table of contents This week's tablehopper: one for the money, two for the sho(w).

the chatterbox
the word on the street
fresh meat
new restaurant reviews

the wino
in vino veritas
the socialite
the starlet
no photos please

the sponsor
this round is on me


FEBRUARY 19, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO So, dear readers, after too many late nights, business cards, calories, and cocktails to count, this issue marks tablehopper's two-year anniversary! I know, crazy—it's been a blast. So of course I have to do a giveaway to honor the occasion, and all prizes have a tablehoppin' theme. Three lucky winners get to take their pick of these goodies: one is the book "Trail of Crumbs: Hunger Love, and the Search for Home" by Kim Sunée, a memoir and food adventure that weaves a trinity of topics (cooking, traveling and eating!), with recipes, too.

Another prize is a copy of the 2008 Green Zebra coupon book—do you know it? I used mine last year for all kinds of things, from a discount on shopping at Rainbow, to a bath at the Kabuki, to dinner at Green Chile Kitchen. This year there are three editions (SF, Marin, and Peninsula) so the winner gets to take their pick. And if you choose to buy one right now (for $25), I gotta say it pays for itself pretty quickly. I even got a free groovy LED nightlight from PG&E with it!

The last prize is a deck of the crowd-pleasing CozmoCards! I just got my 2008 deck, and was happy to see restaurants like Café Claude, Foreign Cinema, and Metro Kathmandu in there—52 in all. (With a CozmoCard, spend $50, and you get $15 off your bill.) So I have one deck to give away, but if you want to order a set right now, tablehopper readers get 10% off the $30 price—just type "tablehopper" into the order form for the discount! Presto!

To enter the drawing, one, you have to be a tablehopper subscriber, and two, you have to forward this week's newsletter to just three people (or send it to thousands, go nuts) in order to be eligible to win. Just cc when you forward the newsletter to your peeps (it's best if you explain why you're sending it to them). I promise I won't be collecting your friends' emails, those will stay private—I just need to keep track of how many folks you forwarded it to.

The deadline to enter is by midnight, this Sunday, February 24. I will be randomly drawing the winners and will email you to let you know you've won next week. Good luck!

Speaking of Sunday the 24th, I am excited to be a guest on the radio show "A Matter of Taste," which started in New York in 1992! The show is broadcast from 4pm–6pm, and is on "Green960" KKGN-AM (formerly "The Quake"). Have a listen before watching the Oscars!

And hey, I thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and support these past two years—I couldn't do it without you!


~Marcia subscribe
the chatterbox
imageFEBRUARY 19, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Did you enjoy your day off? I think I would have enjoyed my day writing a wee bit more if I wasn't fighting this lame cold for the last three days. Which is exactly why I ordered some soup for delivery: beef noodle soup from ~THAI PLACE II~, to be exact. It's a random Thai place on Divisadero that has two of my fave delivery dishes ever. For $6.25 you get this enormous bowl (good for two, really) of thin noodles (packed up separately—you add them to the broth once it's delivered) with rare beef, springy beef balls, and bean sprouts, in a delish garlicky broth. I get some sriracha going and man, that thing will clear you right up—whoooosh. My friend and I are also obsessed with their Thai-style barbecue chicken, another winner, for $8.95, with an addictive spicy fish sauce on the side. They deliver pretty quickly too—check out their menu on Menu Pages the next time you are sick, hungry, or both!

Speaking of hot beef (no, I am not talking about the latest Hollywood hottie), I can barely wait to tuck into some bollito misto at the tablehopper supper in March, which is why I'll be going to Poggio this week for a warm-up with their bollito misto dinner (running until February 23)! But I am especially excited for Sunday, March 2, when I'll be hosting our special ~TABLEHOPPER SUPPER~ at Piccino, featuring their delish pizzas, bruschetta, bollito misto with Marin Sun Farms beef, dessert (natch), and Donnafugata wines. Did you reserve your spot yet? Let's eat!

Had a chance to catch up with Laurence Jossel of Nopa, who just returned from a week in Mexico with one of his cooks, Jose Ramos. They spent a week eating their way through Mexico City, Toluca, and Morelia and Patxcuaro in the Michoacan, calling it "Taco Tour 2008" (we're talking about 15 a day, people). They also ate stews and soups at markets, plus chorizo, carnitas, panuchos, moles, pepitas, the works. Why all the Mexican food? Because they will be opening ~NOPALITO~ in about six months, a quick-service Mexican joint with room for 40, just next door to Falletti Foods, Peet's Coffee, and Delessio at Broderick Place! Yes, mere blocks from my front door, heh heh. There will also be take-out, and since there's that spacious parking lot, well, it just became even more destination worthy for folks! Nopa cooks Jose Ramos and Gonzalo Guzman will be running the show, using organic ingredients and cooking up dishes like big cazuelas of complex stews, soups, and beans, plus tamales (possibly made with masa from Rancho Gordo hominy—stand by), enchiladas, and hello, carnitas by the pound. There won't be any Coca-Cola, even the Mexican kind; instead, they will be making their own drinks, from aguas frescas to some carbonated versions. Looking forward to the proposed August opening. ¡Arriba! Proposed hours are daily 11am–9pm. 306 Broderick St. at Oak.

Due to open a month later will be ~SNACK BAR~, the Nopa folks' upcoming project in the Mission I alluded to back in November. No, it's not small plates, nor is it straight-up Spanish tapas. Imagine snacky bites like croquettes with brandade, or marinated mushrooms, or a delicious local cheese with a tasty compote. There won't be a menu, just a big board with that day's dishes written out. Amy Brown, the talented pastry chef at Nopa, will be running the kitchen. You'll order at the counter and have a seat, savoring a sherry or vino chosen by Nopa's wine director, Chris Deegan, who will be running the floor at Snack Bar. (You can read more from Deegan on sherry in a wino piece he wrote for tablehopper.) There will be a standing-only bar and about 30 seats, with potentially some outdoor seating down the road. Snack Bar will be open all day, from 11am–10pm, perhaps until 11pm on the weekends. 2495 Harrison St. at 21st.

Chowhounders have been reporting on sushi chef ~SACHIO KOJIMA'S~ guest nights at Isa in the Marina. Kabuto A&S fans will remember him from years back, before he sadly sold his restaurant on Geary and moved to Mt. Shasta due to his wife's failing health. The good news is his wife is doing better, and Sachio San is serving a special sushi menu at Isa every Monday–Thursday, until March 27. I took a peek at the menu, and there is a variety of nigiri and sashimi, including amaebi and sunazuri (yellowtail belly), plus some rolls, like outside/inside rolls, including one with avocado out and tempura shrimp in, and there is Sachio's spicy tuna too, as an appetizer, or a roll. Come by and say kanpai! 3324 Steiner St. at Chestnut, 415-567-9588.

In other Isa-related news, their second outpost, ~DOMO~, is now slated to open on March 18 in Hayes Valley. Gettin' close! 511 Laguna St. at Hayes.

Scheduled to open next Monday, February 25, in the former Karamanduka space in the Richmond will be a 50-seat Italian restaurant, ~TIZIANO~, from the same owners of Breezy's and Hayes & Kebab in Hayes Valley. The menu will feature Italian dishes from a variety of regions, although Tuscany will figure prominently. It will be open for lunch and dinner daily, 11am–2:30pm, and 5pm–10pm. 1801 Clement St. at 19th, 415-422-0502.

I heard word that the Bacchus Management Group's big project that is moving in the former Prego space in Cow Hollow will no longer be called ~VACHE~ (French for cow, Cow Hollow, get it?). After chatting with partner Tim Stannard about how naming a restaurant is one of the hardest things to do, he decided to open up the naming to you, o' clever tablehopper readers! If they end up choosing one of the names you submitted, the winner will get a round-trip coach ticket to Paris. Yeah, how's that for an incentive? If two or more people end up submitting the same (winning) name, whoever sent it first would be the winner. So here's more to help you with your ideation: the project is a sprawling 7,000-square-foot brasserie, a luxe one at that. The name is ideally French or French sounding, but must pronounceable to someone who has never spoken French—so  something like the famed Les Deux Magots would be out. Send your suggestions to—the deadline is March 1. Bonne chance!

Was sad to read on Eater that ~CAFÉ LAMBRETTA~ on Polk Street has closed. An Eater reader/poster says, "It's a Grind had a no competition clause in their lease, so now the landlord has to relocate Lambretta." Bummer. Can someone put a "No coffeehouse names with puns" clause in there too? I have a call in to owner John Quintos to confirm and see what's up, and if he'll be scooting to another location in the city. 1806 Polk St. at Washington.

Folks awaiting the arrival of the Lower Haight's ~ESTELA'S FRESH SANDWICHES~ to the Soma Grand will be sorry to hear it fell through—the build-out was going to be too expensive for them since it's such a raw space. We'll see if they find a second spot elsewhere. In the meantime, I'll keep you posted on Charles Phan of the Slanted Door's plans for his project going in—nothing to report quite yet.

Next week, look for a big New Orleans recap from my trip there last July (I know, I know, I am lagging SO hard). But in the meantime, I wanted to mention that the inspiring and oh-so-spirited sixth annual ~TALES OF THE COCKTAIL~ event is coming up, from July 16–20, and there's a contest too! Bartenders are invited to submit a punch recipe—the winning recipe will be the official cocktail at this year's event. All cocktails must include both Old New Orleans Amber Rum and Martell VSOP. Some groovy trivia for you: punch was derived from the Hindu word for five and is traditionally made with five ingredients: liquor, sugar or sweetening agent, citrus juice, tea (or other spice), and water. Recipes must be submitted by Monday, March 17, at 5pm. The official cocktail will be announced in early April, and will be featured and served throughout the event. Winners will receive cash prizes. Visit for guidelines and entry forms. Cheers!

Oh, and for a local competition, next Monday Rye is hosting their monthly ~MONDAY MIXING CONTEST~, with Charbay Green Tea Vodka. Email if you are a bartender and want to compete—of course there are some prizes. Things get shakin' at 7pm; everyone (over 21, mind you) is invited to attend. Rye, 688 Geary St. at Leavenworth.

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

fresh meat


Yoshi's San Francisco
1330 Fillmore St.
Cross: Eddy St.
San Francisco, CA 94115


Mon–Wed 5:30pm–10:30pm
Thu–Sat 5:30pm–11pm
Sun 5pm–10pm

Apps $8–$26
Nigiri $6–$8
Robata $14–$48
Desserts $5–$8

FEBRUARY 19, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO The other day I was recommending that a friend try ~YOSHI'S SAN FRANCISCO~ for the high-roller/special dinner location he was seeking. He was incredulous, "Yoshi's? Really?" That worried me, because if people don't know about how fabulously creative, fresh, and upscale the food is there, then Houston, we've got a problem. I'm not alone in my excitement—even a notoriously picky chef pal of mine (chefs can be the hardest people to dine with, seriously) was raving about his recent experience at Yoshi's.

I was taken with Shotaro "Sho" Kamio's inventive cooking style back when he was at Ozumo, and was biting my nails when his intended project in the Marina fell through—I was afraid the Sho would go on (ha ha ha) and we'd lose him to New York, or Vegas or something. Nope, he stayed put. Good man.

I'll get to the club and all that jazz later—let's dive into the dining room first. The brown-toned room is quite cavernous, with tall ceilings with panels of hanging fabric, plus amorphous stalactite-like lanterns, and whoa, get a load out of that monster kitchen—it's a big 'un. (Try 3,500 square feet.) Sho has a very Han Solo front-and-center command post, while everything snap, crackles, and pops around him.

The dining room itself is rather sparse and linear for my taste, but it does set the stage well for the contemporary Japanese aesthetic and cuisine here. I'd probably request one of the four-person booths in the future to feel a bit cozier. Oh, and the flower displays needed a little refinement—one night I saw yellow daisies that looked fresh from a Safeway bouquet.

The menu is printed on a large piece of tabloid-sized paper—the size is daunting at first because there are a lot of sections, and everything sounds so damned good, but ultimately I imagine your wallet will dictate how you order. A refreshing beginning is the kona kampachi carpaccio ($18), layered over fresh seaweed, avocado, and sporting the earthy flair of some diced shiitake confit on top.

Uni fans should consider the appetizer off the zen sai section of urchin "ravioli" between thin layers of nicely chewy ika/squid ($15), with petite pops of ikura. I wanted the slices of lime underneath to be a hair thinner—the acidity dominated a bit, but the execution was quite clever. There's also a decadent chawan mushi ($15) topped with uni, plus diced foie gras, lobster, and shiitakes, in lobster ankake (stock). It's served with a little wooden spoon, but the custard one night was a touch soupy so it was difficult to eat.

Another dish in the ippin/a la carte section is the panko monkfish ($17), which wasn't crusted like the usual fried panko executions you see around town—it was much more delicate as it was sautéed, and then dipped afterwards in panko. Oh, and it comes with the surprise of a poached egg in the middle. I was even more seduced with the houba yaki ($17), slices of duck breast grilled on a magnolia leaf, resting in a sweet and savory red/aka miso sauce, and then topped with negi (green onions that are kind of sweet like leeks). It's an entirely new way to taste duck.

To be honest, I didn't try much sushi on my two visits—there were too many other Sho specialties calling my name! But the nigiri selection is quite extensive, 19 choices on one night, and maki lovers will enjoy trying out the new-style combos. I did try the yuke ($16), with avocado, apple, negi, chives, and spicy soy marinated maguro draped on top—a lovely combo that you're supposed to dip in the side dish of soy with a quail egg, but the proportion is  bit off so you end up getting too much soy and not enough egg.

A total score was the buri kama ($19), robata-grilled hamachi collar sprinkled with toasted nori, and surrounded with sliced lime, shichimi, and the tiniest dice of chive on the plate, and ponzu on the side. Quite a deal, actually, considering how much tasty fish you get, and such great flavor—you just dig in with your chopsticks. I always ask places if this is on their menu. Speaking of digging in, I'm dying to come back for the ji kinme: half of an herb-roasted red snapper (market price) that you pick and eat with pieces of nori—it's a fish I have only seen locally at Hime on Geary.

In the agemono/deep-fried section, I fell in love with the juicy texture of the arare lobster tempura ($19), four balls with a crunchy puffed rice exterior, sitting on a kicky swath of chile aioli, and topped with a frizzled hat of surprisingly spicy threads that turned out to be fried carrot leaf. Cool!

Well, I thought I was in love with the tempura, until I tried the oh-toro misoyaki (market price)—bluefin toro belly flash-grilled on Sumi charcoal with a saikyo miso beurre blanc. Uh huh. This dish was so sexy it made me blush—talk about mercury rising. I was in lust. (Call me.) That dish is ridiculously good.

Equally ridiculous are the Colorado spring lamb chops from the kamayaki (wood burning oven). Yes, they are $25, yes, you only get two, but damn are they sublime. Incredible meat—great marinade, and I liked its accompaniment of garlic mousse. Kokkari and Yoshi's should do a lamb chop face-off.

You'll officially lose it over the Japanese Miyazaki filet mignon, some of the best $48 you'll ever spend on four ounces of meat. I know, that portion is small, but the meat is so rich you could barely eat more than that anyway. Divine marriage of tender beef, and salt. Beg someone to take you here and buy it for you. Beef for your birthday!

Did I mention the pork? Oh shoot, I didn't. The Kurobuta "Berkshire" pork prime rib ($20) is an awesome chop, also marinated perfectly, and just wait until you gnaw the meat off the bone. Mmmmm, satisfying. These last four dishes are prime examples of why I love meat. MEAT!

Marisa Churchill of Top Chef is the pastry chef, and I think she does a clever job creating Western desserts with Japanese flair. Bar none, my favorite was the yuzu key lime pie ($8), with roasted pineapple, house-made marshmallows on top, and coconut sorbet. Me-ow. The yogurt semifreddo ($8) was tangy, and paired well with the papaya-shiso mint sauce, but the Japanese sea salt sesame florentine was rock hard one time and almost impossible to break with a spoon.

I've been impressed with the server knowledge here, especially since the menu is chock full of Japanese terms you'll most likely be unfamiliar with. They have answers. (You should see the employee-training manual, including a massive glossary). Service can be a bit absent, however; just small hiccups, I trust things will be sorted.

Oh, and wait until you see the gorg plates and dishes, what great textures and colors! I was also smitten with my sake glass and carafe—such pretty pieces.

There are some cleverly named cocktails to start with, like the Fillmore 75, with gin and Champagne plus yuzu and lemon ($10), but if you're into shochu, there's a well-sized list to navigate. The sakes are a little hard to choose from because you have to pay attention to the different ml sizes of each offering, ranging from 175ml for an individual size, hiding between the 500 or 720ml bottle sizes. I am personally a fan of the Chikurin "Fukamari Junmai" Okayama-ken Pref. ($14/175ml), and the stunning "Denshu" Aomori Pref. ($16/175ml) is another winner of a junmai in my book.

You could also do the wine route if you're so inclined—Sho's food lends itself well to pairings, but it might be hard to pair precisely since you'll probably order a sampling of plates. I was also exposed to something new, the Yoichi Nikka whiskey from Hokkaido, which tasted like it was part bourbon, part Scotch whiskey—forming a bizarre love triangle with me, and the two-headed booze. It needs to be in my liquor cabinet, pronto. The teas are also a nice way to finish.

If I had a private party, I'd consider taking over the Omakase Room, almost an aquarium of sorts, with glass walls allowing you to see the kitchen and dining room, and everyone to see you feasting on fabulous food. There's also a lounge and bar, plus another lounge/sake bar on the mezzanine level. The crowd in the restaurant ran the gamut, from a younger moneyed set to all kinds of couples on date night to business diners to a kookier older music crowd sporting lots of hats, from bearded men in berets to ladies in some bright or sparkly fashions—jazzy!

The line-up of talent in the club is impressive—I have only seen one performance, so I can't vouch for how all the seating is, but the room is comfortable. You can actually dine off the club menu while watching a set, but you'd miss about two-thirds of Sho's delectable dining room menu. I am already plotting my return, and what a great place for a date: dinner with Sho, and then a show!

the sponsor


Join the party! The Princess Project Silent Auction helps send high school girls to prom in style!

Where: Dragon Bar, 473 Broadway St., SF

When: Thursday, Feb. 21 from 6pm–9:30pm

How much: $25 in advance at, $30 at the door. Includes entry into the silent auction, one Finlandia vodka drink made-to-order, and a chance to win one of five Palm Centros at 7:30pm.

The Princess Project promotes self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who cannot otherwise afford them. All auction proceeds go directly to serve the girls.

Buy your tickets today! See you then!

the wino


Andrew Green (left) and Aubert de Villaine (right).


FEBRUARY 19, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Nearing a decade with Bacchus Management Group, the team behind Spruce, The Village Pub, and Pizza Antica, wine and spirits director and partner Andrew Green has spent his life seeking the top wines of the world. With a wine list featuring 1,300 bottles (and growing) at Spruce, it's apparent Andrew would travel to the ends of the earth to experience the finest wines. Luckily, he only had to go as far as New York where he was one of a few lucky wine directors invited to taste the 2005 release from the Burgundy Estate, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti—producers of some of the most sought-after wines in the world.

Andrew Green on the 2005 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Release Tasting

Often the perception is that sommeliers live very charmed lives. Once you get beyond the exciting part that the public sees, reality is countless hours staring at Excel spreadsheets and other far less glamorous tasks. Several of the sommeliers in our restaurants have come up with rather creative names for themselves—one refers to himself as a "wine sherpa," the other a "box jockey," obviously referring to the large number of deliveries that need to be received, inventoried, and put away.

Is it all worth it? Yes! A recent invitation to attend the only U.S. release tasting in New York City of the 2005 vintage from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is one of those moments when a charmed opportunity comes across your plate and you just have to say yes. It wouldn't have mattered how important a figure one is—in another business they wouldn't have made it into the tasting.

The scene for this rare event was the Harold Pratt House on Manhattan's Upper East Side. A beautiful old mansion with gorgeous marble floors and vaulted ceilings with polished wainscoting going all the way to the top, and portraits of past New York City mayors covering the walls. One other sommelier from San Francisco made the trek with me, Master Sommelier Alan Murray from Masa's Restaurant, who also happens to be a dear friend. Alan has a great palate, and it is always rewarding to taste with him. The tasting was made up of all the top sommeliers and retailers from New York City, as well as a handful of others from around the country, and our host, the director of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Aubert de Villaine.

Aubert de Villaine is the perfect ambassador for Domaine—he is refined and articulate, yet very unassuming. He treats his role as a representative of a property that is really a cultural icon in France. It is rumored that about ten years ago some Japanese businessmen tried to buy the property for over two billion dollars, and the French government said no before any discussion could commence. In a room full of wine bravado, you could have heard a pin drop when Aubert spoke. He was very soft-spoken and surprisingly brief in his words. I believe that he knew the wines would do the talking.

The wines of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti are widely considered to be some of the best in the world; many consider this to be the best estate in the world. As far as chardonnay and pinot noir producers around the globe are concerned, the wines of the Domaine are used as a measuring stick by which all others are judged. The estate produced seven wines in 2005—six made from pinot noir and one from chardonnay. All of the wines come from Grand Cru vineyards in Burgundy. Here is my impression of the wines:

Échézeaux: Pale pink ruby. Powerful nose that just explodes out of the glass. Aromas of allspice, forest floor, and sage. Supple on the palate. Probably the most expressive Échézeaux I have ever tried. Drink 2012–2035.

Grands-Échézeaux: Red pink ruby. Once again, the wine just explodes out of the glass. The aromatics are vibrant and opulent. The fruit profile is a little darker than the Échézeaux. The finish is long and structured with hints of graphite shavings. Drink 2013–2040.

Romanée-St.-Vivant: Dark purple ruby. Aromatically, probably the most feminine wine of the tasting. Nose is elegant and pretty; aromas of fresh-picked boysenberries with a subtle hint of evergreen. The palate is a different story though; the wine shows a very vibrant level of acidity with a massive mouth-filling finish. Drink 2014–2045.

Richebourg: Perfect red ruby. Richebourg is always a very spicy wine, and this is no exception. Aromas of fresh baking spices, this wine is dense and complex. Drink 2016–2050.

La Tâche: Purple red ruby. A very classic La Tâche nose with hints of leather, licorice, and fresh-milled cinnamon. This is a round, full, and incredibly structured wine; it just completely envelops the palate. As expected, the most powerful wine of the tasting. Drink 2020–2060.

Romanée-Conti: Opaque red ruby. Charming and refined. Shows all of the best characteristics of the other Grand Crus. Amazingly fleshy mid-palate, the finish lasts forever. As La Tâche is typically the most powerful wine, Romanée-Conti is once again the perfect expression of balance and complexity. There is no greater expression of pinot noir in the world than Romanée-Conti. Drink 2023–2060.

Montrachet: Vibrant yellow gold straw. Close to perfection. Aromas of fresh apples off the tree and wildflower honey. The oak is finely integrated. No botrytis. Explosive wine that just lays across your palate. Drink 2015–2035.

In a vintage that has proven to be outstanding in almost every wine region of Europe, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti produced a collection of "high energy" wines that exceeded my wildest expectations and left me speechless. These are wines to be cellared and appreciated much in the same way one appreciates the great artists of the world.

the socialite


Commonwealth Club
Fri., Feb. 22, 2008

Club Office
595 Market St.
2nd Floor
Cross: Second St.
San Francisco, CA


Members free

FEBRUARY 19, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO We have a fab tablehopper reader to thank for reminding me of this cool presentation at the ~COMMONWEALTH CLUB~: Food Lit: A Short History Of The American Stomach, with Fred Kaufman, Journalist; Professor; Foodie; Author, A Short History of the American Stomach.

"Kaufman takes us on a raucous, witty and fact-filled exploration of America's complex and often bizarre relationship with food. From secret raw-milk covens in New York City to 'gastrop*rn' addicts, Kaufman presents an irreverent take on all aspects of the foodie world. A renowned chronicler of all things gastronomic, Kaufman's infamous Harper's article, 'Debbie Does Salad,' which likened the Food Network's camera shots to p*rn*graphy (he sat down and watched six hours of the network's programming with a p*rn industry veteran to get her thoughts), generated incredible buzz in the foodie world. In his most recent article for The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Kaufman turned his subversive gaze on the world of pet food—and hit the 'most e-mailed' list. In his latest work, Kaufman uncovers Puritan anorexia and bulimia and sheds a completely new light on this issue, as does his subversive take on cookbooks and diet books, his explorations into genetically modified food, and the digestive underpinnings of American imperialism."

(Note: sorry about all the lame p*rn asterisks, but I don't want the 'hopper to get caught in anyone's spam filters!)


Rhone Rangers
March 15–16, 2008

Various locations


tickets online
or by phone: Fort Mason Box Office, 415-345-7575

FEBRUARY 19, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Attention winos: the ~RHONE RANGERS~ are riding into town to show their wines at Fort Mason for the eleventh annual San Francisco Wine Tasting. The weekend begins with a Winemaker Dinner on Saturday evening, followed by a seminar and Grand Tasting on Sunday

Saturday, March 15, 2008 6pm–10pm: Library Tasting, Live Auction and Winemaker Dinner at the Log Cabin, San Francisco Presidio. Several of our best winemakers will dig into their libraries to make this evening a memorable one. Join us for a night of celebration, with fabulous food and an abundance of Rhone-style wines, followed by a live auction with a unique, one-of-kind item donated by each winemaker. Auction proceeds go to benefit our scholarship candidates and the Rhone Rangers organization. Catering will be provided by Girl & the Fig—the menu will be paired with these incredible wines (vegetarian option is available). This event takes place at the historic Log Cabin at the San Francisco Presidio. Winemaker Dinner Tickets are $125 per person (advance purchase only at Attendance is limited—we anticipate this event will sell out quickly.

Sunday, March 16, 11am–12pm: Seminar & Tasting: Beyond Viognier, An Exploration of White Rhones. Join us in the Golden Gate Room as we explore several varieties of white Rhones. Seminar attendees are invited to the Grand Tasting, and will be given admittance, along with members of the press and trade, at 12pm. Seminar/Grand Tasting package: $120 (no seminar tickets will be sold the day of the event). Seminar attendees get admitted to the tasting beginning at 12pm.

Sunday, March 16, 2pm–5pm: The Grand Tasting. Sample Rhone varietals from over 120 Rhone Ranger member wineries and artisan food producers from the Bay Area and beyond. Festival Pavilion doors open to consumers at 2pm. A trade and media tasting takes place from 12pm–2pm, and the silent auction runs from 12pm–3:30pm. Don't Miss: "Meet the Winemakers" special tasting area. Member winemakers will present 20-minute mini tastings for small groups on topics such as single vineyard Syrah and vintage variation. See the schedule available the day of the tasting. Advance general admission: $60 (plus processing charges). Rhone Ranger members: $55 (tickets must be purchased by 3/10/08). Day of event: $65

the starlet

FEBRUARY 19, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Al Gore was spotted having dinner at Perbacco last Monday with a male companion—it reportedly looked like a business meeting.

A tablehoppin' couple had dinner at Ristorante Gondola, and saw Mike D'Antoni (head coach of Phoenix Suns), Alvin Gentry, and Dan D'Antoni (Assistant Coaches) in the house! (Thank heavens for you sports-savvy readers—I'd never know who these people were without you!)


All content © 2008 Marcia Gagliardi. I 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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