tablehopper
table of contents   This week's tablehopper: small fry.

the chatterbox
the word on the street
fresh meat
new restaurant reviews
the wino
in vino veritas

the socialite
shindigs/feasts/festivals
the starlet
no photos please



 

MARCH 20, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO ¡Hola! So here are some fun little tidbits: there’s a clever new site that has launched a version for SF, called Blogsoop. It basically compiles all the restaurant reviews from various local bloggers and writers who submit to the site; so the next time you want to read some local restaurant reviews, just plug in the restaurant name and see what comes up. I am not a blogger, but since they wanted some local writers too, you’ll find some tablehopper reviews in there. (And just to diminish any confusion, because I was totally clueless: the blue box on the upper left of the site controls your search box criteria. Oh.)

Since we’re in a site lovin’ mode, for those of you restaurant obsessed or workin’ folk who have not discovered waiterrant, you really should. It’s my favorite weekly read. I want to have a drink with him. This guy is a stellar writer, and this week’s post (50 Signs You’re Working in a Bad Restaurant) is especially clever.

So one quick thing: Kevin (of Point Reyes?) who sent me a tip please request last week (you were looking for a place to celebrate your pal becoming a U.S. citizen)—if you are out there, you put the wrong email addy in, dude, so I couldn’t respond. Just to make sure you didn’t think I flaked…

Concerned rant coming up in the chatterbox, consider yourself warned, so let’s hop to it…

~Marcia subscribe


the chatterbox
MARCH 20, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Folks have been wondering about what was moving into the former Winterland space; it will be reopening soon as ~RESTAURANT CASSIS~, focusing on Southern French and authentic Niçoise cuisine with Italian flair (remember, they are in fact neighbors). This casually upscale space will be serving pasta, pizzas (there is a gas-fired pizza oven), and some regional specialties. The owners are brothers Gerome Meloni (GM) and Stephane Meloni (who just got in from France and will be the executive chef—he has owned two restaurants in Antibes)—they have 20 years of combined restaurant experience. Also involved in the project is Megan Meloni, the wife of Gerome.

The style of the space will be altered to integrate more of a wine theme, with stone veneer accents on the walls that will make it look more cellar-like. The kitchen will also have a partial exhibition window so diners can look-see, and the lounge area will also be converted to allow for more dining seats. Tables will be larger and some round ones will be added as well (I love round tables—I wish there were more of them in the city). Overall the owners want to establish more of a casual and easygoing neighborhood eatery vibe. They got to keep the liquor license (yay) so you know where you’ll find me. The hope is to open in early to mid-May; dinner to start Tue-Sun, lunch to follow soon thereafter. They will be hiring for all positions, so keep your eyes peeled on Craigslist if you are interested. 2101 Sutter St. at Steiner.

I totally will be checking this place out: ~GOOD EARTH CUISINE~, a quick-casual joint is opening in the Sunset, serving ZONE-inspired food (30 fat/30 protein/40 carbs). There will be a focus on whole grains (no pasta or potatoes) and organic products, like free-range chicken and buffalo burgers will be on the menu. In an ironic twist, the owner, Tony Kwok, used to work for Burger King corporate and other big fast food monsters, like Wendy’s. In fact, the location for the restaurant used to be a Burger King. Ha! But after being diagnosed with diabetes and then changing his diet and losing thirty pounds and getting his diabetes in check, he’s a believer. Way to turn things around, Tony. He said his mantra is nutritious and delicious. It should be open within a month. Take-home meals and to-go will also be available. Rock. 1325 9th Ave. at Irving St.

After doing some consulting and stabilizing the kitchen over at ~MOOSE'S~, Robert Lam, the chef and owner of Butterfly on the Embarcadero, is no longer involved in the North Beach project. Seems they couldn’t quite work out a management agreement. Lam had his executive chef overseeing the kitchen, but now Moose’s has another chef in place, Travis Flood. Flood was formerly a private chef for Peter Thiel, the CEO of PayPal, and also has worked in the kitchens at Fifth Floor and Postrio. Lam is now going to be focusing most of his energy on his second Butterfly location, Butterfly Bistro, a casual Vietnamese joint utilizing some family recipes—it just opened this week in San Bruno at Tanforan.

Opening April 1 (no fooling) will be ~QUIXOTE'S MEXICAN GRILL~, a Mexican taqueria and grill opening a couple doors down from Chouchou out in Forest Hill. The focus will be on using quality meats, like free-range chicken and certified Angus beef, but offered at competitive prices. Plus some Latin American and Spanish recipes and flavors will also be integrated into the dishes. Beer and wine will be available. There are just under 30 seats, and after 4pm it will be more restaurant-style, plus curbside pick-up will be offered. Open 11am-9pm Sun, Tue-Thu and until 10pm Fri-Sat, closed Monday. 406 Dewey Blvd. at Laguna Honda, 415-661-1313.

An opening to report: over in North Beach, just next door to the “new Nua,” ~SOTTO MARE~ from Gigi Fiorucci and Giovanni Toracca is open and serving oysters (for $1 each, people)—mostly West Coast bivalves, like Fanny Bay. It has a long marble counter where you can sit and enjoy raw seafood like cracked crab, crab cocktails ($10), shrimp cocktails ($6), crab Louie and shrimp salads, and clams. Plus clam chowder. Baccala (old-school style) will be hanging around there soon. Beer in bottles is available (on tap is coming) and there’s wine that’s nicely priced. A straightforward SF-style breakfast is gonna kick in soon, serving up some Hangtown fry or omelettes. Mon-Sat 11am-7pm. 552 Green St. at Columbus Ave., 415-398-3181.

I hate hearing about projects tanking or going south or just not working out. Seems the designer and owner of ~VISIT~, which was going to be a VERY cool space in the Lower Haight, had some irreconcilable differences just before the project was almost complete, back in November. So the owner has been making changes to the design the past three months, and who knows what’s going in there now or what it’s going to look like. All will be revealed? 518 Haight St. at Fillmore St.

The often-empty ~CAFÉ GRILLADES~ in Hayes Valley has closed. (Their second location in San Bruno will remain open.) According to a source (thanks Sean!), there’s a sign on the door that says Stacks will be moving in. (Stacks is known for breakfast, and has other locations around the Bay Area, like down in Burlingame.) I spoke with the owner, Geoff Swenson, and he said will be opening in early May. He mentioned they are adding booths (yay!). They will have extended hours compared to their other locations, possibly until 4pm on the weekends and 3pm during the week. Dinner also might be coming, with comfort food on the menu. 501 Hayes St. at Laguna.

Also heard the ever-surreal ~KING DINER~ in SoMa has closed, and will be razed to make way for condos. It was always scary and kind of sad, and hella cheap. Like, so cheap I’d almost rather be a freegan and go forage out of a dumpster than order food there. Maybe I was never drunk enough to fully appreciate it (shocking). A magazine once did a photo shoot in the diner, which I thought was brilliant. I always hoped someone would just take it over and make amazing food there. Oh well. Condos. 1390 Mission St. at 10th St.

Saw this on Chowhound and had to look into it further: it ends up the owners of the kooky (and delicious and rather expensive) Shanghaiese restaurant, Jai Yun, really are behind the new-ish ~FLYING PAN BISTRO~ in the former Five Star and Hunan Express space. Shanghaiese dishes are available, with affordable lunch specials, plus dinner service that seems to be reservation only after 5pm. Not sure how much of Chef Nei Chia Ji’s handiwork is on the menu, but he reportedly comes by. There are two levels, with 160 seats. Looks like something I just may need to check out. Open Mon-Sat. (closed in between lunch and dinner.) 680 Clay St. at Kearny St., 415-399-1938.

And now, “the soapbox” portion of the chatterbox:
So, the biggest question sweeping the restaurant community is “what’s next?” Last Thursday afternoon, over 100 restaurant owners, from the big guns to the small joints, from the new guard to the old guard, gathered at Tres Agaves for a heated talk about a variety of angry-hot topics, but namely the triple threat of the minimum wage increase, the mandatory healthcare ordinance, and the recent paid sick leave requirement, and how it’s all hammering local business. This trio of employer mandates is drastically affecting the restaurant community’s ability to run a healthy and profitable business in this town, and basically, things have really hit the wall. À la Howard Beale in Network, “[They’re] mad as hell, and not going to take this anymore.”

As far as the minimum wage issue, there is now an imbalance happening internally, with many servers making what is now a pretty high minimum wage (uh, the second highest in the nation) plus their (often hefty) amount in tips, which can add up to a salary that can clock in at 2 ½ times more than what most cooks are lucky to make. And since restaurants have to worry about ever-diminishing profits, they are having a hard time giving their kitchen staff the raises they deserve. With these payroll stresses happening, there is a gap forming in restaurants between haves and have-nots, between front of house and back of house, and restaurants are left to negotiate this gap.

And the looming healthcare initiative? Well, according to some restaurateurs, it’s going to be twice as bad as the ramifications of the sick pay and minimum wage issues. It all adds up to a wicked business model, one that is destined to fail.

What are restaurants to do? They can (and will have to) raise prices, which can ultimately lead to less profit, according to a GGRA study, and/or decrease quality (never desirable, especially here), and/or decrease portions (the public doesn’t tend to support these things). Plus things like understaffing, the inability to afford staying open for lunch, diminished benefits for workers, worker attrition, flagging kitchen morale, and yes, ever-smaller profits are the fallout of this crunch.

We don’t want a city where only chains open and survive. Nor one where our treasured 49-seat restaurants or little lunch spots or places without liquor licenses will close, or not even be able to open. I’ve already heard of two restaurateurs who have decided to not move ahead with projects based on the happenings over the past two months, one being the partners at Town Hall—it was going to be a sweet project in SF. (No longer.) We don’t want our favorite restaurateurs forced to move all their new concepts to the 408 or 925 or 510 or 650.

We want things to stay in the 415, and find success. Restaurateurs live here, and have families here, and want to stay—but they can’t afford to have their businesses totally fail. San Francisco is known and treasured for its vibrant and creative restaurant scene, and we need our local government to start realizing how important (and also beleaguered) this industry is, and start supporting it instead of continuing to break its freaking back. Culinary tourism is a driving factor in our city’s economic health. So why is the Board of Supervisors trying to make it sick?

Restaurant owners are beyond frustrated, and considering a variety of options. One thing being discussed is adding a service charge (ranging from 3% to 17%) on a customer’s check to offset the rising costs of doing business; Incanto has been doing something similar for a few years now, a 5% charge which covers the healthcare for their kitchen workers. Kevin Westlye of the GGRA (who is doggedly working with local restaurateurs to come up with some solutions to address the issues) noted the attorney for the association stated that the GGRA couldn’t coordinate a citywide program of service charges since it would be in potential conflict with anti-trust law. So basically, if a restaurant wants to add a service charge, they need to do so on their own prerogative, and without formally banding with other restaurants and setting a citywide percentage together.

A march to city hall is being discussed. Or a day of protest, with restaurateurs all closing their doors and going out of the city for the day (and night), say, to Oakland, to spend their dollars (and maybe look for a more viable space for their business).

But in the end, while these kinds of events will draw national attention, some actual strategies need to be employed to create a stop-gap, and some solutions. There is no silver bullet, or one solution to everything. So for now, the GGRA is working with some key people to come up with some proposals, focusing on the minimum wage, and how to balance the wage inequity (those who are tipped, or not) and then taking on the other issues as well. More will be known in coming weeks about what some potential steps and tactics will be.

What can you do? If you are a restaurant owner, I’d considering joining and supporting the GGRA. I’d also make sure to show up at the next meeting of restaurant owners, which will be at Salt House on Wednesday, April 11, at 3pm to talk about next steps. And if you happen to have some creative ideas about what the local government needs to do to help the restaurant community, I am sure Kevin Westlye of the GGRA would like to hear them.

[End rant.]

And now, some restaurant news to be proud of: the ~2007 JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION AWARDS NOMINEES~ have been announced! This year, there are 62 Award categories for restaurants, chefs, broadcasting, print journalism, book authors, and restaurant design.

Here are some highlights where SF placed (local stars in bold):

Nominees for Outstanding Restaurateur: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry (Yountville, CA); Keith McNally, Balthazar (New York City); Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You (Chicago); Drew Nieporent, Myriad Restaurant Group (New York City); and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges (New York City).

Nominees for Rising Star Chef of the Year: Nate Appleman, A16 (San Francisco); Graham Elliot Bowles, Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel (Chicago); David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar (New York City); Patrick Connelly, Radius (Boston); and Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park (New York City).

Category: outstanding restaurant award. The restaurant in the U.S. that serves as a national standard bearer of consistency of quality and excellence in food, atmosphere and service. Restaurant must have been in operation for at least ten years: Boulevard, Chef/Owners: Nancy Oakes, Pat Kuleto, (San Francisco, CA); Frontera Grill, Chef/Owners: Rick and Deann Bayless, (Chicago, IL); Magnolia Grill, Chef/Owners: Ben and Karen Barker, (Durham, NC); Picholine, Chef/Owner: Terrance Brennan, (New York, NY); Spiaggia, Chef: Tony Mantuano, Owner: Compass Group, (Chicago, IL).

Category: outstanding pastry chef award. A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries or breads, who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence. Must have been a pastry chef or baker for the past five years. Will Goldfarb, Room 4 Dessert, (New York, NY); Michael Laskonis, Le Bernardin, (New York, NY); Leslie Mackie, Macrina Bakery & Café, (Seattle, WA); Elizabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson, Tartine Bakery, (San Francisco, CA); Mindy Segal, HotChocolate, (Chicago, IL).

Category: outstanding service award. A restaurant that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service. Must have been in operation for the past five years. Blackberry Farm, Owner: Sam Beall, (Walland, TN); Canlis, Owners: The Canlis Family, (Seattle, WA); La Grenouille, Owner: Gisele Mason, (New York, NY); Terra, Owners: Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, (St. Helena, CA); Tru, Owners: Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand and Richard Melman, (Chicago, IL).

Category: best chef: Pacific (CA, HI)
Traci Des Jardins, Jardiniére, (San Francisco, CA); Douglas Keane, Cyrus (Healdsburg, CA); Roland Passot, La Folie, (San Francisco, CA); Craig Stoll, Delfina, (San Francisco, CA); Michael Tusk, Quince, (San Francisco, CA).

Congrats to all the nominees!

Got a hot tip? You know I’d love it (and you). Just reply to this email!

 
fresh meat

Piccino

Piccino
801 22nd St.
Cross: Tennessee St.
San Francisco, CA 94107

415-824-4224
website

Mon-Wed 7am-3pm
Thu-Sat 7am-8:30pm
Sun 8am-1pm

Lunch only
Salads $6.50-$7.50
Pizza $8.25-$10.75
Panini $6.50-$8.75
Desserts $4-$5.50

CASH ONLY
(for now)

MARCH 20, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO So when a chef pal says, “Hey, you wanna go check this place out for lunch with me next week? The food is really good, I’ve eaten there like five times already,” you tend to say yes. And when that chef is Nate Appleman of A16 (who was just nominated for Rising Star Chef for James Beard, holla!) and he’s stoked on a place, well, you say, “What time, dude?!”

Admittedly, I’ve been fired up on ~PICCINO~ before I even had a chance to eat there. It has one hell of a pedigree: one of the partners is Sheryl Rogat, formerly of pizza temple Pizzetta 211 and the other is the talented Margherita Stewart, whose husband is Loring Sagan, the owner of the building that houses the Blue Bottle kiosk on Linden, and is a partner in said kiosk. So let’s do the math: primo pizza, check. Killer coffee, check. (This is how I do math.)

So, to understand the concept, you have to understand the name: Piccino is an endearing Italian diminutive of the word "little," picco. (Nothing you would ever say to a man.) Aww, how cute, the partners are kind of small. And the 700-square-foot space is seriously small (there’s only room for 11 inside, and with some new stools soon, eventually 18), plus some outdoor seating that’s dreamy on a sunny day (good thing Dogpatch has nice weather). It’s in an historical building that used to be a corner market in the ‘40s. The vibe is cheerful, and arty, and intimate.

And the menu is small too, just as it should be. We started with some antipasti ($7.50), a plate that had a duo sampling of some Fatted Calf charcuterie (their kitchen is just around the corner, can you get any more local than that?), plus a tangy chickpea spread, some mixed herby olives, fresh radishes and zingy carrots a la giardiniera.

Salads were bright: crispy romaine hearts with thin slivers of kumquats and almonds ($6.50), and my fave, a springtime salad with sliced asparagus, fatty little chunks of pancetta, and a soft-boiled bright yellow yolk farm-fresh egg on top ($6.50) (it had a perfect white—I notice these things). All the ingredients tasted and looked fresh out of the farmers’ market, or someone’s garden.

Of course, Ms. Pizza had to partake. I opted for the Napoletana ($9.75) with tomato sauce, black olives, and anchovies. It was a lovely little crispy crunchy thin-crust pizza, excellent sauce, like, spot-on, and my kind of toppings. Total hearts. Other options included a Margherita, and there was a special with pea shoots and Umbrian salami that totally caught my eye.

But truth be told, after Gialina’s pizza (the killer crust), I’m a little ruined at the moment. So while this isn’t my faaaaaaavorite pizza this very second, it’s one tasty pie that I’d be happy to eat again (and again). And, pizza dough recipes and ovens take time to get all hooked up. It’s like a good relationship. I am confident this pizza will evolve into a total fave soon enough.

The panino of ham, Beehive cheddar (an artisanal cheese from Utah), and sliced apple ($8.75) totally rocked and ruled. These are the kinds of panini that are right up there with grilled cheese night in LA at Campanile. Good stuff, Maynard. And the thoughtful side salad of fregola with chunks of tuna confit (yes, you read that right—it’s tuna slow-cooked in oil, meow) was Mediterranean bliss.

So when you’re eating simple food that’s clean and balanced like this, something palpable happens. You get in the zone. It’s like good s*x (the asterisk is for all the SPAM filters out there), or when you’re totally jamming down a hill on skis, or writing, or making bread, or dancing. Smoking a spliff. Whatever gets your groove on. It’s like all your synapses get a full bath of pleasure. I was totally rollin’.

Everything tasted fresh, and thoughtful, and just right. Personal. All the ingredients fall into the organic/local/sustainable pyramid, and check this: the gorg pottery the food comes out on was made by Margherita’s husband, Loring. Nice touch. I know, some folks will be like, “Oh, it’s all so precious.” And to them, I say, “Get a heart!” This place touched mine.

I can’t wait to return for dinner, which is only served Thu-Sat. They add a few more substantial dishes, like involtini made with Prather Ranch beef ($12/$16), or a cold rice salad of scallops with asparagus ($12/$16). Dinner will also be a great time to sample off their wine list, which is in progress at the moment. They have some selections from Kermit Lynch with a European slant (think French and Italian), with most bottles ranging from $20-28, or $5-8 by the glass. Piccino is also open early for breakfast, so neighbors are lucky dog(patchers) to wake up to this little gem of a place.

You can finish up with whatever your heart desires from the espresso machine. And Blue Bottle hedz, you’ll like to know Jamie is working here (Brian too). Ristrettos in effecty wecty. Gibraltar away. (Although I’m a macchiato girl through and through.) They are playing around with some espresso-oriented desserts, like a cappuccino brûlée. And yes, there is latte/foam art. We also tried a tasty dark chocolate and black pepper cake ($5.50) with a nice dollop of cream on top. There are cute cookies too.

One last note: are you scratching your head when someone says “Dogpatch?” Yup, it’s a little bit off the beaten path—out where other spiff little businesses are opening up on the 3rd Street corridor, like Yield Wine Bar, which is just around the corner. Find a reason, like, “Oh, I am hungry,” and just make the fieldtrip. It’s a little slice of Chez Panisse heaven out there. (And yes, the three littles in this paragraph are entirely intentional. I’m trying to brainwash you.)

 
the wino

the wino

MARCH 20, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Chris Deegan of NOPA says: my interest in wine began slowly while still in college, an occasional splurge on a ‘nice’ bottle of wine. I continued drinking wine, and attempting to learn a little, mostly passively, when I moved to Jackson, Wyoming–where I eventually procured my first restaurant job. The real study of wine began when I moved to San Francisco in 2001. I have worked in a number of great restaurants here and have taken a few wine trips abroad, all the while reading and tasting and note-taking and asking questions whenever possible. The pic is from a feast in the lakes district of Argentina, although the same-style of dining can be had at the community table at NOPA…

Chris Deegan on Sherry

Wine is more than a beverage. It can quench thirst and usher in bliss or great remorse, but it is more than that. I dare say that it is even more than the sum total of the terroir that produces the grapes that produce the wine. Besides all of that, it encapsulates history, culture, and work. No wine that I know of transmits these intangible attributes as well as sherry. When I want to taste the subtle nuances of terroir, I open Selbach-Oster or Zind Humbrecht. When I want to taste history and culture in a glass, I pour myself a copita of sherry.

Before or after a meal sherry is divine, and truly the most underrated beverage in the wine world. During a meal, with food, it is so undiscovered and underutilized that it can’t even be considered underrated. It is simply forgotten. (Here in the U.S., that is.)

What makes it so great with food? Well, for starters, the range is so vast. To say that sherry is good with food is nearly akin to saying that wine is good with food. Sherry can be light, crisp, fresh, and white or it can be thick, black, unctuous, and sweet with a number of styles in between.

The lightest and most delicate sherries are the fino and manzanilla. The latter is actually a subset of the former, but let’s avoid details. These are light, crisp, salty, bone-dry wines that are fantastic with seafood and light dishes.

They are born and bred ocean-side. As both vines and wine they breathe salty air. The sea is in their blood, one might say, and this kinship with food from the sea is undeniable when paired with dishes such as clams braised in manzanilla with olive oil, parsley, and garlic or shrimp quickly sautéed in olive oil loaded with garlic and some red chili. Slices of Serrano ham or grilled vegetables are equally as great. Because these sherries are the most delicate, they are also the most important to buy from good shops where they won’t sit on the shelves for years and years. Two labels to try are “La Guitana” from Hidalgo and “La Cigarrera” from the eponymous label.

Amontillado, palo cortado and oloroso are the next styles. (The first two are actually aged finos, but again, trying to avoid too many details.) These sherries are more robust, rich, and complex. They have a flavor profile that is nutty, earthy, and a little bit sweet up front with hints of caramel and caramelized fruit as well as dried fruits, yet they are sharp, dry, and very long on the finish. They match up with everything from salads with dried fruits and nuts to braised pork belly to vegetable stews to heavy soups to rich meat stews. Their versatility is truly amazing.

Emilio Lustau is a good producer to look for, he produces a wide range of sherry and also bottles some special artisan wines under Almanecista labels, plus he is widely distributed and easy to find. For a special treat, try to find one of the Vinos Viejos (old wine) bottlings of El Maestro Sierra, these will NOT be cheap, but the character and length of these wines is extraordinary. They are the type of wines that cause complete silence upon tasting and dominate discussion for hours, or days, afterwards. 

Moving on in richness and also sweetness, we have sweet olorosos, or cream sherries, and Pedro Ximenez. These wines are more rich, caramelized, and nutty and the finish is sweet. They are excellent with dessert, or for dessert. A sweet oloroso or cream sherry with a sticky toffee pudding cake, like the one currently on the NOPA dessert menu, is delightful. Pure Pedro Ximenex looks like motor oil in a bottle and is intensely sweet and is perhaps best simply poured over vanilla ice cream.

Two things to note in conclusion: one, I have avoided the details here for lack of space, but for me, sherry is in the details. The laborious production, the specific climates, the history and culture that are as intertwined and as complex as the flavors themselves—this is where the magical transformation from a beverage to a soulful experience occurs. And two, sherry is the single best value wine in the world, period.

 

 
the socialite

Beer & Bites

Beer & Bites
Sat., March 24, 2007

1 Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA

12-4pm

tickets

$50

MARCH 20, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Attention hopheads: the San Francisco Brewers’ Guild and Slow Food San Francisco are pleased to announce ~BEER & BITES~, an afternoon tasting of beers from seven craft breweries, all within San Francisco proper, paired with artisanal, local food from Bay Area producers. Participating breweries include The Beach Chalet, Gordon Biersch, Magnolia Pub and Brewery, The San Francisco Brewing Company, Speakeasy Ales and Lagers, Thirsty Bear, and 21st Amendment. The participating producers include Acme Bread Company, Cowgirl Creamery, The Fatted Calf, and Hog Island Oyster Company.

Tickets can be purchased from participating breweries or online through In Ticketing. Profits will benefit Slow Food San Francisco, including the new School Garden Project at Sanchez Elementary School.

San Francisco Brewer’s Guild: San Francisco was the locus of America’s craft brewery revival. Today, the breweries of San Francisco are part of a rich local culture of artisan food and beverages. Together, they produce a diverse array of beer that runs the gamut of style and flavors. Additionally, the San Francisco brewpubs serve an eclectic selection of beer-friendly food in lively pub environments. 

Slow Food San Francisco: Slow food, founded in 1986, is an international organization whose aim is to protect the pleasures of the table from homogenization of modern fast food and life. Through a variety of initiatives, it promotes gastronomic culture, develops taste education, conserves agricultural biodiversity and protects traditional foods at risk of extinction. San Francisco is home to one of the oldest Slow Food groups in the United States. 

Steele Winemaker Dinner
Photo from luella website.

Steele Winemaker Dinner
Tue., April 3, 2007

luella
1896 Hyde St.
Cross: Green St.
San Francisco, CA 94109

415-674-4343
website

$75
All-inclusive



MARCH 20, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO This is one heck of a deal for a multi-course wine dinner: ~luella is welcoming Jed Steele for its inaugural winemaker dinner~. Jed's passion for thinking beyond simple terroir has led to the creation of an array of astounding wines. Wines that range from delicate to bold and that will pair with every style of cuisine. In Jed's own words, "Two things that most readily fire the imagination: making love and drinking wine." Join Jed and luella for a night of food, friends, and extraordinary wine.

Reception
Shooting Star Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County, CA, 2005
Pizzetta with fromage blanc and lemon
Pizzetta with wild mushrooms and gremolata

First Course
Shooting Star Aligote, Washington State, 2005
Oysters Three Ways: Baked, Fried and Chilled

Second Course
Steele Pinot Blanc, Santa Barbara, CA, 2005
Rapini ravioli with hazelnuts

Third course
Writer’s Block Grenache, Lake County, CA, 2005
Rabbit sugo with pappardelle

Fourth
Stymie Merlot, Lake County, CA, 2003
Lamb osso buco with chickpea wafers

Fifth Course
Steele Pacini Vineyard Zinfandel, Mendocino, CA, 2004
Seared beef filet en croute with bone marrow butter and horseradish

Dessert
Shooting Star Black Bubbles Syrah, Lake County, CA, 2003
Chocolate and strawberry shortcake

 
the starlet

MARCH 20, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Okay, more on that little minx, Miss Aguilera: she was also spotted at Jet and The Cafe in the Castro—girlfriend must have been checking up on her fan base, and if any particularly good remixes were rocking the dance floors out there.

Jason Alexander (yes, George), was recently digging into Jonnatan Leiva's cooking at Jack Falstaff. No Soup Nazi episodes or outbursts were reported.

Venticello has been busy pulling them in with its views: Yo-Yo Ma was seen dining there, plus Sean Hayes again (he must like it!), and check this: Murray Gell-mann, the 1967 Nobel Prize winner for physics. How’s THAT for a hodgepodge?