29, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO I
think this week is unofficial San Francisco Restaurant
Opening Week. Can't believe how many places are opening
their doors. Did someone say doors? Well then, let's
start with the much awaited ~OUT
THE DOOR~ in Pacific Heights. This latest
location from Charles Phan opens for breakfast
this Wednesday with both American (soft scrambled eggs)
and Vietnamese dishes (pate chaud with pork or chicken,
beignets and Vietnamese coffee) and then there's this:
braised beef brisket with farm-poached eggs, caramelized
onions, and crispy potatoes, meow. (Chef de cuisine Grace
Nguyen is going to be making a lot of that dish, I have
a feeling.) OTD will be open continuously for lunch and
dinner; hours are 8am–10pm Mon–Fri, and 9am–10pm on the
weekends. I'm excited to come in and try the new lunch
offering: Com Phån, a classic Vietnamese lunch
with separate plates of vegetables, proteins, broths,
and rice, and the soon-to-be-signature grilled pork chop
($14) with pickled vegetables and duck egg quiche looks
wickedly good. Dinner has appetizers like grilled meatballs
($10) with vermicelli and pineapple-anchovy sauce that
you wrap in red leaf lettuce (yes, please), plus some
classic entrées like chicken claypot ($13) and the cellophane
noodles with Dungeness crab ($16) are also on there.
And pastry chef Chucky Dugo is going to be whipping up
some of his sweet magic. A few more deets: there's local
wine on tap, and the space designed by Olle Lundberg
has a long counter, black slate floors, subway tile,
and a baker's table used as a communal table. 2232 Bush
St. at Fillmore, 415-923-9575.
Fillmore action: ~SPQR~ reopens
tomorrow after closing for a refresh and ramp up of the
new menu from recently hired chef Matt Accarrino (formerly
Craft Los Angeles, Per Se). The updated look now includes
banquettes, and the floors, walls, and countertops have
been redone. And get this: you can now make a reservation
via OpenTable (but a portion of seats will be left for
walk-ins). As for the menu, Accarrino will continue to
offer rustic and Roman-inspired dishes, although I hear
dishes will be more composed, showcasing a bit of a refined
touch. He also added a spuntino and snacks category,
with dishes like friarelli peppers, Meyer lemon, smoked
salt, and chili aioli ($9); griddled pecorino with quince,
dandelion, and fried chestnuts ($9); and crispy pig ear
with pickled jalapeno and cherry tomatoes ($8). (Fear
not, the Brussels sprouts are still on there.) Pastas
include a ricotta raviolo, gnocchi, and spaghetti carbonara,
while mains feature oxtail and grilled short rib, or
farro and date-stuffed quail, with nothing over $20 (check
it all out online). Lookin' forward to trying
these new dishes. 1911 Fillmore St. at Bush, 415-771-7779.
Thursday October 1st is the opening of Michael and
Lindsay Tusk's ~QUINCE~ in
the former Myth space. You can read all about the style
and layout in this week's hardhat,
but some sample menu items include Paine Farm squab with
Tropea onion, fig, and licorice; pappardelle with suckling
pig, wild fennel, and black cabbage; rabbit porchetta
with farro, escarole, and grape; and duck "tagliata" with
quince, turnip, and Barolo Chinato sauce. (I am also
looking forward to the à la minute risotto that will
be offered—just in time for fall.) In addition to the
option of ordering dishes à la carte, there will also
be five-course ($85) and eight-course ($115) tasting
menus available. Dinner is Mon–Sat 5:30pm–10pm, with
bar and lounge service starting at 5pm. Speaking of the
bar: Scott Baird and Josh Harris of 15
Romolo/Bon Vivants Consulting are behind the
drink program, which will be featuring "elegant, light,
and very articulated cocktails" that won't get you wrecked
before your appetizers arrive. How timely, quince is
in season, so there will be some quince bitters (the
drinks will be highlighting farm-fresh ingredients),
and there's also a wet house martini in the works. Am
also getting ready to buckle up before cracking open
the wine list from wine director David Lynch. And so,
a new chapter begins for one of San Francisco's most
adored restaurants. 470 Pacific Ave. at Montgomery, 415-775-8500.
Thursday October 1st is also the opening of ~PI
BAR~, from Richard
Rosen of Chenery Park, in the Mission. The 49-seater
will be serving a pared-down version of the menu
during the opening days: look for a few salads,
pizza (of course), a couple apps, and maybe a pasta
dish or two and possibly a sandwich. Hours are
3pm–midnight nightly. 1432 Valencia St. at 25th
last, I have uncovered the mystery of what is moving
into the now-closed El Raigon space in North Beach, ~DON
PISTO'S~. Pete Mrabe, currently a manager
at Betelnut, is behind the project. He hopes to open
by Halloween, but only the ABC can ultimately decide
the timing. Once the doors open, there will be Mexican
street food on the menu, from five kinds of tacos (including
prawns, carne asada, fish, and confit-ed carnitas) to
ceviches to burros (little Baja-style burritos), plus
classic side dishes like elote (yeah, in that
awesome grilled corn and mayo combo), fried yucca, and
more. The salsas and guac will be made continuously throughout
the day, so they're always fresh each hour. The plan
is to serve dinner nightly from 5pm–midnight, and until
2am Friday and Saturday nights. Will keep you posted
on when the cervezas will be flowin'—especially since
a liquor store chain in Rosarito inspired the name (and
is a slang term for "Captain Drunk"). Hic. 510 Union
St. at Grant.
your calendar, sushi fanatics: ~SEBO~ will
be closed starting tonight (September 29th) and
will reopen for dinner Tuesday October 6th. They are
repainting and freshening up, and one more change is
there will be a new face you will see in the kitchen.
Fukashi is leaving to go to Thailand with his wife (sob
sob, he will be missed!), and taking his place is Masaki
Sasaki, an old friend of Michael Black's (and a big inspiration).
Some may recognize him from the St. Regis, Kantaro, or
some places in New York. 517 Hayes St. at Octavia, 415-864-2122.
(Photo by Michael Black.)
Sunday October 4th is the kickoff for season two of
Food Network's ~THE
NEXT IRON CHEF~, and the first episode will
feature local talent chef Dominique Crenn of Luce
at 9pm ET/PT. Good luck Dominique!
Rumble. Yes, that is my stomach talking. I learned
that chef Ronnie New at ~MAGNOLIA
GASTROPUB~ is doing Southern-inspired
brunch on Sundays, with tasty dishes like shrimp
and Anson Mills grits; chicken and waffles (the new dish
of the year?); and pheasant eggs and toast with sautéed
leeks, portobello mushroom, and parmesan cheese. There
are also classic egg dishes, house-made snausages, pancakes,
Blue Bottle coffee, and more. Brunch is served from 10am–2:30pm.
Come hungry. 1398 Haight St. at Masonic, 415-864-7468.
More news with a Southern drawl: ~MAVERICK~ is
hosting their annual Southern Fried Night this
Wednesday September 30th. Slated for the menu: heirloom
melon salad with fried country ham, fried green tomatoes,
fried frog legs, fried alligator balls, country-fried
steak, and other fried numbers like a fried chorizo pie
and a fry-up with pork croquettes, beer battered shrimp,
fried eggplant and zucchini, and tater tots. Yes, the
operative word is fried. Bring your Lipitor. 3316 17th
St. at Mission, 415-863-3061.
over at ~CIRCA~:
according to permits, previous owner Mick Suverkrubbe
sold it to new owner Guri Walia. Chef Erik Hopfinger
has been let go, and I hear there is a plan to move
in a different direction with the menu. But since things
are reportedly business as usual until a new chef is
decided upon, it may be your last chance to get your
lobster mac and cheese fix. Stand by for an update
soon. 2001 Chestnut St. at Fillmore, 415-351-0175.
Ready for meal deals? Of course you are.
Does ~NAMU'S~ Inner
Richmond address feel too off the beaten path for you?
Does the lame parking shituation over there deter you?
Well, you should dig their new promo called Taxi Fare
Tuesdays, because during the month of October, Namu
will deduct the cost of your cab fare to get there from
your bill. Just bring in your receipt. See, you are one
step closer to their wonderful kalbi. 439 Balboa St.
at 6th Ave., 415-386-8332. (Photo from namusf.com.)
on the Embarcadero, ~BUTTERFLY~ has
launched a late-night happy hour menu on Friday
and Saturday nights from 10pm–12am. You'll find price
reductions on house-ground Wagyu beef sliders and kalua
pig with butter lettuce wraps, along with $5 top-shelf
cocktail specials, bottled beers for $3, and featured
wine by the glasses for $5. Pier 33 at Bay St., 415-864-8999.
You a big theatergoer? ~GRAND
CAFE BRASSERIE AND BAR~ is offering
a $39 package (plus tax and gratuity) from now
through the month of November, which includes a
three-course dinner and valet parking, with an
optional wine pairing for $15. 501 Geary St. at
A few more additions and updates to the lunch round-up
I did last week: first, I was sorry to hear the ~4505
MEATS/TACOLICIOUS/NAMU FRIDAY LUNCHTIME BBQ~ that
was going to be at Folsom and 2nd Street has been put
on hold due to some Fire Marshal issues. Hopefully
they'll find another location to fire up the grills soon.
BAMBINO~ in the Mission has gotten
in on the boxed lunch act. Theirs comes
with a panino (like porchetta, or tuna with lemon
aioli), a daily salad, a sweet treat, and an orange
or lemon soda for $12. You can call ahead to have
it ready for pick up, or an order of 10 or more
can be delivered for free. Available Tue–Sat 11am–4pm.
2931 16th St. at S. Van Ness, 415-701-VINO.
Jason B. reports ~MINT
CAFÉ~ is opening a second location
(supposedly this week): this one will be under
the San Francisco Public Main Library. Think wraps,
sandwiches, salads, and the like. 100 Larkin St.
special menus around town: Starting this Friday October
MARKET~ is offering the Weekly Beast.
Chef Mark Dommen will be featuring whole-animal menus
every Friday and Saturday night, ranging from Duroc pigs
to Muscovy ducks to beef. This week kicks off with goat,
with goat neck ragu with potato gnocchi and parmesan
cheese; roasted goat rack/loin with polenta, rabe, and
olives; and spit-roasted goat leg with Moroccan spices,
eggplant, and peppers. The Weekly Beast menu will be
available both à la carte and as a five-course prix fixe
for $49 per person, plus half-glass wine pairings for
$20. For a full schedule of upcoming menus, visit the site.
1 Market St. at Steuart, 415-777-5577.
On the opposite side of the eating spectrum, this weekend
(October 3rd–4th) is the 10th annual ~WORLD
VEG FESTIVAL~. There will be speakers, booths
selling ethnic and/or vegan foods, and vegan-friendly
merchandise. The event runs from 10am–6pm both days,
and requests a $6 door donation (free for children, students,
and seniors all day). San Francisco County Fair Building,
9th Ave. at Lincoln Way, inside Golden Gate Park.
Sunday October 4th is the kickoff for Gourmet
Vegan Week at ~SUPPERCLUB
RESTAURANT~. Executive chef Guus Wickenhagen
will present a four-course vegan menu for $55. Seatings
at 7pm. Reservations are recommended: 415-348-0900.
657 Harrison St. at Hawthorne.
Two days left to donate to ~SLOW
FOOD~, when any amount will make you
a member (it's normally $60 per year). As of October
1st, this special September membership offer will
couple cool culinary events in the East Bay: this Thursday
October 1st, ~PEKO-PEKO
JAPANESE CATERING~ is hosting a one-night
only "popup izakaya" at Guerilla
Cafe in Berkeley. It will open for drinks and
dinner at 5pm and go until late. The space is tiny, so
small parties are best. 1620 Shattuck Ave. at Cedar.
And this Saturday October 3rd is a fall brunch tasting at Hotel
Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley with ~THENTIC
TASTING~. Domaine Carneros and Square
One will showcase their sparkling wines and organic
vodka, with fresh produce from Frog Hollow and Purity
Organic. Scott Howard from FIVE will be offering
assorted hot items, plus dairy from Straus Family
Creamery; meat and eggs from local farms; pastries;
cheeses and salumi; and more. For a limited time
only, you can get a discount price with the purchase
of two tickets. The cost is $35 per person, or $65
for two by entering the promotional code "hotelshattuck" for
tablehopper readers. To learn more and get tickets, click
here. 11am–3pm. 2086 Allston Way at Shattuck,
Meanwhile, south of SF, ~LA
COSTANERA~ [NSFW: seriously loud seagull
squawking!] in Montara Beach is opening
this Friday October 2nd for dinner. It's anticuchos
time! This modern Peruvian fusion restaurant is
from chef/owner Carlos Altamirano (Mochica, Piqueos).
It's a three-story location designed by Michael
Brennan and is right on the coast. Victoria D'Amato-Moran
did the bar menu, featuring Pisco-based cocktails,
plus domestic and imported Peruvian beers and wines.
8150 Cabrillo Hwy., Montara Beach, 650-728-1600.
And lastly, while this has absolutely nothing to do
with restaurants, I know many of you like to cook, so
I thought you should know about ~FOOD52~,
a new cooking site from Amanda Hesser of the New
York Times and her friend Merrill Stubbs. The site
is filling up with user-generated recipes that you vote
on, and the winning recipes will be assembled in a cookbook
at the end of a year. This week's topics: mushroom soup,
and recipes with paprika.
a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just
reply to this email.