table of contents   This week's tablehopper: social graces.

the chatterbox
the word on the street
the regular
it's about time we met
the wino
in vino veritas

the socialite
the matchmaker
let's get it on
the starlet
no photos please

the sponsor
this round is on me

Retail West


JUNE 5, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO I already know my life is quite charmed (and I hope to keep it that way), but this past weekend was definitely extra-special. My sis finally returned from Australia, just in time for my cousin’s fab Italian wedding on Saturday—we feasted on arancine (fried rice balls with cheese, ham, and peas) and other treats at the reception, like tender gnocchi (I also got to try some fava bean ravioli, mamma mia) at Mezzaluna, our family friends’ restaurant in Princeton By the Sea.

Sunday we visited our Calabrese friend Dominic Muzzi’s farm in San Gregorio—he’s the one who does that incredible corn maze each year. Dad, sis, and I hand picked some rapini (man, was my Monday night dinner of sausage and tender, garlicky greens sheer heaven) and also left with fresh peas, favas, and the most exquisite strawberries, called Chandeliers. (You can buy direct from Dominic at his farm: 950 La Honda Road, just east of the San Gregorio Store—follow the strawberry signs.) We then scooted north to Sam’s Chowder House for my first-ever clambake—the checkered table was overflowing with clams, mussels, Maine lobsters, andouille sausage, potato, and corn. Add some crusty bread and a glass of Txomin Etxaniz and we were set. (Ends up you can host your own clambake there as a private event—how’s that for a swell party idea?)

This week is shaping up to be pretty fab (going to try Essencia tonight, Wednesday is the Uncorked Events party, Thursday my friends are cooking a swell dinner, Friday I rock out to LCD Soundsystem, and Saturday is the Golden Glass—check it out in the socialite! On Sunday, the tablehopper needs to do some yoga. And chill out.

Hey, want to win a pair of tickets to the StarChefs Gala on June 19? You know the drill: to enter, first, you have to be a tablehopper subscriber, and second, you have to forward the tablehopper newsletter to at least five pals—just be sure to cc luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com on the email so I know you forwarded it to five folks. (Their emails will stay private—I just need to keep track of how many folks you forwarded it to.) The deadline to enter is by midnight, on Thursday, June 7. I will be randomly drawing the winner and will email you to let you know you’ve won on Friday, June 8.

Lastly, this week marks round two of the wino pieces on corkage. I am also launching the matchmaker, a section with classifieds ads for the restaurant and bar industry. If you’re interested in learning more about running a classified ad, you know where to find me—just reply to this email!

Hoppingly yours,

~Marcia (rhymes with Garcia) subscribe

the chatterbox
Retail WestJUNE 5, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO I’ve always has a soft spot for Buca Giovanni in North Beach—it was the site of one of my earlier childhood dining memories, and I tasted rabbit for the very first time there. (No Thumper trauma here.) Anyway, I was very excited to find out that by mid-July, it will be opening as ~LA TRAPPE~, named after a Dutch Trappist brewery, and the only Trappist beer produced outside of Belgium. That hopefully gave you a hint about what is going to be going on here. Let’s just say that beer will be served, Belgian and Trappist beers to be exact, with pub-style food sporting some continental flair and designed to pair with the brews, like coq au vin cooked with wine and Belgian ale; braise of short ribs with cherry Belgian beer reduction, served with potato cakes and vegetable du jour; mussels and fries with a variety of sauces, like butter, wine, and garlic, or curried with lemongrass, or with a tomato-based bouillabaisse sauce, plus hand-cut fries with dipping sauces. The chef is Darrell Simon, who has cooked in NYC, Baltimore, and Louisiana—look for some touches of old-style Creole on a few dishes.

Partners in the venture are Mike Azzalini, whose family has owned the building since his great-grandfather bought it in 1928, and John Lawton. (Three generations of Azzalinis have also worked at Liguria Bakery—how’s that for some SF provenance?) For those who can recall the Buca Giovanni space, the upstairs will now have windows on the Mason Street side, and will feel really open, with lots of seating and an Art Nouveau look. Downstairs will have a fountain, and the curved ceiling will be dramatically lit. Groups will be able to plunk themselves into a pew (which will be the seating at the larger tables) and there will be a loungier vibe, with hopes for acoustic music and DJs down the road. La Trappe will be open for evenings to start, but eventually the plan is to be open continuously from 7am-10pm, and until midnight on the weekends. Breakfast, brunch, and lunch will be coming, with smoked meats, fish, crepes, and Belgian waffles on the brunch tip, and all-day pub grub like fish ‘n’ chips, curries, BIG burgers, sandwiches, and artisanal pizzas for lunch. 800 Greenwich at Mason, San Francisco.

A few blocks away, the now-shuttered ~AVENUE G~ space is now on the sales block, with $350k as the asking price. 1570 Stockton St. at Union.

And now for a round up of changes to existing places around town:

The classic “neighborhoodie” ~REX CAFÉ~ just reopened last Friday after a ten-day remodel, and has a new chef on board: executive chef John Pauley, who hails from the fancy La Folie across the street—he was there for more than eight years, starting as a sous and then worked his way up to chef de cuisine. Pauley is taking a break from four-style style, and is having fun with the menu he has crafted for Rex Café, whose style he is currently calling San Francisco contemporary cuisine. The menu is designed to be easy to pick and choose from, with many smaller plates, and is arranged from lighter to heavier dishes, starting with beet carpaccio ($7) and an Asian-inspired tuna tartare ($10), and then in the fun camp (or should I say fat camp?), you’ll find a catfish corndog ($8) and a twist on chicken and waffles: Southern-fried poussin with a Belgian waffle ($12). There are dishes like rock shrimp linguine ($11) with a fresh pea tarragon sauce and Parmesan, while the most expensive dish is baked scallop ($18) in puff pastry. The winning brunch, however, is staying exactly the same. The remodel included refinishing the floor and fresh paint on the ceiling and walls. Banquettes were added throughout, the bar was gutted and enlarged, and the top of the bar was refinished—overall the restaurant now feels more open and welcoming. 2323 Polk St., at Green, 415-441-2244.

There have been some major changes to the menu at ~JACK FALSTAFF~—executive chef Jonnatan Leiva has constructed an appealing new menu that is sure to make a number of people happy (and hungry). Overall, the style is a lot more laid-back and graze-friendly, with Leiva adding some raw and charcuterie selections, like Pacific halibut with ruby red grapefruit, mint, horseradish, chives, and local Delta asparagus; and house-cured duck breast with pickled wild ramps and baby arugula. There are also some pasta options in half or full portions, and some wicked-sounding sides, like duck fat fries, and braised kale with guanciale. Mains include cassoulet with duck leg confit, butter beans, pork belly, and a poached egg (meowza!), and there’s even an ahi dish I’d consider ordering: pan-roasted with Catalan-style spinach, sweet peas, and saffron soubise. Leiva’s focus on seasonality is still front and center, but the menu has broken out of the standard “choose one appetizer and your main course” format. Definitely one to check out. 598 Second St. at Brannan, 415-836-9239.

Over in lower Potrero/China Basin, ~THEE PARKSIDE~  recently got a new owner, Malia Spanyol of Pops Bar in the Mission, and now has a new chef: Cynthia Morrison, who was at Universal Café for two-plus years. Morrison is totally revamping the menu, adding a local/fresh/organic approach with some American and Southern flair. The new menu just started last week, with offerings like hand-dredged buttermilk fried chicken with house-made pickles, and smoky pulled pork quesadilla. There is a curry cauliflower fritter that is part samosa and part pakora, with a cilantro verde sauce, and it’s both vegetarian and vegan-friendly—Morrison says there will always be a few vegetarian and vegan options. There are also nightly bar menu specials, with grilled items like chicken and burgers. Charcuterie is in the works, and they even use local meats, and butcher in-house. The “It’s a Free Country Sunday” all-you-can-eat BBQ (it ranges from $6-$10, depending on what’s being served) is going strong, with quality meats to go along the free music. Come July, Thee Parkside will be open for lunch, with a to-go window for local businesses. (They are hiring for all kinds of positions if you’re interested.) 1600 17th St. at Wisconsin, 415-252-1330.

For those wondering what Nick Fasanella (previously of Nick’s Crispy Tacos and Nicky’s Pizzeria Rustica) has been up to, he’s been a consulting GM at ~TORTILLA HEIGHTS~. He’s made some good changes, too: the kitchen is now using Niman Ranch meats (makes for some killer carne asada) and Fulton Valley Ranch chicken, the margaritas are now made with fresh-squeezed lime (no mix here), and there’s almost an entirely new (and well-trained) staff. I had a chance to swing by last week, and was happy to see crispy tacos “Nick’s Way,” plus his awesome Baja-style tacos are on the menu (three for $12.50). There’s also the “street treat” with mango, orange, and jicama with chile and lime. Perfect spot if you’re looking for a place for groups of 12 or more—they have some generous fiesta menus ($15-$21 per person). I’ll be back for “heads or tails Tuesday,” when you flip for your meal. The buckets of beers are also pretty spiffy. 1750 Divisadero St. at Bush, 415-346-4531.

Some unexpected changes are happening at ~MECCA~, which had a kitchen fire towards the end of service on Sunday night. The fire department responded extremely quickly, but let’s just say the dining room’s velvets and leathers are not quite going to be the same. So the restaurant is taking this opportunity to close, renovate and redesign, and plans on a grand reopening in hopefully a couple weeks. I’ll have more details in next week’s installment. 2029 Market St. at Dolores, 415-621-7000

Some news in Maktub land: chef ~DAVID BAZIRGAN~, who has been at Baraka for a bit, will be the opening chef for Jocelyn Bulow’s new Chez Papa Downtown, which is gunning for a Labor Day opening. It made me wonder how this is affecting the gastropub project, Baz, that he was slated to be doing with Sean and Isabel Manchester (of WISH Bar and Mighty). Ends up the western SoMa location the Manchesters were hoping would be the site of the restaurant unfortunately fell through. So while they keep scouting for a location, Bazirgan will continue working with the Maktub Group. Will let you know what develops, naturally!

As for ~BARAKA~, it seems it’s no longer for sale. In fact, Maktub just hired a new chef, Chad Newton—he is formerly from Boston, where he was at Spire with the Kimpton Group, and at Postrio while in SF. He just started a couple weeks ago—I will keep you posted on any menu changes. 288 Connecticut St. at 18th St., 415-255-0387.

One Maktub spot that does seem to be up for sale is ~SUTRA RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE~, unless I am totally reading this listing wrong, which is possible.

Another ever-growing empire is Charles Phan’s—he will be opening another ~OUT THE DOOR~ concept in the Fillmore neighborhood by early fall, right across from the Unitarian church for those of you who pay attention to details like that. The space was formerly a silk flower store, and was originally a firehouse—it’s supposed to be quite stunning. The current status of the space is “in the middle of permit hell,” but it may end up having 50 seats, or perhaps a little more. The Vietnamese menu is still in development, but an interesting component of this specific project will be what to pair with the dishes—it looks like the Slanted Door’s precedent of having no Californian wines on the list may now expand to include some local wines, as long as they make the flavor-profile cut. Another potential offering is the range of take-home cooking kits may be expanded (Have you ever tried them? The daikon rice cakes rock. Hard.) and takeout will also be readily available. 2232 Bush St. at Fillmore.

Opening this Wednesday for lunch and dinner is the long awaited ~FARINA~ on 18th Street. This Genovese/Ligurian restaurant under executive chef Paolo Laboa is downright snazzy, with room for 90 guests and a private dining room on the second floor, and outdoor seating to boot. However, they won’t be accepting reservations until the 18th—they are trying to start things off slowly. Release the focaccia. 3562 18th Street at Dearborn, between Valencia and Guerrero.

I just noticed Bar Crudo and Globe are now on ~OPENTABLE.COM~.

Hey, some of you have expressed curiosity about the ~TASTE3~ conference I attended last month up at COPIA. Ends up some of the amazing 20-minute talks have been posted on the site. Take a peek and see what interests you—the ones from Ben Roche of Moto in Chicago, the honeybee expert, and the wine fraud expert, David Molyneux-Berry, were three of my faves. 

And folks, the ~WHITE BOOT BRIGADE~, an awesome group of New Orleans-area sustainable shrimpers, is coming to the Bay Area this week and doing demos all over town—you can try the brown shrimp at various Kimpton restaurants, and the brigade will be at Williams Sonoma AND the Golden Glass on Saturday. Definitely try to catch one of their demos.

Got a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just reply to this email!

the regular


3665 Sacramento St.
Cross: Spruce St.
San Francisco, CA 94118


Lunch Tue-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10pm

Apps $7-$12
Entrées $16-$26
Desserts $5-$8


Retail West

JUNE 5, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO The City is full of hidden and tucked-away restaurants. One of my favorite late-night haunts is the subterranean Ryoko’s; there’s Bix, down its lonesome jazzy alley, and don’t forget Chez Spencer, an industrial cool Frenchie oasis on a gritty stretch of 14th Street. And then there's ~SOCIALE~, a nice restaurant that’s actually hidden off an even nicer street (so don’t worry, no one is going to hotwire or key the Beemer).

You feel like an (upscale) alley cat, slinking down the flower-laden alley to an enclosed Euro-style courtyard, which is a primo spot for an alfresco lunch, especially if you are there with your mom—it’s beyond ideal for mom lunches. The c-u-t-e patio is outfitted with umbrellas and heat lamps, making it quite a cozy spot for dinner, even on a typical rainy/foggy/misty/my hair is getting frizzy night.

The interior of the intimate dining room is warm and well appointed in a way that would make a WASPy in-law proud, with cheerful red and white striped banquettes (complete with a little circus dog in the fabric), while the white tablecloths signal refinement. The lighting is flattering, and the room, while lively, isn’t loud. Service is knowledgeable on a variety of subjects and gracious, just like a good debutante.

Tables are filled with (mostly) moneyed couples on dates, both young and polished and photo-ready for Gentry Magazine (Peninsula edition), or a bit older and from the neighborhood. I also saw a young couple out with her parents (it looked like the guy got along with his in-laws, good going, dude), and there were a few tables of ladies out to indulge with their gal pals. It’s all so, uh, pleasant. Which is exactly what makes this place ideal for functions like family dinners, when the aunt is in town, for first, second, or third dates, and where to take your prissy friend from Nashville (or Walnut Creek). It would also be a primo location for a bridal rehearsal dinner buyout.

Speaking of dates, there are dishes for two offered on the weekend (monogram not included), but I also saw plenty of solo diners perched at the back bar, and some strangers sitting together at the tall communal table with room for six, seated on the high stools.

Executive chef Tia Harrison is now a partner in the restaurant, and has put together a rustic Italianate menu with a sprinkling of some spunky flavor pairings. Almost everyone starts with the classic dish of fried olives ($7), salty and juicy green olives that are breaded and stuffed with oozing, molten Fontina cheese. Even the “ladies who lunch” indulge in these puppies—the fried olive tractor beam really is that strong.

Harrison also has some decadent duck meatballs ($10) on the menu, resting in a smooth sauce of tomato with undertones of sweet cherry from dried cherry mostarda. The meatballs were served a tad lukewarm, and I missed the juiciness you get from pork in meatballs, but the gaminess of the duck with the cherry was a good pairing.

Okay, vegetarians, the asparagus lasagna ($17) is for you, but you know what? It was so good it was totally for me, too. A large square features layers of fresh pasta, asparagus, and spinach, plus a cheese-a-rama of béchamel, ricotta, and aged provolone, and is topped with a nicely browned layer of Grana Padano, plus a roasted tomato. It was a little crusty on the edges too, just the way good cheesy pasta should be. Purr.

There are four other pasta dishes, including pappardelle ($18) with braised duck, porcinis, and peas that was sadly doused with truffle oil, overwhelming the dish. That damned truffle oil, when will she leave the City for good? Brazen hussy, messing up dishes up all over town. I wish her pimp would just retire her, she is seriously tired.

We tried the whole roasted branzino, a special that night—you also get the option of having it de-boned for you after they present it. Uh, yes please. I love the simplicity of a perfectly roasted fish with lemon and olive oil. It came with a tasty parchment paper present (For me, really? You shouldn’t have!) stuffed with leeks, cherry tomatoes, and Yukon Golds—however the leeks were stringy and the potatoes needed a serious salting. What was on pointe was the juicy brick chicken ($20), which comes de-boned and with a crispy exterior, plus smoky pancetta and red chard. Killer, that chicken. Buh-wok.

There is a strong focus on local and organic ingredients, especially regarding the meats, but a few items were out of step with the season, like the tomato soup, or the cherry tomatoes in the veggie parchment package (this was in April).

All the desserts are house made, and my spoon was at one with the jiggly wiggly vanilla bean pannacotta ($7)—it comes with candied kumquat on the side, and where Harrison adds her fun little twist is the drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, plus a hit of black pepper. Exquisite play of flavors. The coffee and doughnuts ($8) with the decadent espresso milkshake didn’t totally turn my crank—the concept is cute but the doughnuts were a little too chewy. I leave the donuts to Bob’s on Polk.

Co-owner and GM David Nichols really has a passione for Italian wine. The list has some lovely and special selections (there are also a few Cali wines here and there) but overall all that special-ness translates to a list that can veer on the spendy side. Be prepared to splurge on the good stuff, you will be tempted. Your wineglass is primed here, something you may know from Maverick (Michael Pierce, the GM/wine director/co-owner of Maverick was part of the opening team at Sociale).

A fun component to the by-the-glass program (there are 19) is most are also offered at a 3 oz. or 6 oz. pour, so you can actually pair to your courses without averaging $9 or $10 a glass, if you are so inclined and not so loaded. There is also a nice half-bottle selection for those who don’t want a full vino commitment. Although that nice girl you bought here for dinner might want a full commitment of another kind.

the sponsor

Retail West

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No matter what stage you are at in your project development, and no matter what your idea or budget is, let’s talk about it. Call Rob Kashian direct at 415-292-2690 or email  

the wino



To Cork or Not to Cork by Gillian Ballance

Gillian Ballance, wine director for the PlumpJack Group, views the selection and enjoyment of wine in a manner entirely in keeping with the philosophy that inspired the original PlumpJack Wine Store: expertise without pretense, with an emphasis on the fun and excitement of exploration and discovery. Ballance believes that the job of the wine director is "to keep the list interesting, with fun, new wines for guests to try and for the staff to learn about.”

There has been so much debate lately about bringing wines into restaurants. As Wine Director for PlumpJack Group, I am constantly barraged with questions on this subject. Though there is no "right" answer to this debate, I do feel that I can put forth some coherent thoughts on the matters surrounding the topic, and perhaps offer a little bit of sound advice to the consumer on the best way to bring wine to a restaurant.

Let me start off by saying that the number of wines being brought to restaurants has tripled in the last ten years, having a definite impact on a restaurant’s bottom line. I feel that there are a number of reasons for this: the prices of wines in restaurants can be exorbitant, as some restaurateurs will mark wines up from the wholesale or retail prices as many as three or four times. As consumption increases (by 2010 the US will lead all other countries in wine consumption), so does pricing awareness. Consumers may think that they are being taken advantage of. On the contrary, the margin on markups goes to support the restaurant’s bottom line, as well as buying stemware, wine education for staff, wine storage, and other components of running a wine program.

What many PlumpJack guests don't realize is that our markup on wines is only 1.7–2 times the bottle cost, which is usually only $5–$10 above retail. This supports PlumpJack’s core ideology that consumers should learn about wines in a friendly, helpful atmosphere, where they could feel free to ask questions, where the selection is large and the prices fair, and where, in homage to the store’s Shakespearean namesake, wine is once more associated with the spirit of fun and adventure.

With increased consumption comes more internet purchasing and savvier wine collectors. Most people who collect wine use the dining occasion to share their cellar with friends and loved ones. It may just so happen that people who began collecting 10 or 20 years ago have beautifully cellared and aged wines that many restaurants can no longer afford to have. For many, especially in the Bay Area, the expense of running a restaurant is at an all-time high due to city initiatives such as the minimum wage increase, paid sick leave requirement, and mandatory healthcare ordinance, to name a few. Gone are the days of being able to buy wines from classic regions and hold them until they are ready. There are several great wine lists in the city that do offer amazing selections of older wines, but in many instances, they are priced way beyond average spending limits.

In defense of the restaurants, many are staffed with one to four sommeliers whom are dedicated to providing a memorable wine and food experience which, along with the ambiance, must all be outstandingly coordinated and played out like a symphony. It is an arduous task and ever-evolving process to fuse a wine list and menu together. Each year provides new sets of challenges for wine selection. Vintages change, wineries are sold to big companies, new labels appear everyday, and it is the job of the sommelier to tailor-fit your experience and provide you with the best of the best.

When bringing in wine to a restaurant, you should do so because you’d like to enjoy a special bottle, one you’ve been saving, or to enjoy something not on the wine list—not to save some money on your end. First and foremost, check that it is not already on the list. If there is a special bottle or two that you want to bring to a restaurant, why not help support the loss of wine revenue (which provides around 40% of the restaurant’s income) and purchase a wine from the list? You may find that some places will often waive a corkage fee when you also purchase a bottle.

Several months ago, there was heated debate about some restaurants over not allowing people to bring wine in, or charging an enormous fee. I can see their logic, but I don't agree. After all, are you promoting wine consumption, or not?
the socialite


Golden Glass
Sat., June 9, 2007

Fort Mason
Herbst Pavilion
San Francisco, CA



media 1pm-2pm
public 2pm-6pm

$45 for Slow Food members

includes entrance to Golden Glass event, engraved wine glass, and Terra Madre book

JUNE 5, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO The fourth annual ~GOLDEN GLASS~ wine event is coming up, a lively gastronomic and educational event that brings a line-up of Italy’s most talked-about wines to the Bay Area’s press, trade, Slow Food members, and general public. The Golden Glass, a fundraiser for Slow Food USA, is organized by Slow Food San Francisco, under the direction of Lorenzo Scarpone, convivium leader and founder.

In keeping with the Slow Food movement’s goals of encouraging biodiversity and the continuity of local traditions and products, the 2007 Golden Glass event will highlight Italian wine producers who strive to protect, nurture, and revive the indigenous and classic Italian varieties. The wine tasting will feature a number of these rare, indigenous varieties, alongside emerging newcomers and familiar favorites, from distinct regions all across Italy.

Slow Food SF has invited local Californian and Italian artisanal producers to complement the wines with savory culinary delights and sweet treats. Participating restaurants and producers for this year’s event will include (in alphabetical order) Acquerello, A16, Bacco, Blue Bottle Coffee, Bodega Goat Farms, Café Rouge, Chez Panisse, Delfina, Emporio Rulli, Foreign Cinema, Gelato Massimo, Harley Farms Goat Diary, Il Boccalone/Incanto, La Ciccia, Michael Mina, Miette Patisserie, Perbacco, Picco, Quince, Slanted Door, Stella Cadente Olive Oil, Swanton Berry, and many more.

There is also a gala dinner on Sunday, June 10, at Perbacco Restaurant, with cocktails at 6pm, and dinner following at 6:30pm. Take a look at the menu at the link above. Cost will $100 per person. Seating is limited and on a first come, first serve basis, so please reserve ASAP at 230 California St. at Front, 415-955-0663.


Champagne Feast
Sat., June 16, 2007

Scott Howard
500 Jackson St.
Cross: Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA 94133



$185 per person, including gratuity


JUNE 5, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO This event feels almost custom-made for me: Jerry Horn, AKA Dr. Champagne of Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant (he just wrote this wino piece last week on corkage) is hosting a ~CHAMPAGNE FEAST AT SCOTT HOWARD~ for 25 guests. The dinner includes five courses of Scott’s fully loaded cuisine, paired up with five fab Frenchie shampoos. There are about ten spaces left (which are rapidly filling up) so I’d reserve a spot sooner rather than later.

Here’s the deeeelish menu:

Course One: Trio of Fish: Ahi Tartare–scallions, avocado; Hamachi Crudo–pickled cucumber, curried mayonnaise, ponzu, herbs; Smoked Trout–truffled egg salad, crostini, herbs, with Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs Millesime 1998 Mesnil-sur-Oger.

Course Two: Duck Confit Salad–frisee, soft egg, pancetta vinaigrette, with Deutz Blanc de Blancs Millesime 2000 Ay.

Course Three: Wild Mushroom Risotto, smoked bacon, Madeira jus, with Jean Vesselle Rose de Saignee 100% Bouzy Pinot Noir.

Course Four: Lamb Loin–braised greens, spring onion, truffled jus, king trumpets, with Pol Roger Brut Rose 1999 Epernay.

Course Five: Selection of Artisanal Cheese or Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta–olive oil, sea salt, fresh berries, with Billecart Salmon Brut Rose NV Mareuil-sur-Ay.

Payment is required in advance to reserve your seat(s). Sorry, no credit cards. Please mail your check ASAP to: Jerry Horn/Dr. Champagne, 60 Corte Ortega #10, Greenbrae, CA, 94904. Wines featured this evening will be available, modestly priced, for delivery at a later date. Questions? Email him direct at


StarChefs Gala
Tue., June 19, 2007

Westin St. Francis
335 Powell St.
Cross: Geary St.
San Francisco, CA



$95 per person
$85 for tablehopper readers
$150 VIP

Purchase tickets
or call 212-966-3775

JUNE 5, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Coming up is the ~STARCHEFS.COM SAN FRANCISCO RISING STARS GALA~—a walk-around tasting event showcasing San Francisco’s hottest culinary talent complete with wine pairings, Champagne, and cocktails.

The event is a walk-around tasting gala featuring two signature dishes from each chef, as well as premium wine pairings, spirits, and entertainment. tablehopper readers get $10 off the $95 ticket price—simply enter “table10” as your code. VIP tickets are $150 and include a pre-Gala Champagne and caviar reception featuring Nicolas Feuillatte 1997 Palmes d’Or Champagne.

The StarChefs 2007 San Francisco Rising Stars include Chef Nate Appleman of A16, Chef Jennifer Biesty of Coco500, Chef Mark Dommen of One Market, Chef James Syhabout of Plumpjack Café, Chef Mourad Lahlou of Aziza, Chef Jonah Oakden of The Blue Plate, Chef Seiji Wakabayashi of Bushi Tei, Pastry Chef Belinda Leong of Gary Danko, Pastry Chef Nicole Krasinski of Rubicon, Hotel Chef Peter Rudolph of Campton Place, Sommelier Becky Swenson of Delfina, Sommelier Michael Garcia of XYZ at the W Hotel, Bar Chef Jonny Raglin of Absinthe, Sustainability Award Chef Laurence Jossel of NOPA, and Host Chef Thomas Rimpel of Westin St. Francis. The Mentor award winner, selected personally by the San Francisco Rising Stars winners and candidates, will be announced the night of the Gala. 
the matchmaker


Spruce Restaurant accepting Kitchen and Dining Room resumes for opening

Spruce restaurant, the newest restaurant of the Bacchus Management Group and the sister restaurant of The Village Pub in Woodside, is accepting Kitchen resumes for the late July opening. Spruce is located at 3640 Sacramento St. in Presidio Heights.

We seek dedicated and experienced candidates that are inspired by food and technique for the following positions:

Prep Cook
Line Cook
Garde Manger (Pantry) Cooks
Pastry Cooks

We seek professional candidates that are inspired and committed to hospitality for the following positions:

Dining Room:

Please send your resume to and good luck in your search. We look forward to meeting you. Be sure to tell us you saw the ad on tablehopper!


Laïola is hiring for ALL POSITIONS
A new Cal-Spanish restaurant from the guys behind Frisson and Executive Chef Mark Denham, is opening soon at 2031 Chestnut St. (at Fillmore).

We will be accepting resumes for all positions, including prep cook, line cook, dishwasher, busser, server, bartender, and food runner.

You can swing by 2031 Chestnut St. Mon-Fri from 11am-3pm. Please bring your resume and references that demonstrate your experience in restaurant/hospitality excellence. There is no email in response to this notice—we want to see you in person. Thanks, we look forward to meeting you. Be sure to tell us you saw the ad on tablehopper!

the starlet

JUNE 5, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Francis Ford Coppola came into Presidio Social Club for dinner, accompanied by his wife and two younger folks.  He ate the Sloppy Joe, but with artichoke instead of fries (I should follow his example). The cute chocolate cupcakes were also spotted at the table.