|table of contents
week's tablehopper: eating in the ’burg.
the word on the street
get outta dodge
put it on my tab
another place for your nose
no photos please
let's get it on
this round is on me
JUNE 10, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Wow.
Wow. Wow. Um, readers? You BLOW MY FREAKING MIND. I can't
begin to thank you all so much for your remarkable generosity in
helping to provide funds for the tablehopper/CHEFS (Conquering
Homelessness through Employment in Food Service) dinner out. So
far we have raised over $600! I will definitely report back with
a final figure—the checks just kept coming. I don't
have enough superlatives to possibly express how touched I am with
your donations, and thank you for the nice notes too. So kind.
where it gets even more amazing: Bambuddha
Lounge spontaneously came forward and offered to host the dinner for
free. A huge thanks to GM Michael Shaulis and executive chef
Jessica Gorin for their oh-so-kind hospitality. I will be sure
to let you all know how it goes!
the donated funds are suddenly not needed for this upcoming dinner,
I am either going to hang onto them for another outing for the
next CHEFS class/session… or I also have an awesome food-centric
field trip idea (involving a farm, and a meal)! I'll run
it by you shortly, for now, please know everyone at the CHEFS organization,
the students and the staff, are all so touched and grateful for
this outpouring of support and generosity. Y'all are the
BEST. (Oh, and if you want to come out and play with me this Friday
evening, I'll be at the CHEFS fundraiser, SummerTini!
Hope to see you there!)
truly has a couple upcoming appearances this week! First, I'll
be back on The
View from the Bay!
This Thursday will be an in-studio appearance (the show is
from 3pm–4pm on ABC 7), and I'll be talking about
three of my local faves for affordable and unique eats.
this Sunday June 15th (Father's Day) I will be on
for my monthly appearance on A Matter of Taste with
Rachel and David Michael Cane on Green 960AM. They have changed
their hours to each Sunday from 11am until noon—listen in!
And since you all rock so hard, I am doing a giveaway of a couple
copies of a very summer-appropriate book: Grilled Pizzas
and Piadinas from chef Craig Priebe (the former owner of C.K's
Wood Grilled Pizza in Atlanta). The materials I've read deem
this kind of pizza "the ultimate thin crust" and you
get some smokiness too. Sounds pretty good, no? Priebe will be
appearing at Macy's Cellar on Wed. June 25th at 6pm if you
want to check it out.
how to enter to win a copy of the book: just forward this newsletter
to two pals (or more, thanks!) and cc (or BCC) email@example.com when
you send it to your peeps—it's best if you explain why you're
emailing it to them, or at least include something about tablehopper.com.
I promise I won't be collecting your friends' emails, those will
stay private—I just need to keep track that you forwarded
it to two or more folks. The deadline to enter is by midnight,
Sunday June 15th. I will be randomly drawing the winner and will
email you to let you know you've won next week. Maybe you can even
bring it to the Macy's Cellar demo and get it signed on the
25th! Good luck!
Thanks to everyone for everything you do and are!
JUNE 10, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO I
love me some big news. Things have been kind of quiet about the
upcoming 240-seat ~URBAN TAVERN~ project at the
San Francisco Hilton on O'Farrell Street. Donna Scala was
helping to conceptualize and develop the high-end gastropub for
the hotel—I heard a rumor that she was not going to be involved
with the project once it launched, and it ends up Laurent Manrique
is now going to be the chef! No confirmed details to release yet
about the actual launch date (although one source told me July),
the concept (I've heard Northern Italian/Southern Mediterranean),
etc., so stand by… 333 O'Farrell St. at Mason.
big news: I hear the Tiernans who own Tiernan's
down near the Wharf, not the PlumpJack Group, are buying the ~WASHBAG~.
No one has been able to confirm this for sure (I got "No
comment!" last week, and this week
my message went unanswered), but my source made it sound
pretty darned definite.
There's a new executive chef at ~SEASONS
AT THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL~:
Jeremy Emmerson left for a private cheffing gig to allow more time
to be with his family. The new executive chef is Mark Richardson,
who has been with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in culinary
positions for the past ten years (most recently as executive sous
chef at Four Seasons Hotel Boston). Richardson likes to experiment
with new molecular gastronomy techniques in his kitchen, so expect
a little bit of flair to appear on the menu (sounds like Jing Tio
just scored another regular at Le
757 Market St. at Grant, 415-633-3838.
chef switcheroo: ~PALENCIA
the Filipino spot in the Castro, has a new executive chef: 25-year-old
Drey Roxas, who was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. He
received his culinary degree from CCA in 2003, then worked at Shangri-La
Hotel in Manila. He has redesigned the menu, incorporating bright
flavors and dishes to balance the often-heavier fare, like kilawin,
a ceviche-like dish using red snapper that is "cooked" in
a sugar cane vinegar as opposed to traditional citrus. There's
also a hearts of palm salad, with carrot, Filipino spinach, and
a light tamarind sauce. In case you want to check it out, the restaurant
will be celebrating the Philippines Independence Day with a four-course
prix-fixe menu for $35 per person on June 12th (the official date)
and June 13th. 3870 17th between Noe and Sanchez, 415-522-1888.
like to give a big congrats to Craig Stoll, the chef and
co-owner of Delfina, who won Best Chef: Pacific (in California
and Hawaii) at the ~JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION AWARDS~ on
Sunday. The Mission continued to dominate, with Elisabeth Prueitt
and Chad Robertson, the owners of Tartine Bakery, winning Outstanding
Pastry Chef award, a national award. Meow. Up in St. Helena,
Hiro Sone and his wife, Lissa Doumani, took home the award for
the nation's best restaurant service for Terra (they also own
Ame here in the City). Congrats to all the nominees—you're
all winners in many, many peoples' eyes. And a very special
shout-out to Grant Achatz, who not only beat cancer, tongue cancer
at that, but won the Outstanding Chef Award (I highly recommend
reading the riveting article from
back in May in the New Yorker about his battle with
cancer.) You can check out the list of all the nominees and winners
going to be another big weekend, this time in Aspen since it's
the 26th annual ~FOOD & WINE
I can only imagine how swell the exclusive tasting dinner prepared
by the 2008 F&W Best New Chefs is going to be, which includes
Jeremy Fox of Ubuntu, Koren Grieveson of my favorite Avec in Chicago, and Michael Psilakis of Anthos in New York. I soooooo
wish I was going—next year, perhaps…
~MERCURY LOUNGE~ on Lombard has closed, and is actually going to be moving to a
bigger location, in the SoMa area. I will be able to release more
on the location once I get the go-ahead, stand by.
Here's a small service announcement for you: ~SUSHI
KOO~ in the Sunset is temporarily closed from yesterday, June 9th, until
Tuesday June 17th—the restaurant will be back open on Wedndesday
June 18th, so you can get your "Spoonful of Happiness" back
on. 408 Irving St. at 5th St., 415-731-7077.
Meanwhile, it seems the Inner Sunset's ~WUNDER
BREWING CO.~ (formerly Eldo's) is closed; here's
more from Eater.
The "closed for renovations" notice and the disconnected
phone don't totally jive. 1326 Ninth Ave. at Irving.
for the Inner Richmond: I planned to mention this on Thursday
during my segment on View from the Bay (this is a big
blatant hint about one of the restaurants I'll be mentioning):
is going to be opening a deli, ~HAPPY BELLY FOODS~,
a few blocks down from the restaurant—the space in which
they are opening the deli is actually
where they store their Happy Belly carts that serve food in Golden
Gate Park. Look for signature sandwiches, plus pre-marinated meats
(hello, kalbi skirt steak), house-made kimchee, and sauces. September
is the hoped-for opening date. Balboa and 3rd St.
seemed to miss the opening of this café, but a reader
wanted to point out ~MUISCA
COLOMBIAN FUSION AND CAFÉ~
is serving up good coffee and Colombian fare, like arepas, in the
Mission. Yelpers seem to dig
564 South Van Ness Ave. at 17th St., 415-834-5804.
particularly feel like thinking about the holidays either, but
I wanted to let you know the Food Network is casting for the
popular ~DEAR FOOD NETWORK~ specials
set to air this holiday season. Four all-new, one-hour programs
will feature Food Network fans as they get the chance to have their
cooking questions answered face-to-face by their star of choice,
answering viewers' questions about turkey troubles, dessert disasters,
cooking for large family gatherings, and the like. To be considered
for Dear Food Network, viewers must upload a unique and
entertaining three-minute video to www.foodnetwork.com/dearfn by
Monday July 14th, sharing their story and explaining why they want
a chance to have their cooking problems solved by their favorite
Food Network star. Entrants must include their age, location, and
a humorous testimonial by a family member or friend. The best videos
will be aired on the program, and some fans will even be flown
to the set to be in the audience while their dilemma is answered
on-air. For additional info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
had a good time emceeing at the ~MACY'S
UNION SQUARE CELLAR~ event last week: the good-enough-to-eat
programming continues this Wednesday June 11th at 6pm, when they
of the Kitchen (perhaps you've seen this new quarterly magazine advertised
on tablehopper?) and mushrooms! Each season, OITK's editor-in-chief
(and executive chef and owner of Maverick,
Scott Youkilis, will bring one of the stories straight to
your taste buds with a live cooking demo in The Cellar. This
month he is hosting a true expert and connoisseur: Connie Green,
a well-known local forager of wild mushrooms, who supplies them
to many of the Bay Area's finest restaurants. You'll
be treated to a taste of hard-to-find morels (yes, MORELS, people!)
prepared by Scott and paired with a glass of wine chosen by Maverick's
wine director and co-owner Mike Pierce. Free! 170 O'Farrell St.
fun-with-food continues next week with ~GRACEANN
who will take guests on a culinary tour of San Francisco during
this four-part series, while never leaving The Cellar! She'll
be visiting with various local chefs, while guests get a taste
of featured recipes, plus a glass of wine, compliments of the Jug
Shop. The line-up is on Wednesdays at 6pm.
6/18: Nob Hill with Chef Gloria Ciccarone-Nehls of The Big 4
7/16: The New North Beach with chef J.J. Castaneda of Joe DiMaggio's
8/13: The Fillmore District Old and New with chef David Lawrence
of 1300 Fillmore
9/17: Traditional North Beach with chef Valentino Luchin of Rose
More demos: The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is continuing its popular
cooking program, ~EASY MARKET MEALS~. These free
cooking demonstrations, which take place on the first and third
Tuesday of each month from June through September, focus on one
or two seasonal ingredients in the farmers' market and offer
simple ways for home cooks to prepare them. This year, three of
the guest chefs will demonstrate family-friendly meals, emphasizing
quick, nutritious dishes that will please the developing palates
of the under-eight set. Easy Market Meals takes place in CUESA's Dacor teaching kitchen, located in the North Arcade in front of
the Ferry Building. Attendees will learn from professional chefs
and accomplished home cooks, sample the featured dishes, and leave
with a recipe to recreate these seasonal meals at home. The rotating
demos begin at 12pm, 12:30pm, and 1pm. Here's the schedule
of guest chefs for 2008:
6/17: Amy Andrews, Amy's Food Room (family-friendly focus)
7/1: Stephanie Rosenbaum, Food Writer
7/15: Annie Somerville, Greens Restaurant
8/5: Georgeanne Brennan, Cookbook Author & Food Writer
8/19: Amy Fothergill, The Family Chef (family-friendly focus)
9/2: Shanti Wilson, former CUESA Market Chef & Culinary Consultant
9/16: Leslie and Andrew Swallow, Mixt Greens
One of my most memorably delicious meals was when chef ~RICHARD
REDDINGTON~ was an interim co-chef at Masa's back in 2004—perhaps it was all the more delicious because
I knew it was a not-to-last situation. Anyway, chef Reddington
of Redd in Napa Valley will be guest co-chef with Masa's
executive chef Gregory Short for an evening celebrating Masa's
25th Anniversary, on Saturday June 21st. There will be a special
tasting menu, with the first seating at 5:30pm and the second
at 8:30pm. The cost of the dinner will be $195 per person, with
wine pairings offered by Master Sommelier Alan Murray. 648 Bush
St. at Powell, 415-989-7154.
coming Saturday June 14th, Theatre of Yugen is hosting a Slow
Food movement "secret supper" as
a company fundraiser. A five-course vegetarian meal
will be prepared by chef ~LEIF
Yugen Orchestra will provide music, plus a souped-up noh dance
and a performance of their latest Kyogen comedy, Religious Dispute,
will also be part of the evening's entertainment. You can
read Leif's summer-riffic menu here.
6pm, $60 per plate (very limited seating) and by reservation only.
or call 415-621-0507. a.Muse art gallery, 614 Alabama St. at 18th St.
Up in Mill Valley, ~ORA~ has closed as of May 14th, and owner Shahram Bijan will be reopening
the restaurant in a bigger space in San Francisco's Union
Square, a few blocks away from First Crush, his wine bar. No word
on where exactly that space is—the lease is still being negotiated,
but there will be the inclusion of more California-style dishes,
and a full bar. He will also be busy opening the second (and bigger)
location of Toast up in Novato this summer, in a new space from
architect Stanley Saitowitz (who did Conduit).
a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just reply to
invited to the unveiling of the new Ghirardelli
celebrating the revitalized historic landmark, on Saturday June
21st and Sunday June 22nd. Ghirardelli Square has just emerged
from a major transformation and is now an urban enclave full
of gourmet eateries, high-end retail, wine tasting centers and
more. It is also the site of Fairmont Heritage Place, one
of the city's most distinctive and exciting new options
for luxury living.
the Square" weekend
celebration on June 21st–June 22nd, some of the free activities
will include: chef demonstrations from our non-profit partner "From
the Garden to the Table," doggie fashion shows, children's
crafts projects, tours of the Fairmont Heritage Place homes, wine
seminars and much more! Visit GhirardelliSQ.com
for a complete schedule of free events.
10, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO I fell in love with ~HEALDSBURG~ my
first time there—give me a town square, some killer wineries,
delish restaurants, a mellow small town atmosphere, stunning
scenery, and, well, where's my ring? The area is a glorious triangulation
of the Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, and Alexander
Valley—seriously dreamy. Springtime is the time to go before
it gets really hot and busy with vacationing tourists (the fields
were bursting with mustard and so many trees were blossoming
in March), although I also really enjoyed the peace and calm
of being there on one trip during grey November, too. Just make
sure you have reservations for any of the restaurants you want
to visit at least a few weeks in advance if possible—things
get booked up. Please note the hours below can change, so call
first! And lots of places are closed on Tuesday, FYI.
know some folks are lamenting the "yuppification" or "Napa-fication" of
Healdsburg, but I still think there's a balanced range
of things to do there, from taquerias and local beer to a high-end
posh experience (yes, Cyrus, I am talking about you). Either
way, the wines in the area are fantastic, with low to nonexistent
tasting room fees, nice winery folks everywhere, and thankfully
I haven't seen any tour buses on the back roads of Dry
actually visited Healdsburg for this jetsetter piece five times
over the past couple years, so we're going to have
to do this in two parts—it's a beast. The next installment
will be about the wineries to visit, where to stay, and various
this installment, let's start with everyone's
~ Where to Eat ~
420 Center St.
Cross: North St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Wed–Sun at 5pm
burgers. One of the most delicious, juicy, messy, and zin-worthy
monsters I've ever had the pure pleasure of scarfing
down was over lunch at ~RAVENOUS CAFÉ~.
It also came with a monster pickle, and spicy seasoned potato spears—not
my favorite kind of fries, but no matter. (My mom loved her Mediterranean
plate). Big portions, heartfelt comfy food that isn't perfect
but definitely enjoyable, with everything listed on a handwritten
menu. It's located in a sweet house a few blocks off the
plaza that has been converted into an intimate restaurant with
a color scheme like a 50/50 bar (orange sherbet and vanilla). Thoughtful
details like flowers in old perfume bottles, mismatched chairs,
and even the carafe of water came with a slice of blood orange
and lime. Fun and funky locals' scene at the tiny bar. There's
a patio too—great in the summer with its little bar back
there. Me: totally charmed.
Restaurant & Wine Bar
344 Center St.
Cross: North St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
RESTAURANT & WINE BAR~ has
a cool industrial look (concrete floors, sealed cork tables,
exposed beams) for wine country, and you can tell by the name
what the food is geared for. ZIN is famous for its beer-battered
green beans that come with mango salsa, fresh salads, and they
do a nice pork chop. Definitely "big eater" portions. The food didn't
totally bowl me over (some dishes we tried had little missteps
here and there, from seasoning to preparation), but the ingredients
were super-fresh (many from the restaurant's organic garden),
and the people who work there are darned nice. Would be a fun place
to come by for some vino and a casual bite, or a full meal after
a day of wine tasting. Would make folks looking for a simple, low-key
meal happy—others might be left wanting a little more precision.
Seafood & Raw Bar
403 Healdsburg Ave.
Cross: North St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Out for a good time? ~WILLI'S
SEAFOOD & RAW BAR~ definitely
has a party vibe, with a busy bar, and fills up with groups of
folks out for a drink and some bites off the long list of appetizing
small plates that are meant to be shared. (This would be a
perfect spot for ladies doing a wine country/gal pal weekend.)
Some highlights on the menu include baked oysters, barely-fried
calamari with a kicky gremolata, a spicy clam and garlic flatbread
with bacon and green onions, plus there are some meaty dishes
too, like lamb skewers, and the salt and pepper baby back riblets.
The food can be a little messy and big on flavor, which actually
makes it perfect drinking food. Don't pass
up the buttery lobster roll. The dog-friendly outdoor patio is
great for lunch (get the spinach salad) or even better, on a balmy
(in the Hotel Les Mars)
29 North St.
Cross: Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Of course, no trip to Healdsburg is complete without a visit
to the crown jewel, ~CYRUS~. I had my longest
meal ever here (hello, five hours) and I savored every glorious
minute of it. From the caviar and Champagne cart (swoon) to the
choose-your-own-adventure tasting menu of Douglas Keane's
elegant and engaging cuisine, this refined restaurant deserves
every accolade it has earned. A definite "must do" for
any gourmand who lives in the Bay Area, or someone visiting wine
country and wants an experience that is enchanting, but without
the least bit of pretension. The dining room had a comfortable
buzz to it, not a hallowed hush. (But hey, dress nicely, okay?)
A cocktail (or two) in the bar under the direction of famed barman
Scott Beattie is also an ideal way to start the evening, or wind
it down. Bring the plastic: $$$$.
106 Matheson St.
Cross: Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Mon, Tue, Thu 9am–6pm
was so sorry to hear Plaza Farms didn't work out (it
was a perfect way to pick up DaVero olive oil and rose wine and
yummy Bellwether cheese all at once), but fortunately things at
~BOVOLO~ remain intact. This magical combo of
a salumeria, pizzeria, and gelateria rocks my world. Hard. Owners
Duskie Estes and John Stewart of Zazu in Santa Rosa are complete Slow Foodies (bovolo means snail in
Italian), and do probably some of the best bacon I've ever
eaten (mmmm, black pig bacon!). The place is super casual, with
24 seats inside, and
20 seats outside on the cute little enclosed
with some COO-COO frites (fried dough with mozzarella and salumi),
but order the off-the-menu version with bacon inside instead.
Heh. (See how I love you?) Pizzas are great—be sure to throw
a farm-fresh egg on top (they actually do a breakfast pizza too).
This would be THE place to order their variation of pasta carbonara
(that bacon, you know), and another can't-miss dish for lunch
is the pork cheek sandwich with roasted peppers and salsa verde—sooooooo
good. You can also get a black pig bacon, egg, and Bellwether Carmody
cheese sandwich, for breakfast or lunch. Heck, I could practically
eat all my Healdsburg meals here. Dessert too.
317 Healdsburg Ave.
Cross: Plaza St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
am I getting hard to please? Maybe it was just an off night,
but I wasn't very smitten with my experience at Charlie
Palmer's ~DRY CREEK KITCHEN~. A few highlights:
the complimentary gougères to start, the wine pairings were
good, and most dishes exhibited pleasing flavor combos (like the
pickled cucumbers with the tartare), but overall I thought for
the price ($74; $119 with wine pairings), things needed to be a
bit tighter. During the six-course tasting menu, there were too
many dishes that were under-seasoned, ingredients reappeared (rapini
was featured in two dishes), and service was not dialed enough
to match the modern finer-dining ambiance. But, I hear they are
working on these things...
deal that is hard to beat is the three-course Sonoma Neighbor
Menu available Mon–Thu for $34, $49 with wines. At that
have less to quibble with. This summer, there is also a family-style
BBQ three-course meal served alfresco around the grill in Hotel
Healdsburg's awesome courtyard and screened porch. It's
every Wednesday night from May–September, $32 per guest.
Charcuterie & Café
335 Healdsburg Ave.
Cross: Plaza St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(until 9:30 Fri–Sat)
downright leery of places loaded with pig paraphernalia and peach
walls, kind of like a scary B&B-meets-restaurant
aesthetic, but I've been told that ~HEALDSBURG CHARCUTERIE & CAFÉ~ has
recently toned down the peach and pigs. It was a chilly wintery
night when I ate here, and the escargot with whipped butter blended
with garlic and pastis hit the spot. The Sonoma salad with Brie,
bacon, grapes, and almonds was also scrumptious. Mains were not
so stellar—a bit forgettable/kind of 1980s in style (e.g.
fusilli pasta with chicken and sun dried tomatoes is on the menu).
I wouldn't make this a dinner destination if it was my sole
night in Healdsburg, but sometimes a cozy café atmosphere
is just what you need. It's also one of the few places open
21047 Geyserville Ave.
Cross: Hwy. 128
Geyserville, CA 95441
this place isn't technically in Healdsburg, it's
actually a wee bit north in the sleepy and petite Geyserville,
but all I can say is get thee to ~SANTI~. The
restaurant is in a historic space, dating back to 1902, and has
a simple look, with tile floors and a non-fussy interior. And
what a killer meal of rustic Italian country-style food, mamma
mia. I can't wait to go for dinner and sit out on the back
patio. My pal and I went for lunch, and feasted like it was our
last supper: we loved every dish, it was a total tour de force.
We started with chef Dino Bugica's house-made salumi, then
the roasted asparagus with a poached egg and house-made prosciutto,
spot prawns with lardo, grilled sardines, a swell Caesar salad,
a spot-on dish of trippa alla romana, I had some spicy spaghettini
Calabrese with a feisty sauce made with beef and pork ribs and
a ton of pecorino, and my pal had one big sloppy man-style sandwich
of house-made sausage with Fontina, arugula, and peperonata. Yeah,
it was a scary, terrifying, Overeaters Anonymous amount of food,
what doggie bags are for. This place is a tablehopper do-not-miss.
Go go go. And just wait for owner Doug Swett and chef Bugica's
Pizzeria & Salumeria,
opening just next door.
think of a better way to start the day than with a sublime cappuccino
from the fine folks at ~FLYING
from their gleaming and red La Marzocco machine. Equally brilliant
for a macchiato or one of their iced drinks in the afternoon when
you hit a 4pm lull. Open daily 7am–6pm. 324 Center
St. at Matheson, 707-433-3599.
can head next door to the ~DOWNTOWN
BAKERY & CREAMERY~
for their famed sticky buns, croissants, scones, and pure evil
donut muffins (yes, you read that right). They also do a breakfast
pizza, and cute little bread puddings. Maybe grab some treats and
then sit in the plaza? 308 Center St. at Matheson, 707-431-2719.
The ~OAKVILLE GROCERY~ gets
paaaaaacked with tourists getting their bougie gourmet picnic
supplies and sandwiches for the day (yo, whip out that iPhone
and order that sammy in advance!), or with folks who want to
enjoy a pizza or one of their mezzalunas (try the one with the
Greek salad inside!) on the patio overlooking the plaza. The
real meal deal is on Tuesday nights in the summer: there's
this cat named Gerard
Nebesky who does a lovely paella outside—a
serving is $12.95, and while munching away, you get to enjoy music
on the plaza. Open 9am-7pm daily.
124 Matheson St. at Center, 707-433-3200.
||If you're on your way to Alexander Valley, be sure to stop
at ~JIMTOWN STORE~ for
lunch (they also serve breakfast). It's totally "old tyme country
store," with tasty sandwiches, like the famed Brie and olive,
there's a grilled cheese sandwich of the week, a totally yummy
turkey with chipotle, and oh yeah, their "hold the phone" chocolate
pudding—as in "hold the phone, I gotta eat this right
now." In warmer months, the back patio, complete with a canopy
of vines, is totally where it's at. The shop itself has some
cute Americana items, and you'll also want to have a little
cooler in your car so you can bring home some of their fresh condiments,
like the chopped olive, and my favorite, the artichoke, olive, and
caper spread. Open Mon–Fri 7am–5pm,
6706 Hwy. 128/Alexander Valley Road at Sausal Lane, 707-433-1212.
for a drink? Sadly Healdsburg shuts down pretty darned early,
but you can kick it at the saloon-like ~JOHN AND ZEKE'S BAR & GRILL~—play
pool with a mix of locals and tourists, drink some beer, have
a shot. 111 Plaza St. at Healdsburg, 707-433-3735.
complain about the ups and downs of the "experimental" food
here (I can't vouch, it's just what I've heard)
can be quite the spot if a cocktail is what you're craving.
A bit "posh
country," with soaring ceilings at this modern barn, plus
a spacious outdoor patio, and funky art. And an impressive bar
setup. 231 Center St. at Mill, 707-431-0100.
hopped up on the massive array of sweets, from oldies to new
treats at ~POWELL'S
SWEET SHOPPE~, 322 Center St.
at Plaza, 707-431-2784.
restaurants and bars I didn't get a chance to personally
RALPH~ is a classic and
a longstanding local favorite for a Frenchie bistro lunch or
dinner, right on the plaza. Think steak frites, chicken paillard.
Full bar too. Open Mon–Sat 11:30am–2:30pm and dinner
Mon–Thu 5:30pm–9pm (until 9:30 Fri–Sat). 109
Plaza St. at Center, 707-433-1380.
RESTAURANT~ has had some
changes over the years—not sure where things
stand now, but if I ever make it there, I'll update this
report! Heard their pizzas from the wood-fired oven are good. Lunch
Tue–Sat 11:30am–2:30pm and dinner 5:30pm–9:30pm.
336 Healdsburg Ave. at North, 707-433-8111.
sushi? Wine country isn't the first place I think
of for fresh sushi, but some folks I know recommend ~SAKE 'O~.
(It's a bit north of the plaza.) 505 Healdsburg Ave. at Piper,
you hurt yourself the day or night before? ~EL FAROLITO~ (or "the
fart," as the locals refer to it) will
save you with its huevos con chorizo for breakfast. Also loved
for its chips and salsa. Yup, you're now ready for a margarita.
128 Plaza St. at Healdsburg, 707-433-2807.
SOMBRERO~, (or as the locals say, "the
hat"), just across from the Oakville Grocery—one friend
digs their fish and shrimp cocktail in a tomato and avocado sauce,
served up in an old fashioned-looking ice cream glass. Hmmm, the
fart, or the hat, which to choose? I am sure there are strong arguments
for either. 245 Center St. at Matheson, 707-433-3818.
since we're discussing Mexican joints, ~TAQUERIA
GUADALAJARA~ is the preferred local fave, according to a chap I met at John & Zeke's
one night. He said the taco grande and veggie nachos are the bomb.
Carnitas too. It's just a bit south of the plaza… 125
Healdsburg Ave. at Exchange, 707-433-1052.
Hot out? Well, a friend of mine went crazy for ~SNOWBUNNY
made with Straus Family Creamery yogurt (get the original tart
flavor) and you can get local fruit on top, too. Plus they use
eco-friendly/compostable cups and spoons. 312 Center St. at Matheson,
you need a break from all that wine. Head on over to ~BEAR
REPUBLIC BREWING COMPANY~, the local
brewpub (AKA "the Bear" or "B&B"),
for some Racer 5, Hop Rod Rye, or Red Rocket for happy hour (Mon–Fri
4pm–6pm), and on Thursdays, they do BBQ oysters. The garlic
fries and Black & Blue burger are also local classics. Outdoor
patio, bonus. Summer hours: Sun–Thu 11am–9:30pm, Fri–Sat
11am–10pm; winter hours: Sun–Thu
11am–10pm. 345 Healdsburg Ave. at Plaza, 707-433-2337.
places I gotta check out:
a new rustic Italian café that
has been thrilling folks left and right. Been hearing grrrrrreat
reports. 109A Plaza St. at Healdsburg, 707-433-5282.
owners Douglas Keane and Nick Peyton have taken over the ~HEALDSBURG
BAR & GRILL~. Think burgers, fries, spacious patio,
killer produce, good wines, done. 245 Healdsburg Ave. at Matheson,
10, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO This
Sunday June 15th, there are a couple ways to say kanpai to
Pop on Father's Day. Two local izakayas are hosting special
IZAKAYA LOUNGE~ (1625
Post St. at Laguna, 415-614-5431) in Japantown has a generous Father's
- complimentary pitcher of draft beer of dad's choice or a carafe of Sho Chiku
Bai Sake (nigori or filter)
- complimentary yakimono platter with the assortment of tsukune, pork belly,
beef loin, omochi (one of each)
- Dad can choose the baseball game that he would like played on the large-screen
in the Sunset is hosting a Father's Day sake pairing featuring
Take no Tsuyu (Bamboo Tears), a big hit with anyone who takes up
general manager Gil Payne's offer to try it. In honor of
Take no Tsuyu owner/master brewer Sakagura-san's brief visit to
the Bay Area, Sozai is offering a sake pairing with four of his
wonderful sakes with four specially-crafted tapas plates. Guests
will also have the ability to meet him and hear the story of this
outstanding kura from Yamagata-ken. $30 per person for four sakes
and four plates (the regular menu will be available following the
tasting). 6pm–8pm. For reservations, call Sozai in advance.
You will be contacted for confirmation and payment. 1500 Irving
St. at 16th Ave., 415-681-7150.
Thursday June 12th, Tracey Brandt from ~A
DONKEY AND GOAT WINERY~
will be pouring their wines at K&L Wine Merchants in San
Francisco from 4:30pm–6:30pm. Tracey will pour their 2005
Brosseau Vineyard Chardonnay, 2006 The Recluse Syrah, and 2006
Three Thirteen. Tasting fee: $1. K&L Wine Merchants, 638
4th St. at Brannan, 415-896-1734.
Hoot. The new ~OWL TREE~ is open. The upstairs
area should be open soon, and there's reportedly a shrine
to Bobby—I hope there are some handi-wipes in said shrine.
601 Post St. at Taylor, 415-359-1600.
WINE BAR & KITCHEN~
is fired up: in celebration of the California State Supreme Count
ruling extending marriage equality to all, CAV will open at noon,
that's right, noon on Tuesday June 17th for those who want
to celebrate their newfound nuptials. Then, once the sun goes down,
CAV is hosting a "Summer of Love Redux" party from
8pm–11pm, cranking it up with DJ Kid Gorgeous. As the newsletter
says, "We want to make it clear that everyone is welcome.
This is a joyous occasion about inclusiveness and we are happy
to have everyone join in this celebration. Ten percent of the proceeds
on this day will be donated to Equality California, www.eqca.org." CAV
will also open a half hour early during the week, at 5pm, for newlyweds
and anyone else that wants to come on in from June 17th–30th.
1666 Market St. at Gough, 415-437-1770.
a fun way to get into trouble on a Sunday: ~XYZ~ is
offering a selection of half-price bottles of wine off their Wine Spectator award-winning
wine list. Sundays, 5:30pm–10pm, June through August. W Hotel,
181 Third St. at Howard, 415-817-7836.
This Friday the 13th (bwaaaaaaah!), ~JOVINO~ in
Cow Hollow is hosting their monthly Wine Social, featuring wines
from Robert Hall Vineyards of Paso Robles. The wines to be poured
are the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 Rhone de Robles, and 2007
Rose de Robles. Happy hour is from 6pm–9pm, and
is $20 for unlimited tasting. Next month's featured winery will
be on July 25th: Carmel Road Vineyards. 2184 Union St. at Fillmore,
Coming up on Sunday June 22nd is the 27th annual ~MILL
VALLEY WINE AND GOURMET FOOD TASTING~. Some of the wineries
attending: Acorn, A Donkey and Goat, Baldassari, Balletto, Bink,
Carica, Core, Duckhorn, Dunn, Etude, Frank Family, Hartford, Le
Vois, Minassian-Young, Paul Mathew, Rombauer, Silver Oak, Spence,
Testarossa, Twomey, Vin Nostro, to name a few, over 70 wineries
in all. Gourmet foods and edible fare from local restaurants will
be there as well. 1pm–4pm, $40 in
advance (until June 21st) or purchase directly
from the Mill Valley Market; $50 the day of. 1 Miller Ave., Mill
We have brought Sonoma Wine Country to the city!
tasting room is located in San Francisco's
historic Ghirardelli Square. Discover what happens when amazing
winemaking and sublime terroir come together. You will have the
opportunity to sample all of our wines, including very limited
releases only available in our tasting room. Come by for a taste
or just to pick up a bottle or two for a picnic by the bay with
here to find out how to win a one-year membership
to our Highlands club, an estimated $800 value!
tasting room is open seven days a week, from 11:00am–9:00pm.
Wattle Creek Team
JUNE 10, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO By Pete Mulvihill of Green
Don't forget: this book below is available at 20% off for
tablehopper readers for two weeks following this mention at Green
Apple Books—simply use the code "tablehopper" at
checkout (either at the store or online) for your discount.
I'm no health nut: just ask the counter help at Schubert's
Bakery across the street from Green Apple—they can attest
to my pastry intake. But 18 months ago, my kids started eating
solid food, and in trying to instill in them healthy eating habits
and preferences, I took a hard look at my own diet. Coupled with
reading books like Omnivore's Dilemma, Fast
Food Nation, and What to Eat, this process led me
to a (slightly) healthier diet. But while my kids will eat plain
quinoa (I'm half-proud and half-embarrassed that they could
say "quinoa" and "couscous" before they
could pronounce the dog's name), it doesn't do it for
for me, I own a bookstore with a great cookbook section, and
I found a new book of healthier recipes—it's encouraging,
creative, and healthy without being radical.
It's The Essential Best Foods Cookbook by Dana Jacobi. The first section of the book lays out some "best
foods," most of which are familiar to those with at least
a basic knowledge of nutrition: blueberries, whole grains, avocados,
kale, etc. More helpful than the nutritional information, though,
are the 225 recipes that don't go too far in healthifyin' your
meal. This is no raw food rant or attempt to drop butter or bacon
from your diet.
recipe that caught my eye (and greatly pleased my wife last night)
was the "Tuscan Minestrone with Butternut Squash and
Farro." And there's "Pomegranate Tabbouleh." Need
I say more? Most recipes are quick and easy—weekday meals—and
none require exotic ingredients. A few recipes look unpromising
(too much like what I tried cooking in college: stir-fries, "chili" spaghetti,
etc.), but overall this is an inspiring book for those looking
to healthy up their meals a little without going off the deep end
and re-inventing their day-to-day diet.
I'm no health nut—I'm
happiest with a Zuni burger, eating dessert after lunch (or breakfast),
and I have a weakness for fluffy pancakes. But this new book
may just help sneak some kale into your frittata, if you know
what I mean.
Thanks for reading.
JUNE 10, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Presidio Social Club has been like a green room or something!
On Friday night, the one and only Ted Allen of
Bravo TV fame was there with 13 other people from the Robert Mondavi
camp (he's a spokesperson for the brand). The group feasted on
every appetizer on the menu; Ted had the oyster chowder as his
entree. He was reportedly one of the nicest and most down-to-earth
people my starlet source has ever met.
And then on Sunday night, Peter Coyote was
at PSC, and dined on the chopped salad and the Berkshire pork,
plus some lemonade and banana cream pie.
tablehopper readers were dining in the private room at Spruce
on Saturday night for a friend's birthday and saw LeAnn
Rimes dining with her
husband, Dean. The reader says, "They were cute as can
be and really sweet since they stopped into our area and said
hello to the birthday boy." Classy!
Bacchus Management Group (The
Village Pub, Spruce, Pizza Antica) is seeking front of house
and kitchen managers for its new and existing restaurants.
Managers should possess at least 3 years of fine dining experience,
a thorough knowledge of food and wine, and a passion for hospitality.
Candidates should be personable and enthusiastic team players.
We are looking to hire: sous and executive sous chefs, dining
room managers, and pastry professionals.
offer competitive salary, insurance benefits, 401k, meal discounts,
and opportunity for growth and development. Please submit your
cover letter and resume to: email@example.com
content © 2008 Marcia Gagliardi.
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