September 10, 2010

September 10, 2010
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Photo from Urban Daddy.

Yeah, it’s another week of big openings. New York import Anthony Mangieri is hopefully opening his much-discussed and anticipated ~UNA PIZZA NAPOLETANA~ on Wednesday September 15th, and here’s what you need to know: he just makes enough dough for 150 pies a day, there are only four to choose from (no substitutions), no takeout or slices, and the pizzeria is open from Wednesday through Saturday, starting at 5pm. There will also be some southern Italian wines on the list, a few beers, and a Neapolitan coffee. You can check out some pics of the spare look (and absolutely beautiful turquoise pizza oven from Naples) in this slideshow from Grub Street. The interior features many handmade and artistic touches, and you know those 32 seats are going to be in high demand. (Thanks to Grub Street and Urban Daddy for the additional deets.)

The Bacar location’s transition into ~ALEXANDER’S STEAKHOUSE~ is almost complete, with the restaurant opening on Monday. If you’re familiar with owner JC Chen’s original Cupertino location, then you know to expect some swanky steaks—exclusive wagyu in the house! Chef Jeffrey Stout will also be putting out a variety of Japanese-influenced dishes, from hamachi shooters to griddled shortribs with unagi (Inside Scoop has links to the menu here, here, here, and here are the steaks). The steaks aren’t the only things that are spendy; the arctic char really is $36, and the Maine lobster is clocking in at $65. There’s also a nine-course tasting menu for $155. Wine director Eric Entrikin, a Master Sommelier, is in charge of the wine list and bar program. Time to dust off that Amex Black card. 448 Brannan St. at 3rd St., 415-495-1111.

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One of the custom tables.

If inspections and permits cooperate, ~THE SUMMIT~ will be open next week, hopefully on Wednesday September 15th. The project from Poleng Lounge’s Desi Danganan is going to function on a variety of levels: there’s a counter-service café; a gallery with rotating art shows; and the space was designed to also host meetings and events. There are about 70 seats, with a range of seating options, from a communal bar table to large, lounge-y low tables.

Chef Eddie Lau (Poleng Lounge, Orson, 4505 Meats’ catering) is putting together a menu of modern interpretations of brasserie-style dishes. Look for a made-from-scratch approach to everything, with excellent ingredient sourcing. They’re starting with about eight items, and expanding the menu in a couple of weeks. A couple dishes include Chocolate Pork Beans (slow-cooked Llano Seco pork, Italian butter beans from Iacopi, house San Marzano tomato paste made with romas from Full Belly); and The Chicken Trio (sautéed hearts and beets, sous vide chicken thigh roll, bourbon liver mousse, featuring Petaluma farm chicken and County Line beets).

The opening guest pastry chef is Gabriel Mitchell of Maison Mitchell, and there will be coffee from Blue Bottle. Alex Fox is consulting on and curating the wine and beer program, which will include suggested pairings for menu items. Hours are Sun-Mon 8am-11pm and Tue-Sat 8am-2am; within that timing, pastries are available 8am-5pm, the lunchtime menu is from 10:30am-3pm, dinner is 5:30pm-11pm, and dessert service is 10:30pm-2am (Tue-Sat).

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Prospect’s main dining room: booths and banquette seating. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

A ruptured HVAC tube temporarily flooded and shut down ~PROSPECT~ on August 29th, but it looks like the restaurant will be reopening for dinner service on September 11th. It was a brand-new pipe in the air conditioning system that burst, dousing the space in three inches of water. The reclaimed white oak flooring got warped, and it was tough to re-source it, mill it, and install it. In the good news department, the staff has been working on the new brunch menu, which will be launching Sunday October 3rd.

~ICHI SUSHI~ is gearing up to open soon in the former Yo’s Sushi Club space in outer Bernal Heights, maybe even by the weekend. Hubby-wife team, Tim and Erin Archuleta (who writes the hardhat column for tablehopper) are hard at work prepping the itty-bitty 20-seater. The menu will feature ICHI’s award-winning sushi, and a small menu of hot plates featuring sustainable and organic meats. (They’ll rotate the menu seasonally.) Some dishes include broiled hamachi kama kasu (the kama is cubed and marinated in sake lees—the leftover rice after making sake—for at least three days and broiled to perfection, and served with pickled cucumber), and a shiso-pesto somen salad. And about those pickles: they are housemade rice bran (nuka) pickles.

ICHI will feature local wines on tap (by the carafe or half-carafe!), bottled local faves from Skylark and Hirsch, and local beer from 21st Amendment on tap. Not ignoring their Japanese needs, Asahi will also be on tap, and there will be a broad range of sakes to pair with your meal. Once they open, hours will be Sun-Thu 5:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-11pm. 3369 Mission St. at Godeus, 415-525-4750.

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A couple little birdies told me Luce’s chef, Dominique Crenn, was going to be opening her own project, Atelier, in the PlumpJack Cafe space, but I was told to keep my maw shut. No matter, since the word is now out: she is aiming to open ~ATELIER CRENN~ this December. Crenn will be offering a modern French prix-fixe menu (three courses for $55, five for $65, and a tasting menu for $95) that will allow diners to pick and choose dishes. Reportedly Nancy Nielsen will be designing the space with a European sensibility, with 40 seats in the dining room and 20 in the private dining room. In the meantime, Crenn will stay on at Luce during the transition. 3127 Fillmore St. at Greenwich.

While I was away, I received an email from the talented Jennie Lorenzo that she was leaving ~FIFTH FLOOR~. No word on where she’ll be next, but she is popping up as a guest chef tonight in a bustaurant called Le Truc. She will be cooking there in tonight’s Off the Grid. Stand by for more soon.

The Inside Scoop reports chef Daniel Guerrini has left ~EOS RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR~ after an (almost) 10-year run. His last day will be the end of October; they are currently searching for a replacement. 901 Cole St. at Carl, 415-566-3063.

Also reported: Erica Holland-Toll is leaving her chef position at ~DUCCA~, and she reportedly had “a new project waiting in the wings.” 50 3rd St. at Market, 415-977-0271.

Over in the Sunset, ~SOCIAL KITCHEN & BREWERY~ has hired a new chef, Huy Nguyen. His background includes working as a sous chef at Grace Restaurant (Hollywood), pastry chef at Abacus Restaurant (Dallas), and caterer on rock band tours (no word on who). He will be revamping the menu, improving dishes, and adding new ones inspired by cuisine à la bière, the idea that beer has a role in kitchen (and no, this doesn’t mean in the chef’s hand) as well as a place at the table. And he’s putting his pastry background to work, adding a dessert menu with treats like a chocolate torte with roasted malt-infused crème anglaise.

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Citizen’s Band, photo by Jennifer Yin.

A few new brunch options for you: ~SPIRE~ is serving brunch Sundays from 11am-3pm. Some items on the menu include sweet potato Benedict with slow poached eggs, a soul food plate with waffle fried chicken and corn bread, and sweet bourbon bread pudding (dishes range from $9-$13). They’re also offering bottomless mimosas for $10.

Also in SoMa, Eater reports ~CITIZEN’S BAND~ started serving lunch during the week (with dishes like Cobb salad, fried chicken, fish and chips), and brunch is coming on Saturday (challah French toast, fried chicken and eggs, and corned beef hash).

And over in the Mission, ~HOG & ROCKS~ is starting 
weekend brunch, like buckwheat beer pancakes, a toad-in-the-hole sandwich with Mornay sauce, and a BLT made with lamb belly. The bar will be pouring healing numbers like Bloody Marys and Ramos Gin Fizzes. Sat-Sun 9am-2:30pm.

Down in Los Gatos, Grub Street reports pastry chef Deanie Hickox (Ubuntu) has left ~MANRESA~, and will be working with Daniel Patterson and Bill Corbett at Coi, and the upcoming Plum and Bracina. Meanwhile, Belinda Leong (Restaurant Gary Danko, plus numerous places in Europe, like Pierre Hermé in Paris and Noma in Copenhagen) is Manresa’s new pastry chef.

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Photo by Sammy Todd Dyess.

Soon after I’m home from France and shake off the jet lag, I will be zipping up to Bardessono on Thursday September 30th for an evening of cocktails, book signing, and restaurant chatting. Charbay is going to be featuring the Plum Twisted cocktail (Doubled & Twisted Light Whiskey, Canton Ginger Liqueur, a Santa Rosa plum, lemon juice, and simple syrup), created by Tomas Estes. The $20 ticket includes a signed copy of my book, a drink, and hors d’oeuvres by Bardessono chef Sean O’Toole, who is going to be preparing some gazpacho, aji amarillo chicken wings, a spot prawn cocktail with spicy tomato syrup and horseradish panna cotta, and jamón ibérico de bellota with Hill Family farm tomato. Yeah, kind of hard to beat, so come on by!

The event is from 5pm-7pm. There is also a special $399 room rate available for tablehopper readers if you feel like splurging on an overnight visit (and trust me, you do—the place is dreamy)! Let’s enjoy the Indian Summer—see you there! 6526 Yount St., Yountville, 877-932 5333 (hotel).

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Photo of Brittany Crepe from the Homegrown Marin Market.

Since my inbox was absolutely overrun with event announcements, I thought I’d keep it simple and mention a few briefly in case something catches your eye (heck, if I was around, I’d want to go to all of these!):

Tuesday September 14th, Peko Peko is staying up late with Tartine Bakery, and will serve snacks, craft sake, and icy cold Japanese beer from 8pm until midnight. On the menu: hot dashimaki tamago, little fried fish, tomato-y dashi aspic, simmered chicken meatballs, and salted fresh-picked edamame. Tartine Bakery, 600 Guerrero St. at 18th St.

On Wednesday September 15th, Boobs4Food SF presents Boobs, Baos & Bloodhounds!, a happy hour benefiting Meals On Wheels SF. The Chairman Bao Truck will pull up in front of Bloodhound, and Beefeater Brand Ambassador Erick Castro (former bar manager of Rickhouse) will be doing up some drinks as they celebrate one year of volunteering to fight hunger! 5pm-9pm. 1145 Folsom St. at 7th St.

On Thursday September 16th, Meatpaper and Blue Bottle will meet up again at SFMOMA’s Rooftop Garden café for a tasting of coffee-inspired charcuterie, meat-inspired desserts, and Blue Bottle coffee as part of the museum’s evening event series, SFMOMA: Now Playing. You’ll be able to tastes dishes and desserts by Chris Kronner of Bar Tartine, Brandon Jew of Bar Agricole, Chad Arnold of Adesso, and Leah Rosenberg of Blue Bottle, along with complimentary beverages (wine by Scribe Winery and beer by Trumer Pils). 6pm-8pm; free with half-price museum entry. (Free for SFMOMA members.) Tasting plates are $5.

On Saturday September 18th, the Homegrown Marin Market returns, from 12pm-6pm. The sellers at the Market are cooks from around the Bay Area, offering everything from Fat Alley gumbo, to Saucy Dumplings, seasonal tarts, flavored butters and jams, garden-inspired sorbets, Butter Love pies, Brittany crêpes, vegan German currywurst, and more. $5 admission. Studio 333, 333a Caledonia St., Sausalito.

On Monday, September 20th, the talented photographer/cook Eric Wolfinger will host Open Kitchen in the Annex, a very special globetrotting dinner at Outerlands to celebrate an exhibition of Eric’s work at the nearby Carville Annex and to benefit Mari-Med, an organization bringing health care and medical training to post-quake Haiti. For every dinner ticket sold, Mari-Med can deliver basic healthcare to 18 people. Details and more here.

Daunting, right? That’s the average amount food stamp recipients have to spend. Yeah, I know, how can you eat a healthy and filling diet on that amount? So maybe you’re up to the challenge to try spending a week (or even just a day) living in somebody else’s shoes? Sign up to participate here—it’s free! The SF Food Bank’s Hunger Challenge runs from September 12th-18th. And I seriously tip my cap to anyone who tries this!

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On Tuesday September 14th, the second annual ~TASTE OF TEMESCAL~ is happening, a culinary crawl of sorts. If you buy a $30 ticket (there are only 450!), you’ll be able to visit a number of restaurants, like Bakesale Betty, Pizzaiolo, SR24, and Doña Tomas for bites and drinks. There will also be live music and prizes. The event benefits a number of organizations, including schools and the Lion Center for the Blind. The event is on Telegraph Avenue between 43rd and 51st from 6pm-8:30pm. Two pedicabs will be available to transport participants back and forth down the Avenue. 510-860-7327.