OCTOBER 21, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Last
night was the first night of food service for ~TAVERNA
AVENTINE~, the new bar and eatery from Vintage 415
and Gian-Paolo Veronese in the FiDi/Jackson Square neighborhood.
To recap, it’s an Old World-inspired space, with two bars
serving some historic SF cocktails and wine and beer, or you can
drink whatever you’ve got stashed in your private liquor
locker downstairs in “The Parlor.” The look is inspired
by the area’s Barbary Coast history, and the downstairs includes 150-year-old
floor-to-ceiling brick walls stained by years of seawater. The
seasonal California-Italian menu is geared for lunch or bar bites,
with shellfish, meats, piadine, and salads. Open Mon–Fri
10am–2am, Sat 5pm–2am, closed Sun. The downstairs Parlor
is open to Aventine Club Members and their guests Mon–Fri
3pm–7pm; open to the public after 7pm. 582 Washington St.
at Montgomery, 415-981-1500.
then this Wednesday October 22nd, ~ZINNIA~ is
opening for dinner. Sean O’Brien’s cuisine + Jackie
Patterson’s magic from behind the bar = excited diners. Open
for dinner Tue–Wed 5:30pm–9:30pm, Thu–Sat 5:30pm–10:30pm,
closed Sun–Mon. Bar opens nightly Tue–Sat at 5pm for
cocktails. 500 Jackson St. at Montgomery, 415-956-7300.
for lunch on Monday November 3rd is ~PERRY’S
ON THE EMBARCADERO~, which moved from its former
Sutter Street location. The new digs come with 170 seats, including
24 on its Embarcadero patio. The menus are still not final,
but here are some signature items you’ll see on the lunch,
dinner, and weekend brunch menus: ahi tuna tacos, grilled local
artichoke, crab cakes, the famous cheeseburger, French onion
soup, Cobb salad, spaghetti and meatballs, sautéed petrale
sole meunière, prime steaks, eggs Blackstone, and Willie
Halnan's corned beef hash. The chef is Matt Nudelman, whose
background includes the Elite Café, and Perry's on Union
Street and Sutter Street. Breakfast Mon–Fri 6:30am–10am;
lunch Mon–Fri 11am–3pm; dinner Sun–Wed 5pm–10pm,
Thu–Sat 5pm–11pm; brunch Sat–Sun 7:30am–3pm;
and a bar menu is available every day from 3pm until close.
155 Steuart St. at Mission, 415-896-9155.
in the Sunset, ~EBISU~
will be closing temporarily on Monday November 10th for a remodel.
They expect the construction to last four–six weeks, with
the reopening slated for January 2nd, 2009. Once everything is
finished, there will be a new upgraded sushi bar in the front
of the restaurant, a complete redesign of the interior dining
room, and upgrades to the kitchen. During the remodel, Hotei,
Ebisu's sister restaurant across the street, will remain open
and will feature the majority of Ebisu's menu; takeout and catering
will also continue to be available through Hotei as well. Ebisu,
1283 9th Ave. at Irving, 415-566-1770. Hotei, 1290 9th St. at
Sushi lovers, tomorrow (October 22nd) is the day you can access
some ~VERY IMPORTANT SEAFOOD CONSUMER GUIDES~ put
together by three leading ocean conservation organizations: Blue
Ocean Institute, Environmental Defense Fund, and the Monterey Bay
Aquarium. The guides will rank popular sushi selections based on
whether they are prepared using seafood that’s caught or
farmed in ways that harm the ocean or pose a health risk to people.
It’s no news that we are depleting our precious oceans, so
it’s time to make informed and ocean-friendly sushi choices.
As Sheila Bowman, Seafood Watch outreach manager at the Monterey
Bay Aquarium says, “The reality is quite simple. If you care
about the future of the oceans, you’ll avoid red-listed sushi.”
Which means popular items like bluefin tuna (hon maguro/kuro
maguro) and freshwater eel (unagi) are firmly on
the “red” list, as is farmed salmon (sake).
These species are either overfished, farmed with aquaculture
methods that pollute the ocean, or caught using methods that
destroy ocean habitats or kill large amounts of other sea life.
Items like wild-caught Alaska salmon (sake), farmed
scallops (hotate), and Pacific halibut (hirame)
are more sustainable choices, in part because they come from
abundant, well-managed fisheries—or, in the case of scallops—are
raised using sustainable aquaculture methods. You can download
the Blue Ocean Institute sushi guides at www.blueocean.org;
Environmental Defense Fund guides at www.edf.org/seafood;
and Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch sushi guides at www.seafoodwatch.org.
After months of paper covering the windows, ~PIZZERIA~ has
joined the local pizza revolution and opened next to the New Yorker’s
Buffalo Wings place on Valencia Street. The menu is
focused on thin-crust pizza, with some pasta dishes, too, but in
an interesting twist, owner Juned Shaikh is Muslim, and so you
won’t find any alcohol or pork on the menu. As the first-time
restaurant owner stated in an email to me, “I know you’re
probably thinking how do you run a Italian joint with no wine or
pork, its going to be tough but I feel if our food is pure and
flavorful people will come.” So no asking for a mushroom
and sausage pizza with a carafe of Chianti, people. There’s
a huge brick oven, and the 10" or 15" pies include classic
combos, like pepperoni, pesto, or veggie, but there is also the
Popeye (yes, with spinach), a tikka masala version, and a habanero
and jalapeno version that comes with a heat warning. There are
also some salads and basic pasta dishes ($9–$11), with your
choice of sauce over spaghetti, fettuccine, or penne, plus there
are a couple kinds of lasagne. For dessert, there’s house-made
New York cheesecake, made with “hand-cracked eggs”—no
machines are cracking those eggs, no sir! No reports yet from anyone
on the food, even on Yelp,
so stand by. Hours are Tue–Thu 3pm–10:30pm, Fri–Sat
11am–11:30pm, Sun 11am–10:30pm, closed Mon. 659 Valencia
St. at 17th St., 415-701-7492.
believe the ~PURSE-SNATCHER~ is
still on the loose. This is from a tablehopper reader who wrote
in: “The infamous purse snatcher struck again last night
(Friday 10/17/08) at Kokkari. A solo woman sitting at the bar was
the victim. Management checked the security cameras and the description
of the guy fit the previous crimes. The woman's bag was found about
a block and half away with her cash and Blackberry missing.” Yuck.
And I’m not sure if this next purse-snatching incident is
the work of the one that’s making the rounds, but another
reader wrote in to say, “My handbag was stolen from the back
of my chair at an Obama fundraiser at Jillian’s in the Metreon … the
thief had to get past two hostesses, and the two people running
the fundraiser and a friend who was sitting opposite me.” Ladies,
pllllllease watch your bags!
Love oysters? I do, especially in the winter. Coming up is ~HOG
ISLAND OYSTER DAY~ at Piccino on
Sunday November 2nd, from 12pm–5pm! As the announcement
says, “Whether you prefer to eat them briny, cold, and
raw, barbecued, or both, please join us for a special day with
Hog Island Oyster Company. They’ll do the shucking and
grilling, and will also be serving up Hog Island’s classic
red sauce, one with butter, beer and garlic, and another made
from Point Reyes Farmstead blue cheese. We’ll be pouring
a thirst-quenching lineup of crisp whites and rosés, while
also firing up our thin-crust pizzas and tossing a few seasonal
salads. No reservations are required for this all-afternoon event.
Just a love of oysters, and a good time!” Word. 801
22nd St. at Tennessee, 415-824-4224.
Craving more seafood? Okay then! Starting this Sunday October 26th, ~NETTIE’S
CRAB SHACK~ will be debuting its new “Crab Feeds.” The
crab feed includes a whole Dungeness crab (from Washington, until
the local season kicks in), salad, cornbread, sides, and dessert,
for $38 per person. Plus some butcher paper and a mallet, so you
don’t have to fret about being too tidy! 2032 Union St. at
More Sunday action: ~1300
ON FILLMORE~ is launching a gospel brunch on November
2nd, and it will run the first Sunday of each month (regular
brunch will follow on the other Sundays, and Saturday brunch
is now discontinued). Local artist Michael Cheadle and the
Future Perfect Band will perform at the brunch at two seatings;
the first at 11am, the second at 1pm. There is a three-course
prix-fixe meal that includes a selection of entrées,
including scrambled eggs and bacon, a spinach and goat cheese
frittata, cinnamon brioche French toast, or for those of you
who like a savory brunch instead, there’s the barbeque
shrimp n’ creamy grits, or the buttermilk-fried chicken
sandwich. $39 per person, not including tax, tip, or a San
Francisco health surcharge, but it does include a Bellini or
mimosa, and dessert. Oh yes, and the corn bread with hot pepper
jam, yum. 1300 Fillmore at Eddy, 415-771-7100.
Saturday November 1st will be a free ~PUBLIC FRUIT JAM~ with
the art collective Fallen
Fruit. Bring fresh fruit and clean, empty glass jars to the
jam-making session in YBCA’s (Yerba Buena Center for the
Arts) YAAW Lounge. Fallen Fruit will also lead a discussion about
the basics of jam and jelly making, pectin and bindings, the aesthetics
of sweetness, as well as the communal power of shared food and
the liberation of public fruit. When the jam is done, the public
is invited to take the jam home, leave it for others, or trade
with other participants. Space is limited, so you might want to
reserve through the YBCA box office (415-978-2787). 12pm–5pm.
701 Mission St. at 3rd St., 415-978-2787.
This event is part of ~THE GATHERERS: GREENING
OUR URBAN SPHERES~, a groundbreaking exhibition of
work from a culturally diverse group of artists, running through
January 11th, 2009. And on Tuesday November 11th, from 6pm–8pm,
YBCA is hosting a Community Conversation titled “What does
it mean to be green?” which will explore the complexities
and contradictions around greening urban environments (also free).
Visit www.ybca.org for
a full list of programs.
fall, which means sweaters and scarves, and it also means the Ferry
Building Marketplace is gearing up to celebrate its ~SIXTH
ANNUAL HARVEST FESTIVAL~. The festival kicks off this
Friday October 24th with an organic wine and beer tasting from
4pm–8pm. Ferry Building food vendors will pair with visiting
organic vintners, distilleries, and breweries to offer sample snacks
and accompaniments, many made with certified organic ingredients.
Tickets are $25 at the door for ten tastes. The usual Saturday
action will also include an apple cider pressing, an heirloom apple
tasting, wool spinning, and butter-making demos. Inside the Marketplace,
merchants will offer special seasonal tastings and products, plus
there’s wine and a reading with writer Mort Rosenblum and
confectioner Michael Recchiuti at Book Passage at 4pm. Sunday in
the Marketplace will feature live music by folk musician Jackie
Jones, gypsy jazz music by Golden Gate Hot Club, and communal tables
decorated with fall foliage where visitors can enjoy their seasonal
purchases. There will also be some kiddie-friendly activities,
like the Barnyard by the Bay Petting Zoo, and face painting. For
more info on Harvest Festival events, visit www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com.
Market St. at the Embarcadero.
launched its first annual ~THANKSGIVING RECIPE CONTEST~,
and users are invited to submit what they think are their most
winning Thanksgiving recipes to be voted on by other members of
the CookEatShare community. On Tuesday November 11th, the eight
top recipes will be brought to San Francisco and prepared by local
Bay Area chefs at Brick
Restaurant for a tasting and judging. The event will run from
5pm–8pm, and the panel will include chef Alex Marsh of Brick
and Solstice restaurants, Nate Appleman of A16 and SPQR, and Jeremy
Cheng from Town, along with other members of the Nor Cal culinary
community. The winners of the recipe contest will receive a feature
on the homepage of CookEatShare.com, and contest partner KitchenAid
has donated some prizes. Submit your family’s stuffing recipe,
Down in San Mateo, this Friday October 24th, the Festa
Foundation will be hosting ~THE CRUSH~,
a night of food, wine, and music at the San Mateo Elk's Club.
(The Festa Foundation is a local non-profit organization funding
Bay Area groups that help people with developmental disabilities.)
This fundraising event will feature local award-winning homemade
and commercial wines, a buffet from local food purveyors, a silent
auction, and live music. Here’s your chance to mingle with
some fellow Peninsula garagistes! 6pm–10pm. $45
at the door. 229 West 20th Ave., San Mateo, 650-438-3898.
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