table of contents This week's tablehopper: all spruced up.

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

the socialite
the starlet
no photos please

the matchmaker
let's get it on

the sponsor
this round is on me


Kevin Koss

OCTOBER 30, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Guess whose birthday it is this week? Yes, yours truly, and I am looking forward to celebrating with my cute family on Thursday—break out the pink bubbles. When I was younger, each year my parents would ask me where I wanted to go for my birthday dinner, which is how I managed to experience Alain Rondelli, Boulevard, Postrio, and Hawthorne Lane back in my twenties. I’d practically spend the entire year plotting my birthday destination. My, how things have changed, because all I want to do on my birthday now is have a nice home-cooked meal! Hello tri-tip steak, oven-roasted potatoes, and black magic cake!

So, it’s time to get serious. Actually, Sirius, because I’ll be on the Martha Stewart Living Today show with Kerry Nolan this Friday at noon (Pacific time)! And yes, I will watch my mouth. For those of you who want to listen in (hi mom!), you can get a free three-day trial here.

Lastly, the open-mic memorial for Enrico Banducci at Enrico’s on Sunday was quite the scene, with a fair amount of folks with “Banducci” on their nametags, and packed with a motley crew of politicos, ex-dancers, singers, Italian dudes, and other assorted Broadway weathered types out to represent. Fab fashions were in full effect, from aquamarine suits to a Jack La Lanne-type in a tank top to “cute little dog as accessory.” Everyone involved with the restaurant was quite relieved with the Chronicle review, which came out the same day. The new digs look great—I’m looking forward to catching dinner and a show with Veronica Klaus on an upcoming Tuesday this month. Pictured at left are new owner Christina Deeb (AKA hostess with mostess) and her brother, Michael.

Cheers, babies!

~Marcia subscribe
the chatterbox
The Chocolate Adventure Recipe ContestOCTOBER 30, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO While Michelle Mah’s new project can’t be talked about yet (stand by!), taking her place at ~PONZU~ is Bob Petzold, 32, the former chef de cuisine of Gerald Hirigoyen’s Bocadillos for the past four years. He also worked at Piperade and La Folie. Petzold spent seven years in Asia as a young’un, and recently returned from a two-month Southeast Asia trip. He’s excited to launch a new menu at the beginning of the year, showcasing Asian flavors, discoveries, and dishes he’s passionate about. 401 Taylor St. at Geary, 415-775-7979.

After 27 years in business, ~BRANDY HO’S~ of North Beach is opening a new location in the Castro, in the former Khun Phoa space. The restaurant space has been totally gutted, and will have 50 seats, with take-out and delivery too. The North Beach locationís tradition of home-style and fresh Hunan made with little oil and no MSG will continue, with the new, and interesting, addition of Blue Bottle Coffee on the premises. In case you were wondering about the name (I always have), one of the Ho brothers was named Brandy—there you have it. Look for an opening around November 18 or so. Open 11:30am–11pm Sun–Wed, 11:30am–midnight Thu–Sat. 4068 18th St. at Castro, 415-252-8000.

Remember the brazen ~PURSE-SNATCHER~ who was hitting a bunch of SF restaurants earlier this year, and was finally nabbed? Well, she just got sentenced to four years in the clink—here’s more on her sentencing from ABC.

Does anyone have any idea about this place across from the Thirsty Bear and a few doors down from the Gold Club? (No, I was not there “catching a show.”) The applicant is ~“Fang”~ and the small space has an open kitchen and simple décor. 660 Howard St. at 2nd.

Also in SOMA is a new place to taste and purchase wine called ~TERROIR NATURAL WINE MERCHANT~, featuring organic and biodynamic wines made with non-interventional winemaking techniques—you won’t find any over-extracted or over-oaked vinos here. This is the first wine shop of its kind on the West Coast, with 120 bottles of natural wines from France, Slovenia, Greece, Italy, and Argentina (well, by the time Friday’s shipment comes in). There’s a bar with room for 15, plus a larger table on the mezzanine. You can taste from a changing selection of a sparkling wine and four whites or reds (there are wine flights available as well), or choose a bottle and just pay the $12 corkage and enjoy that retail pricing. There is only one display bottle for each wine, and the rest are kept at 57 degrees. There are bites as well, like salumi from Fra’ Mani, and foie gras and rillettes from Chez Spencer. Look for some other nibbles coming soon from Gerald Hirigoyen of Piperade and Bocadillos. Partners are Luc Ertoran (a server from Fringale, Piperade, Oola, and COCO500, and his uncle is incidentally chef Hirigoyen, lucky dog), Dagan Ministero (he’s worked at EOS, Foreign Cinema, and Chez Spencer), and Guilhaume Gerard (he’s also worked at Chez Spencer). The late hours make this an ideal spot to pick up a bottle or two when Safeway on Friday night at 11pm is just not gonna cut it. Open 10am–12am Sun–Thu, and 10am–2am Fri–Sat. 1116 Folsom St. at 7th, 415-558-9946.

Missionites, you now have a new brunch spot to add to your roster: ~ANDALU~ is serving a “large plate” weekend brunch from 10:30am–2:30pm on Sat–Sun. To let the healing begin, everyone starts with free donut holes (gotta love that), and you can share pitchers of Old Bay Bloody Marys or the Andalu Charger, a spiked citrus punch with fresh mint. The menu includes a variety of scrambles, including an all-you-can-eat version with Cambozola fondue (take that, arteries!), plus some Benedicts, corned beef hash, and the Butcher’s Shop, which has all kinds of meaty sides, including three kinds bacon (regular, spiced, or sweet). 3198 16th St. at Albion, 415-621-2211.

Some openings (and false starts) to report:

No burgers for you yet! ~HORIZON~ hit a snag with their liquor license, so the opening date got pushed. Everyone involved in the project is hoping for an opening sometime soon in November, but no new date has been set yet. 498 Broadway St. at Kearny, 415-576-1118.

~1300 ON FILLMORE~ did in fact open according to plan (and neighboring Yoshi’s has its grand opening coming up on November 28). Dinner nightly 5pm–11pm, with brunch and lunch later on. 1300 Fillmore St. at Eddy, 415-771-7100.

I checked it out, and ~ROOSEVELT’S TAMALE PARLOR~ is slated to reopen today with the new owners who are formerly of Don Pico’s and Pancho Villa. 2817 24th St. at York, 415-824-2600.

And now, for some events!

The annual ~WILD GAME WEEK~ at the Big 4 at the Huntington Hotel is back November 6–10. It’s your chance to eat meaty items like wild boar “carnitas” enchiladas, pancetta-crusted tenderloin of Himalayan yak, plus elk, caribou, and perhaps some other obscure meats that will allow you to say “yeah, I tried that, it tastes like chicken!” The Huntington Hotel, 1075 California St., 415-345-2826.

~A. SABELLA’S~ closes its doors on Sunday, November 4, and will be hosting an auction on Tuesday, November 13. On the block will be its equipment, furniture, and fine wines, including some back vintages of great California reds, like Shafer Hillside Select, Chateau Montelena, and Opus One, plus a case of 1990 Château Latour. The sale of the fine wines begins at 10am, and the restaurant and bar equipment will be auctioned off at 1pm. 2766 Taylor St. at Jefferson on the 3rd floor, 415-771-4413.

Boozehounds, it’s time for you to get schooled! Bourbon & Branch has launched ~THE BEVERAGE ACADEMY~, offering classes on gin (“From bathtubs and back alleys to the upper class”), tequila (“The spirit of Mexico”), Scotch whiskey (Whisky Confidential—learn about the good times and bad times of “the water of life”), and my personal fave, whiskey (“American Whiskey and the Art of the Manhattan”). Beverage Academy Classes take place in the Library at Bourbon & Branch, and are limited to 16 participants. All cocktail-making tools and ingredients are provided, and will usually last for two hours with a 15-minute break in the middle. But alas, it seems most of the 16-person classes are already sold out? I think a December 3 gin class has been added, check out the site. Sorry, no idea how much the classes are, I couldn’t quite figure that detail out.

Last Monday I took a break from my usual writing exile, and trucked on over to Citizen Cake for an industry daytime party featuring drinks from local bartenders and bites from local chefs all made with ~AMBER LIQUEUR~—the whole place smelled like a lovely pancake drenched in maple syrup. I gotta hand it to Jackie Patterson of Le Colonial, her AmberJack totally kicked me into fall, with its notes of apple vodka and Calvados. You will find some of the drinks highlighted at the party on cocktail lists at Le Colonial, Perbacco, Chaya, Citizen Cake, and Jack Falstaff—there’s also the aptly named Relapse at Cantina, but I’m not sure it’s on the menu.

There’s the monthly cocktail competition next Monday, November 5, at ~RYE~, featuring local mixologists competing with their best concoctions made with Gosling’s Rum. No cover, and there will be Gosling’s drink specials—not sure about any bites, those sometimes appear too. Starts at 7pm. 688 Geary St. at Leavenworth, 415-786-7803.

In other bar news, I’ve been tracking this for a month and never get a call back, so let’s just say I’ve heard the folks behind Harry’s Bar on Fillmore and Bruno’s in the Mission are reportedly the ones who bought the legendary ~C. BOBBY’S OWL TREE~. One source told me the place is going to be totally gutted and revamped—not sure what’s in store, but it doesn’t sound like much owl-y kitsch will be remaining. Sigh—the end of an era. 601 Post St. at Taylor.

And for the winos, ~BACAR~, is holding their third “Sommelier Supper” on Sunday, November 11, in the jazz lounge, bacar below, at 7pm. $55 sans tax and tip. 448 Brannan St., between 3rd and 4th, 415-904-4100.

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

the sponsor


Ever wonder how you can catapult your kitchen prowess—or your love of chocolate—into culinary celebrity?
Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker and TuttiFoodie want to give you a chance—via The Chocolate Adventure Recipe Contest. Create a recipe using dark chocolate (62% to 99% cacao) plus at least one adventure ingredient. Submit your recipe by December 1, 2007, and let the judges do the rest.  
And while you’re brainstorming your chocolate creation, why not sign up for TuttiFoodie? Be one of the first 25 tablehopper subscribers to sign up for this charming (and free) insider e-column about food and you’ll win a small basket of premium, hand-harvested Ilocano sea salt. Remember: you must type “tablehopper” as your promo code on the sign-up page to be eligible to win.

fresh meat

Pic from Spruce—mine sucked.

3640 Sacramento St.
Cross: Spruce St.
San Francisco, CA 94118


Mon–Fri 11:30am–2:30pm
Nightly 5pm–10pm

Apps $9–$18
Entrées $22–$36
Desserts $9


OCTOBER 30, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Excuse me while I finish polishing my shoes, ironing my shirt, and applying my favorite Dior red lipstick (yes, the bastards have discontinued the color already). Newsflash: there is a new restaurant in San Francisco that you’ll actually want to spiff up a little for, and there’s nary a tasting menu in sight. In the rampant jean-ification of our city (and no, it doesn’t matter if they cost you $250), I find it refreshing to have the opportunity to get a little gussied up to go out to dine, and yet it’s not for some $$$$$ dégustation dining experience.

People were waiting months, no, years, for ~SPRUCE~ to open up in a former 1930s-auto barn in Presidio Heights. If I were to classify the restaurant as a car now, I’d say it’s a Jaguar all the way. Classic and refined, with fab upholstery, some vroom under the hood, a snazzy sound system, and a custom travel bar in the trunk.

The entire project spells ka-ching: there’s a cozy library room with a fireplace in the front, a Carrara marble bar inside flanked by a pair of commanding modern paintings, a vaulted industrial ceiling, sexy lighting, lots of saddle leather. Even the limestone at the entrance is reclaimed from a French church. And this is just the first impression—wait until you crack that tome of a wine list open.

You might need to while away a little time at the bar until your table is ready since people tend to want to linger in the dining room (blame it on the charming loveseats). Then again, the bar is a worthy destination in and of itself. While I find the bar chairs a little cumbersome for the oft-crowded space, I sure do like ’em when it’s my heinie that’s planted in one of them. There are some additional tables tucked in the bar area, total HQ for canoodling and slightly tipsy couples.

The glimmering top shelf, bottom shelf, and everything in between here is a thing of beauty—if you’re a fan of spirits, swing on by for an evening of sipping (but don’t forget your credit card). Spruce even got to choose their own barrel of aged bourbon (“One Barrel Whiskey”) from the Old Rip Van Winkle distillery—try finding that anywhere.

The overall look of the well-appointed dining room is a bit WASP-y for my taste (the designer is Stephen Brady of Williams-Sonoma Home), but it’s definitely comfortable, mixing in luxe touches like mohair, fine linens, and nubby faux ostrich-skin leather upholstery on chairs I could sit in for hours. The funky charcoal pictures on the wall add some personality, as does the iPod-fueled music, ranging from David Gray to Stan Getz jazzy numbers to some rockier tracks. My favorite time here is the early evening, when the light is still streaming through the skylight—it’s dreamy.

Executive chef Mark Sullivan has made his way north from the much-adored Village Pub in Woodside, another upscale restaurant in the Bacchus Management Group portfolio. Sullivan’s menu is definitely seasonally driven, and balances a relaxed Cal-Med sensibility (chicken, shelling beans, gnocchi) with refined Frenchie elements, like gastriques, foie gras, and a bordelaise sauce. High-end meets hearty/rustic by way of refined, I’d say, with nothing too outré. Perhaps the concept is best encapsulated in the duality of the duck fat fries…

Some starters that stood out to me were the refreshing watermelon and arugula salad with cured sardines ($10), which felt like a cousin to the watermelon salad I dug at Fatty Crab in New York, balancing salty with sweet; and the foie gras ($18), smooth and decadent. I tried the spearmint and harvest greens ravioli ($13) twice, and perhaps it’s my Italian upbringing that makes me want more of a creamy filling and less greens and pasta from these nouveau-style pillows.

Whenever I see boudin blanc, I order it. (Even if I’m just out for dessert.) A very supple boudin blanc is on the bar menu ($10), but you can also order it in the dining room, and you should. Heck, order it to-go too—it’s my favorite thing on the menu. I need to do a taste test between Spruce’s and Terzo’s to determine which one has my heart—it might be a draw.

Other standouts on the bar menu include an array of house-cured charcuterie, and a perfectly formed burger ($12), with a smooth yet fluffy texture, and cooked to a sublime medium rare. Juicy! Meaty! Meow! Yes, I loved it. Damn that burger.

Just the other night I ordered it to-go over the phone, parked out front, and trotted into the adjacent café to pick it up. I thought I’d only eat half of it when I got it home. Uh, no. Sorry, that did not happen. All my will dissolved by the second bite. And hello remoulade with the meaty fries—I felt like I was in Europe.

Small detail: the kitchen is really into pickling, from the pickled zucchini and onions that come with the burger to the sauerkraut with the boudin blanc. The restaurant gets so much produce from their SMIP Ranch that it forces the kitchen to deal with seasonal overflow cleverly (so if they’re sending you home with a clump of radishes, now you know why).

Spruce’s take-out café menu is designed for these nights when you want to eat well at home, but aren’t quite up for cooking something fab. My interlude with my take-out burger was integral to one of my treasured single girl nights at home, when I pop open a 375ml bottle of something red and call it a petite party. (This particular night my partner in 375ml crime was the ripe and cherry-riffic Dry Creek Vineyard 2004 Heritage Zinfandel—man, I need a case of the stuff.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… I have been poured some fantastic wines on each visit. The number of wines by the glass and half-bottle makes you want to try, try, try, and spend, spend, spend. Old World heaven (release the rieslings!), and some mighty fine West Coast choices too. You won’t believe the wine storage area in the back, it’s about as sexy as the window of Costume National, Prada, and Agent Provocateur all rolled into one. How much is that bubbly in the window? The one with the waggley tail? Yes, it will make you covet. I’d say someone is gunning for a Michelin star next year.

Ah, yes, to the mains. One friend had the Maine lobster ($36), buttery bites that were cooked perfectly (hallelujah), with tender gnocchi. I enjoyed the albacore ($28) on one visit, but wasn’t completely sold on the accompanying chanterelles and corn as the holy trinity for this dish.

The slow-roasted beef short rib ($27) didn’t rock me—I appreciate the amount of work that goes into it, but the texture was almost like a glorified pot roast; I did like the pairing of the kicky horseradish soubise, a clever spin on a classic sauce you don’t see on many menus. The charred pork tenderloin ($26) with a slab of crispy pork belly is the ultimate way to pork out, served on a homey bed of shelling beans.

There are nine mains in all, a selection that covers the lighter (broiled sea bass and tabbouleh) to the indulgent (duck breast and foie gras). Sullivan’s style is more about being satisfying than showy. So while some of the dishes might not make me say, “whoa, hold the phone, like, wow!” many make me say, “mmmm, that’s really nice.”

Care for some sweets, sweetie? You know I had to have the brandied cherry soda float (all desserts $9), elegantly poured tableside like some other presentations here (you’ll also flirt with amuses, and palate-cleansing intermezzos, too). The white chocolate dessert is enough to make me reconsider white chocolate all together, and I now see it as something that can actually have merit—the fluffy marshmallow-sized dollops of white chocolate crème paired with a hazelnut cake and creamy coffee ice cream was irresistible.

Speaking of irresistible, there is some mighty fine-looking staff here (there is actually a flotilla of wait staff), starting with some hotties in the kitchen (be sure to take a look through a window on the way to the ladies room), to the lads behind the bar, and working the floor. Oh, and in the café. And the valets are cute. Talk about cougar heaven.

I liked observing the overall service style, treading the line between professional yet unstuffy. A lot of things here are about that balance of being nice, but not too too here: the food, the style, the vibe… The restaurant whispers, “indulge, but have fun doing it.”

The crowd is mostly a mix of the moneyed, from architect types to homo patrol to size-two fillies in shift dresses giggling with their boyfriends in finance, with a smattering of industry folks and the date-less and some characters hanging out at the swank bar.

Spruce is an optimal place for a business lunch during the week, an early dinner with the parents, and of course, date night. Trying to score a reservation in the next month? I’d say let Table Stalker hunt one for you.

I have to hand it to the folks behind this project—to open an establishment of this caliber shows a particular vision, commitment, and a real love of restaurants (and yes, access to some serious funds). I’ve said before, it’s the most important restaurant opening in the City this year, and I look forward to seeing it evolve. Spruce is going to fit into the dining scene here like a favorite cashmere sweater. It’s important to have a gracious restaurant where you can also play backgammon. I’m already plotting my next visit to the bar for more bourbon and boudin blanc.

the sponsor

Kevin Koss

Dreaming of a new home in the “Gourmet Ghetto?” (With a great kitchen, of course.) Or are you thinking about selling? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a real estate agent who “gets” you? Kevin Koss of Alain Pinel Realtors can not only show you fantastic homes, but he can also tell you where to eat in the neighborhood you’re considering. (Hey, not every real estate agent has a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, and an extensive background working in restaurants.)

Give Kevin a call, and he’ll meet you for coffee (Ritual?), and if you buy or sell a home with him, Kevin just might cook you up a gourmet meal to celebrate. Talk about an incentive!

You can reach Kevin at 415-814-6685 or email him at

the wino


OCTOBER 30, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Mon Histoire d’Amour with Bordeaux by Raphael Knapp

Raphael Knapp is a French Wine Importer based in the SF Bay Area. He and his partner, Bernard Bouchet, created International Vineyards four years ago. Their intention was to find small, authentic producers, and bring them to the test of the California palate. You can check out Raphael’s wine blog, which focuses mostly on French wines, “bien sur…!”

In my numerous encounters in the wine business, I am often asked the question: “What is your favorite wine region?” Although this question seems a bit simplistic, I have to say that I enjoy answering it, as it awakens all of this passion. And the answer is… Bordeaux!

Bordeaux is huge (7,000 chateaux), and can sometimes be intimidating. But it can easily be simplified. In fact, you can divide it by two: the Left Bank (mostly cabernet on gravel), and the Right Bank (mostly merlot on clay and limestone soil). The river separating these two banks is the Gironde.

Simply put, cabernet adds more structure and tannins to wine, and merlot produces rounder and fruitier wines. Finally, all Bordeaux are blends, and each producer can use any of the six “Bordeaux” grapes: cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc (adds finesse and peppery perfume), merlot, malbec (deep-color, plum-like flavor), and petit verdot (purple color and tannic). That’s it! Isn’t it easy?

The general idea is that no grape is perfect, and that blending is the key to get the best results. Much like a painter, the winemaker blends different colors to reach the balance and contrast that he’s looking for.

Bordeaux’s multi-faceted personality is what makes it so intriguing, so inimitable. Bordeaux is about soil (lighter or heavier soils directly influence the richness or minerality of the wine), climate (mostly temperate), centuries-old history (most Chateaux have had dozens of owners, each contributing their share), and the innumerable fervent young winemakers that you can meet in Bordeaux today. All of this creates homogeneity (only a few grapes can be used), but also, a seemingly limitless diversity. That’s what is exciting about Bordeaux. It’s like a huge mural, encompassing hundreds of minuscule scenes. If you are passionate about wine, it’s a paradise!

Now don’t get me wrong, everything isn’t perfect in paradise. I’ve certainly been disappointed by Bordeaux. But those tantalizing tasting experiences, which mesmerize your senses and almost bring you to another dimension—more often than not—have been gifts of Bordeaux.

I had one such hypnotizing experience in Pessac-Leognan (a appellation located ten miles south of Bordeaux City), while enjoying a glass of Chateau Haut-Bailly 1997. The wine was spectacular. With aromas of cedar, tobacco, and earl grey. A dusty, gravelly mouthfeel, with flavors of truffle, cedar, and leather. A finish of velvety, dusty tannins. Could a more highly evolved, more multidimensional wine exist? It was the archetype of an aged Bordeaux. It represented well what I find remarkable about Bordeaux (which I have not yet found to be true in any other region, to such an extent): a mix of density, complexity, and refinement. I fell in love at first sight. This moment, and others like it, is what brings me back to Bordeaux, and inspires me to experience more.

In recent vintages, Chateau Cap Leon Veyrin, Listrac-Medoc 2003 (currently, the wine I am most proud of importing), made by my friend Julien Meyre, is another exciting wine. With scents of redcurrants and cherries, it has a great fruit concentration. I also love the Chateau Saint-Valery, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2002, made by my other friend Frederic Moquet, for its structure and elegance.

Finally, the diversity of Bordeaux allows everybody to find one’s personal style. I prefer the Left Bank structure and minerality, especially from Pauillac, Margaux and the Graves. And you, what is your favorite? More than any other region, Bordeaux is about finding your soul. K&L, The Wine Club and PlumpJack are great retailers in San Francisco to start your quest.

the socialite


The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken
Sun., Nov. 11, 2007

3560 18th St.
Cross: Guerrero St.
San Francisco, CA 94110



tickets: order online or call Book Passage at
415-927-0960, x1.

$105 per person
$180 per couple
(includes wine, tax, gratuity and an autographed copy of the book)

OCTOBER 30, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Join Laura Schenone, James Beard Award-winning author of “The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken” for a ~FEAST OF RAVIOLI AND OTHER LIGURIAN SPECIALTIES~ at Farina Focaccia & Cucina restaurant. Chef Paolo Laboa will demonstrate how to make perfect ravioli as Laura recounts some of the lessons she learned in her quest for her great grandmother’s original recipe—the subject of her new memoir.

Schenone takes the reader on a journey from the grit of New Jersey’s industrial wastelands to the beautiful coast of Liguria—the family’s homeland—to discover the roots of an authentic dish. Along the way, she reveals a family story of loss and love, along with age-old culinary secrets.

The menu (served family-style):

Aperitivo and Assortimento di focacce Liguri
with stracchino cheese, and cherry tomato, served with a glass of vermentino
Ravioli alla genovese con tocco
hand-made ravioli filled with veal, served with Genovese meat sauce
Ravioli di carciofi alla maggiorana
hand-made ravioli filled with artichoke, served in a marjoram sauce
Ravioli di zucca al burro e salvia
hand-made ravioli filled with pumpkin, served in a sage and butter sauce
Misticanza di campo con scaglie di pecorino
red Bibb and little gem salad with shaved pecorino cheese and balsamic vinegar
Raviolo dolce alla Ligure
House-made sweet ravioli with ricotta cheese

Also included in the price is a glass of wine for each guest: Argiolas Vermentino di Sardegna ’06 Sardegna; Brigaldara Valpollicella Classico '05 Veneto.


Sat., Nov. 17, 2007

450 Post St.
Cross: Powell St.
San Francisco, CA


tickets call 415-956-6969 or online


OCTOBER 30, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Farallon restaurant, in conjunction with over 50 of the West Coast’s top pinot noir producers, will host the ~NINTH ANNUAL PINOTFEST~ celebration Sunday through Saturday, November 11–17. Farallon dinner guests can choose from carefully selected flights of pinot noir and enjoy a special chef tastes menu, and at the end of the week, fans of the grape gather at the signature PinotFest grand tasting event, on November 17.

The event is held in the restaurant’s private dining rooms, located on the fourth floor inside the Kingston Park Hotel. Tasters will enjoy a premium selection of top pinot noirs from a wide array of Oregon and California producers and enjoy the opportunity to mix and mingle with winemakers from Brewer-Clifton, Domaine Serene, Kosta Browne, Kuleto Estate, Patz & Hall, Siduri, Saintsbury and many more. 

Guests will also enjoy an array of delicious and pinot-friendly hors d’oeuvres prepared by chef de cuisine Ryan Simas, including Hudson Valley foie gras mousse with huckleberry syrup; wild mushroom risotto “arancini” with garlic aioli; steak tartare with shallots and whole grain mustard; and confit of duck gizzards with fennel seed and chives. 

Created in 1999 by Farallon’s wine director, Peter Palmer, the grand tasting is considered one of the most stylish gatherings of the year for both winemakers and guests.

the starlet

OCTOBER 30, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Josh Brolin and Diane Lane were spotted having dinner at Venticello after watching the Ornette Coleman show at the Masonic Center.

the matchmaker

Press Club, an urban tasting room, is recruiting for the position of General Manager. By partnering with boutique wineries, Press Club offers a microcosm of a premium wine country experience. Different than other shared tasting rooms, Press Club wineries are staffing their own tables, creating a San Francisco home for each brand.

Ideal candidates should have GM experience in luxury retail, fine dining, and/or wine hospitality, and should be excited about working in a start-up environment. The GM will have an opportunity to build the operating team and begins January 1, 2008. Please send cover letters and resumes to


All content © 2007 Marcia GagliardiI am more than happy if you want to link to my reviews and content elsewhere (thanks, glad you dig it), but republishing any part of them in any way, shape or form is strictly prohibited until we talk first. Please take a look at my Creative Commons license for more detail.To subscribe to this list, please visit

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