tablehopper
table of contents This week's tablehopper: east of eden.

the chatterbox
the word on the street
the jetsetter
get outta dodge
the lush
put it on my tab
the socialite
shindigs/feasts/festivals
the starlet
no photos please

the matchmaker
let's get it on

the sponsor
this round is on me

Meatpaper

SEPTEMBER 11, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Okay, I think I finally have my head back on. The dust is out of my hair, my cell phone is no longer a foreign object, and I’m almost back to my usual typing speed. (Almost.) Oh yeah, and that enormous pile of emails has been attended to! Poof!

Since I am back on track, this week’s ‘hopper is front-loaded with all kinds of news for you. AND for those of you who couldn’t make it to the first tablehopper supper, I’ve got another one coming up in two weeks! (Check it out in the socialite.)

Sigh, 9/11. Today is a heavy day of remembrance, a day emblazoned on every American’s memory, and heart. In honor of inimitable New York, I’m setting you up with another installment of write-ups about some New York eateries and bars I experienced during my recent visit.

Today is also a very special day to my family because it’s my dear sister’s birthday. Happy Birthday, seeeeeeester!

Warmly,

~Marcia subscribe


the chatterbox
MeatpaperSEPTEMBER 11, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO So word on the street is executive chef ~MICHELLE MAH~ is leaving Kimpton’s Ponzu, and has a project in the works with Joie De Vivre Hospitality. I’m not allowed to say what the project is yet, but there are six new sites JDV is working on, and three of them are Bay Area locations. All I know is it will be a new bistro concept debuting in 2008—I’ll let you know more in a couple weeks. For now, Mah is joining JDV at the end of September, which is also when their 20th anniversary party is happening!

The old Splendido and then mysterious Monte Cristo Cafe space (like, how did that place stay open for so long?) in Embarcadero Four will now be home to ~SENS RESTAURANT~ (hint: throw some French pronunciation on that name and you’ve got it—click here for further edification). The project is from executive chef Michael Dotson (formerly of Evvia, Heirloom, Slow Club, and PlumpJack Café in both San Francisco and in Tahoe), GM and sommelier Saeed Amini (Evvia, Cetrella, Robert Mondavi Golden Vine Winery) and pastry chef Shuna Lydon (French Laundry, Bouchon, Aziza, Citizen Cake). Each brings a minimum of 15 years’ restaurant experience to the table, and all have been working very collaboratively on the project. Like, pouring lots and lots of love into it. Expect a lip-smacking menu evocative of Southern Mediterranean cuisine, primarily Turkish, North African, and Greek, made with a light hand. Considering Dotson and Lydon met at the farmers’ market, and the restaurant’s proximity to the Ferry Building, local and sustainable ingredients will be figuring high on the menu (they are calling the style “Sustainable Mediterranean”).

A few preliminary menu items include starters like chicken brodo with cauliflower citrus dumplings, squash blossoms, and marjoram; grilled octopus with fennel, fresh shell beans, piquillo peppers, and mint pistou; mains include grilled lamb loin chops with spice-braised breast, slow-cooked dandelion, quince, and chickpeas; and Wolfe Ranch Quail with clams, Merguez sausage, escarole, and fingerling potatoes. Sounds delish, no? Some desserts include warm chocolate, cocoa cake, Shuna's famous hot fudge sauce, and cardamom ice cream, and Woodleaf farm peach sorbet, toasted kataifi, Manouri cheese, and verbena-butter sautéed peaches. The wine list will prominently feature biodynamic and organic wines, and there will also be a really groovy array of non-alcoholic drinks. The opening is slated for October 1, with lunch and dinner offered. The 225-seat space includes a spacious patio, a lounge, and all kinds of private dining options. I always liked the view, the light, and the nice stonework. Sounds like a lovely new addition to the area. Four Embarcadero Center, Promenade Level, 415-362-0645.

More news after my Mediterranean heart: opening in the former Just Desserts space in the Castro will be ~GUSTOFINO FINE FOODS~, a specialty market and café offering in-house dining or gourmet dishes to go. There will be home-style hot foods, like two kinds of lasagne and chicken alla diavola, plus salads (like beet and goat cheese, pesto pasta, mixed greens, risotto), panini, focaccia pizza, antipasti (salumi, olives, cheeses), pastry (90% of it will be house-made), and Blue Bottle Coffee. The shelves will also feature local and imported foods, from Acme Bread to olive oil, from here and afar. Owner Matt Rutledge, who went to culinary school in Italy and graduated from the restaurant management program at the CCA is working closely with his mother, who has come out of retirement to help her son with the new biz (she has extensive experience in running delis, go mom). There will be a spacious patio with umbrellas, lights, and a fountain, with room for 40. There will be room for 20 inside, plus an espresso/wine bar with whole beans for sale, and whole bottles of wine, too. The soft opening is slated for October 8, and the grand opening will be later in the month. Gustofino will be open from 7am–10pm daily. 248 Church St. between 15th and Market.

After mucho project delays and a recent fire, ~BOULANGE DE HAYES~ is nearing completion and should be open by the end of month or so. This Boulange outpost will offer both indoor and outdoor seating, and will potentially be offering catering in the future. Open daily 7am–7pm. 500 Hayes St. at Octavia, 415-863-3376.

After working at Cortez since its opening with the Hatfields, ~NICK FLORES~, the talented pastry chef, is heading over to work at Myth. His first day is this Thursday. Look for his innovative desserts with fresh seasonal ingredients and always a fun little twist. 470 Pacific Ave. at Montgomery, 415-677-8986.

I was bummed to miss the ~CHEFS COOK OFF FOR AFTER SCHOOL~ event at Jack Falstaff over Labor Day weekend, but I did want to report on the winners for you! The girls kicked some kitchen booty: Elizabeth Falkner (Citizen Cake) and Christine Mullen (Cav) beat out the boys, Joseph Manzare (Tres Agaves, Zuppa, Pescheria, Globe) and Hiro Sone (Ame, Terra). The other challenge had restaurant chefs Nate Appleman (A16) and Craig Stoll (Delfina) victorious over TV chefs Tyler Florence and Joey Altman—reportedly Stoll’s hand-cranked cavatelli machine from Italy rocked the judges hard. There was also a Master Mixologist competition, with five bartenders competing to make the next classic cocktail with a secret spirit, which was Oronoco Rum. Ronaldo Colli from Americano was the winner with his drink, “Romeo,” spiked with fresh red chile.

Speaking of PlumpJack land, the new executive chef of ~PLUMPJACK CAFE~ in Cow Hollow is the talented Tyson Greenwood, who was most recently the sous under James Syhabout (who left to return to Manresa’s kitchen in Los Gatos). Greenwood, 29, earned his chops at Masa’s and Auberge up north, and has time in Europe in his history as well. A peek at a recent menu reveals starters like soup of Brentwood corn with huckleberries and sherry gel, and a tuna tartare has reappeared on the menu: big eye tuna tartare with Yellow Doll watermelon, Thai cardamom, and white soy. Some mains include roast of Berkshire pork, with braised shoulder, dandelion greens, pimiento de Padron, and Charentais melon jus; and rack of Sonoma lamb with Imperator carrot mousse, tarragon, and chocolate jus. 3127 Fillmore St. at Filbert, 415-563-4755.

Having trouble scoring a dinner reservation at ~SPRUCE~? Now you can go check it out at lunch instead—it’s a perfect spot for a biz lunch. Open Mon–Fri for lunch from 11:30am–2:30pm. 3640 Sacramento St. at Spruce, 415-931-5100.

After 25 years, Max’s Classic Opera Café has reopened as ~MAX’S AT THE OPERA~, with a new menu and look (it’s still casual, just a bit more “casual sophisticated”). Small plates after 8pm have been added to the menu, but the singing servers remain untouched! Open Sun–Tue 11:30am–10pm, and 11:30am–11:30pm Fri–Sat. 601 Van Ness Ave. at Golden Gate, 415-771-7300.  

Potpie fans, raise your forks: chef Gloria Ciccarone-Nehls of the ~BIG 4~ at the Huntington Hotel is offering tastings of her famous chicken pot pie with two other kinds, braised buffalo short rib and porcini mushroom potpie, and Maine lobster-rock shrimp sweet corn potpie. The potpie trio will be on the Big 4 menu from Sep. 19–21. 1075 California St. at Taylor, 415-771-1140.

Cheese-o-holics, did you know the ~CHEESE SCHOOL OF SAN FRANCISCO~ has opened in new, bigger digs? It’s now in North Beach, and a new round of classes have just begun! Classes are generally held in the evenings, and are $60 per person. Check out the Fall 2007 schedule for more information. 2155 Powell St., between Chestnut and Francisco, 415-346-7530. 

Hello restaurants, markets, and specialty food makers: have you heard of the upcoming ~EAT LOCAL WEEK~ in San Francisco? The first-ever event will be held September 23–29. From the press release: “Restaurants will offer daily specials made from 100% local ingredients; stores and markets will feature displays emphasizing local products; area farmers, ranchers and specialty manufacturers will offer tastings in select locations; and neighborhood associations will offer special events inspired by the Eat Local theme. Participating restaurants include La Folie, Sutro’s at the Cliff House, Jackson Fillmore, Scott Howard and New Delhi. All San Francisco stores, restaurants, markets and other food oriented businesses are invited to be listed year round on the Eat Local website for a nominal administrative fee ($60). Area farmers, ranchers and manufacturers of any consumable product sold in San Francisco are also encouraged to register. An Eat Local newsletter keeping the public advised of future events is also available by sign up on the website.” The project comes from San Francisco Small Business Commission vice president Jordanna Thigpen, with support and underwriting from the Council of District Merchant Councils. What is local, you ask? Any product produced, grown, or sourced within a four-hour drive or a 250-mile radius of San Francisco. Lets support local farmers and producers, keep our money local, and our fuel consumption low. Readers, visit the website and see what locally focused businesses and restaurants you can support. For more information contact Jordanna Thigpen at 415-409-4743 or email eatlocalsf@gmail.com.

So I fully enjoyed a TWO-go boxed lunch when I was heading off to Coachella and needed to bring something to eat while driving the bleak I-5 strip to LA. Now TWO is launching ~GOURMET TWO-GO AND READY TWO-COOK~. Gourmet TWO-Go includes a selection of house-made stocks, dressings, demi-glaces and other specialty items available for purchase via the restaurant website, like Smoked Lamb & Garlic Sausage and Double Smoked Bacon ($5), and the chive biscuits ($5 per dozen). Meanwhile, Ready-TWO-Cook offers ready-to-make meals from TWO’s menu, with ingredients that are measured, prepped, and packaged with instructions for easy preparation at home—all dishes take less than 15 minutes and can be ordered for any number of servings. So the next time you want a meaty dinner, consider the slow roasted marrowbones with caramelized onion broth and crusty bread ($8) or braised lamb cheeks with creamy polenta ($12). Everything can ordered online at www.two-sf.com  and picked up via the restaurant’s drive-through courtyard. Ready-TWO-Cook dishes must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance; Gourmet TWO-go items can be ordered within 30 minutes (unless it’s Sunday, when TWO is closed). 22 Hawthorne St. at Howard, 415-777-9779.

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

 
the jetsetter

SEPTEMBER 11, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO New York, New York—Part Two

Man, my New York jetsetter pieces just keep coming. I was way too aggressive with my tablehopping while I was there, oops. This one is going to cover some of my fave Lower East Side discoveries, and some of the underground spots I made my way into as well. Aw heck, I have all kinds of stuff in here, let’s just do this.

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Momofuku Ssäm Bar
207 Second Ave.
at 13th St.
212-254-3500

 

A cult favorite amongst most chefs, and a must-do in New York is Momofuku (it means “lucky peach,” which makes me love it even more), along with the latest David Chang outpost, ~MOMOFUKU SSÄM BAR~ (a ssäm is like a Korean burrito, with pork, onion, shiitakes, edamame, and red kimchee puree all wrapped up in a flour pancake—I need to come back for lunch to try one). Momofuku Ssäm Bar is a meat lovin’ HQ (hello, the menu has an “Offal” section and unabashedly states “we do not serve vegetarian friendly items”), and is packed with hipsters and savvy diners scarfing down flavor and texture wonders like Hokkaido sea urchin with tapioca and whipped tofu ($16), the famed steam pork belly buns ($9), and steamed Manila clams with bok choy, Chinese sausage, and a gutsy bacon dashi ($19). I was fortunate to have a pack of NYC friends invite me along to a bo ssäm dinner ($180), which entailed attempting to devour a whole monstrous pork butt, served with a dozen oysters, plates of crispy Bibb lettuce leaves, rice, a couple sauces, and Napa cabbage kimchee, all for wrapping up the pork. It was a crazy pig fest, replete with unctuous pork and nooks of stringy carnitas-esque bites of pork and some rather intense bones too—we were all thoroughly suffering a pork hangover the next day. Didn’t know pork hangovers existed, but there you have it. Service was a little, uh, casual, but the pig was just so good we didn’t even care.

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Resto Leon
351 East 12th St.
212-375-8483

Since there is usually a long wait (unless you have a big party and pre-reserved a bo ssäm dinner), here’s a cute place nearby to hang out at for a drink until your table is ready.

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Blue Owl
196 Second Ave.
at 12th St.
212-505-BLUE

Also liked having a proper cocktail after dinner at the ~BLUE OWL~. I ordered a Negroni Sbagliato (which means mistaken in Italian)—it was made with Aperol, sweet vermouth and a prosecco float. That’s amore!

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The City Bakery
3 West 18th St.
at Fifth Ave.
212-366-1414

Back on hangovers: the ~CITY BAKERY~ in Union Square saved my tookus one morning with an iced coffee and one of their famed pretzel croissants. I know, what the hell? Mmmm, pretzel croissant. Their hot chocolate is also famous, but it was too hot for chocolate. Great people watching, and all kinds of tasty goodies to eat.

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Veselka

144 Second Ave.
at Ninth St.
212-228-9682

Another savior was ~VESELKA~, a Ukrainian diner in the East Village that gallantly stood in for Momofuku, which was on my dining itinerary that day but was closed, dag. I was testy. There were also testy old school line cooks who provided serious entertainment as I perched at the counter watching them turn it OUT. Unfortunately the stools were so tall I slid off at one point and totally scraped my wrist as I slipped. So retarded of me. I still have the scar. Man, hangovers are brutal. Let the healing begin! I went for the meat combination plate ($10.95), which meant I wolfed down some satisfyingly oily chicken soup, a fresh salad with dill dressing, some meat and potato pierogis (there are also specials of the week, like goat cheese with arugula), and a stuffed cabbage roll with mushroom gravy. No wonder I fell off the stool. Humpty Dumpty here.

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MUD

307 East 9th St.
at 2nd Ave.
212-228-9074

Yo, I need some coffee. One fuzzy afternoon after the gut-busting brunch at Veselka I was brought back to life (CLEAR!) with a perfectly pulled macchiato at ~MUD~. I guess this place got its start as a coffee truck, and now they have a brick-and-mortar location as well. Fun funky vibe with a garden in the back and cool folks just kicking it over some good kaw-fee. Complimenti.

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Fatty Crab
643 Hudson St.
at Horatio St.
212-352-3590

One of my favorite dinners in New York was at ~FATTY CRAB~, hands down. In of all places, the super cheesy Meatpacking District. No matter. The flavors of the small plates of Malaysian food here went snap, sour, crackle, fatty, hot, pop! What’s not to love about fatty tea sandwiches ($7) made with pork belly and sambal aioli, a precious balance between delicate and rowdy? I am still pining for the watermelon salad ($12) with scallion, pickled watermelon rind, Thai basil, and crispy chunks of Berkshire pork belly, along with lemongrass, and a soy marinade of sesame, chili, cilantro, mint, and palm sugar. A total flavor tour de force. Then we were fully sunk by the fatty duck ($16), with rich and deeply spicy and sugary tamaki (sticky) rice that had a nutty flavor and popped in your mouth. The riot of flavors put me over the edge, with pickled mustard greens, cilantro, Thai chiles, and the haunting taste of gula jawa, a syrup of unrefined palm sugar. Bring it! Can’t wait to eat here again. The intimate space was candlelit but casual, service was spot-on and sociable, the tunes were kicking (from Bowie to Bananarama) and I am therefore ready to move in and put a cot in the back. Or at least book a trip to Malaysia, stat. Zak Pelaccio is the man!

Since this place is so freaking popular, I was told a good idea is to visit for lunch, or for dinner early in the week before 7pm; late at night Wed–Thu is also supposed to be a good time to dine.

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Little Giant

85 Orchard St.
at Broome St.
212-226-5047

Dinner is divine, but I have always been a big fan of lunch. I love me some lunch. I had at least two tablehopper folks rave to me about ~LITTLE GIANT~, and I decided to check it out for lunch (offered Mon–Fri). Can you say super cute? This hip corner spot in the LES is from Julie Taras and Tasha Garcia-Gibson, and has friendly servers, heartfelt and seasonal food that felt almost San Franciscan to me, a fab prefab modern interior with hand-crafted and well-chosen vintage touches, breathy French pop playing, and it was priced nice! The panzanella salad ($14) I tried was chock full of meow, with bright cherry tomatoes and huge pieces of basil, avocado, salty cubes of ricotta, pickled red onion, and warm sesame croutons. The duck club ($14) was ridiculous: pulled duck confit with applewood smoked bacon, avocado, tomato and herb mayo. More meow. I am way over mac and cheese, yawn zzzzz, but the devil made me order a side of the Grafton cheddar mac and cheese ($7), made with cavatelli pasta, a browned breadcrumb top, and the option of more applewood smoked bacon ($2 extra). Pretty killer. (My heart concurred.) I wanted to return for dinner, and the famed pickle plate and deviled eggs, but alas, it will have to be another time. The dinner menu looked super appetizing, with mains in the low $20s. Giant love!

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Laboratorio del Gelato
95 Orchard St.
at Broome St.
212-343-9922

Just down the street I tried a scoop of Thai chili chocolate gelato from ~IL LABORATORIO DEL GELATO~. The texture didn’t quite transport me to Italy (and like you’d ever find that flavor in Italy to begin with), but the whole point is really the array of playful flavors (Mexican cinnamon, grapefruit Campari, rosemary…). My kind of lab.

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Babycakes
248 Broome St.
at Orchard St.
212-677-5047

Another sweet spot in the neighborhood is ~BABYCAKES~, featuring vegan, gluten-free, wheat-free, and refined sugar-free desserts, like cupcakes, crumb cakes, scones, cookies, brownies, even cinnamon buns. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some classic cupcakes with sugary frosting, but I have to hand it to these bakers, they have really done a bang-up job. This place would blow the hell up in San Francisco.

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Guss’ Pickles
85 Orchard St.
at Broome St.
212-334-3616

So there is all kinds of drama behind the ~GUSS’ PICKLES~ sidewalk stand and the “other” pickle stand, The Pickle Guys. There is no way I am going to try to explain it here. Complicated. But what I just couldn’t get over was the simplicity (and novelty) of ordering a perfect half-sour pickle direct from a big barrel with gallons of other pickles, like spicy, or quarter-sour. For something like 50 cents. Done. Chomp! The pickle was a crucial component of one of my weirdest days of meals: I had a hot dog for an emergency breakfast at 1:15pm, then a vegan cupcake at 2:30pm, followed by a pickle at 3pm. You’d think I was pregnant or something! What the hell?

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‘inoteca
98 Rivington St.
at Ludlow
212-614-0473

I could have spent all day chillaxing at ~‘INOTECA~. Ideal open corner space, with all kinds of sidewalk seating under cheerful green awnings, both small tables and communal seating inside, dark wood floors, a long bar chock full of magazines and newspapers, and a clientele that was fun to drink wine with (yay, afternoon imbibers!). ‘inoteca had a leisurely vibe I easily slid into, like a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress, or if I’d taken a couple Vicodin with a chaser of Jack. The servers were also so darned nice. Really hospitable.

The menu was like my dream snack attack, with salads and antipasti like grilled octopus, sliced meats (yay, bresaola and speck!), at least eight different tramezzini (delectable little sandwich fillings that are stuffed inside triangles of soft white bread—I ate them daily while living in Italy), a wicked selection of panini and bruschetta, plus some fried dishes and larger plates (they do a suckling pig each week). And of course, a ton of Italian wines by the glass, carafe, or bottle; I went for the Ciro Rosato, built for the hot sticky weather. I munched a tramezzino of pollo alla diavola ($6) made with decadent dark meat, and tried a panino of culatello ($9) with a cheesy noci spread and mozzarella. A pal told me I was supposed to try the truffled egg toast with bottarga ($10) but I messed that up; perhaps some late night when I’m back in the neighborhood, tipsy, and in need of egg.

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Smith & Mills
71 N. Moore St.
at Greenwich St.
212-219-8568

Time for some drinks! It’s 5 o’clock somewhere. One spot that totally took my breath away was ~SMITH & MILLS~ in Tribeca, which looked like something out of a Jeunet and Caro movie set (they were the visionaries behind the film “The City of Lost Children”). The entire space was a steam punk playground, with all kinds of industrial touches and elements, plus low ceilings and lighting, tufted banquettes, a big wooden swinging door (was this a garage before?), no sign out front, and a bathroom made from an old French elevator. Brilliant design and space. Our posse just threw back some good classic cocktails, but there is also a dining/bar menu that looked intriguing. Since I was drinking my dinner that particular evening I can’t vouch for the eats, but I’d happily have a reason to hang out in this space again, and for as long as possible.

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La Esquina
106 Kenmare St.
at Cleveland Pl.
646-613-7100

~LA ESQUINA~ is brilliant fun: you enter a dining car doubling as a busy late-night taco stand, but if you get cleared by the doorman, you descend the stairs and pass through a restaurant kitchen (it felt very “Goodfellas”—you’re like, wait, really? I’m supposed to go through the kitchen? Cool!). You end up landing in a happening little warren of a cantina, replete with a Rottweiler velvet painting, exposed pipes, lots of wrought iron, moody lighting, and a bouncy hip-hop soundtrack. Whoa! Total fiesta in effect. We didn’t stay for dinner, but did have a couple spiffy margaritas off the extensive list of tequilas, and checked out the ethnically mixed crowd (refreshing) of mostly music industry folks.

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PDT/Crif Dogs

113 St. Marks Pl.
at Avenue A
212-614-0386

So I was all fired up for drinks at ~PDT~ (Please Don’t Tell), a speakeasy bar accessed through an old-school phone booth located in a hot dog place called Crif Dogs. You got that? I know, what a concept. You go into the phone booth while people in the hot dog place curiously look at you, wait for someone in the bar to pick up the phone, and then a panel on the other side of the phone booth opens and you’re suddenly let into a bar that’s going full-tilt. Sadly the night we were there the bar was packed with yahoos and the hostess was lacking certain charms, so we skedaddled. Bummer, because James Meehan of Gramercy Tavern did the drinks list. But we did try a deep fried hot dog on the way out and some waffle fries. Verdict: meh. But they probably would taste pretty good after a couple drinks, especially Jim’s.

The tablehopper’s trip to New York wouldn’t be complete without a visit to ~MILK & HONEY~, the famed reservations-only speakeasy bar that kick-started the whole trend stateside. My friends couldn’t believe the door we were supposed to knock on was really the door to the bar, but once we opened it and witnessed the intimate little shotgun space, we were all believers. Our polka dot-attired and accented hostess escorted us to our cozy booth, where we took in the deco vibe, low light, and jazzy music. The barman was like a pharmacist, preparing our drinks with sublime precision. I had a concoction of cucumber, mint, and bourbon, and our table was intrigued with the trademark big ice cubes they make here. Great medicine. We had such swell drinks, perfect in fact, even though you end up waiting 20 minutes for them and your wallet gets lightened by $15 apiece (the smiley face on the bill was slightly disconcerting). Sorry, I can’t give you the reservations number or address or I’d never get to enjoy a drink here again. Ask your New York pals to refer you!

 
the sponsor

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Meatpaper One has landed!

Our first issue hits mailboxes and bookstore shelves this week. Inside: Steak couture, a self portrait in hamburger, moose nose cuisine, and some very angry cavewomen. Meat like you've never seen it before. Subscribe now to receive the first issue at your door!

In San Francisco, look for Meatpaper at Barnes & Noble, Fog City News, Books Inc., Green Apple Books, Booksmith, Dog Eared Books, Farley's, Good News, Stacey's, Smoke Signals, and more.

 

 
the lush

Metro
2124 Market St.
Cross: Church St.
San Francisco, CA 94114

415-863-4041

Daily 11am-2am


SEPTEMBER 11, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Change-up in the Castro: due to their lease not getting renewed, the ~METRO BAR~ chaps, Mario Enriquez and Richard Pearson, have taken over the divey Expansion Bar down Market Street and are renaming it Metro. (Not sure what the landlord of the Metro Bar space is going to do with the original space.) The new Metro will have a definite neighborhood vibe, with two pool tables, an online jukebox, and a laid-back attitude. The grand opening is slated for the end of October, but for now Metro regulars have been making their way down the street for a good pour (always a high point in my book about the Metro) and to see some friendly familiar faces. A big bonus: the new Metro is now in stumbling distance of the Pilsner, Amber, and the (now-tarnished) Transfer—is the Church Street Corridor the new Triangle?

 
the socialite

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March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction
Thu, Sep. 13, 2007

The Palace Hotel
2 New Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
  
415-788-2202
website

6pm­–10pm

$250 per person


SEPTEMBER 11, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO This Thursday is the ~MARCH OF DIMES SIGNATURE CHEFS AUCTION~ event, a culinary evening in support of an invaluable cause: giving every baby a healthy start in life. Bay Area chefs will prepare their signature dishes for a walk-around tasting, and California wineries will provide some pours. Following the tasting, there will be a seated dessert and a live auction, with each chef serving as the focal point of exciting auction packages. Cocktail attire is requested.
 
The line-up of chefs includes:
Lark Creek Steak–Jeremy Bearman; Pres a Vi–Kelly Degala; Oola-Ola Fendert; Moose’s–Travis Flood; Kuleto’s–Bob Helstrom; Circa–Erik Hopfinger; Scott Howard–Scott Howard; Butterfly-Robert Lam; Ponzu Restaurant–Michelle Mah; Poggio–Peter McNee; RNM–Justine Miner; xyz–Paul Piscopo; Isa–Luke Sung; Mutsumi Takehara–The Slanted Door; Perbacco–Steffan Terje; The girl & the fig–John Toulze; Le Colonial–Joe Villanueva; and Joe DiMaggio’s Italian Chophouse–Allen Rocco Vitti.

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tablehopper supper
Tue., Sep. 25, 2007

Jack Falstaff
598 Second St.
Cross: Brannan St.
San Francisco, CA 94107

415-836-9239

website

6:30pm mingle
7:15pm dinner

$100
wine pairings, tax and tip included
reservations required


SEPTEMBER 11, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Yup, it’s time to do it again, people! Another ~TABLEHOPPER SUPPER~ in full effecty wecty. This time we’ll have room for 30 folks total, all obviously way into food and wine and meeting strangers. We’ll start with passed apps and something to drink from 6:30pm–7:15pm, and then sit down for din din. Executive chef Jonnatan Leiva has put together a fab family-style menu, including a whole-roasted pig! Actually, two. Oink! And lovely vegetables from Mariquita. And dessert! Anyway, check it all out below. And since it is a PlumpJack property, you know the wine pairings will be spot-on. I also hear there will be some biodynamic wines served! The cost is $100, with wine pairings, tax, and tip all included.

The last dinner sold out in under two days, so please don’t delay if you’re interested in coming! Hope to see you, meet you, cheers you! When making your reservation, just tell them it’s for the tablehopper supper, and be prepared to provide the reservationist with a credit card number to secure your place. Be sure to let them know if you have any dietary restrictions or queries.

Passed appetizers:
Mini burgers, salmon sashimi, soft egg with Dungeness crabmeat, compressed melon skewers, and beef and raisin empanadas

Family-Style Dinner
 
First Course:
Late-summer heirloom tomato salad, house-made burrata with crescenza and ricotta cheese, torn basil, and brown butter vinaigrette

Second Course:
Whole-roasted Long and Bailey Farms young pig and yellow peaches

Sides, Featuring Mariquita Farms Produce:
Sweet yellow corn, chile and lime
Romance potato gratin
Braised chard erbette
Italian butter beans and lemon confit
Charred Padron peppers
Blue lake green beans, garlic sofrito

Third Course: Dessert Done Right!
Hazelnut chocolate nougat crunch bar
House-made cinnamon sugar donuts
Coconut crème caramel

 

UPDATE: SOLD OUT! Thanks, everyone!

 
the starlet

SEPTEMBER 11, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO LarkCreekSteak knows how to draw a hodgepodge of diners: Dante Culpepper and Jerry Porter from the Oakland Raiders and Steve Jobs of Apple were all spotted eating there. See, it’s not just a restaurant in a mall! We’re talking about fine dining in a shopping CENTRE, people.
  
Joan Rivers dined at Postrio with two gentlemen, and the staff was all reportedly impressed with how good she looked, and kind she was! Go Joan.
 
Marcel Vigneron, AKA “Wolverine” from the second season of “Top Chef,” was spotted at Le Sanctuaire. (Like, duh, of course he was there!)

 
the matchmaker

SEPTEMBER 11, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Cortez Restaurant is accepting applications for Pastry Chef. Qualified applicants should have a minimum of 3 years fine dining experience and a firm understanding of recent trends, techniques, and new culinary products. Some managerial experience is helpful but not essential. Please send your resume and cover letter to job-ap@cortezrestaurant.com, or fax it to (415) 923-0906 with attention to hiring manager.