June 28, 2011

June 28, 2011
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Thermidor at the end of service. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Over on Mint Plaza, ~THERMIDOR~ has decided to make some adjustments to their format. Owners Bruce Binn and Neil Jorgensen are going to be emphasizing their nice lineup of cocktails and moving toward being an easygoing place to enjoy cocktails, graze on some great food, and relax. The new menu launches this Thursday June 30th, and is geared toward snacks you’d want to eat and share while drinking, like little burgers, chips and caviar, and their delicious “little Caesar” (all $6), along with a bigger burger and a lobster roll (both $12), and flatbread pizzas ($11-$12). There’s also a raw bar, with oysters and a spicy ahi tuna dish; check out a copy of the sample menu here.

As for the cocktails, there’s an extensive selection of $7 cocktails on the list, like a Paloma and Sazerac, while you can upgrade to some handcrafted drinks for $9-$11. You can look at the cocktail menu here.

For those who still want a sit-down experience, you’ll be able to enjoy a three-course prix-fixe dinner in the circular room for $35 (the menu will be posted online every day). They will also continue to offer their street food-style lunch—follow on Twitter for updates.

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Le Bordeaux; Yelp photo by Robert F.

Over in North Beach, Eater has been tracking (and Inside Scoop chimes in with some details) the opening of ~LE BORDEAUX~, just next door to Don Pisto’s. Owner Sylvain Castet hails from Bordeaux, and will be offering a variety of classic hors d’oeuvres like charcuterie and duck terrine, a “Beef and Duck Menu,” and a Bourgogne fondue (hint: it’s beefy). There will also be a prix-fixe lunch ($29 or $39), and brunch on the weekend ($29). Since there is no liquor license, diners can BYOB it. There are 56 seats in the two rooms, along with a fireplace (perfect for July in San Francisco). Open Tue-Sun 11am-3pm, 5pm-11pm. 524 Union St. at Grant, 415-529-1674.

In Laurel Village, ~SWANK COCKTAIL CLUB~ just launched its partnership with Blue Bottle Coffee last week. It’s now Swank “Cocktail and Coffee Club”, open seven mornings a week, starting at 6:30am. The staff has gone through intensive Blue Bottle training, and you’ll be able to enjoy some pastries by Pinkie’s Bakery with your macchiato. Would be a fun spot for a morning meeting, methinks. 488 Presidio Ave. at California, 415-346-7431.

And FYI, ~COI~ is closed for a summer break (and kitchen upgrade) through July 5th.

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Radius dining room; photo from Yelp.

Chefs Sarah and Evan Rich will be doing a pop-up dinner at ~RADIUS~ in SoMa on Monday July 11th. (Sarah was a sous chef at MICHAEL MINA, and Evan was most recently chef de cuisine for Daniel Patterson at Coi, and executive sous chef for Michael Tusk at Quince before that.) It’s going to be a four-course dinner, priced at $60 (wines will be offered for extra). The (tentative) menu is as follows: tomato, mozzarella, strawberry, and red mustard greens; tagliolini with summer squash, Parmesan, and shiso; chicken with farro, pickled cherries, and peas; and for dessert, peach, blackberry, and nasturtium namelaka. Make reservations (available from 6:30pm-8:30pm) by emailing, and the team will confirm.

Last month I mentioned the opening of ~SOUS BEURRE KITCHEN~ in Sugarlump café. Well, chef Michael Mauschbaugh has started serving dinner. The affordable menu is now posted, with dishes like a “cassolette” of confit chicken, juniper berry sausage, fennel, and braised cannellini beans ($14). You can follow Sous Beurre Kitchen on Twitter for updates. Mon-Sat 5pm-10pm. 2862 24th St. at Bryant.

Over at ~NOMBE~, The Bold Italic is hosting a “Backstory Dinner” in their A Moveable Feast series on Tuesday July 19th. You’ll meet owners Gil and Mari, get a brief intro to izakaya dining, and get to try their new kaiseki (multi-course) menu paired with sakes. 7pm. $60 (does not include gratuity), and tickets are non-refundable.

Cow Hollow party people: this Saturday July 2nd, the owners of ~UNWIND ON UNION~ will be celebrating their one-year anniversary with a DJ on their back greenhouse patio, plus drink and food specials, and more. 12pm-6pm. 1875 Union St. at Octavia, 415-931-3436.

And on Sunday July 3rd, ~COFFEE BAR~ is hosting The SF BBQ Rib Throwdown, with barbecue from Good Foods Catering, Cathead’s BBQ, The Jetset Chef, and Gator’s Back Porch BBQ. One $20 entry ticket gets you four tokens good for four portions of barbecue side ribs, a signature side dish from each vendor, and a cup of Lagunitas beer (or house wine). One token for voting goes to your favorite vendor. 4pm-7:30pm. Corner of Florida and Mariposa.

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Exterior photo by Craig Lee.

I don’t know how far out you book your calendar, but you should know ~BAKER & BANKER~ is hosting a fun lineup of guest chefs in the coming months. On Wednesday July 20th, Jake Godby from Humphry Slocombe will be doing a special dinner menu. No, it won’t be a series of ice cream sundaes, although that would be rad—Jake was trained as a chef. It will be a multi-course tasting menu of gougère pretzel with mustard; Parmesan dumplings with corn, pea shoots, sweet 100 tomatoes; romesco soup with spot prawns, hazelnuts, olive oil sabayon; chicken fried sweetbreads, upside-down cornbread with buttermilk dressing; summer inspired sorbets; and honey wort pie with peaches and yogurt sherbert.

Chef Thomas McNaughton from Flour + Water will be cooking on August 24th, and Ryan Farr from 4505 Meats will be stopping in on September 14th. $75 per person. To make a reservation, call the restaurant directly at 415-351-2500.

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Luce’s Daniel Corey; photo by Connie Perez-Wong.

A couple quick updates: ~LUCE~ at the InterContinental San Francisco has announced Daniel Corey is the new chef de cuisine (he was the executive sous chef, working under chef Dominique Crenn during her tenure); his new menu will be in place in mid-July.

Over at Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito, ~MURRAY CIRCLE~’s new executive chef is Justin Everett (he is replacing Joseph Humphrey, who is departing to open his own restaurant). Everett’s background includes El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma and Auberge du Soleil. The restaurant is introducing a more casual service style, with new à la carte menu selections; new bar, brunch, and lunch menus will be rolling out in early July.

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If you love movies and wine, you’re in luck ‘cause every Tuesday through September 6th, the ~TOP OF THE MARK~ is hosting a free wine tasting from 5:30pm-7:30pm, followed by a free screening of a film shot in San Francisco. It’s all part of Top of the Mark’s Summer Movie Series, and yup, that was the f-word there: free! (Seating is based on a first-come, first-served basis though.)

Playing tonight is Bullitt (1968), accompanied by a tasting of Chandon Brut and Domaine Chandon Rosé. We’re talking the ever-smokin’ Steve McQueen, so you might consider upping the ante with the Gold Star Package ($45 per person), which will get you stage seating, two rounds of martinis, a trio of appetizer sliders, and chips with guac.

Next up on the schedule is Dirty Harry (1971) on Tuesday July 5th, followed by D.O.A. (1950) on July 12th, and Innerspace (1987) on July 19th, all accompanied by Domaine Chandon wines. The wine tastings will switch to MacMurray Ranch and Ecco Domani starting July 26th, and to Brancott and Ravenswood on August 23rd. Here’s a copy of the full schedule for the summer.

Each film was chosen because it was shot at, from, or around the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel, so you’ll get to see a lot of classic SF movie scenes, not to mention the fab view from the Top. Updates to the movie and wine lineup will be here. 1 Nob Hill at Mason, 415-616-6916.

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Vesta Flatbread photo from Facebook; photo by Andrea Balazs Photography.

Quick update for you on what’s happening in Oakland: via Grub Street, I learned there’s an Off the Grid-like gathering of food trucks happening on Friday evenings called ~BITES ON BROADWAY~. It’s held at Oakland Tech High School, with vendors like Fist of Flour Pizza Company, Vesta Flatbread, 51st State, El TacoBike, and more. Follow on Facebook and Twitter for updates. 5:30pm-8:30pm, through October 21st. Broadway and 45th St., Oakland.

Via Grub Street and What the Fork, the former Farmers’ Market Bistro space in Old Oakland is now ~1015 CLAY~—and it will be morphing into another name later this year (perhaps in August). For now, chef-owner Jesse Branstetter (previously at Chop Bar) is open for limited hours, serving coffee and a couple breakfast items in the mornings (Mon-Fri 7am-11am), and tasty-sounding take-out sandwiches for lunch (until 3pm), like a crunchy chicken club ($8) with buttermilk fried chicken, applewood-smoked bacon, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and sourdough. Also seems like they’re open for happy hour on Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm-8pm, serving $5 wine, $4 beers (like Linden Street and Drake’s Brewing Co.), $6 specialty cocktails, and $5 bites. Check out their website for updates on the menu and hours. 1015 Clay St. at 11th St., Oakland, 510-238-8780.

Lastly, Grub Street and Inside Scoop shed some light on Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen’s latest project, ~B-SIDE BBQ~, which will be opening in the Yardie Jerk space on San Pablo. She’ll be doing a few different kinds of barbecue, ranging from Memphis to Texas, with some of her own flair as well. She’s aiming for an August opening, starting with lunch takeout only. 3301 San Pablo Ave. at 34th St., Oakland.

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As much as you might want to, you just can’t eat out that much, so here are two CSAs offering some fab-sounding proteins to inspire your home-cooked meals: sign up with ~SIREN SEASA~ for six weeks of high-quality, local, sustainable seafood, or pickup a Whole Hog cooler from ~4505 MEATS~ this weekend for some seriously porky nose-to-tail eating. Whether you go with surf or turf, you’re bound to eat well.

Founded by Anna Larsen with help from Bruce Cole, Siren SeaSA is the first seafood CSA in the Bay Area. Signing up means extremely fresh seafood for you, and it means encouraging local fishermen to take up sustainable methods like hook-and-line fishing. For six Saturdays from July 16th through August 20th, members will pick-up a portion of seafood with enough for four people in Petaluma 8am-10am or San Francisco 11am-2pm (locations TBA). Weather permitting, the schedule includes wild king salmon from Bodega Bay and Fort Bragg, halibut from Bodega Bay, whole market squid from Monterey, wild-caught Pacific sardines, Miyagi oysters from Tomales Bay, and black cod. With this first round limited to 100 subscribers, you might wanna act fast. $255 for six weeks.

4505 Meats is offering a second round of their Whole Hog CSA in time for your Fourth of July BBQ. They’re using 300-lb. Berkshire/Tamoworth pigs from Rancho Chupinos farm in the Santa Cruz area to make a variety of items, many of which are already prepped and/or cooked to make it that much easier for ya, like brined and smoked pork chop, peppery braised pork belly, white wine and confit leg, ronde de Nice and basil sausage, candy cap scrapple, blood and cherry custard, lard, apricot mostarda from Local Mission Eatery, chicharrones (party bag-sized, oh yeah), and pork stock. Yeah, it’s meaty! Pick up Friday July 1st between 12pm-2pm at Local Mission Eatery, or Saturday July 2nd between 8am-11am at the 4505 Meats Ferry Plaza Farmers Market booth. Each five-plus-pound bundle comes in a highly reusable, insulated 4505 Meats cooler, and feeds 6-8 people. $75.

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