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The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco: Find the Right Spot for Every Occasion.

This week's tablehopper: in the mix.

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A refrigerator at Citizen’s Band.

Hola, peeps. Up for something new to do this Friday evening? Last Friday night, a friend and I went to check out the new-ish Off the Grid gathering in the Fort Mason parking lot. What a cool event: there was an impressive lineup of street food vendors and numerous trucks serving crazy-delicious food hailing from all over the dang place, from India to Seoul to Malaysia. Check out my Flickr album to survey the damage we did—it was serious. Sorry the pics don’t come in Smell-O-Vision—let’s just say it was the best-smelling parking lot I’ve ever been to.

What I really was digging was how mixed the crowd was: young and older, hip and nerdy, and it was a total international mix, from Indians to Filipinos to Japanese, all hanging out and eating some sick vittles. Now, I don’t know if the nasty July weather—complete with a blustery wind—kept some folks away, but the lines were never too long and onerous, and hello, there’s a bar in the corner of the lot, so you can sip a margarita while you’re waiting for your kathi roll. It all happens again this Friday, 5pm-9pm.

Sunday my friends and I went to watch the World Cup final game in Civic Center, what a cool thing—here’s hoping they keep broadcasting future events here for everyone to watch together. (Space Cowboys playing afterward and all the street food stands were total gravy.)

Oh, and one more highlight from last week: I was invited to visit the temporary Levi’s Workshop at 580-582 Valencia, which is all about celebrating the craft and different forms of printmaking. Let’s just say the writer in me was pretty stoked to look at the different vintage letterpresses they have in there, and my wheels literally started turning with what I could create to print on their “open studio” days on Sundays (from 11am-8pm), when you can come in and get help from the talented staff using some of the equipment, including silkscreening. The calendar is full of all kinds of unique and arty events (heck, even Alice Waters is involved), but it all comes to an end on August 28th, when the next stop is New York (they will have a workshop on photography). And psssst, there are some super cool band show posters you can buy in there for $25—and all proceeds from anything sold at the workshop go to one of three local charities, like the Women’s Building (you can choose which charity).

Whatcha doing for lunch this Thursday July 15th? I have been invited by the Green Zebra folks to come to their Environmental Action Center at the farmers’ market in the Crocker Galleria to sign books! I’ll be there from 11:30am-1:30pm, and Kika’s Treats will be there with me, offering their tasty goodies! Details here. Hope to see you there!

This week, we have a couple new openings in the chatterbox, soirée options for Bastille Day, a bookworm that will inspire you to do something fab with all your stone fruit, and all kinds of sporty starlets.

Have fun out there.

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Jul 13, 2010

Citizen's Band Now Open in SoMa, Good Buddy

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Citizen’s Band, photo by Jennifer Yin.

Things in SoMa just keep on happening: opening this week, next door to Pinkie’s Bakery, is ~CITIZEN’S BAND~ (as in CB radio). The CB also stands for the partners’ initials (chef Chris Beerman, and pastry chef Cheryl Burr). A third channel on the radio is managing partner Boris Nemchenok, who is also co-owner of Uva Enoteca. It’s a tight space, with room for 40 in all: there are tables along the side wall, and a small counter with room for 12. I went to a pre-opening party on Sunday and got a peek at Lauren Geremia’s playful and vintage “fine diner” design, with vintage postcards and magazine ads on the wall. Also be sure to peek at the stacks of CB radios above the entrance.

Beerman’s menu is like a trucker’s gourmet diner of dreams, with items like frank and beans ($7) elevated with Fra’ Mani sausage and Iacopi Farms butter beans, or mac and cheese ($8) finished with shaved summer black truffle. There are four salads, including a Cobb; a trio of potato, macaroni, and slaw; a wedge; and mixed greens; but all have a little gourmet flair, like the potato salad contains pancetta, and the Cobb has shaved egg. Mains include fried chicken ($17) (of course), a grilled Berkshire pork chop ($18), pot roast ($20), which is actually braised short ribs, and a Snake River Farms American Kobe burger ($13) with house-cut fries. There’s also a vegetarian special, and some vegetable sides for $3.50. Save room for dessert, since Burr’s sour cream cheesecake or chocolate sea salt truffle cake (all $6.50) shouldn’t be passed like some weird-looking hitchhiker on the interstate (she’s also making the hamburger’s challah bun, and bread). Nemchenok has made some nice picks for the all-domestic wine list, with 14 by the glass, ranging from CA to WA. Bottles clock in from $20 to $60. It opens for dinner tonight, Tuesday July 13th. Hours are Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm. Stand by for lunch and brunch soon. (I wonder if the hours will be 10-4?)

Citizen's Band - 1198 Folsom St. San Francisco - 415-556-4901

Radius Opening for Dinner Service

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Exterior photo from Radius.

Opening for dinner this Wednesday night is the other half of ~RADIUS~, the dining room side. During my SoMa meanderings on Sunday night, I took a peek and couldn’t believe the transformation from the former Julie’s Supper Club. All that really remains is the bar, which is completely redone and now lit from underneath. Actually, some other remnants from Julie’s do remain: the owners wanted to reuse as many materials as possible after the remodel, so the tables are actually pieces from Julie’s original dancefloor (don’t worry, all the accumulated layers of dirt, beer, vodka, cocaine, and gum are long gone). The floors at Radius are now concrete, and there’s even a poured concrete bench that is heated using hydronic tubing. The front part of the room is open for now (seating 50), and when access to the back area is added shortly, it will tally to 80 seats total. There’s also discussion of opening the patio for brunch, but for now it’s all about lunchtime access via the neighboring café.

Chef Kelly Hughett’s Cal-Med/French menu includes starters like chilled watermelon gazpacho ($7.50), with sheep’s milk feta and tomato; and glazed asparagus ($8.50), with a soft-boiled farm egg, maitake mushrooms, and country bread; entrées include olive-studded halibut ($24), with braised and raw lettuces, artichoke, olives, preserved lemon; and rabbit ballotine and rillette ($15), with a petite herb salad, country bread, sherry, and rabbit vinaigrette. Delicious-sounding menu, no? You can also round things out with a charcuterie board, oysters, and a variety of cheeses. (And like the restaurant’s name, all the ingredients are very local.) One dessert option is the Ritual Coffee pot de crème ($7), with dark chocolate gelato, cocoa nibs, and caramel tuile. Hours are Tue-Wed 5:30pm-11pm, and Thu-Sat 5:30pm-12am.

Radius - 1123 Folsom St. San Francisco - 415-525-3676

New Dinner Menu and More at Local Mission Eatery

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Local Mission Eatery dining room. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

After closing for a short summer break, ~LOCAL MISSION EATERY~ is back open today, and offering a new dinner program starting this Friday July 16th. There’s a new dinner menu, with the option to order dishes à la carte. Some examples include chilled corn soup, gnocchi with house-pulled mozzarella, sweetbreads, and chicken roulade, all available in smaller or larger portions (maxing out at $25). You can look at the entire menu here. Their beer and wine license also kicked in, so there’s a nice new list for you to taste from. Dinner is now Wed-Sat 5:30pm-10pm, lunch is now Tue-Fri 11am-3pm, and weekend brunch/lunch is all day from 10am-3pm.

Local Mission Eatery - 3111 24th St. San Francisco - 415-655-3422

Al Petri Leaving Alfred's Steakhouse After 37 Years

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The popular Alfred’s burger.

I got a tip from a colleague over at the Marina Times about changes at the historic ~ALFRED’S STEAKHOUSE~: Al Petri’s son, Marco, is going to be taking over the business. Yup, after working there for 37 years, Al is going to enjoy life outside of the restaurant. (Good for him.) Marco, 31, doesn’t plan to change anything—he appreciates the old-school steak-and-martini atmosphere just as it is.

Git Yer Free Hot Dog on Tuesday July 20th

In the “free lunch” category, next Tuesday July 20th, you can swing by ~ZOG’S DOGS~ and score a free hot dog since they’re celebrating their first birthday. Just print off the coupon here. 1 Post St. at Montgomery, 415-391-7071.

Green Coriander Now Serving a Healthy Indian Lunch in the Mission

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Cabbage photo from Green Coriander.

Looking for a new lunch spot in the Mission? Swing by La Provence restaurant and you’ll be able to have a prix-fixe Indian lunch cooked by Paawan Kothari of ~GREEN CORIANDER~, all made with organic ingredients and a healthy perspective. Lunch includes dal (as soup), cumin rice (white or brown basmati), served with an organic vegetable side, and choice of protein (organic chicken, tofu, or paneer), plus chai (by The Chai Cart) and cookies (by Sweet Constructions). The dishes will rotate weekly, so check the website to see the menu for the week. Lunch ranges from $11.95-$13.95. An à la carte menu is also available for take-out or delivery. Lunch service is Tue-Fri, and starts at 11:30am; chai will be available from 10am onwards. 1001 Guerrero St. at 22nd St.

Where Zacher Is Zippin' in the Mission

In the good news department, you’ll now be seeing Katharine Zacher, previously half of the “Gypsy Kitchen” duo at Bruno’s and Broken Record, doing her thing as the pastry chef at ~BAR TARTINE~. She’s only had a few days there so far, so you can expect to see her new dessert menu more in place in a week or so. One thing she is doing right now is making pie. Uh huh: summer fruit in effect—there’s peach pie on the menu right now. And she might start making pie for Tartine Bakery, stand by on that.

Bar Tartine - 561 Valencia St. - 415-487-1600

Getting Pimped

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Here’s Sunshine.

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Meet Veronique, a lovely tart.

Yeah, it’s dangerous to know the sugar pimp. While I was home toiling away on my column yesterday, my friend Gabriel Mitchell of ~MAISON MITCHELL~ came by, springing his latest tarty treats on me. First, there was Veronique, a wicked combo of strawberries, chocolate, pistachio frangipane, crème légère, and a sablé crust, and Sunshine, made with lemon cream and lemon confit—talk about putting a little sunshine in my day. (They were so pretty I had to include pics of both. Why yes, I did eat a slice of each.)

You can order these little hussies for $20 for a six-inch tart, or $30 for an eight-and-a-half-inch tart, and the sugar pimp will hook you up. He’s also been working on some sick new jam flavors: strawberry and pinot, blackberry and star anise, rhubarb and vanilla (uh, one of the tastiest jams I have encountered in a while), and fig and bay (coming soon); $12 for a hefty 9 oz. jar. I am officially jacked up.

Another Scoma's Fundraiser to Help Clean Up the Gulf

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Photo of chef Steve Scarabosio by Mathew Sumner.

Let’s hear it for ~SCOMA’S~: in May, Scoma’s customers and employees raised $7,000 for Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. And now, they’re ready to launch a second fundraiser to further assist the Gulf cleanup and support our fishermen on a local level.

On Thursdays (July 15th, 22nd, and 29th), one hundred percent of the proceeds from the restaurant’s popular Triple Play lunch menu will be donated to United Commercial Fisherman’s Association, Louisiana, and Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen, San Francisco. The Triple Play lunch menu is just $23.95, including complimentary valet parking. Lunch is served 11:30am-3:30pm daily.

Scoma's - Pier 47, Al Scoma Way, San Francisco - 415-771-4383

Frenchie Options for Bastille Day

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Flickr photo from Euthman.

This Wednesday July 14th is ~BASTILLE DAY~, when there are all kinds of party options around town, in addition to the usual madness that happens on Belden Place.

~RN74~ is hosting a party from 7pm to midnight, with French burlesque dancers, guests in costume (you get a free cocktail, so try to dig up some burlesque fashions), and oysters and French pastries for $1 each (don’t try eating them together). There will be a costume contest, with the winners receiving a gift certificate for dinner for two at RN74. DJs Julius Papp and Pedro Notori will be playing mid-tempo house and French dance music. No cover. RSVP is requested by emailing here. RN74 Atrium, 301 Mission St. at 1st St., 415-543-7474.

~BAKER STREET BISTRO~ will be offering a special of $30 all-you-can-eat mussels and fries, and $3 beer specials are available all day. There will be a live accordionist in the evening. Reservations accepted. 2953 Baker St. at Lombard, 415-931-1475.

~GRAND CAFÉ BRASSERIE AND BAR~ is hosting their usual big bash, and there will be a Marie Antoinette to greet you at the door and offer some complimentary cake, and the accordion players kick in at 4pm. There is a special bar menu of boeuf Bourguignon, sweet baguette, and a glass of French Burgundy house wine for $17.89, to honor the year of the storming of the Bastille. There will also be a prix-fixe menu (with a number of options to choose from) in the dining room for $53, with an optional wine pairing for an additional $22. 501 Geary St. at Taylor, 415-292-0101.

~CAV WINE BAR & KITCHEN~ will be selling French wine with 40 percent off, and 50 percent off on bottles to go. 1666 Market St. at Gough, 415-437-1770.

Over at ~GOTT’S ROADSIDE~ in the Ferry Building (and at the St. Helena location), you can head over during lunch or happy hour (12pm-2pm and 5pm-7pm) for a mushroom and Gruyère burger ($9.99), paired with a glass of the limited 2007 Métisse “Le Chatelet” from Melka Wines, which will be available for $12.50 a glass (this wine is not in distribution and is normally only sold to the Melka mailing list for $125/bottle). Philippe Melka will be in attendance. 1 Ferry Building, 415-318-3423.

Wednesday Jul 14, 2010
more info

Beast, Booze & Backs at Orson on July 21st

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Copyright © 2006-10 FrankenyImages.com.

Coming up on Wednesday July 21st at ~ORSON~ is Beast, Booze & Backs. It’s going to be a meaty menu, paired with wine, beer, or a cocktail by Carl Grubbs, and then each pairing is backed up with a special shot that ties it all together.

Here’s the menu (and don’t ask me to explain the road kill):

Black sugar-glazed eel, watermelon, and sake rice cream
Iced Belvedere Citron and kombucha back

Road kill and cavatelli, rabbit sugo, rosemary, leek ash
Bourbon infused with bacon and pickle back

Bacon-wrapped boar, cipollini, creamed corn, ancho jus
Tequila or mezcal with cilantro-lime-agave mash and beer back

Cookie “Monster”
Fernet and ice milk back

Wednesday Jul 21, 2010
$55 menu, $20 pairings
more info

Orson - 508 4th St. San Francisco - 415-777-1508

Want to Learn How to Forage?

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Photo from foragesf.com.

…then you might want to book a Wild Edible Walk with ~FORAGESF~. On these guided walks, you will learn to identify some of the wild edibles you see every day, with a focus on sustainable harvesting techniques, recipes, as well as the history of foraging in the Bay Area. Each walk lasts about two hours, and covers a good deal of the wild edibles that are abundant in our area. They are held in parks in San Francisco and the East Bay, and you will get the exact location when you get a ticket ($30 per person):

San Francisco Walks:
August 7th, 12pm-2pm: buy tickets
August 15, 2pm-4pm: buy tickets
August 29th, 2pm-4pm: buy tickets

East Bay Walks:
August 21st, 2pm-4pm: buy tickets  

Calling All East Bay Restaurant Industry Folks...

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Coming up on Monday July 26th is a ~BACK ALLEY BBQ~ benefit that BayWolf is throwing with their neighbors, Commis, in BayWolf’s backyard and Commis’s alley. Louis LeGassic of BayWolf and James Syhabout of Commis will be grilling up some good backyard grub, served with sangria and a few draft brews. Proceeds go to the People’s Grocery of West Oakland. (The event organizers are mainly focusing their invitation to the East Bay restaurant industry, but all are welcome.)

Monday Jul 26, 2010
4pm–8pm
$25 cash at the door
more info

A Sneak Peek of Locanda da Eva

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Exterior photo from Locanda da Eva.

Berkeley’s ~LOCANDA DA EVA~ is scheduled to open on Tuesday July 20th, in the former Casa de Eva space (it also housed Zax Tavern and Maritime East). To recap, the project is from Robert Lauriston (yes, the frequent Chowhound poster), and partner-chef Huw Thornton (most recently an executive sous at SPQR under Nate Appleman, and two-and-a-half years at A16). Rounding out the team is GM Matt Derrick and consulting bartender Jacqueline Patterson.

There will be a daily-changing menu, which is mostly Italian with some additional Mediterranean flair, and featuring choice local and sustainable ingredients. There will be a variety of pizzas cooked in the wood-burning oven, like a bianca with robiola and onions; along with dishes like pork trotter crépinettes with Padrón pepper and corn salsa; pastas like rigatoni alla pastora with spicy lamb sausage, basil, sheep’s milk ricotta, and pecorino; and mains like chicken scaloppine with green pepper peperonata or pork loin saltimbocca with apricot mostarda. Desserts will include housemade gelati and sorbetti, as well as fruit-based desserts. There will be 20 to 25 wines by the glass (mostly ranging from $5-$10), plus a reserve list that will eventually grow to around 100 bottles, which will include both local and domestic producers. You can peek at some photos of the project on their Facebook page. Hours will be Tue-Sat 5pm-12am, Sun 5pm-10pm, with a bar menu after 10pm.

If you’d like a sneak peek of the space before it opens next week, and a taste of Patterson’s cocktails, come by the pre-opening party this Friday July 16th for local artist Laura Hoffman, whose work is featured in the space. The party is from 6pm-8pm, and is free and open to the public (but it’s a no-host bar). A couple of cocktails on the menu include the Tilden Park Swizzle (Rhum J.M. Blanc, lime, honey, passionfruit syrup, Luxardo Maraschino, $9) and the Boothby Manhattan (Wild Turkey Rye 101, Carpano Antica, Angostura and orange bitters, sparkling wine, $9). You can also purchase wines from Locanda da Eva’s new wine list, and Oakland’s new Urban Legends Cellars will be pouring free tastes of its wines.

Locanda da Eva - 2826 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley - 510-665-9601

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the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Jul 13, 2010

(Sponsored): Greetings from Omnivore Books!

Summer is upon us, and the farmer’s markets are bursting with fabulous produce, and of course, my store is bursting with books on what to do with it all.

We are honored to host some exciting authors, as well as two cooking contests this July and August. Highlights include a visit from Ed Behr (Art of Eating Magazine), Frank Bruni returns for the paperback release of his terrific memoir Born Round, and we’ll taste tequila with Joanne Weir. For a complete listing of events, visit our website.

So, come by and see us, peruse the shelves, meet an author, or show off your tomato cooking and eating skills at our Tomato Contest!

Happy summer,

Celia Sack
Owner, Omnivore Books

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Jul 13, 2010

Beer & Bites with Show Dogs and the SF Bike Coalition

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On Thursday July 22nd, ~SHOW DOGS~ is hosting Beer & Bites in partnership with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. $20 gets you some Speakeasy Prohibition Ale, Black Butte Porter, Scrimshaw Pilsner, 21st Amendment’s Hell, or High Watermelon Wheat, as well as bar bites, including mini Field Roast vegetarian dogs, homemade lamb merguez sausages, 49’er corn dogs, barbecue fries, onion rings (the best in the city, IMHO), and more.

The goal is to raise awareness of the organization’s “Great Streets Project,” which is improving Market Street. Guests are encouraged to ride their bikes and will be offered complimentary valet bike parking in front of Show Dogs. Proceeds will help support the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Thursday Jul 22, 2010
6pm–8pm
$20
more info

Show Dogs - 1020 Market St. San Francisco - 415-558-9560

Riesling Week Is Almost Here

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~RIESLING WEEK~ is coming to San Francisco July 26th-August 1st, when restaurants and retailers in San Francisco will offer specials on rieslings from Germany, Austria, and Alsace—look for by-the-glass selections, discounted bottles, and food-pairing menus. Confirmed restaurants include Fifth Floor, Ana Mandara, Orson, COCO500, and more. For a complete list of participants, click here.

Wine retailers will also host European riesling tastings throughout the week. On July 24th, the folks at Dee Vine Wine (direct importers of German rieslings) will be hosting a tasting event to kick off San Francisco’s Riesling Week 2010. There will be a dozen rieslings of different styles, paired with a variety of sampler plates from six food stations. 12pm-5pm. $44 in advance, $54 at the door. Price includes a logo glass, program notes, and a collection of riesling-friendly recipes. Pier 19, on the Embarcadero. For a complete list of participants, click here.

the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Jul 13, 2010

Taste of the Nation Comes to Napa

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Event Info

Thursday Aug 5, 2010
5pm–8pm
$75
Tickets/Info
Silverado Resort
1600 Atlas Peak Rd., Napa
877-26-TASTE (877-268-2783)

Share Our Strength’s fourth annual ~TASTE OF THE NATION GRAND TASTING EVENT~ will be held in Napa on Thursday August 5th from 5pm to 8pm at the Silverado Resort. The Grand Tasting will feature food, wine, and drinks from many of Napa Valley’s award-winning chefs, winemakers, and mixologists. Share your strengths (enjoying great food and drink) with theirs (making great food and drink) and fight childhood hunger together.

More than 30 of Napa Valley’s best chefs and wineries will participate in this gastronomic event. Along with Peter Pahk of Silverado Resort, participating restaurants will include La Toque, étoile, The Restaurant at Meadowood, Zuzu, and Cole’s Chop House. These fine foods will be paired with wines from Silver Oak, Cakebread Cellars, Domaine Chandon, and Robert Mondavi Wines.

The event will also feature a live auction with San Jose Sharks announcer Randy Hahn as the auctioneer. Bid on deluxe getaways (like Cavallo Point Lodge), gourmet experiences, and rare, large format bottles and verticals of some of Napa’s best wines (like Elizabeth Spencer and Flora Springs wineries).

One hundred percent of the $75 ticket price goes to support Share Our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger. Napa county charities benefiting from this year’s event include Childstart and the Napa Valley Food Bank.

Get Ready for the SF Street Food Festival in August!

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Event Info

Saturday Aug 21, 2010 – Monday Aug 23, 2010

Street food fans, mark your calendars: the ~SAN FRANCISCO STREET FOOD FESTIVAL~ will take place on Saturday August 21st from 11am to 7pm. This year’s event is rarin’ to outdo last year’s with seven times the space, four times the vendors, and three times the bars. Admission will be free, but food will not, so buy a Passport in advance for extra savings (and freebies!).

Yeah, it’s a while away, so there’s plenty of street food fun to keep you busy (and full) in the meantime. The SF Street Food Festival Cart Crawl officially starts this week: it’s your chance to vote in your favorite mobile vendor (out of the 50 Best Street Foods in the Bay Area) to make sure they get a spot at the upcoming festival. The top eight vendors will get in, and voting ends Wednesday July 21st. By the way, the first 100 people who vote get $5 off a Passport ticket purchase.

While you’re out there figuring out which one’s your fave, bring your camera. The person to “Spot” (aka “snap a photo of”) the most foods by July 21st will win a $100 Passport, and the photo with the most “Great Shot!” votes wins some All-Clad Cookware. Nice!

Also, look for the SF Street Food Festival Scavenger Hunt (run by The Go Game) to start in August. You can get your team together now and sign up here.

Finally, after the festival, stick around for the after party (live music, booze, and, of course, street food vendors). More details to come. Then a San Francisco Street Food Conference will be held Sunday August 22nd and Monday August 23rd at the Joie de Vivre Hotel on the Embarcadero to discuss the past/present/future of street food both domestically and abroad. John T. Edge, Molly O’Neill, and Charles Phan are already lined up to speak.

the bookworm

Book Reviews (another place for your nose)
Jul 13, 2010

Deborah Madison's Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Pete Mulvihill

Seasonal Fruit Desserts

Seasonal Fruit Desserts

Deborah Madison

Don’t forget: the book mentioned below is available at 20% off for tablehopper readers for two weeks following this mention at Green Apple Books—simply use the code “tablehopper” at checkout (either at the store or online) for your discount (if ordering online, just write “tablehopper” in the order comment field—when they process the order, you’ll get your discount).

Summer may not bring the warmest of weather to us here in San Francisco, but thanks to orchards and farms in warmer parts of the Bay Area, summer fruits abound at markets throughout the city. I’m always looking for unique, simple recipes that really highlight the fresh, delicate flavors of some of my favorite summer berries and stone fruits. Well folks, here is my new go-to for fresh, delicious, fruit-filled baking: Deborah Madison’s Seasonal Fruit Desserts.

I must admit, I’m partial to Madison’s cooking style. Her emphasis on fresh, simple ingredients is evident in all she does (she was the founding chef of Greens Restaurant here in SF—a restaurant known for delicious dishes that let the vegetables take center stage), and her classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone has long been a staple in my kitchen, and a perennial best-seller at Green Apple.

Not surprisingly, her signature style really shines through in this, her first ode to the sweeter side of produce. Full of simple recipes that don’t require fancy kitchen accoutrements or hard-to-find ingredients, this book makes it easy to create delicate desserts that really are all about the fruit. Plus, Madison includes a ton of extra information about fruit varieties, and where and when to find produce at its best.

Though the recipes are fairly straightforward, they are anything but boring—and Madison even employs some unconventional techniques. The silky tart dough for the blackberry cream tart I made a few weeks ago was more like a batter, and baked up like a cake, but was absolutely delicious, and unlike any tart I’ve made before—a recipe I will be sure to use again.

While berries, stone fruits, and other summer delights certainly have a strong presence in this book, Madison provides fantastic recipes for every season. Winter and autumn produce—like citrus, apples, nuts, and even persimmons (!)—make an appearance in many of the recipes. Plus, an entire section on dairy desserts with gems like a ricotta and goat cheese tart in a nut crust, and a simple yogurt and honey ice cream, make this a well-rounded, accessible dessert cookbook not to be missed.

Convinced? You can find the book here—then, if you can, head over to one of the many farmers’ markets throughout the Bay Area, and make good use of our delicious summer produce while it lasts.

Thanks for reading.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Jul 13, 2010

No Country for Old Couscous

A tablehoppin’ reader spotted ~Josh Brolin~ at Aziza, who “seemed very chill and laid back. No one approached him and [a few times he checked] out the food that was being delivered to our table since we ordered a lot of food.” Yup, my kind of readers.

Brolin also came in to Sociale last night for dinner with Ethan Coen and his family. New movie in the works? Hmmmm…

Derek Jeter on the Town

I got all kinds of updates about New York Yankee ~Derek Jeter~ on the town: he reportedly had some chicken parmigiana for lunch at Colosseo in North Beach (414 Columbus), and he also came in to FiDi’s Palio D’Asti late last Tuesday afternoon for some carb-loading pizza and pasta before the evening game against the Oakland A’s (he was with his close buddy and teammate, Jorge Posada). My spy writes: “Am sure they didn’t expect to have the tab picked up by a fellow diner who never even approached the table. Instead, the classy fan simply asked the GM to deliver a card, on which he wrote, ‘Thanks for the many great baseball memories.’”

And later that night, after their 6-1 win against the Oakland A’s, Jeter and Posada came in to the Redwood Room at the Clift. My Clift spotter says, “They were only at the bar for about an hour, but that was enough time for them to order some rounds of Clase Azul Reposado Tequila and Glenlivet 16yr Scotch.”

Gettin' Sauced

~Hideki Matsui~ of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim had a late-night dinner at Sauce in Hayes Valley, with a bottle of Silver Oak. Chef Ben Paula writes, “I had to calm down all the Jardinière line cooks with Jamesons to keep them out of the dining room. :) “

A (Lightning) Rod for the Ladies?

Fellow friend-about-town, Liam Mayclem of Eye on the Bay, tweeted: “At St. Regis SF. ‘A Rod’ [~Alex Rodriguez~] in the house. Mayor Willie Brown at the bar. All the ladies in the house just got a little excited!!”

A Country Girl

~LeAnn Rimes~ was spotted with boyfriend Eddie Cibrian at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg on Saturday night. They were in a party of six people.

Panama!

Awww yeah, two members of ~Van Halen~ were spotted at Mama’s on Washington Square on Sunday for brunch. They had Monte Cristos (the wise choice) and eggs Benedict. Rock.

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