December 16, 2008

Camper over at has the latest on Charles Phan’s Chinese noodle bar (last I heard, that’s what it was going to be, which was a while ago) and lounge that is going into the Soma Grand. Word is that it’s going to be called ~HEAVEN’S DOG~. Here’s what Camper dug up: “Also great is the list of bartenders who've signed on to take shifts at the place: Thad Vogler (Slanted Door, Jardinière, Beretta, the forthcoming Agricole), Eric Johnson (Eastside West, Bourbon & Branch, Beretta), Jackie Patterson (Orson, Zinnia), Jennifer Colliau (Slanted Door, Small Hand Foods), Jon Santer (Bourbon & Branch, Beretta, Martin Miller's Gin), and Lane Ford (Beretta, Flora).” Will it be SoMa’s Beretta? Here’s more: “The restaurant should be opening in early January. [Bar manager Erik] Adkins tells me that they'll keep the drink menu at a reasonable 12 or so drinks ‘focusing more on execution than on unusual recipes.’ They'll also have an emphasis on quality ice, with a Kold Draft machine for cubes, plus a freezer dedicated just to ice that they'll use to make spears for tall drinks and chunks for some of the rocks drinks.” 1160 Mission at 7th St.

~NICKIE’S~ scored a liquor license, which means you now have a new full bar option in the Lower Haight for a gosh-darned drank, besides Danny Coyle’s or Molotov. Oh yeah, there’s also RNM, but that’s a restaurant. And the Peacock Lounge is only when you’re hittin’ a private bingo party. 466 Haight St. at Fillmore, 415-255-0300.

Want to brush up on your Frenchie wines? Another session of ~LES VINS DE FRANCE~, taught by Raphael Knapp at the Alliance Française is starting on January 20th. The classes are as follows: Champagne (class 1 and 2), Alsace (class 3 and 4), Loire Valley (class 5 and 6). The classes run from 7pm–8:30pm on Tuesday evenings, and are taught in French and English to make sure to everybody is following (one goal is that people learn about French wine expressions and terms). Class 1: Jan 20th, Class 2: Jan 27th, Class 3: Feb 3rd, Class 4: Feb 10th, Class 5: Feb 17th, no class on Feb 24th, Class 6: Mar 3rd. $255 for the series (roughly $50 per class). Tuition for six lectures includes well-selected wine tastings. Students with particular interests in certain regions have the option to choose a partial enrollment, with a two-class minimum for a pro-rated fee. Space is limited. To register, call the Alliance Française at 415-775-7755. 1345 Bush St. at Polk.

And this came in at the eleventh hour but is just too cool not to share: this Thursday December 18th at the 18th Hour at 18 Reasons will be a ~CHAMPAGNE SABERING PARTY~! Learn how to lop off the top of a bottle of Champagne like Napoleon's soldiers used to do it. You bring a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine, and they’ll provide the saber and the instructions. Feel free to bring your own saber, sword, or machete-like object. (This could get crazy.) There will be oysters and a swordfish and razor clam bouillabaisse to sharpen your palate. 7pm–9pm. $10 donation to benefit 18 Reasons. 593 Guerrero St. at 18th St.