September 10, 2013

September 10, 2013

Deeee-licious uni and fluffy scrambled egg. Photo: ©


Hello, my fellow singles who love food and wine. This week is round two of the tablehopper singles events! This time it’s for the gents, specifically gay men of all ages, as long as you are over 21 (we removed the previous age range). The event is going on Thursday September 12th at 7pm at the recently remodeled ~MKT RESTAURANT—BAR~ at the Four Seasons (oooh, swanky!) in their clubby Private Den (and since we’re on the fifth floor, it has some great views—and I’m not just talking about the hot crowd).

We have room for 40 (fabulous, hello!) gay men (tickets are selling fast!), and 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. You’ll have fun tablehopping—the last one we held was a blast.

Thanks to Graton, CA-based Purple Wine Company, we are going to be enjoying five wines from their portfolio (and learning about each of them from Executive Vice President Lisa Ehrlich). There will also be a beguiling welcome cocktail, courtesy of Charbay, plus one of their dessert elixirs at the end, and it wouldn’t be a tablehopper event without some bubbly in there too (generously provided by Boisset!). Pop!

Executive chef Mark Richardson and restaurant chef Chris Aguirre are going to be preparing a variety of delicious bites, so you will have plenty to taste throughout the evening. Here’s the evening’s menu (warning, you are about to get hungry): during the welcome reception, there will be a Charbay cocktail with hand-passed appetizers like seasonal soup shots, gougères, and a margherita pizza. During the tablehop event, you will have sparkling wine with MKT’s fantastic uni and soft-scrambled egg; 2011 Four Vines Naked Chardonnay and heirloom tomatoes with burrata; the 2011 BEX Nahe Riesling with fried green tomatoes; the newly released 2011 Alto Cinco Old-Vines Spanish garnacha with MKT’s superlative steak tartare (it’s really really good); the 2010 Maverick Amador County zinfandel with the MKT duck fat burger (uh-huh); the 2011 Avalon California cabernet with the BBQ prime beef short rib and Brentwood corn; oh yes, and Charbay’s lush Pomegranate Dessert Wine with the rhubarb, raspberry, and cardamom cheesecake. Hubba! (If you have some dietary restrictions, please let us know in advance—there is also a vegetarian option available.)

You can get your tickets here (tickets are $95). 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 so). This event is 21 and over only, please. The event will run from 7pm-9:45pm or so.

Once you buy your ticket, we are going to request that you email us a headshot/snapshot of you—we’ll need them post-event when we do our matchmaking, so please start thinking about which image you want to send us.

We really look forward to seeing you there!

This is the second in a series of tablehopper singles events. Look for more in the coming months, for different age groups and sexual orientations, so if you don’t fit the parameters of this one, please sit tight!


The dramatic interior at Café Claude in the Marina. Photo by Aubrie Pick Photography.


The bar. Photo by Aubrie Pick Photography.

As previously mentioned in tablehopper, Franck LeClerc is opening a Marina location of ~CAFÉ CLAUDE~, and we have word that the doors will open officially on Wednesday September 18th. The space is definitely opulent and over the top, with damask wallpaper, gilded mirrors, burgundy leather, and shiny dark wood surfaces. Our piece from July included lots details on the design from Elmer Lin (Consortium). There is seating at the bar (where you can enjoy a bar menu), in the dining room, or at a secluded (and rather romantic) booth in the private dining room. Ooh la la, indeed. On nice days, there will be six tables outside, too, plus windowed doors that open to let in the fresh air.

On the bar menu, look for apertifs like the Bitter Grin with Bonal, lemon juice, and soda, and bites like charcuterie and cheese plates, escargot, and a brandade; take a first look at the bar menu here. On the regular menu, from chef Doug Degeeter, you’ll find a daily rotating special, including short ribs on Sunday and loup de mer on Friday. The menu is classic bistro fare, with small plates like a smoked trout salad and steak tartare. Larger dishes include a burger, roasted chicken, and Niçoise salad; take a look at the dinner menu here. Hours will be Tue-Sun 4:30pm-11pm, Sat-Sun brunch and lunch will launch four to six weeks after the opening, with an aperitif hour from 4:30pm-6:30pm. Look for weekday lunch further out. 2120 Greenwich St. at Fillmore, 415-375-9550.


The bar and taps at Cellarmaker Brewing Company. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©


Interior at Cellarmaker. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©

A report by Dana Massey-Todd. As previously mentioned in tablehopper, SoMa is getting a new brewery soon. ~CELLARMAKER BREWING COMPANY~ comes from partners Connor Casey (of Marin Brewing and City Beer Store, plus Fritz Winery and Press Club) and brewer Tim Sciascia (previously Marin Brewing, and Samuel Adams before that). Rather than having house recipes that are always available, they’re planning to have a constantly changing selection of things they like and want to experiment with. They’ll be brewing big flavors, like stouts aged in bourbon barrels, hoppy IPAs, sour beers with seasonal fruit, and saisons. They have 12 taps, and will keep their production small, so that they can continuously try new things. There isn’t a kitchen; instead, they’re planning to host a different food truck in front of the taproom each evening. This all keeps with their small, local focus, as well as their ever-changing approach.

The space used to be a garage, and they’ve kept the quintessentially SoMa exposed brick, high ceilings, and roll-up garage door in front. The L-shaped walnut bar seats 14, and high tables of wood and natural steel accommodate an additional 35 people. All the woodworking was custom-done by local folks, and the space feels warm and comfortable. In the back, the brewing equipment is brand-new and shiny, and visible through a glass wall. The idea is that brew fiends can see the space and check out the process, but it keeps the bar area from feeling too much like a factory. They’ve also got a large piece from Los Angeles-based artist Eliot Saarinen made of wood and pint glasses.

They are hoping to get their permit squared away any day now, and then they can start brewing. They can brew four batches at a time; the first four will be a porter, an IPA, a pale ale, and a sour ale with seasonal fruit. If everything goes according to plan, they hope to be opening the second week of October; for updates, check out their Facebook page and Twitter feed. Hours will be Tue-Wed 3pm-11pm, Thu-Fri 3pm-12am, Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-6pm. 1150 Howard St. at 7th St., 415-863-3940 (phone should be hooked up in the next couple of weeks).

Grub Street reported back in February that Nob Hill is getting a new place for the suds too. ~HOPWATER DISTRIBUTION~ is the newest project from Sky Wegman, Chris Barry (both of Dogpatch Saloon, 83 Proof), and Jon Guinea (of Wood Tavern in Oakland). The new spot will have 32 beers on tap, all from California, and a list of California wines as well. Bruce Paton is consulting on the menu of inventive comfort food, which will include small bites for sharing in the evenings, and brunch on the weekends. They’re hoping to do lots of special events with a beer focus, including food and beer pairing dinners and hosting visiting brewers. The space is still under construction, but when completed will include a patio for warm days, exposed brick, and skylights. Right now, they are hoping to open in November, but that is pending construction and final inspections. 850 Bush St. at Taylor.

Then, down in the Design District is ~BLUEPRINT TAP ROOM~, which we reported on a few weeks ago and is opening this Thursday September 12th, according to a Facebook post (though we weren’t able to get confirmation). To recap, Chris Wong, previously of Social Kitchen & Brewery and Luella, is running the kitchen. You’ll find comfortable pub food, like crisp black-eyed peas, a chopped salad, barbecued chicken thighs, and a burger; check out the menu here. They’ll have 20 beers on tap, including choices from Anchor, Drake’s, and Social, plus a small selection of wine. They’ll also be open in the afternoons serving Blue Bottle coffee and dessert. Hours are Mon-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri 11am-10pm, and Sat 12pm-10pm, closed Sunday. 680 8th St. #170 at Brannan, 415-796-2493.


Sushi at Pabu, Baltimore. Photo via Facebook.

Back in August, 707 scout writer Heather Irwin broke the news that Ken Tominaga of Rohnert Park’s Hana was partnering with Michael Mina on a project in San Francisco (I also had heard the duo was moving into 101 California). The Mina team has stayed mum despite my queries about the gossip for months, but released the story to the Scoop last week.

Coming in spring 2014 will be the second location of ~PABU~ and the launch of ~RAMEN MARKET~, both into 101 California (a Platinum LEED-certified green building with a glass and atrium area focused on plants). There’s 10,000 square feet to work with, so there will be plenty of room. Pabu is the modern izakaya concept the duo launched at the Four Seasons in Baltimore—this iteration will include a sushi bar (with local seafood and fish sourced via Japan’s Tsukiji Market), izakaya dishes, a robata grill, shabu-shabu, noodle, and soup dishes. Look for premium and super-premium sakes, Japanese beers, and boutique wines. Japanese whisky will feature prominently in the cocktail program.

Ramen Market will be open all day (breakfast through dinner), with the busy Financial District customer in mind (who can do takeout or dine-in). Breakfast will include coffee and tea from LA’s Lamill Coffee, and the ramen menu will allow guests to choose from five different kinds or make their own bowl, selecting from five or six broths, proteins like duck confit, plus a variety of vegetables (there will also be gluten-free Japanese sweet potato noodles and low-carb vegetable noodles). Many of the greens, vegetables, and herbs will be grown in the residents’ garden (remember, there’s that atrium). There will also be a retail market, selling teas and other items. 101 California at Front.


The (often crowded) patio at Hog Island Oyster Bar. Photo by Ed Anderson Photography, courtesy Hog Island Oyster Co.

Turns out that rumor from a couple of weeks ago was true: ~HOG ISLAND OYSTER BAR~ will indeed be expanding into the Ferry Plaza Seafood location next door. The move will more than double the current size of the restaurant, which will definitely be a welcome change for their many oyster-slurping fans. Construction will begin in January 2014 (Cass Calder Smith is behind the design); look for a full bar, expanded menu, communal tables, and, of course, a killer view. 1 Ferry Building.


The interior of Plum, now Ume. Photo by Scott Kester.

Some news in the Daniel Patterson Group: chef Kim Alter (Haven) will be moving over to ~PLUM~, replacing Manfred Wrembel, and taking Alter’s place at ~HAVEN~ will be Chris Johnson, a sous at Coi for the past two years. Plum is also closed until Monday September 16th for a kitchen equipment update. When it reopens, Alter’s menu will be in place, and she is going to be adding a five-course tasting menu ($65). (Via Scoop.)

One more item of note: Nick Muncy is the new pastry chef at ~COI~ while Matt Tinder has been promoted to corporate pastry chef (both of them have been with DPG since 2011). Tinder will continue to be involved with Coi, while also overseeing breads and desserts at Plum, Plum Bar, Haven, and the forthcoming Alta CA.

Chef Adam Hinojosa—who you may recall was the original consulting chef at ~NOIR~ but did not stay on for the opening of the restaurant in order to continue working at Per Diem and Brickhouse—has now returned to Noir, this time as head chef. He has brought Sarah Shirley (Per Diem’s pastry chef) with him. The pair are cranking out American comfort classics at both dinner and brunch, to go along with the wine selection. At dinner, you can try brisket poutine, chicken and waffles, and lobster empanadas. At brunch, you can try a version of the poutine with pork sausage gravy and egg (goodness, breakfast poutine). Also look for savory and sweet crêpes, a frittata, and egg dishes at brunch. 581 Hayes St. at Laguna, 415-431-6647.


The Champa sampler. Yelp photo by Norey Lee N.


Cannelés chocolat from Le Dix-Sept Pâtisserie. Photo by Kristine Hernandez.


The Off the Grid pod at McCoppin. Photo from Facebook.

As previously mentioned on tablehopper, Oakland’s Laotian crowd-pleasing ~CHAMPA GARDEN~ is opening a San Francisco location near City College. The location is now open daily from 11am-3pm for lunch and 5pm-9pm for dinner (hat tip to Chowhound for catching the news), and the menu is the same as at the Oakland location. 613 Faxon Ave. at Ocean, 415-349-4186.

The Bay Area Reporter has news that the Castro is getting a new café, ~EUREKA!~ The new spot comes from business partners Bill Singleton and Patrick Batt (who also owns vintage porn shop Auto Erotica). The spot formerly housed Gelateria Naia and a Ben & Jerry’s, and the pair plans to serve Blue Bottle coffee, pastries from Crepes & Brioche, and ice cream from a still-unnamed local producer. 451 Castro St. at Market.

The folks behind ~UNA PIZZA NAPOLETANA~ are returning from their summer vacation on Wednesday September 11th, so go ahead and get your Napoletana crust fix.

Get your waistline ready for yet another fabulous guest chef pop-up at ~DANDELION CHOCOLATE~, this time from Le Dix-Sept Pâtisserie. This is their second time at Dandelion, in case you didn’t catch their fab tarts, chocolate canelés, and other treats the first time around. They’ll be there Wed September 11th-Sat September 14th from 10am-9pm. 740 Valencia St. at 18th St., 415-349-0942.

If you miss them at Dandelion, you’ll have another chance on Sunday September 15th at Four Barrel Alley, where they’ll be slinging tarts both sweet and savory, and quiche Lorraine from 9am-3pm. Caledonia at 15th St.

The ~OFF THE GRID~ pod on McCoppin Street in the Mission has been happening on Saturdays at lunch for more than two years, but no more. The pod will now be be trucking on Tuesday evenings from 5pm-9pm, starting September 10th (yup, that’s tonight), so plan accordingly. McCoppin St. at Valencia.


The Folsom Street side of the dining room at Prospect; photo by Mariko Reed.

There are a bunch of new ways to try out tasting menus at ~QUINCE~ this month, starting with a special dinner on Sunday September 15th. The dinner is a collaboration between Quince’s Michael Tusk and guest chef David Nayfeld, previously of Aqua and New York’s Eleven Madison Park. The six-course dinner is $125 per person, with wine pairings available for an additional $75.

In addition to the special dinner, you can order from a selection of seasonal tasting menus every night. The five-course “late summer menu” is all about summer’s bounty ($118 per person), while the nine-course “Quince menu” features luxurious ingredients and some of Quince’s signature dishes ($158 per person). The “garden menu” is a nine-course dinner, focused on vegetables and produce ($158 per person). All tasting menus are available with an optional wine pairing ($90 with the summer menu, $110 with the others), which can be ordered either traditional or “blind,” where you don’t know the wines until you’ve tasted them (Riedel’s black stemware will be in use!). Reservations for all dinners and events can be made by calling the restaurant.

Starting Tuesday September 17th, ~PROSPECT~ will be serving lunch Mon-Fri from 11:30am-2pm. The menu will include some staples from the evening and weekend menus, including the burger (duh), Moroccan meatballs with egg, and kabocha squash hummus, plus some new offerings, including a fried chicken sandwich, radicchio and kale salad, and corn soup with chanterelles. Every day, a different sandwich will be available to go too.

And for your weekend radar, check out the new Bad Ass Brunch at ~JASPER’S CORNER TAP~ from chef Mike Ransom. Starting Saturday September 14th, they’ll be serving lots of tasty dishes, including an egg sandwich on a biscuit; a poblano relleno with egg; a potato sausage with soft egg, king trumpet bacon, wild mushrooms, and parsley sauce; and a seasonally changing waffle. Take a look at the menu here. Along with the new dishes is a lineup of brunch cocktails, including several takes on the Bloody Mary, and a mint julep made with bubbly; check ‘em all out here. Brunch will be available Sat-Sun 11am-2:30pm.


Bench seating at Hog’s Apothecary. Photo from Facebook.

The Oakland beer hall ~HOG’S APOTHECARY~, from partners Bradford Earle and John Streit, is now softly open, according to their Facebook page. East Bay Express reported that Streit is the chef, and they’re serving classic bar food, including housemade pretzels, sausages, and sauerkraut, along with some more updated appetizers and salads. You’ll find anywhere from 7-12 sausage varieties, ranging from classics like bratwurst to more unusual choices like a house-smoked andouille. Prices are reasonable too: they’re reportedly keeping most dishes less than $10, and a few larger plates will hit the $15 mark. They’ve got 36 beers on tap, many local and some custom-brewed, and three taps for nonalcoholic choices, though no word on any specifics.

Unfortunately, the team is staying tight-lipped on any details, like a menu, beer list, and when the grand opening is, so there isn’t much else to say. But you may recall that Scoop reported that Sayre Piotrkowski is heading up the beer program (which will rock), and that the kitchen will be focused on whole-hog butchery. 375 40th St. at Opal, Oakland, 510-338-3847.

Was sorry to learn the Oakland location Chris Kronner of ~KRONNER BURGER~ was working on just fell through. So his search in the 510 (and SF!) for a permanent location continues. In the meantime, he wanted to let me know they are now grinding their 21-day dry-aged beef in-house—Taylor Boetticher over at Fatted Calf styled him with a grinder (thanks Taylor!). Yup, that burger keeps getting better. You can swing by the current Kronner Burger location (at Bruno’s) Sun, Tue-Wed 6pm-10pm, and Thu-Fri 6pm-11pm (closed Mon and Sat). 2379 Mission St. at 20th St.

A couple of other tidbits: fans of classic New Orleans po’boys, gumbo, and étouffée will reportedly find some at the divey ~ELI’S MILE HIGH CLUB~ in Oakland, according to the East Bay Express. Couyon Cajun & Po’Boys (chefs David Hledik and Louise Martin) are behind the new menu, which also includes some wicked-sounding pork cracklin’ steamed buns (whoa) and housemade charcuterie. Nothing is more than $10, and you can order your belly-filling feast from the counter from 12pm-10:30pm on weekdays, and until 12:30am Fri-Sat. 3629 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. at 37th St., Oakland, 510-808-7101.

Berkeleyside Nosh reports the old-school ~MERRITT BAKERY AND RESTAURANT~ is back in business after a fire closed it down in May. 203 E. 18th St. at Athol, Oakland, 510-444-6955.


Get your tickets now for this awesome event with Brazilian chef Alex Atala of Sao Paolo’s D.O.M. restaurant at ~CAMINO~ in Oakland on Monday October 21st at 6pm. The dinner is a party to celebrate the release of his new cookbook, D.O.M.: Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients, which will also be available for purchase from Omnivore Books at the event.

The evening begins at 6pm with a book signing and caipirinha reception, along with snacks. Dinner begins around 7pm, and is a traditional, multicourse Brazilian chicken and rice feast called a galinhada, all cooked in the big Camino fireplace by chef Russ Moore. Tickets are $85, including caipirinhas and wine (but not tax and tip). 3917 Grand Ave. at Sunnyslope, Oakland, 510-547-5035.

On Sunday September 15th, chefs from Chop Bar, Tribune Tavern, Lungomare, and Brotzeit Lokal will come together at ~LINDEN STREET BREWERY~ for a Whole Pig Roast Cookoff from 4pm-8pm. Tickets are $20 at the door, and include not only a plate of pork, but also side dishes like potato salad, greens, and corn bread. At the end, you’ll get to vote on your favorite porky preparation too. There will be a jump house for kids, as well as a pizza truck for those not into pork. 95 Linden St. at 3rd St., Oakland, 510-251-8898.