August 28, 2007

Moving into the former Malacca space on Market Street will be ~FRISÉE~, a first-time effort from brothers Brett and Nathan Niebergall. The menu will be inventive and feature healthy dishes made with organic ingredients that will incorporate balanced amounts of lean protein, whole grains, vegetables and healthy fats. (Example: pistachio-dusted salmon fillet on a spinach salad tossed with candied pecans, sliced jicama, pear and dried cherries.) And for you eating-on-the-go types, there will be some pre-boxed dinners available for $15 or so. The sleek design of the space and local DJs will keep the scene from becoming granola. There will also be a wine list of biodynamic and organic wines from California, Argentina, Northern Italy, Australia and France—guests will be able to swing by and hang out for wine in the upstairs mezzanine. Plans are to open mid-September. 2367 Market Street at 17th, 415-558-1616.

Good news: ~LAÏOLA~ is now serving cocktails! And now you have yet another reason to had on over there, or return! 2031 Chestnut St. at Fillmore, 415-346-5641.

Okay you crazy home and professional mixologists: the inaugural ~SQUARE OFF COCKTAIL COMPETITION~, co-hosted by CHOW.com and Om Organics, is coming up. Both amateur and professionals can submit their recipes (it needs to be a pitcher cocktail) on CHOW.com using Square One and at least 75% organic ingredients. A panel of judges from the spirits world will single out the most mouthwatering concoctions, and then the two contenders (one avid amateur mixologist and one top professional bartender) will come to San Francisco for a showdown on September 25 before a public audience and five-person judging panel, which will include Jacques Bezuindenhout of Harry Denton's Starlight Room, Jane Goldman of Chow, Natalie Bovis-Nelsen of The Liquid Muse blog, and one lucky consumer who will be chosen locally.

For the actual Square Off, two additional cocktails will be created onsite: 1) a cocktail using ingredients culled from the Farmers’ Market at the Ferry Building that day; and 2) a cocktail based on a mystery seasonal, organic ingredient—to be picked by the judges on that day from the Farmers’ Market. The judges’ verdicts on these three drinks will determine the winner. Tickets to the Square Off will be $10 (you can buy tickets here) and will include some food from Bacar. Ticket proceeds from the final event will benefit the non-profit groups Om Organics and CUESA and their mission to promote organic and local foods.

Now you chefs can have a chance at competing, at the upcoming ~BOSS OF THE SAUCE~ event. 50 San Francisco Bay Area restaurants will compete for the distinction of having the best tomato-based sauce (the sauce needs to already be a permanent part of your restaurant’s menu). The tasting will take place on October 14 at Fort Mason Center. If you want to participate, you can register online—the deadline to enter is Sep. 28. FIERI, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating Italian culture, is hosting the competition.