DECEMBER 16, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Last
Tuesday’s Scharffen Berger and TuttiFoodie.com ~CHOCOLATE
AND SAGATIBA CACHAÇA COCKTAIL-AND-FOOD COMPETITION~ and
party at Rosewood was a blast—sorry for the crunch at the
beginning, y’all were a thirsty bunch! (My kind of people.)
And thanks to everyone who participated—so much talent. Let’s
just say our judges were stoked. Here are the results of the cocktail
and cookin’ competition:
The best cocktail was won by Jen Ackrill (Rye),
who did the “São Paulo Sin,” a combination of
Sagatiba cachaça infused with Scharffen Berger cocoa nibs
and Thai chiles, plus some allspice dram, cherry heering, and a
flamed orange. Jen has the cocktail on the menu at Rye right now
if you want to check it out! Deeeelish.
Scott Youkilis (Maverick)
won best bite for his dish of crispy pork belly
with a tamarind, ancho chili, and blood orange barbecue sauce,
topped with coriander-dusted plantains, and shaved Scharffen Berger
Best pairing went to Jen Ackrill (Rye) and Jane
Tseng (A16), who did a milk
chocolate panna cotta—the cream for the panna cotta was infused
with cocoa nibs, plus there were chocolate crispy clusters (chocolate,
feuilletine, peperoncino, cinnamon), crema fresca, dried Morello
cherries (poached in pomegranate and Senise pepper syrup), and
fresh mint. Yeah, I make that at home all the time, har. But if
you’d like to check out Jane’s faboo dessert, she has
it on the menu at SPQR, starting tonight! In fact, you can go to
Rye, and then SPQR to experience the winning pairing!
out some party pics from the Bunrabs, who did a
recap of the evening. And just a final reminder: anyone
can enter the TuttiFoodie.com and Scharffen Berger Chocolate
Adventure Contest. You can submit sweet, savory, or
beverage recipes. One first-place prize will be awarded in each
category (sweet, savory, and beverage). Winners receive: $5,000,
a mention in Saveur magazine, and more! Submissions to
the contest end on January 4th, 2008. Read all about it here.
let’s talk holiday. I have a bunch of ideas for fun
gift giving, and of course, they involve food and booze and books.
Let’s attempt to make some of the calories I’ve consumed
while tasting and trying things not completely in vain,
holiday gift ideas from the tablehopper:
Since I feel (slightly) guilty buying this spendy but oh-so-addictive
popcorn, I can imagine other folks would be beyond stoked to
find a box of 479° Popcorn in their stocking. I just checked
the site and they even have sampler
packs, so you can get into all kinds of trouble. J’adore
(especially the truffle and cheddar, and pimentón de la
Vera flavors!). Consider yourself warned.
Okay, this is kind of a slu*ty liqueur, but man, it has holiday
all over it. Creamy, with nice chai spice. My whole family liked
it, but my grandma really liked it. BevMo reportedly
carries it… If you want a spicy switch from the usual
holiday line-up of liqueurs, check this one out.
Yup, it’s a little pine box with a sliding lid that you can
store your cheese in! (Cheese safe sounds much better than cheese
casket.) And it comes with cheese wrapping paper, too. I love this
gift idea, just $25, especially since most folks don’t have
cheese-head items like this (unless you’re Laura
Werlin). My current “cheese safe” is nothing more
than a tragic plastic box that could double as an insect cage—time to upgrade.
Restaurant Gift Certificate
With all this depressing recession business, it’s obvious
people aren’t dining out at often. So why don’t you
give a gift certificate to one of your favorite restaurants? It’s
a win-win: the person getting the cert will be stoked to have a
night out on the town they aren’t paying for, and it helps
support your local restaurants, which we need to help insure that
they stick around, right? Right.
Food Bank Donation
Trying to get something for someone who is impossible to buy for?
Or perhaps someone who will appreciate a generous gesture? Make
donation to the San Francisco Food Bank!
Eve O’Neill and Doug Biederbeck
This spiffy little book is coming out any day now, and it’s
totally “in the pocket.” It’s about the culture
and history of Bix, full of drink and appetizer recipes, notes
on jazz, stories from Doug, illustrations, and lots of other good
stuff. Would appeal to either the gent or lady in your life.
Bubbles by Kate Simon
I’m already mad for champers, and rarely think to put anything
in it—unless it’s flat or just not very good. This
little book of fizzy cocktails, however, has me looking forward
to my next dinner party or petite soiree so I can mix some of these
numbers up. Cheers, darlink. (I’d give this book with the
item listed below.)
You can’t go wrong, ever, with a bottle of bubbly. Let me
tell you, when a bottle of Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé Cuvée
de la Pompadour showed up at tablehopper HQ last week, I was one
happy cat. Pop and purr. (Lather, rinse, repeat.) We have some
fabulous wine shops here in the city (my favorite stops include
Biondivino, K&L, The Jug Shop, Swirl, William Cross Wine Merchants,
Arlequin, Golden Gate Wine Cellars, and CAV) so go ask some questions
and get tastin’.
This is an organization I simply adore—and yay, they
have put together some holiday gift
baskets that are literally good enough to eat. And with your
purchase, you end up supporting these fantastic emerging businesses,
many of them female-run. There’s even a basket for just $23,
loaded with tasty edibles. Hey, nice basket.
Box O’ Donsuemor Madeleines
Still haven’t carted something into the office? Figuring
out what to give the UPS guy? I was gifted a box of these, and
I gotta say, it was pleasant having these individually wrapped
(and locally made) madeleines around when my afternoon sweet tooth
would strike. Lemon zest one day, traditional the next. They totally
keep, I like the cake-meets-cookie texture, and the new dipped
chocolate flavor is tops.
one more for good measure…
Wine Class at CAV
Have you thought about giving away a wine class to your favorite
wino? CAV is doing some good ones, like this one, Introduction
to Wine, which is perfect for the beginning imbiber (on Saturday
January 17th or February 21st). $45 per person.
enough of Culinary and Cocktail Santa.
Let’s look at what’s
going on out there. One weird thing I heard is a bizarre ~MARK DENHAM IMPERSONATION STORY~.
Someone claiming to be chef Denham called Manresa, asking for David
Kinch and Jeremy Fox (who is now at Ubuntu), in addition to calling
Laïola, locked and loaded with a convoluted story about a
car getting towed, and needing money wired immediately to retrieve
his car from a tow lot in Oakland. No one wired the money because
there were too many things that didn’t jive. Looks like some
shyster took the names from the recent piece about Denham’s
departure from Laïola in the Chron’s Inside Scoop column
and tried to hustle the people mentioned in
the piece for money. No idea if this might happen again, but in
case any of you industry types hear a similar story or hustle,
it’s just that: a hustle.
Looks like the sausage-and-beer project in the Mission, Zweibar,
won’t be happening (one of the partners, Fra Kepler, dropped
out due to an already intense workload). But taking the reins will
be Christiane Schmidt of Walzwerk and
her boyfriend, furniture designer and architect David Pierce, who
will together be launching ~SCHMIDT’S DELI~.
The combination German deli, bar, café, restaurant, and
store will be serving German beer (both bottled and five–six
on draught, with more later), wine, coffee, baked goods, and yes,
sausages—eventually ten kinds in all. The shop will sell
authentic German items, like chocolate and jams. The deli/restaurant
will open for lunch first, serving items like schnitzel, onion
cake, salads, soups, spaetzle, and three–four kinds of sausages, and
eventually for dinner (probably 11am–11pm).
There are about 49 seats, with ten spots at the bar. Initial hours
are looking like Mon–Fri 11:30am–2:30pm, and the opening
is slated for mid-January. 2400 Folsom at 20th St.
Meanwhile, ~EBISU~ in
the Sunset has gone full-tilt on the remodel, and gutted the entire
restaurant. They are now gunning for a reopening at the end of
January. Meanwhile, I have also heard that it is nearly 90% final
that Ebisu will be opening a third location in the Financial District. The
new location will be more of a lunch place and will be the home
for all of Ebisu’s catering. I’ll share as details
sushi news: I have some intel on the second Tsunami location
that’s opening in Mission Bay: it will be called, appropriately
enough, ~TSUNAMI MISSION BAY~. The opening
is currently slated for January, and will be similar to the Fulton
Street Tsunami in its sushi and extensive sake offering. A new
addition is a huge bar with a communal table, and will feature
a number of gin cocktails (over 40 gin offerings in all), in addition
to other spirits, plus a nice selection of hard-to-find spirits.
Cocktails will range from $6–$9. 302 King St. at 4th St.
got word from a tablehopper reader that when she tried to make
a reservation at ~FRISEE~, she was told the restaurant
closed last Tuesday, and that they are working on a new concept
for 2010. Best of luck to them. 2367 Market St. at Castro.
in the Castro, the Mediterranean/Moroccan ~CAFÉ MYSTIQUE~ opened
this past weekend in the former Welcome Home space. As Eater noted yesterday,
the service is getting reamed on Yelp,
so I’d let this spot settle in a bit more. 464 Castro St.
at 18th St.
now, mysterious liquor license updates and businesses:
HOOKAH~ is opening in the Richmond in a
former Cable Car Pizza spot. 4724 Geary Blvd. at 11th Ave.
the sporty Marina Steakhouse, is coming under new ownership: the
crew behind Bin
38. Here’s more from Don Davis, “The working name
is Scott Street Bar & Grill, though that may change. We’ll
be doing an upscale neighborhood bar & grill, a new take on
a classic. Expect lots of dark wood and leather with a fresh, modern
take. We’ll have a wood-fired grill and pizza oven to put
out the best bar classics in town. The drink list will focus on
our twist on classic American cocktails and the largest American
craft beer selection in town. Additionally, we’ll introduce
the sports lounge concept, providing the only upscale place to
watch sports in town.” They are imagining Jones will close
in mid-February, and after three–four months of remodeling,
are hoping for a June/July opening. 2400 Lombard St. at Scott.
time to get spicy with some Indian-related news. ~NAAN
N’ CHUTNEY~ in the Lower Haight
should be serving beer and wine in a few weeks. 525 Haight St.
at Fillmore, 415-255-1625.
~DOSA ON FILLMORE~ is
now open for lunch: Mon–Fri 11:30am–3:30pm, and brunch
Sat–Sun 11am–3:30pm. I can already taste the pani
puri… 1700 Fillmore St. at Post, 415-441-3672.
Also wanted to make a clarification since the Western Addition
had two restaurants within five blocks of each other with the word
Kathmandu in their names. To repeat, the one that closed and is
becoming Saffron Grill, ~KATHMANDU CAFÉ~,
was on Fulton at Divisadero. The charming ~METRO
KATHMANDU~ down the street on Divis is alive and well,
with momos in effect. In fact, why don’t you swing by for
their happy hour (5:30pm–7pm) for some half-priced wine and
selected beers? Oh, and in case you need a place besides a Chinese
restaurant on Christmas Day, FYI, Metro Kathmandu will be open.
311 Divisadero St. at Page, 415-552-0903.
And now for something sweet: after months of watching and waiting, ~CANDY
DARLING~ is opening in the Lower Nob Hill this Friday.
I had some brief contact with one of the owners, Carla Stacho,
who some may remember from the Candy Jar on Jones. There are truffles,
house-made peanut brittle, English toffee, bonbons, wrapped candies,
caramels, and more. Let’s hope they offer an Andy Warhol
truffle or something (Candy
Darling was a tranny in NYC who starred in a few of Warhol’s
films). It’s a retail space, so there isn’t room to
hang out and linger. 796 Sutter St. at Jones, 415-346-1500.
tablehopper reader wrote in to rave about the rice pudding at
the newly opened ~LOVING CUP~ on Russian Hill—there
are flavors like chai and vanilla, plus some holiday-inspired flavors.
There is also frozen yogurt (the toppings get mixed into the yogurt),
smoothies, coffee, and baked goods. Open Mon–Fri 6:30am–9:30pm,
and Sat–Sun 11am–9:30pm. 2356 Polk St. at Union, 415-440-6900.
More sweet news: ~LOTTA’S
BAKERY~, named after Lotta Crabtree, famous for
entertaining refugees from the 1906 earthquake, is going to
be hosting Mani Niall tomorrow, Wednesday December 17th, from
6pm–8pm. Niall will be signing copies of Sweet!:
From Agave to Turbinado, Home Baking with Every Kind of Natural
Sugar and Sweetener, and cookies and hot chocolate
will be served, all recipes made with exotic sugars from the
book. 1720 Polk St. between Clay and Washington, 415-359-9039.
it’s snowing in SoMa, and I’m not referring
to what’s happening in the bathrooms at after-hours clubs.
Apparently, ~SUPPERCLUB~ is
bringing in a snow machine for the week of December 15th, turning
their interior into a winter wonderland. The walls will be covered
with mirrors and will have laser shows projected against them,
and a bridge has been constructed above the bar, which will act
as a stage for live performance and a video “screen.” The
Ricochet Project has joined as resident performers. The
best part is this would be the week to check it out, because supperclub
just lowered their prices for this Tuesday December 16th AND Wednesday
December 17th: the three-course menu is only $35 per person (normally
$55—this Thursday the menu is $55, and $65 on Fri–Sat). Suggested
attire? Après après-ski. Rawr. 657 Harrison St. at
3rd St., 415-348-0900.
recession specials flooding my inbox are not exactly what I’d
call uplifting, but with this ridiculously inexpensive offer,
I had to mention it: ~LUNA
PARK~ has launched the (unfortunately named) “Blue
Tray Special,” running Monday through Thursday nights, 5:30pm–10:30pm.
For $12, guests will be able to order hearty comfort foods, like
Painted Hills meatloaf with mushroom and red wine gravy; Niman
Ranch beef stew; pumpkin sage risotto; and vegan Stella Artois
chili. Served on cafeteria-style trays, the special is paying homage
to the Depression-era soup kitchens that provided inexpensive meals
on blue trays. For an additional $5, guests may have a select glass
of wine or a specialty cocktail (mojitos or sangria), served in
matching blue glassware. Yup, people will be like, “Hey,
you, with the blue tray and cup! Sorry you lost your job!” 694
Valencia St. at 18th St., 415-553-8584.
~CHEZ PAPA RESTO~ has
dropped their prices about 20% since they opened, and are now
offering some lunch tartines with a mixed green salad (the average
price is $10), and launched a new winter dinner menu, with dishes
like Liberty Farms duck breast with parsnip puree, Swiss chard,
quince, and sherry jus. Don’t forget the happy hour from
Mon–Fri from 5pm–7pm, with $6 cocktails and bar bites.
4 Mint Plaza (formerly Jessie St.) between Mission and Market
near Fifth St., 415-546-4134.
a new chef at ~PACIFIC
CATCH~ on Ninth Avenue, Chandon Clenard, taking
the place of Joanna Perel, who left the company to go travel
the world. His background includes Spago Palo Alto, executive
chef for Kimpton Restaurants in San Francisco, and he was the
executive chef at the Border Grill in Santa Monica. Chandon
is currently working on six new regional menu specials for
2009 (Alaska, Thailand, Australia, Peru, Singapore, and Costa
Rica). 1200 9th Ave. at Lincoln, 415-504-6905.
These events fill up super quick, so I wanted to let you know
RIGHT NOW: coming up is another ~OPENRESTAURANT
EVENT~—this one is with YBCAlive! and Slow Food
Nation, on Tuesday January 6th. Members of the Slow Food Nation
community and OPEN (Stacie Pierce, Jerome Waag, and Sam White,
all part of the Chez Panisse restaurant staff) are staging another
socially engineered dining experience. Invited panelists will share
a three-course meal that reflects what is possible to grow in an
urban setting, along with all the problems and possibilities, while
they ponder the question: should the urban landscape be productive?
Ticket buyers will be invited to celebrate the “Slow” life
while enjoying tapas-style plates and learning more about urban
farming, foraging, and gleaning from people directly involved in
these processes. 7pm, Grand Lobby, Yerba
Buena Center for the Arts. $20 general admission, $15 YBCA
members. RSVP required. For reservations, please call the box office
I’ve been getting some emails from numerous people about
the petition at www.fooddemocracynow.org,
asking Obama's transition team to consider six candidates for the ~SECRETARY
OF AGRICULTURE~ position who could potentially mend our
broken food system. I know, I know, some of you get cranky when
I bring up political issues in tablehopper. Hey, food is political—especially
right now, at this very crucial moment. So please check this out:
more than 52,000 people have signed the petition, including Michael
Pollan, Alice Waters, Wendell Berry, Eric Schlosser, Marion Nestle,
Dan Barber, and Bill Niman, and the Obama transition team appears
to be paying attention. For more on this, read Nicholas Kristof’s New
York Times Op-Ed piece, "Obama's
Secretary of Food?” Please read the petition, and consider
signing it, blogging it, and/or forwarding this message to your
personal networks and any listservs you are on. Thanks for spreading
Over in the downtown Oakland, ~BANYAN14~ has
opened its doors, serving Thai and Vietnamese street food with
a healthy Californian approach, using fresh, locally grown, and
organic produce whenever possible, as well as natural meats and
wild or sustainably farmed seafood. The affordable menu includes
a variety of soups, salads, wraps, noodle dishes, and curries.
Open Mon–Fri 10:30am–3pm. 578 14th St. at Jefferson,
Word on the street is Dopo is opening a second
location, tentatively called ~ADESSO~ on Piedmont
Avenue and Pleasant Valley Rd. in Oakland. According to an ad on
Craigslist, the space is slated to open in early February. There
won't be hot plates, more about nibbles like salumi and cheese.
More on this as details emerge…
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