March 1, 2011

March 1, 2011
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Enrico’s exterior photo from Yelp/Kevin Y.

After the historic ~ENRICO’S~ unceremoniously closed a few weeks back, I was wondering who was in play to take it over. Well, whaddya know, it’s the neighbors: Ian Begg and Ryan Maxey of the takeout sandwich shop, Naked Lunch, will be taking over the space. In a move similar to what the new tenants at Washington Square Bar & Grill are doing, they aren’t continuing the Enrico’s legacy, and instead are naming the space ~TXOKO~, according to the Inside Scoop. A txoko is a dining club of sorts, when Basque men (rarely women) get together to cook and eat and talk and generally get drunk without their wives being around. They hope to open in April, and will be serving pintxos and other small plates, along with larger dishes, including roasted suckling pig (the kitchen has a wood-fired oven). Full bar, and it will be open late. Naked Lunch will reportedly continue to be open. 504 Broadway at Columbus.

Just across the street, ~THE VIN CLUB~ is going to be starting ~EAT ME AT THE VIN CLUB~, a walk-up sandwich window. (I am not EVEN going to make a comment about the name, and on Broadway? No sir.) Owner Dario Zucconi (of Tommaso’s) is partnering with Ben de Vries of Luella on the venture, which will serve sandwiches Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm. Their targeted opening date is Wednesday March 9th, stand by. There will be a daily salad, soup, and three sandwiches, all of them pressed, plus iced tea and lemonade. One is with slow-roasted pork belly, housemade pickles, aged cheddar, and bacon; another with marinated artichokes and arugula and housemade ricotta; and then there’s going to be a third one with braised beef cheek and pecorino béchamel. All three will range from $9-$10. You will be able to call your order in ahead of time at 415-314-5337; their website should be up in a week or so. 515 Broadway at Kearny.

Meanwhile, just blocks away, the Frascati team has opened ~CAMPANULA KITCHEN & BAR~ in the former Basque spot, Iluna Basque. It’s a small 40-seat spot, serving a variety of affordable (and mostly American) dishes (check out chef Mike Pawlik’s menu here, courtesy of Eater). Open nightly for dinner (until 12am Fri-Sat), full bar, no reservations. 701 Union St. at Powell, 415-829-7766.

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Thali plate at Kasa. Photo from Facebook.

According to a tweet over the weekend, ~KASA INDIAN EATERY~ closed its Cow Hollow/Marina location (the Castro location remains open and busy as ever). You can read more in their blog post about the reason for the closure here (and it’s a good cautionary tale for anyone opening another location of their business). They couldn’t release the news about which business is taking over the lease for that location, but things are moving ahead for their food truck, which should be launching in two months. The truck will be called The Kati Roller. They expect to be in the Financial District (location TBD), and participating in Off the Grid events and at corporate campuses around the Bay Area.

They will also be preparing a pop-up vegan Punjabi feast at ~THE CORNER~ this Thursday March 3rd, 6pm-10pm. $20 prix-fixe menu. To make a reservation, email before Thursday. The menu looks delicious, read more here. 2199 Mission St. at 18th St.

Jason B. tipped me off to ~LUNCH GEEK~ moving a few blocks from their original location to the Cafico space. SFoodie has a few more details about the transition into the new space. 1475 Market St. at 11th St., 415-626-8888.

Take note, XLB (xiao long bao) fans. A reader writes in: “Just had dinner at the ~SHANGHAI DUMPLING KING~. Everything was good but slightly less flavorful so we checked the kitchen and there is a new chef. Also all the other staff is new. We asked our waitress and she said that there had been a change in ownership as the ‘king’ wanted a bigger place and to be closer to his parents.” Looks like there is some discussion on Chowhound about it as well. 3319 Balboa St. at 34th Ave., 415-387-2088.

~RINCONCITO NICARAGUENSES~ has recently taken over the Chavita’s spot in the Mission. Another thanks to Jason B. for the tip-off about the opening. 3161 24th St. at S. Van Ness, 415-206-9411.

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Serpentine photo from Facebook.

Dogpatch continues to rock it. Exhibit A: ~SERPENTINE~ is now open on Monday nights for dinner service. Yup, there’s that kickass burger, and a nice full bar.

And this is what happens when people tell me things when I’m out on the town at a wine tasting and it’s late: I forget I leave myself voice memos about things like, oh, Michael Recchiuti moving into the ~PICCINO~ space later this year. Of course I remember when I see the piece later, like this writeup in SFoodie. D’oh! So, it’s a bit early to determine what the concept will be, but it’ll be more than a chocolate shop/café. The piece mentions charcuterie and cheese plates, and knowing Recchiuti’s creative mind, there will assuredly be much more. Stand by for details as things develop—it’s currently TBD when Piccino will be making their move into their bigger digs down the street. 801 22nd St. at Minnesota.

Over in Glen Park, the wine bar ~RED AND WHITE~ has closed, but the Scoop reports the owners (Peter Bell and Juliana Flores) are teaming up with Laurent Legendre of Le P’tit Laurent. They’ll be reopening under a new name, offering a selection of daily oysters, a few small bistro items (like French onion soup and salads), and of course, wine (the retail component will also remain). They are remodeling at the moment, and reportedly aiming for the latter part of March. 678 Chenery St. at Diamond, 415-333-2200

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Herbst Theatre; from City Arts & Lectures.

The witty and engaging Kim Severson (the current Times Atlanta Bureau Chief) will be leading a conversation, On Artisan Food, with Chad Robertson (Tartine Bakery, Bar Tartine) and Sue Conley (Cowgirl Creamery) for City Arts & Lectures this Wednesday March 2nd. The onstage conversation will be followed by a book signing in the lobby (Severson and her recent book, Spoon Fed, and Roberston with his Tartine Bread). 8pm. Tickets here. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave. at Grove.

Severson will also be doing a reading and signing of Spoon Fed at ~OMNIVORE BOOKS~ on Thursday March 3rd, 6pm-7pm.

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The entrance to the Madrona Manor.

This is definitely worth the drive up to the lovely ~MADRONA MANOR~ in Healdsburg: on Wednesday March 16th, they are hosting a dinner with Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot (the duo behind Ideas in Food, the popular blog and book). Chef Jesse Mallgren will be collaborating with them on the dinner, which will be five courses for $90 (additional $47 for wine pairings).

There will also be a few classes on Monday March 14th and Tuesday the 15th ($100 per class). You can read up on the classes here, which range from liquid nitrogen to one on eggs (and you know I totally want to take the egg class, man). The classes are first come, first served, so reservations are required. Reservations for dinner and the classes can be made through Madrona Manor: 707-433-4231. Anyone attending a class will receive 50% off a night at the Madrona Manor (which is totally charming, and you should absolutely do it). 1001 Westside Rd., Healdsburg.

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Photo from Oliveto.

The twelfth annual Whole Hog dinners return to ~OLIVETO~ March 9th-12th. This year’s dinners with new chef Jonah Rhodehamel will include some classic/beloved items, such as choucroute garni, smoked and brined cuts, chops, meatballs, offal, braises, long-aged prosciuttos, and, of course, all kinds of salumi.

I got a sneak peek of the menu, and was happy to see they will be serving a tasting of different prosciutto, which includes the awesome OLLI Ossabaw culatello I got to taste at the Fancy Food Show (Oliveto is the only restaurant with this product until it goes into production and is distributed on the West Coast). There will also be smaller items like a crisp terrine of pork trotters with spiced fruit, and corned pork tongue. Pastas include lasagnette with pork shoulder, cardoons, and ricotta salata, and gnocchi with lardo and hazelnuts. Main dishes include a plate of mixed cuts from the whole, spit-roasted pig, zampone (cotecchino-stuffed trotter), and boudin noir with gratinata of baby artichokes and pecorino cheese. On the side, how about some pancetta-fried potatoes? The Whole Hog menu will be served à la carte; make a reservation asap, people.

Among Jonah’s new items on the 2011 menu will be a whole, spit-roasted, pasture-raised pig each night. The hogs for these dinners come from local farmers: Riverdog Farm on Wednesday (farmers Tim Mueller and Trini Campbell will be on hand for the evening), Devil’s Gulch on Thursday (farmers Mark Pasternak and Myriam Kaplan-Pasternak DVM will be there), Friday’s pig is from Heritage Farms in the Midwest, and Saturday’s is from Mac Magruder, who will also be present in the dining room.