24, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Congrats
to the official ~JAMES
BEARD FOUNDATION AWARD~ local restaurant
nominees, including Boulevard for Outstanding
Restaurant; Nate Appleman (A16, SPQR) for
Rising Star Chef; and the Best Chefs in America/Pacific
candidates: Jeremy Fox (Ubuntu, Napa), Douglas
Keane (Cyrus, Healdsburg), Loretta Keller (Coco500), David Kinch (Manresa, Los Gatos),and Daniel Patterson (Coi). Yank Sing was
given the nod for an “America’s
The awards ceremony and gala reception will
take place on Monday May 4th. You can read
up on all the award candidates here.
Now open in Hayes Valley is ~CAFÉ
ALTANO~, the place I mentioned that was taking over the former
Modern Tea space. On the menu: simple and straightforward Mediterranean-inspired
fare (pasta, pizza, panini, and more). Lunch and dinner. 602
Hayes St. at Laguna, 415-252-1200.
the opening of ~MORAK LOUNGE~, a new hookah bar and lounge
next to the Pork Store in the Mission. According to the post, there’s
a heated patio, communal leather sofas, and “traditional Middle
Eastern snacks like hummus, baba ghanoush and beef skewers,” plus
a variety of “hand-mixed flavors”
for the hookah. Eater also
highlighted that for now the lounge opens at
8pm on the weekends only. 3126 16th St. at Valencia, 415-626-5523.
TRADING COMPANY’S~ new
executive chef, Arnold Eric Wong (former chef-owner of Eos
& Wine Bar in Cole Valley and Bacar in SOMA) will debut his brand-new menu
of contemporary Asian-inspired fare next Tuesday March 31st at the San Francisco
outpost. His new menu highlights local, organic, and sustainable ingredients
whenever possible. 314 Sutter St. at Grant, 415-693-0303.
Speaking of ~BACAR~,
after a flurry of gossip last week about Bernie and Ruth Madoff’s
ties to the restaurant, I got this note of clarification from some
folks at the restaurant: “Multiple press affiliates announced … that
the Madoffs were major investors of Bacar, and some went so far as
to say that we had been subjected to seizure by the FBI. In actuality,
Ruth Madoff, invested a 2.5 percent stake in Bacar in 1999. In January
2007 another investor, Jon Jackson, bought out Ruth Madoff shares.
She has no other financial connection with the restaurant, or with
Bacar Investments LLC, which operates Bacar. Bacar is cooperating
with the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of
New [sic] to have the record officially cleared.”
In case you wanted to see more about ~MIDI~ (it
opened on Friday), you can check out a video of it here. 185
Sutter St. at Kearny, 415-835-6400.
into the 12 Galaxies space in the Mission
will be the ~BLUE MACAW~, a restaurant, bar, and club with
a focus on international music. I will have
more details in a few weeks, but the opening
is slated for April or May. 2565 Mission
St. at 22nd St.
Also got more info about the ~PARKSIDE TAVERN~ project
that’s moving into the former ~RICK'S ALOHA CAFÉ~.
Larry Doyle, the chef at Johnny
Foley's Irish House in Union Square
is going to open a "food-driven" neighborhood tavern in
the space. There was an issue that was holding up ABC approval, but
it’s been resolved and the tavern is moving forward. Doyle
also mentioned there are plans for a farmers’ market in the
Sunset, so that’s good news. That’s all for now, stand
by for more details soon. 1940 Taraval St. at 29th Ave.
In the Inner Sunset, a tablehopper
reader noted that ~SUKHOTHAI~ on 9th
and Irving closed and is becoming “Saigon Noodle House,” while
on Yelp said it’s going to be
called “Thai Noodle Cafe.” Time will tell. 1319 9th Ave.
Another closure: the North Beach location of ~LA
PARRILLA GRILL~ has shuttered.
279 Columbus Ave. at Broadway.
Mark my words, ~2009 IS GOING TO BE THE YEAR OF
THE HOT DOG~. We have Absinthe coming
out of the gates with their house-made
wonder (scroll down to “upward
dog”), the gamey dogs at Broken
Record, and how timely, a reader
alerted me to Bratwurst Thursdays at Paragon,
offering a Fat Tire Ale, house-made bratwurst sandwich, fries,
sauerkraut, and beer mustard for $13. Starts at 5pm. 701 Second
St. at Townsend, 415-537-9020.
Paragon is also serving up some smoky BBQ on
Wednesdays, including ribs, chicken, pulled pork, and tri-tip.)
Another BBQ-related sidebar: this Saturday at ~MISSION
STREET FOOD~, you can preview
some of the dishes chef Charlie Kleinman will be serving at Wexler’s,
the upcoming upscale BBQ restaurant project in the old Les
Amis space in FiDi.
Back on the dogs: construction is officially underway
for a doghouse (read: small restaurant and retail location) for ~LET'S
BE FRANK~, the
purveyor of grass-fed beef hot dogs and family-farmed pork brats
that you can find at the ballpark on game days. The (small) space
will open in the former Hahn’s Hibachi, and Cass Calder Smith
is the architect. Let's Be Frank on Steiner will be open daily,
and will be introducing a new spicy "Hot Dog" and a "Not
Dog" (a vegan variation), plus house-made toppings and sides,
like grass-fed beef chili made with heirloom beans (from Rancho Gordo), local
beers, and wines. There will also be retail packages of all their dogs, plus "party
packs" for parties of 4 to 140. The target opening date is the beginning
of April. 3318 Steiner St. at Chestnut.
the ballpark: since the local restaurant
chain Compadres went out of business in December, ~TRES
AGAVES~ will be taking over
their three food stands at AT&T Park this season. On the
menu: a bacon-wrapped hot dog with chipotle
mayo in a lobster roll bun; ballpark nachos
with real cheese sauce, chopped carnitas,
and Tequila-marinated jalapeños; and Jaliscan
street-style tacos. Everything will be $5.50–$9.50.
Pre-season vs. A’s
starts Thursday April 2nd, and opening day
is Tuesday April 7th.
Another thing on the rise: killer sandwiches!
A tablehopper reader (and chef) who knows how much I love a quality
sandwich wrote in to tell me about ~KITCHENETTE
Dogpatch, a lunchtime offshoot from caterer Living
Room Events. You can swing by to pick
up a sandwich from Monday through Friday, 11:30am–1:30pm. What’s
on the menu? Check out the site each
day for a full-tilt slobber fest. You know this sandwich had to have
been amazing: house ‘corned’ Marin Sun Farm brisket sandwich
with braised cabbage, apple farm apples, and caraway on an Acme roll
with mustardy potato salad, $8. I am hoping their fried chicken version
will be enough to sate my Bakesale Betty sandwich cravings. Ingredients
are organic and top-notch. Cash only, and supplies are limited, so
when they are gone, they are gone, yo. Just look for the garage door
at 958 Illinois Street in the American Industrial Center.
Some FiDi workers know about ~THE
CHILL CAFÉ~ for picking
up frozen yogurt and desserts, but you might also want to know
this spot has started serving Vietnamese-style banh mi sandwiches
for lunch that highlight owner Trang Nguyen's family recipes.
Flavors include ham with pate, and chicken or tofu with house-made
lemongrass seasoning ($5.50 each). I’m gonna try to check
it out this week. 125 Kearny St. at Post, 415-433-1233.
Drum roll please… It’s time for
your weekly meal deal update:
I have never eaten at ~PIAZZA
PELLEGRINI~, but with this
kind of deal, I’d say it’s a good time to check
it out. For the month of March, “The Frugalisto”
menu for two includes a bottle of red or white
house wine, antipasti to share, a choice of one of the chef’s
three specialty entrées, and dessert for two. All for just $20
per person. Like, whoa. This special is offered daily from 11am–7pm
through the end of March. 659 Columbus Ave. at Washington Square Park,
DELICATESSEN~ on Tuesdays,
you can get a Reuben and PBR for $7 (and woohoo, the Reuben
here roxx). There’s also spaghetti and meatballs on Thursdays,
fish fry Fridays, and some inexpensive wine specials to go
with ’em. Now open until 8pm Mon–Thu, and until
6pm on Fridays. I also heard the owner Tim is starting to show
local artists’ work on a monthly basis and is looking
for some restaurant/artist folks who might be interested in
hanging their work. 280 Golden Gate Ave. at Hyde, 415-567-3354.
All the fancier places are getting in on the meal deals
PLACE~ just kicked off The Stimulus
Menu, a three-course nightly dinner for $45. The special begins tonight.
340 Stockton St. at Sutter 415-781-5555.
Speaking of fine dining, and why we need it to exist,
anyone who loves to dine out should check out this Food & Wine article, ~SHOULD
FINE DINING DIE?~
love some free, and we gotta love our local
bookstores. This Thursday March 26th, Mark
Caro, the author of The
Foie Gras Wars, will be giving a talk and book signing at ~OMNIVORE
BOOKS~ from 6pm–7pm. And
on Saturday March 28th, Nicolette Niman (Bill Niman's
vegetarian wife) will be giving a talk and
signing her book, Righteous
Porkchop, from 3pm–4pm. I’d also recommend you get
a ticket to this before it fills up: on Monday
June 22nd, Michael
Pollan will be giving a talk to a limited audience of 40 people.
It’s a fundraiser for the Chez Panisse Foundation; tickets
are $40 per person and include a signed copy
of In Defense
of Food. It should be a great evening in an intimate setting.
6pm–8pm. Check out the entire line-up of authors and times here.
3885A Cesar Chavez St. at Church, 415-282-4712.
your local bookstore so they don’t end
up like the beloved ~COOK'S
LIBRARY~ in Los Angeles,
which is sadly closing
its doors after 20 years in business.
Apparently they're going to liquidate their stock and close up
in six weeks, with the last day scheduled
for April 30th.
upcoming book-related event is a ~"NO-COOK" COOKING
DEMO AND TALK WITH FOOD BLOGGER AMY
SHERMAN~ at the Larkspur
Library. She'll be talking about how she got started in food
writing and what it was like to write a
cookbook, and demonstrating four very easy
appetizer recipes, including one from her latest book, New Flavors
for Appetizers. A
benefit for the library, $10 gets you tastes
of each of the appetizers plus St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc or Bionade,
an organic non-alcoholic beverage. The event is April 4th, 4:30pm–6:30pm
at the Larkspur Library. Call the library at 415-927-5005 to reserve
your spot. 400 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur.
that day (Saturday April 4th), one of Slow
Food founder Carlo Petrini's
favorite films, ~MR. BENE
GOES TO ITALY~,
will be screened at the Delancey Street Theater.
Here’s more: “Benedito
Batista da Silva, 60 years old, is considered
an authority when it comes to manioc
in the Brazilian Pará State, deep within the Amazon. This documentary
shows his trip from Bragança to Turin and back home. The encounter
of different cultures, of small-scale farmers
from all over the world and the enchantment
of coming into contact with European culture
blends with the profound emotional bond Mr. Bené forges
with his Italian host family.” Slow Food Rio leaders Teresa Corção
and Margarida Nogueira will be present for
the screening. The evening begins at 6:30pm
with a screening and panel discussion, followed
by a reception from 8pm–9pm. Tapas will
be available at the reception and wine pours
at an additional charge. $15. Buy
tickets here. Delancey Street Theater,
600 Embarcadero St.
brush up on your cooking skills? There are
a variety of ~COOK
WITH JAMES~ classes coming up,
like how to make egg pappardelle noodles
on Tuesday March 31st, or
how to make the perfect roast chicken and Caesar
salad on Wednesday April 8th. $65/person
and includes wine. Check out all the upcoming
including details on how to enter to win
a Breville iKon LCD blender this month.
you miss Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski of Rubicon’s
cookin’? Uh, yeah. Me too. You’ll be happy to learn they
are part of an all-star line-up of chefs cooking
at an upcoming event on Monday April 6th, ~CHEFS TO KNOW / DINE+SIGN~,
hosted by The City Club of San Francisco and StarChefs.com.
Taking part in preparing the five-course dinner
is Noriyuki Sugie (formerly of Asiate, New York, and the mysterious
upcoming Haight Street project I keep trying to get some info on from
him, ahem); Richard Corbo (Ducca);
and Mark Dommen (One
Market). The evening will celebrate the
launch of StarChefs.com’s Chefs to Know, a comprehensive
guide to chefs from around the country and
the world. The evening begins at 5:30pm with
a selection of hors d’oeuvres provided by executive chef Michael Munoz
of The City Club of San Francisco, followed by dinner at
6pm. $175 including dinner, wine, tax, and
service charge, and a copy of the book signed by participating chefs.
RSVP: 415-362-6697 or email michelle.kimmins [at] cityclubsf [dot]
com. 155 Sansome St., 11th Floor.
of movie-and-pizza buffs mourned the closure
of the ~PARKWAY~ in
Oakland this past weekend—its last day of business was Sunday
March 22nd. Here’s more from the website: “It
was the first theater in California to offer
food, beer and wine service in a lounge style
movie theater. With a nudge or a push from
the community, there was little programming the Parkway theater would
not try in order to better be a community center and a safe haven
for diverse ideas…We,
at the Parkway Speakeasy Theater, are deeply
proud of the Parkway and will profoundly miss serving its community.
Thank you for your patronage. This decision does not affect the Cerrito
Speakeasy. Most of the Parkway's
regular and special events will move over
there.” And, scene.
1834 Park Blvd., Oakland.
March 27th, California olive
oil producers will be sampling their new
olive oils alongside author Fran Gage, who
will be discussing and signing her new book, The New
American Olive Oil–Profiles of Artisan Producers and 75 Recipes at
SHOP~ on Fourth Street in Berkeley.
Participating olive oil producers include
Bozzano, California Olive Ranch, DaVero,
Lucero, Katz, Le Colline di Santa Cruz, and
Robbins Family (there will also be storewide discounts). Free. RSVPs
5:30pm–7pm. 1786 Fourth St. at Delaware, Berkeley, 510-250-6004.
with the book signing, ~CAFÉ ROUGE~ (just
next door) will offer special menu items
featuring California extra virgin olive oils
from March 26th–29th.
1782 Fourth St. at Virginia, Berkeley, 510-525-1440.
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