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This week's tablehopper: what's the hops?

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It’s meat pie weather! With pork belly, snails, and a suet crust (you can handle it). At Cockscomb. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Oooh, rainy day! Windy! Drama! Love it. I’m actually heading out in this mess for an invite I couldn’t turn down: a tasting of Masi Agricola wines (with Raffaele Boscaini) paired with dry-aged beef from Flannery Beef at Perbacco. I know, right? Golden. My weekend is starting early.

Which is why today’s issue is a shorty. Tuesday’s practically crushed us over here anyway. But Heather Irwin has a bunch of catch-up 707 news for us, I hope you get inspired to take a road trip or day trip soon—it’s such a great time of year to hang out in Wine Country.

So it’s officially SF Beer Week, but for those of you who fancy a cocktail this weekend instead, we have just one ticket left on Sosh for the tablehopper North Beach cocktail crawl with Anchor Distilling this Saturday evening. We’re starting early: 5:30pm at the new Devil’s Acre, and then heading to Comstock Saloon and 15 Romolo (we’ll also have some tasty food for you at the two latter locations!). I am rerunning the event announcement today so you can check out all the tasty details—based on the RSVP list, I already know it’s going to be a fun group. Because, hello, we’re talking about tablehopper readers. Duh.

In case you’re mulling over Valentine’s Day options, here’s our post in case you missed it on Tuesday. And here are a couple of fun pop-ups this Saturday: Shorty Goldstein’s starts their series of appearances at the CUESA farmers market at the Ferry Building, and Press 12 is popping up at Four Barrel. Both worth going out in the rain for.

One more tidbit: I have my monthly post on 7x7.com for you on five new places to check out this month in case you need a quick cheat sheet of what’s new in town. Good stuff.

See you Tuesday.
Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Feb 6, 2015

Get the Last Ticket to the tablehopper North Beach Cocktail Crawl This Saturday Evening, with Anchor Distilling Company!

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Okay, so this exact cocktail isn’t on our tour, but it should still make you thirsty. Photo courtesy of Anchor Distilling Company.

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There is just one ticket left for the tablehopper cocktail crawl through North Beach with Anchor Distilling Company this Saturday February 7th! We’re kicking things off early at 5:30pm, so you can still raise Cain later in the evening if you’re so inclined (we should be all wrapped up by 8:15pm or so). I was originally calling this a “winter warmer,” and since that groundhog gave us six more weeks of winter and we have a rainy weekend (yay), I’d say the name is on point. Let’s get our heat on!

We’re going to start the progressive night at the brand-new Devil’s Acre, where we’ll kick things off with a classic SF cocktail, Pisco Punch, made with BarSol Pisco. Then it’ll be time to scoot across Columbus to Comstock Saloon, where we can snack on their fab pimento cheese while they prepare another classic, the Martinez, made with Anchor Distilling Old Tom gin and Luxardo maraschino. And to keep you from getting hungry (hello, this is a tablehopper tour), we’ll be served pot roast poutine by chef Ronnie New. Oh yeah.

All aboard, it’s time for the last stop: 15 Romolo, where we’ll sit down for further savory munchies (mushroom flatbread) and their Sioux City Milk Punch made with Old Potrero whiskey. I know this is a Barbary Coast kind of night, but you don’t think I’d be uncivilized and leave you without dessert, do you? It’s time for some boozy Luxardo Amaretto di Saschira bread pudding!

The whole evening is just $65, all-inclusive (I KNOW), and the fine folks at Anchor Distilling will be sending you home with a gift bag! Sweet. There will also be a quick educational component at each stop, talking about the history of the drinks, spirits, and places we’re visiting.

You can purchase tickets on Sosh—but like I said, there is only one left! There will be 20 of us total, with plenty of solo attendees, so don’t be shy! And I repeat, it’s just $65. (To be clear: any additional cocktails are your responsibility. And for goddess’s sake, you better take a cab.)

We’re meeting at the first stop, Devil’s Acre, at 5:30pm: 256 Columbus Ave. at Broadway. Don’t be late! I look forward to seeing you there. Let’s raise our glass—filled three times with quality spirits from Anchor Distilling Company’s portfolio—to some great North Beach destinations together. Cheers!

Saturday Feb 7, 2015 – Saturday Feb 7, 2015
5:30pm–8:15pm or so
$65
more info

707 scout

Wine Country Buzz (it’s what happens there)
Feb 6, 2015

Napa's Atlas Social, Single Thread Farms, Evangeline Opens

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Roasted carrots at Atlas Social. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

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Angry shrimp at Atlas Social in Napa. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.

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Ricotta dumplings at Atlas Social in Napa. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.

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Chocolate and cherry budino at Atlas Social in Napa. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.

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Atlas Social in Napa recently opened in the downtown area. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.

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Kyle and Katina Connaughton will open Single Thread Farms restaurant and inn next fall in Healdsburg. Photo courtesy of Kyle and Katina Connaughton.

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The exterior of Evangeline. Photo: Chloe Jackman.

By 707 correspondent Heather Irwin. Sign up for the BiteClub Newsletter.

I love a restaurant that says what it is and is what it says. The newly opened ~ATLAS SOCIAL~ in downtown Napa is exactly what it sounds like—a vibrant gastrohub for mixing, mingling, and plate-sharing. And when we say social, we mean that you’ll run into at least four people you know on the way to your communal table, where you’ll meet six more people you don’t. The restaurant is owned by local restaurateurs Michael Gyetvan and Christina Rivera (Norman Rose Tavern, Azzurro Pizzeria), who’ve partnered with exec chef Nick Ritchie and GM Pat Jeffries. The idea behind the small plates/big flavors restaurant is to, well, be social and share. Stingy eaters, you’ve been warned.

On a recent night, where “standing-room only” was a euphemism for “packed like sardines,” ordering came easy after seeing the flurry of plates land on the tables around us. Yes to the herb-leaf fries with Meyer lemon aioli, Dungeness crab toast, and the charcuterie plate. Yes to the ricotta dumplings with smoked mozzarella, “angry” shrimp, and braised pork belly tacos. Nope to the twice-fried Brussels sprouts, especially after smelling them go by our table several times. Dagnabbit to the mini rabbit potpie that arrived at a nearby table just as we ordered dessert. Fortunately, the chocolate budino with cherries and bee pollen more than made up for whatever else we didn’t order.

Plates range from $6-$18, with larger platters (for a crowd) between $34 and $42. The wine list is two well-curated pages, ranging from nicely priced local wines ($32) to higher-end cabs ($65-$70, plus a couple of pricier wines). So grab a glass, a seat, and a plate and get social in Napa. 1124 First St., Napa, 707-258-2583.

Even more news from Healdsburg: Superstar chef Kyle Connaughton and his farmer wife will be opening a Michelin-worthy restaurant this fall. Several months ago, rumors began buzzing with the news that a top-notch chef may be moving into winemaker Pete Seghesio’s newly constructed Healdsburg Meat Co. at 131 North St.

Turns out the grapevine was surprisingly accurate. This week it was announced that Connaughton and his wife, Katina, will open ~SINGLE THREAD FARMS~ restaurant and inn inside the space later this year. Seghesio’s butchery and a small tasting room for his Journeyman wines will occupy part of the first floor. They will also produce wine inside the Single Thread dining room in a glass-enclosed fermentation tank, making it the country’s smallest licensed winery.

“We really hoped to create a culinary showcase for the area with (this) building and we can’t think of a better pairing than the Connaughtons,” said Pete Seghesio. “They represent the essence of the modern food movement.”

The forthcoming 55-seat restaurant will offer an “experience” that includes personalized tours of the restaurant’s rooftop garden and greenhouse, an 11-course meal, California-centric wine pairings, lush decor, and the option to stay in one of the space’s five suites while being pampered and indulged throughout the evening.

Following a fine-dining trend that’s proved popular from Chicago to Los Angeles and New York, diners will purchase tickets (running about $200 per person) for the meal in advance. Kyle, who spent many years cooking in Japan, compares the luxe dining concept to “omotenashi,” which is a heightened sense of hospitality and anticipation of a guest’s every need.

Katina, who is an experienced culinary gardener, will manage a five-acre farm near Healdsburg, which will drive the menu almost entirely. Also enamored with Japanese culinary techniques, she embraces an ancient farming technique that breaks seasons into 72 five-day farming cycles, known in the expanding culinary farm-to-table cuisine as micro-seasons.

Kyle hasn’t given much detail on the dishes he’ll be serving, but he says they will be uniquely Sonoma County, with influences from his time in Japan, modernist cuisine inspired by his stint at England’s Fat Duck, and the traditional French cooking of Michel Bras. “We’re bringing together farm-driven cooking with innovation,” he said. Sonoma County is about to have a new Michelin-star contender.

Elsewhere, Ralph Tingle of the iconic ~BISTRO RALPH~ in Healdsburg wants you to know he’s not going anywhere soon. In fact, he’s opening a new barbecue restaurant at the former CK House Chinese (1525 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg) later this year.

Tingle told BiteClub that Bistro Ralph is still for sale, but it’s business as usual at the restaurant (meaning chicken livers for everyone!). The new space will have a mesquite grill, an outdoor beer garden, and live entertainment. “I’m excited to get all wrapped up in a new project,” said Tingle.

Nearby, Charcuterie has closed, and so far there’s no word on a buyer for the shuttered location. Also, Healdsburg’s 1950s-style eatery, Center Street Cafe & Deli, has closed temporarily— the owners of KIN Restaurant in Windsor will be taking over. The former Frank and Ernie’s steakhouse has reopened as Wild Flowers Saloon, and The Blackbird Cafe & Soda Fountain has replaced Snowbunny, with an expanded menu of panini, bagelwiches, and giant soft pretzels.

Just in time for Fat Tuesday, Michelin-starred chef Brandon Sharp is opening ~EVANGELINE~, a French-Creole-inspired bistro in Calistoga. The space, at 1226 Washington Street, has seen several restaurants come and go, but it was purchased last spring by Sharp’s employers at ~SOLAGE CALISTOGA~ resort. In the interim, the historic brick building, with its much-coveted patio space, underwent extensive renovation.

What we’re stoked about is the menu: classic French meets New Orleans Creole. Expect comfort dishes like poulet grand-mere and gumbo ya ya, along with Sharp’s own Croque Marin, which is a croque-madame with millionaire’s bacon (bacon cooked with brown sugar, black pepper, and cayenne).

The 2,000-square-foot space will include eight taps for wine, five taps for NorCal beers, and a cocktail program featuring NOLA-inspired drinks. Expect to pay around $15-$27 for entrées, with lunch and dinner service. Sharp, who is VP of culinary ops for Solage Hotels and Resorts, will act as the restaurant’s managing partner, while Solage vet Gustavo Rios will handle the daily ops. Sasan Nayeri, formerly of Terra in St. Helena, will be sommelier. 11am-9pm daily. 1226 Washington St., Calistoga.

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