3, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Was
interesting to learn that ~VERNON MORALES~, formerly
of Winterland, is back in town (thanks Steven O. for
the Twitter tip), and he's now the chef over at Town
Hall. I know, not the first place you'd think
this innovative and boundary-pushing chef would land,
but he's excited to shift his refined molecular style
toward the hearty and lively Town Hall style, and not
the other way around (so no, you won't be finding any
foams on the fried chicken). 342 Howard St. at Fremont,
Looks like yet another tenant is giving it a go in the ~MAYES
OYSTER HOUSE~ location (recently the short-lived
Midpoint, and prior to that, O'Reilly's Holy Grail).
The menu is going to focus on San Francisco classics
and seafood; since the restaurant's history dates back
to 1867, lets hope returning to the original concept
is what it takes to stick around. Late-night dining,
happy hour, full bar. Open this Wednesday. 1233 Polk
St. at Bush, 415-885-1233.
Now, this is definitely a soft opening, but I thought
you should know that Ryan Ostler and Katharine Zacher
of Broken Record fame are (quietly) ready to begin
feeding folks at ~BRUNO'S~,
starting this evening. They're going to be making adjustments
to the menu, staffing, and more in the coming weeks,
so remember, this is a soft opening—there are just two
of them in the kitchen! Looking forward to their delicious
and affordable Southern-American fare being back on our
culinary scene. Bar opens at 5:30pm, and the kitchen
will be open Tue–Sat from 6pm–10:30pm (perhaps later,
to be determined). 2389 Mission St. at 20th St., 415-643-5200.
Thanks to my super sleuth-y intern, Erin, she noticed
a sign about an upcoming ~INDOOR MARKETPLACE~ coming
to Bernal Heights (name TBD). A group of six tenants
will be taking over a former dry cleaner location, and
hope to open before the holiday season wraps up, sometime
in December. So far, confirmed tenants include Paulie's
Pickling, which will be serving sandwiches, and
salads incorporating their pickled vegetables; Bernal
Cutlery, where you can get your knives sharpened
by hand (check out the site for a peek at knives for
sale—am loving this Laguiole
wine key and the vintage pocket knives); organic
produce from Della Terra Produce; plus a few other vendors. Amuse
Bouche has a lease to be a tenant, but due to
unfortunate recent immigration issues, that might not
be happening (fingers crossed—you can follow updates here).
Will keep you posted as this project evolves. I think
this is such a clever solution to helping small businesses
get a storefront—open in a space together! 331 Cortland
Ave. at Bennington.
My other star intern Daisy investigated what was happening
at the former J's Pots of Soul, now just ~SOUL~:
one of the new chefs is Nigerian-born Chris Nwagwu. The
menu features a combination of breakfast fare (omelets,
egg dishes, blueberry pancakes—sorry, no more pumpkin),
plus southern/soul food (like fried chicken wings, catfish)
and African and Jamaican dishes (like melon soup and
chicken pepper soup). Hours are 9am–8pm daily. They definitely
win for the most inexpensive new signage solution (just
paint over the "J's Pots of"). 203 Octavia St. at Page,
As previously mentioned, ~GREEN
CHILE KITCHEN~, will be opening in
its new digs just up the street from its original
location this Wednesday. The access to a fryer
means you'll be seeing sopapillas and chile rellenos,
along with other additions to the menu, like green
chile burgers. 1801 McAllister St. at Baker, 415-614-9411.
And just across the street, ~MATCHING HALF~ now
has a beer and wine license, so hours have been extended
to 9pm in the evenings. 1799 McAllister St. at Baker,
west: lots of things are percolating in the Inner
Sunset. Thanks to reader Karena for the tip, ~BEAUTIFULL~ is
opening in the former Pasta Pomodoro space; I hear
they are currently shooting for late November/early
December. 816 Irving St. at 9th Ave.
those who are wondering what's going on with the project
from the ~FRESCA~ team
that is opening in the PJ's Oyster Bed space,
FYI, it's still going to be a few months out, so I'll
have to keep you posted on the concept, menu, timing,
and all that good stuff. 737 Irving St. at 9th Ave.
And lastly, according to permits (and reader Paul G.),
there's a wine bar called ~INNER
FOG~ opening in the old Crossroads Trading
Co. corner space from owner John Nettesheim. Alas, I
don't have any details on this one (yet!). 555 Irving
St. at 7th Ave.
For those of you who couldn't get into 7x7's ~DAVID
CHANG~ chef talk happening this Wednesday, here
are some other places where you can find him signing
books (thanks to Food
Gal for the list): Thursday November 5th at Williams-Sonoma Union
Square from 5pm–7pm; Saturday November 7th at 11am
La Table in the San
Francisco Ferry Building; also November 7th
at 4pm at Kepler's in
Menlo Park with David Kinch of Manresa;
and noon on Sunday November 8th at Omnivore
Books with Jeremy Fox of Napa's Ubuntu.
For a much less formal gathering (read: probably booze-soaked
and packed with F-bombs), swing by ~SWEETIE'S~,
a divey joint in North Point this Thursday starting at
7:30pm. Both David Chang and author Peter
Meehan will be signing books while balancing drinks
in hand. Should be a fun one. 475 Francisco St. at Mason.
Whoa, is ~LETICIA'S~ coming back from the dead
to do further damage to every Castro District resident's
liver? If permits are to be believed, it will be opening
in the Thai Corner Express location. Stand by, fishbowl-sized
margaritas may be imminent. 2200 Market St. at Sanchez.
Sally's Restaurant at the base of Potrero Hill,
the place where World Gym folks go for egg white omelets
after their workout, is now hosting dinner service, called ~SALLY'S
AFTER DARK~. Created by Francisco Sanchez, the new
dinner menu has some hearty dishes like sliders and braised
short ribs, skillet chicken, and all-inclusive dinners
for $24. Dinner service is Wed–Sat 5:30pm–11pm for now.
300 De Haro St. at 16th St., 415-626-6006.
As a warm-up to Martin Cate's upcoming move to Hayes
Cove is getting close!), ~JARDINIÈRE~ is
going "Tiki Bar" next Monday November 9th with
a tiki bar theme. The prix-fixe dinner includes three
courses (pu pu platter in effect!) and three
wine pairings for $45, plus Cate will be behind the bar
mixing up three vintage tropical cocktails for $10 each.
Check out the menu here.
Reservations are recommended. 300 Grove St. at Franklin,
definitely on tour around town: ~AMERICANO~ (8
Mission St., 415-278-3777) is offering special dishes
until November 6th (including breakfast eggs, available
all day!—but they're $45 breakfast eggs, due to the five
grams shaved on top); ~DELFINA~ (3621
18th St., 415-552-4055) has truffle dishes today Tuesday
November 3rd and tomorrow the 4th (read more on their Facebook
page); and ~POGGIO~ (777
Bridgeway Blvd., Sausalito, 415-332-7771) is running
their series of truffle dishes during their third annual
Festa di Tartufi from November 10th–15th.
More Italian feasting: ~LUCE~ is
hosting a special Tuscan dinner on Wednesday
November 11th to benefit CUESA,
the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture.
Michelin-starred Dominique Crenn of Luce and Donatella
Zampoli from the wine estates of Marchesi de' Frescobaldi will
come together to create a six-course dinner inspired
by Tuscany, paired with award-winning wines from the
Frescobaldi family, who have been making wines in Tuscany
for more than 700 years. Chef Zampoli oversees the culinary
programs and special events at the Frescobaldi estates,
and also owns Donatella's Kitchen, an Italian restaurant
in Budapest. $75 per person, and wine pairings will be
offered for an additional $30 per person. $10 per person
will be donated to CUESA. 888 Howard St. at 5th St.,
Want a taste of the wild, like foraged acorn bread and
wild boar? Check out the menu of this ~WILD GAME AND
FORAGED FEAST~ at a private residence in Mill Valley—it's
a fundraiser for the upcoming Swamp Cabbage film.
It will be hosted on Sunday afternoon on November 15th
from 3:30pm–6:30pm. Ticket info and more here.
WEINZWEIG~, co-founder of the famed Zingerman's
Delicatessen, is visiting The Pasta
Shop on Thursday November 12th for a book signing,
conversation, and of course, a bacon tasting. The
book is ZINGERMAN'S
GUIDE TO BETTER BACON, Stories of Pork Bellies,
Hush Puppies, Rock 'n' Roll and Bacon Fat Mayonnaise.
4:30pm–6:30pm. No cost except for purchases. The
Pasta Shop Rockridge Market Hall, 5655
College Ave., Oakland, 510-250-6005.
Got a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just reply to this email.
Despite its small size, Bi-Rite
Market has one of the best wine selections
in town. Wine buyer Trac Le's selection of artisan
wines includes great organic and biodynamic producers
from California, Italy, France, Spain, and beyond,
with more than 50 hand-picked wines under $15,
a selection of great food wines at all prices,
and bottles from cult producers like Quintarelli,
Pegau, Huet, and Radio Coteau.
During Bi-Rite's two Holiday Wine Blitzes (November
12th–15th and December 10th–13th), all wines are
20% off when you purchase any 12 or more bottles. The
sale includes every wine in the store, and delivery
is free in San Francisco! For more details, click here.
Bi-Rite Market, 3639 18th St. between Dolores and
Guerrero, in the Mission District. For more information,
call the store at 415-241-9760 or email email@example.com.
NOVEMBER 3, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO This
Wednesday November 4th is a Sagatiba distiller dinner at ~SPRUCE~,
who will be pouring their line of cachaças, including
Pura, Velha, and their yet-to-be-released Preciosa. Bartender
Brandon Clements will be concocting a variety of cocktails
to pair with the five-course menu, which includes hors
d'oeuvres during the reception. $125 (exclusive of tax
and gratuity). 6:30pm. 3640 Sacramento St. at Spruce,
On Monday November 9th, ~AUTHOR KARA NEWMAN~ of Spice & Ice–70 Tongue-Tingling Cocktails, will be at Cantina for an evening of spicy cocktails from her new book. (Here's a recent review from Camper English of Alcademics.com.) You will be able to sample drinks made with jalapenos, hot sauce, and other fiery ingredients, and will have an opportunity to try your hand at making your own spicy cocktail. Light refreshments will be served. 5:30pm–7:30pm. 580 Sutter St. at Mason. (Note: Newman will also be at Omnivore Books on November 11th from 6pm–7pm.)
you're extra-crafty, you can do a double play next
Monday November 9th, and also try to get in to a special
(and free!) event for the ~SECRET
SHERRY SOCIETY~, which is just a few blocks
away. (Well, it's more like "secret" since I'm telling
you about it.) You and a guest are invited to enjoy a
party with complimentary cocktails, "live collaborative
art," and DJs at Swig from
the invite). RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can't guarantee there will be room, so act quickly
if you're interested. 561 Geary St. at Taylor.
just in case you get really excited about
how delicious sherry is and you want more, more, more,
you should come the next evening to the ~TABLEHOPPER
SHERRY TASTING~ at the cool Stable
Cafe (the event is Tuesday November 10th). As
I mentioned last week, sherry educator supreme, César
Salda ña, will lead us through all the different styles
of sherry, like a palo cortado and manzanilla. And James
Stolich of CookWithJames is
preparing quite the meal for us; while these items
are TBD, it's looking like during the reception we'll
be sipping fino and manzanilla (and a sherry cocktail)
while grazing on pimientos de Padrón, authentic Spanish
artisan chorizo, aceitunas rellenas con anchoas (anchovy-stuffed
olives), Marcona almonds, and a specialty of Jerez, salmorejo
con pan, a wonderful smooth tomato sauce on bread.
Once we sit down, the menu is currently slated to include
a chicken dish (pollo casero with garlic and red Spanish
pimentos is being discussed) and beef cheeks braised
in red wine seasoned with smoked, sweet Spanish paprika (pimentón
dulce). Plus a cheese course. And ice cream with Pedro
Ximénez for dessert. AND cocktails to start (and finish)
from Neyah White from nopa. I know, it's a total
flavor fiesta. Tickets
are just $59, all inclusive. The event runs from
6:30pm–9pm, and since there's always a great crowd (we're
talking about faboo tablehopper readers, right?), it's
sure to run over with more talking and drinking. Stable
Cafe, 2128 Folsom St. at 17th St.
A couple beer dinners for your radar: don't forget this
Wednesday November 4th is a ~DEVIL'S
GULCH BELGIAN BEER DINNER~ at Magnolia.
The three-course dinner ($45 with beer pairings) will
feature pork, quail, and rabbit from farmer Mark Pasternak
(who will be at the event). 1398 Haight St. at Masonic,
And then on Sunday November 8th, Sierra Nevada and Dogfish
Head Craft Brewery are hosting a dinner at ~ANA
MANDARA~ to debut the release of Life & Limb,
their new beer collaboration. Ken Grossman, founder
of Sierra Nevada, and Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish
Head, will be on hand to answer questions, drink beers
(hic), and tell stories throughout the evening. The
five-course French-Vietnamese dinner will be paired
with eight beers, including hand-pulled cask firkins
of the two collaborations: Limb & Life and Life & Limb.
The remaining courses will be paired with a mix of
Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada specialty beers. Tickets
sale now. $100. 891 Beach St. at Polk.
Anyone know about this new wine bar coming to the Castro?
Permits call it ~CORK: A WINE BAR~. Bueller? 2111
Market St. at Church.
Over in the East Bay, ~DASHE CELLARS~ is hosting a Spanish-themed Fall Open House this Saturday November 7th from 4pm–8pm. There will be new release wines, giant paella pans by Gerard's Paella, and flamenco performances by Roberto Aguilar's trio. Online tickets are available for $25 ($20 for wine club or ZAP members); tickets at the door are $30 ($25 for wine club or ZAP members). Entry includes wine tastings, food, and a complimentary Riedel glass. 55 4th St., Oakland, 510-452-1800.
It's complicated to open a restaurant, bar, nightclub,
or hotel—let alone run one. Whether you are trying to
work out your corporate structure, negotiate your lease,
protect your business name, or obtain private financing, Georgopoulos &
Economidis can help you navigate the tricky legal waters.
We are a trusted law firm that specializes in the
hospitality industry—we can help you grow your company
grow towards success. We understand what works and
what doesn't in this competitive industry.
for our sponsored ad this Thursday about how we can
help with lease negotiations. Or just call us now
and learn about our full suite of services. (Click
here to see our web site.) You can reach us
The Twelve Days of Christmas
Meadowood Napa Valley
$950 per couple, per night, with lodging
2009 | SAN FRANCISCO I
know, I can't believe the holidays are creeping up (extra
unbelievable with this beach weather we're currently having).
But for those of you who can afford it, I wanted to make
sure you knew about these special dinners since some of
them are filling up: ~THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS~ is
a Meadowood signature event, when twelve renowned chefs
from around the country collaborate with twelve of Napa
Valley's preeminent vintners to present holiday feasts
on twelve December evenings. Here's a two-minute short
film about the event.
The event is a fundraiser for Share Our Strength, a
national organization working to end childhood hunger
in America by 2015. Share Our Strength receives a percentage
of the dinner seating revenue throughout the event. Meadowood
will also make a $2,000 donation to Share Our Strength
in the name of each of the twelve chefs who have generously
donated their time and talent.
The 2009 Twelve Days of Christmas line-up of guest chefs
and partner vintners includes:
Day 1 ~ December 4th
Day 2 ~ December 5th
Day 3 ~ December 8th
Day 4 ~ December 9th
Day 5 ~ December 10th
Day 6 ~ December 11th
Day 7~ December 12th
Day 8 ~ December 15th
Day 9 ~ December 16th
Day 10: December 17th
Day 11~ December 18th
Day 12: December 19th
There will only be one seating per evening and space for each dinner is very limited. A sparkling wine reception runs from 6pm–7pm, and dinner is 7pm–10pm. Pricing begins at $950 per couple per night, and includes one night's lodging at Meadowood and dinner seating for two.
Chefs' Holidays at The
The Ahwahnee Hotel
3, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO This
year marks the 25th anniversary of ~YOSEMITE'S
CHEFS' HOLIDAYS AT THE AHWAHNEE~, held each
year in January and February, featuring many innovative
and acclaimed chefs. Each session includes a "Meet
the Chefs" reception, cooking classes and demonstrations,
a behind-the-scenes kitchen tour, and a five-course
Chefs' Holidays gala dinner that includes four
paired wines. (Traci Des Jardins, guest chef in 2008,
wrote this first-hand
report of her experience cooking at Chefs' Holidays.)
And winter is also a wonderful time to visit the
Here's the lineup o' talent for 2010:
Session: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, January 10, 11,
Percy Whatley—The Ahwahnee
Demonstrator: Cal Stamenov—Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley, CA
Demonstrator: Matt Bolton—Pacific's Edge at The Highlands Inn, Carmel, CA
Demonstrator: David Kinch—Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
Paul Padua—The Ahwahnee (pastry)
Session 2: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, January 13, 14, 15
Headliner: Bruce Sherman—North Pond, Chicago, IL
Demonstrators: Peg Smith & Sue Conley—Cowgirl Creamery-Pt. Reyes, CA
Elizabeth Falkner—Citizen Cake & Orson,
Session 3: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, January 17, 18, 19
Headliner: Christopher Lee—Aureole, New York, NY
Demonstrator: Hoss Zaré—Zaré at Flytrap, San Francisco
Demonstrator: Douglas Keane—Cyrus, Healdsburg, CA
Session 4: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, January 20, 21, 22
Headliner: Brad Farmerie—PUBLIC, New York, NY
Demonstrator: Chris Cosentino—Incanto & Boccalone, San Francisco
Demonstrator: Paul Virant—Vie, Western Springs, IL
Session 5: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, January 24, 25, 26
Headliner: Suzanne Goin—Lucques, Los Angeles
Demonstrators: Duskie Estes & John Stewart—Zazu & Bovolo, Sonoma County
Demonstrator: Jody Adams—Rialto, Boston, MA
Session 6: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, January 27, 28, 29
Theme: Bravo TV's Top Chefs
Headliner: Ariane Duarte—CulinAriane of Montclair, NJ
Demonstrator: Ryan Scott—San Francisco
Demonstrator: Carla Hall—Alchemy Caterers, Washington
Session 7: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, January 31, February 1, 2
Headliner: Ken Frank—La Toque, Napa Valley
Demonstrator: Michelle Mah—midi, San Francisco
Demonstrator: Loretta Keller—COCO500, San Francisco
Session 8: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, February 3, 4, 5
Headliners: Bernard Guillas & Ron Oliver—La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
Demonstrator: Nancy Silverton—Osteria Mozza & Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles
Demonstrator: Annie Somerville—Greens, San Francisco
Odd-numbered sessions include three nights of lodging, even-numbered sessions include two nights of lodging. Call for pricing and reservations at 801-559-4884.
NOVEMBER 3, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Don't
forget: the books mentioned below are available
at 20% off for tablehopper readers for two weeks
following this mention at Green
Apple Books—simply use the code "tablehopper" at
checkout (either at the store or online) for your
Cookbooks consider several potential audiences, it
seems to me: basic home cooks looking for some new
dishes and inspiration, advanced home cooks refining
technique and broadening their horizons, and the professional.
The best have something for all three, like Alice Waters' Art
of Simple Food. Momofuku is
mostly for the latter two audiences, I think.
for "lucky peach") is a small restaurant group in New
York's East Village started by David Chang (who already
has three James Beard awards at a pretty young age).
And their new book feels like an only-in-New-York kind
of thing. Like the $85 tasting menu starting with a
chicharron. Or standing room only at a ramen shop.
And judging by the sheer number of F bombs in the introduction
alone, there's some serious attitude.
But people swear by the places, and each restaurant
evolved uniquely, so there's certainly much there beyond
the hype. In fact, the stories of each space's evolution
make for some interesting reading, like how the "Korean
burrito" joint with no servers morphed into Ko, featuring
"kaiseki cuisine through an American lens."
for recipes, Momofuku offers
many in variable degrees of complexity, from simple
pickling recipes to a Fuji apple salad with kimchi,
smoked jowl, and maple labne. Perhaps too much sourcing
for the home cook or anyone too impatient to make
their own kimchi, but inspiring, gorgeous, and mouthwateringly
any cookbook that demands $40, the production value
is high, with lush photography, notes on sources,
an index, etc. It's one of those cookbooks that you
probably won't use day in and day out, but it'll
inspire you when you have the time and it might teach
you how NOT to open a restaurant.
The only other things I can say about Momofuku is
that it was surprisingly challenging to review—it doesn't
fit neatly into most cookbook categories. And that's
probably a perfect match for the eclectic cuisine of
Thanks for reading.
NOVEMBER 3, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Reader Joe K. found himself sitting next to Ron Livingston (Office Space, Sex and the City) at Beretta. (He's reportedly "much hotter in person than he is on Sex and the City.")
All content © 2009 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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