May 3, 2011

May 3, 2011
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Lauren Kiino (left) at Il Cane Rosso; photo from Facebook.

Just at the end of last week, Daniel Patterson and Lauren Kiino announced that they are dissolving their current business partnership. Lauren will be the sole owner of ~IL CANE ROSSO~ in the Ferry Building, and Daniel will be the sole owner of ~PLUM~ in Oakland. The release also mentioned Lauren is currently working on a new restaurant project in San Francisco. Grub Street notes Patterson will be redoing and renaming the Bracina project in Jack London Square, which reportedly has started construction, and it seems they are close to a chef hire. (There are a number of additional details about the developing concept and project, if you’d like to check ‘em out.)

Last week I mentioned chef Randy Lewis was behind the business moving into the Bagdad Café space, and now he tells me it’s going to be called ~CRIOLLA KITCHEN~. He said the cuisine is going to “trace the soul food journey, from Africa to Cuba, Puerto Rico, New Orleans…” He said he plans to open next week, starting with nightly dinner service. He then plans to add breakfast and lunch, and then 24-hour service on the weekends. I’ll have the menu for you and more next week. 2295 Market St. at 16th St.

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The counter o’ treats at Devil’s Teeth Baking Company.

One of my “Outside Lands” dwellers tipped me off that ~DEVIL’S TEETH BAKING COMPANY~ is now open on Noriega at 46th Street. I had a chance to speak with owner Hilary Cherniss, who is finally open after a “looong ride.” On the menu: house-baked muffins, scones, cookies, cinnamon rolls, bread pudding, pie, and there’s a breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon, and cheddar on a biscuit; lunch brings soup, quiche, curried chicken salad, and lasagne. Oh, and let’s not overlook “beignet Sundays.” There is also Blue Bottle Coffee (no espresso, however).

It’s a very tiny space, with only a few seats inside, so don’t plan on being able to linger for hours with your friends, although there is a beautiful bar made of bay laurel (Cherniss is hoping to get approval for some seating outside). Oh, and about that name: as Ocean Beach Bulletin noted last winter, it’s “a nickname for the Farallones, the chain of islands west of Ocean Beach visible on clear days.” Opening hours are Wed-Mon 7am-2pm, closed Tuesdays; depending on the needs of the neighborhood, she may open for longer hours. 3876 Noriega St. at 46th St.

The reader also mentions there’s a new Mediterranean place that opened at 3848 Judah St. at 44th Ave., but details are sketchy at this time.

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Exterior photo by Daniel Azarkman.

A tablehoppin’ Missionite told me a partner in The Independent on Divisadero was reopening the shuttered Coda. After a little poking around, lo and behold, it’s Michael O’Connor, one of the founding owners and partners at The Independent, in addition to starting and owning The New Parish and Hibiscus in Oakland. The space has reopened as ~BRICK & MORTAR MUSIC HALL~—and is already hosting some shows while operating under the Coda permits (the owner of Coda, Bruce Hansen, is remaining a partner in B&M).

O’Connor mentioned there will be a food component but that “isn’t totally inked in stone yet,” but he does share this: “I can say that it won’t be a supper club but more of a casual vibe with no reservations and no OpenTable. I’d like it to feel more like an Austin music/food spot, however without any delicious BBQ… I recruited Sarah Kirnon and designed and built the interior at Hibiscus to complement her food and I’m hoping to lock in another one of my favorite chefs to create a more casual version of what he already does.”

In the meantime, beginning this Friday May 6th at 5pm, caterer neighbor Crimson Kitchen will be serving “Bombay Bar Food.” Indian native Meghna Agarwal will be serving a variety of dishes (all under $9), like Kali Mirch Chicken ($7.50), black pepper and chicken; Ajwaini Bhindi ($6.50), fried okra with spices; and Chatpate Aloo ($6.50), fried and spiced potatoes. Look for these dishes and more every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5pm-12am until mid to late June (it’s a temporary thing). And you can check out the upcoming musical lineup here. 1710 Mission St. at Duboce.

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The counter at Ox Café; photo by Daniel Azarkman.

There’s a new café open on South Van Ness called ~OX CAFÉ~. Here’s a report from tablehopper intern Daniel Azarkman: “It’s a tiny corner space with three stools inside and one table on the sidewalk. They don’t have a hood so they have to bring in most of their hot foods, but it all looked and smelled pretty good. I gather the owners are from southern Mexico since they were especially proud of their cochinita pibil torta. They also have a ‘Mayan Mocha,’ which uses Mexican chocolate and a bit of chile powder. Coffee is from McLaughlin in Emeryville; the organic Peruvian blend they let me taste was really nice.” Hours are Mon-Fri 6:30am-6pm, Sat 8am-6pm, and Sun 8am-5pm. 798 South Van Ness Ave. at 19th St., 415-824-1838.

Scoop announces ~MAZA RESTAURANT~ (a restaurant from the Naan N Curry folks) has opened in the former Pasta Pomodoro space in North Beach. They are reportedly open for lunch and dinner, starting at 11:30am. 655 Union St. at Columbus, 415-399-9061.

As I mentioned earlier, ~SEBO~ was going to start taking reservations for tables (not at the counter) with Rezbook. The system is now live! Since it’s a web-only system, you can book through Urbanspoon until Sebo gets a chance to update their website.

And over in Potrero Hill, ~PLOW~ finally got their beer and wine license, so you can have some bubbles with your brunch. Next Friday May 13th, Plow is hosting Robert Perkins from Skylark for Ruby Wine’s annual rosé release party. You can taste four wines and appetizers from Plow for $10; no reservations, no sit-down dinner. 5pm-8pm.

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The new Yellow Building, home of Piccino, MAC, and DIG.

I headed over to Dogpatch a couple weeks ago to take a peek at the upcoming ~PICCINO~, MAC, and DIG spaces in the “Yellow Building.” Things are definitely close: the restaurant will reopen on Wednesday May 11th, so expect a big update in tablehopper next Tuesday. Piccino is no longer serving food in their (now-former) location. The coffee bar has moved into its new spot, and is running limited hours this week (7am-12pm) due to staff training, and will have regular hours as of May 11th. You can take a peek at the cute new bar on their Facebook page here. 1001 Minnesota St. at 22nd St.

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Exterior photo by Blair Sneddon Photography.

Erin Archuleta, tablehopper hardhat writer, shares this update with us:
In mid-to-late August, the Bayview neighborhood will be throwing open its doors to the Carroll Station condo community at 5800 Third Street (off of the T-Line and Third Street). It will be welcoming in breakfast and lunch diners to the newest project from Tanya Holland—of Food Network and Cooking Channel fame—which will be a follow-up to her Oakland soul food favorite, Brown Sugar Kitchen.

The project also welcomes the Mission District’s Peruvian outpost, Limón, adding an additional Limón Rotisserie to complement their Valencia Street flagship restaurant and South Van Ness rotisserie locations with their now-famous chicken. (They plan to open at the same time as Brown Sugar Kitchen.
) And, fresh & easy will be a welcome newcomer for Bayview residents, who have long been without a proper grocery store. This will be one of two fresh & easy locations in the southern part of San Francisco, targeting newly developed areas in Silver Terrace/Visitacion Valley and Bayview.

Out in what locals affectionately refer to as “The Second Alphabet” section of Bayview, this triumvirate of businesses and the over-500 residential condos represent a huge burst of neighbors for the area. This tablehopper writer has been working in the ‘hood for a few years now, and knows our neighbors will be stoked to have lunch options in addition to the long-time stakeholders at B&J 1/4 Lb. Burgers and the random church guy with the BBQ drum at the laundromat. Check back with the hardhat for an inside peek at the construction to come over the summer.

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The Dining Room at Murray Circle.

Executive chef Joseph Humphrey is leaving Cavallo Point’s ~MURRAY CIRCLE~ after three years in the Sausalito destination, as reported in Scoop. Filling his shoes is Justin Everett of Sonoma’s El Dorado Kitchen. Meanwhile, leave it to Jay Barmann at Grub Street to mix business and pleasure, getting word while at Pebble Beach Food & Wine that Humphrey is “planning to open his rumored S.F. restaurant in the vicinity of Union Street. But that was all he’d say at this point, until it’s firm.”

Uptown Almanac spotted some resurgence activity of ~BOMBAY BAZAR AND ICE CREAM~—according to signs on Valencia Street, they are reopening at 245 South Van Ness Ave. at Erie.

Eater reports ~DARLA’S~ served its last burger in the Inner Sunset over the weekend. 822 Irving St. at 9th Ave.

Following up on a tip I heard at Pebble Beach, ~PONZU~, located adjacent to the Serrano Hotel, will close on May 29th, after 11 years in business. After closing for about six weeks, it will reopen as ~JASPER’S CORNER TAP~, with chef Adam Carpenter serving tavern-inspired fare. They expect to open in mid-July. In the meantime, the restaurant will continue to operate under normal business hours, so you can still get your happy hour on. 401 Taylor St. at O’Farrell.

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COI dining room; photo from COI.

A few special meals around town for your radar: on Friday May 27th, chef Sean Brock of Husk in Charleston will be joining Daniel Patterson in the kitchen at ~COI~ for one evening only. 5:30pm-10pm. And on Saturday May 28th, he’ll be cooking with chef Charlie Parker at ~PLUM~.

Over at ~MASA’S~, ham fans will be able to get their jamón Ibérico groove on from May 4th-May 28th with a six-course tasting menu featuring Spain’s prized ham. Executive chef Gregory Short’s menu includes pan-seared rib-eye of Ibérico pork with Fuji apples, celery branch, smoked potato confit pork consommé and pastry chef Maggie Leung’s baked strawberry “Pop Tarts” with Ibérico ham ice cream. $105.

Remember the Dux Sunday night tasting menu I mentioned chef Eddie Lau was launching at The Summit SF? Well, starting this Sunday May 8th, it’s on. The inaugural menu will be available May 8th, May 15th, May 22nd, May 29th, and June 5th. You can read all about it and how to reserve your spot (there are limited seats) on Lau’s new Dux site, ‘cause he’s all organized and shit. I also posted some pics from the test meal here. $60.

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Photo by Scott Kester.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, ~PLUM~ in Oakland is opening for weekend brunch starting this Saturday May 7th. Items on the menu include a buttermilk biscuit ($12) with peas, ricotta, egg, tarragon, morels; scramble of farm eggs ($12) with spring onion, puntarelle, Parmesan; and corned beef and pork belly hash ($12) with slow-cooked eggs, smoked onion, and favas. Oh, and you can get the late-night burger ($12) as well. (Whether you put an egg on it or not is up to you.) For the complete opening brunch menu, click here. Sat-Sun 10am-2pm.

Brunch will be especially rad when the neighboring Plum Bar opens up. Construction is starting in a few weeks, currently targeting August for the opening. There will be many unique design elements, including a dramatic chandelier, reclaimed wood, handblown glass, and plants behind glass at the end of the bar (bartenders will use the plants and botanicals for their drinks). Scott Beattie is the bar consultant, and Michael Lazar (the scientist/bartender for Left Coast Libations) will be the bar manager. Since owner Daniel Patterson has to secure two separate liquor licenses for Plum and Plum Bar, and the restaurant’s license will hit first, look for drinks starting in the beginning of July after 10pm. It will actually be a way to try out “preview cocktails” for the bar. Cheers. 2216 Broadway at 22nd St., Oakland.

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Former Locanda Da Eva exterior; Yelp photo by Rich H.

The Diablo Magazine blog brings word that “Daniel Clayton and Trace Leighton of Nibblers Eatery and Wine Bar in Pleasant Hill are venturing west, bringing their farm-based local, sustainable fare to where it all started. The two co-owners are expanding to Berkeley, taking over the former Locanda da Eva space at 2826 Telegraph Avenue.” The new restaurant will be ~ORIGEN: A FARM TO FORK RESTAURANT~ (origen is a Catalan word that means “from the source”), and they are hoping for a late-summer opening. No word if they plan to keep Nibblers open as well.

Meanwhile, ~EVE~ in downtown Berkeley has opened their outdoor patio for the summer, now operating it as a casual outdoor lounge. Starting this Thursday May 5th, the patio will be open Thu-Sat 3pm-10pm, with an outdoor beer and wine bar, plus a small menu (oysters on the half shell, house-cured meats, and the like).

Thought you would like to know that ~MOE’S BOOKSTORE~ in Berkeley is offering the first 100 in-store customers who purchase $35 or more worth of cookbooks (new, used, or collectible) during the month of May a complimentary goodie bag containing gift cards, certificates, and coupons redeemable for free food or discounts at 15 popular East Bay restaurants and specialty food purveyors. Participating businesses include Café Fanny, Chocolatier Blue, Cioccolato Di Vino, Gather, Italian Colors Ristorante, Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill, Maoz, Ozumo, Pasta Bene, Revival Bar & Restaurant, San Francisco Soup Company, Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto, The Sunny Side Café (two locations), and Venus Restaurant. 2476 Telegraph Ave. at Dwight, 510-849-9938.

Lastly, this Saturday May 7th, Rockridge Market Hall is hosting an all-day event, Go for the Goat! There will be tastings and product samples of cheese, ice cream, caramels, chocolate, milk, butter, ravioli, goat kebabs, and more at The Pasta Shop, Market Hall Bakery, Market Hall Produce, and Marin Sun Farms. There will also be a milking and petting pen from 12pm-5:30pm in the parking lot with Nigerian dwarf goats from Oakland’s Havenscourt Homestead—but don’t let the kids put two and two together when Marin Sun Farms butcher Chuck Traugott does his goat butchery demo at 2pm. There’s also a panel discussion at 4pm with Sibella Kraus of SAGE, “Why Consuming Goat Products Is a Good, Responsible Choice,” with panelists Lynn Huntsinger, UC Berkeley’s Rangeland Ecology Program; Bob McCall, Cypress Grove Chevre; and Nate Chisholm, Marin Sun Farms. Reservations required for the panel discussion; please RSVP here. 5655 College Ave. at Keith, Oakland.

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Photo from Toast Wine Lounge (Facebook).

Of course the one Monday I don’t check a business’s Facebook page that I have been tracking for months, and they open. D’oh! Last week, ~TOAST WINE LOUNGE~ opened in Rockridge, on the corner of College and Chabot. Owners Heather Sittig and Kristen Policy (both Berkeley residents) have hired Peter Jackson to run the kitchen; his menu includes some Spanish-inspired dishes, like coca (flatbreads) and escabeche. Other selections include burrata with fennel pollen and olive relish; and hot dishes like spicy lamb meatballs and pan-roasted sturgeon. There are also a few kid-friendly dishes, including mac and cheese. The wine list is focused on small-production wines. There are 35 seats indoors (check out those good-looking Eames dowel-leg chairs) and 20 seats on the patio; hours are Tue-Thu 3pm-10:30pm and Fri-Sun 11am-10:30pm. 5900 College Ave. at Chabot, Oakland, 510-658-5900.

~DIVINO~ in Belmont has kicked off weekend brunch, available Sat-Sun 10am-2pm. The menu includes brunch items ($10.50-$12.95) like omelets, pancakes, a fritatta, French toast, and two eggs any style with New York steak ($18), potatoes, and toast. There are also some savory choices, like a meatball panino ($11) on onion focaccia. 968 Ralston Ave. at 6th Ave, Belmont, 650-620-9102.

And in San Carlos, the other Locanda is now open, ~LOCANDA POSITANO~. Time to get your Neapolitan pizza on, 650 peeps. Open Tue-Sun 11:30am-10pm. 617 Laurel St. at San Carlos Ave., San Carlos, 650-591-5700.

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Local nonprofit Nextcourse and Off the Grid, along with Bi-Rite, are putting on the second annual ~VEGGIE FIESTA~ on Saturday May 14th at Mission High School. Come by from 11am-3pm for a family-friendly event featuring vegetable-inspired items from some of the city’s fave food trucks. The signature dishes will showcase the best of the Bay Area’s spring produce. A portion of the food truck sales will be donated to the nutrition education program at Mission High.

Drinks from HonesTea will be available for sale, as well as a special treat that Mission High School’s Culinary Leadership Team developed as part of their nutrition education program, with all proceeds going towards the nutrition program. Plus, there will be games and a raffle for prizes, including a butchering class from 4505 Meats, ACT theater tickets, a three-day “romance package” in New Orleans, and two round-trip Virgin America airline tickets to anywhere in the United States.

Nextcourse, a San Francisco nonprofit that teaches sustainable food education and cooking to lower income groups, has been teaching nutrition and cooking classes at Mission High for the past five years.

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I get invited to a fair number of events, but this is definitely one of a kind. Coming up on Saturday May 21st is the ~SWAMP CABBAGE WILD GAME & FORAGED FEAST FUNDRAISER~, a fundraiser for the post-production of Swamp Cabbage (a documentary by Hayley Downs and Julie Kahn), and hosted by Savory Thymes.

The menu is looking straight-up wild (no joke): with chicharrones by Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats; Mendocino wild boar prosciutto, harvested by Hayley Downs and Farmer John, and cured by Morgan Maki; spring fry by Davey Jones Deli; Dungeness crab crack, provided by Monterey Fish Market, and prepared by Kayne Raymond and Joel Raass; wild-caught raccoon stew, provided by Joe Debine, and prepared by James Goldman and James Stolich; Rocky Mountain elk chili, hunted by Jeff Heath, and prepared by Nate Dorris; wild boar sausage and Bellwether crescenza beehive oven flatbread and spring onion and mozzarella beehive oven flatbread, harvested by Hayley Downs and Farmer John; sausages by Morgan Maki, prepared by Ali Ghiorse, Kayne Raymond, and Joel Raass; wild mushroom soup, prepared by Ali Ghiorse; wild nettle surprise, prepared by Andrew Pimlott and Susan Kim; Tierra beans and bloody butcher corn bread, grown by Tierra Vegetables, and prepared by Ali Ghiorse; plus a whole slew of desserts. Plus beer and wine and other fine beverages (click the event for the full lineup).

I’m going to be a judge in the JERK OFF JERKY TASTING (with Helge Hellberg), and there’s also going to be a PICKLE PARTY SMACK DOWN (with Sandor Katz), and music by Chicken Paw, Middle Maki, and DJ Matt Weeder. As the announcement states, “Surly children and vegetarians welcome!” Tickets are limited, and range from $75-$500 (remember, it’s a fundraiser, so do what you can); click here for yours. 6pm-9pm at Hillside Gardens in Mill Valley.

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