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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: the girl to Ipanema.

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The famed Slanted Door spring rolls (at the Inman Family Wines dinner). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

So, are you ready for the megapacked tablehopper issue before I leave for Brazil this Friday? Oof, here it is. FYI, tablehopper will be going dark until July 9th, but I will be posting pics and updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram while I am away! And with the current protests happening in Brazil, it’s definitely an interesting time to be headed there. (Don’t worry, mom!)

Last week was pretty stellar: not only did I have the honor of attending an exquisite dinner at Quince with Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, the esteemed winemaker for Louis Roederer Champagne (yes, there was Cristal, don’t hate me—but it was the 2008 brut rosé that really caught my fancy), but on another evening, I was introduced to Kathleen Inman and Inman Family Wines from Russian River Valley over dinner at The Slanted Door. Her low-alcohol pinot noirs were very food-friendly (which is why you’ll find the 2008 Olivet Grange pinot noir at The Slanted Door—Inman was incidentally the first California wine to make it on Mark Ellenbogen’s list) and are very well priced; I loved hearing about the winery’s many eco-conscious practices, including a compost program that uses scraps from San Francisco restaurants. I need to head up to the winery for a visit soon (and also to get another glass of their very limited 2009 brut rosé nature).

This past weekend I laid low since I have a ton of writing to do before I head out, but I did get to check out a screener of Somm, the new documentary from Jason Wise that is coming out on Friday June 21st (you can catch it at Sundance Kabuki or watch it on iTunes!). It’s a look behind the scenes of the Court of Master Sommeliers, as you watch four hopefuls prepare and take the incredibly difficult Master Sommelier Exam (the first time cameras have ever been allowed). After watching the doc, you’ll see why there are less than 200 Master Somms in the world—the exam is insane. I also didn’t know that after the notorious 25-minute blind tasting of six wines, they only pass or fail you—they never tell you what the wines were. Can you imagine?

Another thing I can’t believe: Bix is turning 25 this Wednesday! That’s a whole lot of cocktails and caviar over the years, congrats! Another big one: Dottie’s True Blue Cafe turned 20 yesterday! Well done, gang.

Okay, so while I am so excited to be leaving for Brazil, I did have a little pang of sadness over missing the upcoming shows with Dita Von Teese, who is returning to SF for more va-va-voom and boom boom at the Fillmore to perform her full-length revue, Burlesque: Strip Strip Hooray! I saw her the last time she was in town, do not miss it! Catch her June 26th-29th at the Fillmore, and you can get tipsy on her signature Cointreau cocktails.

Okay, it’s time for me to wrap things up. I’ll see you in a few weeks! Tchau!

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Jun 18, 2013

La Movida Opening Next Week in the Mission

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Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

A report from Dana Massey-Todd. As previously noted on tablehopper, there’s a new project on 24th Street that is getting ready to open for business. ~LA MOVIDA~, from Michael Meadows, has taken over the former El Delfín space after the owners retired. The new spot is a wine-focused bar, with a small plate-focused menu.

There are 12 wines on tap and 3 beers, plus about 20 wines available by the bottle and a few bottled beers as well. The wines are almost exclusively from California, with one exception: Owen Roe, from Oregon and Washington state. There will be eight red wines on tap, with a focus on small producers, like East Bay-based Broc Cellars and Dashe Cellars. Meadows is excited to have so many taps to work with, because it means he’ll be able to offer a wide range of California wines, from full cabernet sauvignons to leaner, funkier varietals. There are also four taps for chilled wines, and Meadows plans to offer at least one rosé, likely from Donkey & Goat, alongside the whites. Beers will be from the Cerveceria de MateVeza, and will all be from California. The exact offerings are still being worked out, but look for local craft beers to dominate the list.

In the food department, there’s a pretty interesting program going. In the evenings, you’ll find small plates like charcuterie, local cheeses, a few different flatbreads, and chorizo corndogs. As many ingredients as possible are being sourced from the neighborhood, which means dishes like bread pudding made with Dynamo Donuts (oh my) and sliders on buns from Wise Sons Deli. Meadows is also looking to get La Palma on there, too, perhaps in the form of tamales. The menu hasn’t been finalized yet, but you can take a peek at a sample here.

During the day, La Movida will function as the new home of ~PAL’S TAKEAWAY~, which means owner Jeff Mason will be able to use the additional space to expand his menu, plus use the seating for customers. He’ll be offering his rotating menu of unusual (and delish) sandwiches (Oregon Bay shrimp on Josey Baker bread, yes please), plus a changing side, according to the season and his whims. Take a look at a preview menu here and start plotting your lunches now. Meadows also wants to close every Tuesday evening for a rotating roster of pop-ups, starting in July. He’s still working out who will be first, but is in conversation with a few local chefs to get that rolling.

The space, which was designed by Carolyn Rebuffel, has been painted a bright, cheerful orange, to keep in the vibrant spirit of the location’s former tenants. Meadows wanted to keep El Delfín’s wonderful murals on the walls, but the structural integrity had been compromised enough that it was impossible. Instead, the murals have been transferred to the tops of tables, where they can still be enjoyed. There is a blown glass chandelier on the way, plus banquette seating in the back and stools in the front windows.

They need to pass inspections this week, and then hope to be up and running sometime the week of June 24th. Once open, hours for Pal’s will be Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, and for La Movida Sun-Thu 4:30pm-11pm and Fri-Sat 4:30pm-12am, closed Tuesday for pop-ups. 3066 24th St. at Treat, 415-425-2392.

At Last! Marla Bakery Reveals Its Brick-and-Mortar Location in the Outer Richmond

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The talented Amy Brown and Joe Wolf. Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux.

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Oh, hi, brown butter and Meyer lemon tart with semolina crust. Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux.

After months of plying us with their fantastic baked goods at pop-ups around town, Amy Brown and Joe Wolf of ~MARLA BAKERY~ have signed the lease on their new space! We received word yesterday that it’s in the former Crown Lock in the Outer Richmond, just across the street from the Balboa Theatre. They will be open for breakfast and lunch daily, plus Sunday suppers, and eventually dinner too (the space will initially be used for pop-up dinners and cooking classes in the evenings). You can also come by to just pick up bread and pastries.

There will be 30-35 seats, and there’s also a deck outside with room for 10-15, and a 600-square-foot garden. There’s also an application for a parklet in the works. Alas, the opening isn’t going to happen until spring 2014, but in the meantime, they are having a double-deck, wood-fired oven custom made for them by Jeremiah Church in Burlington, Vermont. I’ll keep you posted on developments, but for now, huge congrats to Amy and Joe on securing their space. 3619-21 Balboa St. at 37th Ave.

The Sycamore Team Opens a New Location in SoMa: The Willows

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The bar at The Willows. Photo courtesy The Willows.

Now open in SoMa in the former Mercury Lounge space is a new project from Liz and Tim Ryan of ~THE SYCAMORE~ called ~THE WILLOWS~. They’re opening softly on Wednesday June 19th, with a full bar serving housemade, handcrafted cocktails, plus a “beer den” with 12 taps of rare beers. Right now, look for brews like the Belgian Cuvée des Jacobins sour and the Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale from Japan. They’re hoping to keep the den stocked with rare and hard-to-find beers from all over the world and locally. There is also a limited selection of wines available by the glass.

On the menu, you’ll find American classics, much like at The Sycamore, with some new additions, including fried chicken and meatloaf. They’ll also be serving their sliders, salads, and burgers. The location used to house Hamburger Mary’s (before Saturn Lounge), and they’re keeping the tradition alive with the Mary’s burger. Look for sandwiches, salads, and burgers at lunch too. They’ve revamped the space to be, quite literally, more playful, with pinball machines, a Big Buck Hunter video game, and a pool table, plus an old-fashioned jukebox. The opening is Wednesday June 19th, and hours will be Sun-Thu 11:30am-12am and Fri-Sat 11:30am-2am. 1582 Folsom St. at 12th St., 415-529-2039.

State Bird Expanding Into Hapa's Originally Intended Location on Fillmore

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The space next door to State Bird Provisions. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Back in October 2012, I heard things weren’t going as planned for Richie Nakano’s ~HAPA~ location, which was supposed to open next to ~STATE BIRD PROVISIONS~ at 1527 Fillmore. I’ve been checking in for months for status reports, and kept my word to not mention the location was no longer a go. I guess Nakano forgot his promise to “absolutely let [me] know,” since the Scoop mentioned Hapa is due to open in a larger space on Mission Street (although the actual location has yet to be revealed since it still needs to go through a change of use).

It’s all good news for State Bird’s Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, who will be taking over Hapa’s 900-square-foot space and adding 12 seats (look for two large tables that will seat six to eight), plus a waiting area, a heater, a second bathroom, and plans to now be open nightly. State Bird will close after service on August 10th for construction, which is expected to last for a few weeks or so. As for progress on The Progress, their next project at 1525 Fillmore, stand by.

There's Only One Tamale Lady

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The wonderful Tamale Lady (Virginia Ramos). Photo from Twitter.

The city erupted with the news on SFist last week that The Tamale Lady (Virginia Ramos) was no longer allowed to wheel her cart o’ tamales over to sell them at Zeitgeist anymore, due to a crackdown from the ABC and Health Department. Zeitgeist (somewhat helplessly) made the announcement on Facebook, and while it can certainly be scary to have your liquor license threatened, the bar was pretty quick to step away from the shituation. But fortunately other parties in the city (including District 9 Supervisor David Campos) are trying to figure out what they can do to help sort out Virginia’s needs, like getting her access to a commercial kitchen and securing a catering permit for her.

Virginia is adored by too many people to count, with her uncanny ability to show up and save your drunk ass when you need her most, with a “hey man, how you doing?” as she hands you a hot tamale and unrolls a paper towel for you. Seriously, this woman lives and loves to feed you. (Have you ever seen the documentary about her?) She is more of a San Francisco icon than almost anything you can think of. Well, except the fog. Whatever, the fog comes and goes, but Virginia is steadfast in her mission to feed you.

It’s not too late for Zeitgeist to rise to the occasion and offer to host a fundraiser for the return of the one person people are happy to see there (cough), but in the meantime, Virginia will be celebrating her 60th birthday this Friday June 21st at The Eagle Tavern, starting at 7pm. You can also keep track of her (and her hilarious tweets) on Twitter—heck, why don’t you call her and order some tamales for your next event, lunch, or party since a big portion of her revenue just disappeared? The Tamale Lady hotline is 415-218-1443. And I look forward to coming home to some good news about her situation, because I know this city is gonna rally. It’s something we do well here.

Chef Changes at Hi Lo BBQ; Chef de Cuisine Hired at Betelnut, More

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Mario Tolentino and Alex Ong (Betelnut); photo by Albert Cheng via Facebook.

Now for some chef changes. First, over at ~HI LO~, things continue to be in flux: Scott Youkilis has let go of chef Ryan Ostler, and now Robin Song of Hog & Rocks (just across the street) will be overseeing both kitchens. Scoop reports there will be some menu changes and full table service, starting Monday June 24th. As for the talented Mr. Ostler, he said he wishes Hi Lo the best and will be embarking on some culinary travels to Oregon, and potentially Austin.

Another restaurant that has undergone changes this year is ~BETELNUT~, which has hired a new chef de cuisine, Mario Tolentino, who will be working with Alex Ong on modernizing some of the dishes on the menu. Examiner reports Tolentino was working in SF five years ago (Aqua) and was recently a Food Network Chopped champion.

A press release announces Paul Piscopo has left the W San Francisco and is now executive chef at the ~ST. REGIS SAN FRANCISCO~ (which includes Vitrine). I was happy to read he is going to also be maintaining beehives on the property.

Lastly, the new chef at ~BOCADILLOS~ is James LaLonde (Salt House, Pizzeria Delfina, Slow Club), replacing interim chef Scott Peterson (Scoop).

Coming Soon: Le Marais Bakery in July

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Cute as a button bundt pan light fixtures at Le Marais. Photo from Facebook.

As reported in tablehopper last year, French-inspired ~LE MARAIS BAKERY~ is opening in the former Jamba Juice location on Chestnut. The new venture comes from Paris native Patrick Ascaso and is a tribute to the boulangeries he grew up with in France. They’re serving French-style levain breads fed daily with natural starter from boulanger Justin Brown (who previously worked at Bien Cuit and Roberta’s in Brooklyn). He’ll also be making croissants and other traditional baked goods. They’ve got a separate pastry program, helmed by Phil Ogiela (formerly of Aziza and Presidio Social Club), with desserts like gâteau Basque with cream and apricots, fresh fruit tarts, and madeleines.

The space was designed by the fine folks at Paxton Gate, with warm reclaimed woods, vintage baking trays functioning as cabinets, and light fixtures made from Bundt pans. The floor is made from tile from the North of France, in a traditional French garden patter, and the space is designed to make use of natural light. We’ve been waiting on pictures for a while (and we should be getting some soon), but here’s the update for now. Opening is slated for July. 2066 Chestnut St. at Steiner, 415-359-9801.

Tidbits: Second Ramen Underground Location, Cassava Reopens, Update on Richard Blais, More

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Cassava. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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A Shabu House location. Photo courtesy Shabu House.

Fans of ~RAMEN UNDERGROUND~ on Kearny now have a second location to score their noodles: Japantown! The recently opened location is in the former Sanuki Udon at 22 Peace Plaza, Suite 530. Please note it’s cash only for now.

Potentially opening this weekend is the new location of ~KASA INDIAN EATERY~ on Polk Street. As reported on tablehopper, the new location is in the former Fourth Wave Coffee and will have a menu similar to the other locations. 1356 Polk St. at Pine.

Also due to reopen (on Wednesday June 26th) is ~CASSAVA BAKERY + CAFE~ after some construction to expand into the space next door. There will now be more seating, dinner hours (in July), and an expanded menu—plus the ability to order their Japanese breakfast daily. In coming months, look for a wine and beer list, plus wine- and vermouth-based cocktails. Chef Kristoffer Toliao and Yuka Ioroi are also launching a Kickstarter campaign to add a Parisian café-inspired sidewalk patio, with heaters and a windshield (the Outer Richmond can be tough like that), plus an edible garden. Check out this cute video here about their patio dreams, and follow their Facebook page for more about the Kickstarter launch.

As reported back in April, ~SHANGHAI DUMPLING KING~ closed for renovations. Good news: they’ve re-opened, according to some very happy Yelpers. 3319 Balboa St. at 34th Ave., 415-387-2088.

There’s now a Clement location of ~SHABU HOUSE~. Yelpers report that the new location is still a little slow, for those not wanting to wait. 354 Clement St. at 4th Ave., 415-742-4689.

The rumor I heard about Top Chef’s Richard Blais opening a location in San Francisco appears to be untrue. Eater reports that though Blais loves San Francisco, he is actually planning to relocate to San Diego, and will be opening a restaurant there. Now that he’s here on the West Coast, though, maybe he’ll do a little northward expansion eventually? We’ll see….

The Tenderloin Blog reports that the former Turtle Tower space on Larkin has a new taker: ~GOLDEN LOTUS~. There is a vegetarian restaurant with the same name in Oakland, but it’s not clear that this new spot comes from the same people, or if it will also be vegetarian. 631 Larkin St. at Willow.

According to Haighteration, Divisadero burger joint ~ACME BURGERHAUS~ has reopened after closing last month. Apparently, there were some staffing issues that needed resolving, but they’ve been resolved so they reopened. Just to be clear, the place is still available for lease. 559 Divisadero St. at Hayes, 415-346-3212.

Also from Haighteration comes the news that ~ZIRYAB~ on Divisadero is still closed for renovations. After lots of delays, they are hoping to reopen in 10-15 days, with a space that is more bar-oriented. The food menu will reportedly stay mostly the same. And just in case you love trivia, check out the history of Ziryab, an eighth-century courtier—seems we have him to thank for toothpaste—and bangs! 528 Divisadero St. at Fell, 415-522-0800.

A newsletter from ~URBAN PUTT~ reports that the miniature golf spot with hopes to open in the Mission got approval from the Planning Commission. Fore! Mission Mission has some photos of the space, and owner Steve Fox is hoping to get approval for a full liquor license and late-night hours. 1096 South Van Ness at 22nd St.

A tweet from ~MISSION CHINESE FOOD~ lets us know that today is their last day open until Friday July 5th. Enjoy your vacation, guys!

Mission Chinese Food - 2234 Mission St. San Francisco - 415-863-2800

Cawfee Tawk: Coffee Bar Opening a Third Spot, Coffee Cultures Is Close, Cheese Plus Opening an Outdoor Counter

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Coffee Cultures exterior. Photo from Facebook.

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The espresso counter and patio at Cheese Plus. Photo from Facebook.

~COFFEE BAR~ has a third location in the works. The new spot is in the Financial District, on the ground floor of the St. Mary’s Garage. They’ll be keeping most of the same elements as their previous locations, including Mr. Espresso coffee, pastries from Starter Bakery and Sandbox Bakery, and cookies from Anthony’s. There will also be sandwiches, salads, and fresh juice, plus some new specialty drinks made with Recchiuti chocolate syrups. They’re planning to open in July and will be open Mon-Fri 5am-5pm. Weekend hours may be added later. 433 Kearny St. at Pine.

As previously mentioned in tablehopper, there’s another coffee spot coming to the Financial District. This one is ~COFFEE CULTURES~, from Jason Paul, who incidentally was a former partner at Coffee Bar. They’ll be serving North Carolina-based Counter Culture coffee, along with a soft-serve machine dispensing frozen yogurt, Also on the menu are sandwiches and salads, and oatmeal and granola in the mornings. They’re planning to open Monday June 24th and hours will be Mon-Fri 6am-6pm. 225 Bush St. at Montgomery, 415-788-7011.

~CHEESE PLUS~ is getting ready to open their new outdoor espresso counter in July, pending inspections. They’ll be pouring Equator Coffee Mon-Sat 8am-7:30pm and Sun 8am-7pm. Hours may change; follow along on Facebook for updates. 2001 Polk St. at Pacific, 415-921-2001.

Pop-Ups and Special Dinners: Grasshopper at Naked Kitchen, Hiroo Nagahara at Parallel 37, Mexican at Firehouse 8

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An okonomiyaki sandwich from a previous Grasshopper pop-up. Photo courtesy Grasshopper.

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The carnitas taco from Diablo Grill. Photo from Facebook.

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The one and only Jonny Becklund. Photo courtesy Mr. Pollo.

~NAKED LUNCH~ will be hosting chef Natalie Nesbit (she worked at Zinnia, Oliveto, and Café Majestic previously) and her pop-up Grasshopper on Sunday June 23rd, from 5pm-10pm. Her Asian-influenced menu includes chicken tsukune and mushroom “zombies” (stuffed buns named after an East Bay lunchroom staple). Check out the full lineup here. Dishes will be served à la carte, like a bar menu, with no reservations. 504 Broadway St. at Kearny, 415-577-4951.

Also on Sunday June 23rd, catch a pop-up at ~PARALLEL 37~ from chef Hiroo Nagahara of the Chairman Truck. Nagahara and Parallel 37 chef Michael Rotondo worked together at Charlie Trotter’s and have teamed up to bring a six-course dinner with Asian and modernist influences. The dinner costs $100 per person, with optional drink pairing for $70 (gratuity not included). Dinner begins at 6:30pm, and reservations can be made by calling 415-773-6168.

It looks like there are two new pop-ups happening at ~FIREHOUSE 8~ in Russian Hill, and both are of a Mexican persuasion. First up, there’s Diablo Grill on Fridays from 6pm-10pm. They’re slinging goods like lamb adobada or braised pork tacos; check out a recent menu here. On Saturdays, you can score burritos from The Burr-Eatery from 10am-2:30pm. 1648 Pacific Ave. at Polk, 415-890-4800.

Go ahead and chalk this one up as hilarious and awesome. And, shall we say, sack-tastic. Chef Jonny Becklund at ~MR. POLLO~ is celebrating Pride on Thursday June 27th with a very special Balls Deep dinner. He’ll be doing a four-course testicle dinner (ballsy!) for $35 per person, and there are two seatings: one at 6pm and another at 8pm. So, that pretty much speaks for itself. Reservations can be made by calling 860-912-9168. 2823 Mission St. at 24th St.

Parallel 37 - 600 Stockton St. San Francisco - 415-773-6168

Slurp Up! Oyster Guru at Waterbar June 27th

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Learn all about oysters from author Rowan Jacobsen on Thursday June 27th at ~WATERBAR~ during happy hour. From 2pm-5:30pm, the author of A Geography of Oysters will be on the patio, shucking oysters, answering questions about his book and, of course, about oysters. The book talks all about oyster production, different oyster regions, and the sustainability of oysters (kind of a hot topic around here, as the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. debate continues).

Waterbar - 399 The Embarcadero San Francisco - 415-284-9922

Coming Soon to the 510: The Red Whale, The Star, Homestead, and China Village Reopens

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The façade of The Star; photo via Facebook.

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Fred and Elizabeth Sassen of Homestead; photo via Facebook.

Potentially opening in early July in Oakland is a new wine bar and shop called ~THE RED WHALE~ (thanks to a tip on Chowhound). Owner Bradford Taylor is going to primarily focus on small-production California wines (with some on tap), plus some European wines will be in the mix. You will be able to sit and enjoy a glass over some tasty cheese selections, bring a bottle home, or even open a bottle from the retail selection for a small corkage fee. There will also be coffee, too, in case that red wine is getting you sleepy. 3354 Grand Ave. at Elwood, Oakland.

Getting very close to opening is ~THE STAR~ from John Guhl (as mentioned previously on tablehopper, it’s opening in the former Milano Ristorante on Grand Avenue). Guhl was an original partner in Little Star Pizza with Brian Sadigursky and they have since split—this is a solo venture from Guhl. On the menu: both thin-crust and deep-dish pizza, salads, meatballs, wings, and sandwiches. The Star will be open for both lunch and dinner. Keep up with the opening on Facebook. 3425 Grand Ave. at Mandana, Oakland, 510-843-7827.

Also aiming for a July opening is ~HOMESTEAD~, which is opening in the former Zatis on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland. Executive chef and co-owner Fred Sassen (Camino, Farallon) is opening the 48-seat restaurant with his wife, co-owner Elizabeth Sassen (previously a sous chef at Farallon and Waterbar). The menu will be on the farm-to-table tip, with starters like baked ricotta with lovage, roasted stone fruit, and Marcona almonds; and duck confit tortellini (dishes will range $9-$14). Mains ($18-$24) could include spit-roasted leg of lamb with spiced baby fava beans, green garlic, and Straus yogurt. Other components include housemade bread, charcuterie, and pasta, plus select cheeses, ice cream, and more that will live up to the homestead name. Stephen Laborde of The Trappist Provisions in Oakland is consulting on the beer and wine list. The location is in a 1920s Julia Morgan building, with contemporary design work by Carrie Shores of Larson Shores Architecture and Daniel Austin of Rocket Restaurant Supply. Look for floor-to-ceiling windows, original brick inlay, subway tile, a custom-built hearth, and an outdoor patio with room for 18. Dinner will be served Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm. 4029 Piedmont Ave. at 40th St., Oakland, 510-420-6962.

According to some ABC license activity, Donato Scotti of Donato Enoteca in Redwood City looks to be involved (and perhaps taking over) ~BORGO ITALIA~ in Oakland. At the moment he is unable to comment on the project, but I should have an update from him soon. 499 9th St. at Washington, Oakland, 510-251-1008.

A couple of weeks back, I reported that SF’s ~SMITTEN~ was hoping to open in Rockridge. I was asked to keep things under wraps, but Diablo Dish did a little sleuthing and found out the owners are trying to open in the former Great Harvest Bread Co. at 5800 College Avenue. They are currently trying to secure a conditional use permit for the location, so stand by.

Since we’re talking ice cream, one of my East Bay sources tells me the owners of ~SKETCH~ ice cream are scoping a couple of possible locations in Temescal. This is all unconfirmed, but Diablo Dish has also been hearing rumors: co-owner Eric Shelton confirms he and his wife Ruthie Planas-Shelton are scouting a potential second location in the 510, but it’s all TBD on the where for now.

Coming to downtown Berkeley is a third location of ~BITTERSWEET~, in the former New Amsterdam coffee shop, according to Berkeleyside Nosh. There will be both sweet and savory options, plus coffee, and their housemade bread, yogurt, and more. 1952 University Ave. at Milvia.

Guess who is verrrrrry close to reopening after an unfortunate fire, for real? ~CHINA VILLAGE~ in Albany! The intrepid Melanie Wong of Chowhound fame swung by the adored Sichuan restaurant’s location, and said they are just waiting for their health inspection. Look for a soft opening the last week of June, and the official opening on July 1st. 1335 Solano Ave. at Ramona, Albany, 510-525-2285.

Hutch Bar Now Open in Oakland

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The bar at Hutch. Photo courtesy Hutch.

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The communal table at Hutch. Photo courtesy Hutch.

According to Our Oakland blog, ~HUTCH BAR & KITCHEN~ has softly opened and the kitchen is just ramping up this week. This Uptown Oakland project is in the former 2022 lounge. Diablo Dish originally shared details about the project: chef-owner David King (Southpaw BBQ, Delfina, Twenty Five Lusk) is a Memphis native who is going to be offering an array of Southern specialties, including “a Gulf Coast-influenced raw bar stocked with fresh and sustainably fished California seafood,” according to their website. A peek at the raw bar menu reveals oysters, crawfish rémoulade, stone crab claws, and pickled shrimp; small plates include hush puppies and Benton’s ham. Plus there are larger plates like rabbit Brunswick stew and pork and beans (everything is sourced with local/sustainable/organic in mind). There are both classic and new cocktails, like the Heebie Jeebies with mezcal, Cardamaro, lemon, egg white, orange flower water, and fresh nutmeg.

They’re also starting a Sunday Supper program, with a different prix-fixe, family-style dinner every Sunday evening, instead of the regular menu. Last week was fried chicken, and this coming Sunday June 23rd is spaghetti night. Most suppers will be priced around $20, and kids eat for half price. They’ll also be doing monthly dinners with brewers, winemakers, and distillers. The first one will be on Wednesday June 26th at 5pm with North Coast Brewing, and costs $60 per person for five courses of food with beer pairings. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant. Regular hours are Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm, Sun brunch 10:30am-2:30pm and supper 5pm-10pm, closed Mondays. 2022 Telegraph Ave. at 21st St., 510-419-0622, Oakland.

Closures in the 510: Nan Yang, Yonsei Ramen Shop Takes a Break

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Nan Yang’s garlic noodles. Yelp photo by Ellen s.

A reader writes in to tell me the venerable ~NAN YANG~ (open since 1981, and the East Bay’s first Burmese restaurant) is closing on June 26th (although they may stay open through the end of the month). Chef Philip Chu—famed for his Burmese cuisine—is retiring. Regulars are sure to miss his signature ginger salad and garlic noodles. 6048 College Ave. at Claremont, Oakland, 510-655-3298.

Fans of the Friday night ~YONSEI RAMEN SHOP~ at Hopscotch in Oakland will want to note the pop-up is taking a break for the summer (according to a post on Chowhound) and won’t be back until the fall. Hopscotch will continue to keep extended hours (until 12am) on Fri-Sat. 1915 San Pablo Ave. at 19th St., Oakland, 510-788-6217.

Now Open in San Anselmo: M.H. Bread and Butter

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The tempting counter at M.H. Bread and Butter. Photo via Facebook.

Back in 2012, we mentioned ~M.H. BREAD AND BUTTER~ was opening in San Anselmo. Well, this café from co-owners Nathan Yanko (a baker formerly of Tartine) and Devon Crosby-Helms (a personal chef) is now open. In addition to the artisan baked breads is a menu (from chef Arielle Segal) with a variety of salads (like Bloomsdale spinach with roasted trout, new potatoes, pickled red onion, and mustard vinaigrette), summer squash soup, sandwiches (like marinated carrot and fennel with charred olive, harissa aioli, and poached egg), breakfast items, and pastries (hello aprium-frangipane brioche). There’s also an evening menu that kicks in at 4:30pm, with flatbreads, a nightly braise, and more. Look for some gluten-free and vegan baked goods too. Hours are Mon 7am-3pm, Sun and Wed-Thu 7am-7pm, Fri-Sat 7am-9pm, closed Tue. 556 San Anselmo Ave. at Magnolia, San Anselmo, 415-755-4575.

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the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Jun 18, 2013

(Sponsored): Score Discounted Tickets to CUESA's Summer Celebration on Sunday July 14th

For one night only the Ferry Building is transformed for a fabulous summer soirée: CUESA’s Summer Celebration. This year the focus is on the various “families” that have made the market a success over the years. Star chefs (like Lolinda, Central Kitchen, barbacco) and bartenders (Rye, Bourbon and Branch) will focus their palates and talents on six culinary families—berries, nightshades, grains and legumes, alliums, leaves and flowers, and of course stone fruits—creating original tastes that celebrate the height of the summer harvest.

Feast on unlimited food and drink while providing much-needed support for CUESA’s ongoing education initiatives, including free cooking demos, kitchen skill-building classes, Schoolyard to Market youth entrepreneurship program, and sustainability scholarships for farmers.

Purchase tickets from now until June 22nd to receive a special discount for tablehopper readers of $25 off each $125 ticket (so that means you only pay $100!).

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Jun 18, 2013

A Hardhat First Peek at Dogpatch Saloon

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The back bar area. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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A look at the interior. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

A report by Dana-Massey Todd. As noted in tablehopper, the ~DOGPATCH SALOON~ closed in February for renovations and an ownership change. The new owners are Sky Wegman, Chris Barry, Derek Jostad, and Marc Goldfine, the team behind 83 Proof. I had a chance to stop by today and chat with Wegman about their plans for the space. Construction has been a little slower than they were hoping, partially because the building is historic, and partially because of, well, construction.

In general, their goal is to get the space closer to its original look (the bar opened in 1913), so they’re undoing a lot of remodels that have been done over the hundred years the bar has been open. They’ve retiled the floor to approximate how it might have looked when it opened, cleared away some space around the windows to add some light, and restored as much of the original wood bar as possible. There’s an area in the back of the bar where church pews have been installed as banquettes, and a fireplace and skylight will anchor the different seating areas. They’ve also done extensive work with subway tile on the bathrooms, which were infamously icky in the past.

They don’t intend to make any major changes to the beverage program; they’d like to keep the spirit of a neighborhood watering hole as much as possible. That said, though, there will be some new spirits on the menu. Mostly, they’ll keep the selection smaller and well curated, with a small range of options. Drinks will be well mixed, but not too fussy. They’ll have a range of craft and local beers, as well. Oh, and Jazz on Sundays will remain. They won’t be serving any food out of the kitchen, though they are hoping to set up a takeout/delivery arrangement with one of the neighboring restaurants to keep boozehound munchies at bay. Right now, they’re hoping to open the first week of July, barring any delays. We’ll update you when there’s more info! 2496 3rd St. at 22nd St., 415-643-8592.

Cellarmaker Brewing Coming to SoMa This Fall

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Rendering of Cellarmaker Brewing Company by Stephen MacMillan via Facebook.

A report from Dana Massey-Todd. As previously mentioned in tablehopper, there is a team getting ready to open ~CELLARMAKER BREWING COMPANY~ in SoMa. The project is from a pair of Bay Area beer veterans, Connor Casey (of Marin Brewing and City Beer Store, plus Fritz Winery and Press Club) and brewer Tim Sciascia (previously Marin Brewing, and Samuel Adams before that). As Grub Street reported back in February, they’re looking to open in late July. They’re planning to have 12 beers on tap, with a focus on unusual and “fun” beers. Look for a variety of hoppy beers, Belgian-style saisons, and aged stouts. They’re big fans of barrel-aged beers and sours, so there will probably be lots of those choices, along with local and seasonal fruit beers. These guys are gluttons for variety, so they want to have new beers rotating through their taps every three to four weeks.

The space has 25-foot ceilings, which will hold the many barrels they’ll be using for their aged beers. They’ve got some renderings on their Facebook page that show a spare, industrial space with exposed brick and metal seating. While they won’t be offering food, they’re hoping to get a rotating group of food trucks on board to come by. Beers will be available in small pours, pints, and in growlers to go. They’re hoping to have construction complete in August so that they can start brewing and open around Labor Day, but that could change. 1150 Howard St. at 7th St.

On the Waterfront: America's Cup Sports Bar

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Rendering of America’s Cup Sports Bar.

The waterfront continues to ramp up for America’s Cup: opening July 4th is ~AMERICA’S CUP SPORTS BAR~ from Eric Rubin (Hog & Rocks, Tres Agaves) and Karl Hasz (Cyrus, Farina, Tres Agaves); Scott Beattie is the beverage director and will be running the cocktail program. What they’re calling “the world’s largest pop-up bar” will be taking up 12,000 square feet on Pier 27, with room for 500 guests. Not only will the races be continuously broadcast, but local sports games will also play on multiple screens. And in case you need a spot where you can pop Champagne, there will private lounge areas and event spaces too. Hours will be Sun-Thu 11am-10pm and Fri-Sat 11am-11pm, with weekend brunch (stand by for news about the food offering). Pier 27.

Now Open (S&R Lounge) and Closed (Et Al)

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Et Al interior. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

Now open at the Hotel Zetta is ~S&R LOUNGE~, the new hotel lobby bar we mentioned back in February. To recap: the cocktail menu and bar snacks come from Anna Weinberg, James Nicholas, and chef Jennifer Puccio (Marlowe, Park Tavern)—think pigs in a blanket and other American bites. There’s also a tech playroom upstairs, complete with a pool table, shuffleboard, gaming consoles, and other things to keep tech guys entertained. Next up is the restaurant, The Cavalier. 55 5th St. at Mission.

Was very sorry to hear that Ceri Smith’s ~ET AL~ on Polk Street has closed—her business partnership with Arnold Thoroughman is no longer (via Scoop). I had a chance to catch up with her, and while she is obviously disappointed, she has her sights now set on a couple of other projects. I’ll keep you posted on her plans. 2255 Polk St. at Green, 415-655-3155.

Birthdays and Anniversaries: 15 Romolo is 15, Balboa Cafe Celebrates 100 Years

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The bar at 15 Romolo. Photo from Facebook.

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The hopping Balboa Cafe. Photo by Paul Dyer courtesy Balboa Cafe.

North Beach bar and late-night dining savior ~15 ROMOLO~ is celebrating its 15th anniversary this month. Not only have they made a sweet video about the history, but they’ve also got some rockin’ parties lined up to celebrate from June 21st-23rd.

On Friday June 21st, join them to “Party Like It’s 1998” with guest bartenders and 1998-inspired cocktails and music. On Saturday June 22nd, catch the Picon Punch Revival from 4:30pm-8:30pm, complete with Basque appetizers and Picon Punch for $7. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and include one cocktail and passed appetizers. All day on Sunday June 23rd, catch lots of former bartenders and a list of their favorite cocktails, and raise a glass to 15 more fabulous years. And last but certainly not least, you can join the party with brunch on either Saturday June 22nd or Sunday June 23rd. The Dapper Diner, who holds the hard-earned title of Foursquare Mayor at 15 Romolo, will be collaborating with the chef to create a special brunch menu (psssst, it includes “fatted duck liver” available by charitable contribution to Share Our Strength). Reservations can be made by emailing the restaurant. 15 Romolo Pl. at Broadway, 415-398-1359.

The ~BALBOA CAFE~ is celebrating 100 years in operation this year, despite the fact that the sign over the doors says “Established 1914” (apparently the original owner was superstitious about the number 13). To commemorate the century of business, they’ll be throwing a party on Friday June 21st from 4pm-7pm. They’ll be slinging 100-cent Anchor Steam, festive cocktails in honor of their namesake (Balboa the explorer), and serving cake and bites. Gavin Newsom and Gordon Getty are also rumored to be planning to drop in. 3199 Fillmore St. at Greenwich, 415-921-3944.

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the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Jun 18, 2013

New Taste Marketplace in Potrero Saturday June 22nd

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The crowd at New Taste Marketplace. Photo courtesy New Taste.

Event Info

Saturday Jun 22, 2013
12pm–5pm
St. Gregory's
550 DeHaro St. at Mariposa

The next ~NEW TASTE MARKETPLACE~ is hitting Potrero this Saturday June 22nd from 12pm-5pm. The market is held at St. Gregory’s, and this time around, check out 30 different local vendors, including Brilliant Elixirs, Hella Lumpia, and Wooden Spoons. Almanac Brewing will be at the outdoor beer and wine garden, and proceeds benefit The Food Pantry at St. Gregory’s Church. 500 DeHaro St. at Mariposa.

Debuting at the Marketplace is a new project from the ~FROZEN KUHSTERD~ team, called ~SUGAR AND SPUN~. They’re offering cotton candy, spun using unrefined sugar with unexpected and locally sourced flavors. Look for a vanilla latte flavor with Four Barrel coffee, and a spiced mango with freeze-dried mango and a dusting of cayenne on top. Rockin’. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for news about upcoming sugary happenings and new flavors.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Jun 18, 2013

Highway to the Oyster Zone

Rocker ~Kenny Loggins~ of Top Gun soundtrack fame dined at Waterbar on Saturday night. He was with his ex-wife and their two children, and enjoyed the views of the Bay Lights and took pictures.

Veep at Left Bank

The left-leaning Vice President ~Joe Biden~ was at Left Bank Brasserie in Menlo Park on Saturday at lunch. He was in town attending Stanford’s graduation, with his family and whole security detail. Like a good politician, he worked the room after lunch, shaking hands and taking pictures with all the other diners.

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