|OCTOBER 16, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO There’s a new restaurant opening in the Mission, and shocker,
it’s not yet another on 18th Street. Slated to open in late
November will be ~CONDUIT~, part of a mixed-use project next to
Pauline’s Pizza and the old Levi Strauss factory. The executive
chef is Justin Deering, who has spent time in the kitchen at Boulevard
(2 ½ years), Jeanty at Jack’s, Fifth Floor, Redwood
Park, and Tra Vigne. The menu will be contemporary, local, and
seasonal, shaped by classic French and Italian technique. Look
for an appetizer-heavy selection (say, nine) and six entrées or so—Deering
mentioned one idea of a butter-poached squab with a cacciatore-like
sauce and risotto (he is really into game and poultry), or offering
a classic tête de veau. He plans to make a lot of items in-house,
as many as possible, including items like charcuterie. Joining
him in the venture is sous Clinton Bertrand, formerly at A16 and
most recently in Sonoma, and managing partner Brian Gavin of Citizen
Thai and the Monkey, Roy’s (he was a managing partner), and
Jeanty at Jack’s (GM). Gavin will also be assembling a wine
list featuring some food-friendly choices like American pinot,
some Burgundies, syrah, Rhone varietals, and Italian reds.
modern restaurant will have 65–75 seats, plus a 12-seat
private dining room with floor-to-ceiling refrigerated wine storage
as part of the design, and a counter in front of the kitchen (10
seats), and a full bar (12 seats). Yes, you heard right: full bar.
The bar will feature copper and aluminum pipes topped with 1/2-inch-thick
glass and lit underneath (there will be other pipe and conduit
motifs as well). The restaurant will have sleek design touches,
along with dark wood custom tables, a combination of textured and
granite flooring, some banquette seating, and a two-sided fireplace.
You can peek at some of the plans on architect Stanley Saitowitz’s
click on “Conduit.” Hours will be 5:30pm–10:30pm
(until 11pm on the weekends), with potentially later hours down
the road. Two investors back the project; one is Brian Spiers,
a noted builder who also owns Lucky 13 and the Bitter End. 280
Valencia St. between 14th and Duboce, 415-552-5200 (to be active
chef Louis Maldonado of ~CORTEZ~ has departed after four years of working in the kitchen there—his
last day was this past Saturday. He is taking this opportunity
to stage at a couple places of note out here on the West Coast,
and depending how that goes, he may or may not end up leaving for
New York in November. Seth Bowden will now be the sole executive
chef at Cortez. 550 Geary St. at Jones, 415-292-6360.
was so sorry to hear the news about last week’s fire
at ~ORIGINAL JOE’S~ in the TL. Some of my favorite steakhouse décor ever, and
they just had their 70th anniversary. OJs was even the home of
the longest-running mesquite broiler in San Francisco. Man. My
friend and I have held numerous biz powwows here over a steak or
burger and martini, and let’s not forget the Joe’s
Special (I have my own twist and add a fried egg on top with hot
sauce, I know, my poor heart). Fortunately no one was hurt in the
fire, but the damage sounds pretty extensive. Will let you know
once I hear about remodeling/reopening dates… sadly, it
could be at least a couple months. Come back soon, OJs! 144 Taylor
St. at Eddy, 415-775-0970.
Update on ~MINT
PLAZA~: the latest dates I am hearing (subject
to change, natch) are early November for Chez Papa Resto (November
5, maybe?), Sushi Groove Midtown in mid-December, and Blue Bottle
by the end of December. Stand by.
on Fillmore Street Jazz District happenings: opening on October
25 in the Fillmore Heritage Center is ~1300
originally the Blue Mirror. I wrote this up a looooong time ago,
so let’s recap completely.
1300 on Fillmore is a modern jazz-style restaurant and lounge,
owned by chef David Lawrence, a Jamaican-British chef who cooked
in several three-star English restaurants (Le Gavroche and The
Waterside Inn) before moving to the U.S. While stateside, he was
at 231 Ellsworth, Hilton’s Cityscape, and was the executive
chef of the Carnelian Room. His business partner is also his wife,
Monetta White. Cool factoid: her mother and grandmother lived in
the Fillmore during the late 50s and 60s when it was a hopping
menu will be “Soulful American Cuisine,” offering
dishes lighter than many Southern originals. Dishes
include some freshwater shrimp hush puppies with a tempura-like
light batter, tender bourbon-spiked pork belly (wait, I thought
this menu was going to be lighter?); sautéed foie
gras atop cinnamon French toast and served with a homemade huckleberry
sauce (nope, guess not); a daily house-made sausage with herbed
grits and homemade chutneys (sign me up); pan-roasted striped bass
drizzled with a ham hock-red wine sauce (I’d like that, too);
and roasted quail with cornbread, figs, apples, and pecans (delicious,
but I’m full)—vegetarians will also find choices, including
sides like chive-buttermilk whipped potatoes and sautéed
corn and okra succotash. There will be a bar menu available nightly
until 1am, plus classic cocktails and a wine list assembled by
Master Sommelier Emmanuel Kemiji, which will feature California
wines almost exclusively. Pastry chef Phil Ogiela, assisted by
Noriko Abe, has created a dessert menu that includes a sweet potato
soufflé and a gingerbread napoleon. The general manager
is David Ostrom, formerly a partner and operations manager of Left
Coast Restaurants, and most recently, operations manager for Vintners
Inn/John Ash & Co.
is from MCCARTAN (they did the Hotel Vitale), who designed a
casual jazz-era setting with modern and vintage accents, like
club-style seating with wing chairs, leather Chesterfield couches,
walnut brown floors, and chocolate walls. Look for the Heritage
Wall, a photo gallery of 37 neighborhood portraits curated by
Elizabeth Pepin and Lewis Watts, authors of Harlem of the West.
There will also a private dining room that seats up to 25, and
a VIP entrance in the back of the house. 1300 Fillmore St. at
JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND JAZZ CLUB~ will then
open its doors on November 28. Take a peek at the site for
pics of the massive 28,000-square-foot restaurant and jazz
club that will have a dining room that seats 200, a bar and
lounge with room for 180, a mezzanine that seats 80, and
the jazz club seats 420. I know, a lot of seats. But there
will be some butts in those seats, partly due to the delish
eats from executive chef Shotaro “Sho” Kamio. Chef
Kamio had been cooking in the Bay Area for over eight years and
cooks with the changing seasons as his foundation, but incorporates
European techniques to develop his “own creation” style
of cooking, or "sousaku" cuisine.
His philosophy is all about "Seasonal, Simple, and Surprise." I
like surprises. And I loved his food at Ozumo—it rocked,
hard. Some highlights to come: abalone sashimi, omakase meals, fish
flown in daily from Tokyo, a special wood burning oven, and they
will also use Sumi charcoal (the same stuff they use at the robata
bar at Ozumo). The restaurant will be open Mon–Thu 5:30pm–10pm,
Fri–Sat 5:30pm–10:30pm, Sun 5pm–9pm. 1330 Fillmore
St. at Eddy.
we’re on fishy treats, the menu at ~UMAMI~ has
been shifted to include more of a sushi focus, partly due to
the new hire of executive sushi chef, Akira Yoshizumi, from Japan.
The much larger sushi menu includes more nigiri and/or sashimi,
like suzuki/sea bass and masu/ocean trout, plus more rolls too,
both traditional or special house rolls. 2909 Webster St. at
sometimes things slip by under the radar, but I still want to
mention a project that sounded interesting to me, even though
it opened months ago, doh: ~WUNDER
BREWING COMPANY, INC.~ It opened in the former
Brewery space in the Sunset, and has beers crafted onsite, like
pale ales, dark star, porter and brown beer, including a chili
beer which I have to try: it’s a pale beer with habanero
in it. Hotsie! According to the website, “Wunder Brewing
Company was a San Francisco Brewery back from 1896 to 1909,” and
now four SF locals decided to resuscitate it. The menu
of pub fare looks
downright beer-ready (Welsh rarebit anyone?) and should keep you
from getting too hammered after drinking a growler (that’s
64 oz. of beer, folks, for $15)—a regular pint will put you
back $4, and a pitcher for $11. My kind of pricing. Who has been?
You like it? Would love to know! 1326 9th Ave. at Irving, 415-681-2337.
got a cool import from the East Coast: at Michael
find pastry badass ~BILL CORBETT~, the former
pastry chef of Anthos, Dona, and who was also a sous pastry chef
under Sam Mason at wd-50. I think I need to hit the bar at Mina
and order some dessert, stat. 335 Powell St., 415-397-9222.
do a line-up of “S” restaurant news. First,
more changes over at ~SCOTT
he is having a special chef table installed by mid-November or
so—guests will be able to reserve the table for the night
(seating a maximum of eight) and will have a special chef’s
choice multi-course meal prepared for them. Howard is also launching
a catering company at the beginning of November, ideal for corporate
and private events, from cocktail receptions to private dinners;
he used to be a partner in a catering company in Florida. 500 Jackson
St. at Montgomery, 415-956-7040.
Slow Club’s second restaurant in Dogpatch will be
called ~SERPENTINE~, named after the rock that most of the neighborhood
was built on. The opening is slated for November 12, and will be
open Monday–Friday for lunch, and Tuesday–Saturday
for dinner. Monday dinner and Saturday and Sunday brunch will be
added soon thereafter. Chris Kronner will be the executive chef
of both the Slow Club and Serpentine, and the new chef de cuisine
position at Slow Club will be filled by Matt Paul, a sous from
Town Hall for the past three years. 2495 Third St. at 22nd.
starting serving lunch Monday–Friday 11:30am–3pm and also brunch on Saturday
from 10am-3pm. On the lunch menu is a Cervana Venison burger, a
unique brand of venison from New Zealand—the deer are under
three years old and must be grass-fed and farm-raised without steroids
or hormones. And in true antipodean style, the burger is served
with spiced beetroot chutney. 330 Townsend #101 at Fourth, 415-974-5599.
new owners of ~PIZZELLE~ in
North Beach are up and running after a remodel and some delays
with the alarm company (uh, yeah, a good thing to have dialed
in). The Italian-focused menu will continue but now will be served
in larger portions, and look for some Brazilian specialties to
be added in the coming months (the two business partners are
from Central Brazil). Hours are 11am–11pm, with
late-night pizza served until 2:30am Thu–Sun, sometimes later,
for you drunken pizza-eating types. 314 Columbus Ave. at Broadway,
has a new bar manager: Ryan Fitzgerald, of Bourbon and Branch.
He started a couple months ago bartending, and now has a new
role as manager and is adding some fab dranks, like Queen of
Sheba, with Ketel One vodka, Tia Maria, and cardamom bitters,
and this one sounds right up my alley: Elder Sour, with Bulleit
Bourbon, fresh lemon, and St. Germain elderflower liqueur. 1085
Sutter St. at Larkin
heard the opening GM of ~SOLSTICE~,
Kieran Walsh, is leaving after working three years at the restaurant.
He’s reportedly leaving the restaurant scene and going
more into the wine and beverage side of things. 2801 California
St. at Divisadero, 415-359-1222.
to a performer and swell dame I adore: ~VERONICA
KLAUS~ will be crooning some jazz,
blues, and cabaret at Enrico’s on Tuesday evenings from 7pm–10pm.
She’ll have Tammy L. Hall on piano, and bonus, no cover!
While we’re at it, rest in peace Enrico Banducci, what a
life. 504 Broadway at Kearny, 415-982-6223.
pal shout-out: my friend James and his wife Pia invited me to
one of their fun ~COOKWITHJAMES~ supper club
evenings they host in their cute apartment. I’m talking
tasty multiple courses (he’s even learned some tricks and
techniques from Michael Tusk at Quince, boo ya), dining and drinking
with a lovely and interesting crowd, and we even had a prosecco sabrering to
start off the evening! It was a late meal to be sure (it wrapped
up around midnight) but a cool change from the usual kind of restaurant
dining scenario. You can check out upcoming gatherings on the CookWithJames
site. Grazie James e Pia!
congrats to LarkCreekSteak and Café Majestic for
making it onto John Mariani’s list of Best New Restaurants
tonight from 6pm–9pm
swing by ~CANTINA~ for
drinks with Nick Mautone, author of Raising the Bar and the Grey
Goose Vodka Brand Ambassador, who will be behind-the-stick, as
Duggan/Shotzi likes to say. The gents will be picking up some special
ingredients from the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market and then mixin’ it up!
580 Sutter St. at Mason, 415-398-0195.
don’t miss these events, starting with ~UNA
LEZIONE DI SAPORE~, a food and wine fundraiser/raffle/silent auction
(with auction items such as two weeks at language schools in Rome
and Todi, and apartments in Milan and Venice) for the Istituto
Italiano Scuola, part of the Italian Cultural Institute. The event
is this Sunday, October 21, at the SF Italian Athletic Club, 1630
Stockton Street on Washington Square Park, from 5pm–8pm.
Cost is $40 in advance, firstname.lastname@example.org, or $45 at the door for
first, $35 for additional.
~LORENZA DE’MEDICI~ of Badia a Coltibuono is in town—she
is a renowned Italian cookbook author and food professional, and
will be the guest of honor during a week of events throughout the
Bay Area. Lorenza is known as one of the pioneers in bringing Italian
cuisine to the American table with her beautiful cookbooks and
PBS cooking show, “The de'Medici Kitchen,” which aired
in the 1980s. All proceeds will benefit Friends of FAI ,
dedicated to the preservation and restoration of some of Italy’s most significant works
of art and architecture.
the schedule below. To purchase tickets to any of these events,
contact Friends of FAI at 415-863-5213, or email email@example.com.
October 16, 6pm–8pm
Wine Tasting with Lorenza de’Medici, $65
Ottimista Wine Bar, 1838 Union St., 415-674-8400
Come meet Lorenza de’ Medici while enjoying exclusive wines
from her Tuscan winery, Badia a Coltibuono. Appetizer pairings
created from de’Medici’s personal recipes will be prepared
by Ottimista’s Executive Chef, Mark Young.
Wednesday, October 17, 6.30pm
20th Anniversary Dinner, $200
Vivande Porta Via, 2125 Fillmore St., 415-346-4430
An intimate dinner for San Francisco’s Italian food and wine
lovers. Join chef, author and restaurateur, Carlo Middione as he
celebrates 20 years of Italian cuisine and friendship.
Thursday, October 18, 11:15am
Taste of Tuscany: Master Cooking Demonstration and Luncheon, $100
California Culinary Academy, 625 Polk St.
Learn Italian cooking techniques from one of Italy’s finest
culinary masters as she demonstrates one of her flavorful recipes.
Enjoy a Tuscan-inspired lunch menu designed by de’Medici
and prepared and presented by the chefs and students of the CCA.
Thursday, October 18, 6:30pm
Wine In Time With Lorenza de’Medici
Oliveto, 5655 College Avenue, Oakland, 510-547-5356
$50 donation plus á la carte dinner menu and wine costs
$250 to be seated at Lorenza’s table (includes wine and dinner
Oliveto will host a dinner in honor of de’Medici, whom they
credit with being “at the source of Oliveto.” The menu
by Chef Paul Canales will be full of á la carte dishes from
the Chianti area accompanied by older vintages of wines from Badia
Monday, October 22, 6:30pm
Dining with de’Medici and Carol Field: A Conversation
Cowell Theater Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
$25. $15 for groups of 10 or more, $11 for students
Lorenza de’ Medici will be joined by Carol Field, Bay Area
food scholar and award winning Italian cookbook author, in a lecture
on bringing Italian cuisine to America.
are other events in San Jose, Hillsborough, and Napa—call
FAI at 415-863-5213 for more.
and everyone be bright (har) and join in the ~LIGHTS
OUT~ campaign this Sunday the 20th
from 8pm–9pm. The entire
city of San Francisco is asked to turn off all non-essential
lighting for one hour. The Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge,
Alcatraz, and the Transamerica Pyramid will all turn off lights,
and some restaurants around town will be hosting candlelight
dinners, including Delfina, CAV Wine Bar, Medjool, The Blue Plate,
MoMo's, Nova, and Pete's Tavern (for the list, click here).
a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just reply
to this email!