June 8, 2010

June 8, 2010
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Rendering by Boor Bridges Architecture.

The year of beer continues to hold true, and here’s the latest newcomer to the scene: ~SOUTHERN PACIFIC BREWING~ will be opening in the Mission’s Media Gulch area, targeting November 1st. Partners behind the project are Anthony LaVia (Gestalt, Matador, Café La Onda) and Chris Lawrence, formerly the sales manager at Speakeasy, along with brewer Andy French, also from Speakeasy. The brewery will be producing primarily ales, from IPAs to specialty Belgian styles. There will also be a menu of pub fare that is designed to be “Mission wallet friendly.” Some potential items include sourdough-crust pizzas and of course a burger. The architect is Seth Boor of Boor Bridges Architecture (who did Four Barrel Coffee and Flora Grubb Gardens)—the look will be part warehouse, part working production brewery, with salvaged elements. There will be over 200 seats, including a huge outdoor patio, and a full bar. What’s cool is the area used to be full of breweries, and the southwest corner of 19th Street and Treat Avenue used to be the Broadway Brewery.

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Over on Mint Plaza, ~THERMIDOR~ is now in its soft opening mode. The American vintage-inspired project is from Bruce Binn and Neil Jorgensen of Spork, and features a menu of classic American dishes with a modern spin. Once the full menu completely launches, you’ll be able to get the namesake lobster thermidor, but for now, the opening menu includes a number of $6 starters, like house chips with smoked trout, roe, crème fraîche, and shallots; celery Victor; and “crostinos,” with short rib ragu, horseradish cream, and chives. Mains include sole almondine ($22), petrale sole with prosecco-almond sauce, fresh gnocchi, and sweet yellow corn; and a grilled Berkshire pork loin ($23) from Eden Farms, with potato purée, wilted watercress, and cherry vinaigrette. There will also be desserts from pastry chef Kyle Caporicci (previously of Campton Place), like baked Alaska.

Once the restaurant is running at full seating, there will be room for 100 inside (including a mezzanine) and 50 outside. There is a big bar, with different seating arrangements, from a lounge area to mid-high tables for those who just want a drink and a quick bite. The waitstaff will be in white shirts with skinny ties and black pants, and there will be plenty of 1960s design elements, from fiberglass chairs to Scolari chrome chandeliers. The full bar features cocktails from Brooke Arthur, like a modern spin on a Harvey Wallbanger, and the cleverly named Charles and Ray (Hendrick’s gin, orange blossom water, grapefruit bitters, egg whites, tonic). Bar opens at 5pm, dinner at 6pm, open nightly.

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Photo from Fondue Cowboy.

Due to (softly) swing open its saloon doors this Thursday, Dave Mur’s ~FONDUE COWBOY~ is going to serve up bubbling pots of cheesy goodness, like the spicy cheddar ($12) with 12-month aged cheddar, Emmenthaler, a beer base, oven-roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, roasted jalapeño, Tapatío, and cilantro oil. That is some fondue pot. There are also Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and Gorgonzola versions. Additional small plates include white bean or roasted potato salads, salumi, and of course three different chocolate fondues for dessert. You can swing by for a beer and fondue, or maybe just a beer—Mur sees the 43-seat space as a fondue lounge, where guests can hang out, whether it’s a romantic date or a larger group. There will also be a bit of a rustic Western vibe, with lots of wood and spaghetti western flicks playing on a flat-screen TV. (You can read the past hardhat piece here.) Hours are Tue-Sun 5pm-11pm.

I received word that the new chef at ~LE CLUB~, Amy Glaze, has quit after only a few months on the job. She’s hoping to stay in San Francisco, so we’ll have to see where she lands. 1250 Jones St. at Clay, 415-922-2582.

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The Lemon Drop. Photo by Andrew Scivani.

First, some good news: Elizabeth Falkner (working with Lexi Barry) has totally revamped the dessert menu at the ~BUBBLE LOUNGE~, and will be doing it going forward. And yes, it’s designed to be Champagne friendly. The Lemon Drop features lemon curd, yogurt, blueberry compote, muesli crunch, and Champagne granita, while the Dark Chocolate Pain Perdu is served over chocolate sauce, with citrus caramel and pink peppercorn chantilly. The new menu launches June 15th. 714 Montgomery St. at Washington, 415-434-4204.

In the “bummer news” department, a tablehopper reader reports ~BITTERSWEET—THE CHOCOLATE CAFE~ at 2123 Fillmore Street has permanently shuttered its doors. The Danville and Rockridge locations remain open.

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Photo from Neo Cocoa.

All kinds of chocolate-related events are happening this month: Madécasse is having a free launch party this Thursday June 10th from 7pm-9pm at The Hub in SoMa. Madécasse was started by two former Peace Corps volunteers and is one of the only bean-to-bar chocolates made entirely in Madagascar (most companies buy the beans from Africa, but then process them in factories in Europe or America). Each chocolate bar brings to Madagascar over four times as much income as fair trade chocolate. The first 200 people to register for the free event get a chance to win free chocolate (pick up your chocolate at the event)! More info and register here.

Gourmet Walks is planning a summer of “Celebrity Chocolate Tours.” On four different dates, local chocolatiers will accompany their chocolate tour and give their own input on chocolate production, ingredients, competitive offerings, and more. And they’ll be bringing samples, of course. Those of you who enjoyed the all-ganache Neo Cocoa truffles at my recent Books Inc. Castro reading will want to take the tour on June 18th, which will feature chocolate maker Christine Doerr.

And keep your eyes peeled on the new Cooking Channel, which will feature local (and Dogpatch-based) artisans {cocoa}, Kika’s Treats, and Sweet Revolution Caramels on an upcoming episode of host Aida Mollenkamp’s FoodCrafters.

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Farmerbrown fried chicken; photo by DJ Wallstrom.

Want to check out the new lunch menu at ~FARMERBROWN~? Then you might want to use this City Dish deal, which is offering a “buy one, get one free” lunch deal Tuesday through Friday, from 11am to 2:30pm. You’ll just need to print the coupon and bring it in between now and the end of June.

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The ever-cheerful ~LOLÓ~ has started serving lunch on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30am-3pm, which is especially tempting with the new (and sunny) parklet they have just outside the restaurant. Dishes include a tuna or carnitas tostada, or the famous shrimp and jicama “tacos,” which are only $10 and come with a choice of side, like guacamole or three different salads. They’ll be adding more days soon.

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Why reinvent the wheel, when Mister Archer already came up with this ~VERY THOROUGH LIST~ of where to watch World Cup games? Check it out.

A few addendums: ~PUBLIC HOUSE~ will be airing the games (hello, it has 23 TVs!) and running some fun promotions throughout World Cup. Check the On Deck section of the Public House website for the daily World Cup viewing plan and hours. For the early morning bigger tournament games, Public House will offer Mijita food and bar service during those hours. As for the promos, wear a jersey from any team playing in the World Cup, order the Daily Grind burger, and get a side of hand-cut fries, onion rings, or chips on the house. Mijita will also be launching a special World Cup torta menu on June 12th, from a fried chicken sandwich to a Sloppy José, with slow-cooked top round on chile guajillo sauce with refried black beans, iceberg lettuce, queso fresco, and a side of escabeche.

~TACOLICIOUS~ will be open early and serving breakfast for all of the USA and Mexico games. The first is on Friday June 11th at 6:30am. You’ll be able to take your pick from two different $10 breakfast specials (either a shot of El Jimador reposado, with a can of Tecate, and your choice of a taco con huevos y rajas or taco tejano gringo—or you can swap the booze with a cafe con leche and an agua fresca del día). Oh, and their new fryer means churros are on the menu, cuidado!

Just this last Sunday marked the launch of the ~FORT MASON CENTER FARMERS’ MARKET~. The market will occur every Sunday through October, 9:30am-1:30pm. (And for the record, it will be open on July 4th.)

~RODGER’S COFFEE & TEA~ in the Mission is known for having one of the largest selections of coffees (over 25) and teas (over 20) that customers can choose from. Every Saturday during the month of June, they are offering a warm weather-friendly and free promo: you’ll be able to choose from a number of different iced tea lattes. The time of the free promo will run from noon to 1pm. 3520a 20th St. at San Carlos.

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Meatpaper and Blue Bottle meet up again for a tasting at SFMOMA’s Rooftop Garden café as part of the museum’s third Thursday springtime event series, ~SFMOMA: NOW PLAYING~, (the main museum events run from 6pm-9:45pm). Local chefs will be creating dishes and desserts featuring edible flowers; chefs include Morgan Maki and Linh Phu of Bi-Rite
, Chris Kronner of Bar Tartine
, Leif Hedendal
, and Leah Rosenberg of Blue Bottle. Complimentary beverages will include wine by Scribe Winery
 and beer by Trumer Pils. The rooftop event is free with half-price museum entry. (Free for SFMOMA members.) 
Tasting plates are $5. 
 
There will be a screening of artists’ home movies in the 
Phyllis Wattis Theater. And Chris Johanson, who leads the Mission group, The 17th & Capps, will animate the atrium while launching his collaborative project with THE THING Quarterly.

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Are you a home cook or home gardener with something to show off? Sign up by June 9th to enter a fruit pie, picnic basket for two, preserved food, home food gardening, plus other items at the ~URBAN EATS~ tent at the Giants County Fair on June 20th. Contest winners receive two tickets to an SF Giants game and will have their picture featured on the 7x7 magazine website. Be one of the first 20 people to tell them you heard about it from “the tablehopper” at the bottom of your entry form, and you’ll also get $5 toward your next shopping trip at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Contest rules (San Francisco residents or students only), and entry forms available here.

On Thursday June 10th, ~DRESS FOR SUCCESS SAN FRANCISCO~ will celebrate its fifth year serving the local community with an annual fundraiser themed Success: You Wear it Well. Party-goers will enjoy tastes from San Francisco female chefs (Bridget Batson, Gitane; Sarah Burchard, Barbacco; Janine Falvo, Carneros Bistro; Jennie Lorenzo, Fifth Floor; Sharon Nahm, E&O Trading Company; and Lisa Shaver, Pastry Chef, Wente Vineyards), along with music from DJ Jenny Shu. The fall preview fashion show will feature three San Francisco-based clothing companies: Banana Republic, Gymboree, and Christopher Collins. There will also be Ketel One cocktails, Champagne by Domaine Carneros, and wines by La Crema, plus a live and silent auction (where you’ll find a signed tablehopper book, hello!). The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

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Yelp photo from Albert B.

When ~POLENG LOUNGE~ closed, I know I was not the only one to lament chef Timothy Luym’s adobo chicken wings flying away. Well, you can find that favorite dish and more at ~ATTIC~ in San Mateo, a two-level spot near the Century Theaters, where Luym is the consulting chef. “Under Attic” is the small bar area and communal table on the ground level serving bar bites and craft cocktails by Nicholas Feather, and the upstairs dining room, “Attic,” is a full-service restaurant with a bar, lounge seating, and a private dining room and patio for events. New dishes coming on the menu include a roasted pork jowl salad, sizzling bulalo (bone-in beef shank with bone marrow gravy), and ask about the secret lamb adobo.

 Open Tue-Sat 5:30pm-10pm, bar hours 4pm to close. 
234 South B St. at 3rd Ave., San Mateo
, 650-342-4506.

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Suddenly Marin County is getting all kinds of restaurant action. The first one to note is the opening of Scott Howard’s ~BRICK & BOTTLE~ in Corte Madera (in the former Izzy’s Steak & Chops space). The comfort food-oriented menu includes a variety of pizzas from the wood stone oven; eight kinds of salads; a pimento cheeseburger (uh, yum); pastas like tagliatelle with English peas, bacon, and Parmesan cheese; and mains like rotisserie chicken and braised short ribs (most of the mains are around $20). (And no, I don’t see his carrot soup on the menu, I think chef needs a break.) The cocktail list is lengthy, with eight beers on tap. Hours are Mon-Fri 11:30am-10pm, Sat-Sun 11:30am-11pm, with weekend brunch 11:30am-2pm. 55 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, 415-924-3366.

Another newcomer is ~L’APPART RESTO~ in San Anselmo (in the former AVA) from owners Olivier Souvestre and Bruno Denis of Sausalito’s Le Garage. Look for a casual menu of French fare made with local ingredients, including smoked herring with parsnip potato blinis and shaved artichokes, or a main of butter-poached halibut with sunchoke croquettes and green tomato confiture. Dinner is served Mon-Sat; lunch and brunch are slated to come soon. 636 San Anselmo Ave. at Tamalpais, San Anselmo, 415-256-9884.

Another newbie is ~MILL VALLEY BEERWORK BREWERY AND BEER CAFÉ~ (read all about it on UrbanDaddy) from brothers Justin and Tyler Catalana. They will be handcrafting beers on site (coming soon), plus they offer a large selection of imported and local microbrews (almost 100). You can also get other fizzy items like housemade kombucha, ginger ale, and rootbeer. The menu is simple: fresh pretzels, salumi, and cheese plates, plus fresh salads, and a sandwich. Starting next week, hours will be 10am-12am nightly (open at 3pm this week). 173 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley, 415-336-3596.

Not too long ago I mentioned ~DISH~, the new casual spot in Mill Valley from Peter Schumacher (Buckeye Roadhouse, Bungalow 44). Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served, and the eclectic menu will include California ethnic food made with local ingredients, ranging from Italian dishes to Moroccan meatballs. 507 Miller Ave., Mill Valley, 415-388-3474.

Oh, and there has been one closure: the ~E&O TRADING CO.~ location in Larkspur has closed.

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~THE BERKELEY DINING PASSPORT~ just launched June 2nd, offering a year of discounts and special offers at more than 20 top Berkeley restaurants. Berkeley Dining Passports are $20. and are available at all participating restaurants and online (you can also pick one up at the Visit Berkeley Information Center, 2030 Addison St., Suite 102; 510-549-7040). Participating restaurants include: Adagia, Anh Hong, Bistro Liaison, Breads of India, Cafe Platano, Caffe Venezia, Cioccolata di Vino, eVe, Digs Bistro, Filippos, FIVE, Henry’s Gastropub, King Tsin, Kirala, La Rose Bistro, Rick and Ann’s, Riva Cucina, Taste of the Himalayas, Thai Delight, Trattoria Corso, and Zatar. Offers range from free corkage, appetizers, and desserts, to dollars off and discounts, and the passport is good for one full year. There is no limit on the number of times Berkeley Dining Passports can be used until May 31st, 2011. A portion of passport sales will benefit the Berkeley Food & Housing Project.

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