November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011
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Bar at Dobbs Ferry. Photo by Rebecca Kinney. © tablehopper.com.

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Tupelo interior. Photo by Rebecca Kinney. © tablehopper.com.

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Tupelo interior. Photo by Rebecca Kinney. © tablehopper.com.

Now open in Hayes Valley, ~DOBBS FERRY~ has opened its doors, serving Northeast comfort food with Cali influences (the name comes from a town in New York). Executive chef Mike Yakura (partnering with restaurateurs Danny Sterling, Scott Broccoli, and Todd Trippany) has put together a bistro-style menu that includes starters like prawns seasoned with Old Bay and served with cocktail sauce ($13), mussels and clams with garlic fries ($11), classic salads like a wedge or chopped salad ($6-$12), and potato chowder ($7); pastas include baked ziti ($16); and there are four pizzas, including an eggplant parm pie ($16) that I wanna try, like, now. Mains range from cioppino ($23) to veal marsala ($22/$32), and a house-ground burger ($14). Lunch includes some hearty sandwiches, like sausage and peppers. Evans Horn (Spruce, Ozumo) is heading up the bar, and there’s a bar menu available starting at 4pm. The restaurant is spacious, with 100 seats and two dining areas. The look (designed by Abueg Morris working with SRG Architects) is classic and clean, with wainscoting, booths, and wood floors.

And a charming little factoid: one of the owners (Danny Sterling) said 65 people from the namesake Dobbs Ferry who come out every year for a Giants game were at the restaurant on Friday night. Also funny: bartender Evans Horn originally didn’t want to put Danny’s drink (rum and Coke) on the menu, which explains why #14 on the list says: “Rum and Coke—regular or diet. Lime is not an option. You win Danny.” Dinner nightly Mon-Thu 5pm-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm, and Sun 5pm-9:30pm. Lunch Mon-Fri 11am-3:45pm, and brunch starts this weekend (Sat-Sun 11am-3:30pm).

I was cruisin’ around North Beach last week, and noticed ~TUPELO~ had opened on Grant Avenue in the former Mojito (the grand opening is this Thursday). Grub Street previously reported the owners are Ted Mattson, Teague Kernan, and Tom Peters; the chef is Mark Danziger, who worked at AQUA under Michael Mina, Chow, and Fog City Diner. The Southern menu includes cocktail-friendly “soul food tapas” like crispy pickles and ham hock croquettes, po’ boy sandwiches, and six different grit dishes you can choose from, plus some salads and a burger with candied bacon and a cheddar frico on the patty (crunch crunch). Gotta love that the sausage on the sandwich is from Little City Market, and the bread from Italian French Baking Co., both in North Beach—way to keep it local. There is a plan for live music (license pending), plus watermelon sweet tea, and on the brunch menu (which is fully kicking in this weekend), there will be pork belly hash and a crayfish omelet. Kitchen open 5pm-1am, brunch Sat-Sun 10am-3pm. 1337 Grant Ave. at Vallejo, 415-981-9177.

UrbanDaddy mentions ~CASTAGNA~ is opening any day now in the Marina. The restaurant is from Stephane and Jerome Meloni, previously behind Restaurant Cassis in Pacific Heights. In an interesting switch, Grub Street notes Castagna is starting with breakfast (8am-11am) and lunch (11am-5pm) to start, and dinner will launch in a month or so. As for the menu, Castagna’s Facebook page states they “will feature popular French and Italian dishes along with a variety of American favorites with a French twist.” 2015 Chestnut St. at Fillmore, 415-440-4290.

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In the kitchen at Saison. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

~SAISON~ is tinkering with its format, and as of November 29th, the team will adjust the dining room from 42 seats to 18, and offer only one seating per evening. The menu will be 12 courses, with pairings by sommelier Mark Bright ($198, including wine pairings). Chef Joshua Skenes wants to allow for more diner interaction and the opportunity to learn about the ingredients, concepts, and more behind each dish.

The chef’s counter (with capacity for only four diners) will continue to be available, with 16-plus courses and exceptional wine pairings (and at $498 per seat—all inclusive—it seems exceptional will have to be the name of the game). You AMEX Black card-carrying types can reserve and prepay for a chef counter seat here.

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One of the dining rooms at Brenda’s. Photo by Rebecca Kinney. © tablehopper.com.

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Interior of Fourth Wave Coffee. Photo by Rebecca Kinney. © tablehopper.com.

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Exterior of the Sutter Pub. Photo by Rebecca Kinney. © tablehopper.com.

The fine folks at ~BRENDA’S FRENCH SOUL FOOD~ are happy to report their expansion is all done, and will begin seating in all 70 seats starting today. Congrats, gang—there’s now room for all of us to get fat on her biscuits and Hangtown fry together.

Intern Rebecca Kinney has this update on ~FOURTH WAVE COFFEE~, which as previously reported, was opening in the former Polk Street Station Diner. She reports it opened last week and has this to say: “Honestly, the brewed coffee was so good that I thought they gave me something else by mistake. The individual drip is great, too. You can choose from several different blends and they’ll add cream and sugar to your liking, if you wish. The espresso drinks all come with two shots as a standard. The sweets and pastries are pretty standard but they are really well priced. They also have free Wi-Fi. Such friendly service, too.” Sounds like a winner. Opening hours for now are Mon-Fri 5am-8pm and Sat-Sun 6:30am-8pm. 1356 Polk St. at Pine, 415-440-4360.

And Rebecca has this to share as well: “Comfortable bar stools and warm wooden benches are ready to be broken in by locals and visitors alike at the newly opened ~SUTTER PUB~. Their ABC license for beer and wine is still pending, but that hasn’t stopped the corner gastropub from opening. Breakfast is served all day and includes dishes such as bananas Foster French toast, omelets, and corned beef hash. Later in the day, entrées include a barbecue pulled pork sandwich, a Reuben, bangers and mash, as well as a grilled New York steak with vegetables and mashed potatoes for $16. There are four flat-screen TVs and plenty of seats. Owner Carmer Hejazi says they probably won’t have a full liquor license for a year. Until then, keep in mind what the whimsical (and wise) bottle opener on their door says: “Cold beer soothes spirits.” Starting hours are Mon-Thu 7:30am-11pm and Fri-Sat 7:30am-12am. 700 Sutter St. at Taylor, 415-400-5840.

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Indo-Bali Cooking Street exterior. Photo by Rebecca Kinney. © tablehopper.com.

After a tip-off on Chowhound, it looks like the awkwardly named ~INDO-BALI COOKING STREET~ has opened in the Financial District. More from the post: “Same owners as Bangkok Best, but cook is Indonesian. Curries, Rendang and stir-fries; plates including rice and roti in the $8-$10 range mostly.” We have a peek at the menu for you. There is also 20% off everything from 2pm-3pm during their weekday “happy hour.” 343 Kearny St. at Pine, 415-956-5501.

Looks like ~BURGER URGE~ in the Upper Haight is opening Friday November 18th. As previously mentioned, the 75-seat spot is fast-casual, with around 10 burgers to choose from made with Niman Ranch beef, plus a turkey burger, a vegetarian burger, and sandwiches, soups, salads, and beer and wine. Mon-Fri 11am-11pm, Sat-Sun 8am-11pm. 1599 Haight St. at Clayton, 415-522-0122.

Am sorry to report that ~THE CHUBBY NOODLE~, the pop-up in Amante and home of some of the juiciest fried chicken I’ve had in the city, is on a temporary hiatus while owner Pete Mrabe sorts out some staffing during the holiday season. Stand by for an update soon. 570 Green St. at Stockton.

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L’enfant-Terrible ale from Social Kitchen & Brewery.

Chris Wong is leaving luella as a chef (but staying on as a partner) in order to take over the kitchen at ~SOCIAL KITCHEN & BREWERY~ in the Inner Sunset. (Oh, and apropos of SKB, you should check out the upcoming classes from brewmaster Rich Higgins at The Boothby Center, like a beer and food pairing class this Sunday November 20th.)

As mentioned previously on tablehopper, when Castro hub ~2223 RESTAURANT~ becomes ~JAKE’S ON MARKET~ in early 2012, Inside Scoop reports that Erik Hopfinger will be the chef. Hopfinger, who was on Top Chef, has also worked for Long Bar, The Waterfront, and Spoon. Hopfinger mentions everything will be made in-house, including ground-to-order burgers. 2223 Market St. at Sanchez.

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Image from Hog & Rocks.

From now through January 1st, ~HOG & ROCKS~ will be offering oyster and drink specials after you get off work and before you go to bed. They are serving $1 oysters Sun-Thu, and offering a $6 beer and shot special Mon-Thu 5pm-6pm and 10pm-1am, and Sun 5pm-11pm. Also note their new hours. You got all that?

If there was a week to swing by ~WATERBAR~ for some oysters, this would be it. The person who orders the restaurant’s one millionth oyster will win a year of free oysters from Waterbar (a dozen each week), and everyone else at the bar will win a certificate for a dozen oysters, as well as a Champagne toast to celebrate. Yup, everyone will like you. It looks like it’s going to happen towards the end of this week—look for an announcement on Facebook and Twitter the morning they expect it to happen.

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Campton Place dining room. Photo courtesy of Campton Place.

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Fifth Floor lounge. Photo from Kimpton.

On Saturday November 19th, acclaimed chef Daniel Humm is returning to ~CAMPTON PLACE RESTAURANT~ for one evening only to present a five-course meal that showcases his new cookbook, Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook. Champagne and canapés will be served at 6:30pm in the Campton Place Bistro and Bar, followed by dinner at 7:15pm in the Campton Place Restaurant. All attendees will receive a copy of the cookbook. $290 per person (plus 20% gratuity and tax). The seating is by reservation only. For more details, call 415-781-5555 or email.

~BAR TARTINE~ executive chef Nick Balla and co-owner Chad Robertson are teaming up with a member of their kitchen for the second dinner in their Curiosities at Bar Tartine series. Dinner on Monday December 5th will feature dishes inspired by Mexico City and interpreted by line cook Oscar Molina. The à la carte dinner will also include a Tartine torta by Chad. Dishes will include items such as a quesadilla with huitlacoche, pumpkin, trumpet mushroom, and farmer’s cheese ($11). Perhaps the most curious is the plato familiare called vuelve a la vida, a “seafood hangover cocktail” including octopus, shrimp, white bass, crab, and mussels ($18). Sounds seriously bueno to me.

Five different local chefs will be hosted by the ~FIFTH FLOOR~ from Monday December 5th through Friday December 9th. Each night, a chef will prepare a holiday-themed tasting menu.

Here’s the lineup: Monday December 5thDominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn—her famed foie gras is on the menu.

Tuesday December 6thJeff Baker of Baker & Banker has matzo ball soup on his menu.

Wednesday December 7thBrandon Jew of Bar Agricole will be serving roasted persimmon, chestnuts, and black sesame ice cream.

Thursday December 8thHoss Zaré of Zaré at Fly Trap will be preparing rabbit fesenjoon two ways.

Friday December 9thMatt Accarrino of SPQR will prepare smoked beef brisket “brasato.”

Each tasting menu will cost $95 (excluding beverage, tax, and gratuities), a portion of which will go to each chef’s charity of choice (including Meals On Wheels and the SF Child Abuse Prevention Center). Finally, the week will culminate on Saturday December 10th when Fifth Floor’s resident chef David Bazirgan will share his own holiday-themed menu.

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Photo from New Taste Marketplace.

Just a quick heads up that ~NEW TASTE MARKETPLACE~ is turning one this Saturday November 19th, so come on by for a variety of edibles from local food artisans. The complete list of vendors can be found on newtastemarketplace.org. New this weekend: food art vendors will also be in the mix, including Allyson Thomas from the fab Drywell Art, and if you come by at 1pm or 3pm, CocoTutti will be leading a truffle making demo.

Bonus: sign up for free at Ourtisan.com and receive a special free food item from one of the New Taste Marketplace vendors. Can’t make it to the NTM? The site allows you to buy from the vendors online and have their products shipped directly to your door. New Taste Marketplace is a community market and a fundraiser for The Food Pantry and St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church. You can RSVP for free here. 12pm-5pm. St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, 500 De Haro St. at Mariposa.

After 926 entered products, the list of the 144 finalists for the ~GOOD FOOD AWARDS~ has been released; take a look here. Congrats to all the finalists. The winners will be announced on Friday January 13th, 2012, and the Good Food Awards Marketplace will be on Saturday January 14th, 2012 (mark your calendars—you don’t want to miss it).

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Photo from Moonraker Facebook page.

It’s not only the first James Bond movie I ever saw (back in 1979)—reopening on the coast this winter (after 25 years) will be ~MOONRAKER~, with a view that overlooks the beach and surf in Pacifica (it’s located in the Best Western Lighthouse on Rockaway Beach Avenue). The historic space has been completely redesigned by Michael Brennan, but the fab view through floor-to-ceiling windows remains. Chef Jason Yeafoli (The Lark Creek Inn, Moose’s, Rose Pistola) will prepare seafood classics with a twist such as brown butter-basted skate wing with wilted spinach, oven-dried toybox tomatoes, and shishito peppers. Additional players are co-owners Gary and Shawn McNamara, and wine director Don Graham (look for cocktails inspired by Pacifica, including the Rockaway Baby Beach). Hours will be Sun-Thu 5pm-9pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-10:30pm. 105 Rockaway Beach Ave. at Dondee, Pacifica, 650-557-7025.