July 19, 2011

July 19, 2011
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This week’s brown bag lunch in all its tasty glory.

A faithful tablehopper reader alerted me to ~COTOGNA~’s application for outdoor seating a few weeks ago, and sure enough, the restaurant got approval to add four tables/eight chairs in the sun! Seating will be available in the beginning of August from 11am-midnight (weather permitting, of course). Your chances at scoring a walk-in seat just improved a tick.

And here’s something neighborhood workers and residents will be fired up to know: as of yesterday, Cotogna just launched boxed lunches to go. On offer will be a sandwich and salad (or soup) combination. This week features a Tuscan fried chicken sandwich with Calabrian chile and pickled fennel slaw, along with fusilli salad (with cherry tomato and mozzarella), and a porchetta sandwich was on offer today. Available Mon-Fri for $12, limited quantity (about 50 a day, so when they run out, they run out!). In the meantime, I will dream of delivery….

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COI dining room; photo from COI.

I received a note from chef Daniel Patterson last night that he has decided to limit dinner service at ~COI~ to four nights a week (serving Wed-Sat). He made the decision so he can be in the kitchen each night that the restaurant is open, while still balancing the need to spend time with his two young children. He mentions, “This new schedule will allow also us to devote one day a week to creativity, research, and technical refinement. Our cooks can spend the day on a farm or ranch; learn about an obscure ingredient; or research the history of a dish or a cooking process … The extra day will also be spent developing new ideas.” Considering the amazing dishes that come out of that kitchen already, I can only imagine what’s next.

ABC license activity announced a while ago that ~SOUTHPAW BBQ~ was taking over the Hong Kong Express Cafe spot. Eater has a nice update on the project, which mentions it’s due to open in October. The owners are Elizabeth Wells and Memphis-born chef David King (you can read his full résumé on Eater). At Southpaw, the focus will be “on seasonal Memphis-style ‘cue and some sauces from other regions, like the mayo-based ‘white sauce’ of Alabama BBQ fame. Thickening the plot, Southpaw will brew beer on site, pouring ten tap options and a selection of specialty bottled beers from the South. There will also be cocktails, specifically handcrafted drinks with a focus on bourbon and whiskey.” Woooweeeee. Sounds downright meat-tastic, beer-tastic, and bourbon-tastic. 2170 Mission St. at 17th St.

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The Smoke BBQ trailer (and their menu).

Starting this Friday July 22nd, the talented folks of ~SMOKE BBQ~ have found a spot to park their cute red trailer in the Castro: in the ARCO parking lot! They will be serving their delicious barbecue from 11:30am until late in the evening from Wed-Sat. There will be a new barbecue cheesesteak on the menu, with fire-roasted Anaheim chiles and grilled onions. As for the cheese, it’s too legit to quit: Cheez Whiz. Yup, you’ll be able to order that bad boy “Whiz, wit.” And here’s a hot tip: don’t miss their delicious chicken. There will also be some homemade desserts available as well. Follow their updates on Twitter. 376 Castro St. at Market.

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According to permits, a restaurant called ~ARABIAN NIGHTS~ was coming to the Mission, and if we use one Yelp shill/posting as proof, it’s supposedly open—although I couldn’t get anyone to answer the phone last night to share more details. The Yelper says the chef specializes in Lebanese food, and mentions a hookah, which won’t be seeing much action. 2345 Mission St. at 19th St., 415-648-1444.

The intrepid Jason B. let me know Jackie’s Vinoteca and Cafe is now ~JAVA WASTED~, of which he says, “standard cafe fare and caffeine, internet—you’d think with the name they’d be serving booze with every order.” Well, at least there are mimosas. 105 Valencia St. at McCoppin.

And this may be old news, but Jason also let me know that ~PETRINO~ in the Financial District has closed. 322 Kearny St. at Pine.

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Radius dining room; photo from Yelp.

The Inside Scoop mentions executive chef Matt Kerley left SoMa’s ~RADIUS~ a few weeks ago due to family reasons, and Chris Geremia has assumed executive chef duties.

Up in Larkspur, you’ll find Fabrice Marcon (well known from his days at Mistral in the Ferry Building Marketplace) is now the chef of Roland Passot’s ~LEFT BANK BRASSERIE~. 507 Magnolia Ave. at Ward, Larkspur, 415-927-3331.

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Harry Denton and the ladies of “Sunday’s a Drag.” (I don’t think you can possibly retouch this photo any more than it already is).

As of yesterday, July 18th, ~HARRY DENTON’S STARLIGHT ROOM~ closed its doors for an extensive renovation. The new look is expected to launch in early September. And if you’re forlorn about missing Donna Sachet and the rest of the ladies at the “Sunday’s a Drag” brunch, weep not, dear pet, because the brunch has temporarily moved into the Franciscan Room at the Sir Francis Drake (12pm and 2:30pm seatings). 450 Powell St. at Sutter, 415-395-8595.

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Rice Paper Scissors pop-up inside Mojo Bicycle Cafe (photo by Patrick Kawahara).

Another week, another slew of special guest chefs, events, pop-up dinners, and more. Starting this Thursday July 21st, and every Thursday thereafter, ~MOJO BICYCLE CAFE~ is hosting the Vietnamese street food duo, Rice Paper Scissors. Their rotating menu will feature Vietnamese comfort food: a bar snack, a banh mi sandwich, and a drink or dessert. This week’s menu includes grilled pork jerky, pork belly banh mi (with housemade chicken pâté, pickles, and mayo), breakfast banh mi (with fried eggs), green papaya salad, and more (nothing over $10). And since it’s Mojo we’re talking about, they will offer free bike delivery using TCB Courier ($10 minimum, limited area). 6pm-10pm. 639 Divisadero St. at Hayes.

Also this Thursday July 21st, chef David Bazirgan of Fifth Floor will be the guest chef at the ~TACOLICIOUS~ lunchtime stand at the Ferry Building. His taco will be tongue and cheek (halibut cheek and crispy duck tongue) with garlic scape kimchee, smoked aioli, charred cabbage, lime, and avocado crema. Holla!

On Sunday July 24th, La Cocina’s ~MAITE CATERING~ will be at El Rio for Salsa Sunday. Chef and owner Constanza Ortiz will be cooking up her delightful Colombian food every Sunday, offering a different menu of the most traditional dishes of Colombia and Latinoamerica.

Evan and Sarah Rich are back with another Chefs’ Night Off pop-up dinner at ~RADIUS~ on Monday July 25th from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Email to request a reservation; include name, number of people, and requested time for your reservation. $60, excludes beverages, tax, and gratuity.

On Monday August 1st, executive pastry chef Bill Corbett of ~ABSINTHE BRASSERIE & BAR~ is going to be cooking a savory dinner menu (with the help of some talented friends) in the private dining room. The menu will be vegetable-based and will consist of five courses for $58 (not including tax and gratuity), with a three-course wine pairing offered at an additional $25. Reservations begin at 5:30pm and can be made by contacting Vanessa Harris at 415-551-1453.

And Chowhound reveals there’s a new Jamaican pop-up restaurant, Kingston 11, happening at ~GUERILLA CAFE~ in Oakland on Fridays from 7pm-10pm.

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Cookbook buffs will want to take note of these book parties and reserve a space (plus, personalized books make such great one-of-a-kind gifts—and your local author will love you, too). On Thursday July 21st, author Karen Solomon of Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It is hosting a Jam it! Salon at ~18 REASONS~ in celebration of her upcoming book, Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It. Bring your own homemade goodies to taste, share, and perhaps join in the swap portion of the event, more details here. $5 suggested donation if you bring treats; $10 just to taste. 7pm-9pm, RSVP here.

McSweeney’s new food book imprint, McSweeney’s Insatiables, is releasing its first title this summer: Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbable Restaurant. They’re marking the occasion with a book release party on July 26th at the Make-Out Room in the Mission, where the authors Karen Leibowitz and Anthony Myint will be in attendance to chat about the stories and recipes in their journey from food truck to restaurant. Plus enjoy music by DJ Foodcourt, complimentary Black Star beer, and Popeyes chicken (you’ll have to get the book to see why Popeyes is relevant). Tickets are $7, or $25 with signed book ($30 retail value); advance purchase recommended. 7pm-9pm. 3225 22nd St. at Mission.

Also on Tuesday July 26th, the Cooks’ Book Club of Fourth Street in Berkeley will host a book event with Marissa Guggiana, author of PRIMAL CUTS: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers, and three of the book’s featured butchers: Tia Harrison of Avedano’s, Berlin Reed of Portland’s The Ethical Butcher, and Marsha McBride of Café Rouge, Berkeley. Guggiana will discuss her book, and the renaissance of butchery in America, while guests sample dishes from each butcher and Café Rouge’s porchetta. The event is free except for purchases, and starts at 6pm. 1760 4th St. at Delaware, Berkeley, 510-250-6055.

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Gorg peaches from Masumoto Family Farm. Photo by Mathew Sumner.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m peach obsessed. So of course I have to mention a couple items that triggered my “peach radar”: first up, ~THREE TWINS ICE CREAM~ mentioned they just released a roasted peach ice cream to their San Francisco and Napa shops this week.

And over in Oakland’s Uptown district, ~PICÁN~ is hosting its first annual Georgia Peach Week from Monday July 25th-Saturday July 30th (although they’ll be using local peaches). Executive chef Dean Dupuis has put together a distinctly Southern peach menu, which includes chilled peach buttermilk soup, peach honey-glazed quail and white corn hoecakes, pastrami-cured duck “Reuben” sliders on rye biscuit, skillet-blackened tuna with peach and jicama “pico de gallo,” barbecued pork tenderloin with corn and smoked cheddar grits, cilantro/peach slaw, and peach bourbon barbecue sauce, and for dessert, peach fried pie with ginger beer ice cream and sorghum peach butterscotch. There will also be peach cocktails and beverages.

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Chop Bar’s La Caja China (photo from Facebook).

Vegans, avert your eyes. Coming up on Monday July 25th, ~BAYWOLF RESTAURANT~ is hosting its 2nd Annual Back Alley Barbecue from 4pm-8pm. BayWolf chefs will be at the grill, and drinks will be provided by Adam Lamoreaux of Linden Street Brewery and Brendan Eliason of Periscope Cellars. $35, cash only at the gate (please enter the event down the walkway to the left of the restaurant). Proceeds will benefit City Slicker Farms. 3853 Piedmont Ave. at Rio Vista, Oakland.

Linden Street Brewery is no stranger to meaty events, since it’s the new location for the monthly ~CHOP BAR~ pig roast that is held on the third Sunday evening of every month. Look at this entry on Bay Area Bites for pics and more (the last event featured four pigs that were roasted in La Caja China boxes). Follow Chop Bar on Facebook for updates about the next pig roast. $20 gets you a pig plate with all the fixins, $10 for kids under 12.

And starting on Sunday August 7th, ~ADESSO~ is getting in on the pig party action, hosting a spit-roasted pig party from 2pm-6pm. Tickets are $25 each, which includes all-you-can-eat spit-roasted pig and sides. Tickets are being sold ahead of time at adesso and dopo, and will be sold at the door the day of. 4395 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant Valley, Oakland.

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