May 21, 2013

May 21, 2013

Lapsang souchong tea-deviled eggs. Photo courtesy E&O Asian Kitchen.


Gorgeous Minervois; photo courtesy of CIVL.

Hello, my fellow singles who love food and wine. It’s time for y’all to meet, right? Right! I’m tired of seeing too many fabulous people without proper wingmen/wingwomen, in life and at the table. So I’m excited to announce this month brings the first tablehopper singles event! This will be the first of a series of singles events. I plan to host a variety of them in the coming months, for different age groups and sexual orientations (there’s even talk of a special industry singles night), so if you don’t fit the parameters of this first one, please sit tight!

It’s going to be on Thursday May 30th at 7pm at the recently remodeled ~E&O ASIAN KITCHEN~, in their spacious private dining room downstairs. The age range for this first event is 35-49, with room for 20 men and 20 women (who identify as hetero, just to be clear). There are, I’m afraid, no more ladies’ tickets left, but we’ve got some spots for gentlemen. Naturally. Oh, San Francisco. You will have an opportunity to meet everyone at this sit-down event, which is a bit like a mash-up of speed dating and a wine tasting and a partay. Yeah, it’s gonna be fun. This is NOT going to be a Date-A-Palooza à la The 40-Year-Old Virgin (oh hell no, although that scene is so funny).

Thanks to the CIVL (the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc, the joint trade council of the AOC wines of Languedoc), we are going to be tasting a variety of delicious wines, eight in all. We are also happy to welcome back the very dynamic Josiah Baldivino (he taught the tablehopper Languedoc wine tasting last year); he is currently the head sommelier at Michael Mina, and will be telling you about each wine and a bit about the Languedoc-Roussillon region, the largest wine-growing region in the world.

Chef Sharon Nahm is going to be preparing a variety of delicious bites, so you will have plenty to taste throughout the evening. Hello, lapsang souchong tea-deviled eggs, oxtail dumplings, and other tasty dishes! (We can also accommodate vegetarians.) Don’t worry, you won’t be hungry—otherwise it wouldn’t be a tablehopper event. Hello.

You can get your tickets here (tickets are $65), and details about the wines and dishes will be released in the coming week. PLEASE NOTE: There are no ticket refunds if you can’t make it to the event (unless we can fill your place, but there are no guarantees about being able to do that). This event is 21 and over only, please.

This is a kickoff to L’Aventure Languedoc, from June 1st-30th, a monthlong and citywide promotion of Languedoc wines at a variety of restaurants and wine shops in San Francisco.


Pesce exterior. Yelp photo by Kevin Y.


Some new projects to add to your radar: first, ~PESCE~ is going to be swimming downstream from its Russian Hill location to the former 2223 Market Street/Jake’s on Market location in the Castro. Scoop mentions owners Ruggero Gadaldi and Adriano Paganini hope to reopen it as soon as August; Pesce will stay open until the new location is very close to opening. The menu will stay the same, although the number of seats will be doubling. As for the Polk Street location, stand by for what the duo plans to do in that space. 2227 Polk St. at Vallejo, 415-928-8025.

Kudos to Danny Bowien for winning Rising Star Chef at the James Beard Foundation Awards, and also for opening his next project in SF (thank you). Scoop interviewed him after his JBFA win, and he revealed he’s working with Mission Chinese Food’s SF chef Jesse Koide on a new concept. All we know is that it will be Asian, and the two of them are about to embark on some heavy R&D. Look forward to hearing what they cook up.

Local institution the ~TADICH GRILL~ has announced that they are opening a second location, this time in Washington, D.C. (Not like they are expanding too quickly—Tadich was established in 1849, so we’re looking at 164 years later.) The new spot is on Pennsylvania Avenue, between then White House and the Capitol, and is being opened by a partnership between the Buich family that currently owns Tadich, and a restaurant development firm called ICON Inc. Look for an opening in early 2014. The San Francisco location (which is the oldest restaurant in the city) will remain fully owned and operated by the Buich family. 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

Leo Beckerman and Evan Bloom of ~WISE SONS DELI~ are keeping busy with yet another new project: they’re going to be running the operations of the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s café (which is currently closed). Scoop reports the menu will be just like their Mission location, plus there will be a takeout window (which is where you’ll be able to score Beauty’s Bagels as well). Stand by for updates on the summer opening. 736 Mission St. at Yerba Buena Lane.

A friend let me know there is currently a Kickstarter to open a café called ~CAFE ST. JORGE~ in the former Nervous Dog Coffee spot in Bernal. Owner Andrea de Francisco is of Portuguese heritage, and plans to serve Stumptown coffee along with a menu of Portuguese-inspired dishes. 3438 Mission St. at Kingston.


A prosciutto, burrata, and artichoke pizza from Trattoria da Vittorio. Photo by Narbe Vagharshakian.


The interior at Amawele’s. Photo from Facebook.

There’s yet another spot for ramen, this time in the Outer Sunset/Parkside neighborhood. ~RAIJIN KITCHEN~ is open as of April 26th, serving ramen in housemade broth. They’ve got four kinds of ramen: the Raijin ramen, tan tan men, curry ramen, and shoyu ramen. Also look for a large selection of Japanese-style curries, like cheese curry (hmmm) and chashu curry. Their Facebook page mentions sister restaurants Waraku and Men Oh Ramen, which have garnered quite a following. 1353 Taraval St. at 24th Ave., 415-661-8680.

And now, let’s talk pizza, the other ceaseless topic in this town. We received word on Friday that ~TRATTORIA DA VITTORIO~ is now open in West Portal. As previously mentioned on tablehopper, the new restaurant is moving into the space previously occupied for A Café for All Seasons, and will feature Southern Italian food from owner Vittorio D’Urzo and chef Filippo Cannone. They’ve got a beautiful pizza oven and a menu of classic dishes like eggplant Parmigiana, pastas, and pizzas. For now, they’re only serving dinner, but look out for brunch and lunch coming soon. Hours are Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm. 150 West Portal Ave. at Vicente, 415-742-0300.

Scoop reports that ~FORBES ISLAND~ reopened last Friday after a fire damaged one of the private dining rooms. Because the kitchen and restaurant were unscathed in the blaze, they’ve been able to get back up and running rather quickly. Ahoy! Sea Lion Harbor, H Deck, at Pier 41, 415-951-4900.

The Financial District has a new place to get lunch: try ~AMAWELE’S SOUTH AFRICAN KITCHEN~ in the Rincon Center. Eater reports that the restaurant is mostly a takeout spot, with South African specialties like chicken curry rolls, “bunny chow” (a South African-style bread bowl), and frikadella slap chips rolls (that would be meatballs with french fries in a bun—yesss); check out the full menu here. The project comes from twin sisters Pamela and Wendy Michaelson (Amawele means “twins” in Zulu/Ubuntu), and they’ll be changing the menu with some frequency to keep things interesting. Hours are Mon-Fri 10am-3pm. 101 Spear St. at Mission, 415-536-5900.

Chow chatter reveals a new Indian/Nepalese restaurant in the Tenderloin called ~RED CHILLI~. Yelpers report great Nepalese food (hello, momos) and it’s open daily for lunch and dinner. 522 Jones St. at O’Farrell, 415-658-7558.

Tipster Jason B. lets us know that on Polk Street, the former Royal Grounds Café has transformed into ~MOKA COFFEE~. There has reportedly been an extensive remodel, and Yelpers mention coffee, tea, and sandwiches, with some complaints about prices. 1605 Polk St. at Sacramento.


The dining room at Padrecito. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©

Owner Berk Kinalilar of ~TROYA~ and ~TROYA FILLMORE~ has hired a new chef for ~TROYA FILLMORE~: Kevin Davidson, who was a chef de cuisine at Foreign Cinema and most recently was enjoying some travel with his wife. Troya Fillmore’s previous chef, Philip Busacco, is taking some time off to pursue photography and travel for a bit. (The chef at Troya on Clement remains in place.)

Good news: ~PADRECITO~ in Cole Valley is now open on Sunday nights for dinner; look for Mondays and weekend brunch soon! 901 Cole St. at Carl, 415-742-5505.

The fine folks at ~GALETTE 88~ have expanded their hours on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, making their hours Mon-Fri 11am-2:30pm, and now Wed-Thu 4pm-9pm.

Zagat reports that ~CHARLES CHOCOLATES~ will be serving afternoon tea on Sundays and Mondays at 12pm and 2pm, starting Sunday May 26th (so if you have Monday off for Memorial Day, check it out!). Look for chocolate chip scones, blueberry ricotta custard cake, clotted cream with jam, and tea sandwiches on Panorama bread. Tea is $32.50 per person, $48.50 with a box of chocolates to take home. Reservations and details are here. 353 Florida St. at 17th St., 415-659-8770.


A very gutted Boulette’s Larder. Photo via @mcs3000 on Twitter.


Firehouse 8. Photo from Facebook.

Wow, ~BOULETTES LARDER~ at the Ferry Building Marketplace is looking pretty gutted. The restaurant/larder has closed to make way for renovations, and the Boulettes website mentions it will reopen in July as a full-service restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and private dinners six days a week. Opening in early June will also be Bouli Bar in the former Culinaire space—mentioned previously on tablehopper here—which will have a wood-burning hearth, continuous hours (11:30am-8pm six days a week), and wine and cocktails. As for the larder, it will open in June in a “pretty window counter in the hall across from Prather Ranch.” Stand by for updates in the coming month.

As mentioned last week, the ~BACON BACON~ café location has to close for now, but it looks like once the owners install an air filtration system to keep those onerous bacon waftings at bay, the NIMBY neighbor will stop holding up the re-permitting process. You can read more about this whole thing on Uppercasing here. It’s like Ike’s all over again, although Bacon Bacon managed to get on SNL’s Weekend Update. 205 Frederick St. at Ashbury, 415-571-8516.

So it looks like the two chaps behind the ~THE BONEYARD~ truck I was the first to report on have split (Rich Mainzer bought out Mike Bradford and is now the sole operator of the truck). You’ll still be able to scarf down Mike’s excellent barbecue at some upcoming barbecue nights at 903 on Cortland in Bernal Heights (his wife is Mutsumi Takehara). Speaking of 903, they are currently running a Kickstarter to build a parklet out front, check it out.

The last day for ~PAL’S TAKEAWAY~ at Tony’s Market is May 31st. They’ll be moving down the block to ~LA MOVIDA~, which is due to open in June (recap here for those who don’t remember what the project is!). 3066 24th St. at Treat, 415-425-2392.

Last Thursday, ~WRECKING BALL COFFEE~ announced on Twitter that they are no longer serving coffee in ~FIREHOUSE 8~. An interview on Sprudge (hat tip to Eater) mentions they will continue to roast for their wholesale clients, and are looking for both pop-up and permanent locations. Follow them on Twitter for updates. In the meantime, Firehouse 8 is closed for renovations until this weekend, when Contraband Coffee will be one of their weekend pop-ups, according to a Facebook post.1648 Pacific Ave. at Polk.

Uptown Almanac adds to the list of the latest restaurant fire victims (what is going on?): ~WE BE SUSHI~ (538 Valencia St.) and ~THAI HOUSE 530~ (530 Valencia St.) both suffered a fire over the weekend and are closed for repairs. You can check out the mega flames on Mission Mission.


The 511 Marigny building in NoLa. Photo from Facebook.


Egg pizza with braised beef and kale from Pizzetta 211. Photo: ©

A report by Dana Massey-Todd: We’ve been sitting on the story of the new ~PIZZETTA 211~ location in New Orleans for a while, but now that the hopper has returned from that fair city, it’s time to spill the beans. I had a chance to sit down with owner Jack Murphy (full disclosure: I worked there for more than three years) to talk about the new project.

First things first, Pizzetta here in San Francisco will not change drastically. Murphy is currently looking for a head chef to run things while he’s gone, but he’ll also be relying on his existing staff to keep the place true to itself. The new project will be a partnership between Murphy, his girlfriend Susan Dunn, and her brother Ed Dunn, who has been a chef in New Orleans for more than 12 years. His résumé includes some pretty serious NoLa institutions, like Commander’s Palace and Emeril’s. They’re moving into a space in the Bywater neighborhood that occupies the bottom floor of a 100-year-old warehouse that used to house a sock factory and liquor distribution center, and has now been converted to a mixed-use space with loft apartments above and commercial space below. The building is called 511 Marigny, and the current owner has been working on developing the space since he purchased it in 1992—you can find some more information on the property’s development here.

For the food, they’re looking to offer a similar concept as Pizzetta: a small, tight, seasonally changing menu. While New Orleans is without question one of the best food cities in the country, Murphy hopes his seasonal, ingredient-driven ethos will fill a niche in the local scene. The neighborhood is in the middle of some major growth (check out an article on its development from the Times-Picayune), and Murphy is hoping to cater to neighborhood locals looking for a lighter dining experience than the typical NoLa fare. There will likely be four starters, four pizzas, four main dishes, and four desserts each day, and all will change according to seasonal availability. Like Pizzetta, there will be an open kitchen with an intimate feel, and the staff will be trained to work every station in the restaurant, including waiting tables and working a line in the kitchen. Unlike Pizzetta, though, there will be a lot more space. They’ve got 2,100 square feet to play with and are looking forward to being able to expand their charcuterie program, do some whole beast cooking, and add a full bar.

Right now, the working name for the new project is ~PALADAR 511~. A paladar is a Cuban underground home kitchen, and 511 is the address of the new location on Marigny Street (it’s a nice tie-in with San Francisco’s Pizzetta 211 too). They’re hoping to open by the end of 2013, and when they do, we’ll let you know. 511 Marigny St. at Decatur, New Orleans.

Oh, and speaking of Pizzetta 211, they’ve jumped on the Square bandwagon and are now accepting credit cards after 12 years of a rather infamous cash-only policy. (Hold. The. Phone.)


Cream pie with chocolate from Three Babes. Photo from Facebook.

The pop-up series Local Motion continues at ~TRACE~ with an appearance from ~ONIGILLY~ on Tuesday May 28th. The latest in the series is a benefit for La Cocina, and the dinner will be served family style, with passed apps, dishes like glazed king salmon with pickled cucumbers and carrot purée, plus some of Onigilly’s signature onigiri rice balls. For a full description of the menu and to get your tickets, head here. The dinner costs $45 per person, with optional drink pairings for $25.

The always fabulous ladies of ~THREE BABES BAKESHOP~ will be popping up in a couple of places this week. They’re giving a pie-making demonstration at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Saturday May 25th at 12pm. Plus, all week long, they’ll be serving as guest pastry chefs at ~DANDELION CHOCOLATE~ with some of their wonderful pies and other pastries. They’ll be there Wed-Sun from 10am-8pm with treats like cherry cobbler with cacao nib crumble, lemon bars with a chocolate shortbread crust and chocolate ganache, strawberry raspberry buttermilk pie, and a chocolate cream pie with whipped cream that’s been spiked with Almanac’s Biere de Chocolat. Yeah, killer. Don’t miss it. 740 Valencia St. at 18th St., 415-349-0942.

Looking for something fun to do on Sunday May 26th? Swing by ~PICCINO~ in Dogpatch to celebrate their two-year anniversary! They are closing off Minnesota Street in front of the Yellow Building and throwing a block party, with housemade sausages, beer and wine specials, and as the sun sets behind Potrero Hill, they’ll have an outdoor movie screening on the barn doors. Fun. 12pm-10pm.


Chicken and sausage gumbo from Easy Creole. Photo by Peter Bruce; photo via Facebook.

As previously mentioned on tablehopper, pop-up alumni Grant Gooding, Jess McCarter, and Jeron Thomson were opening ~EASY CREOLE~ in Berkeley, and now it’s open. The small space seats 22, and they’ve got rotating daily specials of the meaty and vegetarian variety. They’re open daily 11am-9pm, but apparently they’ve been experimenting with their hours, so be sure to keep up with the hours and menu on their Facebook page. 1761 Alcatraz at Ellis, Berkeley, 415-347-5640.

~CHEZ PANISSE~ is getting ready to re-open on Friday June 21st (that would be the solstice, when else?) after a fire a few months ago that destroyed the façade. They’re throwing their new doors open with a big soiree on the 21st to benefit the Edible Schoolyard; it’s $1,000 per person for the Café and $2,500 in the restaurant. More info and reservations here.

Over in Rockridge, we received the official word that ~TOAST~ has expanded into the space next door, nearly doubling their size. Previously, chef Rebecca Boice was working out of a galley kitchen sans gas, but now she’ll have access to a full kitchen. The menu has expanded accordingly, with new options like roasted chicken, pastas, and grilled meats, with sandwiches, salads, and soup at lunch. They’ve got 20 wines by the glass, 40 by the bottle, beer, and a full bar focused on small-batch producers; check out the beverage list here. And good news: they are now open for business. Hours are Mon-Sat 12pm-11pm and Sun 12pm-10pm. 5900 College Ave. at Chabot, Oakland, 510-658-5900.

A Temescal Blog mentions a new spot on Telegraph. It’s called ~KEREN CAFÉ AND MARKET~, and though details are scarce, the author mentions Ethiopian food and coffee. 3932 Telegraph Ave. at 40th St.

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