|DECEMBER 04, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Friday the tablehopper was on the town for twelve hours
(I crawled home at 5am); I painted it vermilion. I started with
some celebratory bubbles at ~CORKAGE~, the new
sake and retail wine and tasting shop from the Dajani Group—it’s
where the magazine stand used to be, in between Tsunami Sushi and
the renovated Café Abir. There is a petite bar where you
can stand and taste, and the engaging JoJo from Tsunami will probably
be the one doing the pouring. The shop is getting more bottles
in the coming weeks, but I’m already impressed with the massive
array of sakes. And I’m happy to have so many international
wines only a block from my apartment. Cheers. 1304 Fulton St. at
my cohort and I headed on over to the Sunset to check out the
second SF location of ~PACIFIC
in the former Canvas Gallery space. Tried some tasty poke, ceviche,
and fried calamari with a kicky dipping sauce that meant business—washed
it all down with an expertly made Pisco Sour. The big windows and
vaulted ceiling make for a spacious feeling, and you can tell this
place is going to do well in the neighborhood, especially with
the fab cocktails and the later hours (restaurant open Sun–Thu
11am–10pm, bar until midnight with bar food service until
11:30pm; Fri–Sat 11am–11pm, bar until 1am, with bar
food service until 12:30am). Open today! 1200 9th Ave. at Irving,
headed over to ~LOCAL KITCHEN AND WINE
a preview dinner—once you pass through the tall industrial “Open
Sesame” door (similar to the one at Oola) you’ll find
a sleek and minimalist space, with lots of marble, niches in the
walls for fresh flowers (and inset track lighting in the ceiling),
a wine shop, plus a wine bar in a corner of the restaurant, a long
communal table, and an open kitchen. The best seat was just across
the counter from the blazing pizza oven since it was a pretty chilly
night (and the place was a little drafty). I liked all the custom
metalwork details, like the very ingenious footrest at the kitchen
counter. We were ordering off a limited menu, but some highlights
were the butter lettuce and watercress salad laden with bacon and
blue cheese (great vinaigrette), and the mahi mahi with a tomato
beurre blanc and hearts of palm. There were some other bistro classics,
like mussels, a tuna Niçoise salad, and rotisserie chicken,
plus pizzas they are busy fine-tuning. For now, the opening is
slated for December 10, stand by. 330 1st St. at Folsom, 415-777-4200.
my whereabouts from 10:30pm until 5am that night are off the
changes over at the newly reopened ~MECCA~:
executive chef Randy Lewis is moving on, but will continue working
with owner Steve Weber on their Best-O-Burger concept,
which is now slated to open at the end of January. (A second
location is beginning to look like it will open in Hawaii, and
then a third location in SF is also being considered.) Moving
place is Mecca’s recent
chef de cuisine, Michael Rogers, who was hired from Fog City Diner
a few months back. After speaking with Weber, he mentioned Rogers
and Lewis have been transitioning the menu into more of an accessible/casual
style. It also sounds like there may be another deal in the works,
which would involve chef Lewis—stand by for more details.
2029 Market St. at Church, 415-621-7000.
also been hearing all kinds of rumblings about the ever-popular
~MYTH~—one big rumor (that chef
Sean O’Brien denied) is that he has a new restaurant. But
the other buzz I’ve been hearing is that the restaurant
is being sold to some big restaurant group. No one is confirming
details yet, so stay tuned.
have always adored “The Drug Store” space on Mission—you
know the place that used to house all the vintage mini-shops, right
across from El Rio? Well, by early spring, a new barbecue joint
will be moving in: ~BABY
The project is a second location of the one that was started in
Venice Beach three years ago by Rick McCarthy and Rick Fischer—brother
Paul Fischer is the one launching the SF location. The Fischer
brothers come from a restaurant family from Philly, with ten siblings
who all started working in the restaurant business at a young age.
The building dates back to 1900, and local firm Levy
Art and Architecture is busy
getting permits underway for the space, which will also house an
the ‘cue! It embodies all styles of southern BBQ, from
Texas ribs to North Carolina sauces—just whatever is good!
It will all be made with either organic or top-quality meats, and
there will be 16 feet of grill space and three smokers, wow. Based
on a Food Network segment I watched about the original location,
hello pulled pork and grilled corn! The joint will have 45 seats,
serving lunch and dinner daily, with beer and wine. What’s
different is table service will be offered instead of the usual
barbecue joint counter-only style of service, and it’s geared
to be family friendly. Can’t wait. 3149 Mission St. at Precita.
Back in June, I announced a barbecue place was coming to the Divisadero
corridor, next door to the Transfer Market. Well, the joint now
has a name, ~AL'S BACKYARD BBQ & GRILL~,
and they are hoping to open in February. When I originally wrote
it up, I said there will be “slooooooow-smoked brisket, pork
ribs, chicken, and links made by someone specially chosen for the
task, so the casing will be less tough/more refined.” Pant
pant. 853 Divisadero St. at McAllister.
happenings in the Western Addition: last week I mentioned mini
bar sf, and opening around the corner on Fulton will be ~CANDYBAR~,
the city’s first dessert lounge (and combination wine bar
offering international wines). Owner Tan Truong comes from a family
of restaurant owners, and has worked front of house at Asia de
Cuba, and in the kitchen at Out the Door. Inspired by New York
dessert-only places like ChikaLicious,
look for a rotating list of desserts and homemade ice creams—who
will be concocting these delights is still TBD, so I’ll let
you know once the pastry chef or consultant is final. The
space will have two sections, a front lounge area with bench
seating by the big windows, and the back area will have tables
geared for dates and dessert, with cream walls and a rotating
art gallery. If all goes according to plan, this 49-seat space
will be open by mid February. Hours look like 5pm until (hopefully)
midnight, or even 1am on Fri–Sat—we’ll have
to see what happens with approvals. My two cents: It would be
nice to have a place to hang out in the evenings that’s not necessarily a bar.
1335 Fulton St., Suite 101, at Divisadero, 415-577-4331.
person hoping for late hours is J.D. Petras, the owner of ~CAFÉ FLORE~.
He is applying for the option to serve liquor until 2am (he currently
has to close at 11pm, or midnight on the weekends) and permission
for DJs to spin. Petras has also wanted to be able to serve food
24 hours a day for some time now. He is stating that without
getting these approvals/permits, the future of Café Flore
is bleak. A website has
been launched, and they are (begging) people to attend the city
planning commission hearing this Thursday at City Hall to support
them. Café Flore
is first on the meeting agenda—it starts at 1:30pm in the
Commission Chambers-Room 400. The café is one of the more
pleasant places to hang out in the Castro, and I’d like to
see it thrive and stick around. 2298 Market St. at Noe, 415-621-8579.
looking into my crystal ball, and I’m seeing another
very successful restaurant moving into a former bank. Yes, like
Nopa. Although this time it’s another four-letter restaurant: ~DOSA~.
The space is in the lower Fillmore, in the old Goodwill across
from the Kabuki. Once the 5,800-square-foot restaurant opens, it
should have around 120 seats, with room for another 20–30
for private dining. The space is still being designed, but the
goal is for it to become a neighborhood place that appeals to a
diverse crowd, like it does in the Mission, serving dinner and
weekend lunch. Owner Anjan Mitra just returned from two weeks in
South India, and is inspired to expose San Francisco diners to
authentic dishes specific to certain regions (he was telling me
about a mango curry that sounded delicious). The menu will rotate
with the seasons, with spicier dishes in the winter, and lighter
and/or fish-based dishes in the summer. The Mitras use local ingredients
as much as possible—they even have
a local source for curry leaves, so that approach will continue.
The wine list will be expanded, and they are hoping to secure a
liquor license as well. The opening is slated for end of summer
or fall in 2008. 1700 Fillmore St. at Post.
are getting very close for ~SERPENTINE~
in Dogpatch. Depending on how daily inspections go this week, they
might open for a (very soft) opening on Friday. 2495 Third St.
at 22nd, 415-252-2000.
scoop on chef Thierry Clement of Fringale’s new project, ~L’ARDOISE~,
moving into the former Los Flamingos space at Noe and Henry. The
name means “blackboard,” and should clue you in to
the bistro style of cuisine that will be offered (dinner to start),
made with organic ingredients. The remodel will kick off in the
beginning of the year, and Clement hopes to open by February or
also some room for outdoor tables once the weather warms up. Clement’s
replacement at Fringale should be named soon—he anticipates
that he will be departing Fringale by the end of the year, and
perhaps consulting in the new year during the transition.
you can get crabby! After the two-week delay, the local crab
season is underway (but now there are those pesky monster waves
to deal with). The ~WOODHOUSE
FISH COMPANY~ restaurant is one of
the first to offer fresh local crab picked up daily from Pier
45. This week they are running the second annual “Dungeness
Madness” crab feed, offering an
all-crab menu, featuring a whole cooked and cracked crab for
$13. You can also go nuts with some crab Louis, crab cocktails,
crab cakes, crab sandwich or cioppino. 2073 Market St. at 14th,
last, ~LA TRAPPE~ opens
this Saturday in the former Buca Giovanni space. Release the
ale. And the mussels. And fries. 800 Greenwich St. at Mason,
A few blocks away on Washington Square Park,
freshened up and now has more of a neighborhood restaurant menu
(complete with "risotto carnitas") from 29-year old partner/executive
chef Travis Flood—in fact, there are two menus, a dining
room menu and a lounge menu. The new look from Michael Brennan,
who is behind Cortez and Circa’s décor, means no more
white tablecloths, a 20-person communal table has been added, and
the bar has been refurbished and will be serving new specialty
cocktails. Wine director Glen Standish has put together a
list showcasing boutique producers and organic and biodynamically
produced wines. Dinner nightly 5:30pm–10pm; brunch Sundays
10:30am–2:30pm. 1652 Stockton St. at Union, 415-989-7800.
love getting together with friends for holiday lunches. There
are two places that begin with “B” that I think are
particularly well suited: the ~BIG 4 AT THE HUNTINGTON~,
and from now until Christmas, ~BIX~
will be serving lunch Monday through Friday as well. Order a couple
martinis and think of me. Cheers.
the holiday season is in full effect, look for an upcoming tablehopper
giveaway and gift guide next week! In the meantime, I thought
be fired up to enter this contest on yumsugar, ~THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING GIVEAWAY~.
The prizes are pretty sweet. I want them all. Good luck!
December 9, sous chef William Pilz is going to be the chef de
cuisine at ~CITIZEN
His background includes working under Laurent Gras at Fifth Floor,
David Kinch at Manresa, and Ron Segal at Masa’s. 399 Grove
St. at Gough, 415-861-2228.
more Elizabeth Falkner-land news: Pal Camper English at Alcademics.com
word that the fabulous ~JACKIE PATTERSON~ from
Le Colonial, the mixmeistress, will be the bar manager at Orson
when it opens. Her last day at Le Colonial is New Year’s
Eve, and she is scheduled to be starting up at Orson in mid January.
More news in the bar world: I am sad to report that ~GINGER'S
TROIS~ (I can’t mention its naughty alias), the
last of the downtown gay bars, is closing down after the first
of the year. Waaaah! This divey/campy little number has been
open for 17 years, and when I worked downtown I loved getting
soused with my homo pals here—you’d practically need
a chaser with your greyhound, and I always got a kick out of
the feisty regulars who had been parked on barstools since lunch.
I seem to recall some crazy boozy cherries you could order too.
Anyway. Will report more on what’s moving in there soon—I
was asked not to tell. Let’s just say they aren’t
strangers to the local bar scene. 246 Kearny St. at Sutter.
December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment to the U.S Constitution
was ratified, repealing Prohibition. So of course, this is an
excellent excuse for a party. Elixir,
one of the oldest continually running saloons in San Francisco,
is throwing a ~REPEAL DAY PARTY~ this Wednesday,
December 5th. Bluecoat Gin is sponsoring this event, with $5 cocktails
all night, 9pm to close. 3200 16th St. at Guerrero, 415-552-1633.
~CANTINA~ is also throwing a party, sponsored by Dewar’s, from 8pm–12am,
free of cost. There will be actors and models and picketers and
all sorts of strange and fun stuff to recreate the moment booze
came back. 580 Sutter St. at Mason, 415-398-0195.
And fans of ~VICTORIA
drinks will be happy to find her at Bar Johnny on Sundays, the
former Tablespoon. She starts this Sunday the 9th, and will be
there from 11am until 5pm. Buckle up. Oh wait, the bar stools don’t
have seatbelts. 2209 Polk St. at Vallejo, 415-268-0140.
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