June 2, 2015

June 2, 2015
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The dining room at Lord Stanley. Photo by Robin Stein.

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Carrie and Rupert Blaise. Photo by Mike Norquist.

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Salmon with sorrel, beurre blanc. Photo by Mike Norquist.

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Leek dish. Photo by Mike Norquist.

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The communal table on the mezzanine at Lord Stanley. Photo by Robin Stein.

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The standing bar (in the background). Photo by Robin Stein.

Due to open in a week or so is ~LORD STANLEY~, a brand-new restaurant from first-time owners Rupert and Carrie Blease, who are also husband and wife. It will be a welcome addition to the Nob Hill/Russian Hill border, just on the corner of Broadway and Polk, in a neighborhood that doesn’t have many places that strike this kind of chic (yet casual) tone. The corner location is full of light and has an airy look, one that will definitely catch your eye. But more on that in a moment.

The Bleases first met while working together under Raymond Blanc at the two-Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, England. (Carrie, a Southern California girl, had her externship there after graduating from the CCA in SF and was then a commis for a year, while Rupert, an Englishman who did his culinary studies in Toulouse, started at Manoir as a line cook and left a sous.) The duo moved to New York together in 2005, with Carrie working as a line cook at Blue Hill New York and Rupert as a line cook at Per Se. A couple of years later, the couple moved to London to help their former Manoir colleague Agnar Sverrisson open the one-Michelin-starred, Scandinavian-inspired restaurant, Texture.

They then moved to San Francisco with the goal of opening their own restaurant, something they have talked about for the 10 years they have been married. It has been in the works for a couple of years, with Carrie working as a sous chef at Commonwealth and Rupert as a sous at Central Kitchen. At Lord Stanley, they’ll work in tandem, collaborating on the savory and sweet.

As for their vision for Lord Stanley, the couple stresses they want the dining experience to be casual and approachable. The dishes won’t be too complicated—they will exhibit a purity of flavor, so don’t look for a lot of components on the plate. But, of course, the ingredient sourcing will be tops, exhibiting beautiful preparations and skilled technique. Dishes will be lighter and cleaner—a bit Californian, Scandinavian, and European too (with a bit of a British accent). They will even be making their own bread and butter.

The compact menu (that’s a preview for you!) includes starters like salmon that is marinated with lemon and dill, lightly cold-smoked and confited (ditto the potatoes) and served with beurre blanc. Starters range from $12-$17, while mains like slow-cooked and grilled lamb shoulder with warm allium salad, and black cod with fava beans, avocado, and curry are $24-$29 (and please note the gratuity is included in these prices—Lord Stanley is following a service-included model). Desserts include one of Carrie’s favorites from living abroad: Eton mess ($12), with raspberries, strawberries, and elderflower, and a chocolate pouch ($13) made of crêpe batter with poached cherries and chocolate mousse. There is also going to be a seven-course tasting menu.

The restaurant has about 40 seats, with a mezzanine that has a communal table. Boor Bridges Architecture did a stellar job transforming the space, which was previously T2J Thai, though the building dates back to 1925. There is an open bar area, where guests will find a standing counter—you’ll see local beers on draft (Almanac Beer Company’s Golden Gate Gose and Magnolia Pub & Brewery’s Kalifornia Kolsch) and some bottled selections to go with a selection of bar snacks.

The clean lines of the space are enhanced by the poured and polished concrete floor, the light palette of white and gray, and custom-made poplar tables by Brandon Muñoz of Los Angeles (he also did the communal table that seats 14 upstairs, which can be used for private groups). Another eye-catching element upstairs is the “felting” art piece of sheep’s wool on the wall made from San Juan Islands sheep by Ashley Helvey; there’s also a cork floor. You’ll note some industrial elements throughout, like the seismic beams and stripped wood posts.

Wine director Louisa Smith, who is also a winemaker, will be overseeing the diverse and global list, which will feature many small producers (organic and biodynamic practices will be highlighted); good value is also a focus. She will be pouring sparkling wine by the glass from Les Capriades and Ruppert-Leroy, as well as bottles and glasses of Frantz Saumon Romorantin 2012, Tripoz Macon-Loche 2013, Domaine Guion Bourgueil, and Vinoterra Saperavi Kakheti, Georgia.

Open Tue-Thu and Sun 5:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-11pm. Weekend lunch coming soon. We’ll let you know when there’s a firm opening date. 2065 Polk St. at Broadway, 415-872-5512.

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The dining room at Farmhouse Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Farmhouse Kitchen.

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The counter at Farmhouse Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Farmhouse Kitchen.

A new Thai restaurant has opened in a quiet corner of the Mission (in the former Florida Street Café), called ~FARMHOUSE KITCHEN~. As Eater mentioned earlier, the restaurant comes from partners Kasem “Pop” Saengsawang and his wife, Iing Chatterjee, of Kitchen Story and Blackwood. They are offering Thai restaurant staples, including a variety of curries and noodles, but the menu from chef Saengsawang has some interesting regional Thai dishes too.

Check out the kai yang with som tum ($18), a half chicken marinated in turmeric and coconut milk served with papaya salad, black sweet sticky rice, and plum sauce, or the 24-hour beef noodle soup ($15), a slow-cooked beef stew with egg noodles, broccoli, basil, bean sprouts, cilantro, green onion, and garlic chips. There are also some unusual smaller dishes, including crispy frog legs ($12) and the “Bullet Train,” lightly fried silkworms with garlic chile sauce ($10). There is also a selection of small-production wines by the glass and the bottle, with five whites and four reds.

Hours are lunch Mon-Fri 11am-2:30pm, and dinner Sun-Thu from 5pm-10pm and Fri-Sat 5pm-10:30pm. 710 Florida St. at 19th St., 415-814-2920.

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Exterior of Café Claude Marina. Photo courtesy of AF&Co.

The former home of Café Claude Marina, which closed back in March, has a new owner. Michael Mina has bought the space, according to Scoop. The exact concept for the location hasn’t been decided yet, though it sounds like it may be more neighborhood-minded and modest than some of Mina’s flashier projects around town. However, what he plans to do with the space in the meantime is almost more interesting: it’s going to function as a pop-up/incubator for some of the Mina Group’s most promising young chefs. The first pop-up will come later this summer from RN74 chef Adam Sobel and Mina himself, who will be collaborating on a Middle Eastern-inspired dinner (Mina was born in Egypt, and Sobel is half Israeli). 2120 Greenwich St. at Fillmore.

The story continues with ~LUNA PARK~, which was maybe for sale and in talks with PlumpJack, but then that fell through. Scoop noticed that Bill Clarke, owner of Mission Beach Cafe, is buying the restaurant. Liquor license activity reveals the name “Thin Place,” but no other details are available. We were in touch with Clarke a few months ago about another Mission location we heard he was considering, so he definitely seems to be in expansion mode. For now, we’re on standby for more info. 694 Valencia St. at 18th St.

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Menus above the counter at Provender. Photo courtesy of Provender.

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The interior of Provender at night. Photo courtesy of Provender.

A report by Dana Eastland. Tony Ferrari and his brother Austin Ferrari have partnered up to open a coffee shop in the former Baked spot on Potrero Hill. They’ve also brought on Aran Healy (Ruby Wine Company) and Dave Tullis as partners in the project, which is called ~PROVENDER~. The brothers grew up in a large Italian family, where drinking espresso was an important ritual, and they want to bring that same spirit to the neighborhood. They’ll be using Sightglass beans and focusing on making the best coffee and espresso they possibly can. Tony Ferrari is also an owner at Hillside Supper Club.

The 300-square-foot space was built out by partner Dave Tullis, and the original Victorian style has been rendered in clean lines with a white and blue palette, hex tile flooring, and wooden countertops. As for the name, provender is an old term for dry feed for animals and so they figured: “Hell, let’s offer provender to the people of Potrero, YES?”

There is also a selection of housemade pastries, like black sesame banana bread; a savory biscuit with goat cheese, scallion, and bacon; and a chocolate chip cookie with sea salt. The small, tight menu offers food to go, like a lamb sandwich with charmoula aioli, a vegetarian beet sandwich, split pea soup with garlic, a quinoa salad, and an arugula salad.

They are still waiting on a health department inspection, but hope to open next Tuesday June 9th. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for up-to-date information on the opening. Hours will be Tue-Sun 8am-7pm, closed Mondays. They may stay open until 9pm in the future, depending on business. 1415 18th St. at Missouri.

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The Cubano. Photo: Matthew Runeare, for Belcampo Meat Co.

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Bacon & bacon. Photo: Matthew Runeare, for Belcampo Meat Co.

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The ham and egg. Photo: Matthew Runeare, for Belcampo Meat Co.

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Hello, sloppy mutton (aka the slutton!). Photo: Matthew Runeare, for Belcampo Meat Co.

At this point you may have figured out that we’re pretty sandwich obsessed. So it’s with great pleasure to announce that there’s a brand-new spot for you to get quality sandwiches during the week: ~BELCAMPO MEAT CO.~ on Polk is now serving lunch Monday through Friday! You’ll find an array of sandwiches, all featuring Belcampo’s quality and organic meats from animals raised humanely on their farm in Shasta.

Their newish chef, Dirk Tolsma, who came on earlier this year, has put together quite a sandwich menu (in conjunction with the Belcampo team) that includes a tartare tartine ($12), in which their fantastic steak tartare—mixed with creamy and bright yellow-orange egg yolk and pickled ramps—is piled on toasted whole wheat from Della Fattoria. You’ll also see their fantastic cheeseburger ($12), which is a rather perfect burger, with caramelized onions and butter lettuce; I so dig this burger.

Pork lovers will want to veer toward the roast pork Cubano ($11), a rare thing to find done well in this town. It has thin and juicy slices of mustard-roasted pork loin, ham, melty Swiss cheese, and their house pickles, all tucked into crispy ciabatta. It’s a beaut. But then there’s the wicked bacon & bacon ($14), with pulled bacon (yeah, think about that for a second) and slices of crisp bacon inside a sesame bun, and Tabasco aioli and tangy cabbage slaw. Don’t tell your cardiologist.

High on the creativity scale is the mean eggs & ham ($12), a deep-fried egg (again, get ready for the bright orange and creamy yolk!) inside a sesame bun with their deviled ham (it gets mixed with sriracha aioli and scallion), slices of avocado, basil, and cilantro—it’s kind of like a banh mi that ate a Scotch egg and went to California.

If you’re a sloppy joe fan, prepare thyself for the next level: the sloppy mutton ($12)—or, as I discovered, the “slutton,” as the team calls it (I am still laughing to myself over it). And the moniker is well deserved: a deeply flavorful filling of braised mutton shoulder and belly is tucked inside a soft sesame bun that soaks it up just so. And here’s the kicker: there’s a layer of roasted garlic mascarpone in there, genius! That sandwich is not one you want to miss. And here’s a little tablehopper insider deal: if you order the slutton (you have to call it that!), you’ll get a free side of their beef tallow fries ($3 value). And trust, you want those fries. It’s slutton time!

One last tip for you: if you are hungover, or fighting a cold, or just need a little comfort, a cup of their bone broth egg drop soup ($6) is what you want.

You can enjoy lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-3pm. (And be sure to pick up a dozen of their amazing free-range eggs and a little something from the meat counter on your way out the door—they have a bunch of new products, like sausages stuffed with jalapeño cheese, oh yeah.) 1998 Polk St. at Pacific, 415-660-5573.

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The exterior of Globe. Yelp photo by Michael G.

We received word that Joseph Manzare’s ~GLOBE~, which he opened with wife and partner Mary Klingbeil in 1997 and was such a late-night hangout and industry spot for years, has sadly closed its doors. He reportedly lost his lease and the restaurant had its last night on Saturday May 30th. We have reached out to Joseph for details and will let you know when we hear more from him directly. 290 Pacific Ave. at Front.

The Marina location of ~UDUPI PALACE~ has closed, according to a hawk-eyed tablehopper reader. A sign in the window says a new restaurant called Kobani Mediterranean Grill is opening soon in the space. No word on exactly what happened, but we have to guess the labor violation fines the restaurant was hit with earlier this year had something to do with it. The mini-chain’s Mission and Berkeley locations remain open. 3242 Scott St. at Chestnut.

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The spicy pork rito from Kama O Deli. Yelp photo by Sooshi K.

There is a new deli in South Beach called ~KAMA O DELI~, serving Asian-inspired wraps and sandwiches, like a beef sukiyaki “rito” or pork belly sandwich. Yelp reports are generally positive, citing it as a good place for lunch, with good value and friendly service. 590 3rd St. at Brannan, 415-872-9622.

Another San Francisco restaurant is changing their pricing and payment structure for workers: Cole Valley’s brunch staple ~ZAZIE~ has officially done away with tipping. In addition, owner Jennifer Piallat tells us everyone on the restaurant’s staff will now receive a living wage, profit sharing, fully funded dental and health insurance, paid sick leave, and a 401(k) with employer match. They’ve raised prices slightly, and done away with the San Francisco ordinances surcharge (previously $1.25 per diner). The changes are effective as of today, Tuesday June 2nd. Good job, Zazie, and all the best to your staff! 941 Cole St. at Parnassus, 415-564-5332.

Mission pub ~THE LIBERTIES~ is celebrating 15 years in business this month with a special Mission burger combo. For $15 you get the half-pound burger with cheese, bacon, and a side of fries, along with a half pint of any beer on tap. They’ve also recently refreshed the interior and added a heated outdoor space. 998 Guerrero St. at 22nd St., 415-282-6789.

As reported on tablehopper in April, the former Local’s Corner space in the Mission has a new taker. It’s called ~THE SPICE JAR~ and comes from owner Ryuichi Hamada. The restaurant will be serving “Asian comfort food,” Hamada says, with dishes inspired by many different Asian countries. Right now, he is hoping to open in late June but is still waiting on an ABC license transfer. The space is getting a quick refresh (and a hood), as well. 2500 Bryant St. at 23rd St., 415-829-3668.

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Food writer, author, and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman. Photo from Facebook.

A report by Dana Eastland. New York Times columnist and author Mark Bittman is in California and has produced a video series in partnership with UC Berkeley and the Berkeley Food Institute, called California Matters. The 10-part series is all about the food scene in California, with each episode tackling a different issue.

I had a chance to talk to Mr. Bittman about the series and hear about what he is most excited to share with viewers. California, he says, is “really the most interesting place to look at these things. You get the most diversity…everything you want to think about with food and agriculture is here.” To that end, the series will be looking at everything from agriculture to labor justice for food service workers to urban foraging. The series kicks off on Monday June 8th right here, and you can catch the trailer in the meantime.

Speaking of Mark Bittman, he’ll be in Lafayette on Wednesday June 3rd at The Commonwealth Club discussing his new book, A Bone to Pick. The evening goes from 6:30pm to 7:45pm and includes discussion of Bittman’s latest research and the effect of the American food system on our bodies and our planet. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for Commonwealth Club members, and there are also premium tickets available that include a copy of the book. Acalanes High School Performing Arts Theatre, 1200 Pleasant Hill Rd at Stanley, Lafayette.

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Author Mina Holland will be in town on Wednesday June 17th, at Book Passage at 6pm. Holland, who is the editor of Guardian Cook, will be promoting her new book The World on a Plate. The book contains 100 recipes from all over the world, along with cultural and historical facts and stories about each recipe. Signed copies of the book will be available. Ferry Building at Embarcadero, 415-835-1020.

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