October 22, 2013

October 22, 2013

Hot off the press, here are the winners of Michelin stars for 2014! Congrats to Quince, who moved up to two stars this year (now joining Atelier Crenn, Baumé, Benu, Coi, Manresa, and Saison), and to State Bird Provisions, which earned their first star. Alexander’s Steakhouse, Frances, La Costanera, and Redd lost their single stars, but I don’t think it will alter the demand to get into Frances one bit.

Three Stars
The French Laundry
The Restaurant at Meadowood

Two Stars
Atelier Crenn
Quince (new!)

One Star
All Spice
Auberge du Soleil
Campton Place
Chez TJ
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant
Gary Danko
Keiko à Nob Hill
La Folie
La Toque
Madrona Manor
Michael Mina
Plumed Horse
Sons & Daughters
State Bird Provisions (new!)
Terrapin Creek
The Village Pub

You can preorder the Michelin Guide San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country 2014 now (the book officially goes on sale October 23rd—and even better, you can walk into Green Apple Books and pick one up!).


The exterior of the former Charanga. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

I have been keeping in touch with Edward Sargent and Rodger Howell, the new owners of the former Charanga in the Mission, and they are finally ready to release some details about their plans for the space. The new project is going to be called ~CARSONS~ (Rodger’s dog is named Carson), and they are going to be serving British pub-style food with California flair. Matthew Nudelman from Greenburger’s in the Lower Haight is going to be designing the menu. Since they have a full liquor license, they will be also serving cocktails with fresh juices and fruit, plus some dessert cocktails as well.

The gents collaborated on the revamped Murio’s Trophy Room in the Upper Haight and have brought on the same design team, Haleh Cunningham and Bernadette Holmes of Thornbird Styling, to do the interior. Cunningham tells me that since it’s a Spanish Colonial building and the owners are two English guys, the look will reflect nods to both. The front foyer is going to be outfitted into a cozy nook, and once you pass through the old Victorian doorway, the restaurant will have a huge bar, with lots of seats, plus some bench seating and smaller tables for diners (there will be room for 50-60 guests total). The look will be eclectic, with custom and modern lighting, and since Sargent has quite the collection of midcentury chairs, the seating will be groovy, with clean lines. The brick wall and original wood floors will remain. Initial hours will probably be 2pm-2am. I’ll keep you posted on more details as the opening gets closer. 2351 Mission St. at 19th St.


The exterior of the future Bel. Photo from Facebook.

Liquor license activity reveals a new taker for the former Locavore space on Mission in Bernal: Richard Rosen, one of the partners are Pi Bar in the Mission. We had a chance to catch up with Rosen on the phone, and he confirms that he is working on the new spot. It will be called ~BEL~ and is all about Belgian food and beer. He says it will be a full-service café, inspired by the sidewalk cafés of cities like Brussels and Bruges. The beverage selection will focus on beers (obvs), many of them Belgian, but you’ll also find Belgian-style beers from other parts of the world, and some local options with different flavor profiles.

In the food department, look for traditional Belgian dishes like moules frites and a California take on the Belgian shrimp croquette, but made with local crab. Rosen will serve as the chef and is looking toward early spring 2014 to open. The building is quite old and needs some retrofitting, but once all that gets sorted they’ll be moving forward. We’ll keep you updated! 3215 Mission St. at Fair.


The counter at Saint Frank. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

A report by Dana Massey-Todd. On the heels of a pop-up at Public Bikes in South Park comes a new coffee spot on Polk Street, ~SAINT FRANK~. The owner is Kevin Bohlin, a former Ritual barista, whose aim is to make clear the origins of his coffee. Each day they’ll be pulling shots of two different espressos, giving real coffee aficionados a chance to try different farms’ beans side by side. Right now they’ve got “Little Brother” espresso from Honduras, and “Las Manos,” another Honduran option. Pour-over selections will change regularly. The beans are roasted by Ritual, in collaboration with Saint Frank and under their label, and are also available by the pound to take home. They’ve also got pastries from Marla Bakery, Le Marais, and Mr. Holmes, and a yogurt and granola parfait for munching.

The space is airy and modern, with machines custom-designed by John Ermacoff to sit lower in the counter, keeping the espresso bar more open at eye level. The goal of this design is to minimize the barrier between the barista and customer, and it gives the space a very modern feel. The soaring ceilings and multiple skylights don’t hurt, either. Behind the white hex-tiled counter is blond wood paneling; the tables are also made of blond wood. In front, a counter along the window makes for excellent Polk Street people watching. Hours are 7am-3pm this week, but will expand to 7am-7pm daily starting Monday October 28th. 2430 Polk St. at Union, no phone (yet).


Beignets and coffee at Spruce. Photo by Ed Anderson via Spruce.

~PROSPECT~ served their last brunch service on Sunday October 20th, in order to focus more on lunch service and dinner.

But never fear! You can still get your brunch on at ~SPRUCE~, which is starting brunch service on Sunday October 27th. Every Sunday from 10am-2pm you’ll find a menu that includes dishes to share, like beignets and coffee cake, plus blintzes, farro porridge, pain perdu, a French-style omelet, and of course the Spruce burger. Take a look at a sample menu here. Of course brunch beverages will also be served, including a Ramos fizz and Bloody Mary, along with coffee and espresso drinks.


The counter at Umami Burger. Yelp photo by SF G.

~UMAMI BURGER~ has opened a new location in SoMa near the ballpark, according to UrbanDaddy. It officially opened Wednesday October 16th, with their lineup of burgers and fries; check out the menu here. The beer list has five options on tap, including Stone IPA, Goose Island Matilda, and one rotating handle. There’s a bottle list of about 12 choices too. Wine includes four reds and four whites, plus one sparkler and a couple of sakes. Hours are Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. 242 King St. at 3rd St., 415-904-8626.

While walking around my neighborhood, I noticed ~SAFFRON GRILL~ is back open! It closed last December due to a fire, and after months of construction, it’s back, as colorful as ever. 1279 Fulton St. at Divisadero, 415-567-5100.

~BITTERS BOCK & RYE~, which opened back in March as a bar with snacks, has now started full dinner service according to Eater. The menu from chef Mark Goodger (previously of Front Porch) is focused on Southern classics and barbecue, including a Texas-style barbecue platter, sandwiches, and fried catfish; check out the full menu here. Right now, it’s just dinner (with late night hours on weekends until 1am, rock on), but lunch and brunch menus should be following soon. Kitchen hours are Mon-Wed 5pm-10pm, Thu-Fri 5pm-1am, Sat 10:30am-1am, Sun 10:30am-10pm. 1122 Post St. at Polk, 415-440-4490.

Scoop reports that Cow Hollow seafood spot ~NETTIE’S CRAB SHACK~ will be closing in December. Owner Annette Yang sold it to Anderson Pugash and Bruce McDonald of Bergerac, reportedly for personal and financial reasons. You’ve still got until December to enjoy their clam chowder, though. Best of luck to everyone involved! 2032 Union St. at Buchanan, 415-409-0300.


Daniel Patterson (left) and David Kinch.


Chef Daniel Boulud has a new cookbook, Daniel: My French Cuisine, and will be at the JCCSF talking about it on Sunday October 27th at 7pm. He’ll be joined by Chris Ying, the editor-in-chief of Lucky Peach. Tickets are $25 general admission, or $35 for premium seating. JCCSF members get 10 percent off the ticket price.

The JCCSF will also be hosting chefs David Kinch and Daniel Patterson in Conversation on Wednesday October 30th at 7pm. Both authors have recently released books, Kinch’s Manresa: An Edible Reflection and Patterson’s Coi: Stories and Recipes, and this should be a pretty cool opportunity to hear these two share their distinctly Bay Area food ethos. Tickets are $25 general admission, or $35 for premium seating. JCCSF members get 10 percent off the ticket price. 3200 California St. at Presidio, 415-292-1200.

Daniel Patterson will also be appearing all around town solo, starting on Monday November 18th with a dinner at ~COI~ in conjunction with Book Passage’s Cook with Books Series. He’ll be preparing recipes from the book, and discussing his approach to cooking, starting at 4:30pm. Tickets are $115 per person or $200 for a pair, including a copy of the book.

On Thursday December 5th, catch him at the Williams-Sonoma Union Square at 6pm, where he’ll be doing a book signing. The event is completely free and copies of the book will be available for purchase. 340 Post St. at Stockton, 415-362-9450.

Noma chef René Redzepi will be in town promoting his new three-part book, A Work in Progress: Journals, Recipes, and Snapshots. Don’t miss his talk at the Castro Theatre in conjunction with ~OMNIVORE BOOKS~ on Tuesday November 19th. Introducing him will be Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, who also wrote the introduction to the book. Rock! After the talk, Redzepi will be doing a book signing, as well. Tickets are $30 general admission or $65 including the book (it retails for $60). 429 Castro St. at Market, 415-282-4712.


The sushi counter at Kyu 2. Yelp photo by Brenda T.


Lithuanian honey cake. Photo from Mama Papa website.

There’s a new sushi spot in Emeryville: ~KYU 2 SUSHI~, according to Bites & Bourbon (via Berkeleyside Nosh). It’s now open, and Yelpers report lots of Japanese restaurant standards with reasonable prices. 6485 Hollis St. at 65th St., Emeryville, 510-735-9439.

East Bay Express reports that Korean mainstay ~SURA~ has closed. The good news is, it’s been sold to Micha Oh, the owner of Ohgane, and she plans to reopen it any day now. The new name will be ~COPAN~, and she has reportedly brought on chef Eddie Joo (a Momofuku Noodle Bar alum) to run the kitchen. 4869 Telegraph Ave. at 48th St., Oakland.

New York pizza chain ~ARTICHOKE BASILLE’S~ is coming to Berkeley. Berkeleyside Nosh reports that they’ll be opening before the end of the month, with New York-style slices and whole pies for dine in or takeout. 2590 Durant Ave. at Bowditch.

Berkeley Rep has opened a new bar that will be open after select performances at the theatre, the ~LAST CALL BAR~. According to Berkleyside Nosh, they are offering ticket holders free samples of food, spirits, beer, and wine from local purveyors. Check out current offerings from Trumer and TRU Vodka. Bravo, indeed! 2025 Addison St. at Shattuck, 510-647-2949.

Berkeleyside Nosh reports that ~TAKE FIVE CAFÉ~ is now open in South Berkeley. They’ve got Bicycle Coffee, locally made pastries, salads, and sandwiches. 3132 Sacramento St. at 67th St., Berkeley.

Hooray for another Eastern European restaurant in the Bay Area! ~MAMA PAPA LITHUANIA RESTAURANT AND TEA HOUSE~ is now open in Alameda, according to the Contra Costa Times. The owner, Vaidas Sukys, says that this is the only restaurant of its kind in Alameda, and his mother, Danute Sukiene, is the chef. Look for potato dumplings, crêpes both sweet and savory, and Lithuania’s honey cake, medutis. There is also a nice selection of teas; take a peek here. Open daily 11am-9pm. 1241 Park St. at San Antonio, Alameda, 510-522-4100.


The dining room at Hopmonk Novato. Photo from Facebook.

Mill Valley coffee institution ~LACOPPA~ closed on September 30th, and longtime owner Arnold Spinelli has handed it over to Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell at Equator. The new owners plan to keep the spot a hub and gathering place in the neighborhood, while serving the same responsibly sourced coffee found at their coffee bar. The new café is getting a remodel from architects Boor Bridges, and should reopen in January or February 2014 with more space, some new equipment, and additional bike parking. Starting in November, Russell and McDonnell hope to offer a limited menu from a cart out front, too, to keep the neighborhood buzzing. 2 Miller Ave. at Throckmorton.

~HOPMONK TAVERN~ in Novato is celebrating their one-year anniversary with a special beer dinner on Sunday November 3rd. Ninkasi Brewing Company from Eugene, Oregon, will be joining them for a five-course dinner with beer pairings. The menu for the evening includes a bacon- and brown sugar-crusted pork belly over potato risotto and stuffed squash, paired with Ninkasi’s Believer Double Red Ale. Tickets are $58 per person, including tax and tip (that price is not bad at all, no sir), and the dinner begins at 6pm. 224 Vintage Way at Highways 101 and 37, Novato, 415-892-6200.