August 9, 2016

August 9, 2016

Some of the swanky seating at Black Cat. Photo: Kelly Puleio.


A sampling of dishes. Photo: Kelly Puleio.


The downstairs revue stage. Photo: Kelly Puleio.

I’m always happy to hear about new venues offering live music, and this recently opened Tenderloin supper club, ~BLACK CAT~, has a dinner menu, cocktail lineup, and wine list that will get your attention as well. New York restaurateur Fritz Quattlebaum and local operations partner Khalid Mushasha (formerly Lolinda) have assembled quite a team for this project, including chef Ryan Cantwell (Zuni, Chez Panisse), bar manager Gabriel Lowe (Locanda, Beretta, and The Battery), and wine director Eugenio Jardim (formerly of Jardinière).

The modern supper club menu includes pan con tomate; two kinds of meatballs, latkes, and potpies; and a Black Cat double brisket patty melt with Munster, Swiss, and pickled and caramelized onions on Jewish rye. The Black Cat is also the only restaurant in San Francisco to carry oysters from The Marshall Store on Tomales Bay. There are cocktails, large-format low-ABV punches, and house sodas, and Jardim’s well-selected wine list includes 90 bottes, with many grower-producer Champagnes (view the wines by the glass here).

Craige Walters (Blackbird, Hecho) designed the two-level space, which has high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and a basement where you’ll find the revue stage, plus velvet-backed banquettes, cabaret tables, and eclectic seating and lighting; there are bars on both levels. Local artist Joe Keefe and photographs from nearby Jessica Silverman Gallery also contribute to the artsy décor.

Dinner nightly until 1am, and there’s a limited bar menu until 1:30am. You can come by for a drink and bites, or a full meal; you need to make reservations for the nightly shows downstairs. Brunch will launch later on. And for those of you who want to brush up on some history, you can read about the original Black Cat here, which played an important part in San Francisco’s gay and bohemian roots over the last century. 400 Eddy St. at Leavenworth, 415-358-1999.


Pizza at Adventure in Food and Wine. Photo via Facebook.

You’ll find a new wine and beer bar serving pizzas, flatbreads, salads, and small plates on 24th Street called ~ADVENTURE IN FOOD AND WINE~. The charcuterie and cheese plates look lovingly assembled! Open Mon-Thu 3pm-11pm and Fri-Sun 3pm-12am. 3331 24th St. at Bartlett, 628-444-3430.

~CENTRAL KITCHEN~ has launched its new menu and format, which includes family-style dining, more pasta dishes, and items from the new wood-burning hearth; take a look here. There were some updates and changes to the interior as well.

It was a damn shame that the vintage diner ~LAFAYETTE COFFEE SHOP~ was unceremoniously forced out of its long-standing Tenderloin location on Hyde back in March, but there’s good news: the owners have reopened in a new location on Larkin. You can once again get an affordable breakfast all day, plus their famed roast turkey on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and prime rib. Open daily 7am-10pm. 611 Larkin St. at Eddy, 415-441-4884.

There’s a new sandwich shop called ~STONER’S~ next to Philz in the Tenderloin, which is also serving bagel sandwiches and wraps. Sadly the humor stops at the name—nothing on the menu is very funny. I mean, come on, at least name a sandwich “The Dude.” Duuuuuude. Open Mon-Fri 6am-3pm and Sat 9am-3pm. 752 Van Ness Ave. at Eddy, 415-913-7753.

North Beach now has a Yucatecan joint called ~PANUCHOS~, serving poc chuc, panuchos, and cochinita pibil, plus some taqueria standards like quesadillas and burritos. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-3am. 620 Broadway at Grant Ave.

Fans of New Mexico Hatch chiles should know Mollie Stone’s Markets are hosting Hatch chile roasts again at rotating Bay Area locations—it all starts Sunday August 14th at the Castro market, 10am-2pm. (You can preorder if you want to be sure you get a bag.) Pro tip: this spice lover found the medium roast to be plenty hot! They let you taste test to decide how hot you wanna go. They make the best addition to a breakfast taco, and then there’s green chile pork stew, and and and…


The new Equator in SoMa, hanging out with a Frank Stella! Photo courtesy of Equator Coffees & Teas.

Marin-based Equator Coffees & Teas has opened a second San Francisco location (in SoMa) in a 8,700-square-foot public space, with floor-to-ceiling windows and three beautiful works of art by Frank Stella. You’ll find plenty of seating and community workspace too.

There are all kinds of espresso drinks (including shakeratos!), batch-brewed coffee, single-origin coffee, and teas. Or maybe you’d like a half bottle of wine or beer? You can get that too. Food options include grab-and-go sandwiches, salads by Urban Remedy, yogurt parfaits, quiches, and more.

This would also be a great time to give a shout-out to Equator for being named National Small Business of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Association, a first for a LGBT-certified company. [Fist bump.] Open Mon-Fri 7am-6pm. 222 2nd St. at Howard.


The former corner location of Nob Hill Grille. Yelp photo by Kevin Y.

Longtime star tablehopper intern Rebecca Kinney let us know the approachable and easygoing ~NOB HILL GRILLE~ has closed. According to a sign in the window, it said: “Thank you for your 10 years of support, it has been an amazing ride.” 969 Hyde St. at Pine, 415-474-5985.

Another sad chapter in the ~DREWES MEATS~ story, which was one of SF’s oldest butcher shops (more than 100 years old!): Inside Scoop reports the shop is closed and the owner is being evicted for nonpayment of rent. The property owner is hoping to find another tenant to run it as a butcher shop; fingers crossed, we shall see if someone can return it to its former glory. 1706 Church St. at Day, 415-821-0515.


It’s time for the Summer Picnic Party at the Marin French Cheese Company creamery. Photo courtesy of Marin French Cheese Company.

Whatcha doing this weekend? On Saturday August 13th, La Cocina is hosting La Lucha de La Cocina, a taquiza (i.e., taco party!) and lucha libre (yes, there will be pro masked wrestlers!) at Pier 70. The party runs from 3:30pm-10pm, with the lucha libre spectacle from 5pm-7pm. Since there won’t be the Street Food Fest this year, here’s your chance to taste $2 regional tacos, traditional Mexican antojitos, and more Latino treats and foods from La Cocina chefs and other partnering chefs—more than 20 in all! There is also a mezcal tasting arena courtesy of the Mezcalistas, cocktails, beer, art exhibitions, live music, Donald Trump piñatas (THWACK!), and a dance party following the main event. Tickets here.

As if ~BAR TARTINE~ chefs Nick Balla and Cortney Burns weren’t busy enough, they now have a second restaurant concept in the works, Motze (and FYI, there isn’t an update on the transformation of Bar Tartine into Crescent just yet). Since they don’t have a location for Motze just yet, they are going to be hosting a Monday night dinner series in the meantime, Motze Mondays. And no, it isn’t a spin on matzoh: the name is in honor of a fifth-century Chinese philosopher, Motze.

The family-style menu will include a range of bites like salmon belly in chrysanthemum sauce and black koji and flaxseed crackers with salmon roe, followed by larger dishes like chicken fat dumplings with egg and shiso, and eggplant with rye shoyu, plus some sweets (like quince steam cake). $58 per person (excluding tax and tip), beverages additional. 5:30pm-10pm. Reservations here or call 415-487-1600.

This gray weather is definitely depressing, so get out of town and enjoy a casual summer picnic—with cheese! Marin French Cheese Company is hosting their second annual Summer Picnic Party on Sunday August 21st from 11am-3pm. You’ll be hanging out on the scenic grounds surrounding the Marin French creamery, 10 miles west of Petaluma. There will be live music, interactive cheesemaking and beekeeping demos, artisan foods, local craft beers, wine, and plenty of local cheeses, charcuterie, jams, pork sliders from Devil’s Gulch Ranch, and more. The event is kid- and pet-friendly. Tickets are $12.50 (not including food and drinks).


Charcuterie, salads, and other options are fit for rosé all day on the patio at Grand Fare Market. Photo courtesy of Grand Fare Market.


The new indoor seating at Grand Fare Market. Photo courtesy of Grand Fare Market.

After abruptly closing for a reconcepting and remodel after just a couple months of business, ~GRAND FARE MARKET~ has reopened in Oakland with a new approach. Owners Doug Washington and Freya Prowe have simplified the experience, which now has guests ordering food and paying in one location—you can have your food brought to you at a table, or have it to go. Online ordering with curbside pickup and delivery is coming soon. Seating has also been added inside (50 seats), although now is the time to enjoy the beautiful garden patio (which also has new heat lamps).

Starting at 7am (daily), you can come by for Linea coffee and housemade pastries. The full menu starts later in the day and is available until 7pm (expect later hours soon). There are sandwiches like avocado toast with sesame seeds, pomegranate syrup, and Maldon sea salt on levain; a BLT with house-cured bacon, heirloom tomatoes, arugula, and basil aioli on grilled levain; and a porchetta number with chow chow and herb jus on rustic Italian. Salads include garden lettuces with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled onions, goat cheese crostini, and red wine-mustard vinaigrette; or spinach and chicken with pine nuts, currants, Point Reyes blue cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.

Small plates like creamy cauliflower mac and cheese with buttered bread crumbs or eggplant Parmesan with basil pesto are available, plus there are larger plates like polpettone meatloaf braised in savory tomato sauce with mashed potatoes, or salmon corn cakes with herb salad and basil aioli. Expect items off the rotisserie too.

You can also shop for an array of local and organic epicurean products, including Baia pasta, cheeses and housemade charcuterie, oysters, wine, and beer. There are also gorgeous floral bouquets and more at Freya Prowe’s Brother & Sisters Flower Shop (she has been producing floral design events for 20 years). Open Mon-Sat 7am-9pm and Sun 7am-8pm. 3265 Grand Ave. at Elwood, Oakland, 510-899-9610.

Quick name change alert: ~THE PASTA SHOP~ in Oakland and Berkeley (a Bay Area institution for nearly 30 years) is changing its name to Market Hall Foods, the parent company and e-commerce site. Signs are set to go up on Tuesday. There are no other changes—it’s the same great food and owners.

Another quick programming note: Off the Grid at the Emeryville Public Market will no longer be every Saturday afternoon—it’s going to become a monthly food truck festival on third Saturdays. This Saturday August 13th is the last weekly one, and Saturday August 20th will mark the start of the new programming, with a wider variety of food trucks, curated live music performances, and community partnerships. Look for children’s activities, local performers, and more.