2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Well,
it's the end of an era. After seven years in the Financial District,
the last tomato soup en croute was served on Friday night at ~JEANTY
AT JACK'S~. I know I'm not the only one who will be missing
the famed soup, oysters at the bar, the cassoulet,
and more. Fortunately you'll still be able to indulge of some of
the favorites at Phillipe Jeanty's Bistro
Jeanty in Yountville—just
a bit of a drive. Best of luck to him, and the entire staff. 615
Sacramento St. at Montgomery.
Jeanty at Jack's, closed. Rubicon, closed. However, not all is quiet
on Sacramento Street, because coming this early June in the former
Les Amis space will be ~WEXLER'S~,
the New American BBQ place from owner Matt Wexler and executive chef
Charlie Kleinman (he wrote a recent Texas BBQ piece for tablehopper here). Aidlin
Darling Design (who also did Bar Bambino) is putting together
a "rustic-chic" look, using wood and zinc, including a laser-cut wood
canopy that extends into the dining room (you can take a peek on the
There will be also be oversized glass doors to let more light into
the formerly dim space.
whose background includes Fifth Floor and
Fish & Farm,
is going to be putting some California spin
on barbecue hailing from different regions
while sourcing local and seasonal ingredients.
The menu isn't just about smoked meats—it's also about integrating
savory dry rubs, like on scallops that will come with Anson Mills
grits and bourbon-glazed turnips, or introducing BBQ hollandaise
(yup, which you'll find over a poached duck egg and Zuckerman Farms
asparagus salad). Lunch will be served, like the Carolina BBQ-inspired
pulled lamb sandwich dressed in watermelon and chile spiked vinegar
(dishes will range from $9–14). Dinner entrées will run from $18–$22,
like short ribs with pickled okra, fingerling potatoes, and BBQ au
jus. House-made pie or an "inverted root beer float" will be your
photo finish (the float comes with locally made root beer ice cream).
My ears pricked up over the full bar's offerings of Southern-inspired
cocktails, like a house-blended sweet tea (boozy or not), and the Wexler's
5-minute Julep (how long it will take to make it, not drink it, you
boozehound). Kleinman is a big beer fan, so I trust the beer selection
will be choice. The GM is Ed Puccio (Balboa Café, Jack Falstaff, Ubuntu,
Cortez), and his wine list will highlight American producers. There
will also be a 10-seat bar where you can attend to any thirst needs
you may have. I'll keep you posted on the opening date once it's locked
in. Could be the first week of June. Mon–Sat for lunch (starting at
11am), dinner (5pm onwards), and midday snacks and beverages. 568 Sacramento
St. at Montgomery, 415-983-0102.
Mickael Azoulay, owner of Chouquet's
Restaurant on Fillmore, and Laurent Guillaume, the
chef of Chouquet's, are continuing their Castro acquisitions
and are taking over the space that last housed ~FRISEE~.
The new project won't be opening until the full liquor license
is transferred, which could take up until July. In the meantime,
they are going to be working out the concept, name, design, and
more. There's a pretty big kitchen, so they look forward to coming
up with some modern and eclectic French-inspired dishes (no traditional
French dishes will be on the menu). Perhaps the new Chouquet's
burger they have developed will be making an appearance… It's
a Wagyu beef burger, with pommes gaufrette (waffle fries),
butter lettuce, organic tomato, applewood bacon, red onions,
duck fat galette, and Choron
sauce. (Sounds like something I have to try.) The full
bar will be a key component, plus music and potentially DJs.
Stand by for more. 2367 Market St. at Castro.
Things are happening in SoMa on Folsom Street, and it's not just the Spencer
On the Go truck. After years in the making, my buddy Dave
Mur is going to be opening his own place, ~FONDUE
COWBOY~. It's going into the former Extreme Pizza spot,
hopefully by this July. Classic fondue
place with huge bubbling pots of Emmenthaler and Gruyere this is
not—Mur is looking toward a new frontier of fondue. There will
seasonal fondues, actually, using different kinds of cheeses, herbs,
house-flavored oils, and dippers. The fondue pots will be smaller,
encouraging guests to try different flavors of both savory and
sweet fondues. In fact, Mur is having some custom fondue pot holders
made. There will also be some supplementary dishes like cured meats
and salads, all in a small plate format. Many items will range
from $8–$10, and since portions won't be ginormous, you won't roll
out of there totally stuffed and in pain, just comfortably full.
Mur sees the 43-seat space as more of a fondue lounge, where guests
can hang out, either on a romantic date or socializing in larger
groups—the space will have bench seating to accommodate different
groups. There will also be a bit of a rustic Western vibe, with
lots of wood and spaghetti western flicks playing on a flat-screen
TV. Beer and wine will be served, and look for brunch and potential
outdoor seating at a later date. Hours will be Tue–Sun 5pm–11pm.
1052 Folsom at Russ (between 6th and 7th Streets).
Just next door there is going to be an ~ITALIAN DELI~ in a
couple months, stand by. From what I heard, it's a father and daughter
team behind the deli, and they plan on using the back kitchen area
as a cookie bakery. I'm just waiting to hear back from them, stay tuned.
micro-roaster coffee activity: some ex-Blue
Bottle and Four Barrel employees, brothers
Justin and Jerad Morrison, are hard at work
on their own project on 7th Street called ~SIGHTGLASS
COFFEE~. The pics look
major—the space is downright huge. Like, try
4,000 square feet. They are restoring a Probat roaster,
so there will be both wholesale and retail
house-roasted coffee available. There's a 1970's
La Marzocco, too. I'll have more deets to share next week.
Very exciting for SoMa folks. 7th St. at Folsom.
A couple tablehopper readers send word of another ~ITALIAN DELI~ opening
on Townsend near Lusk, across from the Safeway. Anyone? Bueller? 236
Townsend St. at Lusk (between 3rd and 4th Streets).
chef, Deepak Kaul, has started. His most recent experience in
the city was at Jardinière, where he worked with Robbie Lewis for five
years. He then moved to Boston, where he worked at Rendezvous.
The menu changes will be subtle; Serpentine
will keep its seasonal approach, adjusting with what's available. Serpentine
will continue to work with products from farms
like Mariquita and ranches like Prather, and prices will stay the same.
2495 3rd St. at 22nd St., 415-252-2000.
In case you're wondering where chef Bridget Batson (Hawthorne
Lane, TWO) is these days, she's working at ~PIZZERIA
DELFINA~ on California Street. She says she really wanted
to do something completely different for a
while, and has been training with Anthony Strong.
She said, "Quite honestly it's the most fun I've
had in years." And congrats to Pizzeria Delfina
for their panna pie making Alan Richman of
GQ's list of the 25
Best Pizzas in the U.S. And best wishes to one of their pizzaiolos,
Jose Luis, who is reportedly hurt and is hopefully on the mend in SF
Additional kudos to ~GIALINA~ (one
of my local faves) for making the list for the wild nettle pizza (I
prefer it with the addition of an egg), and ~A16's~ delicious
in my 94117 neighborhood (the Western Addition) and thereabouts:
college kids seem to be the apparent target audience for ~BISTRO
GAMBRINUS~, a casual place that just opened near USF with 12 beers
on tap (nothing very outré, except the Gambrinus Pilsner, but the rest
include Sierra Nevada, Speakeasy, and others), burgers, sausage, sandwiches,
plus some Eastern European dishes, like goulash. 1813 Fulton St. at
Just down the street, things are getting closer on ~JANNAH~,
the California-Mediterranean place. I was pleasantly surprised to see
with my own eyes who the chef is, but he asked me to keep it quiet
until they get close to opening, which should be in three weeks or
so. 1775 Fulton St. at Masonic.
Was also happy to learn that the shuttered ~ONE WORLD CAFÉ~ is
morphing into a beer and wine bar and café (they will be serving quality
coffee, thank god), and is slated to open by the end of summer or so.
The owner said he'll have more for me as things progress. Welcome to
the neighborhood. 1799 McAllister St. at Baker.
Over on Fillmore Street, I heard ~HARRY'S
BAR~ has undergone a menu revamp. Harry's is now
using some quality purveyors, like Prather
Ranch and Acme Bread for the famed burger. And a new brunch menu
is underway, with dishes like a pressed Zoe's ham and Swiss sandwich
with two poached eggs and béchamel sauce, served with
greens or crispy potatoes ($9.95); baked
chilaquiles ($8.95); and a frittata with trumpet mushrooms, goat
cheese, green onion, and asparagus ($8.95). The crispy Mary's
free-range chicken sandwich with celery root slaw and greens
on a torpedo roll also sounds tasty ($8.95). Brunch is Sat–Sun
11am–3pm. If you want to try the new burger, the time to do it
is during their late-night special, when a burger and fries are
only $6.99 (Sun–Thu 10pm–12am). 2020 Fillmore St. at California,
Some special menus around town:
turning two on Thursday June 4th, and is celebrating with a $75 four-course
prix-fixe menu, with three options for each course. ($40 for wine pairings
from Jermann of Friuli). Check it all out here.
3560 18th St. at Guerrero, 415-565-0360.
starting a series of three-course prix-fixe Wednesday night menus.
June 3rd is a Japanese dinner with Kurobuta pork "shabu shabu" salad;
June 10th is a Lebanese theme with Chateau Musar wines; and the one
that really caught my eye is on June 24th: a shochu dinner with bo
ssäm, the famed über-pork dish made popular at Momofuku Ssäm Bar in
New York (check
out some aftermath here). Instead of a big ole pork butt, Ame's
variation will feature braised pork belly with fried oysters and kimchi—hold
me. Here's a PDF of the upcoming dinners and menus here.
The dinners are $55 per person and include beverage pairings, but do
not include tax or gratuity. 689 Mission St. at Minna, 415-284-4040.
On the days when we get some serious summer sun over the next three
months (yeah, right), you should check out this handy link a tablehopper
reader forwarded to me: a Google
Maps listing of all the restaurants, bars, lounges, or cafes
in the Bay Area that have ~OUTDOOR SEATING~. The mapmaker is
trying to keep it focused on establishments
that have either patio seating in the back
or some kind of dedicated area out front, i.e. something like Enrico's
or even The Pork Store in the Mission, as opposed to a place that just
has one or two tables out front on the sidewalk. He has it set up so
he's the only one who can edit it, but if anyone gives him a suggestion
via the comments, he'll add it.
A partner in ~CIBO~ in
Sausalito wrote in to let me know the café
is now open, serving breakfast and lunch (panini, salads). The décor
sounds a bit historic-industrial-chic, and there's an outdoor patio.
Hours are Mon–Fri 7am–3pm, and Sat–Sun 7am–5pm. 1201 Bridgeway at
Pine, Sausalito, 415-331-2426.
upcoming events: ~BAR
BAMBINO~ is hosting a cheese and wine tasting on
Sunday May 31st. This class from owner
Christopher Losa and head cheese monger
Colin Shaff will focus on teaching how
cheese and wine are made. 3pm–5pm. $45.
Reserve at events [at] barbambino [dot]
call 415-701-VINO (8466). 2931 16th St.
at South Van Ness.
(Starting on June 1st, Bar Bambino is also going to be hosting Monday
Night Suppers: a $35 family-style menu, highlighting different
Italian regions, plus $10 for a quartino of wine. Menus will be posted
Sundays on the website and
via twitter, @barbambino.)
On Monday June 1st, ~SUPPERCLUB~ is
hosting the second Uber Dinner in a series. This dinner has Jamie
Lauren (Absinthe, Top Chef) and Jennie Lorenzo (Fifth Floor
Restaurant) alongside executive chef Guus Wickenhagen. Each chef will
prepare dishes in a multi-course prix-fixe dinner with cocktail and
wine pairings, and Supperclub performers will be doing their thing.
$125 per person, includes wine pairings. 657 Harrison St. at Hawthorne,
BOOKS ON FOOD~ has some cool events coming
up: on Thursday June 11th, Nate Appleman
(A16, SPQR), Chris Cosentino (Incanto), and Traci des Jardins
(Jardinière, Mijita, Acme Chophouse) will be on a panel to discuss
the current state of restaurants and cooking. 6pm, free. More
events to note: on Sunday June 14th, Patricia
Unterman will be there to discuss the latest edition of the
San Francisco Food Lover's Pocket Guide from 3pm–4pm (free
talk). And then Alice Waters will be there on Friday June
26th from 6pm–8pm for the release of The Edible Schoolyard.
This is a benefit for the Chez Panisse
Foundation, so tickets are $50, and include a signed copy of
The Edible Schoolyard. It's an intimate event (only 40 people,
less than 15 tickets remain), so call to purchase tickets ASAP
at 415-282-4712. Oh yeah, and if you didn't win a copy Jam It, Pickle It, Cure
It (last week's sugar mama giveaway), author Karen Solomon will
be there to give preserving tips and recipes on Saturday June
27th from 3pm–4pm. 3885-A Cesar Chavez St. at Church, 415-282-4712.
I might as well add a section called The Puerco Report, or Hog
Wild Weekly, because it seems there is something piggy happening
every week. Coming up on Sunday June 14th is the next ~COCHON
555/SAN FRANCISCO~, an eating and entertainment event
that is all about heritage hog. Featured chefs include Ryan Farr
(4505 Meats), Nate Appleman (A16, SPQR), Ravi Kapur (Boulevard),
and Staffan Terje (Perbacco). $145. Not sure about the where (details
are sketchy), but follow the site for more info.
Some (more) pig: ~DASHE
CELLARS~ will be hosting a wine lover's luau this
Saturday May 30th, with a whole spit-roasted pig, wine-paired
hors d'oeuvres, a steel drum player, and you can almost guarantee
there will be a few guys who look like Kenny Rogers sporting
Hawaiian shirts in full effect. 1pm–5pm. $25 ($20 for wine club
or ZAP members). Tickets are available at the door for $30 ($25
for wine club or ZAP members). Includes wine tastings, food,
and a complimentary Riedel glass. 55 4th St. at Fallon, Oakland,
Not piggy, but fishy: get your spot for ~OLIVETO'S~ upcoming Oceanic
Dinners, from June 10th–June 14th. The last time I went, I was
really impressed—quite an array of fantastic dishes, featuring 60
species of sea creatures and plants (all harvested sustainably).
5655 College Ave. at Shafter, Oakland, 510-547-5356.
Tickets just went on sale for ~SF
CHEFS. FOOD. WINE.~ the four-day food and
wine hootenanny to be held in San Francisco
from August 6th–9th, 2009. On Saturday the 8th, I will be a part
of a panel discussing restaurant reviewing, and moderating another
one on culinary matriarchs, featuring Nancy Oakes (Boulevard),
Annie Somerville (Greens), Cindy Pawlcyn (Mustards Grill), and
Patricia Unterman (Hayes Street Grill). I'll be doing a full
recap on the event in a week or so, but thought you'd want to
take a peek at the line-up and perhaps get tickets now.
cooks and books: Deborah Madison, the founding chef of Greens
Restaurant and cookbook author, is part of a special luncheon
event featuring her new book, ~WHAT
WE EAT WHEN WE EAT ALONE~. I can't wait to read
it—it's all about solo at-home dining habits,
plus recipes. Oh, I'd have some good additions of my own. Especially
the late-night concoctions I come up with. Anyway. One Market is
hosting the lunch on Thursday June 4th at noon ($85 per person,
book included; $150 per couple, one book). Buy tickets here.
One Market St. at Spear.
there is a second event on Friday June 5th at noon at the Oak City
Bar & Grill,
1029 El Camino Real, Menlo Park.)
a hot tip? You know I'd love
it (and you). Just reply to this email