August 28, 2012

August 28, 2012
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Michael Recchiuti at a Dogpatch block party. Photo courtesy Tom Seawell Photography.

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A view of the kitchen at Chocolate Lab. Photo courtesy Rebecca Hinden Photography.

Michael and Jacky Recchiuti, the chocolate masterminds behind the Recchiuti chocolate line (and shop in the Ferry Building) are getting ready to open their newest venture, the ~CHOCOLATE LAB~ café. The café (in the former Piccino space in Dogpatch) will serve savory and sweet treats, including light sandwiches, chocolate desserts, and the chocolate confections that have made Recchiuti famous. Take a peek at the menu here, and can I just say: sign me up for that ice cream sundae.

The space for Chocolate Lab has been designed to create an apothecary or laboratory mood, which seems fitting, as chocolate is definitely a sort of medicine for lots of us. The design utilizes pieces from lots of local talent too. Heath Ceramics is responsible for much of tile throughout the café and kitchen, and local artist Nate Watson created the hand-blown glass details in the dining area. The tabletops and walls were created from a fallen elm tree by Paul Discoe. Overlooking the dining area is a darling garden from the green thumb geniuses at Flora Grubb. The space should be a beautiful spot to enjoy a light lunch or a rich, inventive dessert or both—let’s be honest.

The café is slated to open in early October, but in the meantime you can head over to the ~LITTLE NIB~, which just opened down the street. Little Nib will be selling Recchiuti’s chocolate confections, including favorites from the Ferry Building as well as a new “Dogpatch” line. There will also be packaged baked goods to take home, like brownies and cookies.

Chocolate Lab will be open Tue-Thu 11:30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-11pm, and Sun 11:30am-5pm. 801 22nd St. at Tennessee, 415-489-2881. Little Nib will be open Tue-Sat 12pm-7pm and Sun 12pm-5pm. 807 22nd St. at Tennessee, 415-489-2882.

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At Original Joe’s; Deco mermaid. Photo by Joey DeRuy.

Since I don’t have time to follow up and get details on these pieces of news, I’m just gonna give you a grab bag of tidbits: first, a tipster writes in the the now-closed Circolo will become ~CAÑA CUBAN RESTAURANT~ (they have another location in Oakland). Construction has reportedly started. Let’s hope they bring over another in-house sugarcane press! 500 Florida St. at Mariposa.

The biscuit-making Van Dao is thrilled to announce he will be opening a ~BISCUIT BENDER~ kiosk in the Ferry Building Marketplace, across from Blue Bottle; it’s slated to open September 1st.

And a couple places around town have launched weekend brunch service: ~DIXIE~ and ~ORIGINAL JOE’S~.

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Housemade Twinkies and Ding Dongs in the pastry case. Photo from Facebook.

As previously mentioned on tablehopper, the Inner Richmond is getting a new bakery! ~PRETTY PLEASE BAKESHOP~ is now open on 3rd Ave. The bakery will serve as a brick-and-mortar location for pastry chef Alison Okabayashi’s cakes, pastries, and other sweet goodies. Look for retro-style treats, like housemade Oreos, snowballs, and Rice Krispies treats. There will also be cakes that are ready to carry out the door, for smaller events like a birthday or graduation, or you can work with the baker herself to create larger cakes for your delicious occasion. Hours are Tue-Fri 11am-7pm and Sat 10am-6pm. 291 3rd Ave. at Clement, 415-347-3733.

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Well, shoot, this sounds like a blast! Head to the Pacific Rod & Gun Club on Sunday September 2nd for a pop-up dinner with the ~STAG DINING GROUP~. The dinner features an opening charcuterie and cheese reception paired with five rounds of skeet for you to shoot. Once the guns are safely away and you’ve cooled your gun-slingin’ hands with a drink, you can tuck into a huntsman-style meal with five wine pairings. The menu will include game and foraged favorites, like grilled quail and chanterelles with summer squash. The reception begins at 3pm. Tickets are $120 per person and include everything except tax. The exact location will be emailed the day of the event, but be aware that the shooting reception will be outdoors and the meal will be indoors, so dress accordingly.

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Photo from Waterbar.

Celebrate bivalves with ~WATERBAR~ at the Fourth Annual Oysterfest, on Saturday September 15th from 12pm-3pm. The outdoor event (with great views of the Bay Bridge, natch) includes unlimited sustainable oysters and passed hors d’oeuvres. The kitchen will be helmed by Parke Ulrich, and collaborators include EPIC Roasthouse, Farallon, and Local Mission Eatery. There will also be sweet not-nothings from Waterbar’s Emily Luchetti. For sipping, there will be microbrewed suds from the Bay Area and Napa Valley wines.

Local band Fleeting Trance will provide the shucking soundtrack with live music throughout the afternoon. There will also be a hot sauce competition, as well as an oyster shucking and eating contest. Tickets are $50 and proceeds will go to the San Francisco Surfrider Foundation.