|table of contents
week's tablehopper: take the fifth, and where to drink one,
the word on the street
new restaurant reviews
put it on my tab
no photos please
this round is on me
MAY 6, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO So,
did you pop a flat during Cinco de Mayo last night? I ended up
eating some leftover pork tinga from a weekend dinner party and
writing this column, so that was the extent of my fiesta. Uh, arriba.
I was beyond thrilled to be featured on The
View from the Bay last week—you can watch
the video here.
I had a great time tablehoppin’ with host Nick Smith,
showing him some of my favorite spots in the City! (And I don’t
think I used enough superlatives during the segment, ha ha).
and if you ever want to hit the town with yours truly, you should
enter this California
Wine & Food Adventure
Sweepstakes on the Land of Wine and Food site. If
you win, we’d have
quite the night eating out in SF—and it’s all part
of a très-gourmand three-day prize package!
and just to keep things balanced, a friend cracked me up with
this very funny web page from Cracked.com outlining the six
most terrifying things to eat in the world.
Baby mice wine? Yes, pure horror. Unquantifiably scarier than the
speaking of, did anyone eat one of those last night? (A tequila
worm, not baby mice.) The first person to send me a picture of
them eating a tequila worm last night, or heck, ever, will win
two tickets for Sunday, May 18th at the San
The Mother Hips, and She and Him with Zooey Deschanel are playing
that day! Just hit reply to this email and attach the pic.
Didn’t eat the worm? Don’t
fret, I have two more SF Oyster Fest tickets to give away (also
for Sunday May 18th) for one lucky winner. Just send an email
to email@example.com telling
me what you’d like to see more of (or less of!) in tablehopper
and I’ll enter you in the drawing! Deadline to enter is midnight,
Friday, May 9th. I’ll notify the winner over the weekend!
6, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Plenty
of local folks were upset when ~COCO500’s~ Jen
Biesty got cut from Top Chef a few weeks back (I hoped
to see her in the final three). More departures are in her future:
she is also leaving Loretta Keller’s Coco500 at the end of
May, just shy of three years of being there. (Coco500 is celebrating
its third anniversary in June, and Biesty was part of the opening
team.) She is taking some time off, heading back to NYC for the Top
Chef reunion show and will be visiting some family, and
then will be lining up some consulting gigs until she decides
on her next spot. She said, “Through the show I learned you have
to take chances… I want to do more than just be a chef.” So
to that end, Biesty has a potential project of her own in the Mission,
but nothing is final and it’s all quite TBD right now. In
the interim, one rumor I heard is she will possibly be consulting
with the upcoming 15 Romolo project (more on that in the lush),
but that hasn't been confirmed either. Will keep you posted… Taking her
place at Coco500 as chef de cuisine will be Michael Morrison, who
was most recently at Fish & Farm before departing in its beginning
months. Morrison actually worked at Bizou a while ago (when it
was the former incarnation of Coco500, for those of you who haven’t
lived here more than three years).
fine folks behind the ever-popular Street on
Polk are opening a second concept called ~CRAVE~,
just across the street in the former Teavana space. Owner John
Lamkin and his wife, Lynn Ramsey, will be opening a quick-casual
and affordable 45-seat spot, serving breakfast, lunch, and an
early dinner, all made with seasonal and quality ingredients.
The menu will include breakfast faves like egg sandwiches, house-made
scones, and breakfast burritos, and lunch will bring some mighty
good soups, salads, and tasty sandwiches (I hear a killer Reuben
is being discussed) that will highlight slow-roasted meats and
fish. Dinner will be heartier, and some vegetarian fare will
also be available—dishes will span from
New American to Latin flair. An expanded brunch will be coming
later, with house-smoked salmon and egg dishes. There will also
be organic and biodynamic wines on offer, plus some microbrews
as well. You can even swing by late afternoon for a bite of some
charcuterie or hummus and a glass of wine at the outdoor seats
(there will be 12 or so), or inside at the banquettes and tables.
Lamkin, a resident of the neighborhood for the past 25 years, really
wanted to create a space where it’s easy for people to get
the kind of food they want and how they want it, made with quality
ingredients, at a good price. He’s currently talking with
some potential kitchen partners, but no one is final just yet.
Look for an opening in late July, with intended hours of 7am–7pm
or so. They are also discussing curbside service, with breakfast
or box lunches to go! 2164 Polk St. at Vallejo.
~LITTLE STAR PIZZA~ fanatics
(yup, there are a lot of us), you’ll be happy to
know you’ll now be able to get your pizza on during the day
on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30pm–3:30pm at the Mission
location! The weekend daytime hours started last weekend, wahoo!
400 Valencia St. at 15th, 415-551-7827.
its long-awaited opening yesterday (I can hear the communal salivating
out there). Took a look at the menu, and it seems the Best-O-Bags
are the way to go: you order one to three of the slider-like
babies, plus you get “strings and ring-os” in the
bag ($5.37 for two burgers). The burgers are made
with 100% natural and not-frozen Angus beef (I know, you Michael
Pollan readers can ask your probing questions directly to the restaurant),
and the burgers are individually seared in cast-iron skillets,
and put into fresh-baked buns. The gelato also looks good (there
is a nine-ounce gelato shake available for $3.49), plus some cookies,
too. You can check out the whole menu on the site, which is supposed
to be up this afternoon. The hours for now will be 11:30am–5pm,
and there are plans to be opening earlier (and later on the weekends)
in coming weeks. 89 Belden Pl. at Pine.
And now, a little service announcement! Restaurateurs, caterers,
hash slingers, etc., anytime you have an abundance of leftover
food in your kitchen at the end of an evening or an event, please
call ~FOOD RUNNERS~ to come pick it up and deliver
it to SF’s many homeless shelters who need it. Phone 415-929-1866 anytime,
and a Food Runners volunteer will pick up your fresh, edible leftovers
either same day or next. Visit www.FoodRunners.org to
learn more about this organization that’s provided thousands
of meals to 300 shelters for over two decades. Or you can contact
Karen Solomon, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-885-8048.
Okay, back to some news. Cigar smokers will be pleased to hear ~PALIO
a tobacco license and has stocked a humidor with all kinds of
stogies. For those who wish to indulge on the premises, Palio
will set up a table on the back patio, cut the cigars (they come
with a chocolate truffle and a book of Palio wooden matches),
and people generally choose a grappa, cognac, brandy, or bourbon
to enjoy at the same time. Or you can just take one for the road.
(A cigar, that is.) They are also doing a “Cellar
Spring Cleaning Brunello ’99 Dinner” on Saturday
the 17th—the menu and info is on the website. 640 Sacramento
St. at Montgomery, 415-395-9800.
wanted to congratulate tablehopper reader Hunter Manning, who
ended up discovering and entering the ~SCOMA’S CRAB
CHALLENGE~ recipe contest on tablehopper, and winning!
The contest consisted of creating a recipe for Scoma’s
that they could use on their menu during crab season. His first
place-recipe was for Hunter’s Crab Tower;
you can check it out on Scoma’s website–or
go there and try it firsthand!
we’re over in the Wharf, and talkin’ recipes,
did you know the ~FRANCISCAN RESTAURANT~ is
offering a free recipe book? All you have to do is email email@example.com,
request the book, and send them your address. Be sure to tell them
you saw it on tablehopper! Soon you’ll be all set to make
crab enchiladas. (Call me.)
HOLLY PARK MARKET~ in Bernal is hosting
a release party (and “let’s raise
some money because printing magazines is expensive” party)
for the spring issue of Out
of the Kitchen,
the cool new quarterly magazine started by the folks at Maverick.
There will be food and wine, and they will be selling the spring
issue of the magazine and subscriptions. The space is small, so
please let them know you will be joining so they can be prepared!
RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, May 8th, 6pm–9pm. 235 Cortland Ave. between Bocana
Saturday, May 10th, is ~KFOG’S
15TH ANNUAL KABOOM~ (when
dogs across the City have a communal freak-out) and Waterbar Restaurant
is hosting a party from 7pm–10pm. Tickets for the event are
$65 per person, and include all-you-can-eat appetizers, such as
oysters on the half shell, prawn cocktail, pizzas, gougère
sandwiches, artichoke crab crostini, risotto fritters, salt cod
fritters, gravlax, ceviches, tartare, and mini meatballs. Full
cash bar (i.e. you pay for your drinks). The fireworks display
is at 9pm. A limited number of tickets can be purchased on the
Waterbar site at www.waterbarsf.com,
or by calling 415-284-9922. The Embarcadero will be closed
to traffic during this event and they anticipate heavy foot traffic,
so plan accordingly. 399 The Embarcadero between Folsom and Harrison.
Sunday, May 11th, is ~MOTHER’S DAY~,
and while you can check out OpenTable for the big ole list
one fun option is A16,
because they are only open for brunch one day out of the year!
A16 will be open from 10:30am–3pm for its annual Mother's
Day brunch: Festa Della Mamma. There will be a
variety of egg dishes like pigs in a blanket with eggs, a potato
and sausage torta, chestnut polenta, pizzas, and Bellinis. 2355
Chestnut St. at Scott, 415-771-2216.
also doing a special one-off brunch: a multi-course prix-fixe
menu from 11am–3:30pm for $60 per person, and a prix-fixe
dinner featuring loin of lamb from 4pm–8pm for $75 per person.
3640 Sacramento St. at Spruce, 415-931-5100.
Remember the ~BOURBON & BACON
DINNER~ I mentioned that is coming up at Orson
on Thursday, May 15th? Since they had such a good response
from last week’s tablehopper
(you bacon lovers, you), they’re going to open the books
and offer the pig menu to the whole restaurant, and not just one
seating at 7pm. 508 4th St. at Bryant. Reserve at 415-777-1508
or email email@example.com.
pig dinner coming up will be at ~PICCINO~,
on Sunday, June 22nd at 6pm, called Piggy Pig Pig with
Marin Sun Farms. In collaboration with Marin Sun’s
David Evans, they’ll be celebrating all things pig, with
a special menu built around a range of pasture-raised, whey-fed
pork cuts, each prepared in a way designed to enhance everything
from suckling to sow. Kind of like the last tablehopper supper
I threw there, Piccino will close the restaurant on a Sunday night,
gather a limited group, pair up some interesting wines, and settle
in for a lively food and conversation-filled night! Other Piccino
events to put on your calendar: Sunday, July 20th,
11am-7pm is the Rosé and Pizza Festival,
when they will open their doors, crank up the ovens, and chill
a wide variety of French and Italian rosés selected to complement
their thin-crust pizzas and salads. Sunday, August 17th, 6pm, is A
Dinner with The Fatted Calf, and Sunday, September 23rd,
6pm, is A Dinner with Italian Wine Specialist Summa Vitis.
The price for the Sunday dinners? Figure somewhere around $110–$120,
depending on the event. 801 22nd St. at Tennessee, 415-824-4224.
Ready to get your bake on? Or get those knife skills extra-sharp?
Let ~SHUNA LYDON~ of Eggbeater show
you the way. On Saturday, May 24th, is Chocolate: Techniques and
Desserts for Baking with Cocoa & Chocolates; Sunday, May
25th, is Knife Skills Class; and Saturday, May 31st, is Seasonal
Fruit Desserts: Strawberries, Cherries & Rhubarb. Here is the announcement
further information about times, dates, location, and cost. You
can check back at this link for updated information about these
classes and more classes to come in the summer.
Over in Alameda, this Friday, May 9th, is a book-signing party
at St. George Spirits to
celebrate the release of ~ALICE MEDRICH'S NEW COOKBOOK PURE
DESSERT~. There will be a small sampling of desserts
from the book (some featuring St. George spirits!), light snacks,
and a specially designed cocktail by Alice herself! $15 admission
fee, $10 of which can go towards the purchase of the book! 5pm–8pm,
21 and over. Get your tickets by calling the tasting room at 510-864-0635.
2601 Monarch St. at Alameda Point (the old Naval Air Station).
the word on a new restaurant, ~SPICE MONKEY~,
cuisine,” plus coffee and breakfast pastries in the morning.
It opened in the former Sabina space, just a few blocks from Lake
Merritt. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Mon–Fri at
9am, and dinner only on Saturday (for now). Weekend brunch will
start in about six months or so. 1628 Webster St. at 17th, Oakland,
a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just reply to
Uncorked! Wine Festival,
in partnership with COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food, & the Arts, will
take place on Saturday, May 17th, 1pm–6pm. Enjoy the ambience
of the waterfront and entertainment along Beach Street and throughout
Ghirardelli Square's courtyards while you taste over 100 varietals
from 50+ Northern California wineries.
chef demonstrations, wine education seminars, and gourmet food
sampling. Check out a pastry demonstration by recent Top
Chef contestant Marisa Churchill at 1:30pm (advanced reservations
event is free and open to the public, however, tickets are required
to participate in wine tasting. Tickets are $40 in
advance/$45 at the door. Tickets are available now at www.GhirardelliSQ.com.
12 4th St.
Cross: Market St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Bar open at 4pm daily
|MAY 6, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO I
know, I know, everyone is saying fine dining is over. While places
with $21 entrées, communal tables, no tablecloths,
open kitchens, and “nice jeans” as the dress code may
the norm more and more, there’s something to be said for
going to a restaurant with refined service, luxe ingredients, gorg
stemware, and a fat wine list to boot. And whoa, table linens.
And a cheese cart, thankyouverymuch.
Just last week I had a chance to check out the new ~FIFTH
FLOOR~, and well, well, well, what a swell new thing
that’s going on there. I dined at Fifth Floor during the
Laurent Gras days, and when George Morrone was there, too, and
Melissa Perello, and Charlie Kleinman and Jake Des Voignes. Suffice
to say, the kitchen has had numerous masters of the house, but
this new era with Aqua’s Laurent Manrique and chef de cuisine
Jennie Lorenzo will be a uniquely notable one. The experience
here is a new style of finer dining, with the cravat a little
loosened, if not gone altogether.
Puccini Group completely revamped the dining room—it’s
elegant but not stuffy, rather clubby comfortable, styled with
curving chic chairs the color of bone with a 30s glam shape and
metal legs, upholstered walls to subtly help absorb the sound generated
from the patterned hardwood floors, and dramatic red glass round
overhead lights. You can actually look out a few windows onto the
herb garden in the now-revealed hotel atrium (and perhaps catch
a flash of some friskiness in the hotel rooms if someone didn't
shut their curtains). The room is overall a bit minimalist, with
mostly neutral tones, like it’s French Calvin Klein. I really
liked the unexpected addition of the taupe runners on each table,
and admired the new wine room, wine director Emily Wines’s
you first arrive, however, you pass through the revamped lounge,
now the “café.” There were some ladies
drinking wine and sharing some plates at a limestone and wood communal
table, a few couples relaxing in club chairs, folks at the bar… would
be a slick little space to meet up with someone for a bite and
dining room had more volume than I’d ever seen it have,
less of a hushy hush/be on your better behavior vibe, and more
about enjoyment while blowing a little cash. I did witness some
tableside cart action, like the carving of the quick-smoked rib-eye
for two. Oh, and wait until the bread cart wheels up (yup, you
heard that right), with five breads to choose from (all from Bay
Bread), including special regional breads from Manrique’s
Gascony homeland, like a crusty one made with red wine, and another
that was like an anise-flavored challah. You also get a cow’s
milk butter, and a tangy goat’s
milk butter, soft and light, almost like a butter sorbet. (And
I tried another butter I was told I can’t write about just
yet.) Yup, you’ve entered butter country.
trio of amuses were a delight to start with: an herbed chickpea
croquette, chilled golden beet yogurt with chermoula, and smoky
shrimp with fennel puree—all three bites were like a study
of the quality of creamy. (And delicious.)
menu, well, let’s just say this. I really struggled
over what to choose, especially from the entrées. We don’t
encounter many Gascony-inspired dishes on our usual French bistro
menus here in San Francisco—I was quite curious about almost
all of the offerings. I can usually look at a menu and narrow it
down quickly to what I want to try. That night, not so fast, tablehopper.
My guest and I started with the potage de laitue printemps ($12),
one of the most beautiful soups I’ve had in a while, made
from baby gem lettuce. The soup is poured tableside over a bowl
of treasures: a slice of chicken galantine, the tiniest poached
quail egg, a dollop of goat cheese, and carrot pearls, plus little
hits of fresh herbs, like oregano, and the lemony tingle of rue,
a new one for me. The soup was served room temperature, which allowed
for all the flavors to really blossom.
The thon basquaise ($15)
was full of bright flavor: three boulettes (“little balls”) of cold big eye tuna filled
with piperade, plus salty house-made mojama tuna on top (it was
like crisped tuna bresaola), and some tuna belly confit as well,
with creamy sliced quail eggs, and hits of brightness and acidity
from the sliced Lucques olives, basil seeds and oil, and arugula.
It’s ultimately a variation of tuna tartare that even the
most jaded diner can feel good about ordering.
My dining partner indulged in the foie gras ($21), cool slices
of foie poached for two days, sporting a good smattering of salt
from its subsequent eight-hour curing, paired with a slice of lightly
grilled rustic bread topped with thinly sliced grapes, plus artichoke
and black truffle salad. The bread execution was a touch awkward
to eat, like, do you pick it up (we did) or fork and knife it?
It was a good partner nonetheless. It kind of embodies the play
of the food here: a style that is trying to balance rusticity with
The appetizer of la cruchade au civet ($17) told me to
hurry back for next time (corn polenta with ossau-Iraty cheese,
rabbit civet, and roasted hazelnuts, uh, where do I sign?), and
I can imagine how scrumptious the poulpe ($13) is: grilled “tako” salad,
with potato fondue, and Berber spice vinaigrette.
Do these dishes this sound as savory and hunger-inducing to you
as they did to me?
are firmly seated in the $30s, so prepare your wallet beforehand
(slap slap!). I’ve been longing to try the matelote
since I first had a preliminary peek at the menu. It’s a
deep and rich dish of oxtail ragout braised for hours, and luxurious
braised Japanese eel on a plate adorned with heavy swirls of bordelaise
sauce. Man, what a dish. Like, give me a spoon. Except for the
poached stalk of leek in the middle that was too fibrous, especially
next to the tender and meaty porcini mushrooms—you definitely
needed a sharp knife for the leek.
My friend had the cochon au lait entier ($34),
roasted pork shoulder with house-made boudin noir, apples, and
wilted spinach, with a reduction of milk bouillon. Stupendous
noir especially—so luscious, tasting more of pork than a
traditional execution tasting more of, well, blood; the anise foam
added a fresh note.
is also roasted lamb loin with olive tapenade ($39), squab crusted
with sugared onions ($37), slow-cooked veal short rib in Jurançon wine ($37)… all
quite appealing, non?
Unless you’re a vegetarian—I didn’t see a single
vegetarian dish on the menu, but I am sure the kitchen would accommodate.
option is the sommelier tasting menu, six courses for $95, and
in honor of Emily Wines recently earning her Master Sommelier
diploma—one of only 13 people to do so in the world on their
first try, hello!—the menu is structured around the wines
she has chosen, and the dishes are matched to them.
did some fab pairings with our dinner, and we really dug the
trio of Armagnac drinks we sampled, starting with a traditional
Pousse Rapier (Armagnac that’s infused with citrus, caramel,
vanilla, and prune, added to Champagne), the delightful Armagnac
Blanc shaken with cucumber (I could drink this all summer), and
the Gascon coffee at the end, with Armagnac, sugar, espresso, and
cheese cart will wheel on up, and is then unfolded at the table
like a magician’s box—but instead of a scantily
clad and squirming young woman getting bisected, you’ll be
requesting a cut of St. Nectaire instead, or perhaps some Bucheron,
accompanied by Marcona almonds, little fig cakes, and membrillo
dessert. Aqua’s executive pastry chef, Lionel Walter,
is the consulting pastry chef, working closely with pastry chef
Ricardo Gamalong, who is the bomb. The desserts were all about
a light hand—nothing was heavy or cloying.
yes, let’s do more Armagnac! The baba ($12) wasn’t
too boozy at all, just lovely, with crème chantilly, strawberry
rhubarb, and candied violet, like a French strawberry shortcake!
The chocolate macaroons ($12) were little creamy sweet cookie mini-hamburgers,
but the show stealer was the gateau basque ($12); a downright perfect
almond cake with a creamy filling is presented with a little wedge
already cut out—cute. It’s the kind of dessert you
won’t want to share. The black cherry marmalade was also
black cherry is a fitting feeling for the room and experience
bit sexy, swanky, uncommon, and the kind of phone number you
want to write down in your little black book.
MAY 6, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Some
changes have been in the works at ~15 ROMOLO~ in
North Beach, and now it’s official: Scott Baird, the former
bar manager at Coco500, and Aaron Smith, a former manager at Coco500
and currently a bartender at Rye, have partnered with Greg Lindgren
and Jon Gasparini (Rye, Rosewood, 15 Romolo) to re-concept and
relaunch the bar and food program. The plan is to roll back the
style of both food and design and incorporate the historical significance
of the space (the building is part of the Basque Hotel)—they’re
thinking a pre-Prohibition-meets-modern look. The upcoming Basque-inspired
menu will be cocktail friendly, with dishes like cured meats and
kokotxas, aka fish cheeks, or the meaty part of the jaw. The new
concept (and new name, TBD) will launch late summer/early fall.
For now, new (and assuredly delicious) cocktails will be on the
menu in a week or so. Jen Biesty of Coco500 is rumored to be consulting
on the menu later on… Will be able reveal more as things
firm up. 15 Romolo Pl. at Broadway, 415-398-1359.
had a chance to meet with Myles O’Reilly and manager Chris
Shelgren last week and tour the upcoming ~MCTEAGUE’S
SALOON~ space—it’s opening in the former Johnny
Wok location on Polk Street, just next door to O’Reilly’s
No one could ever accuse Myles O’Reilly of dreaming small,
that’s for sure. The saloon is named after the book by Frank
Norris, McTeague, (Frank Norris Street is a potato’s
throw away), and O’Reilly is keen to keep Polk Street’s
literary heritage alive. The historic building, one of my very
favorites in the City, was incidentally the first building to be
built on Polk Street after the 1906 earthquake, and was the home
of the famous Tortola. The booths and old chandeliers will remain,
plus there will be the addition of some rustic/saloon-style plank
tables with stools, and a 44-foot redwood-topped bar, with 18 taps
of primarily West Coast ales and microbrews—there will also
be an emphasis on bourbons. You’ll be able to shoot some
pool at the pair of tables in the back, or watch games on the “necessary
evil” of a few televisions at the bar. Some literary readings
are also being discussed, and acoustic music.
O’Reilly’s executive chef, Sean Canavan, will be putting
together a menu of saloon-friendly food—some items being
discussed are sausages, pasties/meat pies, smoked mackerel and
trout, a couple soups of the day, and sandwiches. The plan is to
open early, around noon or so. Since they got the liquor license
from the old Barleycorn, look for a few cameo nights from some
of the former Barleycorn bartenders. The opening is slated for
early June. 1237 Polk St. at Sutter.
like people will be able to once again say, “Meet
me at the Clock.” This summer, Michael Mina is launching
his first-ever cocktail lounge, ~CLOCK BAR~, in
the lobby of San Francisco’s historic Westin
St. Francis hotel. There will be handcrafted and seasonal cocktails, along
with some inventive finger food. 335 Powell St. at Post.
around the corner, ~FARALLON~ is
getting on the cocktail act and introducing vintage cocktails
to its bar line-up. Inspired by classic recipes from the likes
of “Trader” Vic Bergeron and the original 1930 Savoy
Cocktail Book, Farallon’s bar manager, Craig Lane, has added
a 1944 Mai Tai, using Lane’s handmade orgeat, the Honeymoon
(a twist on the Sidecar), the Pendennis Club Cocktail (based on
the Pegu Club Cocktail), and more. 450 Post St. at Powell, 415-956-6969.
San Francisco Cocktail Week, and on World Cocktail Day (May 13th),
another event that’s happening is a ~THREE-COURSE
BEER DINNER~ at Monk’s
with Grant Wood, the Samuel Adams master brewer. The event is
in celebration of American Craft Beer Week. Tuesday, May 13th,
6pm, $50. 3141 16th St. at Albion. To make reservations, call
folks at Rye
didn't want to miss out on the festivities at Absinthe for the
finale of San Francisco Cocktail Week on Monday, May 19th,
so this month they are hosting their ~MONTHLY MIXING COMPETITION~ on
a Tuesday instead. This time it’s with Hendrick's Gin, bringing
a unique twist to the monthly event: bartenders will need to create
an original cocktail that specifically showcases one of the Hendrick’s
Gin botanicals (cucumber, rose petal, juniper berry, caraway seed,
coriander, cubeb berry, angelica, orris root, lemon peel, orange
peel, or meadowsweat), and then present said cocktail with a spoken
limerick! (Bartenders, when your cocktail is presented to
the judges, you are permitted to speak just one limerick [five
lines]—this can be used to describe your cocktail, talk about
the chosen botanical, educate about gin, cocktail culture, cucumber
farming, or simply humorous current affairs.) The champion shall
be the one with the tastiest cocktail and the sharpest limerick!
Entries to be submitted via email by May 12th to Cheryl CRiley@wgrantusa.com and
Ten finalists will be selected to make and present their cocktail
to a panel of judges at the final party at Rye on Tuesday, May
20th at 7pm. 688 Geary St. at Leavenworth, 415-786-7803.
now, here’s something else to cheers to. With Mother’s
Day also falling on the kick-off day to ~NATIONAL WOMEN’S
HEALTH WEEK~ this year (May 11–17), Clos du Bois
and WomenHeart are celebrating women across the country and inviting
friends and family everywhere to visit www.ToastToMom.com and
send a free e-card or “e-toast” benefiting women with
heart disease, the number one killer of women in America. For every
e-card sent, Clos du Bois will donate $1 to WomenHeart. The goal
is to raise at least $25,000 this May!
In support of taking steps towards a healthier heart, the ToastToMom.com site
also includes “lighthearted” eating tips, heart healthy recipes,
and Mother’s Day meal ideas (with wine pairings, of course) designed to
inspire women to take simple steps towards a longer, healthier, and happier life.
The newly released WomenHeart’s ALL HEART Family Cookbook is also
available at www.ToastToMom.com,
featuring 40 foods scientifically proven to promote heart health and prevent
heart disease… Including red wine!
In tandem with this program, Clos du Bois is also generously offering
a complimentary flight (tasting of any five wines) to any tablehopper readers who
mention Toast to Mom in the Clos du Bois tasting room throughout the entire month
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San Francisco Cocktail
May 13–Mon May 19, 2008
San Francisco, CA
MAY 6, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Get your liver ready for the second annual ~SAN FRANCISCO
COCKTAIL WEEK~, a week to celebrate the culture and
history of dining and drinking, with daily events and festivities!
Co-founded and organized by San Francisco mixologists, Jeff Hollinger
of Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, Duggan McDonnell of Cantina,
and H. Joseph Ehrmann of Elixir, the week will showcase the artistry
and history of the progressive cocktail culture in the San Francisco
Bay Area, to further establish a lasting tradition for years
Tuesday, May 13th, Opening Gala
Festivities will commence with an “Opening Gala” sponsored
by the Museum of the American Cocktail at the world-famous Harry
Denton’s Starlight Room at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. Returning to where he launched
his career, honoree Tony Abou-Ganim, creator of the legendary Cable
Car cocktail, will be tending bar and wowing the
crowd with his renowned talents. SF Cocktail Week’s signature
cocktail, The Soiree, will also be introduced and upon
arrival, guests will be greeted with a complimentary Soiree or Cable
Car. 6pm-9pm. Free admission includes one complimentary cocktail;
charge for additional beverages.
Wednesday, May 14th, Farmers’ Market
The non-profit operator of the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market,
the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA),
and the San Francisco Chapter of the United States Bartender’s
Guild (USBG) will host an evening of farmers’ market-inspired
cocktails at the CUESA
in front of the San Francisco Ferry Building. During the evening,
guests will enjoy cocktail demos hosted by renowned Bay Area bartenders
using the freshest of farmers’ market ingredients, as well
as passed apps prepared by executive chef Gordon Drysdale of the
upcoming Union Street brasserie, brought to you by Bacchus Management
Group (The Village Pub, Spruce, and Pizza Antica). 5:30pm–7:30pm.
Cost: $15 per person. Cost per entry includes tastes of all demonstrated
cocktails, two signature drinks, and appetizers. Tickets.
International Guest Bartender Night
Visit renowned guest bartenders from around the U.S.
mixing and serving drinks at participating bars throughout the
city. An itinerary outlining all bars and guest bartenders will
be available on the San
Francisco Cocktail Week website.
8pm-close. Cost: Price of drinks will vary per location.
Thursday, May 15th, A Night of Cocktail Dinners
Acclaimed for their cocktail programs, each participating
restaurant will individually host multi-course dinners prepared
and coordinated by their executive chefs and head mixologists,
with each course expertly paired with complementary cocktails.
Further information will be found on the San
Francisco Cocktail Week website.
Time and cost will vary upon location. Locations: bacar, Conduit,
The Alembic, Orson, Bong Su, and Flora.
Friday, May 16th, Save the Sazerac
A reception at San Francisco’s historic Elixir,
will celebrate the age-old Sazerac cocktail and the bar’s
150th year anniversary. Almost as old as the cocktail, Elixir will
donate 100% of the evening’s proceeds from sales of classic
Sazeracs and house variation Shirazeracs to the non-profit
festival Tales of the Cocktail, which shares the same mission as
San Francisco Cocktail Week: to celebrate and preserve the rich
history of restaurants and bars throughout a historic culinary
community; for Tales of the Cocktail it’s New Orleans, the
birthplace of the cocktail. 3pm–8pm.
Saturday, May 17th, Literature, Booze and History
In a benefit for the San Francisco Museum and Historical
Francisco magazine’s Scott Hocker will moderate a literary discussion
of all things spirit related, featuring great cocktail historian David Wondrich
and local writer and bartender Jordan Mackay, among additional panelists. Guests
will be treated to Cantina’s infamous preparation of the San Francisco
classic, Pisco Punch. Following the discussion, guests are invited to a book
signing with attending authors and an after-party at Cantina.
The Salon at Hotel Rex.
For reservations, contact Jeff Hollinger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5pm–7pm. Cost: $30 per person.
Monday, May 19th, Finale
Cocktail Week finishes with a flourish at Absinthe
Brasserie & Bar,
co-sponsored by Imbibe Magazine. Guests will enjoy a selection
of cocktails created by Absinthe and guest bartenders, including
several of Absinthe’s absinthe-based cocktails. Guests are
also invited to experience absinthe classically prepared. Light
fare from executive chef Jamie Lauren will be served throughout
the night. Space is limited; please contact Vanessa Harris at email@example.com or
415-551-1453 for tickets. 6pm–10pm. Cost: $45 per person.
Explored 25th Anniversary
Thu., May 15, 2008
2534 Mission St.
Cross: 21st St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
$100 in advance
$125 day of the event
tickets: call 415-863-2108 or visit www.creativityexplored.org
MAY 6, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO ~CREATIVITY
premier gallery and art studio for artists with developmental disabilities,
is celebrating its 25th birthday at Foreign Cinema. Hosted by supporter
and legendary maven of the silver screen, Peaches Christ, the evening
features a screening of selections from Ben Wu’s Academy
Award-winning student documentary about the artists of Creativity
Explored, "Cross Your Eyes, Keep them Wide," and an auction
including exceptional artworks by Creativity Explored artists.
will enjoy a menu of small plates presented by chefs Gayle Pirie
and John Clark while listening to the Parisian café stylings
of The Baguette Duet, western swing and cowboy music by Chris Leone
and the Spurs of the Moment, plus other special performances by
|MAY 6, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Spring is here, and my trainer Jeremy Manning of Titan
Fitness has some positive thoughts to share, and hopefully get you
Top Ten Ways to Get Off Your Butt and Into the Groove
1. Take action by setting a few small tasks in motion. Make a list
of five things (no matter how easy they seem) and start on them.
See if you can wash just five dishes or go to the gym for just
five minutes. Go ahead, give it a try.
2. Ease your thoughts and take out the “should” and “need–to” statements,
like, “I should go to the gym.” Try thinking to yourself, “It
would be nice if I ate healthy today” or “It would
be nice if I went to the gym tonight.” See how good that
3. Make your own top ten list! Write down ten things you accomplished
or that you are thankful for. 1. Went to the gym. 2. Saw a hot
guy at the gym. C’mon, it’s only ten positive things,
and how many bad things did you mentally list today? Mmhmm, two
snaps to that.
4. Express yo-self, don’t depress yo-self! That’s right… Give
a friend a call, ask him/her to join you, or just talk about your
feelings. When you lighten the load, it’s a whole lot easier
5. Surround yourself with positive people, or just be around people.
When you’re stuck in a rut, being alone inside your head
isn’t going to help you get to the gym or away from the fridge.
6. Don’t be afraid to fail. Seriously, everyone makes mistakes,
and the more action you take to feel better about yourself, the
better you will feel.
7. If you do make a mistake, don’t label yourself with “I
am” statements. Replace “I’m lazy for not going
to the gym” with “It would have been nice if I went
to the gym.” Or “I will feel better when I get to the
gym.” You are not your actions.
8. Visualize a positive outcome. Think of it vividly, inject emotion,
give in to your dreams and desires and that’s right… That’s
it… Just get up and… There you go! You’re doing
it! Keep going!
9. Break the big tasks up into small tasks. When you’re feeling
down, the last thing you want to think about is a week’s
worth of meals you have to make and dishes you have to wash. So
don’t. Think about one good meal that you want to make and
focus on that. You don’t know how you’re going to be
feeling tomorrow (and since after reading this, you’ll be
feeling great, why not wait to think about it then?).
10. Have fun! After all, this is YOUR life, why not enjoy as much
of it as you can. Find some soothing music to listen to while you
work out, go to a park for your run, or find a new, locally owned
store to buy your groceries. Sometimes just appreciating the culture
of your neighborhood can turn a chore into a relaxing part of your
6, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO I
heard that Margaret Cho and
her entourage were downing vodka sodas by the
barrel-full at Cantina last week.
Follow the orange clogs! Mario Batali was
in town for his new book, "Italian Grill,” and after his
book signing at Book Passage in Corte Madera, he went by Pizzeria
Picco for some pies—he especially loved Bruce Hill’s
ramp and meatball pizza. He then headed to Coco500 with Bruce Hill,
Loretta Keller, and Batali’s assistant, Pam Lewy. Hill said
in spite of the dual dinner, Batali is looking quite good, and
eating a bit less these days.
content © 2008 Marcia Gagliardi.
I am more than happy if you want to link to my reviews and content
elsewhere (thanks, glad you dig it), but republishing any part of them
in any way, shape or form is strictly prohibited until we talk first.
Please take a look at my Creative
Commons license for more detail.
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