tablehopper
table of contents This week's tablehopper: super fly.

the chatterbox
the word on the street
the regular
it's about time we met
the lush

put it on my tab

the socialite
shindigs/feasts/festivals
the sugar mama
get some

Olson Ogden Wines

the starlet
no photos please

the sponsor
this round is on me

Culinary Outsourcing Services

Dominic Phillips

Whisky Fest

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Zojo Media

OCTOBER 6, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Yup, October is definitely here, isn't it? There's a snap in the air, and let's not even talk about our diminishing daylight (and tomatoes). I love fall, but this transitional time always makes this beach lovin' lady a little blue. Alas, sweater season cannot be stopped, so I think this week's write-up in the regular features exactly the kind of satisfying food we'll be craving in these chillier days.

My weekend was mostly spent in the bunker (aka my apartment) doing book layout edits (it's so hard to chop chop chop, but guess who was way over her page count?) and wrapping up my taxes since my extension was coming to a close (what the hell, doesn't Uncle Sam know I'm bizzeee?).

imageSuffice to say, it was a breath of fresh air to turn everything in to my accountant and head over to the CUESA Sunday Supper reception and dinner. The talent in this town is really something to be proud of, so many tasty bites and dishes and drinks. Here's a pic of one of my favorites: country pork pate with marrow toasts, blood mousse, and quince from Mirit Cohen of Gastronaut Catering. Yeah, you heard right: blood mousse. Vampire approved! Fortunately I went dancing after the event to help repent for my caloric sins.

Misery loves company, so shall we dive into some news and events that will most likely land you on the treadmill next to me? Let's.

~Marcia (rhymes with Garcia)

(R.I.P. Gourmet magazine. What a loss.)

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the chatterbox

Culinary Outsourcing ServicesOCTOBER 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, 415-441-5669.

A 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 DF for 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.

According to Noe 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 St., 415-824-5524.

Looks 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, 415-982-2000.

Dominic PhillipsWow, 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 Hayes, 415-346-3212.

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.

imageSpeaking 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.

imageMore 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 Gayeton.)

In 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.

imageNew 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 book Farm 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 here.

Whisky Fest

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.

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Let's head across the other bridge: opening in Downtown Oakland this Friday is ~THE 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 St., Oakland.

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.

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

 
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the regular

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Photos courtesy of Zaré at Fly Trap

Zaré at Fly Trap
606 Folsom St.
Cross: 2nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94107

415-243-0580
website

Mon–Thu 4pm–10pm
Fri–Sat 4pm–11pm

Apps $8–$15
Entrées $14–$26
Desserts $9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dominic Phillips

 

 

OCTOBER 6, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO There are some people in this world who live to cook for others, and chef Hoss Zaré is certainly one of them. This chef is so fired up to say hello to his guests and host them that he pops out of the kitchen constantly to check on them like they're his relatives. Dining at his restaurant, ~ZARÉ AT FLY TRAP~, is on par with being a guest in his home. It looks homey, too, with the pressed tin ceiling, vintage maps and prints on the walls, and elegant black and cream chairs with curving backs. I've always had a soft spot for this location, and it ends up Hoss has a soft spot for it as well—it was the first kitchen he ran when he emigrated from Iran in 1986.

Admittedly, when I first visited his restaurant in the fall of 2008 (he took it over that summer), I found some of the dishes to be too strongly seasoned or a bit uneven. It took me too long to return (and Hoss was quick to remind me of this), but I am happy to report the meal I had this summer was quite memorable. Downright delicious, in fact. So I'm here to testify: don't take as long as I did to dine (or return) here.

A refreshing start is the smoked trout ($11) served on a bed of cucumber masquerading as linguine, dressed in dill crème fraîche, and topped with the salty pop of trout roe. And like linguine, it takes a little negotiating to successfully spin the strands on your fork, but with one bite, the sexy texture of this dish makes it worth the effort.

The restaurant has become known for its meatballs, whether it's the famed Monday night (monster) meatball special with a meaty surprise inside (perhaps quail… or lamb chops?) that is big enough for three people to share; or the appetizer of tender and juicy pistachio meatballs ($12) in a tangy-sweet dressing of honey and pomegranate with the prickle of harissa; or the vegetarian kufteh Tabrizi ($9/$17) made with three kinds of beans, bulgur, shiitake mushrooms, and an avocado "salsa" on the side. Who knew meatballs could be prettily presented? But they are.

The beet salad ($10) is another looker, with thin carpaccio-like slices of golden beets topped with watercress, Laura Chenel goat cheese, cubes of red beets, and haunting accents of grape molasses, cumin, and mint. The flavors all came together amazingly.

A decadent salad featuring shredded bites of smoked pheasant ($12) also included figs, walnuts, red onion, and a pomegranate vinaigrette—it had a prominent sweetness that made me think it would work well as a transition after a main course.

The dish I am dying to return for is the braised duck legs ($22). The flavors were brilliant, a combination of young almonds, acidic barberries, buttery basmati rice, and the kicker: candied citrus. Genius flavor profile on this dish. My friend's spring chicken ($19) was juicy and the skin had an evenly crisp texture like way the preparation of chicken under a brick does. The accompanying side salad of watermelon and ricotta salata was a generous bonus, but I just wished the watermelon had been more ripe.

The other trademark dish is the lamb shank abgusht ($24). It's a honking piece of meat, a bit too much for me to tuck into by myself—I think it would be a fine one to share. The side of torshi (a classic Persian side dish of pickled vegetables and herbs) really brings it alive, a bright and tart accompaniment. I like how the food is feisty here, playing between sour and sweet, with exotic spices and ingredients, from the preserved lime to the tangy barberries.

I've tasted the delicious lamb burger ($14) spiked with sumac in a slider form at various events, but have never sat down to eat a full-sized portion. I wager it would be perfect to eat at the bar, especially since it comes with some champ French fries—they are ridiculously good here (my friends and I attacked the fries like jackals). The saffron aioli with the fries only seals their snackability.

You could say Hoss's food is Mediterranean, but it's more exotic than what we typically think of as "Mediterranean" here. And while the flavor profiles and ingredients have a strong Persian pedigree, I'd propose the execution is more modern Persian. In a way, I think his food follows the same approach Mourad Lahlou has applied to Moroccan cuisine to make it uniquely his, adding California flair and quality local and organic ingredients.

The portions are hefty, so if you make it to dessert, kudos to you. Marissa Churchill developed the menu, with finales like a yogurt panna cotta ($9) with white truffle honey and a candied olive biscotto that was so good I wanted to take a dozen home.

Vegetarians will be thrilled with having their very own menu here, just ask (the appetizers alone could make a hearty meal). The wine list from MS Chris Blanchard is a fun one to dive into, from the "Italian White Wine Ancient Varietals" section to "Red Wine from the Mediterranean Islands." Since Hoss's food features layers of ingredients and isn't shy on personality (kind of like the person cooking it), it's wise to recruit the staff for recommendations. You'll enjoy the attentive service—GM Mario Nocifera runs a friendly and gracious front of house.

Another big draw here is the bar. Reza Esmaili was originally presiding over the concoctions (now it's Valen West) that are divided into Mediterranean and Barbary Coast cocktails—you'll have some fun decisions to make. The drinks integrate a number of culinary ingredients, like the Minted Memory ($10), a winning combination of gin with Pimm's no.1, minted vinegar syrup, and lemon—it's an ideal start to a meal. You'll also find flavors like cardamom, bergamot honey, and orgeat making appearances. Happy hour is from 4pm–6pm, so get a side of those fries off the bar bites menu with your cocktail, seriously.

I liked the mix of guests, from groups of friends dining together to Persian families to folks hanging out at the communal table in the bar area to plenty of date duos. The room is atmospheric and romantic but still lively, like the bright punch of persimmon on the pillars. And the private side room practically begs for a birthday party—you'll be in good hands, with someone who will be thrilled you chose to throw your party in his home.

 
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the lush

Whisky FestSEPTEMBER 29, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Is your liver primed and ready for ~WHISKYWEEK SAN FRANCISCO~? There is quite the lineup of events and specials, all starting this coming Sunday October 11th. Here's an overview for you—contact individual venues for more details.

There will be weeklong cocktail specials at Bourbon & Branch, including the Velvet Rope: Ali Tahsini (rye whiskey, Falernum, Peychaud's Bitters); Buffalo Soldier: Tony Devencenzi (Buffalo Trace, Averna, lemon juice, honey, Peychaud's Bitters, sage); A Friend of Ours: Joel Baker (Bulleit Bourbon, Fernet Branca, and Licor 43); and the Frank Lloyd Wright: Ian Scalzo (bourbon, pear liqueur, nocino, Islay Whisky, Old Fashioned Bitters).

Sunday October 11th

David Blackmore, Glenmorangie Brand Ambassador, will lead a tasting of a selection of the Glenmorangie portfolio. This tasting will involve a full sensory analysis of the components found in Glenmorangie whiskies, helping you to better understand how to analyze and understand a spirit from every perspective. 6pm: meet and greet with welcome cocktail and appetizers; 6:30pm–7:30pm: David's presentation; 7:30pm–8pm: Q&A; 8pm–2am: Glenmorangie dram and cocktail specials.
Elixir, 3200 16th St. at Guerrero, 415-552-1633.

Monday October 12th

Laphroaig Cocktail Contest at Rye.
Ten bartenders will compete. Prizes will be awarded for the top cocktails. Laphroaig cocktails are complimentary. Open to the public. 7:30pm–9:30pm.
Rye, 688 Geary St. at Leavenworth, 415-786-7803.

Marko Karakacevic of Marko K Spirits and Charbay Winery and Distillery, and a 13th generation master distiller in his family, will present his inaugural bottling of Double and Twisted IPA Light Whiskey at Elixir. 7pm–9pm: presentation; 9pm–2am: Charbay and Marko K dram and cocktail specials.
Elixir, 3200 16th St. at Guerrero, 415-552-1633.

Tuesday October 13th

"True North" Whiskies from Compass Box featuring John Glaser. John will debut the new Compass Box Spice Tree and Orangerie liqueurs.
Fifth Floor Restaurant and Lounge, 12 Fourth St. at Market, 415-348-1555.

There is a roundtable tasting at 8pm of Glenrothes, Bowmore, and Auchentoshan at Broken Record.
Broken Record, 1166 Geneva Ave. at Edinburgh, 415-963-1713.

St. George Spirits' Master Distiller Lance Winters will present how they do it over in Alameda when it comes to whiskey. The presentation at Elixir is from 7pm–9pm, and then from 9pm–2am there are St. George and Hangar One dram and cocktail specials during The Elixir Quiz.
Elixir, 3200 16th St. at Guerrero, 415-552-1633.

Wednesday October 14th

Fifth Floor Restaurant and Lounge is hosting Whiskey Wednesday, offering a flight of three separate whiskies showcasing some of the best whiskies from around the world, from blended and single malt Scotch, Canadian, and Irish whiskies and the best of native bourbons and ryes. In addition to the flight, "flask" service will be available for each of the whiskies offered. A select list of cocktails featuring whisky as the base ingredient (Manhattan, Sazerac, highballs, etc.) will be offered for $7. 5pm–10pm.
Fifth Floor Restaurant and Lounge, 12 Fourth St. at Market, 415-348-1555.

K&L Wine Merchants at Alembic
Dinner featuring High West Whiskeys and David Perkins of High West Distillery, $100, reservations required, 6pm–9pm. For more information, click here.
The Alembic, 725 Haight St. at Cole, 415-666-0822.

Glenfiddich and Cigars, 8pm
Broken Record, 1166 Geneva Ave. at Edinburgh, 415-963-1713.

Compass Box Range with John Glaser
Join the staff at 15 Romolo Place in welcoming whisky-maker extraordinaire John Glaser of Compass Box, who will be pouring his range of Compass Box whiskies. There will be appetizers and some surprises to taste. Starting at 6:30pm.
15 Romolo, 15 Romolo Pl. at Broadway, 415-398-1359.

Gardner Dunn, Yamazaki Brand Ambassador
What is Japanese whisky? Yamazaki Brand Ambassador and famed New York bartender Gardner Dunn will take you through the history and evolution of whisky production and presentation in Japan. You'll taste some of the Suntory brands, including some unique wood finishes on Yamazaki and the first tasting of the new Hibiki 12 Year, to be released in the U.S. on that day. Gardner will give a visual tour of their distilleries and cooperage, as well as Japanese bartending tools and ice sculpting. 7pm–8:30pm: Gardner's presentation (including welcome cocktail); 8:30pm–9pm: Q&A; 9pm–2am: Elixir Charity Guest Bartending event for The Bartender Relief Fund, benefiting Chicago Bartender Kyle McHugh and featuring Gardner, Elixir bartenders H. Joseph Ehrmann and Alicia Walton, and Bartender Fund President Tony Devencenzi.
Elixir, 3200 16th St. at Guerrero, 415-552-1633.

Thursday October 15th

(ri)1 Happy Hour
$5 (ri)1 cocktails and giveaways, 6pm–8pm.
Sens Restaurant, 4 Embarcadero Center, 100 Drumm St., 415-362-0645.

Whisky and Wine
Presented by Whisky Tour, Wild Scotsman, and Johnnie Walker.
Broken Record, 1166 Geneva Ave. at Edinburgh, 415-963-1713.

Peter Schwartz
, Founder and President of International Beverage Company, Inc.
Having 28 years of experience in the alcoholic beverage industry, Peter is a recognized authority and national speaker on the making, marketing, selling, and serving of whiskey. Welcomed in 2008 into the Keepers of the Quaich, the exclusive Scotch whisky society, Peter will discuss a survey tasting of the Scottish Highlands (Deanston), Isle of Mull (Ledaig and Tobermory), and Islay (Bunnahabhain and Black Bottle). You'll look at how they are different from other single malts and blends, the distillation process for each product and the difference of a non chill-filtered product and filtered product. 7pm–8:30pm: Peter's presentation (including welcome cocktail); 8:30pm–9pm: Q&A; 9pm–2am: discounts on all products tasted by the dram or cocktail.
Elixir, 3200 16th St. at Guerrero, 415-552-1633.

Saturday October 17th

Learn to Read a Whiskey Label
With David Mayes, Whiskey Professor. Samples from the Small Batch collection. Discounted Jim Beam & Small Batch collection and cocktails. Free Knob Creek "Thanks for Nothing" t-shirt. 8pm–10pm.
83 Proof, 83 1st St. at Mission, 415-296-8383.

 
the sponsor

Whisky Fest

WhiskyFest comes back to San Francisco for the third year on October 16th at the San Francisco Marriott. It will feature over 200 of the world's finest, rarest, and most expensive, single malt and blended Scotch, Irish, bourbon, Tennessee, Japanese, Welsh, Canadian and other whiskies from around the world.

Many distillery representatives will be on hand at the pouring booths to explain how the whiskies are made. Seminars by top whisky experts run throughout the evening. Meet distinguished members of the whisky community, and learn firsthand how their brands are made.

Top local bartenders will be making whisky-based cocktails.

Attendees will also enjoy an expansive gourmet buffet all evening. Each attendee receives a commemorative Glencairn whisky glass for tastings.

Tickets available now at maltadvocate.com.

 
the socialite

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Taste of the Bay
Wed. Oct. 21st, 2009

San Francisco Belle
Pier 3
San Francisco, CA 94133

website

6pm–9:30pm

Tickets are $125 each or $200 for two.

Purchase here or call 415-338-1023.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Coming up is the 13th annual ~TASTE OF THE BAY~ fundraiser for the students enrolled in the Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) Program at San Francisco State University.

The event, which is organized 100% by the students, features chefs, wineries, and beverage companies from the Bay Area and benefits the HTM program at San Francisco State University. Participating restaurants include Anchor & Hope, LarkCreekSteak, Luce, Scoma's, Terzo, XYZ, and more. (For a complete list of chefs, click here.) You can also view the line up of wineries and beverage companies here.

There will be a live and silent auction as well. This annual event provides the students with the opportunity to plan and implement an event, which in turn raises funds for their program needs and scholarships. Currently, 450 students are enrolled in this program, which provides a four-year hospitality management degree.

 
the sugar mama

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OCTOBER 6, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Award-winning winery Olson Ogden Wines, an artisan wine company located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, is running a label-naming contest for a new nationally distributed wine.

The contest winner will receive a prize consisting of a case of wine, recognition of his/her name and contribution on the label, and the notoriety of branding a nationally distributed wine. Four finalists will receive an Olson Ogden Wines magnum.

Running through October 15th, the contest will take place on the winery's Facebook Fan Page.

It's easy to enter: visit the Facebook Fan Page, become a fan, and leave your label submission on the wall. You must be an Olson Ogden Wines Fan to be eligible to win! To get your creative juices flowing you should know the unnamed wine, currently in barrel, will be a straightforward, easy drinking and fruit forward, uncomplicated red wine that may be made up of multiple varietals including Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet. It's not a vineyard designate; the varietals come from various winemaking regions throughout Northern California and The Central Coast.

Find more information on the Olson Ogden Wines Blog or visit the fan page here and name the next vintage!

 
the starlet

SEPTEMBER 29, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Scala's had quite the star-studded lineup of diners: both the teeny tiny Kylie Minogue and Renaissance man Steve Martin, who was in town to play the banjo at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, came in to dine over the last week.

Brooke Shields was spotted dining at the Slanted Door. As the tablehopper reader noted, "She was with several people and had ridiculously perfect hair." Also heard Joanna Kerns, aka Maggie Seaver from Growing Pains dined there.

Busy times at Bottega in Yountville: Condoleezza Rice, Robin Williams, and David Beckham and his posh wife Victoria all dined there in the same week. This is quite the cast for a session of the six degrees of Kevin Bacon game, no?

Steven Oliver noted that Tiger Woods had dinner last night at Joe Dimaggio's.

 
 

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