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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: la veloce vita.

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Paso Glow dinner at SAVOR. © tablehopper.com.

I can’t believe I’m boarding another airplane today, and to Italia no less! It’s been almost exactly 10 years since I’ve been in il bel paese, and to say I’m excited is a mere blip on the understatement scale. I will be touring Piemonte for the next week, the land of Barolo, Barbaresco, Moscato d’Asti, and guess what will be coming into season while I’m there? Yes, the famed tartufo bianco d’Alba! Tajarin, you wicked pasta, come to me! Fingers crossed we get to go on a truffle hunt—would be a fantastic thing to cross off my bucket list. Of course I’ll be tweeting while I’m there, I hope you don’t hate me too much once I’m home in a week.

This past weekend, because I didn’t have enough to do (yeah, right), I scooted down to Paso Robles for Sunset’s SAVOR the Central Coast event. Saturday night was Paso Glow, an alfresco dinner in the Paso Robles park—an impressive dinner by chef Jeffrey C. Scott considering how many guests were attending (the produce from Thomas Hill Farms was spectacular). Sunday I was a judge for the cocktail smackdown event between SF and LA. Congrats to bartender Erik Adkins, representing our fair city, and winning the contest!

I’m back next Sunday, just in time to catch Ferran Adrià on Monday at the Castro Theatre (sorry, the event is sold out but I am seeing some tickets floating around). In the meantime, have a swell week, whether you’re going to WhiskyFest, FallFest, Fleet Week, or Little Dragon (sorry I had to give up my ticket—they put on such a great show!)!

I managed to miraculously crank out a column for you in this week of catch-up and travel and taxes. Someone is gonna be sleeping on the plane, let me tell you.

Ciao, ragazzi!

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Oct 4, 2011

Jerome Waag Named Chez Panisse Restaurant Co-Chef

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Photo from Chez Panisse on Facebook.

I heard through the grapevine (hey, it is harvest!) that Jerome Waag, currently a sous chef at ~CHEZ PANISSE~, has been named restaurant chef; he would be taking over the position David Tanis vacated a few months ago. Unfortunately I heard the rumor too late for me to be able to confirm with the fine folks at Chez Panisse, and was unable to reach Waag before post time for my column (I have a plane to catch!). But I have a couple sources who were rather confident about the news.

So if the rumor proves to be true, big congratulations to Jerome, who has been a part of the Chez family for a very long time. He is also a founder of OPENrestaurant, and later this month is off to Japan for their latest project. Exciting times. I look forward to catching up with him soon—and hearing confirmed details about his new position (it was previously structured as a six-month schedule each year).

UPDATE: Now that I have returned from my travels, I was able to reach Waag, who confirmed he is the new co-chef, and will be taking over David Tanis’s six-month schedule starting in May 2012.

Chez Panisse - 1517 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley - 510-548-5525

I Can See the Line Already: Umami Burger Now Open

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Umami burger; Flickr photo by Yogma.

Yup, it’s true: slated to open this Friday October 7th is San Francisco’s very first ~UMAMI BURGER~, an import from Los Angeles. I can’t wait to finally sink my teeth into one of those bad boys. The former Jovino space on Union Street will be open Sun-Thu 11am-11pm and Fri-Sat 11am-12am. There will also be local wines and craft beers available. Meanwhile, I’m standing by for the news about the next location due to open in the Mission (and another reportedly in Oakland). UPDATE: Here is a PDF copy of the menu.

Umami Burger - 2184 Union St. San Francisco - 415-440-8626

Lers Ros Hayes Valley Might Open This Week

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Interior photo by Rebecca Kinney. © tablehopper.com.

Will it happen? Maybe? ~LERS ROS HAYES~ is verrrrry close to opening its Hayes Valley location this week, but I wasn’t able to get a definitive answer before posting my column. Nor a phone number for said location. But we do know this: chef Tom Silargorn will be offering a very similar menu to the Larkin Street location, and delivery and lunch will also be available. My intern managed to snap a couple pics of the interior—it looks contemporary and sleek (here’s one that shows some shelving with some slick lighting and tile work). Standing by…! 307 Hayes St. at Franklin.

Lers Ros Hayes - 307 Hayes St., San Francisco - 415-874-9661

Kowabunga! Fourth Wave Coffee Opening in Polk Gulch

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Interior under construction. Photo by Rebecca Kinney.

A report by Rebecca Kinney, tablehopper intern: ~FOURTH WAVE COFFEE~ will be opening in about two weeks in the old Polk Street Station Diner space. Owner Brian Kramer says that the name Fourth Wave Coffee references his interest in surfing (there are already surfboards on the wall), but that the name is also a play on the term “third wave coffee.” Kramer says Fourth Wave Coffee will be different from other third wave coffee shops because they will emphasize speedy service. Kramer added that, “You can spend 15 minutes [at] some place[s] just trying to get a cup of coffee.” At Fourth Wave, they plan to have “brewed coffee ready for you” as well as “the best possible coffee in each individual cup.” They have a Marzocco Linea machine, and they will work with an Oakland roaster. Fans of the old Polk Street Station will be glad to know that the tabletops are made of wood that was reclaimed from the former restaurant. Kramer, a San Francisco native, has had other coffee shops including Claddagh Coffee in San Francisco. Fourth Wave Coffee will bring in food for now, but they have plans to install an oven later on. Hours will be Mon-Sun 5am-10pm. 1356 Polk St. at Pine, 415-440-4360.

Dos Tidbits

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Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas (photo by © John Ater via Facebook).

Two quickies for you: Eater reports our dear ~LA OAXAQUEÑA~ might not be closing for good after all. There is reportedly a sign in the window that says: “Dear Customers, please have patience. We will re-open very soon. We have been busy restructuring and revamping our space and our New & Exciting menu!!! [sic].” Yeah, that’s good news. 2128 Mission St. at 17th St.

Workers around Justin Herman Plaza should keep their eyes peeled this week for a new food cart from La Cocina’s ~ALICIA’S TAMALES LOS MAYAS~. Chef Alicia Villanueva will serve tamales made with organic dough and a variety of fillings five days a week from 10am-4pm.

Power Lunching in 60 Minutes

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Campton Place dining room. Photo courtesy of Campton Place.

Looking for a spiffy (and civilized) spot to close some deals over lunch while you’re downtown? ~CAMPTON PLACE RESTAURANT~ has launched a 60-minute, three-course business lunch for $34 during the work week (Mon-Fri). Chef Srijith Gopinathan is also keeping it healthy: the summer menu included choices like organic baby beets, goat cheese mousse, and fennel ice; slow-cooked king salmon, smoked potatoes, summer squash, and horseradish; and fig leaf panna cotta with strawberry soda and brûléed black mission figs for dessert. 340 Stockton St. at Post, 415-781-5555.

Expanded Offerings at Oakland's Boot and Shoe Service Café

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Photo from Facebook.

Had a chance to catch up with the ever-busy Charlie Hallowell, owner of Pizzaiolo, Boot and Shoe Service, and now the ~BOOT AND SHOE SERVICE CAFÉ~ next door (in the former DiBartolo Cafe space). Things have been ramping up the past couple months at the café, and now you can start your day with breakfast items like galettes, baked eggs in ratatouille from the wood oven, a frittata, and they are continuing to offer their housemade granola with yogurt, all kinds of baked goods, and Sightglass Coffee. There are some sandwiches for lunch as well, like meatball subs ($7) and a smoked pork belly-lettuce-tomato number—and they’re baking all their bread, so you know those sandwiches rock. Starting this week, the café will also be launching Wi-Fi for you mobile office types. Open Tue-Sun 7am-3pm. 3310 Grand Ave. at Lake Park, Oakland.

Help Victims of the Lower Haight Fire: Tonight!

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Photo from Haighteration.

Tonight’s your chance to help the displaced residents from last Tuesday’s fire in the Lower Haight: head over to the Peacock Lounge between 7pm-10pm for the ~HAIGHT + FILLMORE FIRE RELIEF~ fundraiser with the Lower Haight Merchants and Neighbors Association. A $10 donation is all it takes for fun, food, raffle prizes, and the good feeling that comes from helping neighbors in need.

Memphis Minnie’s, Rosamunde, Rotee, Chilli Cha Cha, and Wing Wings will provide food while Three Twins Ice Cream scoops live, and beer is being donated by Mad Dog in the Fog, plus music from Top Cat Jazz Trio. If you can’t make it, you can still help by making a donation online here. Thanks for rallying together, SF, you always do. 552 Haight St. at Steiner.

Tuesday Oct 4, 2011
7pm–10pm
$10 donation
more info

Mission: Battleship!

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Photo by Mike Hofmann via Wikipedia.

Ahoy! It’s Fleet Week, and Stag Dining Group is putting on a one-of-a-kind dinner this Thursday October 6th: Mission: Battleship. And check out the location: the SS Jeremiah O’Brien in Fisherman’s Wharf, our city’s WWII liberty ship that is one of only two fully operational liberty ships still in existence today!

For $30, you’ll be able to eat your way around a variety of battle stations set up for the event serving “gourmet mess-hall inspired cuisine.” Manning the stations will be Stag Dining Group, Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food, Chad Newton and Gracie Nguyen of American Box and Asian Box, with desserts by Mandy Harper of Wholesome Bakery, and 15 Romolo will be serving maritime-inspired cocktails. Cheers!

Entertainment includes dancing to the Bayonics and comedian Reggie Watts, plus buzz cuts or sailor tattoos by Everlasting Tattoo for those who have been at the 15 Romolo table all night (hic). 21 and over, and be sure to bring a jacket and comfortable shoes. (You’re on a ship, yo. Docked, but still.) 5pm-10pm. Tickets are almost gone, so tally ho!

Thursday Oct 6, 2011
5pm–10pm
$30
more info

Where Dance and Dining Meet

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Pictured: Wendy Rein, co-artistic director, RAWdance.

And now for some very unique dinnertime entertainment: on Wednesday October 12th, Tuesday October 18th, and Wednesday October 19th, ~ORSON~ will be hosting members of RAWdance for a special performance. Artistic directors Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein will perform a duet set during dinner service—called A Public Affair—to a track by Tangled Duo (husband-and-wife team Sarn Oliver and Mariko Smiley of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra). Think violins, dance, and a delicious dinner. The 10-minute dance will be performed twice nightly at approximately 7pm and 8:30pm. The performance can be viewed by both diners and patrons of the bar and lounge, so even if you can’t make it for a meal, swing by for a cocktail and some contemporary dance!

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

Street Party at Rockridge Market Hall on Sunday

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This coming Sunday October 9th, ~ROCKRIDGE MARKET HALL~ merchants will be hosting their annual Picnic in the Street to coincide with the Rockridge Out & About Street Festival. From 12pm-6pm, you can swing by for a variety of food and wine tastings, talks, demonstrations (from oyster shucking to local chefs and bartenders showing their magic moves), cookbook signings (including Novella Carpenter and Rosetta Costantino), and more.

Of course there will be plenty of eats to purchase, like Hapuku Fish Shop’s shrimp Louie sandwiches; Market Hall Produce grilled portobello sandwiches; Highwire Coffee Roasters (FKA Peaberry’s) gelato; Marin Sun Farms hamburgers and cheeseburgers; Oliveto spit-roasted porchetta sandwiches; The Pasta Shop Cheese Counter grilled cheese sandwiches; Market Hall Bakery cake pops; and Paul Marcus Wines with picks by the glass—plus many more things to try!

There’s also The Cookbook Exchange: bring a used cookbook and exchange it or buy used ones. Proceeds and remaining books from The Cookbook Exchange benefit the Rockridge Public Library. There will even be entertainment for the kiddies, like a prize wheel, pumpkin painting, and a goat petting zoo. 5655 College Ave. at Shafter, Oakland.

Sunday Oct 9, 2011
12pm–6pm
more info

Two Piggy Events for You

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Photo from Viognier’s Facebook page.

I know, I know, another week, another pig party. First up, ~VIOGNIER~ in San Mateo is hosting a whole hog demonstration dinner, featuring Long & Bailey Family Farms on Saturday October 8th. Executive chef Preston Dishman has put together a five-course menu highlighting loin, belly, shoulder, ribs, and sausage as well as surprise bites as the demonstration progresses. Every course will be paired with wine pairings by Viognier’s sommelier, Nichole Dishman. 6:30pm reception, 7pm dinner and demonstration. $85 per person, exclusive of wine pairing, tax, and gratuity. Wine pairing is an additional $40. Reserve at 650-685-3727. 222 E. 4th Ave. at South B, San Mateo.

~ADESSO~ will be hosting their third and final pig party for 2011 on Sunday October 16th. You can indulge in all-you-can-eat spit-roasted pig and sides for $30 (beverages sold for extra/à la carte). 2pm-6pm. Tickets are limited and are being sold ahead of time at adesso and dopo (FYI, the last two events sold out, so act quickly!). 4395 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant Valley, Oakland, 510-601-0305.

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the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Oct 4, 2011
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(Sponsored): L'Aventure Languedoc: A City-Wide Wine Tasting Opportunity October 1st-23rd

Over 30 area restaurants and retail stores have teamed up with the wines of Languedoc to bring you unique wine tasting opportunities for the first three weeks of October: L’Aventure Languedoc. The Languedoc, in the South of France, is France’s most dynamic wine region, where adventurous producers are redefining traditions and producing some of the country’s most exciting wines. The region is blessed with some of the best terroir in France for winemaking. An auspicious blend of soil, wind, sun, and the Mediterranean Sea produces naturally healthy vineyards and results in wines which wrap an enticing character in a voluptuously smooth mouthful. Come try some today!

For a list of participating restaurants and retailers, visit LanguedocAdventure.com.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Oct 4, 2011

Around Napa Valley in 80 Sips, a Bottlenotes Event

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This Friday October 7th, Bottlenotes is hosting one of their tasting events, Around Napa Valley in 80 Sips. There will be over 80 Napa Valley wines poured, plus cheese, charcuterie, and more. The event organizers are giving away a pair of tickets each to the first five tablehopper readers who email here! Didn’t win? You can still take $25 off general admission tickets with code TABLEHOP25, and $50 off VIP with TABLEHOPVIP. The event is at the Golden Gate Club; 6pm-7pm VIP/press tasting; 7pm-9pm general admission.

Friday Oct 7, 2011
6pm–7pm VIP/press tasting; 7pm–9pm general admission
more info

The Wine & Spirits Top 100 Event Is Back October 12th

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I always enjoy attending this event: Wine & Spirits magazine will host its eighth annual Top 100 Tasting Event on Wednesday October 12th, from 6:30pm-8:30pm, at City View at METREON in San Francisco. The 100 wineries from around the world selected for the Top 100 event have delivered the best overall performances in the magazine’s tastings conducted during the past year.

Also featured at the event will be the magazine’s New & Notable restaurants and bars in the Bay Area, which include Boxing Room, Txoko, Alexander’s Steakhouse, Piccino, Leopold’s, Dosa, and Jasper’s Corner Tap. Each restaurant will serve bites of a signature dish paired with wines featured at the tasting. Additionally, guests will enjoy specialties from local artisanal purveyors, including Hog Island Oysters, Socola Chocolatier, Fra’ Mani, Kika’s Treats, and Barefoot Coffee Roasters.

Event proceeds will benefit San Francisco Baykeeper.

Tickets are $105, $150 VIP (includes early admission at 6pm and a sparkling wine reception), and can be purchased here. Since you’re a fabulous tablehopper reader, use code TableHop2011 for 10% off tickets!

Wednesday Oct 12, 2011
6:30pm–8:30pm (VIP at 6pm)
$105; $150 VIP. Use code TableHop2011 for 10% off.
more info

Meet Monarch, Flying Open in November

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The exterior of The Room as it looks now. (Photo courtesy of Monarch.)

After some liquor license activity a few months ago for the site that was most recently The Room Ultra Lounge, some new details have emerged about the next incarnation. It will be transformed into ~MONARCH~, a project from Tadd Cortell (CAV Wine Bar), Manny Alferez (Triple Crown, and known by many as DJ M3), Micah Burns (barman about town and Fernet brand ambassador), and Chris Smith (Om Records).

The two-level space will have the dancefloor downstairs (there is reputedly a special soundsystem that is being installed, more details on that soon), while the upstairs cocktail lounge will have a Victorian-meets-steampunk aesthetic (it will be separated from the dancefloor volume with some sound curtains). The music format is going to change (read: buh bye, ultra lounge) and will encompass a wide range of music styles to keep the programming fresh. There will be dance music, indie, jazz, blues … look for live music as well. The bar will be stocked with some quality spirits and pouring some well-made cocktails—nearby workers will be happy to know there will be a happy hour. Monarch should be open at some point in November. 101 6th St. at Mission.

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the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Oct 4, 2011

Two Breast Cancer Events for Your Consideration

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Event Info

Friday Oct 14, 2011 – Thursday Oct 20, 2011

Hey, we’ve all got a pair of ‘em (you too guys), so it doesn’t hurt to consider attending this pair of events to support breast cancer organizations and the important work they do. On Thursday October 20th, 6pm-10pm, Breast Cancer Action will host the ~ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN PINK: FOOD FOR THOUGHT~ dinner at Horatius. The multi-course dinner will feature dishes prepared by chefs like Eric Tucker of Millennium, Jonathan Merritt of Locavore, and Richard Vila of Poquito. Entertainment: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (need we say more?). And do check out the silent auction with items like gift certs to Americano, Gialina, and Cowgirl Creamery; dinners for two at Dosa, Jardinière, and Sutro’s at the Cliff House; gift baskets from Blue Bottle and Chronicle Books; a cooking class with raw vegan food chef Heather Haxo Phillips; and a weekend getaway to Healdsburg. Tickets are $125 per person; cash bar. 350 Kansas St. at 16th St.

The eighth annual ~BEATS FOR BOOBS~ is another fabulous fundraiser happening Friday October 14th from 6pm-2am at Mezzanine, and featuring a fashion show; food from Sauce, Golden Gate Meats, Royal Hawaiian Seafood, Escape From New York Pizza, McQuade’s Celtic Chutneys, The Cake Gallery, and more; an all-female DJ lineup; live art and performances; and prizes from the Boobie Wheel. Funds raised go to nonprofits Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, Breast Cancer Fund, and Shanti: Lifelines Breast Cancer Program. Tickets are $30-$75. 444 Jessie St. at Mint Plaza.

707 scout

Wine Country Buzz (it’s what happens there)
Oct 4, 2011

Gather Ye Pumpkins While Ye May

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Campovida’s idyllic farm buildings; photo © tablehopper.com.

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One of the many gorgeous edibles ripe for the picking; photo © tablehopper.com.

By 707 correspondent, Deirdre Bourdet.

Campovida’s twice-annual 36-Hour Farm Dinners are mindfulness retreats for the food-obsessed, led by some of Northern California’s best chefs. The gorgeous farm’s next event is October 14th-16th, and features Sean and Renée Baker of ~GATHER~.

Here’s the itinerary: guests arrive at 3pm Friday the 14th for a walkabout tasting tour of Campovida’s organic gardens, Magnanimus Wine in hand, while “Nature’s Voice” Ken Boek shares secrets of the soil, blossoms, and apples surrounding you. That night you meet the chefs Baker before dinner, then feast upon Neapolitan-style pizzas topped with freshly-picked veggies you probably saw on your tour. Saturday morning, it’s up with the chickens to peruse the garden and prepare the day’s menus with the chef (dawn rising optional), with more feasting at lunch and dinner. Sunday, another farm-fresh breakfast and “chef’s farewell” send you on your way with happy smiles and happier bellies. Take a look at Marcia’s pics when she went up for a farm dinner in June—it was a memorable experience.

If you want the full 36-hour experience, it costs $400 per person, plus accommodation for the two nights. If you can’t spare the time or the cash, a 6-hour experience is also available for $230 per person. In the 6-hour fast-track version, you arrive at 4pm on Saturday for a garden tour and tasting, followed by the Saturday night appetizers, dinner, wine, and dessert in the Tuscan garden.

For more information and to hold a seat, contact Campovida at info@campovida.com or by calling 707-400-6300. 13601 Old River Rd. at River, Hopland.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Oct 4, 2011

Becks and Posh in the 707

Last week, Michael Murphy tweeted that ~David Beckham~ and ~Victoria Beckham~ had lunch (avec children) at Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa—he also told me they had lunch the previous day at Bouchon Bistro.

Some EPIC Star Sightings

A couple big star sightings at sister restaurants EPIC Roasthouse and Waterbar, and all in one night: ~Jessica Simpson~ was on the patio at EPIC Roasthouse, and ~Edward Norton~ dined on the patio at Waterbar. (You can read more about Jessica’s visit to SF in this story in The Examiner.)

Spotted: The (Married) Host of The Bachelor

Heard that ~Chris Harrison~, the handsome host of ABC’s The Bachelor, came in to ~MARLOWE~ for dinner.

Hottie Alert: Tim Daly

A tablehopper reader writes: “Hey! I saw ~Tim Daly~ [Wings, The Sopranos, Private Practice] at the prepared foods counter at Bryan’s yesterday. Tall, handsome, friendly and lovely skin. Men and women blushed.”

A Rockin' Sighting

Thanks to Mission Mission for this sighting of Sonic Youth’s ~Thurston Moore~ “playing air keyboard” at Four Barrel Coffee. He was in town for a performance at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

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