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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: dispatch from the desert.

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A Cavallo, from 2007.

I can’t believe I am having to write two tablehoppers in one day, but such is my “boss of me” life. By the time you get this, I will already be kickin’ it in my camp in Black Rock City, blissfully unaware of my exploding inbox, RSS feed, Twitter account, Facebook, and cell phone, and paying more attention to dust storms, heavy bass, art cars, where the hell is my sliced hot coppa in my cooler, and carrying on with my dear friends, once I find them out there.

I tried to get some tidbits together before my departure—but who knows if Una Pizza Napoletana will really be opening on September 8th, or if The Summit is going to open next week, or if Ragazza sets an opening date for this month? I plan to have answers to these questions and more when I return to your inbox on September 10th.

Oh, one answer I do have for you is which salsa was which in the Déjà Vu: The Salsa Edition quiz. Only four of you got it right: Salsa A was from Tacolicious, and Salsa B is from Papito. As for which salsa trio presentation was served to the dining public first, the answer is… Tacolicious.

Ta!

Dustily yours,

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Aug 31, 2010

Get Ready to Add a Winner to Your Weekend Brunch Options

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Just when I thought my neighborhood couldn’t get any better, ~NOPA~ decides to launch weekend brunch service. I know, right? It starts Saturday September 4th, and will run from 11am-2:30pm. Dishes include butter basted-farm eggs with the most delicious white polenta squares, house-smoked trout and bagels, pan de mie French toast, housemade Merguez sausage with spiced lentils and poached eggs, and you know there will be some refreshing cocktails, like a Ramos Gin Fizz, and an excellent Bloody Mary. How do I know it’s excellent? I was lucky to get invited to a test brunch—and let me tell you, the portions are nice and hearty. What’s additionally cool is you’ll be able to swing by during the afternoon after the last seating (at 2:30pm) for light bites and drinks until dinner service kicks back in again at 6pm.

And nopa will be taking reservations, how civilized (here you go: 415-864-8643). One thing to note for your calendar, however: due to a prior commitment, there will be no brunch the weekend of September 18th-19th, but brunch will resume the following weekend, the 25th-26th.

Nopa - 560 Divisadero St. San Francisco - 415-864-8643

It's Time for Even More Cheese in Your Life

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Photo from The Cheese School.

Yo, cheese lovers (am sure that includes many of you). Thought you should know ~THE CHEESE SCHOOL OF SAN FRANCISCO~ just released the Fall 2010 schedule, and the new semester begins on September 14th. There are actually a bunch of new classes this semester; including Cheesemongering for Champions, designed for anyone interested in becoming a cheesemonger. Their Three-Day Intensive Cheese Education Program is also coming up, September 26th-28th. Classes tend to fill up quickly, so hop to it! 2155 Powell St. at Francisco, 415-346-7530.

Spaghetti Sundays at Heart

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~HEART~ the wine bar, restaurant, and art gallery in the Mission is launching Spaghetti Sundays, which will feature homemade spaghetti, salad, and fresh garlic bread for only $15. Every Sunday evening, there will be two separate spaghetti options, one meat (with tomatoes, onions, pancetta, garlic, and black pepper) and one vegetarian (it’s seasonal—a recent version included zucchini, zucchini flowers, pecorino, and black pepper). There will also be a wine special offered. 5pm-10pm.

Heart - 1270 Valencia St. San Francisco - 415-285-1200

Naked Lunch Is Celebrating Their Anniversary, and We All Win

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The fried chicken sandwich from Naked Lunch. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

~NAKED LUNCH~ in North Beach is turning one, and to thank all their fans, they’ll be servin’ up their popular fried chicken sandwich for half off on Saturday September 4th. Yup, $4 for their deeelish sandwich. Bwok.

Naked Lunch - 504 Broadway San Francisco

A Month of Specials: CHAYA Turns 10

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~CHAYA BRASSERIE SAN FRANCISCO~ is toasting its 10th birthday with month-long anniversary specials and a brand-new menu from executive chef Tetsuya Osaki and corporate executive chef Shigefumi Tachibe. A $20.10 three-course lunch menu will be available from 9-10-10 to 10-10-10 (menu items will include an herbed Monterey calamari salad; king salmon with grilled fennel, white corn, Swiss chard, red wine reduction, and herb oil; and a blueberry custard torte with buttermilk sorbet).

On the 10 days leading up to October 10th, 2010 (10-10-10), there will be a “Countdown to 10-10-10” promotion in the bar and lounge area that will include:
Day 1: Red Dragon Roll for $10 (regular price: $14)
Day 2: Takara Nigori Unfiltered for $9 (regular price: $15)
Day 3: Sancerre by the glass for $8 (regular price: $13.50)
Day 4: Tuna Tartare for $7 (regular price: $9.50)
Day 5: Basil Cucumber Gimlet for $6 (regular price: $11)
Day 6: Mini Burger and Fries for $5 (regular price: $10)
Day 7: Chaya Vitamin V for $4 (regular price: $8)
Day 8: $3 Garlic Fries (regular price: $5)
Day 9: $2 Sapporo Draught Beer (regular price: $5.50)
Day 10: $1 Oysters (regular price: $3)

132 The Embarcadero at Mission, 415-777-8688.

Short "Freshening Up" Closure for A16, Starting September 7th

On September 7th, ~A16~ will be closing until the week of September 20th for a face lift (the exact reopening date remains to be known—I’ll keep you posted). They will specifically be targeting noise and ventilation issues, plus renovating the bathrooms, revamping the bar with a new marble bar top, and adding some additional banquette seating in the back corner as the office moves upstairs.

But before that all happens, the restaurant will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of A16 Tokyo, from Friday September 3rd to Monday September 6th. A16 will offer the following Japanese-inspired à la carte menu specials, along with their regular menu:

Albacore crudo with shiso (perilla) and pickled plums
Tonnarelli with squid braised in its own ink, cherry tomatoes, and basil
Yakitori (spiedino) with chicken, lamb, and pork meatballs
Melon kakigori (granita) with ginger crema and saffron shortbread

Buon appetito and kanpai!

Terroir Is Hosting an Evening in Honor of Food Heroes

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Coming up on on Wednesday September 8th is a special event at Terroir Natural Wine Merchant in SoMa: Food Heroes. The event is hosted by Eventbrite, and will bring together Bay Area culinary masters who have devoted their hands and hearts to their craft. The night will also honor the release of Food Heroes, a book by Georgia Pellegrini that chronicles her global travels in pursuit of the world’s food heroes. Georgia will be there to tell her stories firsthand and sign copies of her new book.

Featured local artisans so far include (a few more will be added):
Pizza Politana
Charles Chocolates
CMB Sweets
Oren’s Kitchen
Clarine’s Florentines
Four Barrel Coffee

Proceeds from tasting tickets will benefit the Edible Schoolyard.

Wednesday Sep 8, 2010
6pm–10pm
$20; $30 with a signed book
more info

Poggio Is Putting Together Quite the Seafood Spread

~POGGIO~ in Sausalito is hosting their second annual Festa del Pesce from Tuesday September 14th to the 18th. There will be a special menu of crudo (raw/marinated/cured) and cotto (cooked) seafood antipasti, as well as special, whole-fish preparations. Chef Peter McNee will be offering 10 different seafood antipasti, ranging from $7 to $9 per dish. Meanwhile, the special whole-fish preparations include salmon carpaccio with lemon confit and shaved artichoke, house-cured Monterey Bay sardines, fried smelt with lemon aioli, fish baked in salt, and whole-roasted fish.

Poggio - 777 Bridgeway Sausalito - 415-332-7771

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the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Aug 31, 2010

(Sponsored): Try Organic Grass-Fed Beef for Only $3.99 Per Pound!

Looking to become a more conscientious omnivore? Start by picking up some grass-fed and finished beef at your local Whole Foods Market. We believe you’ll be hooked on the flavor, but its positive impact on cattle, the environment, and health are great reasons to support local ranchers who are raising grass-fed cattle, too.

If you’ve never tried it before, an old-fashioned burger is an excellent place to start. Keep it simple so the beef’s flavor can really stand out. Stick to a little salt and pepper and some olive oil for the patties. Stay classic with the condiments: a slice of onion, tomato, lettuce, and ketchup on a toasted bun.

September 3rd is our epic grass-fed ground beef sale. Only $3.99 per pound!

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Aug 31, 2010

Attend Cocktail College at Bar Adagio

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The newly revamped ~BAR ADAGIO~ near Union Square is starting a Cocktail College program on the second Thursday of each month from 6pm-8pm—the first one will be September 9th. Each month will feature a premium spirit (September is vodka and October is pisco), with the opportunity to meet bartenders and brand ambassadors as they walk you through making quality cocktails. You will also learn to make bitters, infusions, edible garnishes, and more. And here’s the best part: there’s no tuition to pay! Plus, Bar Adagio’s executive chef Hugo Campos has a new menu of bites, cheeses, fresh salads, pizzettas, and other bar-friendly munchies.

The classes are limited to 60 people and reservations are taken on a first-come/first-served basis. To sign up, please email.

Bar Adagio - 550 Geary St., San Francisco - 415-292-6360

Donkey & Goat Winery Fall Fête on September 11th

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Photo of Diamond Lil from Impakd website.

Donkey & Goat Winery always likes to do something fun for their open house parties. On September 11th, get ready to check out Diamond Lil, the world’s first “bus-taurant” (it’s a 1957 Greyhound) from sommelier Kai Schoenhals and chef Daniel Isberg—it’s made from recycled materials and runs on cooking oil! They will be serving a heritage hog from Gleason Ranch, and seven newly released wines will be poured at the upcoming Fall Fête. The menu includes Gleason Ranch pork belly sliders, Gleason Ranch yellow curry goat, a market-driven vegetarian paella, potato salad, and an Asian-style slaw.

The wines include four new projects, including Donkey & Goat’s first Anderson Valley pinot from the Broken Leg Vineyard; a 100% skin fermented roussanne (Stone Crusher); a Fukuoka-style chardonnay (Untended); their first carignane; plus a reserve syrah (36 months in barrel) from Broken Leg. There will also be live music from jazz trio Michael LaMacchia 3rio. Admission includes a souvenir Riedel glass—or guests can take advantage of Donkey & Goat’s unique green promotion and BYOG (glass) to receive a $10-off voucher for any $35+ wine purchase.

Saturday Sep 11, 2010
12:30pm–4:30pm
$20 in advance; $30 at the door (cash only)
more info

Fab Riesling Dinner with Dee Vine Wines and Jardinière

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Photo: FrankenyImages.com © 2010.

Are you a big riesling fan? There’s a great upcoming prix-fixe dinner at ~JARDINIÈRE~ you won’t want to miss: it’s the usual Monday night dinner special for $45 for three courses, with three wine pairings. But on this night, the wine pairings will feature rieslings chosen by Dee Vine Wines and sommelier Eugenio Jardim. Here’s the menu:

Gulf Shrimp Crudo
Heirloom Cucumber and Melon Salad, Green Coriander

Berkshire Pork Schnitzel
Savoy Cabbage, Cipollini Onions, and Smoked Sultana Raisin Jus

Poached Star Krimson Pears
Tellicherry Pepper Millefeuille and Clover Honey Anglaise

Monday Sep 13, 2010
more info

Jardinière - 300 Grove St. San Francisco - 415-861-5555

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the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Aug 31, 2010

September Is Salmon Month at Aquarium of the Bay

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Photo provided by Aquarium of the Bay.

Event Info

Wednesday Sep 1, 2010 – Thursday Sep 30, 2010
Info
Aquarium of the Bay
The Embarcadero and Beach Street

It’s time for an SOS: Save Our Salmon. And to that end, SalmonAID is hosting ~SALMON MONTH~ at the Aquarium of the Bay, with a variety of special events aimed at celebrating the West Coast’s iconic wild salmon. SalmonAID, a West Coast-wide coalition of conservation organizations, fishing groups, sustainable seafood advocates, Slow Food chefs, and first nations tribes, is banding together to raise awareness of the plight of our salmon populations, the rivers and streams they spawn in, and the many communities that rely on salmon for their livelihoods and survival.

Salmon Month will include a wide range of daily and special events, taking place at and around Aquarium of the Bay. September 10th is Meet the Fishermen at Aquarium of the Bay, when local fisherman will tell stories about fishing and their vessels; author and fisherman Bill Carter will screen a short film about commercial fishing in Alaska, discuss his experiences fishing for sockeye salmon in Alaska, and read from his book, Red Summer. Free with Aquarium admission.

September 11th-12th are Film Days; September 15th is Salmon Cinema & Storytelling Circle; September 18th-19th are Kids Days at Aquarium of the Bay; and September 26th is the SalmonAid Festival on PIER 39 with a free outdoor music festival. You can read more and buy tickets to these various events here.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Aug 31, 2010

Lady Gaga's Idea of Monster Ballin' Around Town

That ~Lady Gaga~, so unpredictable! According to this post from Leah Garchik, she dined at the Waterfront restaurant.

Well, that’s one place to be low profile; and according to this posting on Mission Mission, she also swung by Rosamunde in the Mission last week. To be honest, the lady in the pic looks muuuuuuch more like a tranny you’d see at Esta Noche (Bienvenidos to the stage, “Dama Gaga!”). That’s where I’d tuck my dollar bills if I had to bet on it. Anyway.

A Felicitous Dinner

On Saturday evening, ~Felicity Huffman~ dined at Venticello with her daughter in tow. My trusted spotter says they were both gorgeous, and dressed nicely.

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