tablehopper
table of contents   This week's tablehopper: misty mountain hop.

the chatterbox
the word on the street
the jetsetter
get outta dodge
the socialite
shindigs/feasts/festivals
the starlet
no photos please

 

SEPTEMBER 5, 2006 | SAN FRANCISCO Okay, I'm back. Kind of. Today is (sadly) the day I depart Tahoe, so you can expect things to be back up to 5th gear next week. This week, in honor of my mini (well, actually, lengthy) report of Lake Tahoe eats, I'm introducing a new section, the jetsetter, which covers easy getaways from SF, and where to eat, stay, and play. Expect some upcoming pieces on Healdsburg, and Paso Robles.

Please note: a bunch of Comcast users didn't receive the August 22 issue, hopefully that's all fixed now. If you didn't receive last week's newsletter, let me remind you, there wasn't one! And welcome back to your bed, shower, and running water, you lovely burners.

Yours,
~Marcia

the chatterbox

SEPTEMBER 5, 2006 | SAN FRANCISCO Attention cheeseheads. (And I don't mean Green Bay fans.) We can enroll in a number of schools in our life: culinary school, dental school, driving school (that's what you get for rolling stop signs). Now, how about the dreamiest of them all, Cheese School! Sara Vivenzio, a cheese buyer (and former cheese monger) for Cheese Plus at 2001 Polk St. has opened ~THE CHEESE SCHOOL OF SAN FRANCISCO~ just around the corner, offering a variety of classes each month that are focused on particular topics, from "Farmstead Cheesemaking" (yes, you get to make your own in class) to "Cheeses of Italy" with Judy Creighton. The monthly classes that originally started at Cheese Plus were so popular that Vivenzio decided to open the school, offering a whole range of classes, dedicating it to cheese education for the curious, the enthusiast, and the pro. (Classes will average around $60.) The space is in the former Oakville Grocery (that's some good provenance), and will feature wine and cheese from Cheese Plus, where Vivenzio is still the buyer. You can sign up at Cheese Plus, or online. Check out the upcoming classes, like the Basic Cheese Primer this Thursday the 7th, and the very unique ACS (American Cheese Society) Winners showcased in the class on Friday (there were 980 cheese entered in the competition!). There are also drop-in nights where you can talk to a cheese pro and fellow Epoisses-obsessed whilst nibbling on some pecorino pepato (for $25). 1555 Pacific (2nd floor), between Polk and Larkin, 415-346-7530.

Some big changes are in store at ~HAWTHORNE LANE~: after eleven years in the biz, it will be closing at the end of the year, and reopening as TWO (or potentially some other moniker), playing on the address of 22 Hawthorne Lane, and this being the second incarnation of the restaurant, and a culinary collaboration of two creative chefs. Owner David Gingrass has noted how much tastes have changed over the past decade, including his own, and has decided to do away with the formal dining atmosphere and create a more casual environment, but with the same focus on the well-prepared food made with quality ingredients that is a hallmark of Hawthorne Lane. Gingrass says, "I started to feel like I was running my dad's restaurant," and it wasn't reflecting how he likes to eat out (and other people too). He wants folks to feel comfortable swinging by for pasta on Monday night, and doing away with the notion that it's a restaurant you'd only go to for a birthday or anniversary.

Executive Chef Bridget Batson will still be leading the kitchen, but Gingrass will be putting more of his touch and culinary voice on the menu, introducing his signature charcuterie items, house-made sausages, and handcrafted breads (also available two-go, ha ha, clever clever). Gingrass's vision is for food that is approachable and isn't overwrought—the menu will feature small, ingredient-focused appetizers, including traditional-style pizzas, a variety of pastas, and entrées with grilled, roasted, and braised items. Gingrass also mentioned desserts will become decidedly more rustic.

For those who are curious about the menu changes, you can't beat the upcoming "dinner in the kitchen" events; on Thursday and Friday evenings during October and November, twelve people can sit at their family table in the kitchen at Hawthorne Lane, and Batson and Gingrass will prepare and serve dishes from the new menu. Jeff Creamer, the beverage director, will be there to suggest wine pairings from a newly assembled list of fifty-under-fifty. Guest participation with plating and serving, sort of an extension of their very successful cooking class format, will be optional. In honor of their birth year, the menu for each "dinner in the kitchen" will only cost $19.95 per person. At the end of dinner, you'll have to answer a detailed questionnaire about the food, and where you normally like to eat, so don't get too wasted. If you'd like attend any of those "dinner in the kitchen" evenings, contact Christianne Barrow at 415-777-5667 during regular business hours, or email her at Christianne [at] hawthornelane [dot] com.

The new menu, called TWO, will start being offered as a secondary menu in the dining room in December. Gingrass also plans on closing for a remodel after Christmas Eve for a couple weeks, extending into January. The bar will become the focal point of the front room, with seats that will go all the way around, plus expect some changes in the dining room, with a private dining area being added. As if all of this wasn't enough, TWO will also offer a box lunch program that is ordered via their website and picked up "drive-through" style in the courtyard. Sweet.

For those who want to follow all the changes, Gingrass will be building an HTML essay documenting the entire process of re-concepting an established restaurant; it will be in development over the next week or so, and then posted online as soon as there's something to look at.

A month or so ago I reported on Patisserie Philippe opening in the Metro Showplace Square, near the turnaround at 8th St. and Townsend. (It looks like the beginning of October for that opening.) Showrooms like Roche Bobois (just opened) and others, from home theater to window treatment showrooms, will soon have some restaurants in the mix. Just next door to the patisserie will be the ~HOLY GRILL~, opening by the end of September, serving burgers, fries, chicken, salads, and sandwiches for lunch and dinner (11am-9pm daily). They also will offer beer and wine. This is a project from Mission Bay Foods, who also own Dos Piñas Taqueria at 16th and Rhode Island. 659 Townsend at 8th St.

Another eatery opening soon will be the ~SAFFRON LOUNGE~, a tiny Mediterranean joint offering Mediterranean classics (expect some dolmades and hummus). They will be open for lunch only to start. 685 Townsend St.

Then there's the slightly upscale ~GRAND PUH BAH~, a Thai restaurant that will be open for lunch and dinner, with furnishings from Thailand, white tablecloths, and a good wine list. The Grand Puh Bah should be holding court by the end of the year. 88 Division St.

A couple little tidbits: ~SOCIALE~ is celebrating their fifth anniversary—swing by from now until the 9th for some old faves on their menu, and complimentary prosecco.

After the fire they experienced, ~PICCADILLY FISH & CHIPS~ has (somewhat) remodeled and is now open again. No big changes—just a new counter and a few other details. 1348 Polk St.

According to my calculations, ~MYTH CAFÉ~ should be open for dinner and serving their new menu of affordable and tasty bites tonight. Release the sliders. (But call and confirm first: 415-677-4289.)

Bruce Cole of Edible San Francisco has launched a blog, ~EDIBLE NATION~, the official blog for Edible Communities. Check it out.

 
the regular

SEPTEMBER 5, 2006 | SAN FRANCISCO Destination: Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is very near and dear to my heart. Not only did my parents have their honeymoon there, but soon thereafter purchased a cabin in Tahoma (smart move, 'rents, seriously), where I've been coming since I was literally in diapers. It's truly a second home to me. Some only come to the lake to ski and snowboard in the winter, while others (like me) prefer the stunning summer months. While I can't offer any housing suggestions since all I know is our cabin, I can suggest some tasty places to eat while you're at the lake that are open year-round.

Sol y Lago image

Sol y Lago
Boatworks Mall
760 N. Lake Blvd.
Tahoe City, CA 96145

530-583-0358
website

Bar opens 4:20pm (seriously)
Dinner Mon-Thu 5:30pm-10pm
Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm

Apps $4.50-$11
Entrées $18-$22
Desserts $4-$6

Let's face it: lakeside dining is often disappointing. Like San Francisco, you usually are paying for your view, with food as a tragic and overpriced afterthought. One place that totally broke that paradigm for me is ~SOL Y LAGO~, a Tahoe City restaurant from San Francisco's Johnny Alamilla, formerly of Alma in the Mission, and Brian Reccow, who hails from Thirsty Bear. They moved up here, partially to get more snowboarding in, and took over the former Hacienda, offering what Alamilla has coined "Sierra Latino Cuisine." The menu features an array of downright affordable (and tasty) tapas, both hot and cold.

I was definitely fired up on the presentation of the quinoa gratin ($7), a hearty dish with roasted tomatoes and cream, and melted queso cotija on top—it arrives sizzling hot. However, I found the accompanying crostini somewhat superfluous—all you need with that dish is a fork. Toothsome empanadas ($8) had a mash of bright green peas inside, with a flavorful carrot and cayenne pool of sauce on the plate. Speaking of the plate, it arrived hot, which was nice for the empanadas, but didn't do any service to the (rather undressed) mixed greens on there as well. A favorite, the perfectly-cooked coconut-glazed prawns ($11), came on a bed of Bloomsdale spinach and really had some zing—meanwhile, the wild striped bass ceviche ($9) was flat and under-seasoned—it needed some kick that the mild green chilies weren't generating (stingy, those chilies). Achiote chicken skewers ($7) were juicy and tender, although one was doused with the honey and coriander mustard sauce, while the other exhibited a lighter hand.

Mains are also affordable (even a rib eye is only $22), but unfortunately weren't quite as faboo as the commendable parade of tapas. The roasted free-range chicken ($18) generously comes with two legs (two thighs and drumsticks). The crackly crust was delicious and the chicken was juicy, but overall the seasoning just wasn't really there. It needed to be fully dialed; I'm not asking for ELEVEN, even eight would be great. Chicky chick comes with baby onions and scrumptious cornmeal dumplings with a hint of Parmesan that lounge around in the fennel-scented broth. Pan-seared halibut ($19) arrived a touch overdone, dang, which was a shame because the tricolore of sweet corn, roasted tomato coulis, and pumpkin seed pesto all offered a savory and bright counterpoint. This dish was close to rocking. Very close.

Desserts really nailed it—it was impossible to avoid finishing the house-made tres leches cake ($6), and everyone should at least try the chocolate and jalapeño gelato ($4), a special recipe made in conjunction with Ciao Bella for the restaurant (Sol y Lago is the only place where you could taste it). There's also a sundae ($6) topped with a cornmeal-cayenne crunch that should be packaged and sold separately, it's that good.

If you're craving a lake view, Sol y Lago has it, but once the sun goes down, the alcove area offering the view is a bit nondescript and plain. The main dining area is more stylish, with a long bar that can fill up with cocktail seekers (mojito, anyone?) and those craving a quick bite. Music was spot-on. Service was kind, but the kitchen definitely had some timing issues, with long gaps between various courses, and then suddenly a couple dishes would arrive at once. Just kick back and enjoy a glass of South American wine, like one of the affordable Malbecs, including a 2005 rosé from Terza Volta ($5.50) that held up well to some of the tapas. Overall, Sol y Lago offers some flavorful cuisine that isn't common, and at a price that can't be beat. And whaddya know, there's that gorg view.

A few notes on lakeside dining: ~SUNNYSIDE RESORT~ (1850 West Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, 800-822-2754) on the west shore is well known for its massive deck and classic American food. The fortunate get to pull up in their boats and dock right there while they have a drink and dinner. (Someday, it'll be me in my Chris Craft, with "Contessa" written on the back.) I say sure, come by for their famed zucchini sticks and a cocktail—but if you must dine, then go for one of their hefty steaks (they run about $24 for a 14 oz. rib eye, and $29.50 for a 12 oz. NY Strip). If you have the moolah, supposedly the ~WEST SHORE CAFE~ (5160 West Lake Blvd., Homewood, 530-525-5200) is putting out some of the swankiest dining on the lake, but also some of the most expensive. (Break out the AMEX.) Lastly, there's a reason ~WOLFDALE'S~ (640 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, 530-583-5700, www.wolfdales.com) is a long-standing favorite—its cuisine is memorable and well prepared, but be prepared to pay.

Here's a tip: one of the most scenic places to hang out on the lake during the day is at Sugar Pine Point Park (I literally pedal my bike there every day), and it's especially a treat with a huge sandwich from the deli inside the nearby ~PDQ MARKET~ (6890 West Lake Blvd., Tahoma, 530-525-7411). Be forewarned, the sandwiches are the size of footballs, so it's best to share or just order a half (the jalapeño bread is tasty). I also found a hippie/face-painter/nature store just outside of Tahoe City, ~NEW MOON NATURAL FOODS~ (505 West Lake Blvd. at Granlibakken Road, 530-583-7426) that not only has good organic munchies and products (did you forget your Tom's of Maine toothpaste?) but also has a fab ethnic deli inside, the ~STONY RIDGE UNCOMMON KITCHEN~ (530-583-3663, Mon-Sat 11am-7pm, www.uncommonkitchen.org) serving an eclectic array of daily specials like teriyaki bowls, sushi, fish tacos, and soups, with most items made with organic ingredients and in biodegradable packaging. (Tahoe kids might recognize the name from the Stony Ridge Café that used to be in Tahoma, and was famous for its epic breakfasts—it's the same folks!)

Moody's image

Moody's Bistro & Lounge
10007 Bridge St.
Truckee, CA 96161

530-587-8688
website

Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner daily 5pm-10pm
Brunch Sat & Sun 11am-2:30pm
In-between menu daily 2:30pm-5pm

Apps $8-$16
Entrées $22-$48
Desserts $7-$8

Interestingly, I found nearby Truckee to really have more of a burgeoning scene than Tahoe City (if you can really call it a scene). For some reason the restaurants felt more energized, and full. The restaurant that was my hands-down favorite of this entire trip was ~MOODY'S BISTRO & LOUNGE~ in the Truckee Hotel, serving up Cali-bistro cuisine that would be a hit in San Francisco. Heck, anywhere. The menu is a behemoth, bigger than many bistros in SF, and everything sounds beyond appetizing, so get ready to feast.

Chef and co-owner Mark Estee really values organic, local, and sustainable ingredients—he name checks Niman Ranch in his crispy pancake of pig's trotters ($10) served with a dollop of sauce gribiche and a drizzle of aged balsamic, and the salad of Heidi Watanabe's heirloom tomatoes ($12/$16 with cheese) was spectacular: four kinds of delectable tomatoes (Pineapple, Brandywine, Orange Persimmon, and Cherokee), served with three kinds of salt (Maldon, sel gris, and Hawaiian), and creamy burrata cheese from Gioia Cheese Co. in So Cal (who also supplies A16 and Cowgirl Creamery with that wicked creamy goodness).

Another star on the menu was the crispy and nicely browned sweetbreads ($10) that are pressed, and served with a frisee salad topped with a local egg, sunny side up, with some ciabatta on the side. The warm brown butter, sherry vinegar, and whole grain mustard dressing made the sweetbreads sing (or was it the jazz singer in the other room?). I could have made a meal of this on its own. Damn. Serious luxury.

I also espied our neighbor enjoying a roasted tomato soup ($8) served en croute—yes, pinch pinch, you are in Truckee. The pastas stumbled a bit: the farro spaghetti with a four-meat sugo ($12/$22) was overcooked, and the pan-seared potato gnocchi ($12/$22) were pasty and doughy (my grandmother would have hollered), but the corn, cream, chive, truffle butter, and pecorino sauce was a delight.

Lastly, the can't-miss dish was Ernie's salmon ($27). Ernie is a firefighter in Reno who heads over to Bodega Bay to fish, and brings the salmon back with him. The night we dined, it was less than 24 hours old. That's some fresh fish, baby. And the bed of summer vegetable risotto only made is more delicious, along with a hint of truffle oil and baby fennel relish on top. Stellar. Other dishes I wish I was feasting on in SF include the big ass (yes, that's its name) Niman Ranch pork porterhouse ($30), braised veal shank cannelloni ($24), and they even serve onglet ($18/$28 with foie gras). There's also a tasting menu. No, this is not your typical mountain dining. Yes, I am coming back.

Desserts like the fresh berry tart ($8) with lemon curd and crisp shortbread crust was the essence of summer, but so was the monster serving of peach and lavender crisp ($8), with burgundy cherry gelato made from "The Latest Scoop" in Berkeley (there was also a delicious peach champagne sorbet on the menu). Wines are well chosen, and plentiful—be sure to engage the wine director if you can. Service was spot-on—our server was quite knowledgeable about every dish, and very observant, but nicely easygoing at the same time.

The atmosphere is cozy—you enter through a deco-inspired lounge with big booths and live jazz (often big names) playing Wed-Sat (kicking in Wed-Thu at 8pm, and 9pm-midnight Fri-Sat)—the acts are booked by co-owner JJ Morgan, who was the owners/booker/GM at the Up & Down Club in SF for five years. The dining room has marigold sponge-painted walls, vintage bistro and aperitif lithographs, large mirrors, striped carpet, and butcher-paper topped tables. Jazzy. Pass through to the back, and there's a patio with a seaside-inspired awning of sunny yellow stripes and charming lights in the evening. Excuse the lame pun, but I'm gonna say it anyway: Moody's seriously hits the right note. Tweet!

Dragonfly image

Dragonfly
10118 Donner Pass Rd.
(upstairs)
Truckee, CA 96161

530-587-0557
website

Lunch 11am-2:30pm
Dinner 5:30pm-9:30pm

Apps $7-$15
Entrées $20-$32
Dessert $8

A local's favorite in Truckee is ~DRAGONFLY~, a "Cal-Asian" and fusion-inspired restaurant perched up on a second floor. While you wrap your head around the globetrotting menu utilizing ingredients from China, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, and Southeast Asia, order up some teasers, like curried flatbread with a kicky yogurt dip ($4), rice balls in a sweet and sour and tamari dip, or some intensely caramelized eggplant ($4) in a ginger, garlic, tamari, and sesame sauce that you scoop up with wonton chips.

We tried some lighter dishes to start, like the Indian-style sweet corn soup ($7) with a papadum chip on top and a swirl of scallion crème fraîche, and spring rolls wrapped in rice paper ($14), stuffed with smoked chicken, crab, mango, and vermicelli noodles. (There's also a crispy version offered.) A nice break from all those steakhouses in the area, no?

Dishes rotate each week, but this evening we had oven-roasted Maple Leaf duck breast ($26), a generous portion, and downright succulent, served with ginger mashed potatoes and grilled radicchio. The fusion part kicked in further with a blackberry marmalade (studded with fresh blackberries), sweet potato chips, and a pool of shao hsing rice wine jus. There were definite layers of flavor and texture in each bite.

There was also a "Duet of the Sea" ($28), Alaskan halibut and Loch Duart salmon that are roasted and served on a pinot-soaked barrel stave (the stave comes from the Truckee River Winery). The fish was juicy, tender, and perfectly prepared, and each came with a glaze (hoisin-garlic and honey-soy), plus a white peach and ginger chutney. Sides included more of the ginger mashed potatoes, and grilled bok choy. Normally, I'd read all that on a menu and go WHOA, but it really came together—chef/owner Billy McCullough likes to play with sweet and salty. (He was formerly a sous under Douglas Dale at Wolfdale's.) The presentations are also a little kooky—definitely not your standard plating.

Desserts are tropical and refreshing, like chocolate banana-stuffed wontons with coconut ice cream ($8) and the lemon mousse ($8) with layers of farmer's market berries served in a martini glass. Plenty of interesting wines to choose from (anyone who has J. sparkling wine on their menu always bodes well in my book) and they offer a small but comprehensive reserve list as well.

Service is friendly and efficient. The prime seats are on the spacious balcony (the restaurant is on a second story, offering the only second-floor patio dining in Truckee), so you can watch the alpenglow at sunset, and the numerous heat lamps keep it cozy once the darkness descends. The casual dining room has brick walls, with photos of exotic locales, and other Eastern touches. It's definitely laid-back, and buzzing with both locals and visitors who are enjoying a nice break from the usual Cali cuisine you find in the Tahoe area.

McCullough just inked a deal to double the size of his restaurant, and has plans to open a sushi bar in addition to expanding the existing restaurant before the holidays. Expect some innovative maki, for sure.

If you happen to be in Truckee around breakfast or lunchtime, you simply must visit the ~SQUEEZE IN~ (10060 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, 530-587-9814, www.squeezein.com), a favorite that's been going strong since 1974 for omelets named after Truckee locals (62 kinds) or triple-decker sandwiches (35 kinds). It's tiny, packed with quirky memorabilia and ephemera, and home of the best-darned sandwich combos. A family fave is the Grilled Jumpin' Joanna (pastrami, onion, tomato, Swiss) and the Bee Bee (tuna salad, egg salad, olives, celery), both $8.50. Dig in.

Balboa image

Balboa Cafe
The Village at Squaw Valley
1995 Squaw Valley Road, Suite 11
Olympic Valley, CA 96146

530-583-5850
website

Daily 11am-10pm
Bar: Daily until 2am
Dinner

Apps $7-$13
Entrées $20-$32
Desserts $7

Squaw Valley is not only a warren for ski bunnies all winter—SF's PlumpJack group has also opened second locations of both a Balboa Cafe and PlumpJack Cafe in the ever-developing and upscale Olympic Village. I can imagine the outdoor patio at ~BALBOA CAFE~ is THE spot after hitting the slopes, a melee of hotties drinking hot toddies and Irish coffees, but things were definitely chill during my summertime visit. I've heard the Farmer's Market Chef's Table on Tuesdays is popular, with a family-style three-course dinner held at a communal table in the back room, featuring items from the Truckee Farmer's Market, hand-selected by Executive Chef Michael Plapp.

The menu definitely reflects Plapp's love of seasonal ingredients. Unfortunately, the starters didn't position the ingredients in their best light—a corn chowder ($7) arrived watery and flavorless, and the summer beans in the composed bean and beet salad ($10) were tough and practically inedible—they needed to hop into a hot tub and soften up. I didn't feel like anyone was really tasting the food (except us). The seared spinach and ricotta gnocchi ($13) were tender little bites, and the ribbons of crisp Serrano ham were a crunchy salty treat, but it was literally drowning in butter. A total oil slick, along with rubbery slices of Grana Padano slightly melted on top that would have been better presented in the cheese's intended form: a nice grating. Get out the Microplane.

Now, just when I was getting worried about having to write the place off, the entrées really saved the day. Talk about the comeback kid. Seared sea scallops ($27) were silky, and sporting a delightful sear. Underneath was a bed of freshly husked and mashed corn in a corn "pudding," with a mélange of mushrooms plus chive oil. Decadent, and lovingly prepared. The Berkshire pork tenderloin ($28) was a hearty carving of meat, served with a well-seasoned chipotle potato puree and wedges of chayote squash. The topping of charred corn and tomatillo salsa gave it a groovy South of the Border flair. The flavor patrol was back in the hizzy.

At the beginning of the meal, the kitchen had sent out a taste of smoked duck breast with spinach and hen of the woods mushrooms that really should be made into an entrée—the addition of (preserved?) lemon rind was a lovely surprise. I hope to see it added to the menu.

Dessert had an unexpected number: the rustic rosemary semolina cake ($7) actually reminded me of something I'd eat in Italy. The warm roasted figs on the side were a pleasing addition, but should be de-stemmed before being served.

Of course the wine list kicks ass—it's PlumpJack. Life is good with a glass of 2004 Willakenzie Pinot ($10), or a 2004 Karly Zin ($8). With the scallops, the D'Arnberg 'The Hermit Crab' ($8) (a blend of 63& Viognier and 37% Marsanne) really hit the mark, fruity but not cloying.

The space is classy, and has a pleasing historical feel—the well appointed room almost has a boxcar feeling, with wainscoting, tables flanking either side of the main aisle, and dusty putty walls. The back room is dim and intimate, with a banquette upholstered with a rustic patterned blanket, comfortable wood-backed chairs with leather seating, and turn-of-the-century touches like a big carved sideboard displaying a pewter water pitcher and platters. (Supposedly the charming hand-painted leaves and trees on the curved ceiling are going to be painted over, oh well.) Be sure to take a look at the black and white photographs of the Poulsen family in the back room—they're the clan that was instrumental in the development of Squaw Valley.

So after your lovely Tahoe trip, or on your way up, most folks know to stop at ~IKEDA'S~ (13500 Lincoln Way, Auburn, 530-885-4243) in Auburn for their burgers and shakes. Personally, I stop for their peaches. They are seriously the bomb, every year. There are more than four kinds, so just ask one of the folks working there which ones are rocking their world. Their nuts are also delish—hello smokehouse almonds. Now, you're got your berry shake and peaches and almonds, but you're not done in Auburn just yet. At the Forest Hill exit, cross over to the other side of the freeway and take the frontage road north for about a half mile (near the Bowman exit) until you see ~MACHADO ORCHARDS~ (open seven days a week from 8am-6pm. Near the Bowman exit of I-80, 530-823-1393) on your left. It's a fruit stand, but the total treasure here are their pies. The peach pie I had was just sublime—light cinnamon-y crust and the sweetest peaches. Do it!
 
the socialite

Cetrella image

"Dinner at the Farm"
Friday, September 15, 2006

Daylight Farms
Half Moon Bay, CA
website

6pm Tasting
6:30pm Dinner

(Dress for outdoor dining, layers are best!)

Call for reservations
Laurie Glynn: 650-726-4090

$120 per person, plus tax and gratuity

SEPTEMBER 5, 2006 | SAN FRANCISCO If you want to get out of the city and into a pumpkin patch, an alfresco end-of-summer/beginning of fall winemaker dinner will be hosted in Half Moon Bay, with Executive Chef Lewis Rossman of Cetrella cooking outdoors in Farmer John's "Pumpkin Patch" at Daylight Farms. This second generation farm, with three acres of dahlias, pumpkins, squash, herbs, and more, is nestled below the hills of historic Half Moon Bay. John has supplied flowers for every Presidential Inauguration for the past thirty years.

Dishes include Heirloom Tomatoes with Squash Blossoms, Genovese Basil and Imported Mozzarella di Bufala; Mesquite-Grilled Vermont Quail with Shaved Pumpkin; Garden Herb-Marinated Lamb Noisette with Assorted Grilled Zucchini and Sweet Peas; and Pumpkin Pannacotta with Fresh Mission Figs for dessert.

The Varner Brothers winemakers from the Varner Winery, as well as Kenny Likitprakong, winemaker and owner of Banyan Wines, will be joining the dinner as their outstanding wines are tasted throughout the meal.

Directions to the farm will be given once reservations are made.

Ferry Building image

Sunday Supper
October 8, 2006
Ferry Building
San Francisco

Reception 6pm
Dinner 7pm

Tickets $150

Purchase online

SEPTEMBER 5, 2006 | SAN FRANCISCO Mark your calendar for this one: CUESA's (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) annual ~SUNDAY SUPPER~ is coming up, with forty chefs from leading Bay Area restaurants offering some of fall's finest food. The event will take place inside the Ferry Building, and begins with hors d'oeuvres and a reception at 6pm, followed by a family-style dinner at 7pm. The Sunday Supper will showcase the best of local, seasonal ingredients from the farms and food artisans featured at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Chefs will use these ingredients in preparing their dishes for the Sunday Supper.

The evening will also include live music and opportunities to meet the chefs and farmers. Tickets are $150 per person and may be purchased online. Proceeds benefit CUESA, the nonprofit organization that operates the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and promotes a vibrant, regional, sustainable food system.

Participating chefs have been selected because of their commitment to sustainable agriculture. Among the chefs and restaurants represented at CUESA's Sunday Supper this year are Nate Appleman of A16, Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake, Bruce Hill of Picco, Craig Stoll of Delfina, Ken Frank of La Toque, John Ash of John Ash & Co., Judy Rodgers of Zuni Café, Annie Somerville of Greens, Daniel Patterson of Coi, Phil West of Range, and Michael Tusk of Quince.

Chairing this year's Sunday Supper event are Charles Phan of the Slanted Door, Loretta Keller of COCO 500, Colleen McGlynn of Davero Olive Oil, Paul Arenstam of Americano, Max Duley of Peju Province Winery, and Nate Keller of Google/Café 150.

 
the starlet

SEPTEMBER 5, 2006 | SAN FRANCISCO Say you, say me… Lionel Richie was seen dining at A16 a couple weeks ago.

And famed personality chef, Todd English, has really been making the rounds—he was recently seen at Asia de Cuba.