NOVEMBER 10, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Some
details have finally been released about the ~CREDO~ project
due to open in the Financial District at the end of December/beginning
of the New Year. Owner Clint Reilly is opening what they're
calling an urban trattoria in an old Chinese bank. The
name comes from the Italian and Latin phrase "I believe,"
which will be transformed into a design element in the
space: large panels on the walls will feature quotes
from famous people ranging (including John F. Kennedy
and Howard Stern), who have all said sentences that begin
with "I believe." There will be 79 seats, with a spacious
private dining room below with room for 50, and an upstairs
bar with eight seats. The design is modern, with treated
cement floors, and special tables handmade from scrap
wood by Dutch designer Piet
Hein Eek. Richardson
Architects of Mill Valley is behind the design.
Chef Mario Maggi, who hails from Florence but trained
in Milan, has worked in 31 restaurants around the world,
and this will be his first opening in San Francisco.
His menu of rustic Italian fare will include a grilled
Caesar salad and baked pastas, including a dish called sedanini
al credo, a type of pasta that he bakes covered with
a lid of pizza dough, almost like an Italian pot pie.
And reportedly the Emperor of Japan is crazy for Maggi's
tiramisu. Lunch and dinner will be served Mon–Fri, and
dinner on Saturdays. 360 Pine St. at Montgomery.
Things are also in motion for the ~25
LUSK~ project (it's near Ritch Street
in SoMa) that has been in a holding pattern for
some time. Details are slim, but Chad Bourdon (formerly
of Farallon) and executive chef Matthew Dolan (New
York's Café des Artistes, Emeril's in New Orleans,
and Garibaldi's in SF) are the managing partners
on the project. The vague details I have about
the dining style are these: it will be "sophisticated,
contemporary, approachable fine dining." The opening
timeframe is approximately early summer 2010, and
construction is expected to begin soon. 25 Lusk
St. at Townsend.
Opening today, ~URBAN
PICNIC~ is the new concept launching
in the former Chill dessert cafe in the Financial
District. Owner Trang Nguyen hired Poleng Lounge's
Tim Luym to develop a new menu of healthy and ethnically
inspired salads, sandwiches, and soups, ranging
from turkey with honey guacamole on a baguette,
to a house salad with additions like lemongrass
chicken, to a chicken coconut lime soup. Grab-and-go
selections will be coming soon. The location's
original dessert concept means there will be desserts
and beverages as well, including all natural–frozen
yogurt, frozen custard, gelato, and coffee. Open
Mon–Fri 10:30am–4:30pm. 125 Kearny St. at Post,
look at some meals on deals...
Want a delicious and homey three-course dinner for $25? ~IL
CANE ROSSO~ has decided to extend their
Sunday Supper $25 dinner to every night,
serving it from 5:30pm–9pm. Check out their site
for menu details, but last night's included kale
and apple salad with pecorino ginepro, toasted
hazelnuts, and thyme vinaigrette; Marin Sun Farms
brisket with horseradish aioli; soft polenta with
Pt. Reyes blue cheese; and snickerdoodle cookies
with Straus Dairy vanilla soft serve. Yeah, awesome.
One Ferry Building, # 41, 415-391-7599.
AT FLY TRAP~ is now offering a half-pound
beef burger with pickled sumac onions and one drink
(anything from their well, draft beer, or wine)
for only $15. This promotion is available Monday
through Saturday after 8:30pm at the bar. 606 Folsom
St. at 2nd St., 415-243-0580.
Looking for something to do?
do I have a lineup of events for you. First, a friendly
reminder that this Wednesday November 11th is ~FOOD
FOR THOUGHT~, a fundraising night for the
Mission Graduates nonprofit organization. Dine out at select
Mission District restaurants like Bar Bambino,
Farina, Range, Regalito, Slow Club, and Front Porch,
and they will generously donate a portion of their sales
that evening to help pave the way to college for K–12
students in the Mission District. Click
here for a list of participating restaurants
and make your reservation.
Saturday the 14th is the next ~YBCA BIG IDEA NIGHT~, which is fantastically free to the public. This one's theme is "State of the Queer Nation/Bridging the Gap," focusing on cultural distance and how to close gaps of misunderstandings between people. There will be a "Soapbox Social" from 7pm–9pm with queer luminaries each delivering a five-minute State of the Union address (including the inimitable Anna Conda), followed by cocktails and conversation. Seats are limited, so please RSVP at ybcafree.org. At 9pm, the party kicks off with performance art, DJs, and the Diamond Daggers, a fabulous queer burlesque troupe. Orson/Citizen Cake's Elizabeth Falkner and partner/co-owner, Sabrina Riddle have graciously donated "Edible Indulgences" (made of Scharffen Berger chocolate with chili pepper and pop rocks) to be given out by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at the party for a suggested donation of $3 or more (proceeds go to YBCA and Tenderloin Tessie's Holiday Dinner). There will also be warm pork buns with kimchee ($5), cold noodle salad with mushrooms, herbs, and peanut vinaigrette ($5), and cupcakes and whoopie pies ($3). RSVP at www.YBCAFREE.org for guaranteed admittance. 7pm–2am. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Grand Lobby and Galleries, 701 Mission St., 415-978-2787.
Well, lame Daylight Savings Time is in full effect,
and the weather is cooler, so we might as well celebrate
what's great about autumn. On Sunday November 15th, ~PICCINO~ is
hosting an Autumn Festival, serving a variety
of special Far West Fungi mushroom dishes, roasting chestnuts,
and grilling butterflied quails on their outdoor grilling
box, plus pizzas, salads, and desserts will also be available.
Ian Garrone of Far
West Fungi will be setting up a mini outdoor
mushroom booth, where you'll have the opportunity to
purchase and take home a variety of fresh, wild, and
cultivated mushrooms (chanterelle, porcini, cauliflower,
black trumpet, shiitake, king trumpet, and, yes, truffle)
as well as dried mushrooms and truffle salt, all at 10–15%
off. 12pm–5pm. 801 22nd St. at Tennessee, 415-824-4224.
Feeling saucy? Sunday the 15th is also ~THE
BOSS OF THE SAUCE~ competition, with
20 local restaurants competing over who makes the
best tomato sauce. There will be food vendors,
like Caffé Bao Necci Pizzeria, Caesar's Italian
Restaurant, Palio d'Asti, Sicilianaire, and Guerra
Quality Meats, plus wines from Dalla Terra, Jacuzzi
Winery, Imagery Estate Winery, and Elizabeth Spencer
Wines. Cent'Anni Cocktails will be premiering a
special "Fall Apple Crisp" cocktail for the event,
and Moretti will be pouring their Italian brew.
For an opportunity to judge, tasters must be one
of the first 100 people to volunteer upon arrival.
Tickets for $20 are available here and
at the door. Doors at noon; event from 1pm–5pm.
Sts. Peter and Paul Church Event Center, 666 Filbert
St. at Stockton.
Next Friday November 20th, ~THE
WILD KITCHEN~, with special guest Boris
Portnoy, is throwing a Spanish-inspired (but
locally sourced) foraged food feast at SoCha
Cafe in the Mission. The seven-course menu includes
Mendocino porcini toasts with local sea salt, hen
of the woods mushroom soup with Cowgirl crème fraîche,
acorn bread with honey-infused raw milk, saffron-scented
paella of wild foraged mussels and Boccalone sausage,
feta cake of Mendocino ocean water with Berkeley
foraged persimmons, black olive and foraged black
walnut financier, and wild Mendocino huckleberry
tapioca and wild rosemary chocolate mousse. Tickets are
$50. There will be a $10 corkage fee for wine,
as well as beer and wine available for purchase,
which will go to SoCha. Space is very limited.
If you have something you'd like to trade for
dinner, they are up to hear it (like the use of
a truck for Sat–Mon, or if you have restaurant
experience and can help out). 7pm–9pm. SoCha
Cafe, 3235 Mission St. at Valencia.
now for some East Bay news: when Terrain,
a hotly anticipated restaurant in Berkeley, learned that
a little café in a garden center on the other side of
the country trademarked the name, they decided to change
their name to ~GATHER~.
Expected to open for dinner on December 15th (with lunch
to follow in January and full breakfast in February),
there is a patio, rustic bar, and a casual café/to-go
section in the East Bay's greenest of green buildings:
the David Brower Center (it's right across from the University).
The team includes Ari Derfel and Eric Fenster (Back to
Earth Organic Catering), and brand-new GM Alex Desquiron
(recently of Corso). Chef Sean Baker (formerly the sous
at Millennium and the executive chef at Gabriela's in
Santa Cruz) plans to offer fairly priced, "seasonal farm
food" dishes, with humanely raised animals and sustainably
caught seafood. Dishes include cinnamon braised–Sonoma
lamb with chicory, apples and yogurt, and house-made
salumi on a sausage pizza with torpedo onion and oregano.
Half of the dishes will be vegetarian (like vegan chickpea-dusted
cardoons with romesco and grilled scallion salsa). Christie
Dufault of Gary Danko and Quince fame is crafting an
all-California, entirely sustainable wine list, and the
spirits will also be organic. The utilitarian chic design
from Nicole Sillapere (SillaPere Design Lab) will emphasize
reclaimed woods, artfully crafted metals, and local ceramic
tile. 2200 Oxford St. at Allston, Berkeley, 510-859-9180.
Also in Berkeley, the 28-seat ~eVe
RESTAURANT~ (site under construction)
will open in mid to late November from the husband-and-wife
chef team of executive chef Christopher Laramie
(Blue Door in the Delano Hotel in Miami Beach,
Everest in Chicago) and pastry chef Veronica Laramie
(Charlie Trotter's)—they have moved to the Bay
Area from Colorado. The seasonal menu will feature
New American cuisine in a prix-fixe only format
for $33, with choices of starters, main courses,
and desserts. (Additional courses are available:
five for $55, and seven for $77.) Examples of main
dishes include quail with pancetta, chestnuts and
star anise; seared black cod with miso, carrots
and almonds; and cappelletti with pumpkin seeds,
spaghetti squash, and blood orange. The wine list,
compiled with help from Alex Bachman (Charlie Trotter's,
Carmel Valley Ranch) will consist mostly of California
vintages. 1960 University Ave. at Milvia.
Got a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just reply to this email.
Despite its small size, Bi-Rite
Market has one of the best wine selections
in town. Wine buyer Trac Le's selection of artisan
wines includes great organic and biodynamic producers
from California, Italy, France, Spain, and beyond,
with more than 50 hand-picked wines under $15,
a selection of great food wines at all prices,
and bottles from cult producers like Quintarelli,
Pegau, Huet, and Radio Coteau.
During Bi-Rite's two Holiday Wine Blitzes (November
12th–15th and December 10th–13th), all wines are
20% off when you purchase any 12 or more bottles. The
sale includes every wine in the store, and delivery
is free in San Francisco! For more details, click here.
Bi-Rite Market, 3639 18th St. between Dolores and
Guerrero, in the Mission District. For more information,
call the store at 415-241-9760 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
10, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Beer
drinkers may want to check out the Autumn Beer and
Food Feast at the ~TORONADO~ on Sunday November
15th. Chefs Melissa
Axelrod and Christian Spybrook will feature a
six-course locally focused seasonal menu paired with
15 craft beers (you can see the list of beers on the event
invite). There is one seating at 11:30am, and
the event ends by 4pm with the bar opening to the public.
The six-course menu will be paired with 15 beers and
includes salad, a fish course, soup, entrée, cheese course,
and dessert, with a few surprises thrown in. Vegetarian
options are available upon request. Tickets are $95
(including all taxes and $10 gratuity) and can be purchased
at the Toronado or online.
547 Haight St. at Steiner.
Also in the Haight, Giovanni Pagano will be conducting
an Intro to Italian Wines class at ~UVA
ENOTECA~ on Sunday November 15th from 2pm–3:30pm.
Guests will learn basic tasting techniques as they become
familiar with five unique Italian wines. $35. Call 415-829-2024
or email email@example.com to
sign up. 568 Haight St. at Steiner.
November 16th is a cool winemaker dinner at ~COI~,
featuring Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon, who will
be reading from his new book, Been Doon So Long,
in between courses. Guests will get a signed first edition
of his book, and there will be a vertical tasting of
Le Cigare Volant. You can peek at the special menu here.
6pm. $175 (inclusive of tax and gratuity). 373 Broadway
at Montgomery, 415-393-9000.
Next Tuesday November 17th, you'll be able to learn
all about the recent harvest season from ~PRESS
CLUB'S~ collection of winemakers: Chateau
Montelena, Fritz Winery, Hanna Winery and Vineyards,
Miner Family Vineyards, Mount Eden Vineyards, and Saintsbury.
The winemakers will be pouring behind their individual
tables, chatting with guests about their various offerings,
and will bring raw juice to taste. 6pm–9pm. Event
link. 20 Yerba Buena Ln. at Mission, 415-744-5000.
~ARLEQUIN WINE MERCHANT~ is feeling feisty, and is hosting a "No More Nouveau" party next Thursday November 19th. From the event announcement: "Arlequin Wine Merchant will host an evening of more than ten wine tastings celebrating the "real" Beaujolais from award-winning Cru Beaujolais producers including Marcel Lapierre, Guy Breton, Pierre Chermette, Jean Paul Brun, Alain Coudert, John-Paul Thévenet and more. Cru Beaujolais wines from these featured producers are made the "old" way—fermented on natural yeasts and bottled unfiltered. These wines are richer, broader and denser reds than the Beaujolais Nouveau most wine drinkers are familiar with, which is light and sweet with raspberry notes." 6pm–8pm. $15; pay at the door. 384 Hayes St. at Gough.
on paper by Hope Brooks Meryman made during her art
career in New York City in the 1960s will be on display
and for sale at Lost
Art Salon beginning November 12th. Meryman
was a master at capturing the feeling of a moment,
the atmosphere of a particular place, or the character
of an individual. Her life in New York City, her
vacations to New England, and her travels to the
Mediterranean informed much of the imagery in her
party for the Hope Meryman show is this Thursday
November 12th from 5:30pm–8:30pm. There will also
be gobs from Gobba
Gobba Hey and white jasmine sparkling tea
Star Tea Company. The event is open to
2009 | SAN FRANCISCO For those of you who have apartments that are too dang
small to cook ~THANKSGIVING~ dinner, or just can't
cook, here's a roundup of a few options around town.
I also find the OpenTable
list to be pretty extensive of what's open on
Turkey and a View
Roasthouse is offering a multi-course
dinner with Dungeness crab cocktail with avocado,
pomelo, and cucumber salad and Meyer lemon aioli
and radishes; caramelized butternut squash cannelloni
with prosciutto, huckleberry relish, and blood
orange vinaigrette; pan-roasted Maine scallops
with ragout of sunchokes and cipollini onion, foie
gras sauce, and fennel-pear salad; wood oven–roasted
Branigan turkey with andouille stuffing, ginger
sweet potato puree, black pepper cranberry sauce;
and pumpkin gnocchi with chanterelle mushrooms,
spinach, and chestnut sage–brown butter; desserts
include warm apple tart with Tahitian vanilla whipped
mascarpone; persimmon pudding and spiced pecans
with Van Winkle bourbon ice cream and caramel sauce.
$85 per person (12 and under are $40), plus tax and gratuity. Supplemental wine pairing is $35. From 1:30pm–6:30pm. 415-369-9955.
Slow Food Thanksgiving
offering a three-course dinner with selections that include
roasted butternut squash soup with toasted almonds, crème fraîche, and Dungeness crab; pear salad with little gem
lettuce, arugula, gorgonzola cheese, and riesling vinaigrette;
and Sausalito Springs watercress salad with Fuyu persimmon,
ricotta salata cheese, and pomegranate vinaigrette. The
main course includes a family-style Thanksgiving platter
filled with all-natural heritage turkey, Brussels sprouts
with lemon confit and chestnuts, Hog Island oyster and
fennel sausage stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, and
cranberry-orange relish. The sweet finish is a sampler
of seasonal desserts.
Seatings at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm. $85 per adult and $35 per child (under 12). Wine pairings are an additional $25. 415-278-3777.
Mr. Miyagi's Thanksgiving
offer its regular menu in addition to a Thanksgiving
Day tasting menu, featuring tuna tartare, roasted squash
soup, seared Hokkaido scallops, turkey "porchetta," and
pumpkin glacé with cranberry orange compote.
$85. 4pm–8pm. 415-284-4040.
I Don't Wanna Eat Turkey
Hate turkey? Want a steak instead? LarkCreekSteak is
offering a prix-fixe three-course menu with multiple
options. For starters, guests can choose from a little
gem wedge, Sonoma Liberty duck terrine, or roasted pumpkin
and hazelnut soup. Entrées include roast turkey with
fennel sausage cornbread stuffing, certified Angus prime
rib, or wood-grilled fresh fish. For dessert, there's
old fashioned pumpkin pie, bread pudding, or apple-cranberry
$49 per person, $24 for children 10 and under, and there
is no charge for children 3 and under. Seatings from
d'Asti will be serving their
third annual Italian-American Thanksgiving Feast,
featuring chef Scherotter's famous bourbon and
gin–braised turkey, grilled wild boar chops with
sundried tomato tapenade, and a dessert buffet.
$59 per person, and children under 10 only pay their
the Hotel Durant in Berkeley will be offering a Thanksgiving
Day version of its popular "TV Dinners," with slow-roasted
turkey with gravy, savory cornbread stuffing, garlic
mashed potatoes, green beans, house-made cranberry sauce,
and sweet potato pie with cinnamon whipped cream, and
a holiday mulled wine.
Only $19.95. 12pm–9pm. 510-809-4132.
You know you wanna try one. Chef/butcher Ryan Farr
Meats is offering specially prepared turduckens:
a duck stuffed inside a chicken inside a turkey, all
never frozen and free range. The birds will be stuffed
with a chicken and duck sausage cornbread stuffing.
The turduckens will be approximately 18–20 pounds and
will feed 18–22 people, with some leftovers. Each bird
is $250 and they require a 50% deposit via PayPal to
process your order.
Each turducken comes with a electric thermometer and
alarm probe in the center of the duck breast (the very
center of the turducken); directions on how to cook it
will also be provided. The turducken comes on a bed of
root vegetables with assorted herbs in a roasting pan
ready to cook.
The deadline for all orders is Sunday the 15th (act
fast since they are only making a limited amount and
they go quick). The birds are available for pick up only
at their kitchen in Potrero Hill on Friday the 20th after
2pm, Tuesday the 24th after 2pm, or Wednesday the 25th
If you would like to order a turducken, email firstname.lastname@example.org to
confirm and include the date that you would like to pick
up. Once you have replied with the date, they will invoice
you via PayPal for the deposit.
I Don't Want to Cook the Damned Bird
Here are a few Thanksgiving "please cook it for me"
options I found:
Joanna Karlinsky's Sweet
Jo's at the JCC will take
pre-orders of holiday dishes to-go (the cafe will
be open until 4pm on Thanksgiving). Sweet Jo's
will allow you to pick and choose exactly what
you want and how much of it you need.
Debbie Does Dinner offers everything from potato chestnut soup to turkey and gravy; all available a la carte (the menu should be posted soon on her site).
what to pair with your turkey dinner?
On Wednesday November 18th, Steve Sherman is hosting
his 9th Annual "Wines for Turkey Day" at William Cross
Wine Merchants (and there will be bird!). 6pm–9pm,
$15 plus tax. 2253 Polk St. at Green, 415-346-1314.
Beau Timken has this piece about sake pairings.
NOVEMBER 10, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Looking for a unique read? Author Romney Steele creates
a beautiful storybook with 85 recipes in My
Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur.
This true tale of a famous restaurant, perched on the
majestic cliffs of California's Big Sur, celebrates
the magic and history of place through food and the
Fassett family, who started Nepenthe. As Nepenthe celebrates
its 60th anniversary, Romney—who grew up at Nepenthe
as the granddaughter of the founders—delves into her
own memories, those of family members, and the restaurant's
archives to recreate Nepenthe's years of bringing
writers, artists, dancers, travelers, actors, and cooks
together around the table.
I will be giving away three copies of My Nepenthe.
tablehopper readers can enter to win by forwarding
this week's tablehopper newsletter to one friend,
but even more would be so very fabulous. Just tell
your friend(s) why they would dig a subscription to
the tablehopper e-column (not a blog!), or point out
an event or happening that you think your friend would
like, or this book. Simply CC or BCC luckyme [at] tablehopper.com so
I know you sent it—I promise I won't use anyone's
Deadline to enter is midnight Sunday November
15th—I'll notify the winner next week!
Here are local events in November with Nani Steele:
NOVEMBER 10, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO L.A. Times food writer Betty Hallock Tweeted on
Saturday night: "Don Johnson is in attendance
at friends & family tonight at Bouchon."
tablehopper reader Frances walked past Tartine and saw Kristen
Schaal (Mel from Flight of the Conchords)
sitting outside with a couple friends.
Steve Martin was in Napa for his performance with his band, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, on Thursday night at the Napa Valley Opera House. He checked in to the Napa River Inn in downtown Napa on Wednesday with his wife and dog Wally. (The hotel placed a VIP pet amenity in his room and arranged for a dog walker and sitter for him each day of his stay.) During their stay they had lunch at Angèle.
All content © 2009 Marcia Gagliardi. I am more than happy if you want to link to my reviews and content elsewhere (thanks, glad you dig it), but republishing any part of them in any way, shape or form is strictly prohibited until we talk first. Please take a look at my Creative Commons license for more detail.
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