garlic-lemon-tahini dressing), soup, sandwiches (like Long & Bailey pulled pork on pan di mie roll with crème fraîche), pizza (local chanterelles with fontinella, rapini, braised leeks, and thyme), and dessert. Soups and salads range from $7-$10; sandwiches $10-$12; and pizzas $12-$15. Lunch hours will be Monday through Friday, 11am-3pm. They will be adding to-go lunch in the next week or so.

More news: there is now a full-time pastry chef, Adam Weiss, who replaces opening consultant Amy Pearce (he was last at XYZ in San Francisco’s W Hotel). Coming up next, and just in time for spring: the 48-seat patio should be open in the coming month, and full-service brunch begins April 1st.