|table of contents
week's tablehopper: meownmar.
the word on the street
it's about time we met
in vino veritas
no photos please
8, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Okay,
I almost went dark on you guys this week since I am currently up
in Napa at the muy interresante Taste3
the three days I normally write and edit tablehopper, but I had
to at least put a few things together for ya. Yes, I stayed in
on that gorgeous Saturday we just had so you would have something
to read this Tuesday.
I’m up here in wine country, I’m
checked in to a garden cottage at The
and can I say oh my? This place is totally sweet. Favorite thing
number one: the outdoor shower. Especially during these hot days,
it’s dreamy. (However, I'm trying not to think about
all the people who have done the nasty in this shower, ha ha.)
And it’s kind of fun trying on a West Elm kind of minimalist
lifestyle—there is even a rocking chair on my porch. And the glass
of rose by the pool on Sunday was also not too shabby.
so since I didn’t have a lot time to get gossip for
you but am in giver goddess mode (random reference—does anyone
else remember the hilarious Judy
I am doing a swell prize-a-rama giveaway on tablehopper!
I am giving away five groovy prizes:
$100 gift certificate to the tasty Poleng Lounge (click
here for my past write-up on what you should order!)
copy of Mastering
the Grill— The Owner's Manual for Outdoor Cooking,
by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim. It will lead you through
Manual which teaches you how to master your equipment, technique,
ingredients, and flavors (including rubs, brines, marinades and
Walden is generously offering a voucher for two
people to take her Mangia! North Beach history, cultural, and food
4: A deck of 86
Recipes San Francisco which GraceAnn just edited—it’s
a unique collection of recipe cards from the city's most highly-acclaimed
restaurants, like Gary Danko, Boulevard, Aqua, and more. (Each
card includes a signature recipe along with directions for the
home chef and complete restaurant information.)
finally, a copy of Evan Goldstein’s Perfect
wrote about it in the
bookworm a little while ago.)
here’s the deal: one, you have to be a tablehopper subscriber,
and two, you have to forward this week’s newsletter to five
folks (or more is great, you overachiever you) in order to be eligible
to win. Just cc luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com when
you forward the newsletter to your pals. No, I won’t be collecting
your friends’ emails, those will stay private—I just
need to keep track of how many folks you forwarded it to. The deadline
to enter is by midnight, Sunday, May 13. I will be randomly drawing
the four winners and will email you to let you know you’ve
won on Monday, May 14. The first winner gets first pick of the
prizes, and so on. I hope you get lucky.
Sparkling wine kisses and farmed caviar dreams,
8, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Okay,
not to start on a negative note, but this purse-snatcher B.S.
has got to stop. This lady is out of freaking control. I can’t
believe how many more places she has nailed the past few weeks.
She was all over the Mission: Andalu got hit, and she also got
Tangerine, where she wandered in and said she was looking for a
friend—after someone noticed their purse was stolen, members
of the staff actually jumped in a car and tried to find her! They
win the vigilante award so far. Both times purses were hanging
on the backs of chairs. She also hit Regalito, where she was foiled
by a waiter who sensed something was wrong and chased her out (she
was with another African American woman while at Regalito).
see the issue of tablehopper from a
few weeks ago for
some details and a description about the purse-snatcher thus far;
in addition, it seems sometimes she works alone, and other times
reader reported she stole a purse at Koh Samui and the Monkey,
and proceeded to spend two grand at Bloomie’s with
the credit card. And yet another reader’s purse was taken
off the back of a chair at the Westfield Centre, so if it’s
the same person, she was busy shopping and stealing all at once.
I heard this from Dylan MacNiven at Woodhouse, “Regarding
the purse snatcher, I know this woman. She came into the Woodhouse
in our first weeks and claimed she had some bad takeout. I had
personally boxed most of the orders myself and didn’t remember
her, but had been working so hard, I thought I might have forgotten.
She was persistent about getting a replacement and wanted a cash
refund for half of the items (she had no receipt). I ended up giving
her some fish and chips to leave because she was making a stink.
When I got around to checking the orders from the day she claimed
to have come in, there was none that matched and she was long gone.
I have since heard from two others that someone matching her description
has tried the same thing with other new restaurants. Thanks for
pointing this out, hopefully others will come forward and we can
artist extraordinaire, and a total thief. She really needs to
be stopped. In the meantime, ladies, I’d
invest in one of those Euro-style purse holders so you can hang
your purse right off your table. I remember seeing them in use
at Gary Danko, and a reader reminded me they are all over Europe—restaurants
give them away to special clientele (hers has the name of a restaurant
in Spain). Cool idea, no? I found this
one for only $2.50, although I might upgrade
one since it can hold up to nine pounds, easily the
size off my bag. I’d say buy one for yourself and your girlfriends.
a fun little tidbit: ~RYAN SCOTT~ of
Café was one of the 29 finalists for the next season
of Top Chef. Yumsugar had this link to video footage of the 29 finalists talking about why they should
be on the show. Scott has still been hard at work at the cafe,
so I am going to assume he didn’t make it to the end, but
I am sure that’s okay by many because we need him around
to make those killer BLTs, ha ha!
on some closures: the historic ~DAGO
RESTAURANT~ in Hunter’s Point closed on Friday,
April 27, after 77 years of business. It’s one of those
spots I always meant to check out, but didn’t. It’s
supposed to reopen in another location in the next two or three
years. Here’s more on the closure from a piece
in the Chron.
the ~FILLMORE GRILL~ has
also closed. I wasn’t able to get in touch with anyone
before leaving for my trip to find out the what and why. 2298
Fillmore St., between Clay and Sacramento.
ENOTECA~ has to unfortunately close for a month for repairs—basically
the floor is rotting out from underneath them. Bummer. It will
be closed from June 11-July 10.
I swung by the new location of ~NAAN-N-CURRY~ at
the corner of Turk and Van Ness for some take-out last week. Let’s
just say my dinner looked like the Exxon Valdez spill got to it,
and I’ve seen truck stop bathrooms that were cleaner. The
free chai, however, is always nice. 690 Van Ness Ave. at Turk,
Next week I promise I’ll have a pile of gossip
and updates—I’ve just got way too much going on this
a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just reply
to this email!
452 Larkin St.
Cross: Turk St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
8, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Here’s
probably the shortest write-up you’ll
ever see on tablehopper. I was out for lunch with a chef pal (we
were hunting down some eats at a couple ethnic joints) and he brought
me to this total hole in the wall. What appears to be just another
random shabby Tenderloin deli is actually home to some very authentic
Burmese cuisine as well. I heart places like this—you feel
like you’re in on a secret.
into ~LARKIN EXPRESS~,
all you can get are roast beef sandwiches or a roast turkey sando
or hamburgers, which actually look quite delicious, but the Burmese
dishes we tried were good enough to make me want to come back again
to try more.
course we ordered the la pat dok (tea leaf salad/$5.95)—the
flavor of this was quite intense, and I’ve heard the owner
gets his tea leaves from a very special source, so they are quite
likely the best in town. Sadly there were some tragically out-of-season
tomatoes tossed in the mix, and it was a bit oily, but the flavor
combination of the dried shrimp, fried garlic, yellow split peas,
sesame seeds, peanuts, and lettuce was downright magic.
Also loved our piping hot bowl of moh hinga (fish chowder/$5.50),
a thick soup (almost a porridge, really) with rice noodles and
a satisfying crunch of fried split peas on top. I want this on
my next foggy night. Supposedly the kau swer dok (noodle salad/$5.50)
with chicken or dried shrimp is really popular. There are at least
15 more dishes available, from pork meatballs to Burmese bean curd.
cake with special sauce ($7.50) didn’t really rock
my house, but the mystery sour greens with shrimp were delish.
Why mystery? Because I can’t for the life of me remember
what the greens were (guess who doesn’t have her notebook
with her while writing this piece, bad girl). Anyway, if you’re
into tangy greens, ask for the sour leaves since they weren’t
on the menu. I've also forgotten the name of an awesome (and pungent)
shrimp condiment we tried, with garlic and onion and a little kick
addition to some dishes.
you’re not leery of dives, check it out. The owner, Dennis,
is about as nice as they come, so don’t hesitate to ask him
any questions. He owns another restaurant, the Tennessee Grill
out in the Avenues that serves classic American dishes. He works
a lot. Which is another reason why I’d like to support this
place. Checkity check it!
MAY 8, 2007 | Karletta Moniz on Chocolate and Booze
is a San Francisco based chef, writer, and food consultant
whose passion for chocolate has inspired the creation of
her new website, The
Art of Tasting Chocolate,
and her chocolate tasting and pairing classes. Her client list
includes Disney, Neiman-Marcus, Jamba Juice, ABC-TV, and more...
Her next class is on June 1, 2007 at the Cheese
School of San Francisco
on Russian Hill.]
have this theory about how the pairing of chocolate and red wine
started. It’s 1970. A couple marketing guys are trying
to figure out what to do with a warehouse full of Cold Duck. Valentine’s
Day is fast approaching. You know the rest.
maybe it happened around the same time that chefs and winery
owners started proclaiming that red wine was great with filet
of sole and that there was nothing wrong with pairing a Chardonnay
with a juicy rare T-bone. And frankly, if that’s what you
think tastes great, go right ahead.
don’t you want to know why some pairings work and others
don’t? Wouldn’t you really rather skip the expensive
mistakes and go right for the matches made in heaven? Why ruin
a $25 glass of Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose Champagne with a milk
chocolate truffle? I want a pairing to go beyond just knocking
back a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate. I want it to deliver
a brand new experience. I want the sum to be greater than its parts.
Here are some of my favorites pairings that are guaranteed to take
you to the next level:
Never paired chocolate with a libation before? Start with port.
Why? It is novice- and pocketbook-friendly. A good bottle of
10 year-old tawny port can be found for less than $25. Pair this
with gianduja (chocolate and hazelnut) or a high percentage cacao
milk chocolate. Trader Joe’s has a good
selection of reasonably priced ports and well-priced chocolate
from Valhrona and Scharffenberger.
Not just for spinster aunts or English detectives in BBC mysteries.
My favorites are the sherries made from the Pedro Ximenez grape
variety. A sip of Sandeman Royal Ambrosante Old Solera Pedro
Ximenez (aged 20 years) is delicious, a taste of Amedei of Tuscany’s
Chuao dark chocolate is bliss. Combine the two and you have entered
the realm of the divine where the flavor of dark raisin and molasses
are almost overwhelming. It is hard to believe that a glass of
liquid and a square of chocolate can deliver so many flavor nuances.
For a combination that is smooth caramel bliss, try a Malmsey
type Madeira paired with a high percentage cacao milk chocolate
like Guittard’s 38%
Cacao or El Rey’s 41% Cacao. The sweetness and acidity are
a perfect match, as are the slightly viscous mouthfeel of the Madeira
and the creamy milk chocolate.
Effervescent: Treat yourself to a glass of the
2005 Accornero Brigantino made with the Malvasia di Casorzo grape
(a relative of the Malvasia grape varietal used to make Malmsey).
Loads of raspberries and strawberries with a slight frizzante that
tickles the tongue and clears the palate between nibbles of dark
chocolate-covered strawberries. A very romantic pairing.
Go for the smooth single malts with just a hint of smoke. Oban
Highland 14 is just the one to pair with the spicier dark chocolates
that confectioners are creating these days. A sip of Scotch and
a bite of Green & Black’s Maya
Gold (dark chocolate, orange, and hot spices) will warm anyone
up on a foggy San Francisco evening.
Petrini of Slow Food Visit
8, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Carlo
Petrini, Founder and International President of ~SLOW
the Bay Area, launching a year-long campaign that will culminate
in Slow Food Nation, a large public event to be held at Fort
Mason Center in May 2008. Mr. Petrini’s new book,
Slow Food Nation, Why Our Food Should be Good, Clean and Fair provides
the philosophical underpinnings of Slow Food Nation, the event.
Book Signing, Talk, Food and Wine Reception
Thu., May 10, 2007, 6pm, Cowell Theater, Fort Mason
The event begins at 6pm with a book signing by Carlo Petrini of
his new book. At 6:30pm, Mr. Petrini will give a talk after being
introduced by Don Novello, AKA Father Guido Sarducci, local comedian
and former writer/actor for Saturday Night Live. The talk is followed
by a reception with food by Chef Alessandro Cartumini, Four Seasons
Silicon Valley, and organic wine by Frey Vineyards.
Tickets are: $16 general public; $6 members of Instituto Italiano
di Cultura, Slow Food USA, and Museo Italoamericano, all of whom
are sponsoring the event. For tickets, click
Book Signing and Talk [Update: CANCELLED]
Sat., May 12, San Francisco, 9am–10:30am, Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market,
Carlo Petrini will sign copies of his new book and give a short talk
at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market. This event is free of charge and open
to the public.
is also a lunch and talk in Sonoma on May 12—for more
SF AIDS Foundation Benefit
Tue., May 15, 2007
500 Brannan St.
Cross: 4th St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
6pm or 8:30pm seatings
$100 per person
8, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO COCO500
is hosting a ~FUNDRAISER FOR THE SAN FRANCISCO AIDS FOUNDATION~,
a four-course dinner paired with cocktails. The menu came about
as a collaboration between Jen Biesty, the chef at COCO5OO, and
Scott Baird, the bar manager and creative force behind COCO5OO's
inventive cocktail menu.
Take a look at the website for a peek at the menu, which includes
a course of fava bean and prosciutto crostini, served with a
cocktail of vodka, pastis, lemon, rose hip tea, bitters, and
Established in 1982, the San Francisco
AIDS Foundation is one of the oldest and largest community-based
AIDS service organizations in the United States. The mission
of the agency is to end the pandemic and the human suffering
caused by HIV. The AIDS Foundation Members works to achieve that
goal by providing direct services to thousands of people living
with or at risk for HIV/AIDS, supplying information about HIV
treatment and related issues, promoting HIV prevention and awareness
in the community, and advocating for sound HIV/AIDS policies
at all levels of government.
Wed., May 16, 2007
Ritz-Carlton San Francisco
600 Stockton St.
Cross: California St.
San Francisco, CA
Get tickets through the
$65 in advance
$75 day of event
*includes an intimate specialty wine tasting with Karen
8, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO The ~CALIFORNIA WINE CLASSIC~ is
a charity event hosted by The Northern California Chapter of
the Crohn's & Colitis
Foundation of America (CCFA) and Karen MacNeil, world-renowned
wine educator, consultant, and author of The
Guests will enjoy special release tastings from Far Niente Winery,
Domaine Carneros, Trefethen Family Vineyards, Domaine Chandon,
Vie Winery, Heitz Wine Cellars, and many more fine wineries;
Ritz-Carlton chefs will pair lavish delicacies with featured
vintages. There is also a silent auction which will feature luxury
travel packages, Bay Area dining and entertainment, art, and
MacNeil will present information on fine wines and the art of
wine tasting to all guests. True wine aficionados will want to
purchase VIP tickets to enjoy a private tasting with her.
The mission of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
(CCFA) is to cure and prevent Crohn's disease and ulcerative
colitis through research, and to improve the quality of life
of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases through
education and support. For more information, contact CCFA at
800-932-2423 or visit www.ccfa.org.
MAY 8, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Robin
Williams, George Lucas, Nancy Pelosi, and Peter Coyote were
all at 2223 for a private party for the SF International Film
Last week Linda Ronstadt dined with a group at
One Market Restaurant, and ex-49er Ronnie Lott also
came in with a party of five.
The ever-fashionable Kate and Andy Spade were
spotted sipping some spendy champers at the bar at the Campton
Place Hotel. Both were in town for some fancy Vogue shindig. Wardrobe
notes from the eagle-eye tablehopper reader: “He wore no
socks (and sported a sharp black suit), and she was rockin' red
tights and fuchsia slingbacks.”
Randy Jackson from American Idol (yo dawg!) was
at Salt House.
Lidia Bastianich had
lunch at Boulette’s
Larder last week. She was wearing very dark sunglasses (yes, how
Italian) and chatted in Italian with one of the tablehopper reader’s
pals who said she seemed to be very nice.
Lynda Carter (go Wonder Woman!) had dinner at
Perbacco. She reportedly looks 40! Maybe those cuffs have anti-aging
Spike Lee dined at Postrio in the restaurant's
private dining room on Friday afternoon with other key folks affiliated
with the SF International Film Festival (including the Executive
Director). (So unless a publicist told me this little tidbit, we
would have no idea he was even there!)
Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson managed to sneak
in for a last-minute dinner at Millennium.
have time to follow up on this, but reportedly both Tom Waits and Natalie Portman have
come into Zazie to dine.
B.D. Wong (Tony
award winner, SF local-gone-Broadway, starred in Margaret Cho's
failed sitcom) was seen having cocktails in the lobby of the
O’Brien was having dinner at Delfina
and left around midnight in a black Town Car.