tablehopper
table of contents This week's tablehopper: down the hatch.

the chatterbox
the word on the street

fresh meat
new restaurant reviews
the lush

put it on my tab

the socialite
shindigs/feasts/festivals
the health nut
take a lap, tablehopper
the starlet
no photos please
the matchmaker
let's get it on

the sponsor
this round is on me

FineFoods

JULY 22, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Am I actually tired? Jeez, I am, quite, and it’s all because of this year’s Taste3 event, which was simultaneously exhilarating, sobering, inspiring, and exhausting. For two full days, speakers from around the world each had 18 minutes each to share their thoughts and perspectives on topics like honeybee colony collapse disorder to Dan Barber on the best foie gras of his life to urban farming to GMOs to little-known facts about Chinese-American food. Seriously, whoa.

And then there’s the continual networking and exchange of ideas, whether it was having lunch with fine folks like Ted Allen (so refreshingly nice, and genuine) to sipping wine with chef Roland Henin, who is the trainer for the USA team for Bocuse D’Or. Throw in some winery dinners (thanks Garguilo!) and after hour parties, and bingo, you’re one lucky (and tired) girl. What wonderful access to so many thinkers and doers. A huge thanks to Robert Mondavi Winery who put on the conference, and especially to Margrit Mondavi, whose energy and warmth is an inspiration to many—what a powerhouse.

Since the wine must keep flowing, I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming tablehopper supper on July 29th at Rubicon—spaces are getting snapped up, FYI!

And man, some tech issues are driving me up a wall. Yahoo subscribers, I hope the block is finally lifted—I know some of you are getting my column, and some aren’t: you can catch up on the two past issues in the archive. Ditto on you hotmail users who browse with Firefox—there’s been some lame conflict. It’s enough to make me want to do this e-column as a blog instead. Kidding.

Ciao/meow,

~Marcia  subscribe
the chatterbox

FineFoodsJULY 22, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Before diving in here, have you heard of ~TALK SHOW LIVE~? It’s a monthly variety show that just moved to 330 Ritch, and yours truly is going to be a guest on Monday, August 11th. The doors open for live Django-gypsy jazz music by Café Americain and mingling at 7pm, and the guest interviews and performances start at 8pm, with host Kurt Bodden. Joining me will be sketch comedy troupe Kasper Hauser, and web design pioneer and internet personality Jennifer Niederst Robbins—you can read all about us here. Tickets are $15 each, or bring a friend and take advantage of the $20 Talk Show Live two-for-one ticket (available online). Anyone who buys their ticket online gets the special VIP package: seating up front in a reserved section, and entry in a VIP-only prize drawing after the show—you just have to be at the club by 7:30pm to claim your seats. 21 and over. See you there? I’ll be out on a rare Monday night! 330 Ritch, between 3rd and 4th St., Brannan and Townsend.

So while the Nopa project in the outer Mission is in flux, one new project that is underway is ~FLOUR + WATER~, moving into the former Mi Mazatlan Restaurant space on the corner, across the street from Café Gratitude. This 49-seat restaurant will offer five–six rotating kinds of pizzas from a wood-burning oven, and the same number of house-made pastas each day, plus two–three entrées, like branzino with salt crust. There will also be seasonal antipasti, vegetables, and salumi; ingredients will be local and organic where possible. No chef yet—the search is underway, and will be decided once things get closer. No dish will be over $19, and all wines will be $59 and under. Another interesting note about the wines: they will all be made in Italy, or from makers of Italian descent, or Italian varietals.

flour + water is a project from two Davids: David Steele, and David White, most recently of Nua. The look of the space will be unique: Sean Quigley of Paxton Gate will be designing it. His aesthetic has been described as "David Lynch meets Martha Stewart," with some monkeys thrown in for good measure. Reclaimed materials will be highlighted, plus there will be communal seating, some window seating, and eventual outdoor seating as well. There will be a strong neighborhood focus, with bicycle delivery and a big bike rack out front (thank you), plus some fun touches, like an album-oriented musical program of indie music instead of the usual iPod shuffle. flour + water will be open for lunch and dinner daily, 11am–11pm, and later on Fri–Sat. Look for a March 2009 opening. 2401 Harrison St. at 20th St.

MMMM, donuts. Yup, ~DYNAMO DONUT & COFFEE~ opened today, just next door to Casa Sanchez. As a sleuthy Mission-residing tablehopper reader so kindly recaps for us: “Gourmet, organic, handmade, yeast-risen donuts made by Sara Spearin, Liberty Cafe alum. Today they had vanilla glazed and banana dulce de leche. I can vouch for the vanilla glazed. It may have been the best donut I've ever had. Old-fashioned cake style with zero trace of that typical donut grease after taste. Soooo good! The whole deal will be locally sourced as soon as Jeremy from Four Barrel is good to go. In the meantime [the coffee is] Stumptown. All made-to-order French press coffee and espresso drinks.” Open from 7am–5pm daily. 2760 24th St. at Hampshire, 415-920-1978.

Rumors have been swirling a-plenty about chef ~JEN BIESTY’S~ next move (she was most recently at COCO500 and was a contestant on Top Chef). A few weeks back, I heard she was being considered for the executive chef position of the Drake Restaurants, which would mean overseeing Scala’s Bistro, the Starlight Room, banquets, and room service—but nothing is final yet. She’s asked me to remain mum about her other potential gig, consulting at a local Mediterranean place—everything is TBD and off the record at the moment. Darn, sometimes I hate OTR!

But the one thing that is confirmed is Biesty just launched Savage Feasts, a catering gig that’s an extension of Living Room Events, and was started for newly married gay couples looking for a caterer. As for the name, no, it’s not an homage to having a secret, burning love for Fred Savage—it’s actually a play on her last name, which sounds like beasty. Take THAT, all you bratty kids in Brooklyn who teased her when she was growing up!

The opening of ~ZARÉ AT FLY TRAP~ is getting close: the opening is potentially looking like August 5th. The team is coming together, with Marisa Churchill on board as the pastry chef and Reza Esmaili as the opening consultant and head bar manager (while still working at Conduit). Esmaili plans to put together a list of classic “Barbary Coast cocktails,” honoring the restaurant’s century-long history, and is also putting together some Mediterranean/Middle Eastern cocktails, utilizing ingredients from the main menu, like saffron, fenugreek, cardamom, and citrus.

Speaking of the menu, I got a peek at some initial dishes, all inspired by flavors from the coasts of the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy, Greece, and Turkey) and the Persian flavors of Hoss Zare’s Iranian upbringing. A few potential dishes may include pistachio meatballs with harissa-spiced honey-pomegranate glaze; warm salad of grilled baby octopus and calamari, frisee, borlotti beans and roasted shallots in a lemon-pulp vinaigrette; saffron and yogurt-marinated Alaskan black cod with herb couscous and chorizo tzatziki; and braised single-bone short ribs (read: meaty) with bone marrow and saffron-baked fennel.

Here are items from Churchill’s dessert menu: "Greek yogurt & honey": Fage panna cotta served with white truffle honey, clover honey tuile, and red flame grapes; goat cheese cheesecake with fresh figs, lavender blossom syrup, and toasted pistachios; and "rocky road" dark chocolate torte topped with homemade Tahitian vanilla marshmallow, chocolate ice cream, curried candied peanuts, and soy salted caramel. The all-day menu will be available from 11:30am–midnight, with about five salads, 15 appetizers, ten entrées, and five sides total. There will also be not one but two ten-top communal tables. 606 Folsom St. at 2nd St., 415-243-0580.

Jessica Battilana of 7x7 Bits + Bites unintentionally helped me do my work (thanks girl!) and has an update on ~LIMÓN~, which remains closed after the fire upstairs, plus news about a new restaurant from chef-owner Martin Castillo. From her posting: “Turns out that he’s just waiting for the insurance money to come through, after which time he plans to fully remodel Limón, creating, in his words, ‘a brand new restaurant’ which will more of an emphasis on ceviche and lounging. But even more exciting is what he’s been doing while waiting for that insurance money to come through—opening another restaurant! Two weeks ago he quietly took over the Pollo Rico space on the corner of 21st and South Van Ness (also known as one block from my house). I noticed a bit of construction there over the weekend but didn’t think much of it. But Martin tells me they are putting in new windows, floors, and bathrooms and that he plans to open his Peruvian-style rotisserie and small plates restaurant, quietly, by Wednesday of next week—named, simply, Limón Rotisserie. There will be a ceviche bar here, too, and he’s working now on getting his beer and wine license, with plans to serve sangria. They’ll also be doing take-out…” Limón, 524 Valencia St. at 16th St., 415-252-0918.

Over in Bernal Heights, Eater broke the story that after ten years of business, owner Judy Hedin is selling ~MOKI'S SUSHI AND PACIFIC GRILL~ to Jason Kwon and Ziah Lee of Sozo Sushi in Pleasanton. According to a pic of the letter in the window, the name, staff, and menu will all remain the same—just the ownership is changing. And Judy is off to France. 615 Cortland Ave. at Moultrie, 415-970-9336.

And here’s another week of even more Boulange empire news, although it involves the closure of ~LE PETIT ROBERT~, after something like six years of business. I spoke with Thomas Lefort of Bay Bread, and the restaurant, one of Bay Bread’s last, will be closing on July 31st; this trend is a continuation of Bay Bread unloading their table service restaurants (Platanos, Cortez). The renovation will take a couple months, reopening in October as a larger La Boulange de Polk, which is just next door. The kitchen will be modified, and a counter area will be installed. I put in a request for the croque madame to remain, we shall see. 2300 Polk St. at Green.

Quick update on the ~WASHBAG~: I spoke with new owner Susan Tiernan, and a late September opening is the plan. Besides the new flooring and paint job, everything about the interior will be the same, and exactly in the same place—including Michael McCourt behind the stick. They are still looking for the right chef to execute the same menu, so I’ll let you know once that’s final. 1707 Powell St. at Columbus.

~LAIOLA~ is celebrating its one-year anniversary: swing by next Monday July 28th from 5pm–7pm for complimentary cava and some nibbles. Starting next week, Mondays will also mean no corkage at Laïola from here on out (they are reenacting their first two weeks when they were operating without a liquor license). So all you industry folks with a bottle of something special, now you know where to go on your night off. 2031 Chestnut St. at Fillmore, 415-346-5641.

And now, congrats to the semifinalist teams who will be competing in Orlando in September to represent the USA in the ~BOCUSE D'OR~ (AKA culinary Olympics) in Lyon in January. The winning team in Orlando will be off to train for three months at the French Laundry cooking facility with Thomas Keller and Roland Henin, the USA team coach. Here are the semifinalists:

Richard Rosendale of Rosendales in Ohio; and USA Culinary Olympic team captain
Tim Hollingsworth, sous chef at French Laundry
Rogers Powell, instructor at French Culinary Institute
Michael Rotondo, chef de cuisine at Charlie Trotter’s
Kevin Sbraga, culinary director of Garces Restaurant Group
Percy Whatley, (yay Percy!!!) Delaware North Parks executive chef, Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite
And yes, Hung Huynh, former sous chef of Guy Savoy, and the winner of Top Chef season three
Damon Wise, corporate chef at Craft, withdrew his name and is being replaced by John Rellah Jr., executive chef at Hamilton Farm, Gladstone, New Jersey

~OUT THE DOOR~ has reopened at the Westfield Centre after that nasty flooding; there is more seating, some changes to the menu (some Yelpers are NOT happy), and the wine bar should be opening soon. Westfield San Francisco Centre, 865 Market St., 415-541-9913.

As an addendum to my write-up last week of ~EPIC ROASTHOUSE~: some new brunch dishes are being launched this weekend. Items include buttermilk drop biscuits with mushroom pan gravy ($9.50); bubble and squeak with jalapeño gravy and poached eggs ($12); soft grits with homemade sausage, tomato sauce piquant, and poached eggs ($12); Dungeness crab cake Benedict with chive hollandaise ($17); and New York steak and poached eggs with potato hash and pico de gallo ($19). The menu also includes oysters ($2.50 each), soups, and salads, and some $10 hangover drinks, like a bloody Mary. Sat–Sun 11am–2:30pm. 369 Embarcadero at Folsom, 415-369-9955.

I just had to bring attention to this tidbit on the line cook. blog: ~NOPA~ hit their all-time record of 530 covers in one service. Dude.

I got a phone call from Higher Ground Coffee House owner Monhal Jweinat about his Glen Park family-style Italian place that he’s opening in the old Bird & Beckett bookstore location: the name will be ~MANZONI~, and he’s hoping to open in September or October. 2790 Diamond St. at Chenery.

Over in the East Bay, a new series of ~ARTISAN PALATE TASTING EVENTS~ will be hosted at Paulding & Co., A Creative Kitchen. Events include Artisan Cheese Wine And Spirits on Thursday July 31st, an introduction to cheese, wine, and spirits pairing principles through the aromas and flavors of regionally produced beverages and foods, $70/person, 6:30pm–9pm. And Friday August 15th is California Artisan Cheese ($65/person). Class size is limited—register online at www.pauldingandco.com. A Creative Kitchen, 1410 D 62nd St., Emeryville.

Found this little clarification posting on Chowhound entitled ~“FACTS ABOUT KAYGETSU”~ by the restaurant owner, which I thought would be a little useful:

“As a restaurant owner, I read Chowhound time to time to see what’s new and what people are interested in. I’ve noticed that there are few posts about our restaurant recently. I usually keep silent when there are few minor misstatements about our restaurant. Since I’m a co-owner of Kaygetsu, as I understand the posting etiquette, I am not allowed to comment on any reviews or refute on our food quality. However, I noticed that there seems to be some misunderstanding going on; and I thought this time I need to straighten out some facts which I am allowed to do. So, here goes…..

“1) We never had “the chef” who was in charge of all kitchen operations. Katsuhiro Yamasaki and Shinichi Aoki had been working for us since we had Toshi’s Sushiya on El Camino. They were working as sushi chefs back then. Since both of them had experience in Kaiseki, we decided to open Kaygetsu in 2004 and sold Toshi’s. They were equally responsible for kaiseki menu – each was responsible for half of the menu items. Katsuhiro had left and opened his own restaurant as most of you know already. I sent out an e-mail in February to our customers to let them know of what’s happening rather than keeping silent about it. It’s unfortunate that it seems that e-mail created some misunderstanding that “the chef” has left. Shinichi, one of the two kaiseki chefs, is still with us; and he, in fact, oversees the whole kitchen operation since mid-February
“2) Our sushi chef and co-owner, Toshi, is still preparing sushi and sashimi as always has been. I hope this clarifies some misunderstanding. Thank you very much.” 325 Sharon Park Dr., Menlo Park, 650-234-1084.


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FineFoods

As much as we love dining out, sometimes it's great to curl up at home and enjoy a delicious meal. But that doesn't mean you always want to cook. That's where FineFoods comes in… Whether you have a crazy busy schedule, love eating but hate cooking, or want to help out friends with a new baby, FineFoods can help.  

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fresh meat

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Anchor & Hope
83 Minna St.
Cross: 2nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94105

415-501-9100
website

Lunch
Mon–Fri 11:30am–2:30pm
Dinner
Sun–Wed 5:30pm–10pm
Thu–Sat 5:30pm–11pm

Apps $8–$15
Entrées $22–$39
Desserts $9

 

 

 


JULY 22, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO It’s funny, for a town that has been missing some new options for seafood, within a few months of each other, we got Waterbar and ~ANCHOR & HOPE~. Not only is this the third local restaurant with a mermaid logo (see Weird Fish and Bar Crudo), but it’s also the third restaurant in the Mitchell and Steven Rosenthal and Doug Washington crown, joining Town Hall and Salt House in their trifecta of urban SoMa outposts.

Anchor & Hope follows their vintage/warehouse-chic design aesthetic: brick walls, polished glossy floors, reclaimed wood, embossed menus, plus exposed rafters, tall ceilings, and skylights that really make the ambient light downright lovely during lunch and the early evening hours. The alley location is cool, and I like how they additionally painted Anchor & Hope on the roof. And of course, there’s a cheeky bill presentation at the end—I’ll leave that as a surprise for ya.

The design has all kinds of East Coast fish shack references, from the ropes hanging from the rafters to buoys and fisherman lanterns… I was missing a bit of the edgy and sexy art touches I appreciate at their other two establishments, but I do like the piranha mural, and the quirky/ugly fish in the light-up display case behind the bar, which is exactly where it should be, or perhaps near a pool table. (I wanted to give the fish a name. Like Monty.) Maybe they can put some saucy art in the rather bare bathrooms—I want to see even more of the owners’ trademark humor and cheek (but not cheeks).

The dining room’s wood tables are a funny hodgepodge: some have tablecloths, some don’t. Kind of like the crowd: some are fresh off of work and dressy casual, while others are rockin’ the unofficial U.S. uniform of jeans with a nice shirt. There’s also a long zinc bar, try 35 feet, where you’ll most likely find some industry folks spending their tips on oysters on the half shell (some clock in at $3 a pop) and rosé bubbly, or perhaps a beer off the well-selected list. The Beau Soleil oysters from New Brunswick totally enchanted me, so fresh and bright. And if you’re feeling super flush, you can indulge in some shellfish platters, like the tugboat ($42) or the love boat ($72). (Yes, clever.)

The menu has some straightforward fried seafood classics, like “fries with eyes” ($7.50), a pile of smelts with a chunky remoulade for dipping, or the fried Ipswich clams ($13) served with tartar sauce; both ideal “sit at the bar and give me a beer” dishes.

And then we enter the bacon zone. Succumb to the much-lauded angels on horseback ($8), four meaty Blue Point oysters wrapped in smoky bacon, each sitting on a leaf or two of peppery arugula, with a tangy remoulade. What’s stellar is the bacon doesn’t overwhelm the sweet tang of the juicy oysters, and they’re cooked just right. Chef Sarah Schafer totally nailed this dish.

You ready for some pure decadence? Welcome aboard, because the warm sea urchin ($15) is totally going to make you say hellllllo, sailor. This stunning presentation has the urchin still in its shell, resting on a base of mashed potatoes, Dungeness crab, tomato, cream, and a verjus beurre blanc. It’s rich and ridiculously good, a total cauldron of delish. Not sure what will happen when sea urchin is no longer available from Baja (seasons change, and so did I), so order it while it’s still on the menu—perhaps they will be able to source it elsewhere come September.

Okay, for you healthy types, the stacked salad with romano beans and little gem lettuce ($13) is a total winner, with two different creamy dressings, one for the beans and one for the greens. Just wasn’t sure how the vegetable salad cost more than one with fish, but it was definitely substantial. I scarfed the cold-smoked maple trout salad ($10) with anchovy dressing for lunch one day, a well-balanced salad, but it made me think, “Hey, if you’re going there, why not give me a duck egg instead of the petite quail egg?” Let’s truly rock this salad like the salad Lyonnaise it’s riffing off of. Bring on some yolk!

There are about ten mains, which include a couple non-seafood items, plus a mystery vegetarian number called “Chef’s Delight” ($18). An unexpected hit dish for me was the elegant stuffed breast (and leg) of guinea hen ($26), which highlighted chef Schafer’s French training: the thigh is ground into a mousseline with truffle, shallot, and spinach, and then stuffed into the breast and all wrapped in caul fat, and then roasted. The meat was sublimely tender and moist (thank you, caul fat), and served over a springtime combo of English peas and morels, plus some favas and fingerling potatoes, and drizzled with a flavorful Bordelaise sauce. Uh huh.

Of course I’ve had to eat the lobster roll ($23) all three times I’ve been here. It does have small fluctuations, either dressed a bit less, or more, but it’s a nicely loaded bun with a simple dressing of celery seed, unmistakable Old Bay seasoning, and a garlic aioli. The roll is buttery and toasted, and I loved scooping up chunks of lobster and the homey coleslaw with the side of crisp and salty house-made kettle chips.

Other mains include waiter-recommended whole-roasted tai snapper ($28), and fish and chips ($24) made with halibut, but I haven’t tried any of these. Yet. I keep getting lost in the appetizers and making a meal of them.

And to go along with all these dishes is one honking list of white wines by the glass. Yo, 27 in all. Plus six bubbles. And 16 reds. Totally fun to navigate. (Har.) All kinds of prices and styles. Some standout pairings were suggested by our server, like the BROC cellars 2006 Ventana Vineyard grenache with our lobster roll and guinea hen, meow.

By the time desserts roll around, they are recited to you tableside, so pay attention (especially if you’ve been tossing back too many glasses o’ vino). The coeur de crème/heart of yogurt and sweet cream ($9) with a raspberry reduction and almond honey cookies was my favorite finish. I liked the slab o’ chocolate-meets-pudding cake with its tasty layer of salty nuts, but the presentation of it just sitting on a bread plate was too simple: I don’t want fussy chocolate squiggles, but it just seemed so, uh, functional. At least make the plate it’s served on kinda cute?

Anchor & Hope is a primo spot for a business lunch that isn’t too business-y, and the round table and communal table make it an easy choice for a larger group outing. The vibe is unpretentious and welcoming, service is smiley, and while there’s definitely some volume, it’s not deafening. It’s good after work, or later. It’s versatile, and friendly, which is exactly what I imagine the owners intended.

 
the lush

FineFoodsJULY 22, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Yo winos, Pietro di Mastro Berardino is in the house! Well, kind of. ~MASTROBERARDINO~ is Campania's most renowned winery, established in the 1750s by winemaker Pietro di Mastro Berardino. Pietro was awarded the professional title of 'Mastro' as testament to his skills in quality winemaking, a tradition that has continued uninterrupted for ten generations, and one that still continues today. Located in the town of Altripalda, in the ancient region of Irpinia, this family-based firm has long championed the indigenous varieties of this region: aglianico, falanghina, fiano, piedirosso, greco, and coda di volpe. Today, Mastroberardino is universally acknowledged to have been the most important guardian of the ancient winemaking heritage of Campania. And Stephan Moccia from Mastroberardino Winery will be here, for a tasting at Biondivino Wine Boutique on Monday July 28th from 6pm–8pm. He will be pouring a selection of eight wines from the estate/$15 tasting fee. 1415 Green St. at Polk, 415-673-2320.

Courtney Cochran of ~HIP TASTES~ has a new event coming up on Friday August 15th at Pink: Rock & Roll. There will be rock (think Poison, AC/DC, Van Halen, Def Leppard), and rolls (sushi of all stripes) paired with wine, a summer-appropriate lineup of sparkling, pink, and white wines all well suited to sushi. The tasting runs from 7pm–9pm, then moving into dance party mode from 9pm–10pm. Actually, you can stay later than 10pm and rock out some more at Pink since your ticket scores you admission to the club. The three Hip Tasters who roll with the most rock style will be selected as "best dressed" and receive a free gift. $30 online, $40 at the door. Order tickets. 7pm–10pm. Pink, 2925 16th St. at South Van Ness.

Over at ~DISTRICT~, wine director Caterina Mirabelli (a certified Level III sommelier) is busy launching a couple new events. First is Saturday brunch, which includes two hours of wine education and tasting. Brunch will include house-made frittatas, roasted red potatoes, and all-you-can-drink mimosas and Bellinis. The first is this Saturday July 26th: Wine Class 01: Terroir. In this class, you will learn about terroir (soil, climate) and how it ultimately affects the wine you taste. You'll get your hands dirty with soil samples, discuss microclimates, and review the different irrigation techniques winemakers use to make the best wine in their region. And of course, a tasting! Once the class work is done, you will participate in a blind tasting to see how well you can pair the wine with the terroir. Class size is limited to 15, and the class is pretty full, but there are more classes on 8/2, and 8/9. $75. Order tickets. 216 Townsend St. at 3rd St., 415-896-2120.

Mirabelli also has a new wine education series called “L’ecole du Vin.” This two-hour class is geared for business professionals who want to fine-tune their confidence when ordering wine in business dining situations. The class will teach the nuances of specific wine regions, which wines pair best with particular foods, how to deal comfortably with reserve lists and wine directors, wine etiquette and techniques, dessert wines and how to order and pair them with food, how to return “bad” wine at a restaurant, and how to order wine for a group. $75 per person (wine only), or $100 per person (wine and food pairing). By reservation only. Classes can be held at District or a daytime location of your choice.

 
the socialite

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Slow Food on Film: Strawberry Fields
Fri., July 25, 2008

Delancey Street Theater
600 Embarcadero
Cross: Beale St.
San Francisco, CA 94107

650-589-SLOW (7569)
website

6:30pm–10pm

$15
buy tickets

JULY 22, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO “~SLOW FOOD ON FILM~ highlights international documentaries dedicated to food memory and to the controversies surrounding agriculture and food industry. Slow Food San Francisco invites you to the US film premiere of Strawberry Fields, Special Mention of Honour for Best Documentary at the Slow Food on Film Festival 2008 in Bologna, Italy. (The originally scheduled film, The Price of Sugar, will be shown at a later date.)

“Strawberry Fields is a documentary by an Israeli filmmaker about a day in the life of Palestinian farmers in Gaza. It's a moving documentary portrait about the courage of ordinary people caught in a war zone.

“When we think of Gaza on the Mediterranean Sea we remember the news reports about Israel's decision in 2005 to disengage from the strip and withdraw its settlers...and all the drama that that entailed. But how often do we, so far away, get a real sense of life on the ground, for ordinary people? What is life like for the more than one million Palestinians in that fertile but troubled strip?

“Ayelet Heller, a sensitive Israeli filmmaker, was curious about life in Gaza and set out to tell the story of Palestinian farmers. What she produced is a remarkable portrait of the courage of people to just get on with their lives...in the middle of a war zone.”

In addition, a preview of Deborah Garcia's latest film about soil will be shown. At 9pm, there will be a reception following the screening, with Fra' Mani Salumi, Harley Farms Cheese, dessert, and beverages, with wine sold by the glass.

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Class, Luncheon, Conversation, and Book Signing: Pasta & Risotto
Sat., July 26, 2008

Purcell Murray Culinary Lifestyle Center
185 Park Lane
Brisbane, CA 94005

415-330-5557
website

11am–1pm

$45    

JULY 22, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Coming up is another class, luncheon, conversation, and book signing with Jennifer Newens, executive editor of the series ~WILLIAMS-SONOMA TOOLS & TECHNIQUES~; this class will focus on Pasta & Risotto.

Italy exports many fine pasta products, but learning how to make pasta and gnocchi from scratch will give you a taste of how Italians really eat—it’s an art form with delectable rewards.

Recipes include: fresh egg pasta dough; fettuccine primavera; meat ravioli with tomato sauce; potato gnocchi with pesto; and asparagus risotto.

 
the health nut

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MAY 6, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO I know, you thought I stopped working out, huh! Well, unfortunately Titan Fitness cancelled the weekly Kezar Stadium workouts, but we have been meeting up each week for individual training sessions at Diakadi Body instead. It’s a facility that is only for trainers and their clients, so it’s actually a gym I can deal with. I just wish I could afford more than one visit a week! (Two would be recommended.)

If you want to get yourself firmed up a bit for Indian summer, eep, or get a bit of inspiration on how to work out better/faster/stronger, I wanted to do a shout-out for my trainer, Jeremy Manning, who has room to take on another client or two. He can be booked from 10am–9pm, and sessions are $75 each for a pack of ten, or $80 for five, and like most therapists, sessions last 50 minutes. Work it!

 
the starlet

JULY 22, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Jackpot on star sightings this week. First, Sting was all over town. He was spotted having lunch at Balboa Café, where he ordered the crab cakes, and a Cobb salad. And a tablehopper reader saw him having lunch at Seasons at the Four Seasons Hotel with his entourage. He also had dinner at Spruce last Sunday.

Poggio in Sausalito got all kinds of star power, too. First, British comedic actor Eddie Izzard (from FX’s The Riches) was in town for a show at the Orpheum, and dined outside on Poggio’s patio with three friends. The four-hour feast included plenty of cocktails, food, and wine. They kept to themselves—and no, Eddie was not wearing a dress!
 
And then Poggio got their second James Bond visit! Craig, Daniel Craig, recently drank a beer and had a snack at the bar with a female companion. (The previous 007 sighting was when Pierce Brosnan enjoyed a Manhattan there back in April… I sure hope he didn’t order it shaken.)

Meanwhile, at the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market, Matthew Fox, the doctor from Lost was found there.

After an exclusive preview of “Beggars To Exiles: Unseen Photographs Of The Rolling Stones, 1966–1971” in the Spanish Suite at the Clift, Meet Joe Black and Medium actor Jake Weber, along with Rolling Stones photographer Dominique Tarle, and an entourage of ten were in Farallon’s private dining room for a lavish dinner (including an oyster platter and a rare bottle of Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé).
 
the matchmaker

Hoss Zaré seeks a general manager to join the team at new concept, Zaré at Fly Trap. The 85-seat restaurant will offer an all-day bistro menu from 11:30am until midnight. Reza Esmaili of Conduit will oversee the cocktail program.

Managers should possess minimum three years fine dining experience, thorough knowledge of food and wine, and passion for hospitality.

Zaré offers competitive salary, insurance benefits, 401K, meal discounts, and opportunity for growth. Submit cover letter and resume to: hosszare@yahoo.com.

 
 

All 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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