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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: big apple pie.

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Hello little honey bee, nestling into the flowers of the lamb’s ear plant (at Campovida).

I can’t believe I’m going to be disembarking a plane in New York in 48 hours, somebody pinch me. This month’s jaunt was inspired by a friend who’s getting married there this weekend, but of course I had to add on some extra days for visiting friends and eating and drinking my way around the city. On my short list: The Dutch, Roberta’s, Torrisi, Souvlaki, Épicerie Boulud, Szechuan Gourmet, and hopefully some return visits to Russ & Daughters and Xi’an Famous Foods (cumin lamb burger, I’ve been thinking about you—a lot). I might need to go back to Taim for some of their incomparable falafel as well.

So you know the drill: I’m going to be taking the week off, and will be back in your inboxes on Tuesday June 21st. This week’s column has plenty of content to keep you occupied (including some exciting news about Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski’s new project, State Bird Provisions!), but I’m not going to be able to write up the details about a few places until after I return (and after they’ve opened), namely Bluestem Brasserie (heading there tonight for some preview cocktails!), Cupola in the Westfield Centre, and it looks like Wing Wings in the Lower Haight will be going into a soft opening phase any day now.

Oh, and before signing off, I had to tell you about the spectacular Campovida, a retreat in Hopland that has one of the most beautiful (and organic) gardens I have ever seen—13 acres in all—along with a working vineyard and a tasting room of Magnanimus Wines, and simply stunning grounds. I got to visit for an overnight stay this weekend, which included a delicious family-style dinner prepared by Janelle Weaver of The Bewildered Pig; she used a ton of just-picked ingredients from the garden, along with a “boar-chetta” made from locally caught boar. The next “36-Hour Farm Dinner” will be in October, check it out. I just posted pictures of the grounds for you, you have to take a look. Truly heaven on earth—and totally lush from all the rain we’ve been getting. The new owners are restoring and creating a magical place. Le sigh.

Have a swell week—and I’ll see you on the 21st.

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Jun 7, 2011

The Return of Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski with State Bird Provisions

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The current exterior of 1529 Fillmore Street. (Photo courtesy of Stuart Brioza.)

There was a flurry of excitement on Twitter last Friday with some speculation about beer and wine license activity for ~STATE BIRD PROVISIONS~, an upcoming restaurant project from Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, the beloved and talented culinary team that was behind the now-shuttered (and still-missed) Rubicon. Well, now I can let the bird out of the bag: they are opening their highly unique concept in a long-vacant space that flanks the back of The Fillmore, at 1529 Fillmore Street.

Anyone who fondly remembers the cuisine at Rubicon will recall Brioza’s and Krasinski’s flavors that spanned a variety of regions, from France to America to Spain to Japan, utilizing beautifully sourced and highly seasonal ingredients. Well, get ready to experience them in an entirely new way, because instead of ordering appetizers and entrées off a set menu through a server, an array of dishes are going to be arriving to your table via cart and tray. Imagine a server presenting your table with a tray of six identical starter-sized plates of Brioza’s famed crispy spiced quail (which incidentally inspired the name of the restaurant)—your table will be able to select as many as you want. And then a little while later, a cart will wheel up to your table with another selection of dishes—like a geoduck clam and potato salad, or perhaps chicken hearts and salsa verde—fresh out of the kitchen. And if your table is pining for another round of a particular dish, say, the cecina of beef top round with spicy eggplant, or the milk pudding dessert with satsuma and shaved deglet noir dates, a server can relay the request to the kitchen. The plan is to offer upwards of 40 different dishes, which will constantly shift based on the whims of the kitchen.

The experience will feel a bit dim sum-like, with a touch of a tapas, izakaya, and hors d’oeuvre spirit. There will be a few larger plates available each night, with a tight printed menu listing a few consistent items, like salads. Dishes will range from $2-$15, with the larger plates costing a bit more. It’s a fun concept Brioza and Krasinski have had in the back of their minds since they first met, and this space presented them the perfect opportunity to bring it to life.

State Bird Provisions will be open nightly from 5pm-12am. The pace is designed to be quick and engaging—so whether you are swinging by for a bite before a show at the Fillmore or Yoshi’s or the Boom Boom Room, a movie at the Kabuki, or maybe it’s a pit stop after grabbing drinks at DOSA or Rasselas, you can scale your meal accordingly. There will even be a cashier in an effort to streamline the whole experience. Beer and wine will be offered, with about eight beer selections (both on draft and bottled), and a simple list of 10 or so well-chosen wines clocking in at $40 or less.

So, let’s talk layout. The first thing passers-by will notice about the space is a side view of the kitchen crew hard at work in the front window. Upon entering the restaurant, there will be an open kitchen with a long line on the right, and a small stand-up bar will run along length of the kitchen (there won’t be any counter seats, however). Diners can be seated at tables in the back of the restaurant—there will be room for just shy of 50 guests in all. I’ll be able to share more design details soon, and other exciting components to the project. But for now, I know a lot of us will be looking forward to November, the current targeted opening date. 1529 Fillmore St. at Geary.

State Bird Provisions - 1529 Fillmore St. San Francisco - 415-795-1272

Boxing Room Opens June 16th

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Boiled crawfish; photo by Liza Gershman.

Opening on Thursday June 16th in the former Citizen Cake space in Hayes Valley is ~BOXING ROOM~, the latest project from The Absinthe Group (which includes Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, Arlequin Café, Arlequin Wine Merchant, and Comstock Saloon, in partnership with former Absinthe head bartenders Jonny Raglin and Jeff Hollinger). Chef Justin Simoneaux, a southern Louisiana native, started cooking in a New Orleans seafood restaurant at age 15 (yeah, that’s pretty dang young)—locally, he has worked at Le Petit Robert, COCO500, and The Moss Room.

Simoneaux’s menu of Cajun and Creole dishes will feature some California influences, like roasted Delta asparagus ($12) with Louisiana blue crab, cayenne hollandaise, and herbs, and fried Pacific oyster salad ($10/$15) with baby spinach, fennel, and Herbsaint vinaigrette. Larger dishes include a Louisiana seafood po’boy ($15), crawfish etouffée ($19), and Gulf flounder à la meunière ($21); you can view the opening menu here. There will also be a raw bar, an extensive list of beers on tap, and a variety of wines (with six on tap), and desserts from Absinthe’s pastry chef, Bill Corbett. Zach Pacheco is the general manager (he worked with Simoneaux at The Moss Room); The Absinthe Group wine director, Ian Becker, also the manager for nearby Arlequin Wine Merchant, will co-direct the beer-and-wine program with Pacheco. Sorry folks, no cocktails.

As for the question-inducing name (no, it has nothing to do with heavyweights and punching bags), it was inspired by the original use of the location: the former 19th-century Standard Shirts Factory. The restaurant was designed and restored by Sagan Piechota Architecture (Arlequin Wine Merchant, and the new Piccino), working with Bernardini Construction. Elements include a zinc-topped beer-and-wine bar, three custom five-foot chandeliers, some booth seating overlooking Gough Street, deep-red polished concrete floors, and a white-tile-and-stainless-steel open kitchen. Hours will be 5pm-2am nightly (last food order at 1am). Weekday lunch and weekend lunch will include some “bayou brunch” items, and will launch about a month after opening.

Boxing Room - 399 Grove St. San Francisco - 415-430-6590

Daytime Restaurant (Da Bettina) Coming to 111 Minna

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Busy night at 111 Minna; Facebook photo by Michelle Tholen.

Big news at ~111 MINNA~ in SoMa: a permanent restaurant called ~DA BETTINA~ will be opening in the longstanding gallery/event space at the end of August. Chef Josh Birch is spearheading the project (which he named after his mother), and is working closely with 111’s owner, Eiming Jung. Birch—who is responsible for recently breathing new life (and the tasty pizzas) into the Orbit Room—will be preparing a sit-down lunch of rustic dishes like baked pastas, pizza, sandwiches, salads, and heartier selections like duck confit and porchetta. Birch grew up on an organic farm (Flora Bella Farm), and will be getting some specialty ingredients from his mother’s Bee Green Farm; he started cooking at an early age, staging with L.A. chefs like Suzanne Goin and Corina Weibel (Canelé). Birch is going to be installing a custom oven from Italy, and there’s room for up to 120 seats.

There will be a “significant” wine program, and the cocktails will also get revamped. Lunch will be served from 11am-3pm, and then an affordable happy hour menu will kick in, making it a great spot for an after-work drink and bite while you check out the latest art installation. Da Bettina will additionally handle the catering for events at 111 Minna, which previously had to bring in external caterers.

For those who need a quicker lunchtime meal, there will also be a take-out window called ~ANNA BELLA~, offering a “lunch CSA”—you can order ahead, and will be able to pick up your lunch in a to-go container while dropping off a container from a previous lunch; items will be priced at $10 or so. There will also be coffee and handmade sodas. Stand by for opening news and more in the coming months.

Café Sophie Comes to the Castro

One more project for the soon-to-be-very-busy Josh Birch: he is currently remodeling and taking over the ~TAZZA D’AMORE~ space on 16th Street in the Castro, reopening it as ~CAFÉ SOPHIE~. There will be a variety of pressed sandwiches, pizzas, cheeses, and vegetable dishes, along with baked goods that will come from a baker at Orbit Room who has worked at Firebrand and the SFBI (San Francisco Baking Institue)—there will be quiches, scones, “pop tarts,” and other fresh-baked pastries. Birch is partnering with Hank Gold on the project. Hours will be 7am-9pm; the soft opening should be around Thursday June 16th or so. 3463 16th St. at Sanchez.

Sous Beurre Kitchen Opening in Sugarlump in the Mission

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Sugarlump interior; Yelp photo by fat c.

Over on 24th Street, Sugarlump café is soon going to host a casual dinner service six nights a week through ~SOUS BEURRE KITCHEN~. Chef Michael Mauschbaugh is setting up a kitchen in the space, and is going to offer a nightly changing menu of Italian and French country kitchen dishes. He has worked at Eccolo, Waterbar, Bacar, and Spire, and was inspired by the hyper-local cooking ideology while working at Lucia’s in Minneapolis.

Mauschbaugh’s menu will be primarily small plates priced at less than $15 each, ranging from charcuterie to a Hoffman Farms chicken dish to quail with a farro-panzanella salad. He will be sourcing locally (a family friend has a farm in Valley Ford), and hopes to exclusively use ingredients from the farm within a year. He also hopes to do farm tours and dinners down the road. Dinner service is due to start before the end of the month; follow Sous Beurre Kitchen on Twitter for updates. I love the groovy décor at Sugarlump, which should also be serving beer and wine by the glass soon as well. Hours for dinner will be Mon-Sat 5pm-10pm. 2862 24th St. at Bryant.

Two Sisters Bar and Books Opening Late Summer in Hayes Valley

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According to a license transfer posted a while ago, ~TWO SISTERS BAR AND BOOKS~ is taking over the Marino space in Hayes Valley; I finally got to track down and catch up with the new owners on their plans. The two sisters, Mikha Diaz and Mary Elliott, were inspired traveling throughout Eastern Europe five years ago; namely, by a bookstore in Krakow and the Viennese coffehouses. Add in a love of neighborhood bars and the Brooklyn DIY aesthetic and local food movement, and you can start to get a sense of what they’re going to be aiming for with Two Sisters.

There will be a community lending library of books (they are aiming to have a retail license and sell books later), and beer and wine will be available (they’re currently applying for a full liquor license). The menu will feature local meats and cheeses, plus soups, salads, some limited entrées, and dessert, plus coffee service. One more plan on their radar: to get a parklet by next spring. In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted when the opening is close. I loved this place when it was Mad Magda’s; happy to see something a little bohemian return to the space. 579 Hayes St. at Laguna.

Special Menu at Saison This Week

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Another version of the brassicas dish; photo by Blair Sneddon Photography.

All kinds of things going on at ~SAISON~ this month: there are the special Jeremy Fox SMITH@Saison dinners next week, and this Tue-Thu, chef Joshua Skenes will be previewing some of the dishes he is going to be serving while at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen next week. For example, fans of his brassicas dish will want to check out Brassicas 3.0, various shoots, leaves, buds, and flowers in the brassica family. It’s cooked in three layers: slowly roasted over the embers, poached in bouillon of bonito and seaweeds, and dehydrated or grilled slowly over the fire to be crisp, served with toasted grains, cauliflower royale, and a sea lettuce vinaigrette. (Yeah, sign me up.) There will be a full tasting menu for $98 (instead of the usual $128), which can range anywhere from 7-11 courses. There is also the option for wine pairings. Call 415-828-7990 for reservations.

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

New Lunches, Supper, and Breakfast for Dinner

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The patio at The Tipsy Pig.

Some new meal options for you. Starting this week, ~THE TIPSY PIG~ in the Marina will be opening for lunch Wed-Fri at 11:30am. The patio will be a perfect spot to dine on a fried chicken sandwich or a Niçoise salad (you can view the entire menu online here).

According to a tweet, ~THERMIDOR~ is serving lunch from their outside stand on Mint Plaza Tue-Fri 11:30am-2pm, with $3 carnitas tacos, $4 pastrami sliders, a $5 pork belly dog, and a $12 big burger. (Their sit-down lunch with table service has been discontinued.)

Not too far away in SoMa, ~ROE~ is reopening for lunch and to-go service on Wednesday June 15th. The new executive chef, Patricia Blecha, is offering lunch items like The Big Pig (ham, Niman Ranch bacon, caramelized onions, melted provolone, smoky barbeque sauce, and housemade Tabasco cream cheese on a bistro bun) and daily blue plate specials, Mon-Fri 11am-2pm. There’s also a new happy hour menu Mon-Fri 5pm-8pm.

Don’t forget, ~COTOGNA~ starts their new Sunday Supper service this Sunday June 12th. Four courses for $40 a head, 5pm-9pm.

And over in Laurel Heights, the current owners at brunch stalwart ~ELLA’S~ started dinner service, with classic American dishes like fried chicken, grilled steaks, seasonal salads and soups, and a hamburger, as well as pancakes and chicken hash for those who like breakfast for dinner. As always, everything is baked on premise (like the breads, pastries, and pies).

Little Bites (of News)

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Photo from Super Duper.

Some random openings and news around town for you. First up, ~SUPER DUPER~ is opening a second (and very spacious) location this Thursday June 9th at the former Sellers Market location on Market Street. Keep your eyes peeled for a free burger hour (a “Twitter Feed”) for Super Duper Twitter followers and Facebook fans on Wednesday June 8th from 1pm-2pm. (FYI, a third location will open this fall in a former Jack in the Box retro-looking structure in Mill Valley.) 721 Market St. at Grant (between 3rd/4th Streets).

Eater mentions the quickly closed Pudong space in the Castro (yay, I get to make one last joke about the wildly inappropriate name!) appears to be reopening as ~GINGERFRUIT~. A paid-for sponsorship space on Yelp mentions the opening is Wednesday June 8th, featuring “Asian Fusion Tapas and a full bar” with “fruit-infused drinks.” 2029 Market St. at 14th St., 415-252-0700.

A tablehopper tipster saw a sign in the window of ~AL’S SUPER CAFÉ~ (formerly Al’s Café Good Food ) in Bernal Heights mentioning a reopening (with the new owners) on Friday June 10th for breakfast all day and lunch at 11:30am. 3286 Mission St. at 29th St.

~WISE SONS DELI~ is moving their pop-up brunch from Jackie’s Vinoteca & Café to ~HEART~ in the Mission—they will be off this Saturday June 11th, returning June 18th.

Mark your calendars, because The Tamale Lady is turning 60 on Tuesday June 21st, and ~ZEITGEIST~ is throwing her a big 60th birthday bash, starting at 6pm. The general public is invited.

And in SoMa, the former goodpizza location in the goodhotel is reopening as ~SIDEBAR WINE TAVERN~, serving dinner to start, with breakfast and lunch starting at the end of the month. The lunch menu will have salads, soups, and sandwiches, and the dinner menu has a burger, oven-roasted chicken, and a few eyebrow-raising dishes like truffle-chicken alfredo. There will be eight Californian wines on tap and glycol-cooled pints of beer. Initial hours are nightly 5pm-close. 112 7th St. at Mission.

Weekend Eats

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Photo from New Taste Marketplace.

~NEW TASTE MARKETPLACE~ returns this Saturday June 11th from 12pm-5pm, with everything from handmade buttermilk biscuits with molten cheddar gravy, caramelized onions, and herbs from Biscuit Bender to Sicilian baked goods from Dolce Sicilia. Please remember, it’s a fundraiser for the The Food Pantry—which distributes groceries to over 600 low-income participants every week—so a donation at the door is appreciated. St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, 500 De Haro at Mariposa.

And on Sunday June 12th, ~LA VICTORIA BAKERY~ is launching Slow Sunday taco night on the second and fourth Sunday of every month. Check out the menu (which is more than just tacos) from Luis Villavelazquez here. 5pm-9pm. 2937 24th St. at Alabama.

Update on Plate Shop in Sausalito

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Plate Shop photo by Kelly Puleio.

After the exodus of chef Kim Alter and some kitchen crew members from ~PLATE SHOP~ a couple weeks ago, I heard back from partner Matt Kahn that the former partners of 1550 Hyde (Peter Erickson and Kent Liggett) have been hired. According to this post in the Inside Scoop, chef Erickson will be launching a California bistro menu in the coming week, and Liggett will be acting as GM (Steve Matkovich, who acted as an interim chef, also seems to be staying on). They are keen to maintain a neighborhood restaurant vibe.

Plate Shop - 39 Caledonia St. Sausalito - 415-887-9047

A Memorial for Scott Lawrence

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On a somber note, I wanted to post some information about a memorial for the very brave ~SCOTT LAWRENCE~, who sadly passed away somewhat unexpectedly a few weeks ago (the actual cause of his passing remains unknown). He was a CIA grad who worked at Spruce and AQUA, and was believed to be on the mend after a tough and courageous battle with oral tongue cancer.

His memorial will be at at The Women’s Building in the Mission on Sunday June 12th from 11am-2pm, and is open to anyone who would like to come and pay respects, to gather with friends in and outside of the industry. After the more formal portion of the memorial, the group will be moving to Dolores Park. Details about the memorial can be found here. The event organizers are hoping to also take up a collection to donate to the Oral Cancer Foundation in his name at the memorial—you can read more on his memorial page here. Best wishes to all his family, friends, and loved ones touched by this tragic loss.

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the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Jun 7, 2011

(Sponsored): Get Carried Away with the tablehopper

The ladies of Carried Away can design the best day ever for you! In addition to creating custom Bay Area outings designed to your interests (art, cooking, nature, design, gardening, shopping, sights, a little bit of everything?), we can also include a culinary interlude arranged by the tablehopper. Marcia will tap into her vast culinary network to arrange an unforgettable lunch with special menus, behind the scenes access, and of course spectacular food and the sparkling company of the tablehopper herself.

A perfect day is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion! Contact us at info@carriedawaysf.com or 415-786-2424.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Jun 7, 2011

An Afternoon on the Bay with Bowmore

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Fortunately the weather forecast doesn’t show a single raindrop in it, so an afternoon sailing on the bay in a luxury yacht sounds kind of perfect, right? This Saturday June 11th, Liquor.com is hosting a sailing and tasting event with Bowmore, a single malt scotch whisky which happens to have a strong maritime history. While you’re taking in views of the city, you’ll be sipping on the 12-year-old and the 10-year-old Tempest, voted best Islay single malt of 2011 by Whisky magazine. 

After a two-hour sail, the boat will dock and the tasting event will continue at ~EPIC ROASTHOUSE~, hosted by brand ambassador Robin Coupar. Attendees will try a range of Bowmore’s whiskies, including the increasingly limited 18-year-old and 25-year-old bottlings. You will also be munching on some gourmet bites from EPIC. Tickets are $90 (valued at $180); buy tickets and more info here. Pier 40, embark at 1:30pm, cruise 2pm-4pm, tasting 5pm-7pm.

Saturday Jun 11, 2011
1:30pm–7pm
$90
more info

A New Face Behind the Bar at Belden Taverna

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Victoria D’Amato-Moran; photo from Cent’Anni Cocktails.

You’ll find a new (and exciting) cocktail list at ~BELDEN TAVERNA~ from Victoria D’Amato-Moran, recently hired as the bar manager. Check out her cocktail list on Alcademics, which includes many of her housemade syrups, plus fruits and peppers. There’s the Margarita Arrosto, with tequila, housemade roasted pepper syrup, and lime, and a Tuaca Sour, with Tuaca, ginger liqueur, lemon, sugar, and egg white. True to the alley location, there’s also the Alley Cat Cobbler, with sherry, sugar, orange, mixed berries, and cinnamon tincture. Happy hour is daily 4pm-6pm, and there’s live music from the Americano Social Club Trio on Fridays from 5pm-7pm and Saturdays from 6pm-8pm. 52 Belden Pl. at Pine, 415-986-8887.

Get Into a Haze at Pinot Days

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Fans of pinot noir, consider yourself officially invited to explore all the different styles of pinot noir at the seventh annual ~PINOT DAYS SAN FRANCISCO 2011~ with a number of events, including the Grand Festival Public Tasting on Saturday June 18th from 1pm-5pm in the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center. Expect the most extensive showing ever of over 200 artisan winemakers from every domestic pinot noir region pouring tastes for you.

The Grand Festival Public Tasting includes the largest gathering of Oregon producers outside of Oregon, a Burgundy Corner with Jean Charles Boisset, and plenty of local pinot noir producers from the Santa Cruz mountains to the Sonoma coast. And so you don’t get into too deep of a haze, there will be specialty food purveyors serving bites that pair well with pinot. You’re encouraged to come with an open mind, grab a Riedel glass, and taste away at all the various regions and styles while you meet the winemakers and share in their stories.

And you won’t want to overlook the other tasting events happening as part of Pinot Days. Here’s a couple examples, but check out the entire event listing online. Ottimista Enoteca-Café is hosting a pairing event with five pinot producers on Tuesday June 14th at 5pm. Scala’s Bistro and the American Institute of Wine and Food will host a winemakers “Table Hop” dinner on Thursday June 16th at 6:30pm, pairing a French- and Italian-inspired menu from chefs Jen Biesty and Tim Nugent with 14 pinots. And on Friday June 17th, there’s a spotlight on Oregon producers and one on legendary producer Williams-Selyem.

Cost for the Grand Festival is $50; other events are individually priced. Bundle a focus tasting ticket with a Grand Festival ticket, and you’ll be able to enter the Grand Festival two hours early at 11am. Tickets online here.

Saturday Jun 18, 2011
1pm–5pm
$50
more info

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the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Jun 7, 2011

Meals That Make a Difference

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Show Dogs 49’er corn dog; photo from Facebook by Sara Kraus Photography.

It’s always a plus when you can eat well and do good at the same time, and you’ll have quite a few opportunities coming up to do just that at Show Dogs, Patxi’s, and La Boulange.

Gayle Pirie and John Clark of ~SHOW DOGS~ have launched their Rescue Dog Days event series where they raise awareness and funds for a local charity while offering guests unlimited beer, wine, and bites for just $20. Beers on tap include Speakeasy Prohibition Ale, Black Butte Porter, Scrimshaw Pilsner, and 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon Wheat, plus red and white biodynamic wine. Bar bites include homemade lamb merguez sausages, 49’er corn dogs, house maple bacon pork sausages, house chicken curry dogs, mini Field Roast vegetarian dogs, barbeque fries, onion rings, and more. On Friday June 24th from 6pm-8pm, the beneficiary is Project Night Night, which distributes free “Night Night Packages” to over 25,000 homeless children each year to ease the anxiety associated with shelter living. Each package contains a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children’s book, and a stuffed animal. Then on Thursday July 7th, eat up for Friends of the Urban Forest, which promotes a larger, healthier urban forest as part of the urban ecosystem, offering assistance to individuals and neighborhood groups who want to plant and care for trees.

As part of Patxi’s 52 Weeks of Giving program, all three ~PATXI’S PIZZA~ locations in SF have quite a few fundraiser days going on in June. Here’s just a few of them. On Tuesday June 14th, 10% of total sales from the Fillmore location (3318 Fillmore St. at Lombard) will go to First Graduate, a San Francisco-based college access program that helps students finish high school and become the first in their families to graduate from college. On Wednesday June 15th at the Noe Valley location (4042 24th St. at Noe), you’ll be supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, and on Wednesday June 22nd at all Patxi’s locations, support the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation. See the full schedule of fundraising days here.

~LA BOULANGE CAFÉ & BAKERY~ has also introduced a fundraiser dinner program one Friday a month at their Pine Street location, with the next installment scheduled for Friday June 17th from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Owner/baker Pascal Rigo and chef de cuisine Alain Bourgade will present a three-course, oven-baked dinner for which guests are asked to pay what they will, and the money raised will be given to a local charity. La Boulange will match the donations up to $5,000! Here’s just a snippet of last month’s menu: Champagne, foie gras crostini, sea salt and herb-crusted snapper, and canelés de Bordeaux. This month’s dinner will benefit La Cocina, the non-profit incubator kitchen, and there are only 16 seats, so be sure to email now to reserve your spot. 2325 Pine St. at Fillmore, 415-440-0356.

707 scout

Wine Country Buzz (it’s what happens there)
Jun 7, 2011

Eating and Drinking Worthy of Some Pride

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Photo from Out In The Vineyard’s Facebook page.

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C CASA’s SICK lamb taco with jalapeño, mint, goat cheese; photo by Deirdre Bourdet.

By 707 correspondent, Deirdre Bourdet.

People don’t generally hit Pride parties because of their fine food and wine … but when the parties are in Napa or Sonoma, quality food kinda comes with the territory. This year both Napa and Sonoma are hosting special events that celebrate the LGBT community with some local flavah.

LGBT travel company Out In The Vineyard has organized an inaugural ~GAY WINE WEEKEND~, with proceeds benefiting Face to Face, the Sonoma County AIDS Network. The Twilight T-Dance, comedy night, and evening receptions will ply guests with lots of locally made libations, and the Big Gay Brunch and Wine Auction at El Dorado Kitchen ensures that you won’t leave wine country without a taste of some of Sonoma County’s finest cuisine. Check the website for tickets and a complete schedule of events. Fri June 17th-Sun June 19th, 2011.

~NAPA VALLEY’S PRIDE CELEBRATIONS~ run more than a week, and include daily opportunities to sample the local delicacies. Some top picks are the breakfast at C CASA benefiting the Trevor Project, evening drinks by the rooftop pool at Bardessono, a dance party at Clos du Val Winery, a recovery brunch at the Marriott’s sexy new VINeleven restaurant, as well as the Guerilla Gay Bar takeovers of Carpe Diem Wine Bar (recently featured in Wine Spectator’s article on the Napan renaissance), and the riverside patio of Tyler Florence’s Rotisserie & Wine.

Even tastier, most of the Napa events have no cover charge—you only pay for what you order. Check the full schedule of events online. Fri June 10th-Sun June 19th, 2011.

the health nut

Gettin' Fit (take a lap, tablehopper)
Jun 7, 2011

A Tasty Vegan Dinner at 18 Reasons with Ann Gentry

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Ready for a healthy meal with a side of advice from a real-life working parent? Enter Ann Gentry, owner/operator of the popular organic, vegan restaurant Real Food Daily in L.A. Gentry is coming to ~18 REASONS~ for dinner and a conversation about her life, cooking, and new cookbook, Vegan Family Meals: Real Food for Everyone (Andrews McMeel Publishing, June 2011) on Tuesday June 21st from 7pm-9pm. Sure, she already has one successful cookbook and two Real Food Daily locations under her belt, but she’s also got the cooking wisdom, recipes, and tips of a working mom who insists on feeding her family healthy and delicious food, and she’s willing to share. Join her for a dinner inspired by the new book, plus you can get a copy of Vegan Family Meals (I have been loving this very insightful cookbook!) and have it signed. Tickets are $25 for 18 Reasons members, $35 for the general public.

the sugar mama

Giveaways (get some)
Jun 7, 2011

(Sponsored): One More Chance to Win Tickets to Taste of Mendocino!

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Okay, you get one more chance to win a pair of tickets to sip, sample, taste, and, yes, buy the best food, wine, spirits, beer, and artisan goods produced in Mendocino County. For one night only, on Monday June 13th, 2011 (from 5pm-8pm), the Mendo vibe will be kicking at this marketplace-meets-showcase, Taste of Mendocino, at SF’s Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason. Check out 60+ wineries, one craft distiller, organic beers, artisanal olive oil, cheese, and grass-fed beef, lamb, and veal producers, plus the Flynn Flying Circus. The county is coming down to share all that makes for an amazing destination getaway.

Didn’t win tickets in the past sugar mama giveaways on tablehopper? There’s one more easy way to enter to win a pair of tickets! All you need to do is correctly answer this question: Mendocino is known as America’s what? [Hint: the slideshow on the tasteofmendo.com can help.] Email your response to luckyme@tablehopper.com by Friday June 10th at 11:59pm and I will notify the winner over the weekend. Good luck!

Those who aren’t so lucky can buy tickets here. Tickets are just $35 in advance, $45 at the door. You can find Taste of Mendocino on the web at www.tasteofmendo.com, and on Twitter (#TOM11) and Facebook.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Jun 7, 2011

Rock Stars in the Fast Lane at A16

According to this tweet from Michael Murphy, A16 was busy with rock star diners last night: U2’s drummer ~Larry Mullen Jr.~ and ~The Edge~, ~Billie Joe Armstrong~ of Green Day, plus ~Lars Ulrich~ and ~Lou Reed~ were all dining together in the restaurant. A tablehopper tipster who was boozin’ on the town also spotted the group at Rye later in the evening.

More Sightings of A-Rod and Derek Jeter on the Town

Last Tuesday, a tablehopper tipster spotted ~Alex Rodriguez~ and ~Derek Jeter~ lunching separately at Scala’s Bistro.

Later that evening, A-Rod came in to Ozumo San Francisco with a guest after the kitchen was already closed, but the staff sent out some salads and a huge plate of sashimi.

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