December 21, 2010

December 21, 2010

So, it looks like Original Joe’s will not be moving into the former Moose’s/Joey & Eddie’s after all: it’s time for the ladies to take over instead. Inside Scoop reports Anna Weinberg and Jennifer Puccio of ~MARLOWE~ are going to be partnering with Dave Stanton and taking over the space. The deal is really fresh, so the restaurant doesn’t have a name yet, but it will be like a bigger “brasserie version” of Marlowe, with sidewalk seating, along with a more casual café for walk-in diners. Look for an opening in the summer of 2011. 1652 Stockton St. at Union.

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Mural by Michael Brennan. All photos by Blair Sneddon Photography.

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A round table built for group dining.

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View of the dining room.

After being closed for almost two years, the PJ’s Oyster Bed space is finally coming back alive with ~PASIÓN~ from chef-owner Jose Calvo-Perez and family (behind local fave Fresca, which has three locations throughout the city). They are aiming to open by December 30th, and with the full bar, you know the pisco will be flowing (there will also be an extensive wine list). The 55-seat establishment has been updated with a chic, modern look, including a bar/lounge area, and a mural by Michael Brennan (no scary Pinocchio in this one, however). In fact, the lounge area in the front, which features about 10 seats and low tables, will be open “after hours” for drinks until 2am Fri-Sat.

Chef Calvo-Perez tells me the menu of modern Latin cuisine will feature good sourcing and ingredients. It includes a wide selection from the ceviche bar, like the Julianna ($12) with eastern fluke, prickly pear mojito juice, mint, rocoto-yuzu juice, and purple corn; erizos y tiradito ($12) with hamachi, sea urchin, basil, rocoto pepper, sesame seeds, pepper, pickled jicama, and Andean corn; and langosta ($15) with Maine lobster, avocado, chives, sweet aji, garlic, tarragon, and plantain chips (you’ll be able to order three kinds for $18, and four for $24). Appetizers range from $9-$14, with dishes like a crispy cangrejo salad ($12) of Dungeness crab, jicama, chayote, green apple, radish, butternut squash, toasted pepita seeds, and pomegranate, and buñuelos de bacalao ($10), salt cod fritters with romesco sauce and honey-lemon aioli.

Mains include some seafood dishes, like paella ($22) and lenguado ($26), which is sautéed halibut, crispy risotto cake, saffron cream, mushrooms, olive tapenade, and piquillo pepper sauce. Meat and poultry ($20-$32) will benefit from the wood-burning grill, with dishes like pollo a la brasa ($20), free range rotisserie chicken, blue potato mash, “solterito” salad, and huancaina sauce; and arroz con pato ($22), rum-cured duck breast, duck confit verde rice, green pea velouté, sarsa criolla, and tomatillo-jalapeño marmalade. There are also a variety of vegetable side dishes ($5-$6), which include yuca fries and tostones (fried green plantains). Lunch will be served Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, dinner Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-12am, and brunch Sat-Sun 10am-3pm.

It’s not January yet, but already word of a couple closures is here. Mission Mission reports the live music venue ~CODA~ will be closing on January 1st, “unless they get some miraculous financial help.”

I had to keep this one under my hat for a couple months, but I just received an official note from Joanna Karlinsky telling me that she (along with partner Victoria Smiser) are closing ~SWEET JO’S CAFE~ in the JCC at the end of January. Karlinsky will stay on as consulting executive chef to ensure a smooth transition to the new café that moves in and will start a restaurant consulting business, while Victoria will continue to take specialty cake orders. They are considering looking for smaller digs for just one or two of their brands: Lucky Dawg Ice Cream, Emma Peel’s Pizza Pie, Pressed Sandwiches, Jo-Jo To-Go, Confections Bakery, and of course, Meetinghouse Biscuits & Catering. 3200 California St. at Presidio.

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The Ex-Boyfriend (#27) at Ike’s; Yelp photo by Clarence A.

I am keeping this one short since I am sick to death of the story, but ~IKE’S PLACE~ got approval to build out and open in the former Joseph Schmidt space. And that’s all I’m writing about it until it opens, which should be sometime before February 1st. 3489 16th St. at Sanchez.

And ~WHOLE FOODS MARKET~ got approval to open in the triangular block on the southwest corner at Dolores, Market, and 14th Streets (the exact address is 2001 Market Street). The existing building (a Ford dealership) is going to be demolished, and will be replaced by a mixed-use residential-commercial building with 82 dwelling units (there will also be 101 off-street parking spaces located in two parking garages), with Whole Foods on the ground floor, along with outdoor seating. You can check out a rendering on Curbed here.

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Photo from Beast and the Hare’s Facebook page.

According to a post from ~BEAST AND THE HARE~, they started lunch service (it’s to go only) last week, with items like a barbecue pork belly sandwich; a bavette sandwich with sriracha aioli, sautéed greens, and curried onions on ciabatta; a smashed beet, house chèvre, ancho cress, and red wine vinaigrette sandwich; and a fried chicken and spicy slaw sandwich (all $7-$9). Lunch service is Mon and Wed-Fri, starting at 11am, and goes until they run out. (Note: closed Tuesdays.) There is also bike delivery for lunch coming soon.

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Cakes at Baker & Banker Bakery.

Just in case you didn’t have your fill at parties over the weekend, or you just don’t have time to bake one more thing, there are a few places around town offering some special holiday treats.

The ~BAKER & BANKER~ Bakery is putting out some holiday desserts, like a dark chocolate peppermint crunch layer cake (6” for $35, 10” for $50), eggnog cheesecake with gingersnap crust (6” for $22, 10” for $48), apple-pear pie with walnut crust, and Meyer lemon meringue pie. Call 415-351-2500.

Just in case you weren’t able to get enough people together for a tamalada, you can swing by either of the ~MIJITA~ locations to pick up pre-ordered tamales for Christmas. Mijita AT&T Park (415-644-0240) will be offering chicken and salsa verde tamales, pork and chile Colorado, rajas (roasted sweet peppers with Oaxaca cheese), or sweet tamales with golden raisins. Mijita Ferry Building (415-399-0814) will be offering chicken or vegetarian (cheese and poblano pepper) tamales. Tamales are $3 each or a dozen for $32 (flavors can be mixed and matched). A side of salsa verde is included in all tamale orders. Order at least 48 hours in advance and pick up at the Mijita location ordered from (AT&T Park Mijita requires 72-hour advance notice).

Joanna Karlinsky’s famous Meetinghouse biscuits are available for pickup every day this week from 8am-7pm at ~SWEET JO’S CAFE~ inside the Jewish Community Center. (Joanna will be making personal deliveries as the holidays get closer.)

Mayfield Bakery & Cafe, a sister restaurant to ~SPRUCE~, and baker of the delicious breads served there, is planning a special delivery of holiday treats on Christmas Eve. There will be bûche de Noël ($65
), panettone ($18.95
), stollen ($12), and a variety of pies (all pies are served in a Pyrex dish for you to keep). Here’s a PDF with the complete list. You can place your order by calling Mayfield Bakery at 650-853-9201 and be sure to mention that you would like to pick up your order at Spruce. The only day for delivery will be Friday December 24th between noon and 10:30pm, otherwise arrangements can be made for pickup at the Bakery in Palo Alto.

Now, what are you going to be drinking with all these treats? I was gifted a copy of the app “Holiday Cocktail Bar” (available for iPhone and Android) with easy-to-make recipes on it for holiday Champagne cocktails, punches, martinis, and toddies developed by Kim Haasarud. (I want to try the salted caramel mocha made with… tequila!) The app is available on iTunes for $1.99.

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Photo from Rigolo Café website.

Just in case you know any active soldiers in the U.S. military who are home for the holidays, they are invited to come to ~RIGOLO CAFÉ~ in Laurel Village for a complimentary meal (an entrée) between December 20th and December 31st. (And now the fine print: must show valid military ID and be currently active. Promotion is good for a one-­time visit and offered only to the individual soldier. Does not include beverages.) 3465 California St. at Locust, 415-876-7777.

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An event recap by Daisy Chow, tablehopper editorial assistant.

Perhaps you noticed some gorgeous petits fours in last week’s ‘Hopper Holiday Gift Guide? Well, the good folks at Sausalito-based Dragonfly Cakes also offer classes, and last Saturday, I had the good fortune to be invited to one of their ~PETITS FOURS CLASSES~.

Owner Brooks Coulson Nguyen started off the class with a brief intro to petits fours (these delectable little cakes are like mini layer cakes covered with marzipan and then dipped in chocolate), then demonstrated how to assemble the many layers, all while sharing handy tips on how to make ‘em at home. For the second half of the class, each of the dozen or so students got to dip and decorate as many petits fours as we wanted, choosing from flavors like raspberry and vanilla-orange cake and decorations made of modeling chocolate, not tooth-chipping gum paste. And if you’re like me, you bungle a couple pieces as an excuse to eat them! At the end of class, we got to take home all the fruits of our artistic labor, plus a recipe packet. (See photos from the class here.)

This is a fun class where you get lots of room to be creative without any of the hard work, like mixing, baking, or dish-washing. How nice. (And if you’re looking for a last-minute gift for the home-baker in your life, you can get them a gift certificate for upcoming classes here.)

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Morel, egg, and spinach salad. Photo by Nick Vasilopoulos.

There’s nothing quite like having a chef show you the ropes and teach you some kitchen tips. Husband-and-wife team Christopher and Veronica Laramie of ~EVE RESTAURANT~ in Berkeley are launching a series of cooking classes to be held on one Saturday a month. The class will be limited to 10 students, and will include the option to meet at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market at 10am to pick out produce for the day’s lessons (or you can opt to just be at the restaurant from 11am-2:30pm). Following the cooking class, you’ll sit down for a lunch featuring the dishes you learned to cook. Priced at $75 per person, each class will feature a different theme and involve learning different dedicated techniques, recipes, and the use of special ingredients. Here are the themes: Saturday January 29th: From the Winter Garden; Saturday February 26th: Couples in the Kitchen; and Saturday April 2nd: Peru Meets Bay Area. The sample lunch menu for January 29th includes liver pâté with country bread and pear-date butter, sous vide short rib with root vegetable ravioli, and chocolate soufflé with Meyer lemon and yogurt. To sign up, guests can reserve a spot by calling the restaurant at 510-868-0735. 1960 University Ave. at Milvia, Berkeley.

(One more note: the 28-seat eVe is hosting a special New Year’s Eve menu that highlights “good luck” food traditions and avoids serving any “bad luck” ingredients. The five-course dinner is priced at $70 and includes a glass of Champagne. There are three seatings at 5pm, 7:30pm, and 10pm.)