table of contents This week's tablehopper: short (-ish) and sweet.

the chatterbox
the word on the street

the lush
put it on my tab
the socialite
the starlet
no photos please
the matchmaker
let's get it on

the sponsor
this round is on me

Golden Glass

Clothing Swap

imageMAY 27, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Hola. No comment on the lame holiday weather yesterday, although it helped make it somewhat tolerable to be home writing this thing while the rest of the City had the day off but was probably freezing some heinie at an outdoor cookout. In honor of the shorter week, this issue is a bit of an abridged version, plus I'm opting out of a restaurant review, sorry, I was just too wiped from my weekend in Palm Springs. I know, poor baby, too much poolside sun and chillaxing this weekend. Actually, it was all the driving to Palm Springs and back that did me in (ten hours down on Friday, and seven back on Sunday, ack). I'll have a write-up for you next week.

I normally don't use this forum to espouse my political views, but as a freelance writer and San Francisco resident who is extremely grateful for her rent control, I'm going to urge that you please consider voting no on the problematic Prop 98, and yes on Prop 99 when you go vote next Tuesday, June 3rd. You are voting, yes? Yes. Okay, my soapbox is now kicked back out of sight.

Returning to a food note, those of you who joined me in lamenting the long-lost chocolate brioche cake from Rumpus can now join me in a big fat yay, because it's actually on the menu at Bungalow 44 in Marin. Thanks to the wonders of the WORLD WIDE WEB (and chefs who read tablehopper), I was put in touch with the former chef of Rumpus, Robert Price, who is currently the chef of Bungalow 44 and the Buckeye Roadhouse. He said to come on down to Bungalow 44 for some cake! Or up, depending on where you live.

Let's all eat cake.

~Marcia subscribe
the chatterbox

Golden GlassMAY 27, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO The historic (try over one hundred years old and counting) ~FLY TRAP RESTAURANT~ in SoMa is about to undergo some changes—Hoss Zaré will be the new chef-owner, and will be renaming it "Zaré at Fly Trap." It's funny how things come full circle, because Zaré worked there from 1989–1992, starting as a line cook under Craig Thomas, formerly the executive chef of Ernie's, and Zaré worked his way up to chef (it was his first executive chef position). He is excited to have a new project after being away for a few years, and this time his venue has a full bar, a private dining room, and lounge—all things he didn't have at his former restaurant, Zaré on Sacramento Street (where the now-closed Les Amis was). Zaré is planning to close the Fly Trap for a week in late July for some cleaning and small changes to the space—the piano is being removed to make room for a communal table in the bar area, making it more lounge-like, and just so you're not totally shocked, the tablecloths will be departing.

The menu will also undergo some changes: Zaré will be making it more Cal-Mediterranean, but some classics like the famed celery Victor (the dish I always order at the Fly Trap) will remain. He's going to be adding some additional appetizers for those who don't want a full meal or entrée—there will be about 12–15 total. Hours will be extended as well: the restaurant will be open nightly for dinner until midnight, with the bar pouring until 1am; lunch will continue to be served Monday through Friday. By the end of the year, Zaré plans to add brunch, and delivery to neighbors and businesses that live within a three or four-block radius. He also wants to retain the wonderful staff that works there, and is looking forward to injecting more fun in the atmosphere, bridging the gap from the old to the new. 606 Folsom St. at 2nd St., 415-243-0580.

Dennis Leary of Canteen has opened his casual breakfast and lunch spot, ~THE SENTINEL~, just across from the Palace Hotel. Like the space, which was a former cigar shop, he's starting small. A few definites: there will be good coffee from Mr. Espresso (and then from Four Barrel Coffee once the roastery gets up and running), fresh breakfast treats like house-made brioche and coffee cake, and for lunch, there will be soup and a couple sandwiches each day, some on homemade bread. For now, Leary is keeping it simple so he can get the biz going and see what the petite facility, and one oven, can handle production-wise, so take it easy on him. Oh, and the menu board and awning are forthcoming! Leary will continue running the dinner show at Canteen, in case you were wondering. Hours are Mon–Fri 7am–2pm. Remember, everything is subject to change, from menu items to hours. 35 New Montgomery St. at Stevenson, 415-284-9960.

Here's an update on ~ZAYTOON~, the project I mentioned last month that's opening in the old Bistro Annex space in the Mission. It should now be opening mid-June or so, with a tight menu focused on wraps, like schwarmas (chicken, and possibly lamb, or lamb-beef), falafel (also available deluxe, with potato and eggplant), and a mezes platter (dolmas, hummus, baba ghannoush), all made with quality ingredients. 1136 Valencia St. at 22nd St., 415-824-1787.

imageAlso in the Mission: I got an update on what is moving into the former ADS Hats location on Valencia, next door to Cha-Ya. The restaurant will be called ~GRUB~, and is from the same owner (Isaac Mognnam) who is opening the previously-mentioned Booth on Polk Street—Naylor and Chu will also be designing this space (check out the rendering). It will be a casual 49-seater that should be opening in late summer or early fall, serving contemporary Californian breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a twist. Some potential examples might be Buffalo wings, but with an apricot glaze, or some chicken strips with a falafel crust, or scrambled eggs with Brie and basil, or a BLT burger that is made with bison. The eclectic menu will be affordable, with most dishes ranging from $8–$13, but still made with excellent ingredients, many organic when possible. Will let you know more as things get closer. 758 Valencia St. at 19th St.

Over in the East Bay, I had a chance to catch up with the folks behind the changes to Pearl Oyster Bar & Restaurant in Rockridge, which closed for a redux after four-and-a-half years of business. It will be reopening on June 9th with a new name and style: ~WATER LOUNGE~. Owner Rick Tyler is having GM Micaela Gardner and assistant manager Jason Sole fine tune and launch the transformation of the restaurant into more of a bar and lounge that serves "high-end bar food." Some Pearl favorites, like the oysters and ahi poke will remain, plus there will be additional raw bar offerings, like tombo tartare and sashimi specials. There will also be a few hot dishes from the kitchen, like a panko-crusted cod and chips, and half a Cornish game hen with fries. (The menu should be posted on the website later this week.) Prices will be dropping a little as they dial the concept down, making it a less-formal spot to eat and drink.

Changes to the space include getting rid of the seating in the front and converting it to lounge-style seating; a partition is being removed so the space feels more open; a fresh paintjob is underway; the barstools are getting changed (from red to black); the glass tabletops will be swapped out for cherry and can fold down into a smaller size; there will be a new sound system, and a DJ will be playing Thursday through Saturday nights—entertainment will be listed weekly on the site. There will also be rotating art every three months, plus impromptu and unexpected entertainment, from video installations to dance performance. The cocktail list has been revamped, and will feature eight seasonal cocktails—a few of the popular Pearl-era drinks will remain. The grand opening party is June 9th at 8pm; anyone can attend. There will be free oysters and sangria, plus some DJs and dance performances. Hours will then be daily from 5:30pm–1am, closed on Mondays. 5634 College Ave., in between Keith and Ocean View, Oakland, 510-654-5426.

Did you know Joyce Goldstein has a new book out today: Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings? I can't wait to try some recipes from it, because lord knows I could use more salads in my life. Perfect season for 'em, too. Since I am sure this event will sell out quickly, I thought I should let you know she will be hosting an upcoming ~COOKS WITH BOOKS~ event at Left Bank Restaurant in Larkspur on Tuesday, July 29th, 2008, at 6:30pm. Here's more from Book Passage:

"In the Mediterranean, a meal of summer salads means anything from tabbouleh to white beans and prawns in a lemony dressing to small plates of mezze, antipasta or tapas. Fans of Joyce Goldstein know of her expertise on Mediterranean food from her days as chef/owner of San Francisco's Square One. She shares 140 recipes of delicious and easy to prepare meals based on Mediterranean salads. In this book you'll find over 30 versatile dressings, using marinades, spreads, dips and finishing sauces. She is the author of many cookbooks and a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. The price of the combined book & meal is $95 per person/$170 per couple.

"The author/chef discusses his or her cooking ideas with the guests during the meal. Seating begins at 6:30pm. Coffee and conversation usually end about two hours later. Tickets are purchased in advance through Book Passage. The price includes the meal, wine, tax, tip, and a signed copy of the book (one copy per couple). Sign-up online, or call 415-927-0960 to register by phone." 507 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur.

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

the sponsor

Golden Glass

SLOW Sipping: 5th Annual Golden Glass Wine Event
Sunday June 8, Fort Mason's Festival Pavilion
Grand Tasting: 3-7 pm

Let your glass be your guide through some of the most exciting sustainably-produced, terroir-expressive wines from New Zealand, Spain, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, France, Germany, and Italy at the 5th Annual Golden Glass wine event on June 8th at Fort Mason's Festival Pavilion. Delicious treats from top Bay Area restaurants, live music, educational wine seminars, and winemaker dinners round out the offerings!

Tickets: $50 advance purchase, $60 at the door ($45 Slow Food members).

For more info, visit Proceeds from Golden Glass benefit the Slow Food SF School Garden Project and Slow Food USA's "Ark of Taste" program.  

the lush

Clothing SwapMAY 27, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Those who like to trainspot their bartenders will be pleased to learn ~JAMIE BOUDREAU~, most recently of Vessel in Seattle, is in town for a weeklong guest bartending gig at Bourbon & Branch. Here's more from the B&B blog:

"Starting Monday, May 26, Jamie Boudreau will be bartending at Bourbon&Branch. For those of you who might not have heard of Jamie, here's a quick rundown. Jamie Boudreau is considered to be one of the finest bartenders in the world. Bold statement, perhaps, but he has the credentials to back it up. Jamie has bartended all over the world, and has been featured in so many publications that it might give me carpal tunnel if I listed them all. Most recently, Jamie presided over the upscale bar Vessel in Seattle...he was named Seattle Magazine's 2007 Bartender of the Year. If you haven't heard of him, check out his blog at After that, run don't walk to Bourbon&Branch. On Monday and Tuesday of this week Jamie will be in the front bar making cocktails. Jamie will then move it back to the Library on Wednesday and Thursday, where he will have his own special menu. This promises to be a very special engagement, and we hope everyone can make it out and say hello to Jamie, and welcome him to San Francisco." Corner of O'Farrell and Jones.

Tomorrow evening, on Wednesday, May 28th, ~RANDALL GRAHM OF BONNY DOON~ will be pouring some of his wines (Ca' del Solo Albariño, Vin Gris de Cigare, and Le Cigare Volant) at Glen Park's Canyon Market. It's a great opportunity to hang out, taste, and learn from this wonderful winemaker. (And you can head over to Gialina for delicious pizza afterwards!) 5pm–7pm. 2815 Diamond St. at Chenery, 415-586-9999.

In case you missed the first cheese tasting at Bar Bambino, now they are doing a ~CHEESE AND WINE TASTING~ this coming Sunday, June 1st, from 3pm–5pm. Here's more from Bar Bambino:

"Bar Bambino explores why raw cheese has captured the imagination of producers and diners worldwide. Fresh from his Commonwealth Club appearance on 19 May 2008, head cheesemonger Colin Shaff will host a tasting to illustrate the virtues of raw versus pasteurized cheese. We present four tasting sets that exemplify the flavors of raw and pasteurized cheeses while uncovering nuanced differences between domestic and European products. Colin will help guide conversation with bits of history, important legal background, and stories recounting the many challenges of artisanal production. Owner Christopher Losa's wine pairings showcase some of Italy's finest varietals with each course." $45 per person. For reservations, contact them at 415-701-VINO or 2931 16th St. at South Van Ness.

To coincide with the timing of next week's Golden Glass event, ~SOUTH~ is hosting a special dinner on Monday, June 9th: "The best of New Zealand—summer wine dinner" to welcome Simon Buck and Nick Nobilo. The multi-course dinner starts at 6:30pm, and is $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call to reserve your spot. 330 Townsend St., Ste. 101 at 4th St., 415-974-5599.

Thursday, June 12th, will be a second tasting from Vinfolio at Coffee Bar: ~THE WILDER SIDE OF PINOT~. Here's more from the linked page: "Doug Wilder, Vinfolio Director of California Acquisitions […] has selected an array of pinot that will showcase a variety of distinct styles and appellations. Doug will be joined by winemakers Kenneth Juhasz of Donum Estate and Ryan Zepaltas of Zepaltas wines as well as a representative from Eric Kent Wine Cellars who will be on hand to talk about their different approaches to pinot and to explain the mysteries of working with this difficult, but highly prized grape. We will also be pouring one or more of the special Hospice du Sonoma Pinot Noir magnums—limited to the first 30 minutes of the tasting." If you want to go, be sure to mention tablehopper for $5 off the ticket price when you register. The last event drew 80 people, and they expect this one to sell out quickly. Pinot, you know. Ticket price ($40 in advance/$50 at the door if tickets remain); includes assorted cheese and charcuterie selections. 6pm–8:30pm. Details on how to reserve your spot and the wines that will be poured can be found through the link above. Coffee Bar, 1890 Bryant St. b/w 17th St. and Mariposa.

the sponsor

Clothing Swap

Carrie. Samantha. Charlotte. Miranda. Whose closet would you raid?

Attend SWAP IN THE CITY this Friday, May 30th. An entire evening of fun, food, fashion, philanthropy and an exclusive film screening of Sex and the City!

6:00pm Cocktail Party at InterContinental Hotel

Sip. Nibble. Pose for paparazzi. Win one of 40 Bridal/Formal designer sample dresses at our Exclusive Gown Give-Away! Mingle with fashion designers and get free spa treatments.

7:30pm: Charleston Pierce Presents: SATC-Themed FASHION SHOW

8:30pm: The 150th Milestone CLOTHING SWAP for Women and Men: A signature Suzanne Agasi Production

10:30pm: View Sex and the City film debut at Century 9 Theaters located just a block away.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: tablehopper readers get $20 off the ticket price if purchased online by Midnight this Thursday. Discount code: TABLEHOPPER

the socialite


Dine About Town Launch Party
Wed., June 4, 2008

The Cellar at Macy's Union Square
170 O'Farrell St.
Cross: Stockton St.
San Francisco, CA 94108



reserve tickets

MAY 27, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Round two of Dine About Town is coming up, and I'm going to be emceeing a cooking demo with Scott Sasaki of Garibaldi's at the upcoming ~DINE ABOUT TOWN LAUNCH PARTY~. The event is from the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau and The Cellar at Macy's Union Square. Here's more:

"With your $10 donation to Meals On Wheels, you'll receive tastes from featured Dine About Town restaurants Asia de Cuba; Colibri; Cortez; First Crush; Garibaldi's; Horizon; Jack Falstaff; PlumpJack Cafe; and Roots; a cooking demonstration by Scott Sasaki, executive chef of Garibaldi's, moderated by Marcia "the tablehopper" Gagliardi; wine tastings from Cellar 360 and Wattle Creek Winery, and a keepsake "Only in San Francisco" wine glass. Space is limited."


Best of the Bay Area Party
Pinot Days
Wed., June 25–29, 2008

Fort Mason (Buchanan St. and Marina Blvd.) and various locations
San Francisco, CA


order tickets

tablehopper readers get 10% off all events—just enter the code "tablehopper"

MAY 27, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Coming up is the ~FOURTH ANNUAL PINOT DAYS FESTIVAL~. More than 180 of the world's top pinot noir producers will participate this year in the finest comprehensive tasting of the hottest grape around, pinot noir! Every region of California and Oregon will be represented over the course of the festival week, with five days total of tasting events.

Please note tablehopper readers get 10% off on tickets to all Pinot Days events—just enter the special discount code "tablehopper."

The main event is the Grand Festival on Sunday, June 29th. It will once again provide a complimentary and exclusive trade tasting from 11am–1pm, with the public portion running from 1pm–5pm, $65.

Trade: click here to sign up (entrance is complimentary).

The day of the Grand Festival, there is also a Sunday Seminar Series, offering specific opportunities to appreciate wines of particular styles, or from particular regions or vineyards. Each Series consists of three unique, topical tastings: Appellation, Vineyard and Misto. The "Appellation Tasting" is a tasting of pinots from a specific appellation or region. The "Vineyard Tasting" is a tasting of pinots from a specific vineyard. The "Misto Tasting" is mix of pinot-related topics, ranging from an alcohol level study to a clonal study to a study of the effects of the various barrel types—you choose.

A ticket to the Sunday Seminar Series includes the Grand Festival. Sunday Seminar Series ticket holders may enter the Grand Festival at 11am with members of the Trade, and taste for one hour before heading to your particular seminar series. Seminars are two hours in length, so you may re-enter the Grand Festival at 2pm to enjoy three more hours of tasting pinot and meeting winemakers. $90 per person.

Here are some additional Pinot Days events:

Pinot Tasting and Pairing
Tuesday, June 24th, 6pm–8pm, $25 (includes tasting and small bites)
Ottimista Enoteca-Café: 1838 Union St. at Octavia, 415-674-8400

Ottimista Enoteca-Café is hosting six pinot producers who will pour their finest to Ottimista customers interested in tasting and celebrating pinot noir, as paired with pinot-centric foods. Meet the winemakers and hear their stories.

Winemakers Dinners
Thursday, June 26th, 6pm–10pm, $150, at Jack Falstaff and Isa

Here you get a chance to taste six producers' wines with passed appetizers in a "festival" format before sitting down to a four-course meal, each course paired with two pinots. In short, the night is about fourteen of the best pinot producers' wines and delicious food. You will dine with the winemakers... Click here for more information.

[Please note: while they call these "Table Hop Dinners," tablehopper is in no way affiliated with these two dinner events!]

Focus Tastings
Saturday, June 28th, $80, Fort Mason Golden Gate Room
~Best of Santa Lucia and Santa Rita Hills, 1pm–3pm
~Best of Sonoma Coast, Anderson Valley and Santa Rita Hills, 4pm–6pm
~Best of Russian River Valley and Santa Maria Valley, 7pm–9pm

While you sit at your table, sixteen wines will be poured (four wines in each of four flights), the best of the regions, and you taste (blind) and talk while sixteen winemakers will sit among attendees and share insight into their wines. Click here for more information.

Kosta Browne Producer Spotlight Tasting
Wednesday, June 25th, 6pm–10pm, $150, Fort Mason Golden Gate Room

You will spend two hours learning how the winery came into existence, what makes Kosta Browne pinot so unique, and what the plans are for the future, all while tasting sixteen nearly impossible-to-find and coveted Kosta Browne pinots (in four flights) with featured guest Michael Browne, the winemaker and co-owner of Kosta Browne. Click here for more information.

There are also some additional events, plus tastings at retail stores—be sure to check the main site for further details.

the starlet

MAY 27, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Another T.R. Knight (aka Dr. George O'Malley from Grey's Anatomy) sighting at NOPA, and he was with his cute boyfriend again—they must be fans. (They are not alone in their affinity for the restaurant.) The tablehopper reader said Knight sat right behind them and ordered one of the same dishes they did—the vegetable tagine. Great minds…

And this just in: on Saturday night, newlyweds Jenna Bush and husband Henry Hager were guests at a rehearsal dinner at Le Colonial while two secret service agents waited outside in an unmarked car. The wedding activities were for her college roommate who was getting married on Sunday. As my contact said, "Even though GWB hates California, it's good to know Jenna has no hard feelings while she was getting her party on!"

Did you have a star sighting at a restaurant or bar around town? Send 'em on in! All sightings remain confidential. (So if you happen to work for a restaurant, I'll never reveal who told me which star was dining at table four, or getting loaded on Cristal.) Just hit reply to this email.

the matchmaker

Executive Chef needed for multi million $ sustainable, organic dining venue with full bar opening in Berkeley in early spring 2009. The ideal candidate for this cutting edge space (with high profile owners) will have at least 10 years industry training and/or history; showing steady progress from sous to head chef position with 100+ venue seating experience. Seasonal approach to menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner; catering experience; ability to maintain costs without sacrificing quality; and familiarity with local vendors and organic producers are a given.
We seek a leader who can oversee hundreds of meals a day while insuring that all employees are treated with respect. Email or fax resumes to Full Plate Restaurant Consulting at 707-795-4885. Be sure to put "Berkeley Chef" in the Subject.


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.

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