20, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Yesterday
was a red-letter day in San Francisco. Actually, a
red book one, since the ~MICHELIN GUIDE~ released
Francisco ratings. Congrats to one-star newcomers
Aziza, Commis, and Luce, and up in wine country, étoile,
Santé, Solbar, Terra, and Ubuntu. More on the local
scene: Quince also got its star back after the hocus
pocus that surrounded their move to their new location.
Michael Mina was bumped down to one star, while COI
maintained its two stars. Congrats to all the winners,
and to any disgruntled losers, I have a little bobble-head
Michelin doll you are welcome to bash into tiny pieces
if you want to take out some aggression, just drop
me a line.
couple new openings this Wednesday October 21st: in SoMa,
say hello to ~THE IRON CACTUS~. This new
casual cantina/taqueria from The Creamery folks is opening
in... (surprise!) the old Gilt Edge Creamery location,
across from the Caltrans station. A look at the menu
reveals burritos (for $6.95, and the price includes sour
cream), tacos, quesadillas, salads, and special plates
like enchiladas or tacos, all made with hormone-free
meats. Here are more details from the press release:
"Much of the interior is recycled wood from the original
Creamery and the tall barrel-shaped ceilings with exposed
wood, left untouched from the time it was a depot stop
back in the 1950s, create a very authentic cantina-style
atmosphere. Above the barrel-shaped ceiling is a huge
skylight that brings in lots of natural light and together
with bright yellow faux finishes, wrought iron panels,
and exposed concrete. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor
seating for up to 100 people." You can also fax or call
your order in. Hours are Mon–Wed 11am–9pm, Thu–Sat 11am–10pm.
683 4th St. at Townsend, 415-777-1010.
And as I mentioned last week, ~PANAM~,
a new restaurant, bar, and lounge, is opening in the
former Frisee space in the Castro this Wednesday.
Open nightly for dinner and drinks 5pm–1am, plus there
will be a weekend brunch from 10am–4pm. 2367 Market St.
at Castro, 415-556-6200.
some details on the new restaurant opening in the Julie's
Supper Club space, and no, the name will not be Julie's
III (lame!). It's going to be called ~RADIUS~,
and they will be serving farm-to-table California cuisine
with a French influence. All the meats, produce, dairy,
beer, and wine will be sourced from a 100-mile radius,
hence the name. (It will be open nightly.) The plan is
to open the restaurant by February, but in the meantime,
they're converting the old dance floor section of Julie's
into a cafe and takeaway area with a separate entrance,
which will be open for lunch and dinner by the end of
executive chef will be Kelly Hughett, who has quite
the background, but highlights include four years under
Sylvain Portay at The Ritz Carlton San Francisco, Mix
Restaurant in Las Vegas, Alain Ducasse's Plaza Athénée
and Aux Lyonnais, the A.D.F. School for Professional
Chefs, two years at Louis XV in Monaco, and sous chef
at Adour Restaurant in New York. Mon dieu. She will be
moving back to her native California from New York in
the next couple of months. Radius is an owner-operated
restaurant from partners Jon Whitehead, and Yong and
Christian Baker (Christian has worked at Aqua and The
Ritz Carlton, and has been working at an architecture
firm for the last seven years). They are currently going
through demo right now—Julie's bar will remain, but it
will be beer and wine only, FYI. Seating will probably
be 50 in the main restaurant and 25 in the cafe. You
can follow their progress on Twitter at @radiussf.
1123 Folsom St. at Langton.
Ages ago I mentioned the organic vegan Mexican restaurant
coming from the Cafe
Gratitude folks, ~GRACIAS
MADRE~. Well, it's getting close:
the opening is slated for November. Tortillas and tamales
will be handmade from organic heirloom corn grown on
Matthew and Terces Englehart's Be Love Farm in Vacaville.
The menu will also highlight beans, corn, squash, chiles,
and spices, along with greens, vegetables, and nut-based
"cheeses" (if you've eaten at Cafe Gratitude, you'll
be familiar with these "cheeses"). The idea for the restaurant
began when the Engleharts were inspired to visit some
of their employees' hometowns in Mexico. If you imagine
you'll be a regular customer at Gracias Madre, check
their site for details on their immediate "Builders Card"
offering. I'll share more details on the project as it
gets closer. 2211 Mission St. at 18th St.
This may be in the old news category, but ~JAY'S
DELI~ in Potrero Hill has closed
after two years in business (it was the deli in
the former Klein's location). 501 Connecticut St.
at 20th St.
As a daughter of a former deli owner, I was hoping to
be able to meet up with author David Sax of ~SAVE
THE DELI: IN SEARCH OF PERFECT PASTRAMI, CRUSTY RYE AND
THE HEART OF JEWISH DELICATESSEN~, his
new book dedicated to the preservation of the Jewish
delicatessen. The book's cover shot of a stacked pastrami
sandwich keeps making me hungry. Alas, my schedule isn't
allowing it, but I did want to mention a couple of his
Bay Area appearances: on Saturday October 24th, Sax will
be at Saul's
Deli for a lecture, Q&A, and book signing
at 4pm (1475 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley). There will be
a tasting plate on the menu that day, comparing grass-fed
Marin Sun Farms corned beef; grass-raised and corn-finished
Niman Ranch pastrami; and top conventional/factory
farmed suppliers for Katz's in NY and Langer's
in NY, plus house-made sodas. On Monday October 26th,
he'll be at Book
Passage in San Francisco for a talk and Q&A
at 6pm (1 Ferry Building, #42, San Francisco, 415-835-1020).
meaty news: ~DARIO CECCHINI'S~ artisan
butchery demo this weekend has been moved to nopa,
which is generously underwriting the event. Which means
the steep price has dropped significantly to $175.
The demo is now from 1pm–4pm, when Cecchini will break
down a steer (my second in a week) and a pig. Read
more here for info about how to get tickets.
Hope to see you there! 560 Divisadero St. at Hayes.
Starting Sunday November 1st, ~1300
ON FILLMORE~ will extend its gospel
brunch to every Sunday, with house band Future
Perfect alternating Sundays with other local musicians.
Brunch is priced at $39 per person, and includes
a Bellini or mimosa and coffee and tea, plus the
performance and a three-course prix-fixe meal.
Seatings are offered at 11am or 1pm. 1300 Fillmore
St. at Eddy, 415-771-7100.
this event tends to fill up quickly, I thought you
should know the 20th Wild Game Week will be
held at the ~BIG
4~ from Tuesday November 3rd–7th. Highlights
from chef Gloria Ciccarone-Nehls's menu include piranha,
alligator, Himalayan yak Wellington, and wild paella
with giant crispy frog legs, house made rabbit-rattlesnake
sausage, Nigerian salt prawns, and mussels. Rawr. 1075
California St. at Taylor, 415-771-1140.
More special dinners are coming up (and these in particular
help me cope with any sadness I have over tomato season
ending): truffle dinners! ~DELFINA'S~ will
be on Tuesday November 3rd and Wednesday the 4th, and
they will be pouring Barolo (and possibly Barbaresco)
flights. (They will have truffles and Barolo again for
their 11-year anniversary dinners November 17th–19th.)
Past dishes you could have truffle shaved over have included
kuri squash sformatino with fonduta and chestnuts, and
hand-cut tajarin in bianco (butter, cream, and
Parmigiano). You can read more on their Facebook
page. 3621 18th St. at Dolores, 415-552-4055.
And if you're in the South Bay/Peninsula, ~DONATO
ENOTECA~ will have white truffles from
November 11th–22nd (or while supplies last) shaved
atop dishes in a special tartufi bianchi menu
(the four-course truffle tasting menu is approximately
$125), or you can choose from à la carte dishes
and have the truffles shaved on top. 1041 Middlefield
Rd., Redwood City, 650-701-1000.
In the East Bay, a couple new projects have opened this
KITCHEN BAKE SHOP~ from chef-owners Paul
Arenstam (Americano) and wife Charlene Reis and chef Greer
Nuttall. You can check out the menu of
take-away fare, which contains soup, vegetable side dishes,
main dishes for lunch and dinner, and sandwiches, plus
baked goods, tarts, and more, all made with local and
seasonal ingredients. Open daily from 9am–9pm. 2944 College
Ave. at Ashby, Berkeley, 510-981-0538.
BOTTLE~ has opened their new roastery,
kitchen, and cafe location in the Jack London Square
District of Oakland. Hours for now are Mon–Fri
8am–2pm; follow them on Twitter at @bluebottleroast.
300 Webster St. at 3rd St., Oakland, 510-653-3394. (Photo courtesy of Blue Bottle photostream.)
More Jack London Square news: Eric Tucker (executive
chef at Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco), Lacey
Sher (former owner of Down To Earth Restaurant in Red
Bank, New Jersey) and Linda Braz will be opening ~ENCUENTRO
CAFE AND WINE BAR~ early in November. It
will be a neighborhood wine bar and café featuring enoteca-style
organic and local vegetarian cuisine (think bocadillos,
salads, cheeses, tapas, and chocolates). To drink, there
will be organic/sustainable wines, small brewery beers,
organic teas, coffee, and artisanal non-alcoholic beverages.
There will be a combo of bar and table seating, and a
simple look fashioned from recycled materials. Hours
will be Mon–Fri 11am–2pm, Wed–Thu 5pm–10pm, and Fri–Sat
5pm–11pm. 202 2nd St. at Jackson, 510-832-9643.
Errata (I love this section)...
isn't a really erratum, actually. More like a mailbag
item. Anyway. A reader wrote in, "Just an F.Y.I. for
you to pass down to Namu's restaurant owners to tweak
this a bit: ‘Namu's loco moco gravy.'
In Spanish, moco means ‘booger,' so any Latin,
Hispanic, or Spanish person reading this on a menu may
be completely turned off. A crazy booger gravy just isn't
appetizing! Pretty funny though.
~A concerned reader, J."
Funny indeed, J. So I wrote back to her, explaining
the Hawaiian origin of the loco
moco dish, but of course had to share this hilarious
moco fact with the owners of Namu, who had this to say,
"So funny, we have encountered that misunderstanding
from day one when one of my Mexican line cooks pointed
it out... but he still loves to eat it!" So, there's
our booger joke for the week.
this is a true erratum. Last week, when I was copying
the contents of the ~BURGER
BAR~ menu into my column late at night, I
failed to notice the mistake of this entry, the "Atlantic
King Salmon Steak." Reader Gary writes: "I'm a little
confused. I'm familier [stet] with Atlantic Salmon
and King Salmon but not Atlantic King Salmon. Please
tell me this was just a typo." Not quite a typo like
that little misspelling of familiar, Gary, but check
this out: Hubert Keller totally had a new hybrid species
of salmon created just for Burger Bar, and it's only
a paltry $8.50 to have it in a burger! Here's more from
the menu: "This delicious omega 3 rich salmon comes from
the icy waters of the North Atlantic. You will love its
luxurious and velvety texture. Hand selected and filleted
at Burger Bar." Sounds delicious, no? But alas, you were
correct, hawk-eye Gary: they're just serving Atlantic
salmon. Bon appétit!
a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just
reply to this email.