April 10, 2012

April 10, 2012

Burritt Tavern dining room. Photo from Burritt Tavern.


Burritt Tavern dining room (with booths along the side). Photo from Burritt Tavern.

Now open in Union Square in the Mystic Hotel is ~BURRITT TAVERN~ from chef-owner Charlie Palmer, his first restaurant in San Francisco. To recap a previous report on tablehopper, the Tavern is building on the film noir/speakeasy-ish vibe of the flanking historic Burritt Room bar—sure to be the coveted tables are the curtained booths in the 125-seat dining room.

Chef Ashley Weaver’s dinner menu can be viewed here, which includes starters to share (like cornmeal-crusted oysters), five kinds of salads (including a warm asparagus salad with a poached egg), and main dishes like a pork chop, three cuts of steak, and 36-hour lamb shoulder, along with rather safe choices like chicken breast and salmon ($26-$32). Dinner Sun-Thu 5:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm, lunch coming soon. Burritt Room + Tavern, at Mystic Hotel, 417 Stockton St. at Sutter, 415-400-0561.


Seating at The WestWood Popup; photo by The WestWood Popup.


Counter seating at The WestWood Popup; photo from The WestWood Popup.

The crumbled Criolla Kitchen saga continues: it ends up some of the crew have banded together and are launching a weekly pop-up in the Mission called ~THE WESTWOOD POPUP~ in the former B3/Winemakers’ Speakeasy space. GM Hans Purohit, chef Jonny Becklund (previously Randy Lewis’ sous chef), and Rob Renteria, along with some of the waiters and back of the house people from Criolla are all on board. The extreme locavore concept is based around sourcing products for the restaurant right in the Mission: from the farmers’ markets to the fish markets, plus breads from Arizmendi, and cheeses from Lucca and Mission Cheese.

You can take a look at the menu here, which includes small bites (all $6) like deviled eggs with pork cracklings and jalapeño relish and radishes with bone marrow butter and smoked salt; starters (all $8) like fried smelts with sweet pickle tartar sauce and beef tartare, quail egg, and caper berry; entrées include roasted chicken, new potatoes, sautéed greens, jus ($16) and a grilled flat iron steak ($17) with melted leeks, tarragon-garlic aioli, fries, along with a cheeseburger ($12), dressed, caramelized onions, horseradish aioli, and fries.

The team has been doing a ton of cleaning and painting to get the space freshened up, and you will see work from local Mission artists on the walls. The restaurant is opening for dinner this Wednesday April 11th, and plans to start brunch in a few weeks. Dinner Tue-Sun. 1152 Valencia St. at 22nd St.


Bluestem dining room; photo by Angie Silvy.

After Sean Canavan left his position as executive chef of ~BLUESTEM BRASSERIE~, chef de cuisine Josh Lucas—formerly the executive chef of Luna Park and he opened Bluestem with Sean—has been helming the kitchen. New dishes include a roasted half chicken with crispy spinach and macaroni and cheese. He’s expanding the restaurant’s selection of house-cured meats, and within the next few weeks, he’ll be adding a variety of salumi to the charcuterie plate, including a lomo and coppa. One more hire: sous chef Emily Fowler, who was the executive chef at Seattle’s Coastal Kitchen.  

The ~PRESIDIO SOCIAL CLUB~ has a new executive chef, Wes Shaw, who will be working with owner/founding chef Ray Tang. And in a theme-appropriate twist, Shaw spent seven years in the U.S. military service. A Texas native, he’s added beef brisket as the Tuesday night special, along with other changes to the menu (including adding some lighter dishes).


The 555 Golden Gate exterior, when it was Maestro. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

The ambitious 150-seat restaurant and bakery opening in the former Stars, ~MAESTRO~, is reportedly open now/this week (as I drove by on Saturday, a sign said “open”). Eater has a look at the French bistro menu by chef Neil Marquis. 555 Golden Gate Ave. at Van Ness.

Just across the street, ~MELA TANDOORI KITCHEN~ is launching nightly dinner service on Monday April 16th from 5:30pm-10pm. The weekday all-you-can-eat buffet lunch of Northern Indian and Pakistani dishes will continue (Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm), now available for $10.95. Beer and wine are available. 536 Golden Gate Ave. at Van Ness, 415-447-4041.

The Scoop notes ~FRJTZ~ is closing in Hayes Valley after 12 years (wow, has it been that long?). Frjtz on Valencia remains open, and owner Santiago Rodriguez is adding daily brunch service at 8am. Meanwhile, the new owner is Brian Cassanego, who is going to be opening ~NOIR~ in its place. Details are sparse, but there will be a full menu, beer, and wine. Per the name, the space is going to have a look inspired by film noir and the Jazz Age—Gi Paoletti Design Lab (Bloodhound, Tipsy Pig, Per Diem) is behind the new design. 581 Hayes St. at Laguna.


Mission Bowling Club exterior. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Beginning this weekend, ~MISSION BOWLING CLUB~ is starting brunch service Sat-Sun 11am-3pm. You can check out the menu here, which includes loco moco ($12), which is basically a rendition of the Mission Burger for breakfast, fried chicken and waffles ($11), and more. Whether you bowl or not is beside the point—feel free to just come by for an eye-opener from the full bar and chilaquiles.

Sandwich lovers will want to swing by ~HEIRLOOM CAFÉ~ on Wednesday evenings, when they are offering a new sandwich menu in addition to a few choices off the à la carte menu. Some choices (which will rotate weekly) include a Comté tuna melt, pulled pork with fennel slaw and salsa verde, a corned beef Reuben, open-faced asparagus and burrata, a couple grilled cheese sandwiches, and, of course, the Époisses burger. And some killer wine pairings, natch.

On Thursday April 12th, the ~MISSION COMMUNITY MARKET~ is back in action for its third year, with some new vendors in their lineup, including 4505 Meats and their high quality, pastured meats, Spring Hill Cheese, Little City Gardens (the first contemporary commercial farm in San Francisco to sell in San Francisco), as well as new vendors from La Cocina and new craft designers from the Mission. Every Thursday from 4pm-8pm at Bartlett and 22nd St.


The entrance to Chez Berlue; photo from Facebook.

I haven’t been able to successfully reach anyone at ~CHEZ BERLUE~, the new French market and wine bar in Cow Hollow that Eater mentioned was going to open in the former Sean men’s clothing store. According to its Facebook page, it appears to be open daily 11am-8:45pm (those are funny French hours). 1749 Union St. at Octavia, 415-529-2121.

A friend who lives in the Outer Sunset told me a while ago a Mediterranean place was going to open, and now Eater confirms it’s called ~MEDITERRANEAN CAFE~ and serving falafel. 3848 Judah St. at 44th Ave.


Four Barrel cappuccino; Yelp photo from Jamie R.

Are you one of the many fans of the espresso at ~FOUR BARREL COFFEE~? Those lines can be brutal, so you should know you can order a single-origin espresso in the Caledonia alley on the weekends from 9am-5pm.

A while ago, I mentioned some changes at Coco-luxe in the Haight, which was supposed to become Coco-vine and serve coffee, wine from the Markris Wine Group, and chocolate. This report in Upper Casing mentions it’s now going to be called ~STANZA~, but most of the details originally reported in tablehopper appear to be the same. 1673 Haight St. at Cole, 415-367-4012.


Photo from The Apple Pushers on Flickr, © 2011 Richard Shultz.

While we’ve got the ol’ soapbox out, we hope you’ll consider taking a look at two upcoming films about the state of food in America. First up, get some folks together at 8pm on Saturday night (April 14th) to watch the documentary Hunger Hits Home on the Food Network. This collabo project between Food Network and Share Our Strength aims to raise awareness about the 16 million children in the U.S. who go hungry every day, and to highlight the hard-working folks who are fighting this hunger crisis. You can watch the trailer online, and get more info about what you can do to help.

On Earth Day 2012 (Sunday April 22nd), Whole Foods Market launches its annual Do Something Reel Film Festival with a screening of The Apple Pushers, a film that follows five immigrant street-cart vendors who, as part of The NYC Green Cart Initiative, are offering fruits and vegetables in New York neighborhoods where fresh produce isn’t widely available. The film is narrated by Edward Norton (hubba), and the screening will be followed by a panel discussion, which takes place live in Austin. 3pm at the Century 9 San Francisco Centre theater. Tickets are $10 online, and proceeds benefit Hunters Point Family, a grass-roots, community-based youth development agency that provides programs to youth and their families living in the Bayview-Hunters Point community. 845 Market St., Ste. 500, at 5th St.


The future home of Paul Canales’ restaurant. Flickr photo from mental.masala via Grub Street.

The details regarding Paul Canales’ new Uptown Oakland project keep coming, this time courtesy of the East Bay Express (while the Scoop reveals the name is ~DUENDE~). It’s going to be a multifaceted project, with music, a retail wine shop, ice cream (courtesy of his wife, Mary Canales, of Ici Ice Cream), pop-up shops for artisan pals, and a gallery space. His business partner (and the GM) is Rocco Somazzi, who worked at the Royal/T in Culver City, Los Angeles, which has a similar eclectic format.

The restaurant and bar are the primary focus, however, taking up 75% of the space. The cuisine will be centered around Spanish dishes, with a variety of influences, so don’t look for a cookie-cutter menu of tortilla española and patatas bravas—although Canales (whose origin is Basque) is reportedly fired up to rock some paella. Here’s more from the site: “Duende’s inspirational touchstone is authentic regional Spanish cuisine, however, we will use this touchstone as a jumping off point for free-form culinary improvisations. We will not not be serving Spanish ‘museum’ food. Yet we love the flexibility of the Spanish menu format, giving our guests the ability to create a dining experience that suits their desires of the moment.”

The full-service bar is meant to be energetic and fun, with specialty cocktails, Spanish and local wines and beers, housemade embutidos (cured meats), artisan cheeses, and other meriendas (bar snacks). Arcsine Architecture is leading the design, with a potential late summer or fall opening. Take a look on Duende’s blog for more on the concept, philosophy, and how Duende is much more than just a song by the Gipsy Kings.


The under-construction interior of Hopscotch; photo from Eater.

A quick roundup of new projects in the 510, starting with ~HOPSCOTCH~, a new bar and restaurant opening this May in Oakland’s Uptown in the former Chef Edwards Bar-B-Que spot. Grub Street was the first to sniff out that owners Kyle Itani and Jenny Schwartz are behind the project (Itani worked at The Meatball Shop with Daniel Holzman in New York, and with Sho Kamio here at Yoshi’s). A press release reveals further details: “global bistro fare and American classics featuring hyper-local ingredients” with a Japanese sensibility and a focus on local and seasonal ingredients, plus craft beer, wine, and small-batch spirits, particularly Scotch. The menu includes asari frites: Kirin-steamed clams and house merguez with duck fat potato chips; veal breast porchetta: kombu-braised kale oshitashi; Sacramento striped bass: English peas and barley-miso butter sauce; and escargot and bone marrow gratin: sourdough toast and mizuna-caper salad. Desserts include a yuzu meringue pie and seasonal fresh fruit tarts.

You can learn more and peek at the space on their Kickstarter page. The 40-seat space has a mid-century American diner look, with a Carrara marble bar (with room for 10) and a cork checkerboard floor. It will be open for lunch and dinner Tue-Sun. 1915 San Pablo Ave. at William, Oakland.

More Uptown news: Diablo Dish mentions a Minneapolis import: ~LORING PASTA BAR~ is coming to Grand Avenue. Look for a full-service restaurant and bar, targeting a late summer opening.

Last week I mentioned ~MARZANO~ is expanding into the former hardware store next door, but it ends up it’s only half the space: Diablo Dish noticed via some ABC license activity the other half will be a restaurant called ~BURGER PARK~. 4214 Park Blvd. at Glenfield, Oakland.

And East Bay Dish mentions “Actual Cafe is planning to open ~VICTORY BURGER~ in the space next door late this year.” On the menu: burgers made with sustainably raised meat and organic produce. 1099 Alcatraz Ave. at San Pablo, Oakland.

Yet another fast-casual Greek place is opening: Berkeleyside mentions ~SOUVLAKI GREEK TRADITIONAL FOOD~ at 2518B Durant Ave. at Telegraph, Berkeley.

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