January 11, 2011

January 11, 2011
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Dish from Atelier Crenn; photo by Ron Armstrong.

Here’s a smörgåsbord of news tidbits for you:

Things are getting close for ~ATELIER CRENN~—the latest opening date is now Friday January 21st. You can expect a writeup in tablehopper next week, but in the meantime, here’s a copy of the menu for you to look at.

Sounds like ~THE BRIXTON~ is trying for a Friday opening. Will have the menu and more for you next week; didn’t have it in time for today’s posting. 2140 Union St. at Webster.

Starting this coming weekend, ~IRONSIDE~ in SoMa is launching weekend brunch from 10am-2pm. There’s a $16 bottomless brunch buffet, and $10 bottomless mimosas. And here’s a link to a flyer on Facebook (featuring some bottomless diners—but please, wear your pants to brunch, it’s cold out) that you can print to get bottomless mimosas for $5 (or a free Four Barrel coffee drink), expires February 13th.

Fellow fans of ~MISSION CHINESE FOOD~ should note that they are no longer open on Wednesdays (hours are Thu-Tue 11:30am-10:30pm). And sadly they are no longer taking reservations, but if your party is larger than four, you can still call ahead and give them a heads up so they can do their best to accommodate you.

It seems that ~JONES~ has temporarily closed. In fact, they never had their New Year’s Eve party. Seems there’s a holdup with their liquor license, stand by.

The Scoop reports that consultants Frank Klein and Chad Newton are taking over the food operations in the Jewish Community Center with Joanna Karlinsky’s departure there.

I was happy to learn on Thrillist that the ABC license I saw for ~KASUMI~ was not just for yet another crappy sushi place slinging unagi and rock ‘n’ rolls, but it’s actually a ramen place by day, and yakitori by night (including pork jowl, and bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms). The project is from the folks behind Shabu House in the Outer Richmond. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm and 5pm-10pm, Sun 5pm-10pm. 2608 Ocean Ave. at 19th Ave., 415-586-8800.

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Caffè Pascucci photo by Henrik Kam.

I have three updates on coffee-related news for you:

Over in SoMa/South Beach, ~CAFFÈ PASCUCCI~ opened on Monday. I previously mentioned this is the first U.S. location for this Italian coffeehouse that dates back to the 1800s. The menu will include over 20 kinds of savory and sweet coffee beverages, dessert drinks, yogurt-based smoothies, and frozen-specialty options (and here’s a tip for you: stop by and mention Daily Candy for a free drink of your choice this week!). As for the food menu by consultant Chad Newton, there is a variety of salads, plus a roasted Diestel turkey sandwich with Swiss cheese and walnut pesto ($7.95), a Pascucci “BLT” made with smoked Sonoma bacon and spicy black pepper mayo ($7.95), and panini like one made with local artisan cheese, caramelized onion, and fig jam ($7.95). Look for local purveyors like 4505 Meats, Fatted Calf, and North Beach’s French Italian Bakery on the menu. There are also some early evening snacks, like cured meat or cheese plates. Open Mon-Fri 6am-8pm, Sat-Sun 7am-7pm. 170 King St. at 3rd St., 415-957-1100.

~BAR AGRICOLE~ is now open for coffee service during the week, starting at 8am. On the menu: single origin coffee from Four Barrel, a Slayer espresso machine, laugenbrötchen (a German pretzel roll), housemade jams and apple butter, and free Wi-Fi. Here’s your latest cool spot for a breakfast meeting.

SFoodie announces that another Lambretta scooter-themed coffee kiosk, ~GRAND PRIX~, will be opening in Tillman Place in early February, just outside of Azul (near Grant). The menu is reportedly similar to others (like Vega), with Blue Bottle coffee and Goody Goodie treats. Hours will be Mon-Fri 7:30am-4pm, Sat-Sun 9am-3pm. 1 Tillman Pl. at Grant.

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Photo collage from Wise Sons Deli.

While business partners Leo Beckerman and Evan Bloom are looking for a permanent place to open their Jewish deli concept (ideally in the Mission), ~WISE SONS DELI~, they are going to be offering a preview of their dishes in conjunction with the Saturday Off the Grid at McCoppin Hub. But instead of setting up a table or a truck, they will be cooking brunch across the street, in Jackie’s Vinoteca & Cafe (at 105 Valencia St. at McCoppin). On the menu: dishes like cheese blintzes with fresh fruit compote; lox, eggs, and onions served with housemade rye toast and dill crème fraîche; corned beef hash (made with their housemade corned beef); and French toast made with their challah. Holla! It all kicks off on Saturday January 22nd; brunch will be served from 9am-2pm.

And then hold onto your yarmulke, because starting February 5th, they will be debuting their pastrami, which will be served with their housemade sauerkraut, dill pickles, and rye bread (trust me, I already requested a Reuben, but they said they would have to see how the kitchen works out first). They are doing this in conjunction with Good Food Month, specifically for pickles and charcuterie week. They mentioned selling tickets for this one, so follow them on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the news.

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Just next to the House of Shields and Crunch will be ~SUSHIRRITO~, a fast-casual and Asian fusion-sushi concept (not to be confused with a purrito). Like it sounds, there will be six-eight different burritos to choose from, stuffed with rice and either raw or cooked seafood (and in the example below, fried Japanese chicken)—but instead of a tortilla, they will be wrapped in nori. Imagine a large sushi roll that is cut in half, and meant to be eaten in hand. Prices will range from $7-$11.

Some combinations include the Latin Ninja, with salmon, mango, avocado, asparagus, kaiware sprouts, shaved lemon, shredded cabbage, cucumber, pickled red onion, and ginger-serrano sauce; and the Smokin’ Chicken, with chicken karaage, avocado, plantain, green onions, shredded cabbage, cilantro, and chipotle crema—another one mentioned was with shrimp tempura. Owner Peter Yen brought on Ty Mahler as the chef (and part owner), who was formerly the executive at Roy’s, and has traveled to Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Taiwan over the past year. He is going to be using sustainably sourced seafood, and in one additional step, they will be working with their supplier, Royal Hawaiian, to help monitor the mercury levels of certain fish.

Gi Paoletti designed the space, and while there won’t be any seating, some standing room tables should be coming soon. It was designed to be a place offering quick, fresh, and made-to order food (à la Chipotle). Hours will be Mon-Fri 11am-3pm. Depending on how inspections go, they hope to open next week around Tuesday January 18th. 59 New Montgomery St. at Market, 415-495-7655.

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As of the beginning of January, gluten-free/vegan bakery ~SPECIAL REQUEST~ has opened in the 331 Cortland marketplace in Bernal Heights, and owners Vanessa Morales and Freddie Colombani are excited to be part of the 331 concept and the unique neighborhood. They’ve taken over Wholesome Bakery’s space (Wholesome is now selling out of La Victoria).

Vanessa and her husband Freddie started Special Request a year and a half ago. A savory chef of over 13 years at places like the Ritz Carlton San Juan, Joël Robuchon Las Vegas, and LarkCreekSteak, Vanessa was disappointed to find she could never eat any sweets because of her gluten and dairy intolerance. Then she started getting so many special requests from clients for vegan desserts that she took matters into her own hands and began developing a repertoire of gluten-free and vegan desserts, so Special Request naturally became the name of their new business.

Freddie tells us that one of the biggest challenges to starting the business was sourcing gluten-free ingredients, but with over 60 taste-tested items now in their repertoire, you can expect to see new, seasonal desserts rotating in every few weeks with an emphasis on great flavor, good textures, and presentation.

At the moment, their offerings include a coconut tapioca pudding with pineapple salsa ($4; the ladies at Carried Away are reportedly in love with this creation); rocky road, Meyer lemon, and spiced ginger cupcakes ($3); brown rice crispy treats ($1.50); chocolate caramel pecan and fresh fruit tarts ($5); pumpkin and double-crust apple pies ($5); and mango cheesecake ($4.50). And yes, they’re happy to take orders for special requests with 2-3 days notice. (You can also get their desserts at Lilah Belle’s.) 10am-5:30pm daily, open until 6pm Sat, closed Thu. 331 Cortland Ave. at Bennington, 650-630-7452.

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A display at the now-closed Sweet.

A few closures to report on:

Eater mentions ~SMALL POTATOES~ catering will be opening a small lunch spot out of their headquarters at 35 6th Street at Stevenson at some point this spring. SFoodie further mentions their little pastry shop on Church, Sweet, has closed.

The Hawaiian ~SUNDANCE KITCHEN~ (next to the Kabuki Theatre/Sundance Cinema) has closed, according to the Inside Scoop. Mahalo. Can someone kickass please move in there, renovate the hell out of it, and rock it? Hell, I think there’s even full liquor. Do it! 1865 Post St. at Fillmore.

It was first reported on CHOW that the ~ARMANI CAFÉ~ in Union Square at Emporio Armani has closed. According to the post, “The store is being remodeled; when it reopens, the restaurant will be gone.” I have good memories of caffeinating and lunching there when I worked at 77 Maiden Lane back in my advertising days. Meow.

Across the bay, Scoop mentions that after 10 years, Gordon Drysdale’s ~CAFFE VERBENA~ in downtown Oakland has closed. Drysdale will reportedly “help a new regime transition into the space—word on the street is that the landlords are looking for replacements.” 1111 Broadway at 11th, Oakland.

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Photo from Waterbar.

Since today’s date is all about the ones, ~WATERBAR~ is celebrating with a dollar deal: $1 oysters all day and night. Slurp, slurp!

And here’s another dollar deal you can cash in on: ~ZOG’S DOGS~ is offering $1 hot dog Mondays (through February 1st). Just remember to print out the online coupon before heading over. While supplies last, and limit one per customer.

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Photo from New Taste Marketplace.

This Saturday January 15th there are not one but two alt-markets going on. From 12pm-5pm, ~NEW TASTE MARKETPLACE~ will be holding its third event, a fundraiser for The Food Pantry, which distributes groceries to over 600 low-income participants every week. Vendors include: Mission GastroClub and their char siu pork belly tacos, Slow Hand BBQ (hello, brisket), and Sataysfied’s Indonesian chicken and pork satays. The complete list of vendors can be found on newtastemarketplace.org. St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, 500 De Haro St. at Mariposa.

Meanwhile, ~THE SF UNDERGROUND MARKET/FORAGESF~ is collaborating with Public Works to host Night Market. But not so fast, because there will also be a day portion that starts at 11am (until 4pm), featuring mostly “take-homeables” (jams, produce, soaps, desserts, etc.), although hot food will also be available. If you want to avoid the crowds, this is a good time to go.

The second shift (6pm-2am—two hours later than it normally ends!) will be mainly hot food that’s ready to eat. There will be workshops in one room, a dance party in another, and two full bars. Come in the evening if you want to drink, eat some food, listen to some music, and hang out.

11am-11pm: $5; 11pm-2am: $10. You can look at the list of new and returning vendors. Since Public Works has a full-bar, the entire market will be 21+ for both the morning and evening. In order to enter the market, you need to sign up in advance for a free membership to the SF Underground Market . (If you’ve signed up in the past, no need to re-apply. Unlike your lipstick, which might be kind of thrashed after eating some pizza and barbecue.)

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Horatius photo from Facebook.

The second episode of ~STUDIO GOURMET~ returns, this time with Hoss Zaré of Zaré at Fly Trap on the afternoon of Sunday January 16th. The event has moved to Horatius in Potrero Hill, where you’ll be able to hang out over a glass of bubbly and some small bites during the reception (there will also be live jazz by Ariel Eisen). Chef Hoss is then going to lead a cooking demonstration, teaching you how to prepare Italian eggplant with sun-dried yogurt. Immediately following the demo, there will be an interview with Hoss, and to wrap up the event, you’ll be able to enjoy some small bites paired with wines provided by Horatius. The lineup is going to include dishes like 
braised Italian eggplant crostini, paired with 
2009 Ernest Goews & Co. sauvignon blanc; pistachio meatball served with a harissa-honey pomegranate glaze
, paired with 
2006 PKNT cabernet sauvignon from Valle Central, Chile; and a few other delicious bites, including dessert.

Tickets are $65, but there are a couple ways you can save money on tickets. You can either sign up for Feastery with this link and get tickets for $35. Or if you don’t want to sign up with Feastery, you can get a ticket for $45 with this link, which was specially offered to tablehopper readers. The next guest will be Jen Biesty of Scala’s on March 13th.

I’m a big fan of prime rib, so I was happy to hear about this new prime rib night now underway at ~ALEXANDER’S STEAKHOUSE~ in SoMa on Sunday nights. You’ll be able to enjoy a prime rib dinner for $35, which includes a side dish and a signature hamachi shooter. Bring on the horseradish. 

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The michelada and house salsa at Don Pisto’s.

Jealous of your friends currently on vacation in Sexico? (I know about three people who are south of the border, and am trying to not begrudge them their tans during this cold-ass week we’ve had.) Anyway, no matter, because ~DON PISTO’S~ is bringing the Baja to you in a special five-course dinner on Monday January 17th. The menu is inspired by what you’d find in Baja California, with dishes like Puerto Nuevo siete mares (seafood stew made from lobster stock and a wide variety of fish and shellfish), and taco stand quail (heavily spiced and grilled over charcoal). Owner Pete Mrabe says, “I will be using higher-end and more exotic ingredients than I usually would. It’s a dinner for an adventurous eater.” Considering the guy slow poaches lobster in pig fat, I’d say you’re in good hands. $45, inclusive of food, tax, and tip. Drinks are separate, and wine pairings are available. Reservations only, call 415-395-0939.

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The original Long Bar; photo courtesy of restaurant.

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED, SORRY.

What is guaranteed to be quite the industry night is the upcoming Second Annual I-Talian I-Ranian American Spaghetti Feed at ~LONG BAR~ on Monday January 17th. Chefs Massimiliano Conti of La Ciccia and Hoss Zaré of Zaré at Fly Trap will team up with Erik Hopfinger to offer “impressive portions of family-style, soulful cuisine.” For $29, you will get three courses, a glass of sangiovese from the Marche, and it sounds like some Negronis will be in supply as well (let’s just say there will be 25-pound solid blocks of ice that will be carved up and plunked into heavy crystal rocks glasses). Carlo Splendorini of Michael Mina and Ali Tahsini of Bourbon & Branch will stir things up with Jacques Bezuidenhout (a “token South African”) behind the bar.

And one other thing to note: Long Bar has launched weekend brunch, from 11:30am-4pm, with dinner service starting just when brunch wraps up. 2298 Fillmore St. at Clay, 415-440-1700.

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Photo from DaVero.

I’m a big fan of the olive oil from DaVero in Dry Creek Valley, and their olio nuovo is definitely something special. On Tuesday January 18th, ~COCO500~ is hosting their annual olio nuovo dinner, offering a special tasting menu to celebrate the bright green liquid gold. The four-course menu is as follows: burrata with farmers’ market vegetables, vinaigrette, and grilled levain; spaghetti with smoked herring, black pepper, and bottarga; choice of grilled New York strip with Parmigiano-Reggiano and lemon, or cacciucco (Tuscan seafood stew); and for dessert, Colleen’s olive oil cake with vanilla gelato and fruit conserva. $60, and $35 for the optional wine pairing. Call 415-543-2222 for reservations.