tablehopper
table of contents   This week's tablehopper: the dangers of drinking and dining.

the chatterbox
the word on the street
the regular
it's about time we met
the lush
put it on my tab
the wino
in vino veritas
the socialite
shindigs/feasts/festivals
the starlet
no photos please

the sponsor
this round is on me

Kept Couture

 

JANUARY 16, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO My good friend caught some serious crabs this weekend, and he was kind enough to give them to me too! Yes, dear reader, that would be Dungeness crabs, not the itchy and ew kind. (The tablehopper has her standards, okay?!) Caught right from the Bay. Total meaty monsters. Heaven. This is what happens when your friend is one of those crazy polar bear swimmers and has pots set out there. Bless him and his madness. And thanks to the good folks from Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant who set me up with a nice tip on a bottle of riesling to accompany the feast, cheers!

So, yours truly is gonna be on the radio again! Very exciting, if not a little, uh, exhilarating? It's happening this coming Saturday on West Coast Live, babies! Along with Steve Sando from Rancho Gordo! You can listen in on KALW 91.7, or on the site. Let's hope I don't accidentally curse on air, ha ha!

And argh, Comcast didn't play nice last week. Again. So the hundreds of you Comcast folks who didn't receive last week's missive, you can catch up here. Sorry, yo.

And now, before I start lamenting my fading tan and my meat locker apartment, let's get started.
~Marcia

the chatterbox
Kept CoutureJANUARY 16, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Yay, at long last, ~MISSION BEACH CAFÉ~ will be opening January 24, from style-maker extraordinaire Bill Clarke and baker badass Alan Carter, formerly of Chow. The bakery component will be up and running (can you say pie, popovers, and pastry?), plus Blue Bottle coffee will be offered, and gourmet sandwiches will be available for lunch. In three weeks after opening, expect to see appetizers, desserts, beer and wine in the evening, a more extensive lunch, Saturday and Sunday brunch, and they will also be ringing the dinner bell. But for now, release the pie! 198 Guerrero St. at 14th St., 415-861-0198.

The ever-charming and talented Mohamed Ghaleb has found new (and bigger) digs for his restaurant, ~TAJINE~. He's moving into the Sunny Café space (1338 Polk St. at Pine St., 415-921-1338), which will be closing at the end of the month. After a couple weeks of renovation, he hopes to reopen around the last week of February, and will serve lunch and dinner daily. You can then call me Merguez mama.

Just up the street on Polk, ~LA PARRILLA GRILL~ has reopened as of today! They are moving away from the full-service format, and are actually now a bit more casual—you'll just place your order at the counter instead (although a runner will still bring your food to your table). The prices have dropped, and the presentation of the food is also less "composed." The owner, Fernando, assured me that the tastiness, however, has not changed. (Hello gorditas. Oh, and birria made with lamb!) 10am-10pm Sun-Thu, until 12am Fri-Sat.1760 Polk St. at Washington St., 415-359-1212.

Okay gourmet salad munchers: a second ~MIXT GREENS~ location will be opening downtown by this May! They are really focused on making this new location extra efficient to help cut down on wait times (hey, that lunch break is precious). To that end, the new location will have a larger salad station, with six chefs instead of the four chefs they currently have in the original location, plus three cashiers for faster checkout. They are also getting a "green" delivery truck (it's electric) to increase their catering and delivery operation. Groovy. 475 Sansome St. at Commercial St.

So here's an update on ~NUA~, the Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar opening in North Beach—looks like they are about a month out from opening… the executive chef is Anna Bautista, a CCA grad who formerly cooked at Fifth Floor, Jardinière, and was the executive chef at The Public. 550 Green St. at Jasper Place (near Columbus), 415-433-4000.

Just next door will be ~SOTO MARE~, an oyster bar from Gigi Fiorucci and Giovanni Toracca. (Long story on why the name isn't "sotto" for you fellow Italian speakers out there.) There will also be other kinds of cold seafood available, like shrimp, salads, clams, plus clam chowder. (I'm also trying to convince them to serve Gigi's mother's recipe of pasta fagioli—a girl can dream.) There will be a long marble counter with room for 22 where you can slurp some bivalves while enjoying a beer or glass of wine. Fish will also be sold retail and wholesale. Opening is looking like February or March, and the hours will be something like 6am-6pm. 552 Green St. near Columbus.

~MIETTE CONFISERIE~, the modern candy store from the ladies at Miette at the FB is opening soon in Hayes Valley, like, Saturday the 27! Hours will be Tue-Sun, 11am-7pm. 449 Octavia St. at Linden, 415-626-6221.

Okay, I love this story—this is what happens when cool chefs get married! ~DANIEL PATTERSON~ of Coi just married his sweetheart, Alexandra Foote, an environmental lawyer, on January 6. The event was held at the Headlands Center for the Arts, which sounded like a unique and dreamy site for the event (yo brides-to-be out there, check it out!). Patterson cooked the rehearsal dinner for 35 the night before at COI, and did a lot of prep and planning for the reception dinner for 130. There were fab dishes like truffled Dungeness crab remoulade with chives, La Tercera heirloom chicory salad with shaved fennel and radish, and Grimaud guinea fowl breast lined with crepinette (and yes, there was one dish with foam: scallop tartare with caviar and avocado foam). Cheeses from Soyoung Scanlan at Andante, Hervé Mons, and Rolf Beeler followed the gourmet feast. Rose Levy Beranbaum came from NYC to make the "Dark Chocolate Passion" cake, which was as Daniel said, "the best wedding cake ever!" (Served with Blue Bottle coffee, natch.) Mandy Aftel made a custom-blended perfume of black pepper, pink grapefruit, cocoa, coffee, agarwood, cedar, nutmeg, and Peru balsam as a gift for guests, and everyone rocked out to the live tunes by Scissors for Lefty. The couple then enjoyed a honeymoon kicking back and keeping toasty at Jackson Hole, where they even went dog sledding, so cool. What a blast. Congrats to you both!

Okay, or a darker note, will the awful accidents with our city's dear restaurant staff please stop!? I can't believe I have two to write about, so please be sure to read about the benefits for both… I am sorry to report that Town Hall's bartender, ~HECTOR SAHAGUN~, was in a horrible taxi accident a little over a week ago. Below is the letter from a friend of his, Tom Finan, who is spearheading a "Pay It Forward" support drive for Hector. Please read below for how you can help—I also hear Town Hall will be doing a benefit for Hector at their big annual Mardi Gras event on February 20—stand by for more details on that next week.

According to his friend Tom, Hector is home convalescing and "Hector's face still has many apparent cuts, bumps and bruises. My friend Nick sums it up best when he says, 'I hear Hector's voice coming out of his body but I still do not see Hector.'" He also has braces for his legs, and is trying to rest and recover from all the terrible trauma he has sustained. Our thoughts are with you, Hector.

*Pay it Forward with a Random act of Kindness for Hector
*Definition: the act of voluntarily helping another without expectation of payback

Dear Friends,

Our friend Hector Sahagun is in the hospital following a horrific traffic accident. The accident occurred in San Francisco in the early morning hours of Thursday, January 04, 2007. Hector, a bartender, had just gotten off work and hailed a cab to head home. On 6th and Mission an SUV made an illegal maneuver thus creating a head on collision. Hector was pushed though the Plexiglas window in the cab and ended up in the passenger seat. The police were called and ambulances arrived on the scene.

When Nick and I visited Hector he was still in E.R and still covered in blood. His face was severely affected. The Doctors had already applied multiple stitches. Unfortunately, due to the amount of blood I could not make out where the stitches started and stopped, but all in all, it looked very severe. I believe his nose was also broken. He was also complaining of pain in his knees.

I am emailing you to ask for your help with resources, specifically financially. Hector has no medical insurance and from the looks of his condition will not be returning to work anytime soon. With that said I am requesting you to "pay it forward" and contribute financially to Hectors care.

If you have never been involved in a pay it forward it is very simple. Any amount is an important amount and deeply appreciated. If you can afford a larger donation, his rent will need to be paid. One of my goals from this email is to help raise enough financially that Hector will not have to worry about rent for 6 months. Hector also has a dog, Suzy, so we need to find a dog walker. Your funds will also help make this goal happen. Or if you yourself happen to have or know a dog walker, that information could also be helpful. There of course are also additional expenses not foreseen that your contributions will help defer.

Your help in giving towards Hector's recovery efforts has already started by you reading this email. Your next choice is to dig deep and see if you can contribute.

If you cannot contribute financially please contribute by forwarding this email to your own friends on your own email distribution list to give them the opportunity to pay it forward with this random act of kindness.

Thank you in advance of your kindness and well wishes for Hector.

-Tom Finan

* Pay It Forward is about Trevor McKinney, a twelve-year-old boy in a small California town who accepts the challenge that his teacher gives his class, a chance to earn extra credit by coming up with a plan to change the world for the better—and to put that plan into action. What is his idea? Trevor chooses three people for whom he will do a favor, and then when those people thank him and ask how they might pay him back, he will tell them that instead of paying him back, they should each "pay it forward" by choosing three people for whom they can do favors, and in turn telling those people to pay it forward. It's nothing less than a human chain letter of kindness and good will.

The second tragic accident is in regards to ~LANCE BELL~—please see this week's charity event in the socialite below to see how you can help
.

 
the regular

Goood Frikin' Chicken

Goood Frikin' Chicken
10 29th St.
Cross: Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

415-970-2428
website

Mon-Thu 11am-11pm
Fri 11am-12am
Sat 12pm-12am
Sun 12pm-9pm

Entrées $5.25-$15.75
Desserts $1.65-$4.25

JANUARY 16, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Like, you talkin' to me? Oh, so you got a hankering for some chicken? You want some frickin' chicken? FINE, you can have your frickin' chicken! All you have to do is get a membership at Costco for their obscenely tasty but so NOT organic crack-injected sodium-boosted rotisserie chicken, or forget all that mayhem and go hit the bizarrely named ~GOOOD FRIKIN' CHICKEN~ (and no, that extra "o" is not a mistake, nor is the new-style spelling of frickin').

This is one of those joints in the Outer Mission I've been meaning to hit for some time (I have to say, the parking out there really does my head in—I've spent 45 minutes fruitlessly looking for a parking spot on summertime El Rio Sundays, and it's a long and windy haul on my bike, Peach One). So a chef pal got me all fired up to go hit GFC (nope, no Colonel here) one night with her girlfriend, and I even got picked up and dropped off, so color me stoked. Frickin' sweet.

Since my pals are GFC pros, I was in good hands. Here's how you do it: go for the fried cheese to start (it was like the awesome Halloumi cheese you find in Greece, bliss), and eat some of the four hunks of blistered tangy cheese with your salad that you're gonna end up getting as one of the sides with your chicken (just push the out-of–season tomatoes to the side—it was wintertime when we ate there).

Yup, it's time to engage in a lip lock with your frickin' chicken: the open flame chicken is the way to go. My pro pals know to order it extra crispy (now we all know). The complete meal gets you a salad and one side dish ($8.75 for half, and $15.75 for a whole chicken). It's $6.45 for a half chicken a la carte, or $11.45 for a whole bird. Instead of opting for the pilaf or mac and cheese sides, go for the garlicky hummus or smoky baba ghannoush.

But hold that chicken leg for one second, because I have two caveats here. First: this chicken is pretty darned good, but still does not compare to the chicken fabulousity that is Zankou in L.A. I miss that frickin' chicken like a long-lost parent, Flying Saucer, and my now-discontinued Dior red lipstick, all rolled into one. That chicken is the straight-up chicken heavyweight champ, with a big ole shiny belt on. (Peck peck, it will kill you.)

Second: the hummus and baba g are good, but that frickin' Mediterranean Spirit has totally ruined me on both those counts. Oh, and I can't even order chicken shawerma anywhere else either. Oh, and falafel too! Fie on you, Mediterranean Spirit! Must you ruin it for everyone? And why aren't you in my neighborhood?! Criminy.

I digress. All this frickin' talk has me fired up. But for the record, GFC also has shawerma (chicken or lamb), falafel (also available in a vegetarian combo plate), and chicken or beef kebabs. Everything is like $7.25 or under, a la carte.

Okay, so this chicken was hella tasty, with an herbal marinade that it rests in overnight. I always go for dark meat, so my pieces were juicy fo sho. I loved the complimentary griddled pita dusted with zaatar and doused in olive oil. (Trust, you'll end up ordering more.) Be sure you get the garlic dip (to keep away vampires, right?), ask for the spicy sauce too, and I say dispense with the silverware and just get in there. Everything is dusted in herbs, from the chicken to the pita to the salad. You will be too.

But wait! Let's not forget the mosakhan ($6.45 a la carte/$8.75 meal)! What is this, you ask, this mysterious mosakhan? It's like the grandmaster Mediterranean mother ship: a juicy pile of chicken that has been cooked with soft golden onions, sumac, olive oil, and pine nuts, all wrapped up in lavash like a burrito and grilled to crispy perfection. Mother of God, the mosakhan is totally a goldmine of goodness, the mack, the man, the mosakhan. It was frickin' delicious. Here I am, writing this thing at 11:30pm and now I am totally frickin' hangry.

Didn't make it to dessert since we could barely finish the bounty. But I am so going back to try the kenafeh ($4.25), a dessert made with thin shredded pastry, sweet cheese, and honey syrup. I had a variation of this at Troya and loved it. There's also rice pudding ($2.25), warbaat ($1.95/phyllo dough puffs with orange blossom syrup), and two kinds of baklava ($1.65-$1.95).

The space is pretty big, lit like a doctor's office, and has some pastoral murals of the old country on the walls. But what you cannot help studying is the totally hot frickin' waitress. Can't vouch for all of them, but this one was full-on babe incarnate. Seriously, I was considering for a hot minute what a lifetime as frequent customers at Good Vibrations would look like. But then one look at the meaty mosakhan reminded me I really do prefer boys. Hey, it was fun to consider.

So, speaking of human nature, if nature calls, prepare for a fun little adventure walk out the back door and down some stairs. Perhaps it's related to their weird slogan, "Weee…do chicken best." And while I would say that's quite a bold statement, they certainly do chicken pretty frickin' well.

 
the sponsor

Kept Couture

JANUARY 16, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Surprise your best friend (or your sweetie!) with a collection of clever bags from Kept this Valentine's Day. Kept offers an irresistible range of bags that every woman needs while jet-setting about the world—whether it's an overnight excursion or a month-long journey.

The Wet Suit Bag offers a swimmingly chic solution for your beach-worn or still damp from the pool bikini, while the Silk Lingerie Bag is worthy of only your most delicious delicates. You'll waltz through any security searches in style. Take 15% off all things Kept through February 10th by entering code "Tablehopper15" at checkout.

 
the lush

Mercury Appetizer Bar

Mercury Appetizer Bar
1434 Lombard St.
Cross: Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94123

415-922-1434
website

Bar:
Mon-Sat 5:30/6pm-2am

Kitchen:
Mon-Thu 6pm-11pm/12am
Fri-Sat 6pm-1am
Sat-Sun brunch (in Feb.)

JANUARY 16, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO The divey Luau Bar & Grill in Cow Hollow is almost done transforming into the intimate ~MERCURY APPETIZER BAR~ that is one part restaurant, one part lounge, and one part bar. The space features distressed hardwood floors, a brick wall, treated metal art pieces, and a polished stainless bar with hardwood borders that seats 14.

Brandon Clements (formerly the bar manager at MECCA) is the GM; he met Mercury's chef and one of the partners, Dominic Ainza, during their time working together at Betelnut (Ainza is currently doing double duty, cooking at Poleng Lounge too). They are just ramping up, but the menu of Asian small plates includes some Filipino faves, like lumpia ($7, five dumplings of pork sausage and a whole shrimp with the tail still on) and ginger beef ($12), bites of filet mignon served over sweet potato fries. You can check out the appetizing menu here (yes, pun intended).

Drinks also feature some Asian flair, with homemade syrups made with lemongrass and ginger. There's also a lavender martini and Thai basil gimlet on the menu, plus additional composed drinks like the Chai Iced Tea, made with Phillips Union Vanilla Whiskey, Voyant Chai Cream Liqueur, Thai tea, and half & half.

In a couple weeks they will be kicking off weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Things are still getting worked out, but it sounds like it's shaping up to be a nice late-night addition to the neighborhood.

 
the wino

Paul Einbund

JANUARY 16, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Poor Madeira….or should I say pour Madeira? by Paul Einbund

It's been three years since Paul Einbund moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco—he has no plans of changing locales since he is now partners with chef Daniel Patterson at COI restaurant. He had previously been at Tartare and then had a brief stint at bacar. Sake, Lambic, tea, Madeira, wine, if it's liquid then he wants to taste it! Demystifying! Emboldening! Imbibing! Paul invites you to join him in the lounge for a bite to eat or a glass of something from what is becoming one of the city's most interesting beverage programs.

In my mind there could be nothing more exciting in the entire world to drink than Madeira. When else can we experience a wine from 30, 50 or even 170 years ago without completely breaking the bank, this is exactly what we can do with… Madeira!

Most people think of this succulent caramelized elixir exclusively as a mere cooking wine, but no! Behold! Imagine the best aspects of a tawny port: caramel, toffee, and tropical fruits blended with the soft and more round characteristics of a sweet sherry.

Here's what you need to know. The four major grapes, in order from driest to more sweet, are: Sercial, Verdelho, Boal, and Malmsey (also called Malvasia/Malvazia). The drier end of the spectrum can be great as an aperitif or with foods like stews and braised meats, while the sweeter wines are the best pairing for cheese, or even in lieu of dessert. Personally, I like to end the evening with a glass of something slightly sweet once I get home (but before I settle in for cozy nighty-night time).

When it comes to pairing Madeira with food, think of it this way: we are used to cooking with the stuff, but instead of adding it to the dish before it's done, drink a glass with the finished product, and check out how it adds that extra spice that was missing before!

One of the great aspects of Madeira is that this is a "cooked wine." The wines are aged in rooms that are heated by the sun for many years, with the end result being a wine that is nearly indestructible… seriously, you could stick this stuff in your oven and once it cools down (yikes!) it will be perfectly fine.

Or more importantly, the wine doesn't degrade for at least a year after it has been opened. "Yeah, but what does that mean to me?," you may ask. Open a super expensive bottle of Madeira, but have no fear, it's not going to go bad before you finish it. It's okay, take your time. Heck, you could even save it for a special occasion (like bed time!). This indestructibility makes Madeira the ultimate wine by the glass in a restaurant because it doesn't matter when the bottle was opened, it won't go bad.

But here's the downside: in the ten years since I have been a sommelier, the availability of good vintage Madeira has dwindled from little to next to none. It's hard to find but when you see it, buy it. For most of the really old wines, you have to be on a list and when they are bottled (to order) and shipped to the US of A they call you and let you know. But sometimes you can stumble across a bottle or two. The best place to find Madeira has got to be the Rare Wine Company, though one or two other importers also bring some into the country.

The moral of the story is drink Madeira! The odds are good it will be in great condition, no matter the storage temperature or when it was opened and gosh darn it, it just tastes good!

 
the socialite

Lance Bell

Benefit for Lance Bell
Wed., January 17, 2007

Gravity
3251 Scott St.
Cross: Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA 94123

website

8:30pm-2am

$10 door donation

JANUARY 16, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO I received the notice about this benefit from a friend in the industry—he tells me ~LANCE BELL~ was previously living and working in New Orleans as a bartender for a Kimpton property when Hurricane Katrina devastated his home and work. My friend was managing at Scala's Bistro, and offered Lance a job and to move him to SF through a Kimpton employee transfer program. Lance loved the City and his coworkers so much that he decided to stay and make SF his new home. And now, sadly, tragedy strikes again.

Benefit Party for Lance Bell "Bring Chocolate Love Back"

On Monday, January 1st, Lance Bell, a truly generous and caring person, was taken to General Hospital after being found unconscious. He had received several blows to the head. Lance remains in the hospital still unable to speak and faces a long road to complete rehabilitation. Please come help us raise money to aid and support Lance and his family during this difficult and stressful time.

All those who attend will receive a raffle ticket to win fabulous prizes. There will also be both a silent auction and "bid for a date with a bachelor" (please no credit cards). DJ Roy Oblivion will keep the festivities hopping until 2am. We invite all those who know Lance and those who haven't yet had the chance to meet him to come out for a night of fun and excitement.

Raffle and Silent Auction donations from Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, Roy's, Tortilla Heights, Vino Venue, Cheese Steak Shop, Ceja Wines, Frascati, Southern Wine and Spirits, Pacific Wine and Spirits.

Catered dinner by Chef Michel Koenig Grgich Hills, Cafe Du Nord, Swiss Garage.

For questions or donations, email: aidlance [at] yahoo [dot] com

Millennium

Coturri Winemaker and Mushroom Dinner
Wed., Jan. 24th, 2007

Millennium Restaurant
580 Geary St.
Cross: Jones St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

website

Call Erica to reserve your space.
Reservations are limited.
415-345-3900 x11

Sparkling wine reception 6pm-6:30pm
Dinner served promptly@ 6:30pm

$75
gratuity & tax not included

JANUARY 16, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Millennium is hosting their third annual ~COTURRI WINEMAKER DINNER~, featuring naturally made wines from Coturri Vineyards and a serious night o' shrooming. Come in and meet the folks behind Coturri Family Wines and experience wine and mushrooms like never before—like five courses of 'em!

Navarra Gastronomic Week

Navarra Gastronomic Week
January 27-February 4, 2007

Various locations

website

JANUARY 16, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO No, you don't need me to tell you Spain is hot. And lucky us, ~NAVARRA GASTRONOMIC WEEK~ kicks off January 27 in San Francisco, which means thirteen restaurants will be offering menus highlighting Navarra's unique traditional dishes and local wines. So prepare your palate for Piquillo red peppers and a Navarrese wine, like one from the Bodegas Inurrieta, Monjardin, Alzania vineyards to accompany a hunk of some Navarra cheese, like Roncal or Idiazabal.

NOTE: There is also a wine seminar and wine pairing dinner at the Palace Hotel on Feb. 1 and a culinary exhibition at the CIA at Greystone on Feb. 2. For more details, click here.

Participating restaurants in SF are:

AQUA, 252 California St. (bet. Battery & Front Sts.), 415-956-9662

B44, 44 Belden Pl., (bet. Bush & Pine Sts.), 415-986-6287

BOCADILLOS, 710 Montgomery St. (Washington St.), 415-982-2622

CAFÉ TARTINE, 244 Gough St., 415-553-4595

PIPERADE, 1015 Battery St. (Green St.), 415-391-2555

RUBICON, 558 Sacramento St. (bet. Montgomery & Sansome Sts.), 415-434-4100

SCOTT HOWARD, 500 Jackson St. (Montgomery St.), 415-956-7040

ZARZUELA, 2000 Hyde St. (Union St.), 415-346-0800

 

Outside the City:

CÉSAR, 4039 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, 510-883-0222

CÉSAR, 1515 Shattuck Ave. (bet. Cedar & Vine Sts.), Berkeley, 510-883-0222

INSALATA'S, 120 Sir Francis Drake, San Anselmo, 415 457-7700

PICCO, 320 Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur, 415-924-0300

SABOR OF SPAIN, 1301 Fourth St., San Rafael, 415-457-8466

 

About Navarra:
The region of Navarra in the north of Spain borders the Basque Country, La Rioja, Aragon, and the Pyrenees which makes it a vital part of El Camino de Santiago, (Saint James Way). This ancient kingdom's rich history leaves its legacy within medieval villages and festivals such as the famous San Fermin in Pamplona – eight days of bull running celebrated each July and immortalized by Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises.

Navarra's unusual past and diverse topography has made it an attraction for "off the beaten" path travelers and food and wine aficionados. Graced with cool uplands and sun-drenched fertile valleys Navarra produces superb culinary products and wines of the highest quality. The old Kingdom of Navarra has preserved its royal nobility in a rich tradition of food and wine.

 
the starlet

JANUARY 16, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Jeremy Piven was spotted outside the recently relocated Fior d'Italia. According to a tablehopper reader, it looked like he was just wrapping up lunch, and had the black chauffeured SUV ready and waiting.

So, if you were Gary Danko and were gonna throw a party for your big 5-0, this is what it would look like: a buyout of supperclub, with 170 guests kicking it in their socks (many sporting bhindis) and digging the scene (and the five-course meal). What guests, you inquire? How about Renee and Carl Behnke of Sur la Table, Connie and Andy Debbane from Zarzuela, the Ritz Carlton's Jean-Pierre Dubray, Cameron and Gerald Hirigoyen of Piperade and Bocadillos, NOPA's Laurence Jossel and Allyson Woodman, Chantal and Hubert Keller of Fleur de Lys, Tor and Susan Kenward of Tor Kenward Vineyards, Ed and Mary Etta Moose of Moose's, La Folie's Roland and Jamie Passot, Carol and John Sebastiani of Sebastiani Vineyards, Delfina's Craig and Amy Stoll, Augustin Huneeus of Quintessa winery, and Joanne Weir. You can check out pics here (be forewarned, there are 757 of 'em).

Okay, it really was the week of power gourmands: Alice Waters was spotted at Delica rf-1 over the weekend (yes, she was wearing a hat), and Ruth Reichl had dinner at Kokkari (no, she was not wearing a wig, those days are over.)

Shelley Long aka the apple of Sam Malone's eye was spotted at Allegro Romano. Uh, Cheers!

And my favorite sighting for some time: Marc Jacobs was in Lulu last week.