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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: fall back, fall color, fall down.

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Christa Manalo’s milk punch.

Yeah, there are a couple events in this week’s lush that will contribute to the falling down part. The same could be said of the milk punch, martini, and Normandy cocktail at the SF Food Wars Ultimate Potluck Cocktail Brunch on Sunday morning at the Ferry Building, celebrating the launch of Amanda Hesser’s The Essential New York Times Cookbook. The event definitely had a fall feeling, from Jake Godby/Humphry Slocombe’s Indian pudding to Jen Musty/Batter Bakery’s date spice cake to Elisabeth Prueitt/Tartine Bakery’s wonderful poached pears—everything was made from/inspired by recipes in the cookbook.

Hey, are you thinking about dining out this week? If you’re going out tonight, please take a look at the list of restaurants on the Bay Area Dine Out for Meals on Wheels page. A percentage of the proceeds from your dinner will help provide meals for seniors in need. And if you’re going out on Wednesday night, please consider dining at one of these 35 restaurants in the Mission, all part of the Food For Thought charity dining event for Mission Graduates.

And be sure to check out the weekend’s upcoming OPENwater event in the socialite—it’s one you won’t want to miss. I will also say the same thing about my Thursday evening book and bubbles event at Domaine Carneros!

See you!

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Nov 9, 2010

Namu's New "Branch," Namu Gaji, to Open on Dolores Street

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The Lee brothers photo by Mohammad Gorjestani.

There have been all kinds of rumors circulating about the Namu brothers opening a second location—will it be in the Mission, in the Inner Richmond, in the Lower Haight? The Lees were looking all over town at locations (hence the rumors), and the Mission has proven to be the lucky winner. Opening in Fall 2011 will be ~NAMU GAJI~ (“gaji” means branch), a 45-seat modern San Francisco izakaya. It’s going to open in the former retail space that housed Studio 3579 on Dolores Street.

As for the dining style, think yakitori grill counters and lots of cold sake and beer. The seating will be mostly communal, with one semi-private room for group dining. In an email to me, chef Dennis Lee says he is going to “highlight fish and animal parts so people can appreciate things like fin meat, grilled roe, belly meat of fish, grilled pork jowl, skin, intestine, chicken oysters, chicken skin, etc. I will also be making fermented chili paste and miso using strains of bacteria from my mom’s village in Korea. And our usual assortment of homemade kimchees and pickles, as well as Namu standbys like our shiitake mushroom dumplings and ramen.” Sign. Me. Up. There will also be a takeout window selling Asian-style street food, including shaved ice made with locally made, all-natural syrup and seasonal ingredients. The plan is to be open until 11pm daily (and even later pending zoning). 499 Dolores St. at 18th St.

Namu Gaji - 499 Dolores St. San Francisco - 415-431-6268

Citizen Cake Should Be Opening on Fillmore This Saturday

Elizabeth Falkner, Amy Glaze, and crew are gearing up for the opening of ~CITIZEN CAKE~ on Fillmore, currently aiming toward this Saturday November 13th. Lunch will be served from 11am-2:30pm, with dishes like clam chowder ($10) with white wine, leeks, potatoes, lardon, and cream; frisée-lardon salad ($12), with slow-poached egg, radish, tarragon, grain mustard vinaigrette, and croutons; heirloom chicories salad ($9), dates, red onion, pecans, blue cheese, and honey vinaigrette; sandwiches like an open-face fried chicken Cobb sandwich ($12), bacon, egg, avocado, and tomato vinaigrette; falafel ($9), smoked eggplant, beet raita, harissa, cucumber, tahini, and pita pillows; and roast beef sandwich au jus ($11), caramelized onion-horseradish aioli, shredded carrot, and celery. There will also be four pizzas ($11-$15): a margherita with housemade mozzarella; fennel sausage, tomato sauce, red onion, and pine nuts; pesto, bacon, chèvre, walnuts, and arugula; and fall mushrooms, truffle soubise, thyme, hazelnuts, and sage.

During the snack time (from 3pm-5pm), there are arepas with smoked trout, ancho crema, cucumber, and pepitas ($6); chopped liver toast ($7); and other snacks.

Dinner will be served from 5:30pm-10pm, with some of the same starters as lunch, like beet salad with mache, grilled beef heart, horseradish, and crème fraîche ($11), plus hiramasa crudo ($15), radish, persimmon, carrot, avocado, jalapeño, and ponzu. There will also be the pizzas, and main dishes include dorade royal ($21), caramelized cauliflower, golden raisins, pancetta, lemon, caper berries, and brown butter; poussin ($24), mushroom and wild mushroom stuffing, parsnips, Brussels sprout leaves, cranberry-pear sauce, and sherry jus; rigatoni carbonara ($16), pancetta, and pecorino Romano; Kobe beef cheek stroganoff ($19), egg noodles, Thumbelina carrots, Tokyo turnips, and chanterelles; and oat groats ($16), butternut squash, collard greens, pickled quince, and pine nuts.

Rigatoni carbonara. Cue sound of stomach grumbling. And I can’t wait to see the selection of pastries and sweets (which will be baked at Orson), available at 10am.

Citizen Cake - 2125 Fillmore St. - 415-861-2228

Dcantr Opens Tonight at Saison

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At Saison’s hearth counter.

Starting this evening, ~SAISON~ is launching their wine bar concept, Dcantr. Every Tuesday through Saturday evening (from 6pm-11pm), you’ll be able to swing by Stable Café (the café in the front of the building—Saison is in the back) for a selection of wines and more casual à la carte dishes. (Plus some choice music on the system.) The majority of the simple New American dishes will be cooked on the hearth or in the wood-burning oven, but there will be some cold dishes as well (priced $8-$28). Dishes include chicken liver mousseline, quince butter, and toast; sea urchin toast with smoked seaweed butter; and fried sand dabs, ember-roasted Orion fennel, and wild fennel citronette. You can view the complete menu here. No reservations.

Wine director Mark Bright has chosen about five reds and whites each by the glass ($8-$14), with some Henriot poured as well ($18), beers, and some stickies. The list will expand in coming weeks. An interactive and interesting thing Bright is doing is allowing guests to mix their own pinot blend from one producer but three different AVAs (Carneros, Russian River, and Sonoma Coast)—look for the “blending bar” option on the wine list.

And Grub Street released the news that Saison has hired a new pastry chef, Matt Tinder, who was formerly at Meadowood.

Saison - 178 Townsend St. San Francisco - 415-828-7990

A New Place for Coffee That Opens This Week: MA•Velous

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Photo by Crystal Shafer.

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Photo by Crystal Shafer.

After riding my bike past the paper-covered windows for some time, it looks like ~MA•VELOUS~, the chic new coffee and wine bar on Market Street, is soft opening on Wednesday November 10th. Owner Phillip Ma is offering quite the coffee experience: the café will change its coffee menu seasonally, featuring a number of great international roasteries (including Intelligentsia and the Norwegian micro roastery Tim Wendelboe). Each coffee can be brewed in six different ways, either using a custom La Marzocco machine (Ma commissioned Espressoparts to build it), or manually with a Hario V60 coffee drip, a Chemex coffee maker, a French press, and from Japan, a Siphon coffee brewing machine, or the Kyoto cold, slow-drip coffee maker.

There is also a 50-bottle menu from sustainable and boutique wineries from all over the world (with 15 by the glass). Chef Tyler Stone consulted on the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, which will be small bites with a local and seasonal focus. There will be soups, sandwiches, artisanal cheeses, and locally handcrafted salumi, as well as desserts and pastries.

It’s quite a looker: there’s a Siphon bar, café seating, a small library, and an intimate lounge area, plus an edgy, 50-foot-long painting by street artist Eddie Colla. Local artists were also commissioned for other elements in the space, including lighting artist Kevin Randolph, and Alan Quiros for the unique Lucite panel design. There was a strong ecological focus in the stylish design by Adeeni Design Group, using many repurposed and recycled materials, and eco-conscious paints. Open daily 8am-12am. Soft opening this Wednesday, and this Thursday November 11th from 6pm-10pm is the reception for artist Eddie Colla and his mural, “My Life.” Admission is free and open to the public. 1408 Market St. at Fell, 415-626-8884.

Chef Paolo Laboa Returns to Farina as "Mentor Chef"

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Photo from Farina.

In a somewhat cryptic press release, ~FARINA~ announced the return of chef Paolo Laboa as mentor chef. In the good news department, he will be back in the kitchen until the brother and sister duo of Fabrizio and Serena Rebollini arrive in San Francisco in the New Year, with Laboa returning to his hometown of Genoa to open a Farina there in 2011.

Farina - 3560 18th St. San Francisco - 415-565-0360

For Pasta Fanatics...

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My family’s lineup of pastas for Christmas Eve.

This November, you can really embrace carbs (and an ensuing winter physique) at ~THE MOSS ROOM~, when chef Michael Morrison is offering a Sunday Supper that is all about handmade pasta. Every Sunday in November, you’ll be able to tuck into a four-course meal of Dungeness crab capellini (Asian black garlic, Meyer lemon, chile), Marin County goat cheese cannelloni (cavolo nero, roasted pumpkin, Da Vero olive oil), fresh tagliatelle (with red wine-braised duck sugo agrodolce), and for dessert, quince tarte Tatin (with Straus yogurt, pistachio). $40, and $60 when paired with wine.

(And if you’re a whiskey fan, holla, you may want to peek at their special whiskey menu this month, featuring quite a selection of bourbons and ryes, all $10.)

The Moss Room - 55 Music Concourse Dr. San Francisco - 415-876-6121

Hecho in San Francisco

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The upstairs level at Midi.

After chef Michelle Mah departed from downtown’s ~MIDI~, it wasn’t clear what direction the restaurant was going to head in, but now the Inside Scoop reveals Joseph Manzare is going to open ~HECHO~, basically his tequila, robata, and sushi concept. He’s reportedly going to open it in about 90 days after a remodel of the current space is complete. Midi is going to close on Sunday November 14th. 185 Sutter St. at Kearny.

Sushi in the Castro

Since Sushi Sumi didn’t work out (it was the sushi place that took over for Ma Tante Sumi in the Castro), according to ABC permits, the next place to give the location a go will be ~TAKARA SUSHI SF~ (not sure if that’s the final name). The names on the license are different than the (delicious) Takara in Japantown, so time will tell. 4243 18th St. at Collingwood.

Get a Taste of an International Farmers' Market This Thursday

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Swing by Chronicle Books this Thursday November 11th at 6pm for ~LA MARKETA~, an “international farmers’ market” with social enterprise Liga Masiva (based in New York). The event is free and will feature street food from across Latin America (two La Cocina businesses will be selling their wares), stories from organic farmers in the Dominican Republic, and cupping of Liga Masiva’s organic, Direct Trade, artisan-roasted coffee (complimentary). There will also be complimentary beer and wine. The event is designed to highlight how Liga Masiva is able to pay farmers twice as much as they would otherwise earn by connecting them with consumers here in the U.S., while consumers gain a greater understanding of the people, place, and culture where the products come from. (Liga Masiva will be expanding to other products and countries in 2011 and beyond.) 680 Second St. at Townsend.

Fall Flavors

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Autumn panettone from Emporio Rulli.

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SusieCakes apple crumble pie.

Annoying Daylight Savings Time is in effect, the rain is here, and chillier weather is creeping at my window—but fall flavors are also ramping up, which I love. It was like a full-on assault at tablehopper HQ last week, starting with a delivery of an “autumn panettone” from Emporio Rulli. Panettone is one of my favorite things to eat over the holidays, so it was kind of fun to try this new early-bird version with spices, cranberries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, and a walnut and almond paste glaze. Awesome with morning coffee—but the price is a bit ouch, at $37 a loaf. Available until Thanksgiving at Rulli’s Il Caffè at Union Square and Emporio Rulli Larkspur.

I was also sent a trio of mini holiday pies from SusieCakes: apple crumble, pecan, and pumpkin. It was kind of decadent to be eating pumpkin pie a couple weeks early—and not when I am deep in a Thanksgiving dinner coma and barely enjoying my slice. (It was also fun to share the mini pies with neighbors and friends—seriously, get them the hell outta here before I eat them all!) The winner for me was the apple crumble, not too sweet, with the nicely firm pieces of apple, and a light, flaky crust. Click here for more info on pre-ordering pies.

On Saturday I took a break from all my writing chores and pedaled over to the Hapa Ramen kitchen to pick up a couple of Richie’s new take-home ramen kits. You basically get a container of his wonderful broth, a bundle of noodles that you cook in salted water at home, and voila! (Here’s a pic of the kit.) The pork version ($9) was truly delicious (and oh-so filling), with a hunk of pork belly nestled into the rich broth, plus pieces of delicata squash, spigarello, nori, watermelon radish, and scallions that you garnish it all with. (Of course I cooked mine with an egg as well.) The vegan version ($8) was also killer and super autumnal, featuring a kabocha squash-miso broth. (The ingredients are seasonal, and can change each week.) You can swing by the Hapa Ramen stand at the Ferry Building during the Tuesday and Thursday markets to pick them up while they last, or do the pick-up thing at the Hapa Ramen stand at Off the Grid at Fort Mason on Fridays, or at their kitchen at 550 Alabama Street (at Mariposa) on Saturdays from 12pm-2pm (just pre-order them via email). Nakano also said you can sometimes just swing by the Alabama kitchen to pick one up during off hours (if he’s there), so try emailing or send him a tweet!

One more fall entry: this Thursday November 11th, chef Lizzie Binder of ~BAR BAMBINO~ is putting together a four-course fall menu inspired by the northeastern corner of Italy: cauliflower soup with caviar; pomegranate, pumpkin, and lamb stew; and a walnut and poppyseed dessert. Wine pairings for the dinner feature an organic wine grown within the city limits of Bolzano, some wines from the Friuli, and more. Here’s the full menu. 7pm-10pm. $85 per person (tax and gratuity not included). Reserve your seat at 415-701-8466.

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the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Nov 9, 2010

(Sponsored): Bi-Rite's Holiday Wine Blitzes Are Coming Up!

Trac, Matt, and Sarah, Bi-Rite Market’s trusty wine team, have one of the best wine selections in town. Surrounded by amazing cheeses, salumi, fresh produce, and a world-class deli, the team is inspired to choose wines that aren’t just “food friendly” but rather living partners with food that elevate the dishes they’re served alongside. That selection includes a wide array of wines under $15, including the latest in natural, organic, and biodynamic wines, plus hard-to-find cult wines from Comtes Lafon, François Raveneau, Clos Rougeard, Sean Thackrey, Movia, Quintarelli, and more.

During Bi-Rite’s two Holiday Wine Blitzes (November 11th-14th and December 9th-12th), 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! And don’t miss their preview tastings at 18 Reasons on December 3rd for your opportunity to sample the offerings before you make your Blitz choices!

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 Trac.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Nov 9, 2010

A New Hideout Built for Drinking Wine

I received an email from Nirvino mentioning an event tonight, November 9th, in ~CANTINA~’s new “Bodega de Cantina,” which of course made me say, “huh?” After a phone call with owner Duggan McDonnell, he put me in touch with his Cantina colleague, Christine Prentice, who has put together a special wine list for Tuesday and Wednesday night tastings in the downstairs bar. There are 16-17 wines available by the glass, with a total of 24 bottles, including some South American selections, along with French and Californian wines. Oh yeah, and some beers—but no cocktails downstairs. There will also be salumi, from Fatted Calf and other purveyors, plus cheeses are available.

Prentice said the vibe is more laid-back than the upstairs, with softer lighting, music, a couch, a cool installation from a local artist, and room for about 30 people to hang out and catch up. Sounds like a nice place to unwind after work; Tue-Wed 5pm-12am. As for tonight’s sneak peek event with Nirvino, you can read all the details and get tickets here. 580 Sutter St. at Mason.

Bar Crudo Hosting Moonlight Brewery on November 15th

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Butterfish crudo at…Bar Crudo!

Next Monday November 15th, ~BAR CRUDO~ is starting their fall/winter beer dinner club series with Moonlight Brewery and Master Brewer Brian Hunt. Chef Mike Selvera has put together a five-course seasonal menu, with dishes like a king mackerel crudo with a salad of watercress, endive, pear, duck prosciutto, almond dust, and creamy pear vinaigrette, paired with Sour Mash Wheat, Wheat Ale; and butterfish and smoked bone marrow with seaweed salad, cherry balsamic, orange oil, and grilled toast paired with Working for Tips, Red Ale. Nope, Selvera is not messing around. Check out the entire menu here. $85. 7pm.

Bar Crudo - 655 Divisadero St. San Francisco - 415-409-0679

A Shmaltz-y Beer Pairing Dinner at Saul's

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The Reuben at Saul’s.

Shmaltz Brewing’s line of HE’BREW beers, smoked herring, Reubens… It all goes down at a winter dinner and beer pairing on Tuesday November 16th at ~SAUL’S RESTAURANT AND DELI~ in Berkeley, from 4pm-10pm. Here’s the full menu for you to check out. Order à la carte, or you may also choose the prix-fixe menu, which includes three beer and food pairings ($32 for three courses and three half-pints, or $38 for three pints). Zak Davis from Shmaltz Brewing will also be on hand for part of the night to answer any questions. 1475 Shattuck Ave. at Vine, Berkeley, 510-848-3354.

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the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Nov 9, 2010

(Sponsored): Lost Art Salon: A Resource for Modernist, Vintage, and Antique Art and Objects

Lost Art Salon’s fine art collection is comprised of over 4,000 works of rediscovered and historically significant artists from the Modern Era, reflecting the major styles and movements of the 20th Century (1900-1960s). Every piece is researched, reconditioned, and cataloged for art historical records at our Salon in San Francisco. Our collection can be viewed on our website or in person Monday through Saturday.

Please join us for our next opening party this Friday November 12th from 5:30pm-8:30pm.

the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Nov 9, 2010

OPENrestaurant Is Back: Now Presenting OPENwater

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Event Info

Saturday Nov 13, 2010 – Sunday Nov 14, 2010
Tickets

After last October’s meat spectacle at SFMOMA (“OPENfuture: Spinning Marinetti’s Wheels”) from OPENrestaurant, I can’t wait to see what they plan to unleash this coming weekend for ~OPENWATER~ at St. George Spirits in Alameda. This is another ambitious event in conjunction with SFMOMA, designed to unfold the hidden connections in food. The question this event centers around is: how does water flow in the Bay Area?

OPENwater will examine some of the issues at the heart of the Bay-Delta watershed and the California water system. It’s going to be pondered, presented, discussed, and experienced in a variety of ways, including video, installations, and an immersive and quadrophonic sound experience from Meyer Sound (yeah, the folks who do Dead shows, the Beijing Olympics, events at Zellerbach, and other big stadium events). I also heard about an installation of a wall of commercial dishwashers, special plates made just for the event by the CCA, and many, many other surprises, I am sure.

There will be two sit-down dinners ($65) and a lunch ($30), which, if you can afford it, will be really special, with highly sourced ingredients, a drink, and specially hand-printed menus printed at the St. George letterpress shop by Sasha Wizansky that you can keep. Be sure to look at the site for the background on each meal—like why the “The Chinook Salmon” dinner doesn’t feature salmon. Make a reservation for the dinners here and the lunch here.

But in case you can’t do a sit-down meal, swing on by and hang out at the bar area, where there will be food from Peko Peko, beer curated by Magnolia Brewery, coffee from Four Barrel, various dry-farmed wines from Beaune Imports, and special concoctions made for the event from St. George (all $5-$10)—so you can drop by at any time for a quick bite and drink. And hanging out by the bar will be fishermen and other people to meet and chat with. Admission is free!

On Saturday November 13th, at 3pm there will be a salting and quick pickle workshop, followed by a roundtable discussion at 4pm with Dena Beard, MATRIX Curatorial Assistant, Berkeley Art Museum; Jennifer Frazier, Cell Biologist and Project Director, Exploratorium; Christopher Richard, Associate Curator of Aquatic Biology, Oakland Museum of California; and Peter Vorster, Hydrogeographer, The Bay Institute. Dinner is at 5:30pm, with the theme The Water Cycle, prepared by Cal Peternell/Chez Panisse. The menu includes briny consommé of Pacific seafood and seaweed; risotto of rice from the Central Valley with duck raised on the rice fields, and Sierra wild mushrooms; and warm buckwheat crêpes with pears from the Delta.

Sunday November 14th features a lunch, The Lower Sacramento Watershed, at 11:30am with Chris Kronner/Bar Tartine. The menu includes an herb and endive salad with Soul Food Farm egg; braised grass-fed beef crépinette with Tartine bakery bun, onion rings, and dry-farmed tomato ketchup; and an almond tart. Then at 4pm is a roundtable discussion with Ed Ueber, moderator; Marc Alley, fisherman; Lloyd G. Carter, journalist; Cynthia Hooper, artist; Jon Rosenfield, president, SalmonAID Foundation; and Tom Worthington, partner, Monterey Fish.

Dinner, The Chinook Salmon, will be prepared by chef Chris Lee, formerly of Eccolo, at 5:30pm. The menu includes grilled sardines with nasturtium pods, Meyer lemon, and pickled cucumbers; cioppino, the traditional San Francisco fish stew, with local fish and shellfish; and Sierra persimmon pudding.

Here’s more on all the events each day.

Be sure to look at the schedule at a glance.

Installations and performances by Sita Bhaumik, Denise King, Leslie Terzian Markoff, Lauren Marsden, Travis McFlynn, Jessica Niello, David Wilson, and The Perish Trust. Video works by Kim Anno and Ricardo Rivera, Cynthia Hooper, Martin Machado, Christina McPhee, and Chris Sollars, with others. Sound works by Jen Belleville, and James Goode, with others.

OPENrestaurant is the project of Stacie Pierce, Jerome Waag, and Sam White, all part of the Chez Panisse restaurant staff.

Where to Gobble Gobble This Thanksgiving

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My overflowing plate at Casa Gagliardi. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Below are a variety of options for those of you who won’t be cooking your ~THANKSGIVING~ dinner on Thursday November 25th. There are many other restaurants doing Thanksgiving in the city, check out the list on OpenTable here.

Early Thanksgiving
But first, for those of you who would like to have two Thanksgivings (why not?), you might want to check out upcoming Boxing Room’s “Thanksgiving on the Bayou,” on Monday November 15th in the Absinthe private dining room. Executive chef Justin Simoneaux will be doing his second preview dinner, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting For the Bayou Gulf relief efforts. The four-course menu includes “Oysters Rockefeller” salad, Louisiana seafood gumbo, Cajun fried turkey, and sweet potato brûlée. $35 per person, excludes beverages, tax, and gratuity; beer and wine will be available, priced à la carte. 5:30pm-10pm. Reservations required. Absinthe, 388 Hayes St. at Gough, 415-551-1453.

Classy Thanksgiving
Chef Mark Dommen of One Market Restaurant will offer a three-course prix-fixe menu with multiple options for each course, including red wine risotto with duck confit, gizzard, and chicories; beet carpaccio with radish, fresh chèvre, and sherry vinaigrette; roasted Willie Bird turkey with cornbread-applewood-smoked bacon stuffing, creamed spinach and shallot-thyme gravy; pumpkin ravioli with Asian pear, Parmesan cheese, and walnut emulsion; and triple-layer pumpkin cheesecake with maple sugar pecans and ice cream. $59 per adult; $29 for children 12 and under. Seatings from 1pm-8:30pm, 415-777-5577.

Americana Thanksgiving
Presidio Social Club is putting together a menu with plenty of choices, like a first course of cracked Dungeness crab and oysters on the half shell or warm mushroom salad or turkey crépinette; and either roasted free-range turkey or porchetta or sea bass fillet or butternut squash risotto; and for dessert, warm bourbon pecan tart, autumn parfait, or cranberry orange granita. Three-course dinner, $45 per person. Items are also available à la carte. And don’t forget Tim Stookey’s menu o’ libations, like hot buttered rum, a hot apple sour, or a Wild Turkey shooter (in case your family is hard to handle).

Avant-Garde Thanksgiving
Chef Dominique Crenn at Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco is offering a four-course menu of Thanksgiving favorites served up in a nontraditional style. Dishes include butternut squash bisque with winter squash and textures; roasted turkey and turkey leg “confit” with apple-cornbread and chestnut; or slow-roasted leg of lamb and winter vegetables; and a spin on traditional pumpkin pie. Dinner is $65 per person, and $95 with wine pairings, exclusive of tax and gratuity.

Franco-Japanese Thanksgiving
Ame restaurant is offering a five-course tasting menu, with dishes like carpaccio of “Kurodai” snapper; cream of roasted chestnut soup; pan-seared scallops; grilled quail with hazelnut risotto; and pumpkin pie. $85, and wine pairings can be added for an additional $65. 4pm-8pm.

Vietnamese-Inspired Thanksgiving
Chef Rob Lam at Butterfly is going to be hosting a meal inspired by what he grew up with at home, with a mix of classic and Asian side dishes, from curried pumpkin soup to sticky rice. And he does wicked things to the Diestel turkeys he gets: they brine the breast, sous vide, then roast it in the wood oven, and slice it like a big hunk of prime rib. Meanwhile, the leg gets cured, confited in duck fat, shredded, and seared with a sweet potato and parsnip hash. Yeah. $50 per person, tax and gratuity not included.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving
SILKS at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel offers two Thanksgiving menus, including one just for vegetarians. Here’s the traditional Thanksgiving menu, and here’s the vegetarian menu.

Millennium also hosts an annual Thanksgiving dinner, with all kinds of dishes, like black-eyed pea chow chow, roasted Brussels sprouts and brassicas, and more. Five-course prix-fixe menu, $60/person ($30 for children under 12). Reservations from 2pm-8pm, 415-345-3900.

Thanksgiving With a View
Just in case you have some old-timers who insist on a view and going to Fisherman’s Wharf, Alioto’s will serve a three-course traditional Thanksgiving Day feast, including free-range, organic roasted turkey; mashed potatoes; peas and yams; and a choice of clam chowder or a house salad. The menu also includes pumpkin pie and coffee for $27.25 per person.

Southern Thanksgiving
1300 on Fillmore is offering a Southern-style Thanksgiving feast, which can be enjoyed at the restaurant, or boxed to go (contact the restaurant for details). Dinner is a three-course meal for $49 per person (tax and tip not included), and provides traditional turkey, seafood, as well as vegetarian options. (Your first course choice can include their awesome shrimp and grits.) Executive chef David Lawrence’s Southern-style roasted Willie Bird, a free-range turkey from Sonoma, includes giblet gravy, sage-cornbread stuffing, and a port-cranberry relish. There are three seatings: noon, 2pm, and 4:30pm. 415-771-7100.

Thanksgiving To Go
Gitane is also doing a to-go option for $45 from chef Bridget Batson, with a percentage of proceeds benefiting Project Open Hand. Orders can be placed up until November 22nd; picked up on the 24th anytime after 3pm (packaged to be easily reheated at home; directions will be included). Click here to view the menu and download the order form.

Wondering what to pair with your turkey dinner?
Past tablehopper winos include Ian Becker and Carl Grubbs on what they like to pair with their Thanksgiving meals.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Nov 9, 2010

Nicole Kidman (Whoa!) and Clive Owen (Swoon) Spotted at Piccino

I love it when some serious star wattage glows in random places, like the Dogpatch! Both ~Clive Owen~ and ~Nicole Kidman~ were spotted at Piccino on separate days. The tablehopper reader (and Piccino regular) reports Ms. Kidman was “majestically tall” and appeared to be eating a salad and funghi pizza.

And according to Leah Garchik, the duo were also spotted dining at Kokkari with filmmakers Phil and Peter Kaufman—“They will star in the Kaufmans’ movie about Ernest Hemingway [for HBO]; Owen as Hemingway and Kidman as Martha Gellhorn [a journalist, and one of Hemingway’s wives].”

Boogie Bites

Man-about-town and City Dish-er, Kevin Blum was at Eliza’s on California and Divisadero over the weekend and saw ~John C. Reilly~ (Boogie Nights, Talladega Nights, Chicago) “dining with a lovely lady and a child” (presumably his wife, producer Alison Dickey, and one of their children).

Making It Work at Wayfare

After dining at Wayfare Tavern last Wednesday evening, I saw none other than ~Tim Gunn~ dining at the counter overlooking the open kitchen.

Giants on the Town

I’ve had Giants sightings pouring in, whether it’s ~Brian Wilson~ at Delarosa (check out this picture of THE BEARD, holy cow), to ~Pablo “The Panda” Sandoval~ leaving Fresca in Noe Valley—the tablehopper reader said he “was not as ‘beefy’ as I had expected. I left him alone, but I was pretty close to bear hugging him.” The Panda was also spotted at Buca di Beppo dining with his family after the parade—with a monster truck-sized brownie sundae on their table.

Further sightings: Brian Wilson, Aubrey Huff, and Pat Burrell were at The Republic on Wednesday night after the parade. My spotter says, “You would have thought they were the Beatles coming to America for the first time the way the throngs of ladies were acting! When they walked in there were about 40 people in the place, and within 30 minutes there were 250 with a line around the corner, people jumping through windows, etc.”

And then World Series MVP ~Edgar Renteria~ celebrated at Waterbar with five friends, just a day after winning the championship. He likes his rib eye well done (!) and his party drank aged rum with their dinner. In honor of the Giants playing in the World Series, Waterbar created a specialty cocktail, “The Torture,” that was featured on the cocktail menu with the Giants logo. Edgar graciously signed the cocktail page listing The Torture for many guests.

Lastly, The Richmond District Blog had this tip (and pic!) of ~Tim Linceum~ partying in the Richmond last night at the 540 Club and Trad’r Sam!

Sushi Raiding

After the Oakland Raiders’ home victory over rival Kansas City Chiefs, two Oakland Raiders dined at Ozumo Oakland. Linebacker ~Thomas Howard~ is a fan of the happy hour items, and it was the first time in for free safety ~Hiram Eugene~—both came in separate parties.

A Bonnie Lass

Seems DOSA on Fillmore is drawing all kinds of musicians and stars these days: ~Bonnie Raitt~ was just in for dinner. She reportedly loved the Tamil vegetable curry, coconut rice, and spicy mung dosa.

Not Outsourced, Just Out Dining

~Sacha Dhawan~, who plays Manmeet on NBC’s Outsourced, was spotted at DOSA on Fillmore.

Burns at Bambino

~Ed Burns~ was at Bar Bambino with his mother-in-law (aka Christy Turlington’s mom) with a big party up front. He faced the street and kept a low profile. Christy apparently loves Bar Bambino and recommended he go there. They had salumi, cheese, and vino.

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