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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: rabbit, run (and rabbit, eat).

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SPQR’s romanesco-cauliflower agnolotti, Asiago fonduta, cipolline in agrodolce, and wild sorrel.

Big week this week: Gung Hay Fat Choy! I am so ready to head to some Chinatown shops and score some treats—along with a visit to DeLise for their Peking duck scones. I guess my family was prepping a few days early for the lunar Year of the Rabbit, because I spent Sunday learning how to make cavatelli from my dad, and we made a hold-the-phone-while-I-have-another-helping rabbit ragu made from such delicious rabbits from Devil’s Gulch. Sorry, no recipe! My dad was working from memory of how his mother used to make it. Suffice it to say, our Sunday supper rocked the casa.

It was quite the pasta weekend, because Saturday night I dined at SPQR and tried their new five-course pasta tasting menu. Yeah, embrace the carbs, bambino. It’s $46, and includes a course of these brilliant romanesco-cauliflower agnolotti (pictured), with Asiago fonduta, cipolline in agrodolce (sweet and sour small Italian onions), and beautiful wild sorrel blossoms. Also on the menu: silky tagliatelle, and sophisticated potato gnocchi stuffed with testa di maiale (pig’s head). (A few dishes needed a tiny bit of tweaking, but they’re almost in the pocket.) And don’t miss a bowl of the candied violet ice cream from Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous for dessert.

This Saturday the 5th, I’m going to try to make it to Wise Sons Delicatessen at Off the Grid/McCoppin Hub at Jackie’s Cafe (105 Valencia St.), when they are debuting their very own pastrami and corned beef sandwiches on housemade rye from 11am-2pm. There is also the Wine and Wishes tasting and dinner event on Saturday evening, FYI. And it’s Pisco Sour Day!

Oh, and I wanted to share this informative article about sustainable seafood in restaurants in San Francisco magazine that was getting referred to all over Twitter last week in case you missed it. It’s a must-read article, so please check it out.

Well, I am jumping from this frying pan into a raging fire of deadlines, so I gotta go. Ciao!

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Feb 1, 2011

Details on What's Going Into the Former Bambuddha Lounge

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The back patio at the Phoenix.

Back in November 2010, Grub Street noted Sean and Isabel Manchester (the owners of Mighty, and previously of Wish in SoMa) were the new “principal operators for a new, as yet unnamed concept in the former Bambuddha Lounge space at the Phoenix Hotel.” The Manchesters will be working symbiotically with the hotel.

I have been waiting for them to finalize their chef before writing about the restaurant project, so hot off the news tree, here’s the chef announcement: it’s Trevor Ogden, currently the executive chef at Mission Beach Cafe (his last day will be February 12th, and his chef de cuisine, Ron Silverberg, will be taking over).

Since the space will be a hybrid of a lounge and restaurant, the menu will be flexible for folks who just want a cocktail and a few small plates, while those who would like a full meal in the dining room can do so. Ogden tells me the menu will have some New American flexibility, with a focus on local and sustainable ingredients, but not exclusively so. He also mentioned plating will be artistic and refined. He’s excited to work on such a unique project where he can start fresh and create something new.

So, let’s talk about the concept. Sean Manchester tells me they want to revive the location’s original roots as a rock ‘n’ roll destination (the Phoenix Hotel was hotelier Chip Conley/Joie de Vivre’s first property). They want the vibe to be irreverent and iconoclastic, with an eclectic style that’s a bit “stately rocker” (Sean said, “Imagine if Steven Tyler bought a historical mansion and moved in”). They are working with designer Charles Doell of Mister Important Design, known locally for his swank Gitane design, and who was part of the original Backflip design team. But don’t expect the back room’s round bar to be in there, ‘cause that baby is gone baby gone (the main room’s bar has also been moved)—and the concrete floors have also been ripped up (hello, new plumbing).

The new look will be eclectic, with 1970s contemporary barstools upholstered in a reptile fabric, Louis XIV-period reproduction settees with black-on-black cowhide, and a Jacobsen swan chair-inspired loveseat outfitted in plaid all mingling together. There will be lots of leather, and wood (including dark wood flooring), and a Carrara marble bar. One big showpiece in the back “party” room is the large wraparound banquette that’s like a huge 15’ x 15’ booth in rich chocolate leather and button-back tufting in a Chesterfield pattern, with room for 30-40 people. The entire outdoor pool area and patio are also being renovated (as you can see in the pic). Concreteworks will be doing a fire and water feature, and there will be all new furniture, making the place a perfect location for weddings and fashion shows.

They will start with dinner nightly, closed Mondays. There’s discussion of an eventual poolside brunch on Sundays, with live music and/or gospel. The music format during the week will focus on rock, from classic, to current, to indie, so DJs will need to dig a little deeper in their crates if they’re going to be spinning there. While the name is still being finalized, they are aiming for an April 15th soft opening. Get ready to rock. 601 Eddy St. at Larkin.

New Chef de Cuisine at Spruce

After the departure of executive chef Ben Cohn at ~SPRUCE~, they are bringing on a new chef de cuisine, Walter Abrams, who hails from The French Laundry. His official start date is in April.

Spruce - 3640 Sacramento St. San Francisco - 415-931-5100

New Projects: Palmyra in the Lower Haight, Shabu Pub in the Inner Richmond

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Photo by Daniel Azarkman.

Now open in the former Burger Joint space is ~PALMYRA~ (they opened on Wednesday January 26th). The owner is from Syria, and offers a menu of falafel, shawarma, hummus plates, with the addition of rotisserie chicken, espresso, and a morning breakfast menu. Most of it is pretty inexpensive. For now they are open daily 7am-9pm, with hours subject to change. 700 Haight St. at Pierce, 415-896-4172.

Grub Street notes that ~SHABU PUB~ is opening in the former Mazu space in the Inner Richmond. The dinner menu includes American style-kobe beef shabu shabu (regular $13.99, large $16.99), which comes with assorted vegetables, udon, rice, and ice cream. According to the website (with animation galore), it will be open daily 11am-2am. 3809 Geary Blvd. at 2nd Ave., 415-668-9688.

¡Ay Papi!

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Photo by Daniel Azarkman.

A while back, Tasting Table tweeted that La Oaxaqueña was opening a sister restaurant down the road. Well, it’s open, and it’s called ~PAPI’S FUSION DELI~. My intern reports: “Their aim is to serve ‘global cuisine,’ but the menu reads like diluted Mexican. They’ve got tortas, tamales, and burritos, plus American-corner-store-style sandwiches, and a couple of Asian-influenced salads. They also make a few tropical smoothies called licuados, with a couple of unique flavors like plantain and mamey (kind of like papaya), and Mexican hot chocolate with chile, ginger, and soy milk options. The tamales seem like the bedrock of the menu, and both the corn-husk and banana-leaf styles are available. One unusual offering is a banana-leaf tamal filled with collard greens and ‘soy meat’ (I’m guessing Soyrizo?).” A Chowhound report mentions “a deli case of French smoked herring, wood-smoked trout, couscous, guacamole, and other stuff. They might have some of the same pastries from La Oaxaqueña behind the deli case.” Open Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, and Fri-Sat until 2:30am. You too can embrace the fusion at 2348 Mission St. at 19th St.

Sunday Brunch Service Starts at Bar Agricole

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Bar Agricole, designed by Aidlin Darling. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Starting this Sunday February 6th (yes, Super Bowl Sunday), ~BAR AGRICOLE~ is launching brunch service (and you can make reservations). On the menu: dishes like buckwheat beignets with brandied prunes and Chantilly; slow-cooked oats with mascarpone, dates, and hazelnuts; two fried eggs with cardoons, leeks, and bagna cauda; and corned beef cheeks, potato hash, poached egg, and mustard hollandaise. Sun 11am-2pm.

Bar Agricole - 355 11th St. San Francisco - 415-355-9400

Year of the Wabbit Treats

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Peking duck scones; photo by DeLise.

Chinese New Year is this Thursday February 3rd, and Dennis and Eloise Leung of ~DELISE~ are making their famous Peking duck scones to celebrate. The scone is made with roasted duck, both skin and meat, plus green onion and hoisin. After they hand pick the meat from the duck, they use the bones to infuse the cream, which goes into the scone. They then make a hoisin glaze, and add a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top. I know, WHOA. They are also making a mandarin orange/pomelo bar, which both symbolize wealth and fortune—it’s basically a twist on the classic lemon bar. And they are also making a “sesame ball” French macaron filled with red bean (the sesame ball is a traditional dessert for Chinese New Year because its golden color resembles gold coins). The specials start this Thursday. 327 Bay St. at Powell, 415-399-9694.

Wicked-Affordable Dinners by Lauren Kiino (Il Cane Rosso) at Coffee Bar

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Photo from Coffee Bar.

It’s no secret that Lauren Kiino of ~IL CANE ROSSO~ is a wicked-good chef. And this Friday February 4th, you’ll be able to have a wicked-affordable dinner at ~COFFEE BAR~: three courses for $35 (with two choices in each course, including a vegetarian option). You can check out the menu here, which includes courses like rutabaga soup and spit-roasted pork. Coffee Bar will also be doing wine pairings for $15. There are three seatings: 6pm, 7:30pm, and 9pm. Here is the link with the reservation details. There will be a second dinner on Friday February 25th. 1890 Bryant St. (corner of Florida and Mariposa), 415-551-8100.

Freebies at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

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Fall treats from Thomas Farm; photo from CUESA.

You like delicata squash? Well, you might get a coupon for a free one (grown by Everything Under the Sun) if you get to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market early enough this coming Thursday. Beginning at 10am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) will be offering a coupon redeemable for a free and fresh farmers market treat to the first 50 people who swing by the market’s information booth to claim it.

Featured items change with each giveaway and will be announced via CUESA’s Twitter feed and Facebook page. One coupon per customer, yo.

Three Upcoming "Underground" Markets

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The Underground Market. Flickr photo from kewzoo.

This Saturday February 5th marks the return of the ~FORAGESF UNDERGROUND MARKET~, which is back at SomArts (934 Brannan St. at 8th St.); from 11am-4pm, you can purchase take-homeables (and there will be accordion players!), while 6pm-2am will bring drinks and hot food. $5 entry fee. You can view all the details and vendor lineup here.

This Saturday also brings another installment of the ~NEW TASTE MARKETPLACE~ (um, I wish these two could get on different schedules). Many favorite vendors will be returning, plus new vendors such as Jamaican Flavors, serving up Jamaican curried goat with rice. Yes, mon! And with the nice weather, the outdoor patio should come in handy. As a reminder, this event is a fundraiser for The Food Pantry. 4pm-9pm. St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church: 500 De Haro St. at Mariposa.

And then on Sunday February 13th is the ~HOMEGROWN MARIN MARKET~, featuring sellers who are cooks from around the Bay Area. 11am-5pm. To attend this event you must be a member of the Homegrown Marin Market. Save time at the door and sign up on the website. $1 off admission with membership coupon. Marin Fencing Academy, 827 4th St., San Rafael.

Four Benefit Wine Tastings and Dinners to Check Out

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This Saturday February 5th, SF Food Not Bombs is hosting a fundraising dinner in order to purchase reusable plates and utensils for their Thursday Food Sharing events. The five-course dinner is being sold at a $10-$30 sliding scale (you get a free drink with donations over $10). You can see the menu online here. 3030 B 16th St., “Station 40.″

Yup, it’s American Heart Month. On Tuesday February 8th, a number of San Francisco restaurants are participating in the Institute on Aging’s Dinner à la Heart. Restaurants will hold tables for Dinner à la Heart, and diners reserve these tables (through the Dinner à la Heart Hotline)—proceeds from the meal price ultimately act as a donation. Some restaurants offer dinner for $60 per person, like Le P’tit Laurent, while others like Gary Danko go up to $175 per person—you can see the list of participating restaurants here. Call the Dinner à la Heart Hotline to reserve a table (415-750-3443) or make reservations online.

More hearts: San Francisco General Hospital Foundation’s second annual Hearts After Dark is on Thursday February 10th from 7pm-10pm. The event is on Union Square, and will feature cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and live music. Tickets here.

On Thursday February 17th, there will be a wine tasting fundraiser at ~ORSON~ to benefit Mali Kalanso, a 100% volunteer-run, non-profit project providing education to children in Mali. The event will feature small production artisan wines—also available via silent auction and for purchase—with all proceeds going to Mali Kalanso. There will be hors d’oeuvres served as well. 6pm-8pm. Entrance: $50 prior (tickets here), $60 at the door. 508 4th St. at Bryant.

New Openings (and More) in the 510

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The Disco Volante crew (photo from Facebook).

According to Scoop, chef Edward Higgins—currently the chef at the Four Seasons Palo Alto, and previously from New York (formerly at Insieme, Hearth, and Craft)—is going to be opening ~BAIA~ in Oakland. “It’s going to be a small, intimate restaurant specializing in modern Italian cuisine” with a “big focus on fish cookery.” He plans to open the 25-seat space (which includes 13 at a counter) in October or so. 465 9th St. at Broadway, Oakland.

Also reported: Rich and Rebekah Wood, of Oakland’s ~WOOD TAVERN~, have a sandwich shop called ~SOUTHIE~ that opens today. On the menu: “six or so sandwiches (pulled pork, crab roll, etc.), under $10; there will also be soups and salads, rotating daily and available for takeout.” Hours will be Mon-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 11am-4pm. 6311 College Ave. at 63rd, Oakland.

~DISCO VOLANTE~ in Oakland is launching dinner service and live entertainment on Wednesday February 2nd. Executive chef Douglas Bernstein’s recent positions include executive chef at Bacar, Eccolo in Berkeley, and Farallon. Dinner specials (with a prix-fixe option) on the California cuisine-inspired menu will be available from 6pm-10pm. The restaurant opens at 11:30am during the week and 6pm on weekends, and will serve both food and drink until midnight during the week and until 1:30am weekend nights. 347 14th Street at Webster.

A tablehopper reader let me know that ~CHA-YA~ has completed its expansion in its Berkeley location. He writes, “A few seats disappeared from the old part, so in total the expansion added about two dozen new seats.” 1686 Shattuck Ave. at Lincoln, Berkeley, 510-981-1213.

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the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Feb 1, 2011

(Sponsored): A Taste For Leather

Basil Racuk designs and creates each leather piece by hand in his Emeryville workshop. His pared-down approach to style, only adding in what’s necessary and taking away all that’s not, makes each piece timeless and utterly personal. Each piece is made-to-order. You hand-select your preferred color, leather choice, and, in many cases, the design elements. Monocle chose the Weekender style as one of the Top 10 gift ideas for 2010.

Racuk’s updated website highlights California’s rugged charm, including a love letter to Bolinas.

You can find the collection at retailers Bergdorf Goodman, and Leffot, in New York City. Or at basilracuk.com, where you’ll probably be working directly with the artist.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Feb 1, 2011

SKB's Strong Beer Social Is This February

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Rapscallion at SKB.

Starting today, February 1st, ~SOCIAL KITCHEN & BREWERY~ is launching The Strong Beer Social, following in the footsteps of 21st Amendment Brewery’s and Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery’s annual Strong Beer Month (you can read more about their offerings this month on Umamimart). Five of SKB’s flagship beers will be replaced with five new strong beers, ranging in alcohol from 8.2% to 10.5% by volume. You’ll have the entire month to check them out (well, until they run out, so get there sooner rather than later), from The Big Lebowski White Prussian (9.0% ABV), an Imperial Grätzer-style ale with espresso from SKB’s neighbors, Bicycle Coffee Roasters, to the White Thai Affair (9.5% ABV), a golden Belgian-style ale brewed with galangal and lemongrass (a spiced, imperial version of SKB’s popular Rapscallion).

Social Kitchen & Brewery - 1326 9th Ave., San Francisco - 415-681-0330

National Pisco Sour Day Is This Saturday February 5th

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Pisco sours at La Mar.

Did you tell your liver that it’s International Pisco Sour Day this Saturday February 5th? Well, you better. That potent concoction of pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, a dash of egg whites, and bitters is going to be in high demand in the city. The history of pisco dates back to the 16th century, and the pisco sour is nearly 100 years old, first created by the American ex-pat Victor Morris, and then perfected by Mario Bruguet, who made the velvet-like addition of egg whites to the recipe. Here’s where you can say, “Cheers!”

~LA MAR CEBICHERIA PERUANA~ is celebrating the national drink of Peru with $5 pisco sours from open ‘til close starting on Friday February 4th (11:30am onward) and Saturday February 5th (12pm onward).

You’ll be able to join the “Pisco Sour Mustache Brigade” as they march from the Embarcadero through North Beach, down Kearny and into Union Square ending up at Cantina after 9pm for an after-party with $5 pisco sours and shots of Campo de Encanto, which won “Best Pisco” in Peru, beating out close to 320 competitors. DJ Don Bustamante will be on deck spinning Afro-Peruvian funk and Latino hip hop.

~PISCO LATIN LOUNGE~ will be offering $5 pisco sours on Saturday AND on Super Bowl Sunday, and $3 beers.

Other popular Bay Area watering holes that celebrate pisco and offer pisco sours include Comstock Saloon, nopa, and in the East Bay, Camino and Adesso.

Jones Reopens on February 11th

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Well, ~JONES~ finally got its liquor license, and will be reopening next Friday February 11th. The bar, restaurant, and Sunday brunch will all be launching. Hours will be Tue-Thu 4pm-12am, Fri-Sat 4pm-2am, with $5 small plates 5pm-7pm, and Sunday brunch 11am-3pm (chef Ola Fendert of Oola consulted on the menu). Brunch includes eggs Benedict, ricotta and blueberry pancakes, and on the savory side, a croque-monsieur (or madame), buttermilk fried chicken and waffles, and a burger. (We’ll have to wait and see if it lives up to that “best brunch in San Francisco” claim its website so confidently displays.) 620 Jones St. at Geary.

Rebel, Rebel (You've Torn Your Dress)

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Yelp photo by Chris M.

Things are moving along for the transition of ~TRIPLE CROWN~ into ~REBEL~ from the owners of Polk Street’s Tonic and Bullitt, Duncan Ley and Ben Bleiman, and Truck’s Paul Miller (previously noted on Grub Street). I got a call from Ley, who said they are hosting special events right now, but the grand opening will be on February 28th. The club is going to be getting a rock ‘n’ roll look, with some inspiration from James Dean (à la Rebel Without a Cause), putting in a vintage motorcycle in the club (there will certainly be a lot of posing pics on it) and motorcycle helmets behind the bar. The space is also getting new lighting, a paint job, and other freshening up.

One cool addition is Sneaky’s BBQ is going to be making their barbecue for happy hour and dinner nightly in the kitchen (they bought an indoor smoker)—there’s talk of brunch and late-night service coming later on. As for the after-9pm crowd, when the music and parties kick in, they are going to be catering to a gay crowd with a range of weeklies and monthly parties and promoters. Stand by for more on the programming. And since they can go until 4am, expect some late weekend nights. 1760 Market St. at Octavia.

The Edge Closes in the Castro

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Photo from Bay Area Reporter.

Grub Street and the BAR report ~THE EDGE~ in the Castro has closed. Looks like lease negotiations didn’t go so well between the Edge’s Don McMartin and building owner John Tran. (Jeesh, I’ve heard far too many stories from “my boys” about that place—maybe this is a way for everyone to get a clean slate?) Stand by for what’s next. 4149 18th St. at Collingwood.

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the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Feb 1, 2011

Different Ways to Stuff Your Face on Super Bowl Sunday

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Mijita nachos; © 2011 FrankenyImages.com.

Event Info

Sunday Feb 6, 2011

Granted, I view ~SUPER BOWL SUNDAY~ as a great day to go shopping or to the movies, and it’s an ideal time to go out and find a man who isn’t into football. But I know plenty of you would like to know about some of these Super Bowl specials on Sunday February 6th, so I’ll just pretend I’m really interested in all of this on your behalf.

For those who are hosting parties at home, you can order some slabs of ribs, whole briskets, and sides from ~THE RIB WHIP~—just email your catering request here. ~SNEAKY’S BBQ~ is doing deliveries and/or pick up on Wednesday February 2nd and Thursday February 3rd; email here for menu/info. The Haight’s ~MEMPHIS MINNIE’S~ is another one with barbecue catering (and delivery!) options, just call 415-864-PORK (7675).

~4505 MEATS~ is offering some insane bone-in rib-eyes and porterhouse grass-fed steaks from Magruder Ranch in Mendocino that you can pick up on Saturday. Each cut weighs 40 ounces-plus, and every order comes with one party-sized bag of chicharrones, in addition to cooking instructions and your own 4505 Meats cooler. Pickups will occur at their Ferry Plaza Farmers Market booth on Saturday February 5th 8am-2pm. $45-$50. To place an order for pickup, please visit the 4505 Meats Online Store.

Want your spot in front of 25 TVs while you eat spicy Buffalo wings and Mijita nachos? ~PUBLIC HOUSE~ is rolling out a new service that will allow guests to reserve a table ahead of the game and be guaranteed a seat. You’ll just schedule and pre-pay a food and beverage minimum ahead of the game (amount based on table size and location), and they’ll give you a gift card with the agreed-upon, pre-paid amount and your reserved table. The gift card can be used for food and beverage at both Public House and Mijita at AT&T Park. To reserve and book a table, email Public House. This program will now be available every day throughout the year.

~DON PISTO’S~ in North Beach is charging $20 at the door, which will include an all-you-can-eat ceviche and taco bar. All “cocktails” (they don’t have full liquor, but their version of a margarita packs a wallop) will be $5 each, and all beers $3 each. There will also be a dance floor downstairs for “those too drunk to watch the game.” 1pm-4pm.

At ~ORSON~, the kitchen is preparing fried cheese curds and brats for the Green Bay fans, and stuffed cabbage and open-face roast turkey sandwiches for the Steeler fans. They’ll also have pizza, burgers, duck fat fries, and a green salad available. Adam Theis and the Jazz Mafia are playing from noon ‘til 3pm, and the game gets going at 3:30pm (well, kickoff is at 3:25pm). Toph One will play some records after the game.

~ANDALU~ in the Mission is doing a Super Bowl Pig Roast: for $12, you get pork carnitas, pulled pork sliders, and Coca-Cola ribs (vegetarian options will also be available), plus sides and a salad. Or you can skip the menu and have two drinks! There will be four big-screen TVs, and there’s a full bar, with drink specials on pitchers of beer and margaritas. Doors open at 2pm. Call ahead to reserve group tables at 415-621-2211.

California's Artisan Cheese Festival: Get Your Tickets Now

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Event Info

Friday Mar 25, 2011 – Monday Mar 28, 2011
Info
Sheraton Sonoma County–Petaluma Hotel
745 Baywood Dr., Petaluma

Hey cheese-lovers (and you know who you are), you might wanna hurry up and get tickets to the fifth annual ~CALIFORNIA’S ARTISAN CHEESE FESTIVAL~ March 25th-28th at the Sheraton Sonoma County—Petaluma Hotel. This cheese extravaganza sounds like it’s gonna be something else with its Saturday Seminars hosted by top cheese experts; signature Curds, Cooks, & Cuvées dinner; larger-than-ever Sunday Marketplace; and Monday Trade Day with Ruth Reichl (invite-only, sorry); not to mention the sold-out Friday field trips.

Since Friday is sold out, let’s skip straight to Saturday’s seminars with industry leaders such as Laura Werlin, Janet Fletcher, Lassa Skinner, and Daphne Zepos. You’ll have to pick and choose amongst all the interactive, taste-driven seminars offered, from educational workshops like curd pulling and cheese essentials to boozier topics like Cheese and Wine Pairing 101 and Bubbles and Brie.

Saturday evening is Curds, Cooks, & Cuvées, quite the moveable fromage feast of seven courses prepared by seven Wine Country chefs each in collaboration with an artisan cheesemaker and a local vintner. The chefs include Duskie Estes (Zazu and Bovolo), Jeff Mall (Zin Restaurant), Nick Demarest (Harvest Moon), Janine Falvo (The Lodge at Carneros), Sheamus Feeley (Farmstead), and Bruce Hill (Picco in Larkspur). Their cheese-inspired dishes will be paired with wines from Keller Estate Winery, Handley Cellars, Kokomo Winery, Paul Mathew Vineyards, Sonoma Portworks, and Fortress Vineyards.

In addition, a panini station will showcase recipes from author Laura Werlin’s upcoming book Grilled Cheese, Please! and sparkling wines from Gloria Ferrer Winery. And for the dessert station: artisanal chocolates, dessert wines, port, bubbly, and, get this, a Straus Family Creamery soft-serve sundae bar. Choose from either the 6pm or 8pm dinner time.

Sunday’s Artisan Cheese Marketplace runs from 11am-4pm with over 65 vendors, artisan cheesemakers, vintners, and craft brewers. There will be chef demos, cheese pies from the Mugnaini wood-fired pizza oven, and book signings to boot. Attendees get an Artisan Cheese Festival tote bag and wine glass to facilitate the shop ‘n’ imbibe vibe.

On Monday Trade Day (for professionals; invitation only), Ruth Reichl shares her vision of cheese in retail, restaurants, and homes with author, consultant, and cheese expert Clark Wolf.

Click over to www.artisancheesefestival.com for the full schedule, tickets, and more info. One more reason for you to cheese it up, 10% of ticket sales gets donated to nonprofits supporting the cheese and sustainable agriculture movements.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Feb 1, 2011

Patrón and Cosmos, Baby

I heard that ~Maurice Jones-Drew~, the starting tailback for the Jacksonville Jaguars and one of the top 10 running backs in the NFL, was in XYZ Bar at the W Hotel over the weekend drinking Patrón and Cosmos with around 10 people.

One of the Twitches Dines in Napa

This past weekend, ~Tamera Mowry~ (one of the twins from Disney’s Twitches, and Dr. Kayla Thornton on TV’s Strong Medicine, and Hope Daniels on Roommates) dined at Fish Story in Napa with her boyfriend/fiancé Adam Housley (who works for FOX).

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