|APRIL 22, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO A couple weeks ago I was hearing rumblings that the Pascarella-Lacroix-Siegel
deal for ~MYTH~ fell through, and it has been
confirmed that chef Ron Siegel of the Ritz-Carlton Dining Room
is not leaving after all. There are other rumors circulating about
who is negotiating to take over the Myth space, will keep you posted.
Let’s just say verrrrrry interesting if
one of the rumors proves to be true. This entire thing is like
reading a weird mystery novel, with big plot twists and new characters
that keep showing up.
broke the story
Public in SoMa was closing, and a business called ~BASIL
moving into the historic space. I tracked down Basil
owner Todd Sirimongkolvit (gosh, I hope I got that right—I
thought my last name was a beast!) for more details. He said he
has been looking for a space to expand for the last few years (he
also owns Soi Four in Berkeley), and is thrilled to find a space
so close to his SoMa restaurant. Basil Canteen will be like a casual
Thai izakaya of sorts, serving a fun style of food called gap
klaem, which are dishes designed to pair with drinking (should
come in handy with the space’s full bar). There will be about
ten small plates/bar snacks and a variety of noodles (four–five
sautéed noodle dishes, and five–six soup noodle dishes).
I heard Public is closing this coming weekend, April 25th (the
owners are focusing on their projects overseas), and Basil Canteen
should be opening in July after the renovation is complete. It
will be open for lunch and dinner nightly, and will be serving
late, until midnight or so, on Friday and Saturday nights. 1489
Folsom St., at 11th St.
is officially closing on Sunday, April 27th—the sign is slated
to come down, and there’s a big party planned from 3pm–5pm
(be sure to RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 415-533-0041). 652 Stockton St.
at Union, 415-989-7800.
On a new business note, this Thursday April 24th marks the long-awaited
opening of ~UVA ENOTECA~ in the Lower Haight, in the former Horseshoe Coffeehouse space.
The project is from wine director/GM Boris Nemchenok (of Batali's
Otto in New York) and executive chef Ben Hetzel (recently of the
Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton). I’ve mentioned the details
before, but to recap: the menu will feature an extensive list of
antipasti, salumi (from Salumi in Seattle, yum), over 15 cheeses,
a daily pizza, bruschette, panini, tramezzini, and piadine. There
will be 85 wines from small boutique Italian wine producers, with
most sourced by wine consultant Jim Kennedy (Delfina, Sociale),
and 20–25 served quartino-style (a small decanter that holds
a quarter of a liter), and chef Hetzel's wife, Camber Lay, (Epic,
Laïola, Range, Frisson) will be consulting on a list of wine-based
cocktails. The look is rustic and clean, with exposed brick walls,
ebony-stained floors, marble countertops, and red cedar tabletops.
Hours will be Mon–Fri 5pm–12am, and Sat–Sun for
brunch from 10am–12am. 568 Haight St. at Steiner, 415-829-2024.
I was asking some folks about the restaurant Eater mentioned was
going to go into the now-closed ~POWELL’S PLACE~ in
the Fillmore (1521 Eddy St. at Fillmore), called Tribute Restaurant,
and it seems the business partners have split and the plans have
disintegrated. No word about what may be going in next. In the
meantime, Powell’s is working on being open and up to full
speed in Velma's Jazz Club in Bayview. They are targeting June—will
release more details soon. 2246 Jerrold Ave. at Upton.
update: ~GITANE~ is
another one on track for opening in June. You may recall, this
is the project from Franck Leclerc of Café Claude,
with chef Lisa Eyherabide who is putting together a menu inspired
by regions in Southern France and Northern Spain, with hints of
North Africa. Sean Diggins, the current beverage director
at Café Claude, will be overseeing the beverage and wine
program, and Dominic Venegas (Range, Cantina, Bourbon & Branch)
will head up the bar program—look for some Spanish sherries,
and unique Spanish brandies. I’m excited to check out the
funkified space from Charles Doell of Mr. Important Design, complete
with hand-painted wallpaper and two vintage French 1950s chandeliers.
Mmmm, glam! 6 Claude Ln. at Bush.
CHALET BREWERY AND RESTAURANT~ and
the ~PARK CHALET GARDEN RESTAURANT~ have
a new executive chef, Gregory Hutchinson, formerly of Brix
in Yountville. On the menu, look no further than the outdoor
barbecue, plus prime rib on Monday nights at the Beach Chalet.
There will also be a new Park Chalet brunch buffet on Sundays
with a do-it-yourself Bloody Mary Bar, great on these warmer
days. 1000 Great Highway, 415-386-8439.
Thanks to a Chowhound,
I found out ~NICKIE’S~ in the Lower Haight now serves brunch Sat–Sun 10am–3pm.
Based on the posting, it sounded pretty good: lemon zest ricotta
pancakes and a breakfast pizza (Fontina, prosciutto, egg, arugula,
and basil), plus some brunch standards. What’s nice is new
means no lines! Well, for now. 466 Haight St. at Fillmore, 415-255-0300.
has new hours: lunch Mon–Fri 11:30am–2:30pm, brunch
Sat–Sun 11am–3pm, dinner Sun–Wed 5:30pm–10pm,
and Thu–Sat 5:30pm–11pm. 414 Jessie St. between Mission
and Market near Fifth, 415-546-4134.
exactly confirmed on this one, but based on an ABC application,
it looks like ~K’S
CAFE~ in the Outer Sunset is becoming Amisha Indian. The woman
at K’s hung up on me, so perhaps their stellar customer service
is what contributed to their demise? Anyway, all will be revealed.
1924 Irving St. at 20th Ave.
whoa, what was going down with the ~BACON HOT DOG LADY~ Saturday
night in North Beach? A tablehopper reader reported there was
some activity with the po po. Hey, she’s busy saving drunk
people from themselves, where is the crime in that?
are some cool events coming up: these cooking classes for ~SAN
FRANCISCO COOKS FOR A CAUSE~ sound awesome. They are
a series of cooking classes to benefit the San Francisco Food
Bank, in partnership with the California Culinary Academy. Classes
will be held on Saturdays from 9am–1pm. Each class starts
with a cooking demo, then participants prepare the dishes themselves.
$150 per class. California Culinary Academy–Bistro, 350
Rhode Island. To purchase tickets, contact Amy
the line-up of swell chefs:
May 3: Laurence Jossel, Executive Chef, Nopa
June 14: Reylon Agustin, Chef de Cuisine, Jardinière
July 19: Bob Kantor, Executive Chef, Memphis Minnie’s B.B.Q.
August 23: Glenn Wielosinski, Chef, California Culinary Academy
American Institute of Wine & Food and Asia Society of
Northern California are hosting Min Jin Lee (author of Free
Food For Millionaires)
at an ~ASIAN FUSION FEAST~ on Wednesday, April
30th at Ponzu. (You can read the menu here.)
No corkage if you’d like to bring your own wine! 6:30pm,
$95 per person/$175 per couple (AIWF & Asia Society members
receive a discount rate of $90 per person/$170 per couple). Price
includes tax, tip, and an autographed book. 401 Taylor St. at Geary.
For tickets: call 415-927-0960, ext. 239, or order online at www.bookpassage.com.
I was on the Book Passage site, there’s also a lunch
event with ~MARIO BATALI~ on Monday, May 5th, at Il
Fornaio ($125)! Molto fun.
in Italia, mark your calendar, because coming up at ~INCANTO~,
Monday, June 9th, and Wednesday, June 11th, is when the restaurant
is hosting their fifth annual Head to Tail dinner. Five courses
of offal. Oh yeah. (Check out the preliminary menu here.)
$75 per person excluding beverages, service, and tax. And Monday,
July 14th, is the night for their four-course Sicilian Mattanza
Dinner. Read: lots of bluefin tuna. $65 per person, excluding beverages,
service, and tax. 1550 Church St. at Duncan, 415-641-4500.
you ever taken a class at the Purcell
Murray Culinary Lifestyle Center in Brisbane? They’re
informative, usually pretty intimate, and I’ve always eaten
well. Coming up on Saturday, May 3rd, executive editor of Williams-Sonoma
TOOLS & TECHNIQUES
(an awesome book, by the way—it’s helpful in the way
a mom teaching you how to cook is helpful) Jennifer Newens will
be teaching a class. This is the second in a continuing series
of basic cooking techniques: ~TOOLS & TECHNIQUES, VEGETABLES
5 WAYS~, which will cover five delicious ways to prepare
vegetables. Braised fennel with tomato; stir-fried spring vegetables
with ginger, lemon, and mint; creamed spinach with basil; roasted
baby artichokes; and grilled ratatouille. 11am–1pm, and lunch
is included. $45. 185 Park Lane, Brisbane, 415-330-5557.
Further south, folks in Palo Alto are going to be stoked with this
upcoming project from the Bacchus Management Group (Spruce, Village
Pub, Pizza Antica) called ~MAYFIELD~. This bakery
and café concept will be located in the Town & Country
Village shopping center, mainly designed to provide all the bread
for the Bacchus Group restaurants. Heck, they already have their
own farm (SMIP Ranch), and guess what: they even started their
own coffee roaster last week, selling both wholesale and retail!
(It’s in Emeryville.) OK, back on Mayfield—it takes
its name from the raucous town that was known for its saloons—it
was adjacent to then-dry Palo Alto, back in the day. Things will
be considerably less rowdy: imagine a hybrid between Della Fattoria
and the style of food at the café upstairs at Chez Panisse,
and you’ll have an idea of Mayfield’s market-driven/farm-to-table
menu and bakery concept (Nancy Pitta is the baker and a partner
in the project). There will be 90 seats in the café and
on the patio, and there will also be a small section for bakery
items for carry out. Look for a June or July opening. 855 El Camino
Real at Embarcadero, Palo Alto.
north, the beer trend continues (a good thing, the beer trend).
new venture, ~HOPMONK
officially opened last week in an 105-year-old California historic
landmark building in Sebastopol, just at the intersection of Highway
116 and Highway 12 in Sonoma County. I’ve already received
a couple emails raving about it, always a good sign. Hopmonk offers
innovative and seasonal gastropub fare from chef Lynn McCarthy,
craft beers from Europe and smaller regional producers in the U.S,
including 75-plus bottled beers, 16 drafts and two cask-conditioned
ales, plus a 55-seat classic beer garden to enjoy it all in, and
an acoustic performance stage for music. And how convenient, there’s
even a regional bike trail that passes through the front of the
property. Located adjacent to the tavern and beer garden is The
Abbey, a 200-person, 2,000-square-foot music venue. 230 Petaluma
Ave., Sebastopol, 707-829-7300.
April 29th–May 3rd, ~POGGIO’S~
chef Peter McNee will be featuring some dishes Allo Spiedo (cooked
on the spit). Think roasted meats—like guinea hens and pheasant,
lamb, suckling pig, rabbit, and goat—that will be carved
on the gorg imported carrello (heated tableside cart) McNee debuted
with the bollito misto dinner earlier this year. The meats will
be paired with contorni of polenta, and fagioli all’uccelletto
(white beans with tomato, sage, and olive oil) that are cooked
underneath the meat to catch all the drippings. Dinner only, a
la carte, $19 per person includes assorted meats and side dishes.
777 Bridgeway, Sausalito, 415-332-7771.
~LE GARAGE~ just
opened in Sausalito in the old Waterfront Café space—it’s a casual and tiny
French bistro from Olivier Souvestre, the former Chez Papa chef.
Breakfast and lunch for now, and there’s an outdoor patio
too—since it’s in the Schoonmaker Point Marina, it’s
reportedly quite the scenic spot, with a charming view of the boats.
They start serving coffee at 7:30am, and lunch is served Mon–Fri
11:30am–2:30pm, with coffee extending until 4pm or so. Dinner
starts May 19th and will be served Tue–Sat. 85 Liberty Ship
Way, Ste. 109, Sausalito, 415-332-5625.
isn’t very food-related, but whatever, it’s my
column so I can do whatever the hell I want! In this case, it’s
anything to help support and raise awareness about New
There is a documentary making its West Coast premiere at the SF
International Film Festival called ~FAUBOURG
TREMÉ: THE UNTOLD STORY OF
BLACK NEW ORLEANS~ and
it looks amazing. The first screening at the very pleasant and
comfortable Sundance Kabuki Cinema is Saturday, May 3rd, at 1pm,
then on Tuesday, May 6th, at 3:45pm, and Wednesday, May 7th, at
9pm. I am so there. Check it out and show your support!
a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just reply to