5, 2006 | SAN FRANCISCO
Okay, this is a tough one. Folks all over the city have been saddened
and shocked by the violent and very unfortunate car accident that
involved three members of the ~BAR
CRUDO~ team last week. Graciela "Gracie"
Sholl was tragically killed when the driver of a minivan ran a red
light on Laguna St. and broadsided the taxicab that was also carrying
chef/owner Mike Selvera and sous chef Carina Lampkin (the cab was
traveling on Fulton Street). Carina is still in the critical unit
at SF General but thankfully is now in stable condition, suffering
from a broken pelvis and internal bleeding (she is going to have
surgery this week), while Mike suffered from a broken jaw and a
punctured lung. Mike had surgery on Monday, and is expected to return
home on Wednesday to heal, with a wired jaw (poor guy, but good
thing: I've heard he likes milkshakes). For details about the accident,
the Examiner has the story here)
and the Chronicle also wrote up the accident here.
people are wondering what they can do and how to help… I spoke
with Mike's twin brother and partner in the restaurant, Tim,
and he said they expect to reopen Bar Crudo on Wednesday, so the
first thing you can do is patronize the restaurant,
one of my favorites in the City, in the coming weeks.
also mentioned they are holding a benefit this Sunday, the
10th, from noon until 6pm. There will be oysters, crudos,
beer, and wine served. The benefit will be a $10-$25 sliding scale.
A percentage of the proceeds will go toward a variety of purposes,
from the victims' needs to the fact that Bar Crudo has lost a week
of revenue since it's been closed as of last Thursday. Hog Island
has magnanimously donated 800 oysters and a shucker for the benefit
on Sunday (hearts). If you are a restaurant (or an individual) and
want to figure out how to help or what to donate, feel free to get
in touch with Tim at the restaurant (415-956-0396), or through email
at tim [at] barcrudo [dot] com. Definitely try to come by on Sunday
and show this dear group of folks some support and care. We love
you Bar Crudo, and are so sorry for your great loss and tribulations
right now. Our thoughts and condolences are with you, and especially
with the Sholl family.
I don't really know how to switch gears here, so I'm
just gonna throw it into third.
a bunch of you loved those ~COZMO CARDS~/restaurant
discount cards I was able to give away earlier this year. Sorry
to act like a crack dealer and get you all hooked on them, and then
hit you up for cash when you want some more, but that's how
business goes. The 2007
deck is out and Cozmo Cards have offered tablehopper readers
10% off! The individual decks are $30 each, or you can customize
your 52-card deck and take your pick of just your favorites (i.e.
you can pick multiples of just one place, like ten Mamacita cards)
for $65. There are definitely some fun and quality restaurants in
there, like Globe, El Raigon, Deep Sushi, and Destino. To refresh
your memory, all you have to do is spend $40 and when you present
that restaurant's Cozmo Card you get $15 off your bill.
be sure to use the code "tablehopper" when purchasing
your deck, and if you're opting for the custom option,
simply specify which restaurants and the quantity of each in the
comment box of the order form to complete your order. Perfect stocking
stuffer for your food-obsessed friends.
Monday night (11/26) was the last night for a slice of pizza with
Nick AKA "The Mayor of Polk Street" Fasanella at ~NICKY'S
PIZZERIA RUSTICA~—he is handing the keys over to
some new owners, Escape From New York, and is taking a break. We'll
see where he turns up next… for now he's doing some
consulting around town, and has some potential international projects
in the mix. Nick also said he's "feeling NYC"
at the moment, and is mulling over the possibility of opening a
taqueria there. It would certainly offer a bit more distance from
his former partner who's still next-door at Nick's Crispy
Tacos. Escape From New York should be opening early in 2007.
up the street, there's a new chef in the kitchen at ~TABLESPOON~.
Rob Riescher left in early October and returned to New York, while
Alvin Luna has scooted over from Antica Trattoria to take his place.
Luna's track record includes Antica for 2 1/2 years, plus
Gary Danko when it first opened (which is where he met John Jasso,
managing partner of Tablespoon), and Viognier down in San Mateo.
Luna will be continuing Tablespoon's legacy of inventive takes
on American cuisine, adding a rotating array of dishes, like some
wintertime-appropriate braised Kurobuta pork cheeks with Savoy cabbage,
and braised short rib ravioli. Luna stressed how important simplicity
and good ingredients are for him, something he really honed in on
while at Antica. (His presentations are also supposed to be quite
elegant.) Just a little reminder to you all: since Tablespoon recently
got a liquor license, you should swing by to sip some quality spirits
at the bar, plus they are open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
They also offer a $35 three-course prix-fixe menu, and a Sunday
prix fixe for $26.49. I've always enjoyed dining at this joint—it's
cozy, friendly, and his some nice style to boot. 2209 Polk St. at
Vallejo St., 415-268-0140.
up with Sharon Ardiana of ~LIME~ in the Castro,
and as of December 1, you will no longer find her in the kitchen
there. She was the opening chef at Lime (since July 2004). They
will be promoting from within, but Ardiana will still be offering
her guidance in the coming weeks. Ardiana is busy getting her soon-to-open
Glen Park pizzeria ramped up. It was originally going to be named
Angelina in honor of her grandmother, but has been renamed to ~GIALINA~
(Gialina was her nonna's nickname). The pizzeria is going into the
Sunset Pizza space, and will have 38 seats with room for four at
the counter. There will also be a display of personal family photos
on the deep red walls. Ardiana looooooooooves pizza, and enjoys
how it brings people together, which is exactly what she'll be doing
with thin-crust pizzas like a classic margherita, a white clam pizza,
and probably five other pies influenced by seasonal toppings. Get
ready, she even developed a dessert pizza concept. There will also
be some Italian ices offered. Gialina will be open for dinner seven
nights a week, and will eventually start lunch too, which is when
she plans to introduce some Sicilian/thicker-crust style pizzas.
Intended opening hours will be 4pm-10pm, and probably until 11pm
Fri-Sat. (When lunch kicks in, it will open around 11am.) 2842 Diamond
St. at Kern St., 415-239-8500.
just at Weird Fish this weekend, and owner Timothy Holt is also
working on another project a few doors down in the former Fabuloid
space, on the corner of 18th and Mission. The café is tentatively
going to be called ~MILK & HONEY~, or perhaps
~MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO~. The concept is to have
some serious ovens that will crank out fresh pastry, flatbreads,
roasted vegetables, and sandwiches, along with "vegan junk
food" (how's that for an oxymoron?). Puerto Rican-style
coffees will also be offered, plus a wine bar. Holt is bringing
in a chef, Bradford, who has a vegetarian/vegan background (he cooked
at Millennium for some time) and he will also be helping out at
sliding glass door are going in, and will open up to 18th Street,
which will have plentiful outdoor seating, and an awning with heaters
and speakers. They plan to have live music and a big street scene,
almost like the vibe over at Revolution Café. In an odd twist,
all the furnishings will be for sale, even the tables and chairs.
Arrangements and the actual partnership are still being worked out
(there are some folks from Boogaloo's involved in the deal)
so none of this is totally final yet. They are gunning for a May
thing that is official: ~WEIRD FISH~ is now serving
brunch every day from 9am-3pm. You can get eggs, hash browns that
are made-to-order, shrimp and crab omelettes, buckwheat pancakes,
French toast, and grits, like one dish called Little Al's Grits,
with grilled shrimp, blackened catfish, mixed veggies, and corn
tortillas. There are also a number of vegan offerings, like vegan
pancakes, vegan sausage, and vegan bacon. Dude! 2193 Mission St.
at 18th St., 415-863-4744.
Valley will soon have a cute little place for sweets—the owners
of Miette in
the Ferry Building Marketplace, Meg Ray and Caitlin Williams, are
opening ~MIETTE CONFISERIE~, "a modern candy
store that blends penny candy simplicity with the bygone opulence
of European sweet shops." (I was not even going to attempt
to rewrite that one.) The tiny space will be chock-full of candies
displayed in apothecary jars, like saltwater taffy and caramels,
literally from floor to ceiling. The shop is in the former Bank
of American building, just next door to Café Grillades, overlooking
the Octavia Green. The hope is to open in mid-January, Tue-Sun,
11am-7pm. 449 Octavia St. at Linden, 415-626-6221.
in the Marina, there is a new Indian place opening next Sunday in
the old Bombay Curry House space called ~ASHOKA FINE INDIAN
CUISINE~. It's an intimate little space, and will
be serving Indian classics, like curries and some tandoori faves,
plus some newer dishes as well. The husband and wife owners are
Benny Singh and Maria Kinard, and they will be serving dinner nightly.
2034 Chestnut St. at Fillmore St., 415-567-8124.
and ~GILBERT PILGRAM~ has officially started at
openings to report: ~OUT THE DOOR~ finally opened
on the concourse level (i.e. downstairs) of the Westfield Centre
on November 29. There are 138 seats for those who want to get their
fill of some Ferry Building location faves like chicken claypot,
plus some new dishes from a rotisserie and a duck oven (food is
also available to-go). Sustainable, organic, and local in full effect.
There are also some cooking kits offered (minimal assembly required,
and I can tell you firsthand these things are delish and ridiculously
fast). Lundberg Design has put together a unique interior, with
a one-of-a-kind wok setup where the woks are cooled from the runoff
of water cascading down a long window (you gotta see it to believe
it) and a glowing 60-foot honey wall made of Plexiglas. (Sweet.)
Open Mon-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 11am-8pm. 845 Market Street, concourse
level, Westfield Shopping Centre.
A VI~ opened in the Presidio last week. Take your pick
from one of their 300+ seats, and have fun attacking the wine list.
One Letterman Drive, 415-409-3000.
the cute Italian wine boutique I mentioned weeks back opened up
at 1415 Green St. at Polk St., 415-673-2320.
of you bumming over the closure of ~CAFÉ VENUE~
on Market and Third can now head over to its new digs in the former
Boudin space, right across from the old Mint (AKA the granite lady),
open Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat 8am-5:30pm, Sun 11am-5:30pm. 67 5th Street
at Jessie St., near Mission St., 415-546-1144.
are some offers around town:
On Mondays through the
month of December, ~CITIZEN
THAI & THE MONKEY~ will offer 50% off on almost
all of the wines on their wine list—there are over 50 wines
from around the world to choose from. (Bottles only.) 1268 Grant
St. at Vallejo St., 415-364-0008.
METRO CAFÉ~ on Divis has launched a kids and
family night on Mondays, offering a chef's special kid's
meal for $10, with drinks and dessert. Crayons will be on hand,
plus smoothies and juices for the tykes. On Tuesdays, you can bring
a bottle of wine in and they will not charge you a corkage fee.
Isn't it time to go check out what the new chef, Nathan Foot,
is up to? 311 Divisadero St. at Page St., 415-552-0903.
has launched a special Iowa Heritage Suckling Pig menu, with dishes
like baby gem lettuces with torn basil, pomegranate seeds, Fuyu
persimmon and crispy house-cured guanciale; hand-cut noodles with
tender pulled pork, Meyer lemon and black pepper sabayon and pecorino;
and a presentation of various cuts of suckling pig: herb-roasted
porchetta, slow-cooked leg and "sous vide" loin with
grain mustard-glazed Russian banana potatoes, buttered cabbage and
cippolini onions. (These dishes can be ordered a la carte, or all
together to form a piggy deluxe menu, with wine pairings.) 550 Geary
St. at Jones St., 415-292-6360.
HOWARD~ is now serving lunch during the holiday season
(until December 22), Monday through Friday from 11:30am-2pm. The
new lunch menu will offer a choice of appetizers, such as Kumamoto
oysters with pineapple and vanilla bean mignonette and chipotle
cocktail sauce; smoked trout truffled egg salad with crostini; and
the famed carrot broth with chervil sabayon and black truffle oil.
The entrées will include short ribs, salmon, and white cheddar
grilled cheese on brioche with tomato soup. 500 Jackson St. between
Columbus and Montgomery, 415-956-7040.