Many of you know how obsessed I am with vintage San Francisco restaurant ephemera—I have a rather extensive collection of vintage menus, postcards, restaurant guides, and books, which I have started sharing on Instagram with the #tablehoppervintageseries hashtag. And my collection of tablehopper T-shirts highlight vintage SF restaurant and bar designs.
Since I was a little girl, I have been so fascinated with the Blue Fox. I remember my grandfather telling me about it and am so sorry I never had the chance to dine there before it closed after a 60-year run in 1993. I have collected a Blue Fox menu, matchbook, ashtray, drink tokens, and postcards, and have studied this pantheon of fine and Continental dining for years.
Many of you know that the location where Alfred’s is now, on Merchant and Kearny, was formerly the home of the Blue Fox! Alfred’s was originally on Vallejo Street (when it opened in 1928!), and then Broadway, and moved into the current location in 1997. Alfred’s has also held a special place in San Francisco diner hearts, from the recent Petri family years to now, with the respectfully updated version under the Daniel Patterson Group.
On Friday May 12th, I am hosting a dinner I have wanted to host for a long time. It will be an homage to both the Blue Fox and Alfred’s, to times gone by, and to San Francisco and Northern California history. We are partnering with Anchor Distilling Co. and Robert Mondavi Winery this evening, so there will also be a dash of Italian American heritage in this meal as well.
We will be celebrating in the Owl ‘n Turtle private dining room downstairs, complete with a white baby grand piano that Frank Sinatra reputedly played on. We’re going to enjoy listening to Eric Shifrin playing standards throughout the evening, from Hoagy Carmichael to classic songs Frank would have sung. You may recognize Eric from playing at the Fairmont!
It is a great honor to be partnering with Anchor Distilling Co. on this event, our local and beloved distillery! For our reception (beginning at 6pm), guests can enjoy a martini or Martinez—we will be featuring Junípero gin, Old Tom gin, and the very special pot-distilled Old Potrero 18th Century whiskey this evening. (Just wait until you see the vintage bar downstairs.)
Our wine partner for the evening is one of the greats: Robert Mondavi Winery. I was determined to partner with a storied Napa Valley producer for this event, someone you would have seen on the Blue Fox’s and Alfred’s wine lists, and am beyond thrilled we will be pairing wines from this legendary winery and pioneer. A winemaker or veteran wine educator from the property will join the dinner to share the deep Robert Mondavi Winery history and speak to the wines.
Now, the menu! This is a very special creation, which integrates original Blue Fox and Alfred’s dishes and recipes I tracked down! We’re integrating some new touches as well, thanks to chef Bryan Baker.
First Course antipasto roasted red pepper, pickled celery, crispy artichokes, garbanzo beans, olives, avocado, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fresh herbs Paired with Robert Mondavi Winery fumé blanc reserve
Second Course scampi alla Livornese Paired with Robert Mondavi Winery Carneros reserve chardonnay
Third Course spinach gnocchi, spring onion, peas, beef sugo Paired with Robert Mondavi Winery pinot noir
Fourth Course roasted filet mignon, asparagus, red wine demiglace Paired with Robert Mondavi Winery reserve cabernet sauvignon
Fifth Course baked Alaska Paired with Robert Mondavi Winery Moscato d’Oro
Please note we will be finalizing the vintages and selections in coming days. Expect something very special, especially with the cabernet selection.
This is not a night you’ll want to miss. It’s going to be a very only-in-San Francisco kind of night. Cocktail attire…start planning your swank vintage outfit now!
The event is $175, inclusive of tax and gratuity—get your ticket here. Your ticket price also includes a tablehopper Blue Fox T-shirt (there is the option to upgrade to an ultra-plush Blue Fox hoodie/sweatshirt instead, ticket price is $190). Thanks to our partners and host, we are able to offer this very unique experience at this special cost (grazie Alfred’s, Anchor Distilling Co., and Robert Mondavi Winery!).
When booking your reservation, please specify any guests you want to be seated with. We are going to have 5 tables of 10.
I also want to note that, as many of you may know, Alfred’s suffered an unfortunate basement fire a couple of weeks ago. They assure me they are going to be reopening within a week—they’re just cleaning up the smoke damage and fixing the electrical issues—and definitely in time for our dinner. See you May 12th!
There’s a reason Alfred’s is beloved for their steaks—they do it right (and have been doing so for almost 90 years!). Photo by Alanna Hale.
Friday May 12, 2017 6pm reception (dinner until 10pm) $175–$190 Tickets Alfred's 659 Merchant St. at Kearny, San Francisco