tablehopper
table of contents This week's tablehopper: a hot mess.

the chatterbox
the word on the street
fresh meat
it's about time we met
the lush
put it on my tab
the socialite
shindigs/feasts/festivals
the starlet
no photos please
the matchmaker
let's get it on

the sponsor
this round is on me

Vin Portugal

Meatpaper

hosting provided by

Zojo Media

APRIL 7, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO This weekend it was clear, Spring has sprung. All you had to do was look at the farmers’ market and Dolores Park on Saturday to confirm it. I had fun riding my bike all over town this weekend—highlights include Jordan Mackay’s reading (Passion for Pinot) and wine tasting at Omnivore Books (read below in the chatterbox for a cool tip about Omnivore!), linner (that’s lunch-dinner) at an outside table at Phat Philly (read all about it in fresh meat), and the Festa di Primavera at the Ferry Building.

The Festa was a bounty o’ bites, but my very favorite was the crostini slathered with ’nduja from Boccalone, imagea spicy pork spread from Calabria (it’s the stuff I mentioned last week that was in my friend’s Italian gelato). Boccalone literally just released the ’nduja—after the event I promptly went downstairs to the salumeria to buy some. Although I’m going to top off my future crostini or panini with a dollop of TuttoCalabria hot spread sauce—the hotter the better, I say.

This weekend was perfect beer-drinking weather. So for this week’s giveaway, I have two tickets to a private VIP tasting party celebrating the 2008 winners of the Samuel Adams American Homebrew Contest. The party is next Thursday April 16th from 6pm–8pm at Tiernan's in Fisherman’s Wharf, so don’t enter unless you can make it (and you’re over 21, duh)! You’ll be able to sample the winning brews, meet the brewers and the winners (the two winning consumer homebrewers were from the Bay Area, beating out 1,500 other entries, go Cali), munch off a buffet of food, and did I mention there will be beer? Mmmmm, beer.

To enter to win the pair of tickets to this private party, all you need to do is forward this week’s tablehopper newsletter to one buddy, but even more would be so very fabulous. Just tell your friend(s) why they would dig a subscription to the tablehopper e-column (if you call it a blog, you are disqualified, I am so not kidding!), and CC or BCC luckyme@tablehopper.com so I know you sent it—I promise I won’t use anyone’s email address. Deadline to enter is midnight this Friday April 10th—I’ll notify the winner over the weekend.

Oh, and for any of you homebrewers who want to take your shot at entering this year, you can submit American Homebrew Contest entries from April 15th–May 1st, 2009.

A few housekeeping notes: so who is the kind soul who “parked” the tablehopper page on Twitter? I’ve been trying to reach you and would love to hear from you, thanks yo!

And while I am bummed to be missing this year’s Pebble Beach Food & Wine event, I can’t wait to get out of dodge and head down to Palm Springs for Coachella. I leave next Thursday, and will be hitting the Saturday and Sunday shows. Does anyone have some below-cost tickets they need to unload, or VIP access they can style me and my cohort with? Awwwww yeah! I figured it couldn’t hurt to put it out there, you never know. You know where to find me.

Oh, and tablehopper was featured on the Malou Review (thanks ladies!), but yeeouch, they called me Mar-sha. Oh well—I guess they didn’t get the “Marcia rhymes with Garcia” memo. They must have been fans of The Brady Bunch. You can click the link to watch the segment.

Happy Easter (cheep cheep!) and Passover, people!

~Marcia subscribe
the chatterbox

Wines of PortugalAPRIL 7, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO I was riding my bike down Haight Street this weekend and noticed a few changes in the Lower Haight: ~VISIT THAI~ has now morphed into ~BISTRO SAINT GERMAIN~. The owner is Laurent Legendre, who also has ~LE P'TIT LAURENT~ in Glen Park. He will have the same chef, Eliseo Soto Dimos, overseeing both kitchens. The menu will feature affordable bistro fare, like mussels, escargots, salads, vegetarian dishes, baby chicken, bavette, and boeuf bourguignon. Prices will be affordable (the chicken is $14, the bavette is $17). Legendre will also be introducing his popular prix-fixe menu that he offers in Glen Park: three courses for $19.95, available all night from Sunday through Thursday. The décor has been changed as well: less Candyland, and more classic bistro style. Bistro Saint Germain opens this Saturday for dinner at 5:30pm, and will be open nightly for dinner, closing hours TBD. 518 Haight St. at Fillmore, 415-626-6262.

I also noticed there’s a ~BAKERY~ due to open just next door to the bar Underground SF. According to an article posted in the window, it’s affiliated with Phil Roland from Escape From San Francisco bakery up north in Willits, and according to the article, he’s supposedly a master with bagels. A neighbor mentioned the bakery is going to have late-night hours—when I get a call back, I’ll share the deets. Haight at Webster.

I heard ~AQUA~ threw a nice party in honor of restaurant director Jean-Claude Persais, who has left the floor at Aqua after 14-plus years of service. He wants to spend more time with his family, who is based in LA. He is starting his own consulting company and will continue to act as a consultant for Aqua; he also remains a partner at Café de la Presse, so you will still see him around. Aqua’s general manager Karim Guedouard will continue to oversee the restaurant (he has been there since 2005). 252 California St. at Battery, 415-956-9662.

Was sorry to hear ~CAFE MAJESTIC~ abruptly closed last Tuesday. I spoke with publicist Susie Biehler, who said the Butterfly Bar and historic Hotel Majestic will remain open, and the kitchen will quite possibly continue to turn out lighter fare for the bar patrons. No word on what’s next for chef Louis Maldonado, but he does have a new baby he’s going to be able to see more of until he starts his next gig, stand by. 1500 Sutter St. at Gough.

Some staff shifts at ~BIX~: chef de cuisine Colin Dewey is leaving to go to New York, and taking his place is Erik Lowe, who has stints at Ame, Tartare, and Piperade in his resume. Lowe started this past Sunday, and his new dishes will start appearing on the menu on April 15th. Chef Bruce Hill says he’s really proud of Dewey and knows he’ll do great things in New York—they’re trying to get him hooked up with the dude with orange clogs. 56 Gold St. off Montgomery between Jackson and Pacific, 415-433-6300.

~BRICK~ is reinventing itself and will be closing on April 19th, reopening on May 1st as ~FLY~. Co-owner Matt Sturm said Brick has had a bit of an identity crisis, and never quite found its groove with the neighborhood. Sturm, along with partners Leslie Shirah and Chris Cronk, decided the best course was to just change the concept altogether and keep all 18 employees employed. The new affordable menu is going to be like the one at their popular bar Fly on Divisadero, with appetizers, pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and a few other additions, but nothing will be over $11. Happy hour will be from 4:30pm–6:30pm, with drink specials and half-price pizza. Brick’s going away party will be on April 18th, and will close after brunch on April 19th (the $20 brunch will feature bottomless mimosas and bloody Marys, and a bunch of brunch food, from 11am–1pm). You can follow updates about the reopening on their Twitter feed. 1085 Sutter St. at Larkin, 415-441-4232.

~WOODHOUSE FISH CO. ON FILLMORE~ opened for lunch today and will be starting dinner service once the ABC license is in effect. When? Who knows, hopefully in a few weeks—I’ll keep you posted. To recap, the chef is Jon Hearnsberger, who was previously at the Anchor Oyster Bar for six years. The menu is currently featuring Woodhouse on Market favorites, like the lobster roll, stuffed artichoke, fried Ipswich clams, chowder, and raw oysters, and will be introducing more West Coast seafood dishes once dinner service starts. There will also be some daily specials for lunch, like today there was Alaskan halibut in parchment with red potatoes, leeks, spinach, oven-dried tomatoes, and basil butter, and next up is Dungeness crab griddle cakes with crispy russet potatoes and green salad. This second Woodhouse location is in the former Toraya spot—and for you history buffs, it was actually a Japanese fish market before the space was transformed into a restaurant 40 years ago. This location is a bit bigger than the Market Street location (55 seats), and has a Carrara marble counter with stools, wood floors, and a variety of sea-themed objets and design elements. Hours for now are 11:30am–3:30pm daily. 1914 Fillmore St. at Bush, 415-437-2722.

imageWanted to update you on ~FARMERBROWN’S LITTLE SKILLET~, which may be opening at the end of this week in 330 Ritch’s walk-up window, or perhaps next week. You can keep track through the littleskillet twitter feed, or be all old-fashioned and call: 415-777-2777. Mmmm, biscuit sandwiches and chicken and waffles are imminent. 330 Ritch St. at Brannan.

Good news for ~BROKEN RECORD~ out in the Excelsior: they are going to be able to stay open until 2am in spite of the zoning issues. The folks at MenuPages have more details about the Planning Commission hearing—you can read all about it here. Yay for the planners who voted 6–1 to keep the late hours. Looks like we’ll be able to have a summer on the patio with Broken Record’s sublime Buffalo wings after all. 1166 Geneva Ave. at Naples, 415-963-1713.

Big congrats to the talented Mourad Lahlou, chef and owner of ~AZIZA~, who is going to have a 13-part television series through Full Plate Media. The series will explore the food of Morocco, with shooting to take place in Marrakesh and San Francisco. Each episode will begin in Marrakesh before returning to Mourad’s home in San Francisco, where he will share dishes inspired by his Marrakesh experiences. A book based on the television series is in development and will be released at the time of broadcast, which is slated for 2010. 5800 Geary Blvd. at 22nd Ave., 415-752-2222.

A
nd coming up on June 10th is the first episode of ~TOP CHEF MASTERS~. Here’s more from the site: “The first six episodes will consist of four chefs competing against each other to name one winner. The six winners of each episode will then meet up for the final four weeks when one person will get eliminated each episode until the finale where one winner is crowned Top Chef Master. The winning chef will receive $100,000 for the charity of their choice.” You can see the lineup of judges (which includes Gael Greene—I’m looking forward to seeing her on TV) and contestants here. Local chefs include Elizabeth Falkner, Hubert Keller, Michael Chiarello, and Cindy Pawlcyn.

Got some meal deals for ya…

Bring your appetite, because ~GOOD PIZZA~ in SoMa is offering all-you-can-eat pizza for only 10 bucks from now through May 31st! There will be four varieties featured nightly, available Monday through Saturday nights from 6pm until closing. And now, the fine print: please note it’s for dine-in only—no carry-outs or doggie bags/boxes permitted, and the offer is not combinable with any other offers or discounts. 140 7th St. at Howard, 415-626-8381.

Chef Roland Passot has introduced two new concepts at his ~LEFT BANK~ locations in Larkspur, Menlo Park, Pleasant Hill, San Jose, and San Mateo: the TGV Express Lunch, named after the express train in France, which includes soupe de saison and salade du marche, le sandwich and le plat du chef, a chicken sandwich or petite pasta, for $12.50. And there’s the $21/21h Menu, a late-night, two-course Parisian-style dinner for $21, served after 9pm.

And now, some meaty meals:

MeatpaperThis Wednesday April 8th, ~PICCO~ in Larkspur is hosting a special night called Meats of Marin. Devil’s Gulch Ranch meats will be featured in a variety of dishes, including a selection of house-made Picco salumi made from Devil’s Gulch Ranch pork, with grilled Acme bread, and marinated olives ($12.95); fettuccine pasta with sautéed rabbit loin, braised pork belly, spicy watercress pesto, breadcrumbs, and Andante dairy pecorino ($15.95); balsamic-braised rabbit legs, stone-ground polenta, wild mushrooms, rabbit jus, and local miner’s lettuce ($24.95); and pork loin grilled over mesquite with English peas, artichokes, Delta asparagus, basil, and green garlic puree ($25.95). Sounds incredibly delicious. 320 Magnolia Ave. at King, Larkspur, 415-924-0300.

Last week I was misinformed about the amount of the ~BUNNY BBQ AT BLOODHOUND~: it’s actually $30 for a plate, not $25. The latest menu says each plate will include a rabbit sausage, grilled rabbit, Taylor’s smoked ham, beans, salad, bacon chocolate peanut butter brownies, and a beer. There will also be plenty of chicharrones and other fun treats. RSVP at info [at] bloodhoundsf.com. 1145 Folsom St. at 7th St.

More with ~CHEF RYAN FARR~: he’s doing his first whole hog butchery class on Sunday April 19th at La Cocina. It’s $75 per person, and each guest will have seven to eight pounds that they can butcher (if you want to) and take home. The three-hour class will start promptly at 3pm. There will be chicharrones, carnitas, and beverages served. Aprons, towels, and one knife per person will be supplied during the class (or you can bring your own knife). There are 12 spots available. Buy tickets here. 2948 Folsom St. at 25th St.

I’m sorry to be missing the ~PEBBLE BEACH FOOD & WINE~ Grand Tasting events this year (the weekend of April 18th), but here’s a list of the SF chefs who will be there: Bill Corbett, MICHAEL MINA; Chris Cosentino, Incanto; Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière; Hubert Keller, Fleur de Lys; Jamie Lauren, Absinthe/Top Chef; Michael Mina, MICHAEL MINA; Nancy Oakes, Boulevard; Orlando Pagan, Silks; Carlos Salgado, Coi; and Ron Siegel, The Ritz-Carlton. The entire line-up (and other faboo events) can be viewed here.

imageFor those staying in San Francisco, on Saturday April 18th, chef Gerald Hirigoyen of ~PIPERADE~ and co-author Lisa Weiss will be hosting a special Cooks With Books lunch at Piperade. The event is in honor of their newest cookbook, Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition. Lunch is at 12pm, $100 per person (book included). Seating is limited. Buy tickets here. 1015 Battery St. at Union.

Bummed to be missing this as well: on Sunday April 19th is the ~TOUR D'ESPRESSO~, a fun espresso-fueled ride I found on the SF Bike Coalition events page. Here’s more: “Take a tour of six of the City's finest espresso joints according to CoffeeRatings.com. Bring your own mug if you prefer to pace yourself and share an order of drip coffee with new friends. The pace will be leisurely, but we understand if you're a little jacked up after six shots. Heavy rain cancels.” Here’s a map of the tour. 10am, meet at Mint Plaza bike racks outside Blue Bottle Cafe at 66 Mint St.

I know I mentioned this event before, but here’s a little reminder that Alexis Koefoed of Vacaville’s Soul Food Farm will be the guest of honor at A Chicken & Egg Dinner at ~PICCINO~ on Sunday April 26th. Koefoed’s pasture-raised birds and eggs will be featured in dishes like poached eggs in a tomato sauce over polenta, mesquite-grilled livers on rosemary skewers, chicken roasted under a brick, and a custard-based dessert are a few likely items. There are two seatings: 6pm and 8pm. $60 covers the five-course meal, not including wine, tax, or gratuity. To reserve your seats call Wayne at 415-350-5157 or email: wayne [at] garciayrogat [at] com. 801 22nd St. at Tennessee, 415-824-4224.

imageOh yeah, and I mentioned I had a hot tip, didn’t I? See, sometimes my column challenges me, because there are things I discover and would actually like to keep to myself. But, that’s not the spirit of why I write this thing, so I’m going to tell you this little gem: ~OMNIVORE BOOKS~ has farm-fresh free-range eggs for sale on their counter—owner Celia Sack brings them down from her Tomales Bay neighbor every Monday night. Let’s just say they’re downright stunning and wicked fresh ($4 for a half-dozen). I scored a vintage book on SF restaurants and perfect eggs—now excuse me while I don’t leave my house for a couple days. 3885A Cesar Chavez St. at Church, 415-282-4712.

And on a somber note closing note, I read that executive chef and owner Dan Scherotter of San Francisco’s ~PALIO D’ASTI RESTAURANT~ is donating a portion of revenues generated from Palio’s dinner service throughout April to the Italian Red Cross to help victims of the horrific 6.3 quake in L’Aquila, Italy. 640 Sacramento St. at Montgomery, 415-362-6003.

Thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by that terrible tragedy... You can help by donating to the fund set up by the National Italian American Foundation here, or if you speak/understand Italian, you can make a donation to the Italian Red Cross on their website here.

Got a hot tip? You know I’d love it (and you). Just reply to this email!

 
the sponsor

Wines of Portugal

Wines of Portugal invites you to their 3rd Annual Wine Tasting in San Francisco. It’s a stellar tasting where you will truly discover the diversity of Portugal, tasting over 250 wines from all of Portugal's main wine regions. Light appetizers will also be served. This is an ideal event to help you start your weekend early, right after a hard day's work.

Not only will you get to taste fabulous wines, you will also be doing your part to support WomenHeart, the only national organization dedicated to promoting women’s heart health through advocacy, education, and patient support. 100% of all proceeds from ticket sales will go to WomenHeart to improve the health and quality of life of women living with or at risk of heart disease.

Tickets: only $35 if purchased at least two days before the event date; $50 if purchased at the door. RSVP early—tickets cost less, and this event will sell out. RSVP here.

Thursday, April 16th, 2009
Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell St., San Francisco
Consumer Tasting: 5:30pm–8pm
RSVP here.

 
fresh meat

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Phat Philly

3388 24th St.
Cross: Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

415-550-7428

Daily 11am–11pm

Steaks $6.25–$11.25

 

 

 

 

Meatpaper

APRIL 7, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Do you eat your pizza with a fork and knife? Then you’re gonna have a problem at ~PHAT PHILLY~, because you’re about to eat one of the messiest, drippy, meaty sandwiches I’ve encountered since I had an Oki Dog in L.A. one stoned night during my college days, circa 1992.

What’s an Oki Dog? That bad boy is a bastard combo of two hot dogs, with pastrami, chili, and cheese, all swaddled in a tortilla. Yes, it was a doublewide hot dog burrito, how utterly demented and strangely delicious. (Maybe that was the weed talking.) My vegetarian boyfriend looked over in horror at one point, pointing at the puddle under my dripping Oki Dog, and said, “It’s bleeding.” (No, we didn’t last.)

I will not purport to be an expert on Philly cheesesteaks, I’m a native Californian. But I certainly know tasty chow. The classic cheesesteak I had at Phat Philly rips: a pile of well-caramelized onions and hacked up Masami Farms American Kobe beef are shoveled into an Amoroso roll flown in from Philly—nope, there’s nothing graceful about it. The regular classic is $6.50, and phat is $9.75. It’s beefy (it’s the same quality beef that Pot de Phờ uses for their broth) and juicy and delightfully bad for you—kind of like the sandwich version of a peep show.

I taste-tested my friend’s half made with the traditional addition of Whiz, and the other (mine) with the house-made Newcastle Brown Ale cheddar sauce. I gotta go with the cheddah as the champ choice, although the Whiz definitely had a strong congealing power, an important factor in keeping it all together. (You can also get white American or provolone cheese.)

A visit to the pepper bar also added to the flavor and mess factor: I dug my personal combo of both hot and sweet peppers (just how I like it, uh huh). As I sat outside with my wingman scarfing our “steaks,” most people who were walking by looked over curiously and then longingly at our food with pure, unbridled food lust. I might as well have been sitting out there topless, I swear. Although two skinny chicks walked by, and as one looked at the Phat Philly sign, she said, “Ew, that sounds so gross.” Yeah, you keep on walkin’, sister. Enjoy your air, vodka sodas, and baby carrots.

The rest of the menu has a variety of cheesesteaks, from spicy buffalo to pizza to chili to mushroom steaks. A regular comes on a seven-inch roll, while the phat roll is 12 inches. You can play this a variety of ways: get a regular, eat the whole thing, and be stupidly full; or split a phat one with a friend; or get a phat for yourself and have half for lunch and the other half for dinner (that’s what I did, and got to feel horrible about myself twice in one day, it was fantastic). Or, you’re the We Eating guys, and you get an entire phat for yourself. You can also get any steak made with chicken—I guess that would make it a cheesechicken.

There are sides like criss-cut waffle fries (mighty tasty covered in the cheddar beer sauce—but eat ’em quick, because once they cool down they’re kind of meh) or kick-ass onion rings (both $4—fries are $4.75 with the sauce). There are some items I haven’t tried, like the salads, or Italian beef ($7.25) topped with giardiniera. I am coming back for the Italian Cheezy Beef, mark my words—I want his number. Vegetarians won’t go hungry, and can order a veggie hoagie, a portobello steak, or a tofu steak ($6.25–$9.25).

There are three beers on tap (Pilsner Urquell, Newcastle, and Blue Moon), and kudos to the nice staff who offered to top me off once the frothy head on my cold beer dissipated. Mighty friendly staff, in fact. And soda refills are free. The décor is pretty sparse (checkered floors, metal tables and chairs), so don’t expect anything design wise that’ ’s going to knock you out—it’s up to the steak to do that.

For you Philly native diehards, there are some legit snacks, like Tastykakes, Herr’s Chips, and Peanut Chews. Coming soon (maybe): online ordering and payment, curbside service, and hopefully later hours Thu–Sat, stand by! There’s a bus stop right out front, so I can imagine some MUNI riders (and drivers) trying to get their steak hand-delivered on the bus, mark my words. I’m glad Phat Philly is at least a 20-minute bike ride from ‘hopper HQ, because the last thing I need is to be on a first-name basis with the staff here, for reals. I’m going to relegate it to “hangover status only.” But those of you with good metabolism, I say go for it and order it phat!

 
the lush

Wines of PortugalAPRIL 7, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Over in the Polk Gulch, the N’Touch Bar is going to be converted into the ~KOZY CAR BAR~. Yup, Kozy, like those vans in the 70s. The new owner is Sam Young, who currently owns the DragonBar (he was the half-owner of the following venues until 2006: The Desert Moon, Comet Club, Blues, HiFi, Bamboo Hut, Cloud 9 Motel, Mr. Smith's, and HiBall Lounge, and he designed the Comet Club, HiFi, Bamboo Hut, Cloud 9 Motel, Mr. Smith's, HiBall Lounge, and DragonBar). I was told he would release details to me in a month or so, but for now, we just have some pics on the site to guide us. (Based on the last picture of the chick with the rack, I’d say the location’s days of attracting a clientele of rice queens are over.) 1548 Polk St. at California.

Monday April 13th is the next ~THREE ON FIVE BEVERAGE BATTLE AT FIFTH FLOOR~. Master Sommelier Emily Wines will pair French wines against Italian selections from wine director Caterina Mirabelli (District) and Spanish wines from Master Sommelier David Glancy (PCI–Professional Culinary Institute). In addition to the wines, the sommeliers must also pair two of the five courses with “alternative” beverages or cocktails from those particular regions. Executive chef Jennie Lorenzo will create a menu of modern French dishes from the Gascony region as guests sample all three beverage pairings and determine the winners. $125 per person. 7:30pm. 12 Fourth St. at Mission, 415-348-1555.

The baseball season has started, which means there are some ballpark-adjacent happy hours kicking off. From now until the end of baseball season (not just game days), ~SOUTH~ will have a happy hour from 3pm–6:30pm. Every weekday and on game day Saturdays, you can enjoy $6 wines and $5 bar bites and beers; click here for the menu (the menu will also be available after the game). 330 Townsend St., Ste. 101 at 4th St., 415-974-5599.

~ACME CHOPHOUSE~ is launching a non-game-day happy hour called Acme Hour on Thursday April 16th. There will be $3–$5 specials on drinks and food from 4pm–10pm. Acme will also be giving away prizes next Thursday, including two tickets to the Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation tasting party on April 23rd. The happy hour will continue on all weekdays when the Giants are NOT in town, from 4:30pm–6:30pm. The $5 appetizer list includes baby back ribs, barbecued chicken wings, flatbread, salumi, and Dungeness crab fritters. 24 Willie Mays Plaza at AT&T Park, 415-644-0240.

Also on Thursday April 16th, there will be an exclusive one-night only event, ~BEER WARS LIVE~. It includes a screening of the documentary Beer Wars, and a live panel discussion simulcast from Royce Hall in Los Angeles with independent brewers and beer industry experts. Click here to find the theater nearest you. As the press release states, Beer Wars is a “David and Goliath story of the American beer industry.”

 
the sponsor

Meatpaper

Fresh. Hot. Meatpaper.
Your quarterly journal of meat culture.

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the socialite

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A Taste of Tamales by the Bay
Sun. April 26th, 2009

Fort Mason Center
Conference Center
Buchanan St. at Marina
San Francisco, CA

415-695-9296
website

1
2pm–4:30pm

Adults: $35 by April 18th
$40 after April 18th
Children 6–12: $15
Children under 6: free (with adult admission)

APRIL 7, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Tamales: definitely one of those things you don’t just whip up at home—and if you are going to make them, you need a posse of pals to help. Why not leave the handiwork to the pros? At the third annual ~A TASTE OF TAMALES BY THE BAY~, guests will sample tamales from some of the finest tamale makers in Northern California, including up-and-coming food artists supported by La Cocina. There will be a variety of tamale styles, including Oaxacan, Yucatecan, Salvadoran, and Chilean. Guests can also purchase their favorites at the event to serve at home.

Also in the casa: Rancho Gordo’s new world heirloom beans, Mrs. A's Famous Salsa Buena (both hot and medium salsas), and a margarita tasting. Reynoso Vineyards will provide wine. Throughout the afternoon, “margarita gladiators” will battle for top honors in Margaritas Rock!, a margarita-making challenge.

There will also be an event raffle, with prizes like JetBlue Airways roundtrip travel for two, Partida Tequila’s Elegante Añejo Tequila, and a Whole Foods Mexican food basket. Door prizes include a cooking class at Ramekins Culinary School in Sonoma Valley, Culinary Institute of America Master Collection cookware, and more. This event will benefit Benchmark Institute, a nonprofit organization that teaches advocates in nonprofits how to use the law to help low-income communities. little t

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Meals On Wheels: 22nd Annual Star Chefs and Vintners Gala
Sun. May 17th, 2009

Fort Mason
Festival Pavilion
San Francisco, CA

415-920-1111 ext. 281
website

5pm: hors d'oeuvres and wine reception
7pm: seated dinner
dessert reception/dancing follow dinner

$400 per person

patron levels: $1,500–$20,000

APRIL 7, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Mark your calendar and reserve your spot for the ~22ND ANNUAL STAR CHEFS & VINTNERS GALA~ benefiting Meals On Wheels of San Francisco (MOWSF). The Gala is MOWSF's largest fundraiser, and its main source of charitable contributions for the year. Boulevard's Nancy Oakes is the gala chef chairwoman, and has assembled a group of more than 70 dedicated chefs and restaurants, including Cal Stamenov (Marinus), Daniel Patterson (Coi), Staffan Terje (Perbacco), Traci des Jardins (Jardinière), Roland Passot (La Folie), Mourad Lahlou (Aziza), Justin Simoneaux (Moss Room), Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood), Laurence Jossel (NOPA), Michelle Polzine (Range), Jake Godby (Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream), and a bunch more.

There are a slew of wineries that are new to the gala this year (bringing the total to 75), including a lot of smaller quality producers and some venerable favorites, like Hanzell Vineyards, Duckhorn Vineyards, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars, and Vineyard 29. There will also be cocktail bar manned by local fave bartenders Daniel Hyatt of the Alembic, Jonny Raglin of Absinthe, and Scott Beattie pouring for St. George Spirits/Hangar One.

During both live and silent auctions, guests will have the opportunity to bid on a number of once-in-a-lifetime items, including “unobtainable” wines, dinner at a private estate in Pebble Beach, and a seven-day Silversea Cruise from Rome to Monte Carlo. The evening's exciting climax is “Fund-A-Route,” when guests pledge cash donations towards funding an entire meal delivery route for the next year. Guests at the 2008 Gala shattered previous records by raising their paddles to the tune of $308,000 for Fund-A-Route, while the event raised a grand total of $1.1 million.

You can see the full list of 2009 participating chefs here, and the full list of 2009 participating vintners and bartenders here.

 
the starlet

APRIL 7, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO It’s not every day you have a Pulitzer prize winner and nun spotting all rolled into one: Sister Helen Prejean (whose book was turned into Dead Man Walking) dined at Lark Creek Walnut Creek after speaking at the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church. She ordered the baby field greens salad and the Yankee pot roast.

Past American Idol champ and stage star Taylor Hicks was at the Redwood Room at the Clift early this week. He enjoyed a Jaeger with Red Bull (quite a change-up from Gerard Depardieu’s green tea last week). Hicks was with 15 other cast members from Grease who were in the bar celebrating a cast member’s birthday. They stayed for about an hour, until the lights came on.

POW! Zap! BAM! Wonder Woman Lynda Carter had dinner at Waterbar last week, dining with Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul. Gary Shansby of Partida Tequila sent them a couple of Partidas (and you thought I was going to say Jaeger and Red Bulls).

 
the matchmaker

Help With Support Services for the Homeless: Event Donations Needed

SummerTini, the fifth annual benefit for CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Service) seeks restaurants to host vendor tables or donate gift certificates. The event will be held on Friday June 19th, from 6pm–9pm at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Over 500 guests will enjoy infused, premium martinis and sample hors d’oeuvres from Bay Area restaurants like Ducca, Thirsty Bear, E&O Trading Co, LarkCreekSteak, Millennium, The Plant Café Organic, and more. Please visit summertini.org for more details.

For questions or inquiries, please contact Megan Peck at 415-487-3736 or email mpeck [at] ecs-sf [dot] org.

 

All content © 2009 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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