SEPTEMBER 30, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO After
a year of working the meat and fish stations at French Laundry, Louis
Maldonado, formerly a co-executive chef at Cortez, is
returning to San Francisco to be the new executive chef at ~CAFÉ MAJESTIC~.
I got a peek at his preliminary menu, and it contains unique starters
like Italian chestnuts with feuille de brik, compressed endive,
Fuyu persimmon, and Tahitian vanilla, or a fricassee of sweetbreads
with potato mille-feuille, roasted romaine lettuce, and béarnaise
mousseline. The shaved beef tongue with poached prunes, Brussels
sprouts, pearl onions, and cedar gastrique also totally caught
my eye. Mains include slow-cooked suzuki with Tokyo turnips and
matsutake mushrooms in their bouillon, and confit of suckling pig
with poached quince, glazed sunchokes, creamed mustard greens,
and Niçoise olive jus. His menu launches October 13th, and
you’ll also be able to order the full menu five days a week
at the bar. Maldonado is excited to return to the city, and says, “It’s
really time to show everyone what I’ve got.” After
a year at the Laundry, I expect it’ll be delicious. Some
congrats are also in order: Maldonado and his wife are expecting
their first child in about three months. Welcome back. 1500 Sutter
St. at Gough, 415-441-1100.
Another French Laundry-related note: congratulations to Timothy
Hollingsworth, a sous chef at the Laundry, who won the
gold medal over the weekend and will be representing the United
States at the international ~BOCUSE
D’OR~ competition in the beginning of the
year. Read more on Pete Wells’s post in the Diner’s
today in Cow Hollow is ~NETTIE'S
CRAB SHACK~, moving into the former Palmetto space.
To recap, Jim Zack of Zack/deVito turned out the new look,
and the East Coast-meets-California fish shack menu includes
BBQ oysters with a beer chaser ($15), steamers with drawn butter
in a pail ($20), larger plates like grilled squid, shell beans,
salsa verde ($15), non-fishy items like hangar steak ($18)
and roasted chicken ($18), sides include jalapeno spoon bread
with okra and tomatoes ($7), and there’s butterscotch
pudding for dessert ($8). You can check out all the menus on
None of the wines on the list are over $50—how convenient
during this crap economy. Lunch Mon–Fri 11:30am–2:30pm,
dinner Sun–Thu 5pm–10pm, Fri–Sat 5pm–11pm,
brunch Sat–Sun 10am–3pm. 2032 Union St. at Buchanan,
in the Mission, I was happy to learn ~ICHI
CATERING~, the kind folks behind the tasty sushi at
a number of bars and happy hours around town, are in final negotiations
with the Monkey Club (formerly Syn Lounge) to open a satellite
location there. ICHI’s Tim Archuleta, formerly of Tokyo Go
Go, and his wife, Erin Archuleta, are looking to have a November
1st opening, and are putting together a preliminary menu that will
include sushi and small plates. They’re planning to have dinner service run from Tuesday–Sunday
5pm–1am (which should please you industry and night owl folks), and are
looking to add lunch service about a month after that, and then brunch a month
later. The Monkey Club is planning to add sake and Japanese beer to their drink
list to complement the menu. 2730 21st St. at Bryant, 415-647-6546.
I noted ~BUSHI-TEI~ has
a beer and wine license for a new location, and thank you Eater
for doing the research:
Bushi-Tei is adding a spinoff in Japantown Center, and it’s
due to open by the end of the year. Here’s more: “Unlike
the formal Bushi-tei, it will be a more casual "bistro" but
will keep the same general fusion theme with Chef Seiji Wakabayashi
running both kitchens. The bistro will, however, try [to] encompass
a greater range of Asian cuisine than its big sis.” 1581
Webster Street Ste. 100 at Post.
More Japanese news: I heard a rumor that ~TSUNAMI SUSHI~ was
opening a second location in SoMa at 4th and Berry, but the Dajani
Group has been pointedly ignoring my multiple emails about it.
Annoying. So we only have a slight confirmation from a tipster
on Eater that it is truly the case. Stand by.
Meanwhile, over in Noe Valley, the Noe
Valley, SF blog has an update on the ~MYSTERIOUS “HIGH-END
VIETNAMESE FUSION” RESTAURANT~ that is moving
in the corner of Church and 25th. Here’s more from the
post: “Word on the street is that its owned by the same
people as Regent Thai, a Noe Valley hot spot, so it should prove
exciting. We spoke to the contractor today and he said it should
be open ‘by the end of the year.’ ” We’ll
see how things develop. Church St. and 25th St.
time to wake up and small the coffee! The new little ~PICCINO~ coffee
bar is open! Folks can order their coffee at a window; hours are
7am–6pm. 801 22nd St. at Tennessee, 415-824-4224.
A few readers have been inquiring about ~ZINNIA~, the
new restaurant from chef Sean O’Brien that’s opening
in the former Scott Howard space. The target opening date is Wednesday
October 22nd, and the OpenTable system will be online and start
taking reservations this Friday October 3rd. 500 Jackson St. at
now in the “we look like we’re closing but we
aren’t” department, the folks at ~MCEVOY~ in
the Ferry Building Marketplace wanted to clarify that their shop
is currently under renovations and they are not leaving. They packed
up all of our olive oil last week and moved out temporarily to
make way for the plumbers, electricians, and builders. Gensler
has designed a fresh, modern space for them, and the plan is to
re-open around the third or fourth week in October. Marketplace
After a long vacation break, ~CAFE
ZITOUNA~ is reopening this Friday October 3rd.
They said there are just a few small adjustments to the menu,
which will be posted online on Friday. 1201 Sutter St. at Polk, 415-673-2622.
FOOD + WINE BAR~ is no longer open for weekend
brunch due to a host of issues, like their office building
security, garbage pick up, blah blah blah. No more eggs + soldiers
for you. 330 Townsend St., Ste. 101 at 4th St., 415-974-5599.
reader was dismayed to read the ~OCTAVIA
LOUNGE~ has closed and emailed me asking what’s
going on. According to the website, “The Octavia Lounge
will close for an unspecified amount of time for remodeling.
We would like to thank all our employees, guests and performers
who made Octavia Lounge a fun place for good food and great
entertainment.” Boozehounds: bottomless mimosas can be
continued at Lime on the weekends. 1772 Market St. at Octavia.
time for more magic from the fryer at ~SPQR~:
you’ll now find fried chicken on the menu every Tuesday night.
Which means you can go tonight! It’s a large half chicken
(Rocky Free Range) for $20, large enough for two to share. 1911
Fillmore St. at Bush, 415-771-7779.
Fall is here, and ~AQUA~ is
running a special mushroom menu through the month of October, the
second in their series of seasonal tasting menus. The menu is nine
courses, highlighting a slew of mushrooms: hon-shimeji, oyster,
black trumpet, matsutake, porcini, chanterelle/yellow foot, lobster,
cinnamon cap, and black truffles. The featured mushrooms are hand
harvested on or near Mount Shasta. You can see the entire menu here.
It’s $150, and there’s an $85 wine pairing available.
252 California St. at Battery, 415-956-9662.
Here’s an all-you-can-consume special that is a one-way
ticket to some Tums: every Tuesday from 6pm–9:30pm, ~THICK
AND THIN PIZZA~ is serving all-you-can-eat thin-crust
pizza (but the deal doesn’t apply to their also-delish Chicago-style
deep dish). In addition, every bottle of wine is marked 50% off.
The only stipulation is that you must sit in the dining room—no
parking at the bar. Once you’re done eating half your body
weight in pizza, you will be well prepped to hang out for the new "Double
Vision" party that’s every Tuesday from 9pm until close,
when all well drinks are two–for-one, and DJ (“a p-word
that rhymes with corn”)-star spins double shots on the decks.
Hic. 3600 16th St. at Market, 415-431-0306.
I wanted to help spread the word that ~TYSON FOODS WILL
DONATE~ 100 pounds of high-quality protein (up to a total
of 200,000 pounds) to the six Bay Area food banks for every brief
comment left on
the site they set up to help with this cause. You don't have
to say more than a couple of words, and they promise not to send
you anything or share your contact info. Just scroll to the bottom,
say thanks, and voila. Please swing by.
now, a sweets report. Over in Ghirardelli Square, ~CROWN & CRUMPET~ has
opened, serving a continental brekkie (with croissants and the
like from Patisserie Philippe), a light luncheon, British tea in
the afternoon (get that pinkie raised), and early evening bites
and drinkie-poos, like Champagne, sherries, ports, and madeiras.
Just think, a melee of house-made scones, finger sandwiches, and
clotted cream are all saying yoooooo hoooooo! And for the record,
the crumpets are from Tea and Crumpets in San Rafael. Teas are
from Lupicia, Harney and Sons, Tea Palace from London, Palais
du Thé from Paris, and Lindsay’s Teas, among others.
I also read it’s a “doily-free zone,” and their
in-house pastry chef, Caroline Romanski, has quite the Bay Area
pedigree. Winter hours
are Sun–Thu 8am–6pm, and until 9pm Fri–Sat. 900
North Point St., West Plaza of Ghirardelli Square, 415-771-4252.
cupcakers are not happy that ~CITIZEN CUPCAKE~ has
closed in the Virgin Megastore. A new location might be in the
works, but in the meantime, you can get your Citizen Cupcake faves
at the Citizen
Cake Kiosk at Orson at 508 4th St., or at the Citizen
Cake Patisserie at 399 Grove St.
closure: a tablehopper reader tipped me off that ~BELGANO CHOCOLATIER
GELATERIA~ in Noe Valley has closed. The number is disconnected,
so I wasn’t able to learn more about the reasons behind
the closure. 3901 24th St. at Noe.
Northern California just got its first ~SPRINKLES
CUPCAKES~: you’ll find it in Palo Alto’s
Stanford Shopping Center. Oprah reportedly digs ‘em,
hence the long lines of ladies since they opened. Flavors include
traditional numbers like dark chocolate and red velvet, and
new-style flavors include chai latte, ginger lemon, and banana
dark chocolate, 20 flavors in all. The cupcakes contain no
preservatives, trans fats, or artificial flavors. 393 Stanford
Shopping Center, Palo Alto, 650-323-9300.
allow that sugar rush to subside. The new location of the ~BALBOA
Mill Valley is open. Here are some
pics from the Bunrabs, who went to check it out for lunch.
The restaurant is following a traditional American bistro format,
with the infamous Balboa Burger on the menu, and of course a notable
PlumpJack wine program. The room has dark walnut and brass fixtures,
with earthy green and natural tones, plus outdoor seating. The
restaurant is also dog and kid friendly, and how convenient, Sweetwater
Saloon is opening right next door. Hours are lunch Mon–Fri
11:30am–3pm, and dinner nightly starting at 5pm. 38 Miller
Ave. at East Blithedale, Mill Valley, 415-381-7321.
This Friday October 3rd is the 12th annual ~ART FOR AIDS
AUCTION 2008~. Support the UCSF AIDS Health Project
by joining 500 art patrons at a juried live and silent auction
of more than 125 modern and contemporary works of art from well-known
and emerging artists, including Jock Sturges, Rex Ray, and Deborah
Oropallo. Gourmet food, wine, and spirits will be donated by
local restaurants and wineries, including Bocadillos, Ducca,
Fleur de Lys, Garibaldi’s,
Home, Mexico D.F., Spruce, Tommy Toy’s Cuisine Chinoise,
Town Hall, and Yank Sing. Wine is provided by Folio Fine Wine Partners,
including Donnafugata, Hangtime, Isabel Mondavi, Oberon Napa
Valley, Villa Sandi, and Ketel One Vodka. 5:30pm–9pm. $75.
The event is in the Herbst International Exhibition Hall (HIEH),
Building #385 on Moraga Street at the top of the Presidio’s
historic Main Post Parade Ground in the Presidio, 415-502-7276.
doing this Saturday October 4th? If you have two wheels and a
penchant for cheese, I’d say this should be it: ~TOUR
DE FROMAGE~ will be a group of two-wheeled cheese appreciators
riding around town to sample some of the city's top fromage specialists.
You’ll finish up with a cheese-sharing picnic at a nearby
park. Don't forget to bring cash for cheesy purchases from local
vendors. Meet at the Duboce Bike mural, near Church and Duboce
at 11am. The event will last until 2pm. For more info, email email@example.com.
Get mooooooving. (Haha, sorry.)
This coming Sunday October 5th, you can watch local chef ~JONNATAN
LEIVA~ of Jack Falstaff battle it out on Food Network
Challenge: Next Great Chef. The show airs at 8pm! Here’s
more from the site about the show: “Four young chefs on
the verge of culinary greatness vie for the title of "The
Next Great Chef." The chef who can deliver the complete
package of creativity, ambition, and technique will win $10,000
and a career-making title.” Take no prisoners, Jonnatan!
Loco for Spanish cuisine? The AIWF (American Institute of Wine
and Food) is hosting a special meal with The Spanish Table at Zarzuela
on Monday October 13th: ~THE CATALAN CAPER SPANISH WINE
DINNER~, with recipes inspired by The Spanish
Table Cookbook by Steve Winston. The six-course menu will
be teamed up with nine wines selected by Andy and Tanya Booth,
owners of the Spanish Table. You can check
out the menu here. The price is $100, all-inclusive. Since
this is part of the AIWF’s membership drive, they are offering
this special dinner at Member Rate for all attendees. For those
signing up for a 12-month AIWF membership that evening, you will
receive a $10 discount per person (single rate normally $75, now
$65; dual members normally $125, now $105; under 35 years old normally
$25, now $15). For current members they will provide the same discounts:
if you renew your membership this evening, the AIWF will extend
your current membership by an additional 12 months. The final bonus:
AIWF is a non-profit organization, so your membership fee is tax
tickets online here. 6:30pm. Zarzuela, 2000 Hyde St. at Union.
Is your copy of Moosewood Cookbook a
favorite? Then you’ll want to know about this lunch with ~MOLLIE
KATZEN~ at Greens on Friday October 17th. The JCCSF will
celebrate Mollie Katzen and her latest book of vegetable recipes
with a special luncheon. Tickets are $55 members/$65 public. Order
tickets here, or call the box office at 415-292-1233. Noon.
Fort Mason, Building A.
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