table of contents This week's tablehopper: chomp-a-delic.

the chatterbox
the word on the street
the regular
it's about time we met
the lush
put it on my tab
the socialite
the sugar mama
get some
the starlet
no photos please
the matchmaker
let's get it on

the sponsor
this round is on me

the daily sip


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MAY 26, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Love is many things. I will tell you one thing that it definitely is: when your sister returns from New Orleans and brings you back "hog's head cheese" and boudin from the Bourgeois Meat Market in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Yeah, baby, any place with the motto of "Miracles in Meat" (since 1891) is my kind of joint. Other meat miracles this weekend included the smoked wild suckling boar imageporchetta wrapped in pancetta that Palio chef-owner Dan Scherotter made for a barbecue on Sunday afternoon. Made one hell of a sandwich, topped with a mix of shoulder and guanciale that slow-cooked for 12 hours in a combo of pineapple, tomato, and chile, and all placed in a bun I dressed with some porchetta jus and mustard. Trust, I didn't eat anything else until 14 hours later (when I returned home from dancing at 3:30am Sunday night, to be exact)—it took that long to get hungry again. Suffice to say Monday morning was all about my green power smoothie and tofu salad for lunch.

Getting excited for the tablehopper wine tasting next week, on Wednesday June 3rd with Alex Fox at The Cheese School of San Francisco. We have a few spaces left, so if you want to come taste ten Sicilian wines and more, get your ticket here! And now, a menu item teaser for you: James Stolich of CookWithJames will be preparing some pasta con le sarde, a beautiful Sicilian pasta dish with San Marzano tomatoes, white wine, currants, capers, pine nuts, olives, anchovies or sardines, and hot pepper. Bring on the vino with that one! I hope to say ci vediamo and cin cin with you.

This Thursday May 28th, I am emceeing a cooking demo with Steve Scarabosio of Scoma's at the Dine About Town launch party in the Cellar at Macy's Union Square. The event kicks off at 6pm. If you think I'm enthusiastic, wait until you meet Steve. This guy is like a power station. Positively beaming. The evening includes a walk-around tasting of bites from local restaurants and wines, perhaps I will see you there? $20, and it includes a glass.

Guess what? I got possession of my tablehopper Twitter name! (Thanks again, mysterious and benevolent name squatter who I will never know!) Unfortunately, I couldn't transfer over all of you who were originally following it, so you'll have to follow it again. Sorry for the extra step.

Wanna enter to win a free dinner? Of course you do. Read all about it in this week's sugar mama. And I'm also highlighting a few events in this week's socialite that will be held in warmer climes, so you can escape the summer fog in pursuit of good vittles and more.

Hope to see you out and about,

~Marcia (rhymes with Garcia) subscribe
the chatterbox

the daily sipMAY 12, 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 AD website). There will be also be oversized glass doors to let more light into the formerly dim space.

Chef Kleinman, 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.

imageThings 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.

More local 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).

~SERPENTINE'S~ new 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 General.

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 Romana.

Some news 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 Masonic, 415-221-7777.

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.

therapeiaWas 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, 415-921-1000.

Some special menus around town:

~FARINA~ is 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.

~AME~ is 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.

A few 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] com or 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.)

imageOn 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, 415-348-0900.

~OMNIVORE 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, 510-452-1800.

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.

imageMore 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.

(Note: there is a second event on Friday June 5th at noon at the Oak City Bar & Grill, 1029 El Camino Real, Menlo Park.)

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

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Membership is free, and you also gain access to Bottlenotes, where you can fill out a personal taste profile and get customized recommendations, keep track of your own wine collection and tasting notes on your personal "My Bottlenotes" page, access thousands of expert and member tasting notes, see what your friends are drinking, join a wine club matched to your lifestyle and budget, or simply buy wines for yourself or as gifts.

the regular


Art's Cafe
747 Irving St.
Cross: 9th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94122


Tue–Fri 7am–3pm
Sat 7am–4pm
Sun 7:30am–3:30pm

Breakfast $3.20–$7.20





MAY 26, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO I have three words for you: hash brown sandwich. It's a straight-up brilliant addition to the usual line-up of breakfast suspects. Take that, omelette and French toast and eggs Benedict! In all my years of eating breakfast in diners, cafes, restaurants, truck stops, cars, ships, planes, taquerias, trains, and truck stops, I have never encountered a hash brown sandwich. Until I ate at ~ART'S CAFÉ~ in the Sunset. I almost want to purposefully go out and get a hangover just so I can have an irrefutable reason to return soon (it's definitely a food coma on a plate).

Imagine a stuffed half-moon omelette, but instead of eggs, the exterior is made of extra-crispy hash browns, with a stuffing of your choice (I went for ham and onions, while my friend went for spinach, onion, mushroom, and hot sausage). Plus there's melted cheddar cheese in there, holding it all together. It's almost like a big breakfast taco. You know I shook some hot sauce all over that thing.

Damn, it's just so bad for you it's good. Plus it comes with two eggs on the side (bummed one of mine arrived broken, but it happens). Plus two pieces of buttered toast. For $6.55! My friend's combo was only $7. I know, hold the freaking phone. It's a borderline BLD (breakfast, lunch, dinner, all in one handy meal).

This old-school diner has been around for over 60 years, and the hard-working Korean husband and wife who own it have been working at Art's for 20 straight years. How hard working? Let's just look at this little fact: their only day off is on Monday. You do the math.

So, back on that hash brown sandwich. Once you take a spot at the narrow counter (there are only something like 14 stools), you get to watch the short-order magic. During lulls in service, the hash browns are made fresh from a handy little grater machine, and then sheets of the hash browns are put on the flattop, and lightly crisped on each side. The individually sized sheets are stacked in an orderly fashion near the grill until it's time to fire an order. Quite a tight little operation.

And here's where things get groovy on the menu: a lot of the dishes have a cool Korean twist on them, like the tofu omelette with homemade kimchee, sausage, and Korean hot bean paste ($6.75). I mean, seriously, what goes better with tofu than meat? (And don't worry, the omelette comes with hash browns on the side, so you still get to experience those crispy little taters.) My kind of fusion. There's also the bi bim bop veggie version, with spinach, zucchini, bean spouts, carrot, and Swiss cheese ($6.95). Or the samurai, with beef teriyaki, onion, and cheese. For those looking for a break from the usual Denver omelette, here's your new playground.

Breakfast is served all day, so civilized. The menu also has burgers, sandwiches, some additional Korean dishes (like bulgogi, different bi bim bop dishes), and even a cheese steak made with grilled teriyaki steak, but I can't personally vouch for 'em. I was all about my hash brown sandwich.

Bonus points for the counter packed with personal postcards from customers traveling all over the world (some vintage lovelies in there, let me tell you). As for when to come, well, this is not a place to hang out really, unless you're doing it all midweek and late like a freelance writer would do it (yes, I am talking about me). Don't come in a group—it's a counter, so solo diners or parties of two work best. There is definitely a line on the weekend, but things move quickly at Art's—zip zip zip—so no loitering or lingering. Someone outside wants your precious seat.

If you'd like to read more tablehopper restaurant reviews of places around town, click here.

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the lush

the daily sipMAY 26, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Some really good cocktails came out of the Depression, no mistake about that. ~AMERICANO~ at Hotel Vitale is now offering Depression Era Cocktails Sat–Wed from 4pm–6pm and 10pm–12am. For $6, you can have an Americano, Sidecar, Vodka Collins, Aviation, or Whiskey Sour, plus $5 glasses of red and white wine, and $3 bottled beer. From 4pm–6pm there are also some $3 antipasto appetizers, like grilled asparagus or heritage meatballs. 8 Mission St. at Embarcadero, 415-278-3777.

Did you mark your calendar and buy your tickets for Slow Food San Francisco's sixth annual ~GOLDEN GLASS~? This event is one of the better wine events of the year—especially when backed up with some of the foods in the Slow Food Plaza. The event is on Sunday June 21st, and will be including its first-ever Golden Glass Wine Competition to judge the best "slow" white wines, mono red and red blends, and sparkling wines. The panel of expert judges include Rajat Parr (Michael Mina, RN74); Giancarlo Paternini (Acquerello); Liberata Torlontano (Associazione Italiana Sommelier, Italy); Rob Costantino (Sante Magazine); Mauro Cirilli (Perbacco); Rebecca Chapa (Tannin Management, San Francisco); Shelley Lindgren (A16); Jeremy Parzen (VinoWire, New Jersey); Emily Wines (Fifth Floor); Andrew Bell (ASA); Bernie Sun (Jean Georges, NYC); Michael Flynn (Turtle Mansion, Dallas); David Gordon (Tribeca Grill, NYC); Jill Gubesch (Frontera Grill, Chicago); and Michael Honig (winemaker, CA), among others.

There will be over 150 imported sustainable and regional wine producers featured. Originally an Italian wine event, Golden Glass now includes sustainable and terroir-expressive wines from around the globe, including Spain, Greece, Argentina, Chile, Portugal, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and of course indigenous wines from Italy. This year, over 50 local food purveyors will be offering tastes, including Boulevard, Delfina, Slanted Door, Chez Panisse, A16, Perbacco, Acquerello, Quince, Acme Bread, Fra' Mani Salumi, Fish, and many others. The proceeds of the Golden Glass event benefit key Slow Food San Francisco initiatives, including the School Gardens Initiative and Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste program.

Trade and media 10am–12pm; general admission (including Slow Food Members) 2pm–6pm. Advance purchase: $60 (Slow Food members, $55); $70 at the door; under 21 years of age, $20. All entry fees include five food-tasting tickets. Additional food tickets can be purchased at $20 for five tickets. Fort Mason Center, The Festival Pavilion.

(Note: there will also be a series of winemaker dinners from June 15th–21st—details forthcoming over the next few weeks, so check back for more details here. On Saturday June 20th, there will also be three wine seminars. More information will be posted here.)

the socialite

Photo by Jered Lawson

Grow a Farmer
June 7th, 2009

Pie Ranch
Pescadero, CA

$85 (including wine)

(limited number of volunteer tickets available)

Buy tickets

MAY 26, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Gabriella Café in Santa Cruz and Pie Ranch (a partner with Mission Pie here in SF) are teaming up for this special ~GROW A FARMER FUNDRAISING DINNER~ at Pie Ranch, located near Año Nuevo State Reserve.

Grow a Farmer is a six-month UC Santa Cruz Apprenticeship program that teaches about organic farming. For more than 40 years, more than 1,200 apprentices have been trained in the organic fields, orchards, and greenhouses at UCSC.

The evening will feature a five-course meal prepared by Brad Briske (executive chef of Gabriella Café) using organic, seasonal produce, much of it from local farms started by graduates of the Apprenticeship program, with dairy donated by Straus Family Creamery. The dinner will be followed by a silent auction, music, raffle, and talks from past apprentices.

If you've priced farm dinners lately, you'll notice this one is a total steal. And it goes to a great cause: proceeds from the benefit will help fund the creation of permanent on-site housing to replace the practice of apprentices living in tents during the six-month, full-time training program.

For more information, contact dinner organizer Joseph Sloggy at jsloggy [at] gmail [dot] com.

StarChefs Napa Sonoma Rising Stars Revue
Wed. June 17th, 2009

Charles Krug Winery
2800 Main St.
St. Helena CA 94574


General admission: 7pm–9:30pm

VIP 6pm

$75 per person
VIP tickets: $125

Buy tickets

MAY 26, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO The ~STARCHEFS.COM AT THE NAPA SONOMA RISING STARS REVUE~ is a walk-around tasting gala featuring the Napa Sonoma Rising Star award winners and their signature dishes, cocktails, and wine pairings.

The 2009 Napa Sonoma Rising Stars and their dishes include:

Jeremy Fox, Ubuntu
Ubuntu Fregola in Caramelized Vegetable Juices with Salsa Maro

Eric Korsh and Ginevra Iverson, Restaurant Eloise
Egg Yolk Ravioli, Sweet Peas, Local Butter, and Black Truffle

Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood
Poached Poussin with Summer Vegetables

Nick Ritchie, Bottega
Ricotta Gnocchi, Salsa di Pomodoro della Nonna, and Pecorino

Matt Spector, JoLē
Chicken-Fried Sweetbreads with Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole

Phillip Tessier, Bouchon
Warm Mushroom Salad with Pickled Sunchokes, Marcona Almonds, Upland Cress, and Sunchoke Glaçage

Hotel Chef Award: Jesse Mallgren, The Madrona Manor
Liberty Farms Duck: Roasted Breast and Crisped Confit, Caraway, Spring Onion, and Beet

Restaurateur Award: John Toulze, the girl and the fig, Fig Café, and Estate
Sauteed Maryland Wild Striped Bass, Ragout of Salsify, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Bloomsdale Spinach, with Spinach Vin Blanc

Sustainability Award: John Stewart and Duskie Estes, Zazu, Bovolo
Black Pig Salumi

Restaurant Concept Award: Duncan Gott, Taylor's Automatic Refresher
Mahi Mahi Fish Taco, Mexican Slaw, Jalapeño Cilantro Sour Cream

Pastry Chef Deanie Hickox-Fox, Ubuntu
Lemon Verbena Parfait with Summer Stone Fruit

Mixologist Scott Beattie, author of Artisanal Cocktails
Bella Ruffina Bellini

Sommelier Geoff Kruth, Farmhouse Inn
Wine pairings with each chef's dish

Sommelier Yoon Ha, La Toque
Wine pairings with each chef's dish

Gala Host Chef: Chef Richard Haake, Winery Chefs
Long Ranch Goat Two Ways: Grilled and Braised with Rancho Gordo Beans and Salsa Verde

VIP tickets include a pre-event reception hosted by Meadowood with caviar service and vintage Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d'Or Champagne, plus early entry to the gala. The VIP Reception will be held on the Carriage House Lawn at Charles Krug Winery.

the sugar mama

MAY 26, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Nothing quite like winning a dinner for two, right? Especially when you've got two female badass chefs in the kitchen: Top Chefs Jennifer Biesty (executive chef of Scala's Bistro) and Stephanie Izard (Top Chef season four winner). These two talented chefs are partnering up to present a five-course menu at Scala's Bistro on Sunday May 31st. Seatings begin at 6pm.

Here's the menu:

Arancini di riso

First Course (Stephanie Izard):
Chilled sweet onion soup with crab salad

Second Course (Jennifer Biesty):
Squash blossom handkerchief pasta, veal polpettini, favas, fiddleheads, and nasturtiums

Third Course (Stephanie Izard):
Seared diver scallops with braised pork belly and cilantro-pistachio butter

Fourth Course (Jennifer Biesty):
Roast duck breast, garnet cherries, farro, baby fennel, and hazelnut

Fifth Course: Dessert (Scala's Executive Pastry Chef Tim Nugent):

As a special prize to tablehopper readers, I have two comped spots at the event to give away to one lucky winner. Food, wine, and tax are all included in the giveaway, but gratuity would be appreciated. Since the event is this coming Sunday, the giveaway timing if going to be short. All you need to do is forward this week's tablehopper newsletter to two buddies, 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!), or feel free to tell them about this event, or the tablehopper wine tasting, or Drew in the starlet—whatever tickles yer fancy. Just CC or BCC luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com so I know you sent it—I promise I won't use anyone's email address.

Deadline to enter is midnight Thursday May 28th—I'll notify the winner on Friday.

In case you don't win (or just don't want to wait), tickets are only $65 for dinner, and $35 for wine pairings. Reserve your seats by calling 415-395-8555. 432 Powell St. at Post.

the starlet

MAY 26, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Urban myth, or fact? A tablehopper reader writes in "I heard Drew Barrymore was at the Phone Booth again last night."

Star Jones and her new chef boyfriend, Herb Wilson, who was formerly the executive chef at the Soho Grand and Tribeca Grand, were having lunch at RN74 with gents from the Puccini Group and Kimpton Group.

A tablehopper reader writes in this sighting at 5A5 of "Peter Mayhew... Chewbacca! With his pimp cane."

Joe Cocker and his wife Pamela dined with another couple at Manresa in Los Gatos this past Saturday. Cocker was in town to perform at the 17th Annual Santa Cruz Blues Festival in Aptos (Santa Cruz) where he was headlining on Sunday. Joe Cocker and his party joined David Kinch in the kitchen after dinner for photos.

the starlet

MAY 26, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Okay, this book writing thing has me seriously housebound, so tablehopper needs a second intern! Do you peek behind plywood? Do you wonder what's going into that random job site when you see a liquor license permit go up? I basically need someone who either has a car, scooter, or is a badass cyclist to visit a few job sites each week for me. You'll need to have a decent digital camera—a camera phone doesn't cut it.

There are a few other odds and ends I also need help with (like research, fact checking, occasional errands). This position is a pretty low-impact time commitment each week—could range from two to ten hours, tops. (We can work that part out.)

I can share more, but the most important thing is I need someone who is food and restaurant and bar obsessed. You should also be nimble enough to be able get around town easily. A good speller, and way into details. A people person. An avid food blog and website reader. Sound like you?

Drop me a line with a quick intro about who you are, what you do, how long you have been restaurant obsessed, and your favorite thing to eat in San Francisco for less than $10 (don't hurt yourself on that one—I'm just curious). I'll get back to you soon.

It's an unpaid internship position, but I'll work out some treats and fun stuff for you. And this isn't about writing up restaurants for tablehopper, just to be clear!

You can reach me at marcia [at] tablehopper [dot] com. Thanks and ciao!


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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