Order up! Check out this week's Tablehopper newsletter.
Trouble viewing this newsletter? View web-based version on tablehopper.com
Tablehopper View online | Subscribe

The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco: Find the Right Spot for Every Occasion.

This week's tablehopper: hot town, summer in the city.

dinerwhite.jpg

One of the many fab tables at Le Dîner à San Francisco. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Why hello there. Sorry there wasn’t a Friday issue for you—due to some tech stuff that was out of my hands, I couldn’t get this puppy to send. Ack. Did you have a stellar weekend? Enjoy the heat and the full moon bonanza? I was ready to ride my bike around the city all night last Thursday (which is something you need to do after eating the fried boudin balls at Boxing Room).

I couldn’t believe the perfect timing of Friday night’s alfresco Le Dîner à San Francisco—amazed I didn’t freeze in my white cotton kaftan after all (you can check out some pro pics of the event here and a TV segment here). It was a stunning scene, with everyone dressed in white on the rather French-looking music concourse in Golden Gate Park with the fountains and benches and trees (and music!)—a great venue choice for one hell of an adult picnic.

I enjoyed reading (alongside the lovely Connie Green, Dabney Gough, Daniel Duane, and others) at the new 18 Reasons for Litquake on Saturday, followed by a delicious dinner at the bar at Bar Tartine (the sunchoke soup was just what I needed—totally came down with a $%&# cold this weekend). Sunday morning I pumped myself full of cold medicine and was a guest co-host for Edible Escapes on KSFO 560AM, and then drove down to San Mateo to be with my family for a special white truffle dinner at home (we normally aren’t that opulent, but someone—cough—just returned home from Piemonte).

Fortunately I am staying in tonight to recuperate, but Wednesday is the media preview party for Charles Phan’s Wo Hing General Store (finally, the great Oz is letting us in), and on Thursday, I’m looking forward to listening to Gabrielle Hamilton in conversation with the inimitable Kim Severson at City Arts & Lectures (there are still tickets available!). And I’m already looking forward to Portishead this Friday—but I’ll hopefully be in your inbox before the show!

Ciao ciao!
Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Oct 18, 2011

Changes at Orson in SoMa

orson-interior.jpg

Copyright © 2006-10 FrankenyImages.com.

I received a call from chef-owner Elizabeth Falkner about some format changes for ~ORSON~—starting in November, she has decided to convert the restaurant into primarily an event space. She explained that the next few months were already getting booked up for company holiday parties and that it makes it really hard to run a restaurant, so she decided to rethink things. And really, it is one of the best event spaces in town (where else was I going to throw my book launch party?).

She plans to play host to some pop-ups in the space, and will be launching a weekly dinner pop-up series of her own to tie in with her upcoming appearances on The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs (the show’s premiere is on October 30th). Each week, she will be doing a dinner based on the episode. How many? Well, we’ll just have to watch and see. Follow Orson on Facebook and Twitter for updates on upcoming events and more—it sounds like the first one will be Wednesday November 2nd.

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

Scott Street Will Soon Be Smokin': Cedar Hill to Open This Week

1_cedarhill_exterior.jpg

Photo by Rebecca Kinney © tablehopper.com.

2_cedarhill_interior.jpg

Photo by Rebecca Kinney © tablehopper.com.

Back in July, tablehopper reported that ~CEDAR HILL~ would be opening in the Marina. Pending final city inspections, they should be having their soft opening this week. The menu will be barbecue-centric with pork shoulder, brisket, housemade sausages, and housemade bacon smoked in a handcrafted smoker built in Mesquite, Texas. They will also offer fried chicken, po’ boys, and fried housemade pickles. Buttermilk pie from a family recipe will be served year-round. Like any classic barbecue place, they will serve white bread.

In addition to sweet tea and lemonade, the bar at Cedar Hill will be pouring beer on draft, and also wine on tap from a nitrogen tank. Hours will be daily 11am-11pm. 3242 Scott St. at Chestnut, 415-834-5403.

Tres Generaciones: Fina Estampa to Reopen on Bush Street

1_fina_estampa_exterior_2011_oct_11.jpg

Photo by Rebecca Kinney © tablehopper.com.

2_fina_estampa_interior_2011_oct_13.jpg

Photo by Rebecca Kinney © tablehopper.com.

A report by Rebecca Kinney, tablehopper intern: ~FINA ESTAMPA~ is reopening on Bush Street near Polk. Owner Veronica Shinzato is the daughter of the previous owners who have (almost) retired. Her father, Julio, will still be the chef, says Shinzato, which reflects her focus for the restaurant: families. Shinzato wants to continue the family tradition, adding that people who ate at her family’s previous restaurant as kids eventually brought in their own kids to dine. Shinzato’s own children have inspired part of the restaurant décor—a kids’ booth is framed by a colorful clubhouse façade, which her kids loved so much that she kept it. Diners will enter through a custom-made door carved with traditional Peruvian art, and they will sit in reclaimed booths surrounded by exposed brick walls. Shinzato emphasizes that there will be no “fancy food,” just “typical Peruvian food”. Here is an early draft of the menu. Fina Estampa will have a large selection of Peruvian wine and Peruvian beer. Shinzato expects to be open this week pending inspections. Hours will be Wed-Mon, 11:30am-2:30pm for lunch and 5pm-10pm for dinner. Closed Tue. 1407 Bush St. at Polk.

Coming Soon: A Seafood Spot (Lot 7) and a French Spot (Bouche)

lot7-logo.jpg

The logo for Lot 7.

After some serious site stalking (thank you, faithful interns!), I heard back from owner Hani Desouky about his project going into 974 Valencia Street (previously Valencia Interiors). He tells me it’s going to be ~LOT 7~, a raw bar serving oysters and sustainable seafood, plus some smoked choices, along with other dishes using organic proteins (plus vegan options). The Scoop reported James Montejano of Michael Mina was going to be the chef, but that is no longer the case. Desouky says there are other great chef candidates in the mix.

And now, sit back for a little history about the space and name. Back in the early 1980s, 974 Valencia was a music venue and art gallery. The name comes from being situated on lot seven on that block of Valencia, also tying in to the seven seas, seven continents, and San Francisco’s seven square miles. We’ll have to see if 7x7 throws a party there. The 40-seat space is slated to open in mid-November; there will also be a happy hour, with $5 beers, $6 wine, and other specials. Methinks this will be a great addition to the neighborhood. 974 Valencia St. at 21st St.

More on the crudo tip: the space that was the original Bar Crudo, and then Swell, will now be ~BOUCHE~ (a play on Bush). Inside Scoop reports Guillaume Issaverdens (Le Garage) will be opening the Cal-French small plates concept, timing TBD. Late-night hours (until 1am) will be part of the concept. Stand by! 603 Bush St. at Stockton.

Charanga in the Mission Closing After 13 Years

charanga-sangria.jpg

A pitcher of Charanga’s infamous sangria. Photo from Facebook.

After 13 years of business, ~CHARANGA~ will sadly be closing at some point in November. Chef-owner Gabriela Salas tells me the landlord chose not to renew her lease, so she will be closing the Mission mainstay next month. I remember many birthday parties and nights on the town there in my 20s and 30s—very sangria-fueled ones at that. Be sure to swing by and say gracias and farewell (Gaby mentioned she might throw a closing party). 2351 Mission St. at 20th St., 415-282-1813.

Closures: Maya, Pulcinella, Gingerfruit, Junnoon, and SPOT Bagels

Lots of closures around town this past week: first up, Scoop reports ~MAYA RESTAURANT~ in SoMa. The piece mentions “managing partner Felipe Sandoval is staying mum on the reasons, but word on the street is that it involves a landlord dispute.” 303 2nd St. at Harrison, 415-543-2928.

Over in North Beach, ~PULCINELLA~ has closed. The Gianni TV blog mentions “the pizzeria’s owner in Naples is ill and decided to close this San Francisco outpost.” 641 Vallejo St. at Columbus.

Eater announces that ~GINGERFRUIT~, the Asian-fusion tapas restaurant that tried to open in the former Mecca space, is closed. 2029 Market St. at 14th St., 415-252-0700.

Down in Palo Alto, a reader lets me know that after five years of business, ~JUNNOON~ has been acquired by Amber India Restaurant. The last day of business will be October 21st, 2011.

And based out of Burlingame, I was sorry to learn that ~SPOT BAGEL~ has ended production. In an email to me, owner Jay Glass said, “SPOT Bagel is sad to announce that we have closed our doors. We sincerely thank everyone who has supported us and enjoyed our bagels.” Dang.

Comebacks: Alioto-Lazio Fish Company, Prime Rib Shabu, and More

primeribshabu.jpg

At Prime Rib Shabu. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

I was thrilled to read on SFist that “the girls” at the ~ALIOTO-LAZIO FISH COMPANY~ are reopening on the Wharf—just in time for Dungeness crab season (which starts November 15th, FYI, crabby folks!). 440 Jefferson St. at Hyde, 888-673-5868.

SFoodie brings word that ~PRIME RIB SHABU~ has reopened after a forced renovation—one of many brought on by Craig Yates, master of ADA-related lawsuits. I look forward to heading back for a steamy night of hot shabu-shabu action.

More good news: Bernalwood says ~LOTUS GARDEN~ should be reopening today after a nasty fire six months ago. Be sure to pay them a visit to welcome them back—and check out the new paint job and décor! 3216 Mission St. at Valencia, 415-282-9088.

And this little blurb on Chowhound brings news about ~JANG SOO BBQ~ in the Richmond—new owners (from Ashley’s Cafe) have taken over. The interior is reportedly “a massive improvement from the old Jang Soo and has almost a West Elm feeling to it.” Recent reports on Yelp (for what that’s worth) are very positive about the food and décor alike. I’m putting this one on my to-try list. 6314 Geary Blvd. at 27th Ave., 415-221-8282.

Specials: Friday Lunch at Bix, Gluten-Free Menu at Palio, Pizza Specials, More

bix-StairsI.jpg

The dining room at Bix. Photo courtesy of Bix.

It’s that time of year again: the Friday lunch club at ~BIX~ returns! Check out the menu here. Guess who is suddenly craving their steak tartare?

Starting this Wednesday October 19th, you can swing by ~POSTRIO~ for a new series of Wednesday night pizza parties filled with a selection of pizzas and appetizers (think chicken wings, calamari) all under $10; beer and wine also available. 4:30pm-close. 545 Post St. at Taylor, 415-776-7825

~PALIO D’ASTI~ has launched a gluten-free menu, available at lunch or dinner, with choices like gluten-free pastas and polenta.

A tip on Chowhound announces a new five o’clock menu at ~PAISAN~ in Berkeley, with a selection of $5 cocktails and a $5 margherita pizza (limit one pizza per person). 2514 San Pablo Ave. at Blake, Berkeley, 510-649-1031.

And on Monday nights, Oakland’s ~CHOP BAR~ is doing a Monday night special: a three-course prix-fixe meal for $30 (arugula salad or soup, meatloaf or vegetarian pasta, and bread pudding or pecan pie), which includes a glass of wine. 247 4th St. #111 at Alice, Oakland, 510-834-2467.

Chainlet Openings: Super Duper and Soup Freaks

superduper05.jpg

Photo from Super Duper.

Due to open tomorrow, Wednesday October 19th, is the Marina location of ~SUPER DUPER~ in the former Johnny Rockets on Chestnut Street. This will be the third location. Attention late-night boozehounds: the location will stay open from 11am-2am Fri-Sat, possibly even until 3am. Sun-Thu 11am-11pm. 2001 Chestnut St. at Pierce, 415-931-6258.

After some delays, a reader informs me ~SOUP FREAKS~ has opened their Castro location. On the menu: organic soups and salads, plus a variety of choices for breakfast. This will be the third location as well. 10am-11pm daily, with hours to be extended soon. 499 Castro St. at 18th St., 415-626-SOUP (7687).

A Couple Things Cookin' with Baker & Banker

Baker&BankerCraigLee.jpg

Exterior photo by Craig Lee.

~BAKER & BANKER~ are both hosting and being hosted this fall and winter. They had so much success with their series of guest chefs that they are doing it again. First up is Ron Siegel from the Ritz-Carlton on November 9th. In January, they will work with Anthony Strong of Locanda. February brings Mourad Lahlou of Aziza to their kitchen. Five courses created by Baker & Banker alongside these local chefs is a steal at $75 per person. Make your reservation here.

Before they play host to these talented chefs, Lori Baker and Jeff Banker will be Studio Gourmet guests at Circolo on Tuesday October 25th at 5:30pm. See their live cooking demo and interview by snagging your tickets here; $25.

Baker & Banker - 1701 Octavia St., San Francisco - 415-351-2500

A Slew of Book Events Around the Bay

1-BiRite-EatGood.jpeg
2_menus-for-chez-panisse-patricia-curtan-hardcover-cover-art.jpg
3_EverlastingMeal_cover.jpg
4_How-to-Cook-Indian-Kapoor-Sanjeev-cover.jpg
5_Pepin-Essential-Cover200.jpg

It’s fall, which means no shortage of new book releases! Here are a variety of book launch events for your consideration.

On Thursday October 20th, Omnivore Books will hold a book party for Sam Mogannam and Dabney Gough’s book Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food: A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping, Cooking & Creating Community Through Food. The book has 90 recipes from Bi-Rite’s kitchen along with Sam’s favorites. 6pm-7pm, 3885a Cesar Chavez St. at Church, 415-282-4712.

Sam Mogannam will also be at Rockridge Market Hall (where he worked in the ’90s) on Saturday October 22nd for storytelling and tastings. 2pm-4pm, 5655 College Ave. at Shafter, Oakland, 510-250-6000.

Patrician Curtan, the artist behind Alice Waters’ menus and cookbook designs, will sign copies of her book Menus for Chez Panisse this Saturday October 22nd, at MARCH. The book is a four-decade collection of menus. You can see some of her beautiful work here. 2pm-4pm, 3075 Sacramento St. at Baker, 415-931-7433.

Tamar Adler, a Chez Panisse alumnus, will be signing copies of her book An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, which is modeled after M.F.K. Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf and provides a practical and economical approach to cooking. Adler will be signing her book at three places in the Bay Area this month.

Adler’s first book signing will be next week on Wednesday October 26th at Camino Restaurant, where dinner guests who buy a copy will take home an element of their meal as their gift. 5:30pm-8pm, 3917 Grand Ave. at Boulevard, Oakland, 510-547-5035.

On Thursday October 27th, Adler will be at Chez Panisse Café, where there will be snacks with the book signing. A special dinner inspired by the book will follow the signing (call for reservations). 4:30pm-5:30pm, 1517 Shattuck Ave. at Vine, Berkeley, 510-548-5049.

Adler’s only reading of her book will be at Book Passage on Friday October 28th, 6pm, 1 Ferry Building #42 at The Embarcadero, 415-835-1020.

Next month on Sunday November 6th, chef Sanjeev Kapoor will collaborate with chef-owner Ranjan Dey of New Delhi Restaurant to support Compassionate Chefs Cafe and to celebrate the launch of his cookbook How To Cook Indian. The 600-page book covers favorites like butter chicken and samosas along with lesser known dishes such as shorbas. The book also includes a chapter on Indo-Chinese fusion as well as a handy guide to spices. Kapoor’s book will be available for purchase at the event. Make reservations for a Casual Champagne Brunch ($50 per person) or 10-Course Family Style Wine Dinner ($150 per person). 100% of funds raised go to Compassionate Chefs Cafe. 12pm-2pm (brunch) or 6pm-9pm (dinner), New Delhi Restaurant, 160 Ellis St. at Cyril Magnin, 415-397-8470.

Charlie Parker Leaves Plum, and More Plum Updates

plum-diningroom.jpg

The interior of Plum, now Ume. Photo by Scott Kester.

Here’s your weekly news update from the Daniel Patterson Group: according to the Inside Scoop, chef Charlie Parker has left his position at ~PLUM~—taking his place is corporate chef Ron Boyd. Grub Street posts a potential rumor that Parker may be teaming up with Jeremy Fox on something, but that remains an unconfirmed rumor at this time.

Meanwhile, you can reserve a spot at Plum on Tuesday evenings to experience a four-course menu by chef Kim Alter of the upcoming Haven (opening in Jack London Square later this year), which includes dessert from pastry chef Matt Tinder—and you really should try a cocktail or two from Scott Beattie. $60 per person, not including wine/cocktails, tax, or gratuity. October 25th through November 15th.

Plum - 2214 Broadway Oakland - 510-444-7586

FFT2011_120x600.gif
Languedoc_120x600.gif
FFT2011_120x600.gif

the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Oct 18, 2011

(Sponsored): Dining Out Never Tasted So Good

There are plenty of nights in a year you can dine out (365, to be exact), but if there was one night to really dine out, it would be on Wednesday November 9th. Why the 9th? Because it’s Food for Thought, a fundraising night for Mission Graduates. Dine out at select Mission District restaurants like Commonwealth, Heirloom Café, Mission Beach Cafe, and Slow Club, and they will generously donate a portion of their sales to get Mission youth to college.

A delish proposition, right? Click here for a list of participating restaurants, and make your reservation today!

For more information, visit Food for Thought.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Oct 18, 2011

New Bar Coming to the 510: Prizefighter

Alcademics shares the news about ~PRIZEFIGHTER~, a new bar opening in mid-November in Emeryville from barmen Jon Santer (Bourbon & Branch, Beretta) and Dylan O’Brien (Bloodhound, Churchill). The gents are opening the bar in the former Kitty’s, and it’s a spacious one: the 1,800-square-foot space also has a patio, and to keep you entertained, there will also be shuffleboard—and food trucks. Read more on Alcademics about the beverage program (there will be three types of ice), but they do say they want to keep things casual and not too serious. But high quality, yes. 6702 Hollis St. at 67th St., Emeryville.

Pop! Champagne Day is Friday October 28th

champagneday.png

Like you need an excuse to open a bottle of Champagne. I sure don’t. But on Friday October 28th, it’s Global Champagne Day, and you have the chance to win an iPad 2 (and other prizes) as you’re enjoying your bubbles. Simply email a picture of an authentic Champagne label, or post the picture to your Facebook profile and tag yourself and the Champagne Bureau in the picture (multiple entries will increase your odds of winning, but not duplicates). One Grand Prize winner will be selected randomly and receive an iPad 2; four runners-up will receive an exclusive Champagne tasting kit. Read up on all the rules here. And feel free to use the #ChampagneDay hash tag on your tweets as you share what you’re sippin’ that day! Cin cin!

Friday Oct 28, 2011
more info

A Testy Tasting: Italy vs. France Wine Showdown

Italy_vs_France_wine_showdown.png

On Thursday November 3rd, 6pm-9pm, Uncorked Events presents a rather (potentially) contentious tasting event: it’s the ~ITALY VS. FRANCE WINE SHOWDOWN~ at the General’s Residence in Fort Mason, and there’s less than 100 spots left if you want to help pick a winner in this international wine taste-off.

The newly renovated General’s Residence (formerly the Officers Club) in upper Fort Mason will host over 125 of the best wines from France and Italy. Playing on the Italian team will be contenders from all parts of the country, including Barolo, Barbaresco, barbera, dolcetto, arneis (Piemonte); brunello di Montalcino, Super Tuscan, Chianti, Vino Nobile (Tuscany); chardonnay, ribolla gialla, Tocai, cabernet, Refosco (Friuli-Venezia); Muller-Thurgau, pinot bianco, lagrein, Lambrusco (Trentino-Alto Adige); Amarone, Prosecco, Soave, pinot grigio (Veneto); Orvieto, Sagratino di Montefalco (Umbria); Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino, aglianico (Campania); primitivo (Apulia); and nero d’Avola (Sicily).

And for the équipe française, an equally diverse array of wines will compete for your vote, including Bordeaux reds (cabernet- and merlot-based blends); Bordeaux whites (sauvignon blanc and sémillon); Champagne (chardonnay-, pinot noir-, pinot meunier-based blends); red Burgundy (pinot noir), white Burgundy (chardonnay); Beaujolais (Gamay); Rhone reds: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Cornas (grenache, syrah, mourvedre); Rhone Valley whites (viognier, rousanne, marsanne, grenache blanc); Loire whites: Savennières, Vouvray (chenin blanc), Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé (sauvignon blanc); Loire reds: Chinon (cabernet franc); Alsatian whites: riesling, gewürztraminer, pinot gris; whites and reds from Languedoc-Rousillon; and rosé from Provence.

To help voters pace themselves, A.G. Ferrari will provide a variety of artisanal cheeses, olives, and cured meats while DJ Sol spins French and Italian pop, rock jazz, and lounge grooves. Get your advance purchase ticket ($42) so you can vote for your favorite wine and country of the evening. Group purchase tickets (five or more) are $35. All wines will be available for purchase at the event (shipped within one-two weeks). 21 and over only.

Thursday Nov 3, 2011
6pm–9pm
$42 advance purchase
more info

Languedoc_120x600.gif

the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Oct 18, 2011

A Special Share Our Strength Dinner with Top Chef Masters

NoKidHungry_Dinner.jpg

Image from Share Our Strength’s website.

Event Info

Thursday Nov 3, 2011
6pm cocktail reception, 7pm seated dinner
$150 cocktail reception only; $1,000 and up, reception and dinner
Info/tickets
Jardinière
300 Grove St. at Franklin, San Francisco

Here’s a unique event you won’t get another chance to experience: on Thursday November 3rd, Traci Des Jardins will host four of her fellow Top Chef alumni in the Jardinière kitchen for a special ~TOP CHEF MASTERS REUNION DINNER~ and fundraiser for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign. The evening starts with an intimate cocktail reception at 6pm, followed by a seated four-course dinner at 7pm.

The Top Chef Masters finalists joining Traci Des Jardins are Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill, Los Angeles), Naomi Pomeroy (Beast, Portland), Floyd Cardoz (North End Grill, Battery Park City), and Suvir Saran (Devi, New York). Unlike on TV where they were competing against one another, now they’re all working together in the kitchen for a common cause. How lovely.

You don’t get a lot of chances to be up close and personal with all these culinary talents in one place, so if you’ve got the bucks, purchase tickets online, starting at $150 for the cocktail reception only, and $1,000 and up for the reception and seated dinner (no, not cheap—but some of you out there can afford this, right?). Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign aims to end childhood hunger in San Francisco and across the United States.

Brush Your Teeth and Prepare for the Fifth Annual Sugar Rush

sugar_rush_bay_area_logo.gif
Event Info

Thursday Nov 10, 2011
7pm VIP; 7:30pm general admission
$75 general admission, $125 VIP; $85, $135 door, respectively
Info/tickets
Sir Francis Drake Hotel
450 Powell St. at Sutter, San Francisco

Take some preventive measures and polish up the pearly whites before hitting up the fifth annual ~SUGAR RUSH~ dessert tasting event benefiting Spark, the apprenticeship program for at-risk middle school students. Happening Thursday November 10th, Sugar Rush is going to be bigger and better than ever with a new venue—the Empire Ballroom in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel—and with more chefs, wines, and live and silent auctions.

As always, generous Bay Area restaurants and chefs will be providing sweet bites for your delight, including Chez Panisse, Boulevard, Range, Delfina, Millennium, Scala’s Bistro, Humphry Slocombe, Farallon, Recchiuti Confections, and Mama’s Bakery. You’ll get to taste wines from local vineyards too, like Barber Cellars, B.R. Cohn Winery, and Starlite Vineyards. Have fun with the photobooth donated by the Magnolia Photobooth Co., and bid on fab auction items like getaway packages, high-end art and jewelry, wine tours, and tickets to sports and entertainment events.

Nab your tix online: $75 general admission, $125 VIP ($85 and $135 at the door, respectively). Spark is a national nonprofit connecting volunteer professionals with middle school students from disadvantaged communities in workplace apprenticeships to “spark” their potential.

707 scout

Wine Country Buzz (it’s what happens there)
Oct 18, 2011

Meet Your (Charbay) Maker and tablehopper Exclusive

Markobystillwithflask.jpg

Master of fun Marko Karakasevic; photo courtesy of Charbay Winery & Distillery.

By 707 correspondent, Deirdre Bourdet.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 30 years (or you don’t drink spirits), you have probably heard of ~CHARBAY WINERY & DISTILLERY~ in St. Helena. Miles and Susan Karakasevic began distilling in California in 1983, and their son Marko is the 13th generation of the family to carry on the artisanal fermenting and distilling tradition that originated in Europe in the 1750s. Marko is also a hilarious and awesome dude, completely passionate about his work and the delicious fun it inspires.

Thanks to a new social media platform called ~TOUT SUITE SOCIAL CLUB~, anyone with an internet connection can meet Marko and his artisanal alcohols on Wednesday October 19th at 6pm, when he sits down with le très charmant Didier Loustau over a few drinks featuring Charbay’s creations. All you have to do is become a member of the Social Club—painless, spamless, and completely free—and log on to toutsuite.com at the appointed time to watch Didier’s interview live, as it happens. If you’re inclined, tweet questions and comments to @ToutSocial, or just kick back and watch the magic unfold.

And now … the exclusive opportunity for tablehopper readers!

If you are the fifth person to email Marcia your favorite Charbay product, you and a friend will get to personally attend the Marko event on the 19th at Tout Suite’s headquarters in St. Helena. You’ll watch the interview being filmed from behind the scenes in the green room, then join Marko on the set to taste through some Charbay libations together. He claims he’ll be bringing Charbay Green Tea-spiked lemonade, Charbay Release R5 whiskey, and a 1983 late harvest, fully botrytized, double-fermented sauvignon blanc to share. Yes, please.

If you miss both the in-person visit and the live streaming from 6pm-7pm, you can still watch the show afterwards by accessing the Video Vault section of the Tout Suite website. Since they host tons of artisanal producers, irreverent blind tastings (check out this post for a sense of their style), and other cool food and wine events every week, there is quite a bit of content up there already to browse through.

Other interesting upcoming Tout Suite “events” to consider are: chef-proprietor Jude Wilmoth of Cook Restaurant on Tuesday October 18th, Steve Reynolds of Reynolds Family Winery on Wednesday November 2nd, and Chris Carpenter of La Jota Wines on Tuesday November 8th.

Meet Your Maker: Marko Karakasevic: 6pm-7pm, Wednesday October 19th, free, at toutsuite.com.

Ubuntu Closes for Winter Season

UbuntufromFacebook.jpg

Ubuntu’s famed naked lady sculptures; photo from Ubuntu’s Facebook page.

By 707 correspondent, Deirdre Bourdet.

Michelin-starred ~UBUNTU~ will close for the winter season this year on Monday November 21st, giving the team time to rest, regroup, and reinspire their relentlessly creative vegetarian menus. This is sad news for haute potato lovers, but may create some interesting new opportunities … from Sunday October 23rd until the sabbatical begins, the restaurant’s private dining room will feature special “best of” dinners spotlighting the most beloved Ubuntu menu items, personalized wine pairings, private service staff, and the whole nine yards. During the cold weather closure, the kitchen team will fill the restaurant space with a variety of pop-up concepts, making use of their expanding organic and biodynamic gardens until Ubuntu reopens in spring 2012. Check Ubuntu’s website and Facebook page for updates on the grand tasting dinners and pop-up details. 1140 Main St. near Pearl, Napa, 707-251-5656.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Oct 18, 2011

Piers Morgan Spotted Dining Near the Water

Heh, couldn’t resist. Yup, CNN’s ~Piers Morgan~ dined at One Market with several members of his staff last week. He reportedly tucked into the daily roast (prime rib).

Another Kathy Griffin Sighting

One more ~Kathy Griffin~ sighting to add to last week’s: she also came in to Sauce to dine late night (her second time in). As she told the staff, “Late night food is great for a performer like myself.” And strippers!

view web version of this newsletter
subscribe to the tablehopper | unsubscribe

All content © 2011 tablehopper, LLC. I am more than happy if you want to link to my reviews and content elsewhere (thanks, glad you dig it), but republishing any part of them in any way, shape or form is strictly prohibited until we talk first. Please take a look at my Creative Commons license for more detail.