tablehopper
table of contents This week's tablehopper: thai one on.

the chatterbox
the word on the street
fresh meat
new restaurant reviews

the lush

put it on my tab
the socialite
shindigs/feasts/festivals

the sugar mama
get some
the starlet
no photos please

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AUGUST 4, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Ahhhh, it's good to be back. I had no idea how much that ever-looming book deadline was going to be constantly weighing on my mind—it was like a guilty conscience. And what a treat to make it to the finish line, turn that mother trucker in, and then find out I was a nominee for the 7x7 Hot 20 Under 40: Reader's Choice! Woot! Dear readers, can you please vote for me? It's totally painless: all you have to do is enter the number four to vote for me and that's it! No email address to enter, no pesky questions about your income, nada. Deadline to enter is this Friday! Thank you thank you for your vote! Let's rock it.

Last Thursday I had fun playin' hooky and rode bikes with my sis to the Thursday Farmers' Market street food stands at the Ferry Building—what a scene! And what tasty vittles, from the Namu Korean tacos made with kalbi and kimchee to a Tacolicious fish taco with some spicy-as-hell salsa (A.K.A. Chino Loco) to the 4505 Zilla dog (with money sauce, baby!). I recommend going with a wingman so you can share more bites that way. And have a Blue Bottle New Orleans iced coffee to snap you out of your food coma at the end.

imageFriday: road trip! Left town at noon and headed over to Fresno for some peach pickin' early Saturday morning at Masumoto Family Farm. Awwww, our adopted tree was a rock star—can't believe how much fruit was on it. My apartment smells like peach heaven right now—I am calling it the Peach Palace. Currently eating three of those bad boys a day (how many is too many?), and besides playing "peach Santa" for family and friends, over the next 24 hours I am making jam, vin de peche with the leaves, and found this recipe for brandied peaches (thanks Michael!). Feelin' peachy keen. (Photo by Mathew Sumner.)

This week is looking dandy: going to Great China Restaurant in Berkeley for Peking duck and double skin (will report on that dish later); the Manhattan Project launches (am getting together with some of my cocktailing peeps to determine how we individually prefer our Manhattans—will report on that too!); and of course this week is the SF Chefs. Food. Wine. event! Saturday is a big day for me since I'll be both moderating the Culinary Matriarchs panel on Saturday morning and I'll be on a panel about food reviewing Saturday afternoon. Plus there are tastings, demos, urban BBQs, heck, all kinds of things going on. See ya there? If you want last-minute tickets, click here and enter "tablehopper09" for a discount!

Oh, and I've returned with a fresh meat review this week, can you believe it?! Be sure to check out the sugar mama for one hell of an exclusive and splashy event coming up (and ticket giveaway!) because hey, you're worth it.

And get out the vote, mmmmmkay? Gracias, amigos.

Palabra a tu madre.

~Marcia

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the chatterbox

advertise on tablehopperAUGUST 4, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO ~THE CORNER~, the newer sister restaurant to Weird Fish in the Mission is going through some significant changes: there's a new chef, Alex Jackson. Jackson's background includes Gramercy Tavern (he staged there for six months), a year at Fergus Henderson's St. John, plus Joel and Bacchanalia in Atlanta. Jackson's experience at St. John means he will be using whole animals at The Corner, starting with lamb. They are going to start small (like the teeny kitchen), offering 4–5 antipasti and 8–10 hot dishes, and they will begin to make house-made charcuterie in October. Morning service and lunch have been discontinued until the evening menu is dialed in. The starting menu made my mouth water, with this week's dishes including an app of garganelli with crispy lamb sweetbreads and truffle fondue ($9); sautéed black cod with cipollini onions ($15); and fried rabbit with corn custard brûlée, mache, charred onion, and king oyster mushrooms ($14). Look for a full menu to be in place on August 17th, and lunch and brunch will kick back in by November 1st. Open daily at 4pm. 2199 Mission St. at 18th St., 415-932-6939.

Another Mission chef change: Chris Kronner (Serpentine, Slow Club, Good Evening Thursday) is taking over for chef Jason Fox of ~BAR TARTINE~. Fox was at Bar Tartine for almost three years; after an amicable parting, he is currently exploring some options and looking for the right fit. Kronner's menu will have a more approachable and simpler style, integrating traditional European and contemporary Bay Area influences. He is excited to bring in and highlight products from special purveyor relationships he's been cultivating of late (including a blend of 30 kinds of lettuces from a source in the neighborhood, how's that for local?). Look for collaboration with Sam White on some events as well (they work together on a variety of things, like the OPENrestaurant events). Another cool component is Kronner will be working closely with owners Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson on having specialty baked items that are just for the restaurant, and will be showcasing items from Robertson's upcoming book, Tartine Bread (it's the working title; to be published by Chronicle Books, Fall 2010). The initial menu features a torn-bread salad, preserved tuna and vegetables, whole chicken in a cast-iron skillet with giblet jus, and items inspired by Good Evening Thursday, like the Prather filet with bone marrow and onion soubise, and a bone-in rib-eye steak for two. There will also be some bar-friendly items, like a burger, and walnut anchoïade with radishes. Fox's last day is August 14th, and the transition will be in place by the third week of August. 561 Valencia St. at 17th St., 415-487-1600.

imageAnother chef change: over at ~CITIZEN CAKE~, William Pilz has departed. Owner Elizabeth Falkner thanks him for working at Citizen Cake as long as he did (he came with her to Iron Chef in 2006), but was ready to make some changes to the menu. Falkner has a good crew at the restaurant which is helping her in the transition, including sous Jack Funderburg, and Elgin Espiritu from Orson. The new menu has already launched, with lower prices and dishes that are more fitting with the easygoing style of the restaurant. Back on the menu is the grilled NY steak with horseradish ice cream and tempura beets ($24), and you can now get the lunchtime Citizen burger with French fries and harissa aioli ($15) for dinner, while vegetarians will dig the gnudi with toy box tomatoes ($16). You can read the new menu in its entirety here. 399 Grove St. at Gough, 415-861-2228.

Well, looks like we had two local chefs competing on the next season of the Food Network's ~THE NEXT IRON CHEF~, but since Nate Appleman has changed his affiliation to New York (the press release I received said "Chef/Butcher, New York, NY"), it means our sole local rep is Dominique Crenn of Luce. Do us proud, Dominique! The season starts this October.

Am super stoked about the groovy new place I'm going to be able to hang out at just a block from my apartment. A while back, I mentioned a beer and wine bar (and café) was moving into the One World space. Well, here's more: it's called ~MATCHING HALF~, and they are going to serve individual drip coffees and Chemex pots, along with a simplified espresso menu. They are planning on using Sightglass Coffee (pending on when the roaster is up and running) and will have several organic options for dairy. There will also be a few local and regional beers on draft and a changing list of wines by the glass and bottle. Since there is just a small oven, it's going to be fairly simple food-wise, so expect fresh salads and sandwiches for lunch, and bar bites in the evening. The goal is a mid-September opening date, stand by! Lookin' forward to it. 1799 McAllister St. at Baker.

The wait is over: ~GUSSIE'S CHICKEN AND WAFFLES~ is open in the former Powell's Place location. If you want to peek at the menu, this posting on Grub Street has a list of items you can snarf, including buttermilk-fried chicken salad and a variety of waffles, from the signature sweet potato waffles, to cornmeal waffles, to vegan buckwheat waffles (but no chicken on the side for the last one, right?). Hours are Sun–Thu 7am–11pm, and Fri–Sat 7am–2am. 1521 Eddy St. at Fillmore, 415-409-2529.

imageMore Fillmore-based news. Actually, this is just a little taste: ~FRAICHE YOGURT~ from Palo Alto is going to open in the other half of the space next to Woodhouse Fish Co., hopefully by the end of summer. I normally don't cover all the comings and goings of yogurt places in this town, but this one is special. To wit: you can choose from house-made and organic fresh or frozen yogurt, and there's hand-shaved Callebaut chocolate as a topping. I have been promised all the details very shortly, but wanted to give y'all this lil' teaser for now! 1910 Fillmore St. at Pine. (Photo from fraicheyogurt.com)

advertise on tablehopperGot word that ~CARTE 415~ is finally opening this Wednesday. To recap, this is a lunch/food stand from Joshua Skenes with fresh sandwiches, like farm egg salad or a twist on a bahn mi with Sonoma chicken, plus salads, soup (I previewed an early girl gazpacho not too long ago), and drinks, including fresh lemonade. It's located in the atrium in the building right next to RN74. Hours are Mon–Fri 11:30am–2:30pm. 101 2nd St. at Mission.

More sandwich news: I mentioned last week that ~IAN BEGG AND RYAN MAXEY~ had a small North Beach project up their sleeves. Well, the info ended up getting put on lockdown (read: I got cut off from the scoop), so all I can say is it's going into the space next to Enrico's. Sandwiches. Opening soon. 504 Broadway at Kearny.

According to permits, ~PIZZERIA AVELLINO~ is moving into the former Curbside Taqueria location. According to some comments on Eater (which included one that said, "Finally, a new pizza place in my 'hood! I am so pumped I just donkey-kicked my dog!") it looks like there will be both a Neapolitan/thin-crust style and New York style (to be confirmed). A source told me the pizzaiolo has 20 years of experience. Based on the news they're testing pizzas already, it sounds like it's close to opening. 2769 Lombard St. at Lyon.

More permit revelations: the folks behind ~SOZAI~ have something brewing at the Tacos Santana Bar & Grill space in the Mission. I was told I'll be furnished with more details in a couple weeks. 2491 Mission St. at 21st St.

imageOver in the East Bay, I was very very sorry to learn ~ECCOLO~ will be closing after a little bit over five years in business, with their last day scheduled for Saturday August 22nd. They will be running their usual schedule for lunch and dinner through Monday the 17th. From Wednesday August the 18th through the 22nd, Eccolo will be serving special dinners to say farewell to everyone (like a meal with Bob Cannard) and highlighting all the things they like to cook and eat. In an email, chef Christopher Lee stated, "Things simply didn't turn out the way we thought they would. I'm soon putting together my next project, a old-fashioned butcher shop that will sell top-quality fresh meats, lots of my own salumi including prosciutto, a few modest wines, good olive oils, vinegars, condiments, handmade pastas, even do custom dry aging for customers. It's an exciting project and I'm really looking forward to it. We may even cook a set menu (maybe with a few add-ons) for a few tables two or three nights a week! Location TBA. It's that or move to Spain." Here's wishing them all the best; it's a sad closure. 1820 Fourth St. at Hearst, Berkeley, 510-644-0444.

Also in the 510, things are getting close with the ~LAKE CHALET~ in Oakland, opening in the 100-year-old Lake Merritt Boathouse on August 17th. As you may have surmised by the name, the owners are Gar and Lara Truppelli of the Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant and Park Chalet Garden Restaurant/San Francisco. The executive chef is Jarad Gallagher, most recently at One Market Restaurant. The menu will include offerings from a raw bar, Dungeness crab cakes, petrale sole "piccata," and BBQ baby back ribs. There will also be an outdoor lakeside barbeque and weekend brunch, plus cocktails and handcrafted Beach Chalet beers. CCS Architects (Perbacco, La Mar, Restaurant LuLu) designed the interior and have completely restored the boathouse. It's pretty massive, with a total of 325 indoor and 100 outdoor seats. Open daily for lunch from 11am–3:30pm, dinner from 3:30pm–11pm, plus weekend brunch. 1520 Lakeside Dr. at 17th St., Oakland, 510-653-8660.

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

 
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fresh meat

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Poh Tak soup

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Koh Moo Yang

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Larb Phed Yang

Lers Ros
730 Larkin St.
Cross: Ellis St.
San Francisco, CA
94109

415-931-6917
website

Daily 11am–2am
(delivers until 10pm)

Apps $5.95–$7.95
Entrées $6.25–$15.95
Desserts $3–$4.50

AUGUST 4, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Oh my God, am I really about to send you to a restaurant playing Michael Bolton, Peter Cetera, and Backstreet Boys on the stereo? You can bet your sweet, easy listenin' ass I am. Because it's where you're going to find some of the most refreshingly authentic Thai food I've ever tasted in San Francisco.

I've been a fan of Sai Jai Thai around the corner for a while, but ~LERS ROS~ is my new Thai lover, and it puts on one hell of a show, no bananas needed. The food here is so freaking delicious, crazy cheap, and it's open until 2am in the goddamned morning. I haven't even gotten to the food and I'm already swearing like a sailor.

Fortunately I dined here with a native Thai speaker (and star tablehopper reader) who totally helped show me the menu ropes since it has 114 items on it, eep. We got a big group together and had such a ridonkadonk feast for the paltry sum of something like $25 a head, with beers and tip included in that 2009-friendly tab. Where do I sign? Oh yeah, right here.

Now, before you saddle up in your Jimmy Choos and start up the Jag, you should know the neighborhood is, well, let's just say it's not a place where I want to hang out in my heels and show a little skin, lest someone think I'm a workin' girl (albeit a well-fed one). And once you're inside, the décor is, uh, really simple. But that smoove soundtrack adds a lot of color, let me tell you.

To the food. If you mimic this feast for your first tour, you're gonna be stoked. I'd almost offer a money-back guarantee, but in this nitpicky town, that would be stupid of me. Oh, and be sure to tell them medium spicy, not hot, or you're gonna cry, your tongue will puff up, and spicy twicey will be no laughing matter.

We started with the #12 Som Tom Poo Dong ($7.25) (keep the third-grade jokes to yourself, okay?), a shredded green papaya salad with salty crab, a tangy lime-based dressing, and yes, some chili. The tomatoes were a far cry from farmers' market beauties, but whatevs. Be sure to ask for it Lao-style, with no sugar, medium spicy: it will be pungent and sour and spicy, which is how I was told the dish should taste (I hope you like spice or this place is going to be challenging for you).

The next plate to hit the table was one of my faves, the #21 Yum Woon Sen ($6.95) glass noodle salad with ground pork, shrimp, peanuts, and that chili-lime kapow I love so much, plus other goodies like fungus and onion. (If there's a vegetarian in the group, they can order a vegetarian version of this dish.) The texture of the #26 Yum Pla Duk Foo ($7.95) was rockin', a salad that features crispy and light pieces of boneless fried catfish.

Some appetizers you can and should try are the juicy slices of the (can't miss) #4 Thai Herb Sausage ($6.25) served with pieces of ginger and Thai chili; the #9 Koh Moo Yang ($7.25), slices of smoky pork shoulder you dunk into a rice powder/chili pepper sauce that is simply outstanding; and the jerky-like #6 Nuer Tod ($6.95), with even more chili sauce to dunk the chewy-crunchy beef bits into.

The dish that totally plunked me into the flav-o-rama zone was the #25 Larb Phed Yang ($7.95), a magical combo of tender chunks of roasted duck that contrasted against fresh lettuce, onion, Thai basil, and that awesome rice powder-chili-lime sauce that I want to put on everything, including my romantic partner's, oh, I'll stop right there.

Just when I didn't think I could love a dish more, the infamous #62 Pad Kra Prow Moo Krob ($7.95) shows up, a saucy dish of pork belly (actually more like a purely evil version of Thai chicharrones), bell pepper, scallion, and basil leaves. It's a hefty portion, with satisfying texture and rich flavors. Most everyone who has had this dish is all cracked out for it, let me tell you. Goddamn!

Oh yeah, and the #53 Kao Kha Moo ($7.95) was no slouch either, a five-spice super-tender pork leg that comes over a bed of pickled mustard greens and Chinese broccoli in a bath of brothy goodness. Double goddamn.

We all got sweaty with the #29 Poh Tak ($7.95), a sour and spicy seafood soup that was one hell of a nasal passage clearer, and good for a group. Nothing really groundbreaking per se, but tasty nonetheless. Be sure to get some sticky rice, because you get your individual portion in a little woven basket, something I've never seen around town. I was also told that the alligator, wild boar, and all those other exciting-sounding items aren't really that exciting and are a bit spendy, so caveat emptor on those. I'm sure I'll get around to the frog anyway. Chang beer will get you through the meal in sudsy style.

Service is friendly, but my main beef is how your table will get pummeled with all your dishes at once, so maybe just order a few apps and then your mains—otherwise it all comes out fast and furious.

I haven't tasted such bright, exciting, full-of-personality Thai food in I don't even know how long. And with so many dishes for $8 and under, it's totally within reach for many people. I hope they continue to serve until 2am, which will only happen if people go go go—it's such a gem. Support this place, people! You'll want to anyway, it's that good.

 
the lush

advertise on tablehopperimageAUGUST 4, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO On Wednesday August 12th, be sure to come by the Ferry Building for the ~SUMMER FARMERS' MARKET COCKTAIL NIGHT~, when The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) and the San Francisco Chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild host this special boozy evening. Botanical-themed spirits will be paired with summer produce (think berries and peaches). For $30, guests will enjoy two full-sized signature cocktails made with Square One Botanical, along with 12 other sample-sized drinks featuring Beefeater 24 Gin, Bols Genever, Chartreuse, Galliano, and Plymouth Gin.

Bites will be provided by local restaurants like Globe/Zuppa (Prather Ranch BBQ short rib sandwich), Boulevard (rib sandwiches), Chez Papa Resto (mini fresh fig tarts with pistou, goat cheese, and rosemary oil), Laiola (crostini with house-made ricotta and nectarine conserve), and MarketBar (wild shrimp and zucchini ceviche). Participating bartenders include: H. Joseph Ehrmann from Elixir, Brian MacGregor from Jardinière, Krista Silva from Rickhouse, Josh Harris of Bon Vivants, Parker Heineman from Pacific Catch, Scott Baird from 15 Romolo, Ryan Hazen from Bourbon & Branch, Jackie Patterson from Heaven's Dog, Darren Crawford from Tony Nik's, Brooke Arthur from Range, Gabriel Lowe from Beretta, Greg Lindgren from Rye and Rosewood, and Alicia Walton from Elixir. $30. Buy tickets here. 5:30pm–7:30pm. The event takes place in the kitchen in the North Arcade in front of the Ferry Building.

And then on Friday August 14th, bartender and author Scott Beattie and Lou Bustamante of Hangar One/St. George Spirits are hosting a ~SEASONAL COCKTAIL EVENT~. Beattie will talk about seasonal cocktails and teach the group how to make two summertime drinks from his book, the Blackberry Lick and the Westside Bellini. Instruction will include side recipes, garnish how-to, foams, and rim sugars and salts. Drinks will feature St. George/Hangar One spirits and fresh, seasonal fruit from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Each guest will have hands-on time with Scott. Lou will be on hand to talk about the distilling process and products made by St. George/Hangar One. CUESA Market Chef Sarah Henkin will give a short demo on pickled garnishes for cocktails. All profits after expenses for the class will generously be donated to CUESA. $40 per person includes two signature cocktails, hands-on instruction, snacks, and tastes. Book for sale for $25. Class limited to 40 participants. Buy tickets here. 5:30pm–7:30pm. Ferry Building, CUESA Dacor Teaching kitchen located in the North Arcade.

imageHad a chance to get some details on ~SLOANE~, the new bar opening in the completely gutted Le Duplex space in SoMa. The owners are Dane Zuccaro, a consultant in the food and beverage industry (who conceptualized and designed the venue), and Cass Fegan, who helped open Fluid. The place has a new look, with 20-foot ceilings, wood beams, a brick wall, plus a wall and bar of redwood. The front door is an oversize wood door from Paris, and is 14-feet tall. The long and narrow space will have room for about 10 seats at the bar, with a back bar of steel lit with LED lights. A number of features in the restaurant are custom, with an overall industrial-masculine style. The 12 cocktails will feature fresh juices and ingredients, but aren't going to be artisanal/super-crafted in style. There will be bottle service (15 kinds to choose from) on the weekends at the eight tables, the only tables in the house (a deal breaker for me, but I know some people like bottle service). Some tables are located on the main floor and others are in the VIP mezzanine level (the DJ booth is up there too). It's $200 for a bottle (your first), and you can then order individual drinks afterwards if you'd like. Smokers will discover there's a smoking lounge that has a three-story sky well. There will be a varied music program with DJs, but please note there isn't a dancefloor. The bar will be open for the soft opening a couple weeks prior to the grand opening on August 29th. 1525 Mission St. at 11th St., 415-621-7007.

Not sure where he has gone off to, but Marco Dionysos has departed ~CLOCK BAR~. Here's who is new behind the stick: Steven Liles, fresh from Boulevard, where he presided over the bar for several years, and Robert Gonzalez, who has recently tended bar at Eastside West, Lingba Lounge, and Butterfly Restaurant. Lobby of The Westin St Francis hotel, 335 Powell St. at Geary, 415-397-9222.

imageAs for the winos, I thought this meal sounded like quite the steal: on Monday August 17th, importer Raphael Knapp will be hosting a special dinner at ~LA FOLIE~. The reception begins at 6:30pm in the Lounge, with three passed hors d'oeuvres and a glass of Bordeaux Blanc 2008 from Chateau Cazat-Beauchene, and then dinner starts at 7pm. The menu includes an amuse bouche; Brentwood Farms sweet corn soup with crispy sweetbreads, lobster, and summer truffles or Smith Ranch Farms heirloom tomato and beet salad or seared day boat scallop, served with a glass of Vouvray 2007 from Sylvain Gaudron. For the next course, you can choose either roasted Hawaiian butterfish, Liberty Farms duck breast, or roasted Emigh Farms lamb rack served with a glass of Pomerol, Chateau La Truffe 2005. For dessert, there's locally grown summer berries millefeuille, or Valhrona bittersweet chocolate and passion fruit bombe, served with a glass of Demoiselles Coiffees, Cotes du Ventoux Rosé 2007, and petit fours to finish. To make your reservation, contact the restaurant. 2316 Polk St. at Green, 415-776-5577.

On Sunday August 23rd is the 19th Annual ~FAMILY WINEMAKERS OF CALIFORNIA~ tasting at Fort Mason, one of the most comprehensive tastings of California wine in the world, with 360 wineries. Most wineries in attendance are high-end and small production (under 5,000 cases per year) wineries from a variety of regions around California, including Napa, Sonoma, Sierra Foothills, Paso Robles, Mendocino, and more. Tickets are $50 per person in advance, $45 per person if ordered in groups of 10 or more, and $60 per person at the door. Purchase tickets here or call 877-772-5425. Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center.

 
the socialite

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Foreign Cinema 10-Year Anniversary Party
Thu. Aug. 20th, 2009

Foreign Cinema
2534 Mission St.
Cross: 21st St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

website

6pm

$65
call 415-648-7600 for tickets

AUGUST 4, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Has it really been 10 years? ~FOREIGN CINEMA~ is celebrating 10 years in the Mission neighborhood with quite the anniversary extravaganza (of course). There will be magicians, dancers, henna artists, acrobats, and jugglers while guests sip cocktails and enjoy bites from the Foreign Cinema kitchen.

The proceeds of the anniversary celebration will support the Bay Area non-profit organization DrawBridge, which is committed to providing creative art programs for homeless children and youth.

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Pie Ranch Farm Dinner
Sat. Aug. 29th, 2009

Pie Ranch
2080 Cabrillo Hwy.
Pescadero, CA

website

5pm gather
6pm dinner

$200 each
buy tickets

AUGUST 4, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO This is one heck of a way to celebrate summer: ~PIE RANCH'S UPCOMING FARM DINNER~. It will be a lovely meal in the field, each course created with local ingredients from Pie Ranch and nearby farms, all made by Bay Area chefs on beautiful Pie Ranch.

Participating local chefs will include Bruce Binn of Spork Restaurant; Bradford Briske of Gabriella Café, Santa Cruz; Jordan Grosser of The Alembic Bar; Charlie Hallowell of Pizzaiolo, Oakland; Chris LaVeque of Bonny Doon Vineyard's Cellar Door Café, Santa Cruz; Joseph Sloggy of Gabriella Café, Santa Cruz; Phil West of Range, San Francisco; and Rob Zaborny of Hayes Street Grill.

It's also great opportunity to learn about and show your support for Pie Ranch. All proceeds will go directly to support the work of the farm.

 
the sugar mama

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AUGUST 4, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Quite the one-of-a-kind culinary showstopper event is coming up on Tuesday September 8th at Robert Mondavi Winery: Papillon VIII. Timothy Hollingsworth, the chef de cuisine of The French Laundry and very special guest "Demon Chef" Alvin Leung Jr. of BO Innovation in Hong Kong will be showcasing their signature menus at the event. (Leung has won two Michelin stars for his "X-treme Chinese" cuisine, and is the only other self-taught chef besides Heston Blumenthal to win Michelin stars.)

The program will start with a VIP Tasting Event (10-course canapé menu by The French Laundry) and a Grand Tasting event (12-course canapé menu by BO Innovation) paired with pours of Opus One and Robert Mondavi Winery Reserve wines. It's all followed by a very special music performance (click here to see who!), plus Champagne, dessert, and a chef and artist meet-and-greet.

This event is by invitation only, but tablehopper readers have been given special access to purchase tickets. The event only has 40 VIP passes ($675 each), and a limited number of Grand Tasting passes ($475) available; be sure to mention tablehopper when ordering in order to have access to them. (And please don't re-post this on any blogs or websites, thank you.)

Wouldn't it be amazing to win a pair of tickets? Oh yes it would. I have one pair of Grand Tasting passes to give away to one lucky winner. Here's what you have to do: send an email translating what chef Alvin Leung's tattoo on his arm says to luckyme@tablehopper.com by Friday August 14th (deadline is midnight) and I will draw one winning name with the correct answer that weekend. The winner will be notified by Monday August 16th. Good luck!

 
the starlet

AUGUST 4, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Heard Robert Downey, Jr. dined at Picán. He had the heirloom tomato, peach and spinach panzanella to start and the fried chicken with truffle honey for his dinner. Chef Dean Dupuis also sent an amuse-bouche of beef tongue with crispy black-eyed peas that Downey reportedly loved.

 

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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