22, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Some
big news at ~JARDINIÈRE~:
after 10 years at the restaurant, executive chef Craig
Patzer is leaving (he reportedly wants to spend
more time with his daughter). His last day will be
Saturday. Taking his place is Morgan Mueller of bacar,
who has been working at the restaurant since last week.
In a funny twist, Mueller was actually hired as a line
cook at Jardinière back in 2002, and left as an executive
sous chef in 2007—kind of like a chef boomerang, right?
300 Grove St. at Franklin, 415-861-5555.
chef shift: after four years at ~AME~,
executive chef Greg Dunmore is leaving to do his
own thing—he said it was time to try something
new. He has to be a little vague at the moment, telling
me his project is in the Bay Area, but until things are
signed, he's keeping it all on the D.L. Dunmore's last
day is October 21st. Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani of Ame
and Terra tell me his replacement is lined up and will
start soon. All they could reveal is that the chef is
a Terra alum, but want to leave it at that for now. I'll
keep you posted on Dunmore's whereabouts, and who the
new hire is at Ame. 689 Mission St. at 3rd St., 415-284-4040
I know I am not the only one super stoked with this
tidbit o' news: Katharine Zacher and Ryan Ostler,
formerly at Broken
Record in the Excelsior, are going to be showcasing
their kitchen skillz in ~BRUNO'S~ in
the beginning of October. They will be serving their
much-loved Southern-American fare, like brisket, ribs,
pulled pork, and yes, rotating dishes like gumbo and
their famed Frito pie, plus delicious desserts, and some
new seasonally driven dishes, like salads. I also hear
a special sous vide fried chicken (a la Thomas Keller
style) and waffle is in the works. And not just any waffle:
howzabout a parsnip waffle! (That Katharine, I swear.)
And yes, the menu will continue its super-affordable
price point. Dinner will be served downstairs Tuesdays
through Saturdays from 5:30pm-10pm, making room for the
nightclub to take over in the later evening. This is
also TBD, but Alex Fox (Bar Crudo) may be consulting
on their beer and wine list. I'll let you know when the
opening is in sight, and you can follow their Twitter
2389 Mission St. at 20th St., 415-643-5200.
Nicolaus Balla of O
Izakaya and Lounge is going to be leaving
the restaurant at the end of October, and will be
working with the partners of Sozai
Restaurant (chef-owner Mari Takahashi and
sake consultant/GM Gil Payne) to open ~NOMBE RESTAURANT~ in
the Mission. (Let's hope he brings his delicious
pork belly and kimchee dish with him.) I alluded
to this project a few weeks ago: the izakaya will
be opening in the former Tacos Santana Bar & Grill
space. There will be 80 seats, and over 70
brands of sake, plus shochu cocktails, beer, and
wine. Look for a November opening, and a possible
window for Japanese street food offerings on the
weekends. 2491 Mission St. at 21st St.
Am fired up to check this one out: opening this Friday
in the Inner Richmond will be ~PRIME RIB SHABU~ from Luke
Sung of Isa and Domo.
It's opening in the former Wang Daegam tofu/BBQ house,
a few doors over from Troya. Sung will have quality American
rib-eye on the menu for the shabu, with the fatty part
cut by hand into thick, luxurious pieces, while the remaining
leaner part will be machine sliced thinly, all for dunking
in a special chicken stock. The vegetables will be top
quality and organic, including special cress from Star
Route Farms. There will also be udon, naturally dried
Korean rice noodles (not bleached), and sweet potato
vermicelli noodles. Michael Brennan designed the 46-seat
space, and you know the all-you-can-eat shabu special
for $24 Tue-Thu nights is going to be a hit. Dinner Tue-Sun,
starting at 5:30pm. 308 5th Ave. at Clement, 415-379-4678.
Chef ~JAKE DES VOIGNES~ (formerly
Fifth Floor, Fish & Farm) and a mystewious business
partner have the keys to a new space on 24th Street,
but details about the restaurant-to-be are on lockdown
at the moment, including the cross street. Des Voignes
is off to get married (at Blue Hill at Stone Barns,
how cool is that?) and honeymooning in New Zealand,
but once he returns, I should be able to learn more
details. Since a kitchen is being built out in this
mystery space, it won't be opening until early 2010.
news on Market Street: according to the San
Francisco Business Times, the ~FOREIGN
CINEMA~ folks aren't just busy with
their hot dog place, Show
or their upcoming project in Sebastopol at the
former West County Grill. The article announces
the team's plans for a new 255-seat restaurant
flanking the Warfield Theater. The article mentions,
"it would include a basement level speakeasy-style
bar, which will be connected to the Warfield Theater,
as well as outdoor seating atop a steel-plated
canopy 18 feet above the street." Stay tuned. 988
Market St. at Taylor.
Oh, and small sidebar: fans of the fantastico egg dishes
at Foreign Cinema will want to swing by ~OMNIVORE
BOOKS~ in Noe Valley on Sunday September
27th from 3pm-4pm, when chef-partner Gayle Pirie will
be talking about Country Egg, City Egg and
signing copies (it's a great little book). 3885A Cesar
Chavez St. at Church, 415-282-4712.
and residents in the South Beach area can now add ~IRONSIDE~ to
their lineup of breakfast, lunch, and (soon—in October)
happy hour, dinner, and brunch locations. This offshoot
from the neighboring District has
the same executive chef, Bob Cina, at the helm.
Located in the Chronicle Books building, the all-day
eatery is serving breakfast bites, including yogurt with
granola and fruit, breakfast buns with flavors like maple
and smoky bacon, or breakfast empanadas, plus Four Barrel
Coffee. Lunch includes a "cukes and quinoa salad" and
a porchetta sandwich, plus a veggie Cubano. You can read
all the menus on the site if
you're curious (there's also online ordering). For now,
hours are 8am-2pm. There will also be beer and wine on
tap. In case you were wondering about the name, it was
inspired by the building's legacy as the machine shop
for the Moore Shipbuilding Company, which built and repaired
thousands of ships. The design by Je Anne Ettrick features
walnut tables and benches, a barn wood and zinc counter,
and a chandelier made from a seven-foot wooden gear.
There is also a second level reached by an industrial
steel and timber staircase made by Oakland-based metal
artist Grant Irish. 680A 2nd St. at Townsend, 415-896-1127.
Another opening: ~SAGE
LOUNGE~ in SoMa seems to be making
the neighborhood happy with good coffee, breakfast
bites, and sandwich and salad offerings. Open
Mon-Sat 6am-10pm. 1601 Howard St. at 12th St.,
In the happy re-openings category, if all goes well, ~CHOW~ on
Church Street will be back open this Friday after getting
knocked shut by a nasty fire. Just be sure to call first
before heading over for your wontons. 215 Church St.
at Market, 415-552-2469.
Froyo phreeks, it's official: ~FRAICHE
YOGURT~ has opened on Fillmore
next door to Woodhouse Fish Co. Hours are 11am-11pm
(until 12am Fri-Sat), and starting on the September
28th, it will open at 7am (open at 8am Sat-Sun).
1910 Fillmore St. at Pine, 415-674-6876.
now, some closures. Was sorry to learn from one of
my readers that ~ELIZA'S~ on Potrero Hill is
closing on September 27th. (The 2877 California Street
location will stay open.) My reader reports: "Apparently,
the owner is just tired of running two locations and
wants to spend more time with her teenage daughter, but
(unsubstantiated) rumor has it that a rent increase may
have forced the decision." 1457 18th St. at Connecticut,
around the corner from Eliza's on Connecticut,
a new taqueria called ~MONO LOCO~ is taking over
the space once occupied by Delirious Shoes. Is this crazy
monkey any relation to Lingba's monkey theme? Couldn't
get an answer from the Lingba folks. Anyone? 317 Connecticut
St. at 18th St.
Valley Blog noted that ~MI
LINDO YUCATAN~ on 24th Street is closing at
the end of the month; you can see the sign in the
4042 24th St. at Noe, 415-826-3942.
In the Haight, tablehopper reader Jason B. reports ~BAGHDAD
NIGHTS~ is closing, and according to permits, Sushi
Raw (there is one in the Excelsior) seems to be
taking over the space. 682 Haight St. at Steiner.
Jason also noted this: chocoholics will be bummed to
learn the ~CHOCOLATE BAR AND CAFÉ~ (504 Castro
St. at 18th St.) is closed, to be replaced by Puff N
Stuff, yup, a smoke shop. But despair not, because ~SARATOGA
CHOCOLATES~ has opened in the relatively
nearby (former) Joseph Schmidt space. You can read more
Candy. 3489 16th St. at Sanchez, 415-861-8682.
the weekly pop-up restaurant in Stable in the Mission,
has now extended its hours to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
evenings, with seatings at 5pm and 8pm. The multi-course
meal from Joshua Skenes is $70, with wine parings from
Mark Bright for $40. Call for reservations. 2124 Folsom
St. at 17th St., 415-828-7990.
Lunch is hot, all over town. And it comes in many
permutations. Let's do it. (Lunch, that is.)
The Power Lunch:
Is this a good sign for the economy? I would think so. ~AQUA
RESTAURANT~ has reopened for lunch
Tuesday through Friday, starting today. Chef Jason
Pringle has added some new dishes, and there's
a $27 two-course business lunch now available (the
initial menu features a veal terrine with pickled
cherries, mustard fruit, and fresh arugula as a
starter, and grilled branzino with root vegetables
as the entrée). Lunch is served 11:30am-2:30pm.
252 California St. at Battery, 415-956-9662.
The Going Back to Cali Lunch:
lunch service this Wednesday the 23rd, with a new menu
of salads, sandwiches, and pizzas, all designed for fast
service. Lunch is available Tue-Fri from 12pm-1:30pm.
22 Hawthorne St. at Howard, 415-777-9779.
The Box Lunch:
& Farm has launched a takeaway box lunch program called ~AMERICAN
BOX~, serving sandwiches, salads, and specialty items Mon-Fri from
10:30am-1:30pm. Sample boxes include a chop salad ($9), the much-buzzed-about
juicy Lucy cheeseburger ($8), a line-caught tuna salad sandwich ($9), and more.
Chef Chad Newton is very committed to using local ingredients, and makes many
of the sauces himself. Follow up with some of Gracie's daily sweets ($3) and
you're set. You can order from an array of boxes each day in the adjoining
space called the Fishbowl, and take 'em away or eat in the dining room next
door. Cash only, and prices include tax. 339 Taylor St. at O' Farrell, 415-474-3474.
Lunch from a Truck:
truck has come to town, parking at DeHaro and Alameda
from 11am-2pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Follow
the truck's Twitter feed here.
Street Food Lunch:
Some of the Thursday Market at the Ferry Building's street
food vendors are launching a Friday lunch in SoMa: Tacolicious, Namu,
and Ryan Farr's 4505
Meats. It all kicks off this Friday September
25th, and they'll be serving lunch every Friday from
10am-2pm. Look for the courtyard (or just follow the
smell of the grill) at 631 Folsom St. at 2nd St.
Sexy Time Lunch:
I couldn't believe this item on GrubStreet,
but it's true: Alain Rondelli is coming out of
hibernation to start ~RONDELLI
DELI~, a "takeout food operation … which
he hopes to license to existing businesses who would
theoretically sell his sex-themed box lunches all over
town." Goodness. We'll have to see how this one, uh,
More on the 18-and-older side: a "kink café" and boutique
GROUNDS~ has opened in SoMa (and you thought
I was going to say Noe Valley). There's Ritual Coffee
and treats to eat, along with special nights when you
can tell your bad, bad coffee date to drink their latte
out of a dog bowl, get your boots blacked, and more.
And whaddya know, it opened just in time for leather
week and the Folsom Street Fair. Hours are Tue-Thu 10am-10pm,
Fri-Sat 10am-2am, and Sun 11am-8pm. 289 8th St. at Folsom,
Just in time for the tail end of our Indian Summer, ~THE
PIZZA PLACE ON NORIEGA~ is due to open
their back patio this Wednesday. It's a
bit bare bones for now: there are just three picnic
tables while the others are being built. No waiter
service to start—simply order inside at the counter
and your food will be brought out to you. Oh yeah,
and no smoking or pets. Just you, your pizza, a
pitcher, and your pals, dig? 3901 Noriega St. at
46th Ave., 415-759-5752.
More outdoor fun: Mint
Plaza is hosting its first street fest this
Saturday September 26th called ~SUMMERLAND~.
There will be bands, DJs, 70 Bay Area fashion designers,
art, live painting, drink specials, and food. Chez
Papa Resto will host their usual patio brunch as
well as a tartine cart, and 54 Mint will offer a
panino with porchetta and a glass of wine; there
will also be Let's Be Frank dogs, and a Mexican
popsicle stand (Artisanal Paletas Paraiso) will be
selling paletas in traditional Mexican flavors.
Free, all ages welcome. 11am-5pm. On Jessie and Mint
Streets, off of 5th between Mission and Market Streets.
Also on Saturday the 26th, Jason Fox, the former
chef of Bar Tartine is doing a dinner at ~MISSION
STREET FOOD~ featuring Israeli street food.
He will be offering dishes like house-made pita with
a trio of traditional dips, making his own gefilte fish,
shaksuka (a stew of tomatoes, potato, and corn with a
slow-cooked egg), tuna brik, and shoouit, an old Jerusalem
stew of lamb, tomato, and green beans with medieval spices.
2234 Mission St. at 18th St.
There are a couple Yom Kippur meals around town
on Monday September 28th. ~JARDINIÈRE~ is
doing a special "Breaking the Fast"
dinner as part of their Monday night prix-fixe meals,
featuring matzo ball soup; braised brisket, glazed carrots,
and Le Puy lentil salad; and apple, grape and oatmeal tart
, with three wine pairings for the (usual) price of $45.
300 Grove St. at Franklin, 415-861-5555.
WINE BAR & KITCHEN~ is also hosting
their fourth annual Yom Kippur Break Fast on Monday
September 28th. They will start serving H&H
bagels, gravlax, sturgeon, and more, starting at
sundown (no need to be fasting or even Jewish—all
are welcome). 1666 Market St. at Gough, 415-437-1770.
September is ~HUNGER ACTION MONTH~,
which brings a variety of events to be aware of, including
this week's The
San Francisco Food Bank Hunger Challenge, asking
participants to survive on a food stamp budget of just
$4 per day, then share their experiences via blogs, Twitter,
Facebook and other media. (Consider trying it for a day?)
And next Tuesday September 29th, help fight hunger in
San Francisco by dropping off non-perishable food
items at the SF Food Bank warehouse on "Take it to
the Bank" Day. As a special treat for anyone who makes
a donation, food cart vendors will be selling their wares
outside the Food Bank at 900 Pennsylvania Ave. at 23rd
This week is also Share Our Strength's ~GREAT
AMERICAN DINE OUT~ (running
until September 26th), with thousands of restaurants
joining together to raise funds to help end childhood
hunger in America. Some will donate a portion of
sales for the week; others will promote a special
menu item or a prix-fixe menu. Since it's a nationwide
effort, look up participating restaurants in
your city at GreatAmericanDineOut.org.
More Soul Food Farm benefits: on Sunday October
CANE ROSSO~ at the Ferry Building is hosting
a three-course menu served family style for $50 per person,
including wine (exclusive of tax and gratuity). All proceeds
benefit Soul Food Farm. There are two seatings: first
is 5:30pm-6pm; next is 7:30pm-8pm. For reservations,
Over in Berkeley, there will also be a benefit dinner
for Soul Food Farm at ~CAFE
ROUGE~ on Monday October 5th from 6pm-9:30pm.
The tickets are $50 for a prix-fixe family-style meal
with wine. The event menu is being designed by Marsha
McBride of Cafe Rouge, Christopher Lee of Eccolo, and
other guest chefs. Food is being provided by some of
the top farms in the area, e.g. Full Belly Farms is providing
produce. More details and tickets are available through Brown
Paper Tickets and the Soul
Food Farm blog. 1782 4th St. at Hearst, Berkeley,
This Sunday September 27th is the Rockridge
Out & About Street Festival, when Market
Hall merchants take to the street at College and Shafter
for the annual ~PICNIC
IN THE STREET~. You'll find Oliveto spit-roasting
whole pigs for porchetta sandwiches, The Pasta Shop will
offer adobo pulled pork sandwiches with cabbage slaw
with salsa (yay, more pig!), Paul Marcus Wines will offer
wines by the glass, and authors Clark Wolf, Janet Fletcher,
Fran Gage, and Nicolette Hahn Niman will be present and
signing books. It runs from 11am-6pm, free to attend
except for purchases. Oakland's Rockridge Market Hall,
along College Avenue between Shafter and Ocean View,
adjacent to the Rockridge BART Station, 510-250-6010.
And now, the return of the Errata section:
like I was a little too excited about a Curtain Time "Mid"-Night
Special cocktail at Jardinière, mistakenly calling
it the Tickler's Delight instead
of its proper name, the Tippler's Delight. Here's hoping
that naughty drink turns up on a cocktail list somewhere
soon—I think it could be quite the hot item for Folsom
Street weekend, non?
I went to Spain and all I got was this lousy diphthong.
This little treasure in my inbox was too good to keep
to myself. It was in response to my sentence "Jerez,
to be exact (can you hear me lisp it?)" in my September
while I generally enjoy your column, let's
get something clear, the Spanish 'z' and 'c'
before an 'e' or 'i' is not a lisp. When
you say 'thought' in English do you call that 'th' a
lisp? No, it's a diphthong. It's part of the
language and for someone who claims to be cultured, this
shows rash insensitivity to another people. And before
you ask, no I'm not Spanish, I'm Croatian.
Learn some proper castellano before you go and pleasant
Have I ever shared how much I love passive-aggressive
emails from uppity Croatians who need to brush up on
what a diphthong is?
And everyone please excuse my rash insensitivity—I should
suit up in an orange jumpsuit and go pick up trash on
the freeway in recompense for my thoughtless ways. Let's
start with some lingual management classes: for those
of you who would like to further your education along
with me on phonemes in Andalucía (and that includes you,
Señor M. from Croatia), check out this Wiki on
the ceceo and seseo.
a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just
reply to this email.