6, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO A
while back I mentioned Jeff Banker and Lori Baker were
opening their restaurant in the (now former) Quince space.
And since that mention, a few more details have emerged.
First, the name is going to be ~BAKER AND BANKER~ (with
last names like theirs, of course they had to be the
restaurant's name). The concept is a New American neighborhood
place, but with Banker's French and Italian cooking background,
expect some influences from those countries, plus elements
of Southeast Asian cooking, Japanese, and more. Most
items on the menu—like quail, sweetbreads, and squab—will
be around $20–$25, but expect spendier cuts like a New
York steak or lamb to ring in at a little more. They
also just hired Doug Johnson as the wine director
and manager—he was most recently at Postrio for four
years—and he will be putting together a strong wine program,
with many fantastic bottles under $100. Michael Brennan
is redoing the interior, which will feature a timeless
look, one that's warm and full of wood. Another exciting
tidbit: the plan for downstairs is to have a bakery,
and really serve the neighborhood. And by serve the neighborhood,
we're talking about Four Barrel French press coffee (and
eventually espresso), breads, sandwiches, cakes, and
dessert, all from a counter and pastry case for easy
ordering and pickup. Permits are still underway, and
if everything goes well, they'll meet their mid-November
targeted opening date. I'll keep you posted. 1701 Octavia
St. at Bush.
Meanwhile, in downtown land, things are coming along
for ~RESTAURANT DUCROIX~, which is moving into
the former Los Socios space. The brothers Etienne
and Remy Ducroix are third-generation chefs from Burgundy,
France, and are planning to launch a menu that is classic,
traditional, and affordable, with everyday dishes ranging
from $9–$12 for lunch. Some items on the menu: stews,
ham cooked in cider, pommes dauphine (fried potato and
pate a choux, you do the math), and sweet and savory
crepes. They are launching with lunch during the week
and a happy hour (featuring canapés, pate, and cheeses),
with dinner to come later. Etienne worked for Café Liaison
in Tiburon, and Remy was recently at Amelie. They hope
to open the casual 30-seat space in the next couple weeks.
Opening hours will be Mon–Fri 11am–3pm, and happy hour
from 4:30pm–6:30pm. 690 Sacramento St. at Kearny, 415-391-7195.
Brunch regulars will soon be wondering what the change
of ownership notice is doing in the window at ~ELLA'S~.
The financial partner to current chef-owner Matt Skov
is moving on, and unfortunately Skov wasn't able to
work out a revised lease with the landlord. As for
the timing of the transition, it isn't clear when it
will happen since it depends on how long escrow lasts.
The new owners reportedly intend on keeping the same
staff and food, and Skov is planning to pass on all
the Ella's recipes. Once the change is complete, he
will be busy focusing on his other venture, Blue Fog
Market. Best of luck, Matt! (I used to work with his
dear wife in advertising about ten years ago, and will
never forget the lunch he made for us when he was working
at Campton Place.) 500 Presidio Ave. at California,
tablehopper reader (and friend) reported to me on a
meal they had at ~CHILANGO~, a new
Mexican restaurant (not a taqueria, although you can
order tacos—just no burritos). It opened in the former
Azteca space, right next to Chow on Church. After a
little more sleuthing, I discovered the chef is Roberto
Aguiar Cruz, who has been cooking at Mexico
the past two years. If you know what "chilango" means,
then you'll understand the concept better: it's the
name for a person who goes to Mexico City to live.
The menu features street food and antojitos from Mexico
City, and like Mexico DF, uses quality meats (Niman
Ranch) and ingredients. Dishes include flautas, chile
rellenos, pozole, sopes, and huaraches. There are also
tacos de costilla (shortrib), buche, and chuleta, carnitas
by the pound, and Mexico City-style tortas. Can't wait
to try the organic chips, and the tortillas made to
order with cactus in the masa (hence there's a slight
green hue to them). I also learned the wine list features
only Latino winemakers (primarily from Napa and Sonoma),
and in an effort to promote them, the wines by the
bottle aren't marked up. You'll be able to finish
your meal with coffee from Chiapas. Brunch will be
launching soon. Hours for now are 11:30am–10pm nightly.
235 Church St. at Market, 415-552-5700.
Valley Blog, ~NOETECA~,
the café-wine bar project I mentioned some months
ago that was going into the old Last Laugh space,
has opened. Been having trouble getting my messages
returned, so we'll just have to lean on the website
for these sparse details: brunch is served 8pm–3pm,
and dinner is 5pm–10pm. 1551 Dolores St. at 29th
like things will be on up and up at ~FOG
CITY DINER~: "the
Bills" of Real Restaurants have asked Ed Carew of The
Cottage Eatery in Tiburon
to consult on the menu (Carew previously used to work
for them at Tonno Rosso, and was at Florio for two
years). He will be updating the menu over the next
two months, integrating more local and sustainable
ingredients on the menu, and trying to get locals back
for lunch and dinner. 1300 Battery St. at The Embarcadero,
this project was fast: ~PATXI'S
CHICAGO PIZZA~ opened their second
location in the city today in the Marina (thanks
to reader James Y. for the tip!). The spacious
location will have 119 seats, with a bar, outdoor
dining, and a mezzanine. How convenient, the Bar
Method is right across the street, so you can feel
better about tucking into a deep-dish pie. Hours
are Sun–Thu 11am–10pm, and Fri–Sat 11am–12am. 3318
Fillmore St. at Lombard, 415-345-3995.
Things are getting close for the 24-seat ~ACME BURGERHAUS~ in
the Western Addition. In fact, it may even open this
Friday. To recap, there will be custom-mixed burger patties
(beef, chicken, buffalo, lamb, and American Kobe), six
beers on tap, and salads. Happy hour will run from 3pm–8pm,
with beer for $1.95. Since the opening is TBD, call before
heading over. Hours will be Mon–Thu 11am–12am, and Fri–Sat
from 11am until 2am or even 3am. 559 Divisadero St. at
FYI, ~IRONSIDE~ is
now serving dinner. On the menu: porchetta, pizzas,
a bison burger, and more. You can check out a PDF of
the menu here.
680A 2nd St. at Townsend, 415-896-1127.
Just down the street, tablehopper reader-about-town
Mark P. alerted me that the "For Lease" sign in the window
of Jack Falstaff had come down. After a little
wait, permits reveal the new tenant is ~OZONE
THAI~ of Polk Street (I am a big fan of their
catfish salad). They hope to open by October 21st if
inspections and signoffs go according to plan. Ozone
will be open for lunch Mon–Fri, dinner nightly, and late-night
bites in the bar after 10pm. 598 Second St. at Brannan.
Some tasty-sounding items on menus around town: the
brothers at ~NAMU~ are
at it again, this time adding KFC (Korean fried chicken) to
their menu (one of my favorite things to eat, mos def,
which is why you'll find a "KFC" section in my book!).
They're using smaller local chickens from Marin Sun Farms—you
get a half chicken, served with classic pickled daikon
cubes, a side of Namu's loco moco gravy, and chojang
Korean chili sauce. The bird is lightly steamed in an
aromatic brine and then battered and fried twice in rice
husk oil, and then tossed in a spicy and tangy sauce
that is an old family recipe. Seriously, sign me up.
It's $28, and good for two to share. Available nightly,
and on Sunday nights with half-price Korean OB beer.
439 Balboa St. at 5th Ave., 415-386-8332.
of things you can eat with your hands, I got a note
from Dylan MacNiven, the owner of ~WOODHOUSE
FISH CO.~, that the Fillmore Street location
is offering this killer-sounding dish: Pacu Fish Ribs.
The Pacu fish is a Brazilian freshwater fish that is
(reportedly) farmed is a sustainable environment, mostly
due to the fact that it's vegetarian. As you can see
from the pic, it's cut to look like traditional spare
ribs, and come with BBQ sauce glaze, coleslaw, and cornbread
with honey butter for $13. 1914 Fillmore St.
at Bush, 415-437-2722.
meaty goodness: last week I tweeted about
iconic butcher Dario
Cecchini coming to town to do a
butchery demo, ~THE
ART OF MEAT CUTTING~ on October 24th. Yup,
he's the utterly memorable character from Bill Buford's Heat.
He'll be breaking down a steer and pig, and considering
his family has been doing it for 250 years, you'll be
seeing some serious skills. Doors open at 1pm; the demonstration
runs from 2pm–5:30pm, plus there will be an intermission
(snacks and beverages provided). A book signing will
follow from 5:30pm–6:30pm with Douglas Gayeton, artist
of the just-published Slow: Life In a Tuscan Town.
(Books will be available at a special rate.) $275 for
the event, $200 of which is tax deductible, as it is
a fundraiser for Marin Organic. Click
here to purchase tickets or call the Fort Mason
box office at 415-345-7575. There are group rates
available if you purchase through Marin Organic at 415-663-9667.
For any company, restaurant or organization that purchases
five tickets or more, tickets are $225 each. 20 tickets
or more are $200 each. (Please note: tickets are
limited!) Cowell Theater, Fort Mason. (Photo by Douglas
case you can't shell out for the Cecchini event, you should
still make sure to check out the show of Douglas Gayeton's
amazing photographs from his new book, Slow:
Life in a Tuscan Town. I got the opportunity
to see his prints last year at Fort Mason, and got lost
for over an hour looking at them and reading them. They're
extraordinary. This Thursday October 8th, ~18
REASONS~ is hosting the book signing, wine
tasting, cheese sampling, ice-cream scooping, and opening
show reception for his book. Bi-Rite wine buyer Trac Le
will explain the "slowness" of biodynamic wine,
and Bi-Rite cheese monger Anthea Stolz will discuss artisanal
cheese making. Trac and Anthea will present at around 7:30pm,
with tastings to follow. (Cool fact: Gayeton lives on a
farm in Petaluma with his wife, Laura, owner of Laloo's
Goat Milk Ice Cream!) $5 members; $10 general. 7pm–9pm.
593 Guerrero at 18th St.
Orleans-based chef ~JOHN
BESH~ will be in San Francisco from October
14th–15th to celebrate the launch of his first cookbook My
New Orleans. From the press release: "My
New Orleans is
far from just-another-chef's cookbook—it is the urgent
story of preserving a region's rituals and livelihood
through raising food well, cooking it with joy, being
mindful of the fragility and hardship that swirl around
the city many Americans love most." Besh has also played
a big part in the rebuilding of post-Katrina New Orleans.
He will be doing a book signing on Wednesday October
14th at Omnivore
Books from 6pm–7pm, and then a demo and book
signing with CUESA
at the Ferry Building on Thursday the 15th
from 12pm–1pm. That evening, he will also be hosting
a book dinner at 6:30pm at Left Bank restaurant in
Larkspur, part of Book Passage's "Cooks with Books"
dinner series (more details on the dinner here).
Next Saturday October 17th, there are a variety of food-related ~LITQUAKE~ events
during the LitCrawl,
including Meatpaper at Bar Tartine with
Marissa Guggiana, Heather
Smith, and Chris
Ying from 6pm–7pm. At the same time, Edible
San Francisco and 18
Reasons are hosting Novella Carpenter, who will read from her best-selling
City (which I have been totally digging, by the way), joined by
Jeanette Ferrary, author of M.F.K Fisher and Me: A Memoir of Food and Friendship,
farmer/philosopher Andy Griffin of Mariquita Farms, and Molly Watson, contributing
editor at Sunset and About.com. There are a variety of events and readings
during the other time slots as well; for full details on Litquake, click
There's something to be said for eating a little more healthy. Or a lot more.
Anyway, if you'd like to start mastering cooking with whole grains,
chef Kelsie Kerr of ~THE
COOKING SCHOOL AT CAVALLO POINT LODGE~ is
teaching a class on how to cook a variety of grains
and delicious dishes featuring them, like a polenta
torta, quinoa, farro or wheat berry salad, brown rice
pilaf, and whole-grain pancakes. The class is on Wednesday
October 14th from 6pm–8:30pm. $85 per person. The Cooking
School at Cavallo Point Lodge, Sausalito, 888-651-2003.
Let's head across the other bridge: opening in Downtown Oakland this Friday
LAYOVER MUSIC BAR & LOUNGE~. The team behind this project includes
certified green builders Tim Martinez and Christi Vaughn, RaeAnne Turner, Prozac
Turner (music producer), and Phillip Mauro from Foreign Cinema, Laszlo, and
Rye. The bohemian chic bar is approximately 1,500 square feet and will feature
specialty cocktails as well as live music nightly, including DJs, bands, and
mixed media artists. The bar is slated to be a certified green business in
the winter, and they will also be opening an art gallery next door in mid-November.
1517 Franklin St. at 15th St., Oakland, 510-834-1517.
Just a final reminder about the ~SOUL FOOD FARM~ auction
bidding that's chock full of fabulous prizes (running now through
October 10th) and the upcoming raffle,
with dozens of $100 and $50 gift certificates to the
Bay Area's best
restaurants, signed cookbooks, gift baskets, and much
more (winners to be drawn at the Pizzaiolo
party). About that party: it will be at Pizzaiolo this
coming Sunday October 11th from 1pm–5pm; admission
is $14 and includes one entry in the raffle. You don't have to
be present to win a raffle prize; all winners will be notified by email.
Raffle tickets are $5 each, or five for $20. They will be available for
sale through Saturday October 10th online, and also in person at the Pizzaiolo
event. Everyone who has donated money to Soul Food Farm already via PayPal
will get one raffle ticket in thanks. Read more details on the Soul
Food Farm blog. 5008 Telegraph Ave. at 50th
Now, I don't normally cover wine country events (I'd need to send out a second
tablehopper, seriously), but on the heels of my trip to Spain, and my love
of jamón iberico, well, I had to include this one: executive chef Sean O'Toole
(of the stunning Bardessono in
Yountville) is hosting an event called ~ALL HAMS ARE NOT CREATED
EQUAL~, the first dinner in a three-part culinary series. On Monday October
19th, guests will have the rare opportunity to taste three distinct varieties
of jamón ibérico–or pata negra—and to learn the story behind this centuries-old
curing practice. Chefs Sylvain Portay (formerly the executive chef of The Dining
Room at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco, and the consulting corporate chef for
Group Alain Ducasse) and Sean O'Toole will prepare a four-course Spanish dinner
paired with select Spanish wines chosen by Master Sommelier Emmanuel Kemiji.
6:30pm: jamón ibérico tasting and seminar with Alberto Solis; 7:30pm: hors
d'oeuvres and cava on the patio; and dinner is at 8pm. $135, space is limited.
6526 Yount St., Yountville, 707-204 6030.
a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just
reply to this email.