July 13, 2010

July 13, 2010
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Citizen’s Band, photo by Jennifer Yin.

Things in SoMa just keep on happening: opening this week, next door to Pinkie’s Bakery, is ~CITIZEN’S BAND~ (as in CB radio). The CB also stands for the partners’ initials (chef Chris Beerman, and pastry chef Cheryl Burr). A third channel on the radio is managing partner Boris Nemchenok, who is also co-owner of Uva Enoteca. It’s a tight space, with room for 40 in all: there are tables along the side wall, and a small counter with room for 12. I went to a pre-opening party on Sunday and got a peek at Lauren Geremia’s playful and vintage “fine diner” design, with vintage postcards and magazine ads on the wall. Also be sure to peek at the stacks of CB radios above the entrance.

Beerman’s menu is like a trucker’s gourmet diner of dreams, with items like frank and beans ($7) elevated with Fra’ Mani sausage and Iacopi Farms butter beans, or mac and cheese ($8) finished with shaved summer black truffle. There are four salads, including a Cobb; a trio of potato, macaroni, and slaw; a wedge; and mixed greens; but all have a little gourmet flair, like the potato salad contains pancetta, and the Cobb has shaved egg. Mains include fried chicken ($17) (of course), a grilled Berkshire pork chop ($18), pot roast ($20), which is actually braised short ribs, and a Snake River Farms American Kobe burger ($13) with house-cut fries. There’s also a vegetarian special, and some vegetable sides for $3.50. Save room for dessert, since Burr’s sour cream cheesecake or chocolate sea salt truffle cake (all $6.50) shouldn’t be passed like some weird-looking hitchhiker on the interstate (she’s also making the hamburger’s challah bun, and bread). Nemchenok has made some nice picks for the all-domestic wine list, with 14 by the glass, ranging from CA to WA. Bottles clock in from $20 to $60. It opens for dinner tonight, Tuesday July 13th. Hours are Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm. Stand by for lunch and brunch soon. (I wonder if the hours will be 10-4?)

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Exterior photo from Radius.

Opening for dinner this Wednesday night is the other half of ~RADIUS~, the dining room side. During my SoMa meanderings on Sunday night, I took a peek and couldn’t believe the transformation from the former Julie’s Supper Club. All that really remains is the bar, which is completely redone and now lit from underneath. Actually, some other remnants from Julie’s do remain: the owners wanted to reuse as many materials as possible after the remodel, so the tables are actually pieces from Julie’s original dancefloor (don’t worry, all the accumulated layers of dirt, beer, vodka, cocaine, and gum are long gone). The floors at Radius are now concrete, and there’s even a poured concrete bench that is heated using hydronic tubing. The front part of the room is open for now (seating 50), and when access to the back area is added shortly, it will tally to 80 seats total. There’s also discussion of opening the patio for brunch, but for now it’s all about lunchtime access via the neighboring café.

Chef Kelly Hughett’s Cal-Med/French menu includes starters like chilled watermelon gazpacho ($7.50), with sheep’s milk feta and tomato; and glazed asparagus ($8.50), with a soft-boiled farm egg, maitake mushrooms, and country bread; entrées include olive-studded halibut ($24), with braised and raw lettuces, artichoke, olives, preserved lemon; and rabbit ballotine and rillette ($15), with a petite herb salad, country bread, sherry, and rabbit vinaigrette. Delicious-sounding menu, no? You can also round things out with a charcuterie board, oysters, and a variety of cheeses. (And like the restaurant’s name, all the ingredients are very local.) One dessert option is the Ritual Coffee pot de crème ($7), with dark chocolate gelato, cocoa nibs, and caramel tuile. Hours are Tue-Wed 5:30pm-11pm, and Thu-Sat 5:30pm-12am.

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Local Mission Eatery dining room. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

After closing for a short summer break, ~LOCAL MISSION EATERY~ is back open today, and offering a new dinner program starting this Friday July 16th. There’s a new dinner menu, with the option to order dishes à la carte. Some examples include chilled corn soup, gnocchi with house-pulled mozzarella, sweetbreads, and chicken roulade, all available in smaller or larger portions (maxing out at $25). You can look at the entire menu here. Their beer and wine license also kicked in, so there’s a nice new list for you to taste from. Dinner is now Wed-Sat 5:30pm-10pm, lunch is now Tue-Fri 11am-3pm, and weekend brunch/lunch is all day from 10am-3pm.

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The popular Alfred’s burger.

I got a tip from a colleague over at the Marina Times about changes at the historic ~ALFRED’S STEAKHOUSE~: Al Petri’s son, Marco, is going to be taking over the business. Yup, after working there for 37 years, Al is going to enjoy life outside of the restaurant. (Good for him.) Marco, 31, doesn’t plan to change anything—he appreciates the old-school steak-and-martini atmosphere just as it is.

In the “free lunch” category, next Tuesday July 20th, you can swing by ~ZOG’S DOGS~ and score a free hot dog since they’re celebrating their first birthday. Just print off the coupon here. 1 Post St. at Montgomery, 415-391-7071.

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Cabbage photo from Green Coriander.

Looking for a new lunch spot in the Mission? Swing by La Provence restaurant and you’ll be able to have a prix-fixe Indian lunch cooked by Paawan Kothari of ~GREEN CORIANDER~, all made with organic ingredients and a healthy perspective. Lunch includes dal (as soup), cumin rice (white or brown basmati), served with an organic vegetable side, and choice of protein (organic chicken, tofu, or paneer), plus chai (by The Chai Cart) and cookies (by Sweet Constructions). The dishes will rotate weekly, so check the website to see the menu for the week. Lunch ranges from $11.95-$13.95. An à la carte menu is also available for take-out or delivery. Lunch service is Tue-Fri, and starts at 11:30am; chai will be available from 10am onwards. 1001 Guerrero St. at 22nd St.

In the good news department, you’ll now be seeing Katharine Zacher, previously half of the “Gypsy Kitchen” duo at Bruno’s and Broken Record, doing her thing as the pastry chef at ~BAR TARTINE~. She’s only had a few days there so far, so you can expect to see her new dessert menu more in place in a week or so. One thing she is doing right now is making pie. Uh huh: summer fruit in effect—there’s peach pie on the menu right now. And she might start making pie for Tartine Bakery, stand by on that.

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Here’s Sunshine.

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Meet Veronique, a lovely tart.

Yeah, it’s dangerous to know the sugar pimp. While I was home toiling away on my column yesterday, my friend Gabriel Mitchell of ~MAISON MITCHELL~ came by, springing his latest tarty treats on me. First, there was Veronique, a wicked combo of strawberries, chocolate, pistachio frangipane, crème légère, and a sablé crust, and Sunshine, made with lemon cream and lemon confit—talk about putting a little sunshine in my day. (They were so pretty I had to include pics of both. Why yes, I did eat a slice of each.)

You can order these little hussies for $20 for a six-inch tart, or $30 for an eight-and-a-half-inch tart, and the sugar pimp will hook you up. He’s also been working on some sick new jam flavors: strawberry and pinot, blackberry and star anise, rhubarb and vanilla (uh, one of the tastiest jams I have encountered in a while), and fig and bay (coming soon); $12 for a hefty 9 oz. jar. I am officially jacked up.

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Photo of chef Steve Scarabosio by Mathew Sumner.

Let’s hear it for ~SCOMA’S~: in May, Scoma’s customers and employees raised $7,000 for Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. And now, they’re ready to launch a second fundraiser to further assist the Gulf cleanup and support our fishermen on a local level.

On Thursdays (July 15th, 22nd, and 29th), one hundred percent of the proceeds from the restaurant’s popular Triple Play lunch menu will be donated to United Commercial Fisherman’s Association, Louisiana, and Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen, San Francisco. The Triple Play lunch menu is just $23.95, including complimentary valet parking. Lunch is served 11:30am-3:30pm daily.

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Flickr photo from Euthman.

This Wednesday July 14th is ~BASTILLE DAY~, when there are all kinds of party options around town, in addition to the usual madness that happens on Belden Place.

~RN74~ is hosting a party from 7pm to midnight, with French burlesque dancers, guests in costume (you get a free cocktail, so try to dig up some burlesque fashions), and oysters and French pastries for $1 each (don’t try eating them together). There will be a costume contest, with the winners receiving a gift certificate for dinner for two at RN74. DJs Julius Papp and Pedro Notori will be playing mid-tempo house and French dance music. No cover. RSVP is requested by emailing here. RN74 Atrium, 301 Mission St. at 1st St., 415-543-7474.

~BAKER STREET BISTRO~ will be offering a special of $30 all-you-can-eat mussels and fries, and $3 beer specials are available all day. There will be a live accordionist in the evening. Reservations accepted. 2953 Baker St. at Lombard, 415-931-1475.

~GRAND CAFÉ BRASSERIE AND BAR~ is hosting their usual big bash, and there will be a Marie Antoinette to greet you at the door and offer some complimentary cake, and the accordion players kick in at 4pm. There is a special bar menu of boeuf Bourguignon, sweet baguette, and a glass of French Burgundy house wine for $17.89, to honor the year of the storming of the Bastille. There will also be a prix-fixe menu (with a number of options to choose from) in the dining room for $53, with an optional wine pairing for an additional $22. 501 Geary St. at Taylor, 415-292-0101.

~CAV WINE BAR & KITCHEN~ will be selling French wine with 40 percent off, and 50 percent off on bottles to go. 1666 Market St. at Gough, 415-437-1770.

Over at ~GOTT’S ROADSIDE~ in the Ferry Building (and at the St. Helena location), you can head over during lunch or happy hour (12pm-2pm and 5pm-7pm) for a mushroom and Gruyère burger ($9.99), paired with a glass of the limited 2007 Métisse “Le Chatelet” from Melka Wines, which will be available for $12.50 a glass (this wine is not in distribution and is normally only sold to the Melka mailing list for $125/bottle). Philippe Melka will be in attendance. 1 Ferry Building, 415-318-3423.

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Copyright © 2006-10 FrankenyImages.com.

Coming up on Wednesday July 21st at ~ORSON~ is Beast, Booze & Backs. It’s going to be a meaty menu, paired with wine, beer, or a cocktail by Carl Grubbs, and then each pairing is backed up with a special shot that ties it all together.

Here’s the menu (and don’t ask me to explain the road kill):

Black sugar-glazed eel, watermelon, and sake rice cream
Iced Belvedere Citron and kombucha back

Road kill and cavatelli, rabbit sugo, rosemary, leek ash
Bourbon infused with bacon and pickle back

Bacon-wrapped boar, cipollini, creamed corn, ancho jus
Tequila or mezcal with cilantro-lime-agave mash and beer back

Cookie “Monster”
Fernet and ice milk back

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Photo from foragesf.com.

…then you might want to book a Wild Edible Walk with ~FORAGESF~. On these guided walks, you will learn to identify some of the wild edibles you see every day, with a focus on sustainable harvesting techniques, recipes, as well as the history of foraging in the Bay Area. Each walk lasts about two hours, and covers a good deal of the wild edibles that are abundant in our area. They are held in parks in San Francisco and the East Bay, and you will get the exact location when you get a ticket ($30 per person):

San Francisco Walks:
August 7th, 12pm-2pm: buy tickets
August 15, 2pm-4pm: buy tickets
August 29th, 2pm-4pm: buy tickets

East Bay Walks:
August 21st, 2pm-4pm: buy tickets  

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Coming up on Monday July 26th is a ~BACK ALLEY BBQ~ benefit that BayWolf is throwing with their neighbors, Commis, in BayWolf’s backyard and Commis’s alley. Louis LeGassic of BayWolf and James Syhabout of Commis will be grilling up some good backyard grub, served with sangria and a few draft brews. Proceeds go to the People’s Grocery of West Oakland. (The event organizers are mainly focusing their invitation to the East Bay restaurant industry, but all are welcome.)

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Exterior photo from Locanda da Eva.

Berkeley’s ~LOCANDA DA EVA~ is scheduled to open on Tuesday July 20th, in the former Casa de Eva space (it also housed Zax Tavern and Maritime East). To recap, the project is from Robert Lauriston (yes, the frequent Chowhound poster), and partner-chef Huw Thornton (most recently an executive sous at SPQR under Nate Appleman, and two-and-a-half years at A16). Rounding out the team is GM Matt Derrick and consulting bartender Jacqueline Patterson.

There will be a daily-changing menu, which is mostly Italian with some additional Mediterranean flair, and featuring choice local and sustainable ingredients. There will be a variety of pizzas cooked in the wood-burning oven, like a bianca with robiola and onions; along with dishes like pork trotter crépinettes with Padrón pepper and corn salsa; pastas like rigatoni alla pastora with spicy lamb sausage, basil, sheep’s milk ricotta, and pecorino; and mains like chicken scaloppine with green pepper peperonata or pork loin saltimbocca with apricot mostarda. Desserts will include housemade gelati and sorbetti, as well as fruit-based desserts. There will be 20 to 25 wines by the glass (mostly ranging from $5-$10), plus a reserve list that will eventually grow to around 100 bottles, which will include both local and domestic producers. You can peek at some photos of the project on their Facebook page. Hours will be Tue-Sat 5pm-12am, Sun 5pm-10pm, with a bar menu after 10pm.

If you’d like a sneak peek of the space before it opens next week, and a taste of Patterson’s cocktails, come by the pre-opening party this Friday July 16th for local artist Laura Hoffman, whose work is featured in the space. The party is from 6pm-8pm, and is free and open to the public (but it’s a no-host bar). A couple of cocktails on the menu include the Tilden Park Swizzle (Rhum J.M. Blanc, lime, honey, passionfruit syrup, Luxardo Maraschino, $9) and the Boothby Manhattan (Wild Turkey Rye 101, Carpano Antica, Angostura and orange bitters, sparkling wine, $9). You can also purchase wines from Locanda da Eva’s new wine list, and Oakland’s new Urban Legends Cellars will be pouring free tastes of its wines.

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