March 13, 2012

March 13, 2012
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The mysterious roof photo. Photo from Outfit Generic.

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A sweet tease. Photo from Outfit Generic.

Last week the local media and some culinary colleagues received a teaser USB flash drive from William Werner (formerly Tell Tale Preserve Company) and Outfit Generic, loaded with images of his playful creations. There was also a cryptic image of an industrial roof, and I assumed it meant he was going to be opening his pâtisserie concept in the 740 Valencia space after all (it was the intended location for Tell Tale before investor woes monkey-wrenched the entire project).

As for this new project, the name has yet to be revealed, and timing is also a bit vague—all we know is spring. But the Scoop was fed a bit more info about the project, with confirmation that Werner will be joining Dandelion Chocolate, The Abbott’s Cellar, and other projects in landlord-developer Ron Mallia’s awesome property on Valencia. More details: hours will be 7am-8pm, serving sweet and savory items, Sightglass Coffee, Naivetea tea, and beer and wine (wine director Michael Ireland of Meadowood will be assembling the list) in the 1,200-square-feet space. Stand by for more in coming weeks. 746 Valencia St. at 18th St.

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Elizabeth Falkner in Iron Chef; photo courtesy of Orson.

After hearing numerous rumblings that chef Elizabeth Falkner was moving to New York, the reason why has been revealed: she is going to be opening a Sicilian-inspired pizza and pasta place in Brooklyn. Scoop shares she will be working with Nancy Puglisi, who is partner and Director of Operations at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach, and Tony Gemignani will be consulting on the project. Also on the team: Darren Crawford, a bartender at Bourbon & Branch and Tony Nik’s (otherwise known as my waiting room while trying to snag a table at Tony’s).

Menu details and the exact location will be revealed soon (it sounds like it will either be in Park Slope or Boerum Hill/Carroll Gardens). How did this all come to be? Falkner is a huge fan of Tony’s pizzas (who isn’t?) and eventually became friends with him, and she even went to his school for certification as a Neapolitan pizzaiolo. Best of luck in this new venture.

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Radius dining room; photo from Yelp.

Over at ~SPRUCE~, executive chef Mark Sullivan has named one of his long-time sous chefs, John Madriaga, as chef de cuisine. He will take over the position in late April.

SFoodie notes some changes to the crew at ~RADIUS~: seems managing partner Jon Whitehead has promoted chef de cuisine Peter Cham to executive chef, and current executive chef Chris Geremia will be heading to Nojo. One more addition: new sous chef Matt Kirk will be coming over from Spruce.

And over at ~PUBLIC HOUSE~, chef Chris Wade (Prospect) is now part of the team, working closely with chef Traci Des Jardins. New menu items include pretzels, mac and cheese bites, grilled vegetable sandwiches, 4505 sliders, and more.

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Celebrate Pi Day with this number: salted almond custard with caramel and blood oranges. Photo by Three Babes Bakeshop.

Downtown folks: ~SPICE KIT~ is now serving breakfast Mon-Fri 6:30am-10am. The menu includes steamed buns with Hobb’s bacon and spicy eggs, holla. 405 Howard St. at 1st St., 415-882-4581.

In honor of Pi Day this Wednesday March 14th, ~THREE BABES BAKESHOP~ will be selling and delivering pies for $31.41. On the menu: toffee apple, salted almond custard with caramel and blood oranges, salty honey walnut, vanilla sugar buttermilk, and the off-the-menu chocolate pumpkin (they’ve had requests for it, so they’re doing it!). Email to order.

Did you know Wednesday is Pozole Day at ~MIJITA~? Perfect lousy weather for you to track it down this week; it’s quite popular, so come early before they sell out.

On Thursday March 15th, ~BELCAMPO MEAT CO.~ is hosting a Meat Up lunch, featuring beef chile verde topped with pickled vegetables and bacon cream, served with warm and handmade corn tortillas. A full selection of Blue Bottle Coffees and cookies will also be available. 12pm-2:30pm. Belcampo will be opening a modern-day butcher shop in July 2012, working with whole animals; all meats served will come directly from their farm in Shasta Valley and are 100% grass-fed. Blue Bottle Coffee, Jack London Square, 300 Webster St. at 3rd St., Oakland.

Quick update on ~THE WINDOW~ in SoMa: the March calendar is filling up with all kinds of street food vendors, so check out the latest online calendar and follow @TheWindowSF on Twitter for more. 1599 Howard St. at 12th St.

Switcheroo on Ritch Street: ~CENTO~ moved into John Whitmarsh Art Studios next door at 336/372 Ritch Street, and Little Skillet expanded into Cento’s old space (360 Ritch). Swing by for Cento Wednesdays, when the staff will prepare either a coffee or baked surprise for some “afternoon delight.”

A tablehopper tipster let me know about the ~SFDELIGHTS~ dessert truck, parking at 16th and Mission in the lot next to the Wells Fargo. Dessert items include crumble tea tart, Thai coffee tiramisu, and more.

According to this post on Hayeswire, ~GOURMET & MORE~ in Hayes Valley, otherwise known as French cheese heaven, is going to be opening its back patio by the end of the month, and is applying to serve beer and wine as well. 141 Gough St. at Lily.

Just this past weekend, ~SWEETWATER MUSIC HALL CAFÉ~ launched weekend brunch from 9am-3pm (featuring a live music Sunday brunch), plus breakfast and lunch (7am-3pm), and dinner (4pm-10pm) during the week in the soft-service café led by chef Gordon Drysdale. 19 Corte Madera Ave. at Lovell, Mill Valley, 415-388-3850.

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The Russia House; Flickr photo by eviloars via Eater.

A random lineup of closures around town: Inside Scoop announces ~GORDON BIERSCH BREWERY RESTAURANT~’s lease expires April 28th, and since an agreement couldn’t be reached with the landlord, the brewery is going to move elsewhere. 2 Harrison St. at The Embarcadero, 415-243-8246.

We knew it was imminent, and the infamous ~RUSSIA HOUSE~ has closed, according to Grub Street. No more vodka for you! 2011 Bayshore Blvd. at Hester.

A tablehopper tipster informed me ~JAVA WASTED CAFE~ has closed (it’s the old Jackie’s space, over by McCoppin). 105 Valencia St. at McCoppin.

A tablehopper reader alerted me to some changes at ~BERNAL SUPPER CLUB~, the Monday and Tuesday pop-up at Caffe Cozzolino. It ends up Miles Carnahan has left the partnership, and since he’s been using the name Bernal Supper Club for the past 10 years, he’s taking it with him. Tony Ferrari and Jonathan Sutton are now operating as the Hillside Supper Club, and according to their Facebook page: “Moving forward we are in the process of taking over the Cozzolino space, and plan on opening sometime this fall, stay tuned.”

And in the “not quite closed” department, SFoodie discovers ~CUCO’S~ in the Lower Haight is still open, in spite of the eviction notice it received a month ago—seems the closure date isn’t definite. 488 Haight St. at Fillmore, 415-863-4906.

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The red table at Ame. Photo from Ame.

Some special dinners for your consideration: from March 11th-18th, ~AME~ is offering a special menu celebrating the culinary spirit of Miyagi, Japan, and 10% of the proceeds from this menu will be donated to benefit the Chefs United for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. The five-course prix-fixe menu is $100 (wine pairings, $65), featuring dishes inspired by the region, like Miyagi oysters in ponzu sauce with momiji oroshi.

On Monday March 19th, ~JARDINIÈRE~ is hosting a special literary-themed dinner to help raise money for Litquake. The menu is inspired by the writings of M.F.K. Fisher and will include three courses and three wine pairings for $59, with $10 donated to Litquake.

Starting Sunday March 18th, ~OLIVETO~ is launching Sunday Italian Farmhouse Suppers. These rustic, family-style dinners are four courses for $40 per person. The initial Tuscan menu by chef Jonah Rhodehamel will feature rabbits from Hoffman Farm. Check here for each week’s menu details and more. Dinner service begins at 5:30pm.

On Friday March 30th, ~ALEXANDER’S STEAKHOUSE~ in San Francisco is hosting a foie gras dinner and benefit for CHEFS (the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards). Joining Alexander’s San Francisco chef Marc Zimmerman for the six-course menu will be David Barzigan from Fifth Floor, Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, Ken Frank of La Toque, Joseph Elenterio of Chez TJ, and Alexander’s pastry chef Dan Huynh. $250 (includes wine, excludes tax and gratuity). Reservations begin at 6:30pm.

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Curry Up Now truck; photo © Michelle Edmunds.

Thanks to a couple tweets, I learned the ~CURRY UP NOW~ folks are opening another restaurant and food truck called ~THE DOSA REPUBLIC~ in San Mateo around April 1st. You can peek at a preliminary menu here, which includes dosas served with a trio of chutneys and your choice of filling (check them out here), along with appetizers like samosa rolls and uttapam tacos. The brick-and-mortar restaurant will be at 2299 El Camino Real at 23rd Ave. in San Mateo.

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Farewell to Café Fanny’s poached eggs on Acme levain. Yelp photo by Taffany H.

Seems a lot of people were surprised with the news of the sudden closure of ~CAFÉ FANNY~ after 28 years, including the staff (fortunately the employees are getting two weeks’ severance). Alice Waters’ partners in the venture were her sister, Laura Maser, and her brother-in-law, Jim Maser, who are reportedly divorcing so it sounds like things got complicated. A follow-up Berkeleyside piece mentions Waters saying another café may be coming to the location, with the involvement of Acme’s Steve Sullivan and Kermit Lynch (they are all neighbors in the complex). Long live the memory of the perfect breakfast there: a poached egg on levain from neighboring Acme Bread Company, and a creamy café au lait. 1603 San Pablo Ave. at Cedar.

And now, a little glimmer of good news: ~SUYA AFRICAN-CARIBBEAN GRILL~ has opened, a fast-casual place serving West African and Caribbean-inspired skewers of meat, fish, and vegetables ($4.95-$8.95) served with flatbread. There is also jerk chicken, sides like roasted plantain, and a fruit punch called Chapman (non-alcoholic). It’s primarily take-out, with only four barstools and outdoor seating. Open Mon-Sat 11am-9pm. 2130 Oxford St. at Center, 510-981-8028.

It also looks like ~SUMMER KITCHEN BAKE SHOP~ collected enough signatures to become a quick-service restaurant with 33 seats instead of just a take-out spot, plus serve beer and wine, and to install a restroom. 2944 College Ave. at Ashby, 510-981-0538.

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Exterior of the now-closed Nex. Photo from Nex.

The name Mani Niall may be familiar to some, known for Mani’s Bakery in Los Angeles, and he also was the executive chef at Just Desserts up here. According to the East Bay Express, Niall is going to open ~SWEET BAR BAKERY~ in Uptown in the former Mimosa Champagne Lounge space, which in a twist of fate used to be a sweets shop called MacFarlanes from 1946 to 1976. Niall will serve baked goods and coffee in the morning, sandwiches in the afternoon, and beer and wine until 11pm. Check out his Kickstarter if you want to help him bring this to fruition quickly.

After wondering about an ABC licence, Diablo Dish has some news about ~CAMBER~, a new bar and restaurant. Owner Irfan Joffrey “is planning a 5,800-square-feet restaurant … [that] will have an upstairs private lounge and serve Asian-fusion cuisine with a California touch—along with dry-aged steaks.” He hopes to open in June, along with a new bar called Feezy (1707 Telegraph Ave.). 1540 Broadway at 15th St.

More from Diablo Dish: ~NEX~ has closed, and sister restaurant Mua is using the space as additional dining space. 2442 Webster St. at Broadway, Oakland, 510-238-1100.

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