June 1, 2010

June 1, 2010

I’ve been tracking this project for months, and finally got some official news on it: ~TWENTY FIVE LUSK~ is going to be opening in an historic 1917 building this coming September. According to the release, “25 Lusk will offer sophisticated, contemporary, approachable fine dining specializing in neoclassical-influenced cuisine.” The executive chef and managing partner is Matthew Dolan, working with general manager and managing partner Chad Bourdon. Dolan’s background includes Café des Artistes in New York, Emeril’s in New Orleans, Topper’s at the Wauwinet, and Garibaldi’s in San Francisco. Bourdon has managed the four-diamond, five-star Cranwell Resort, Spa, and Golf Club in Lennox, Massachusetts, and Farallon in San Francisco. (The two friends met while they were students at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.)

Architect Cass Calder Smith is creating a style that will bridge modernity and industrial elements with a warm and inviting sensibility. The building was originally the Ogden Packing and Provision smokehouse and meat processing facility, and all of the original exposed brick and massive timbers remain in place. Some highlights of the 9,800-square-foot space include massive windows, suspended fireplaces, semi-private dining tables in the former smoke rooms, a glassed-in kitchen, and a semi-private chef’s table. Nope, it’s not small at all: there will be 120 seats in the main dining area, a lower bar and lounge level, 30 to 35 seats in the private dining room, and a communal table. And in case you’re trying to think where Lusk is, it’s off Townsend Street, between 3rd and 4th Streets.

After four years of working together at ~SEBO~, sushi chef and partner Danny Dunham has moved on to pursue other projects. Chef and partner Michael Black has brought on Nao Hashimoto to work alongside him at the sushi counter. Nao comes from Sushi Ota in San Diego, and has 12-plus years of experience with high-end and traditional sushi. One more addition to look for: Black has started working with some new seafood distributors, and has not only found a source for fresh Hokkaido uni, but is now offering a wider range of fish. Follow Sebo’s Twitter feed for updates.


After years of serving sushi at happy hours around town (currently at Benders), ~ICHI~ is going to be moving into and taking over Yo’s Sushi Club in the Outer Mission. Husband and wife Tim and Erin Archuleta have been looking for the right space for years, and now chef Tim’s long-term dream has been fulfilled. The space will be refreshed, and once they reopen, there will be a combination of both sushi and hot plates on the menu. They plan to be up and running in the 20-seat space in the late summer or fall (those beer and wine license transfers sure take a long time these days). In the meantime, don’t forget you can also visit Tim at the ICHI Lucky Cat Deli in the 331 Cortland Marketplace for fresh fish and special Japanese dishes. Kanpai! 3369 Mission St. at 30th St.


Wow, this is the last week of my scheduled readings—although (of course) I have a few cool upcoming book events and parties that are slated to happen.

Anyway, I’d really love to see some of you 707 folks this Saturday June 5th at Copperfield’s Books in Petaluma! I’ll be there at 2pm for a reading and book signing. 140 Kentucky St. at Western Ave., Petaluma

And then on Sunday June 6th, you’ll find me and my book in the VIP reception at Cochon 555, which starts at 3:30pm. You can read all about the event, and tablehopper readers can get a discount on your tickets here. Wheeeee!

The founder of Ruby Wine, Joel Bleskacek, and his wife, Maxine Siu, are opening a breakfast and lunch spot on the corner of 18th Street and Texas called ~PLOW~. They will be serving breakfast all day and lunch (beginning at 11:30am) Monday through Friday, with brunch on the weekends. The classic American menu will have dishes like French toast with caramelized bananas and mascarpone, there will be a brined pork chop with organic eggs, and baked goods, like muffins and buttermilk biscuits. Siu is getting back behind the ovens after a ten-year hiatus (she opened Stem flower shop on 18th Street in the Mission). She previously worked with Paul Bertolli and Michael Tusk at Oliveto, and then with Jim Moffat and Mark Gordon at 42 Degrees. Before opening Ruby Wine eight years ago, Bleskacek worked front of the house at Campton Place, Oliveto, and 42 Degrees, and is currently doing the wine list at Slow Club and Serpentine. (He will also have some wine available at plow.)

The 800-square-foot space has 13-foot ceilings, and 7-foot windows along 18th Street. The bright and clean space will have room for 8 at the counter, and around 30 at the tables (complete with French Tolix metal chairs). There will also be a touch of country in the space, with salvaged timber floors. They are hoping to open in mid-August.


Photo courtesy of Farina.

On Sunday June 6th, ~FARINA~ in the Mission is celebrating its third anniversary with an evening of delectable Genovese flavors, smooth sounds, and pleasing libations. Chef Paolo Laboa will present an exquisite all-Ligurian menu, including many new Genovese specialties, while you listen to live jazz trio Second Opinion from 6pm-9:30pm. As for drink, Farina’s handcrafted cocktails will be on hand, plus the anniversary dinner will feature—for the first time in the Bay Area—an extensive selection of distinctive Ligurian wines from Enoteca Bisson (specifically, Prosecco Frizzante, “Vignaerta” Vermentino, Pigato, and “Il Garnaccio”). Here’s another reason to go (besides their delicious pesto): they’re giving away a tasting menu for two.

Has it really been five years since Loretta Keller’s Bisou morphed into ~COCO500~? Wow. For the month of June, come on by for the 5-5-5 anniversary happy hour, which is Mon-Fri from 4pm-6pm. There will be $5 cocktails, like the rye press or pisco sour; $5 dishes, like the squash blossom flatbread, beer-battered fried green beans, and COCOMOLE tacos; along with a special selection of $5 glasses of sustainably farmed wines, including an SB from Aubin Cellars, a cab from Poppy in Paso Robles, a rosé from Fort Ross Vineyard, and a manzanilla from Bodegas Hidalgo, “La Gitana,” and Trumer Pilsner beer (22 oz. draught). In July, the happy hour will continue, but the menu of drinks and dishes will change.


Photo of a sample box from County Line Harvest.

In the tradition of Mariquita’s “pop-up market nights” at Piccino, ~COUNTY LINE HARVEST~ is going to be delivering produce via their “rogue market” to Spruce the first Thursday of every month, beginning in June. You’ll be able to drop by Spruce to pick up your 
very own box of assorted, seasonal, hand-picked produce; each month, the boxes will be filled with a delicious selection of what their farmers
 think is the freshest and best available on that day. You can swing by from 3:30pm-5:30pm on Thursday June 3rd, Thursday 
July 1st, and Thursday August 5th.

Additional locations around the Bay Area include Bar Tartine, Greens, Piccino, Café Rouge, and Gather; check out the other upcoming dates and locations here.

The price of each box is $25. You are encouraged to pre-order by emailing Zoe. In addition, a limited number of boxes will be available for those who did not have a chance to pre-order for pickup on the scheduled Farmers’ Market days.

Excuse me for just quoting a newsletter verbatim, but here goes: “Five years ago when a flood heavily damaged ~MARIN SUN FARMS’~ eatery and butcher shop, David Evans vowed to rebuild. Starting on Saturday May 29th, the lunch-time food service will return from 12pm-4pm, Wednesday through Sunday … Chef Benjamin Roberts of Marin Sun Farms has built a small focused menu that features innovative local burgers accompanied by salads and ‘pork or cattle’ fries—fried in pork lard or beef tallow. Ingredients are sourced from local, sustainable, and organic producers. The restaurant will also offer a selection of beer and wine that highlights local, artisan, and family producers … The dining area features informal seating for 34 among the rolling greenery of West Marin.” Congrats, David and the Marin Sun Farms team, on getting it reopened.

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