This week's tablehopper: action-packed.
Beet salad at boon in Guerneville.
It’s so good to get the hell out of town. Last week I escaped the gloom and boogied up to West County in Sonoma, checking out the wineries and vittles in Graton, Forestville, and Guerneville (plus a little bit of Sebastopol). I have to head up for one more mission before I can write up a jetsetter for y’all, but I’ll hopefully get to it soon. From the velvety pinot at Paul Hobbs, to the little slice of Palm Springs chic at boon hotel + spa in Guerneville, to a decadent breakfast at Willow Wood Market Café in Graton, with some Iron Horse bubbles on top, I was smitten.
Saturday only continued the assault of the delicious and the tasty: I was invited to attend an In the Kitchen with Lisa tour of the Mission, which was fun for this long-standing local, so someone new to the city (or just passing through) would definitely dig it. Check out my Flickr photo album of the calorie-laden day here.
Will I see you at StarChefs on Wednesday? And on Thursday afternoon at 12:30pm, I’ll be on Pirate Cat Radio (87.9FM) discussing late-night dining in SF on GridLock. Listen in!
And this isn’t exactly food-related, but this Thursday evening I’m going to be at a chic event at MAC (Modern Appealing Clothing) in Hayes Valley called “Women We Love.” I’ll be there signing books, Able & Baker Studios will be doing live screenprinting, and the fab fashionistas behind RosenMunns will also be in attendance. The event is from 6pm-8:30pm, do come by! 387 Grove St. at Gough.
And then Saturday is the big one: the tablehopper Indian Street Food Lunch at Dosa on Fillmore. (Read more here.) Let’s rock a Bollywood style, people—break out the colorful clothing. I’m fired up that I actually have an occasion to wear the beautiful salwar kameez I bought in Mumbai since I don’t seem to have any Indian weddings to attend in the near future.
Oh, and since my life is a bit less squirrely, I’ll have a second installment for you later this week, cheers.
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Indian Street Food Event This Saturday June 19th!
Just a little reminder about the TABLEHOPPER INDIAN STREET FOOD LUNCH AT DOSA ON FILLMORE this Saturday afternoon! To recap, we’ll be sitting down for a family-style nine-course lunch of amazing dishes like what I experienced in Mumbai, including pani puri, pav bhaji, vada pav (one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten in my life), bhel puri, dahi papadi chaat, lamb frankies (or with paneer for the vegetarians), an array of kebabs, and one of my personal favorites, lamb baida roti. It’s gonna be so good. And very vegetarian friendly. We’ll also have some chai and sweets at the end.
We’re going to be featuring a selection of wonderful wines from Robert Oatley Vineyards in Mudgee, New South Wales. You will have the opportunity to try half-glass/tasting pours of the following wines: 2009 Pinot Grigio, 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 Sangiovese Rosé, 2008 Chardonnay, 2007 Shiraz, and the 2007 Cab-Merlot.
$45 per person (includes nine tasting courses, chai, tasting pours of the wines, gratuity, and tax). You’ll also have a chance to pick up a copy of my book (and get it signed!) for $17.50. See you there—it’s going to be a party.
Saturday Jun 19, 2010 12pm–3pm $45 (includes all nine courses, wine tastes, tax, and gratuity) more info
Ring Yer Bike Bell: The Taco Bike Is Here!
Ok, this is beyond badass: the love child between a taco stand and a Schwinn will be hitting the streets of San Francisco, starting this Friday June 18th. Commissioned by Timothy Holt of Weird Fish, THE TACO BIKE will be cruising 18th Street and Dolores Park. The bike will get rolling around noon, heading up to the Castro and back to the Mission, then back again. The rotating menu will have a fish taco, shrimp taco, and a vegetarian/vegan taco, featuring produce from Roshambo Farms, Holt’s farm in Healdsburg with his girlfriend. You can follow Weird Fish on Twitter for updates. The Bite Club has great pictures and details about the bike, which was built by Todd Barricklow—you gotta check it out.
Also, Holt’s other baby, WEIRD FISH will be opening up for brunch again, starting this Saturday June 19th. They will have roasted garlic-stewed tomatoes with baked eggs and porridge, vegan pancakes, buttermilk pancakes, vegan chorizo with beans, smoked salmon hash, veggie hash, and the usual suspects when it comes to lunch (like fish ‘n’ chips, tacos, and a few interesting sandwiches, like the seitan Reuben, and the classic fried fish sammich). Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm. Plus cheap mimosas, and Four Barrel Coffee to wake you up.
Weird Fish - 2193 Mission St. San Francisco - 415-863-4744
Marengo Opening in Cow Hollow
The new tenants in the former U Street Lounge, MARENGO, are opening their doors (and retractable roof) this Thursday. Owners Kevin Toomajian and Jim Gruettner, with Kevin’s wife, chef Rayna Toomajian, are offering a menu of sliders (up to ten kinds), plus dishes like whiskey wings and six main-dish salads, like a jerk chicken version and a chopped salad. A sneak peek at the menu reveals quality purveyors, like Long and Bailey Farms for the pulled pork slider, and Pozzi Farms ground lamb for the lamb slider. Another draw will be the long list of whiskeys from around the world, over 50 in all, and 20 wines by the glass, with 75 wines total (the wine list will primarily range from $30 to $45, with quite a few reserve selections as well). Open daily 4pm to close (until 10pm midweek, 12am on Thursdays, and 2am on the weekend); lunch and brunch coming later. With brunch sliders, oh you know it. 1980 Union St. at Buchanan, 415-441-2575.
Some Beefy News: Roam Opens Monday
More burger-y news in Cow Hollow: ROAM ARTISAN BURGERS is due to open next Monday June 21st. The menu will include sustainable burgers made from grass-fed beef and all-natural bison (plus a free-range turkey and an organic vegetable version), along with organic Straus Family Creamery ice cream or yogurt shakes (with flavors like Dagoba chocolate, Blue Bottle coffee, pomegranate blueberry, and salted caramel), artisan sodas (like prickly pear and caramelized pineapple), local beers, plus kombucha and wine on tap. The 49-seat space has a rustic and farmhouse vibe, with a 12-foot communal table, a walnut bar, stainless steel chairs and red accent stools, banquette seating, and a chandelier made of Straus Creamery milk bottles. (The project was built with eco-friendly practices.) Open daily 11am-10pm, and until 12am Fri-Sat.
Roam Artisan Burgers - 1785 Union St. San Francisco - 415-440-7626
Hooker's Sweet Treats Now Open
The new TenderNob café with the sassy name, HOOKER’S SWEET TREATS, is now open. Not only will you be able to get one (or more) of David Williams’s kickass sea salt-orange cream-dark chocolate caramels, but you can also get espresso drinks and French-press coffee from Sightglass Coffee, featuring their very first batches of house-roasted coffee. There will additionally be a daily batch of bread pudding with a caramel sauce, caramel corn (in the late morning), and more stuff down the road. Hours for now are Mon-Fri 7:30am-5pm, and Sat 9am-2pm. 442 Hyde St. at Ellis.
RNM Closed (For Now)
Haighteration broke the story about a three-month closure of RNM in the Lower Haight. The sign posted on the window reads: “Effective today, RNM will be closed for 3 months to undergo extensive renovations. We have loved serving the Lower Haight for almost eight years now and look forward to re-opening in this neighborhood better than ever. Thank you for supporting us, and we look forward to seeing you in the Fall.” Rumors are growing that it might be longer than that—I’ll let you know the latest once I hear back from chef-owner Justine Miner. 598 Haight St. at Steiner.
Comstock Saloon Now Serving Lunch
The COMSTOCK SALOON in North Beach/Chinatown is now serving lunch—the all-day menu is available 12pm-2am Tue-Fri and 2pm-2am Sat-Sun (closed Mondays). Chef Carlo Espina’s menu includes corn and jalapeño fritters or pig in a biscuit (both $8) to start with; a fisherman’s salad with preserved fish, green beans, cherry tomatoes, and pickled cauliflower ($9); chicken-fried rabbit with pepper vinegar ($13); and entrées include clams, spicy sausage, boiled potatoes, and corn ($16.50) or a Hamburg steak with caramelized onions and gravy ($17).
Comstock Saloon - 155 Columbus Ave. San Francisco - 415-617-0071
Samovar in the Castro Temporarily Closed
Bummer, a car crashed into the SAMOVAR TEA LOUNGE in the Castro on Sunday, and some folks got hurt, including a woman who got pinned to the wall. Fortunately, no one was killed, but it was a serious crash. You can watch this report on ABC, and view more pictures of the damage on Uptown Almanac. I’ll keep you posted on a reopening date. 498 Sanchez St. at 18th St., 415-626-4700.
Mehfil Indian Cuisine May Take Over Crepevine Space on Fillmore
Nothing is final on this one quite yet, but once escrow is complete, it looks like MEHFIL INDIAN CUISINE may be moving into the CREPEVINE space on Fillmore Street. Mehfil is currently located at 600 Folsom Street; this would be their second location. Stand by. 2301 Fillmore St. at Clay.
EAT Restaurant Opens in The Ambassador
The latest addition to the pop-up scene, EAT RESTAURANT is starting its first night in The Ambassador this Wednesday June 16th (EAT is also at 111 Minna on various nights—the next event there will be Wednesday June 30th). The menu of “Californian street food tapas made with local and sustainable produce” ranges from $8-$15, and can be viewed here. The project is from executive chef Tommy Halvorson (behind The Phoenix Supper Club, and previously a sous at Bix and Adagia) and Crystal Yang. 6pm-10pm. Table reservations for this Wednesday can be made by calling 415-375-2321; walk-ins are also welcome. 673 Geary St. at Leavenworth.
Well, it’s actually CUESA’S 3RD ANNUAL GRILL FEST, back with a sausage theme this year. Starting on Thursday June 24th is a Sustainable Sausage and Beer Party (5:30pm-7:30pm), with sausages from seven local chefs and beers paired by members of the San Francisco Brewers Guild. Participating chefs include Taylor Boetticher, Fatted Calf; Chris Cosentino, Boccalone; Antelmo Faria, Tacolicious; Ryan Farr, 4505 Meats; Matt Kerley, Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery; Dennis Lee, Namu; and Pierre Mange, The Plant Café Organic. Breweries include: Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery, Social Kitchen & Brewery, Thirsty Bear Brewing Co., Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, Gordon Biersch, 21st Amendment Brewery, and Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant.
CUESA will host an “Ask the Butcher” booth with Dave “the Butcher” Budworth of Avedano’s and Marina Meats, who’ll be on hand all evening to answer questions about sausage making. Doug Stonebreaker of Prather Ranch Meat Company will be in an “Ask the Rancher” booth to share behind-the-scenes stories form the ranch. Your $30 ticket buys one mini sausage from each chef and a taste of beer from each participating brewery. Buy tickets here.
The event takes place in the CUESA kitchen under the North arcade of the Ferry Building. Proceeds from this event will go to the CUESA Farmer Scholarship Fund, which is designed to help Ferry Plaza Farmers Market sellers learn how to make their operations more sustainable.
Then on Saturday June 26th is the Sausage Grill-Off from 12pm-1:30pm. For the third year in a row, local chefs will set up in the market and vie for the title of Grill Master. Last year’s burger champion, Mark Sullivan of Spruce, will return to defend his title against Dave Bazirgan of Chez Papa Resto, Peter McNee of Poggio, Thomas Odermatt of Roli Roti, and Scott Youkilis of Hog & Rocks/Maverick. Whose homemade sausages will reign supreme? This CUESA-sponsored event will be free and open to the public. Mini sausages from all the chefs will be available after the competition for a $2 donation (proceeds benefit CUESA). Event takes place in the South Driveway during the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Lastly, on Saturday June 26th before the Grill Off is a Seasonal Sausage Cooking Demo with Victoria Wise, author of the classic American Charcuterie and 2010’s Sausage: Recipes for Making and Cooking with Homemade Sausage. She will put on a free-to-the-public cooking demonstration in the CUESA kitchen. Attendees will take away free recipes and samples. 11am-11:45am.
Two Places to Try Hapa Ramen This Week
Since Richie Nakano just wrapped up his last night cooking at NOPA, he’s ramping up his HAPA RAMEN appearances with business partner Kitty Gallisa. This Thursday June 17th is their debut at a booth at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (10am-2pm), and then on Saturday June 19th, they’ll be doing a pop-up at Louie’s Bar and Grill in SoMa from 6pm-10pm (possibly later) at 55 Stevenson St. And since Louie’s is a bar, you can enjoy a few cocktails until your order is up. (You can also mark your calendar for June 29th, when Hapa is appearing at Heart wine bar from 5pm-11pm.)
San Francisco Pride Soirée is Friday June 25th
The James Beard Foundation and amfAR are hosting the SAN FRANCISCO PRIDE SOIRÉE to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of San Francisco Pride at the new SoMa gallery, 12 Gallagher Lane. James Beard Foundation Award-winning chefs Gary Danko, Traci Des Jardins, Emily Luchetti, and Craig Stoll, along with JBF America’s Classic winner Yank Sing Restaurant and Taste Catering executive pastry chef Yigit Pura will all be there. VIP hosts for the evening include political and LGBT activist Anne Kronenberg, model Maggie Rizer, and James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro. After the VIP reception, there is the tasting soirée and live auction from 7pm until midnight.
Proceeds from the event will benefit amfAR and the James Beard Foundation. Cocktail attire. Valet parking provided. 10 percent of all proceeds of art sales made this evening will be donated to the benefiting organizations.
Friday Jun 25, 2010 VIP reception at 6pm; event begins at 7pm. Tickets start at $250 more info
A Special Brunch with Niloufer Ichaporia-King
Celebrated cookbook author Niloufer Ichaporia-King, author of My Bombay Kitchen, returns to FOREIGN CINEMA for an exotic brunch on June 26th and 27th. The menu will be filled with flavors inspired by Niloufer’s tropical travels to the state of Veracruz, Mexico, India, and beyond; the recipes will be showcased in Niloufer’s forthcoming cookbook this year. Highlights include date “pop tarts”, prawns and yogurt rice, kheema turnovers, and “son in law” eggs. Some traditional brunch favorites on the menu will also be served. All dishes are priced à la carte. Saturday June 26th 11am-2:30pm, and Sunday June 27th 11am-3pm. Call for reservations: 415-648-7600.
Saturday Jun 26, 2010 – Sunday Jun 27, 2010 more info
Foreign Cinema - 2534 Mission Street San Francisco - 415-648-7600
New Coffee Spots Around Town
Eater has details on CONTRABAND COFFEE BAR, opening in the former John Barleycorn space (sniff sniff) from Josh Magnani (formerly a barista at Mission Beach Cafe) and Ron Starr (a photographer). Details include: 30 seats, a mid-July opening, a Hydra espresso machine, coffee blends from a small roaster in Oakland, plus edibles like empanadas and treats from Mission Beach Cafe. 1415 Larkin St. at California.
A couple weeks back, Haighteration had word about CORTADO, which has replaced The Café at Café du Nord. The coffee and tea will be from Equator, with some Chemex pots in the house. The post also mentions, “expect upscale café fare, with breakfast items, salads, soups, quiches, sandwiches, pizzas, and a couple of Lebanese-influenced items, reflecting the owner’s family’s roots.” Beer and wine are also in the works, plus free Wi-Fi. 2168 Market St. at Church, 415-867-5309.
Lastly, RITUAL COFFEE ROASTERS has a new roasting space in SoMa, and they plan to have a café in there at a later date. Check out all the “inner sanctum” details here, on the Boor Bridges Architecture page about the project. 1050 Howard St. at Russ.
Two East Bay Coffeehouses
There are a couple new-ish coffee projects in the East Bay. First is REMEDY, which is in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood. They serve Ritual coffee and Teance teas, along with treats (scones, galettes, granola, focaccia) from their in-house pastry chef. The eclectic décor includes an old Pacific Bell phone booth and a vinyl record player. Coming soon will be beer and wine (with food pairings), an outdoor patio, and longer hours into the evening, plus music. Hours are Mon-Fri 7am-6pm, Sat-Sun 8:30am-6pm. 4316 Telegraph Ave. at 43rd St.
Coming soon is BICA COFFEEHOUSE in Rockridge—either late June or early July. Bica (Portuguese for espresso) will feature only locally roasted coffee (roasters will be: De La Paz, Verve, Ritual, Flying Goat, and Barefoot), prepared by hand, cup by cup. There will also be pastries; toast with local bread, honey, and jam; and tea. The owner, Jake Bodden, lived in Portugal for a couple of years and fell in love with the people, the country, and their coffee. Tentative hours are 6:30am-6pm. 5701 College Ave. at Miles, adjacent to Rockridge BART.
FIVE Has a New Brunch Menu (and Deal)
Even downtown Berkeley isn’t immune to the bottomless mimosa phenomenon: FIVE is the latest to offer that handy boozy feature, and there’s a new Sunday brunch menu from chef Banks White to boot. You can choose from classics like eggs Benedict or French toast, along with newer dishes, like FIVE’s mac ‘n’ cheese with smoked Gouda and tomato jam, or smoked beef brisket aux jus. The menu is $32 for adults (includes bottomless mimosas), $16 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for children 5 and under.
FIVE - 2086 Allston Way Berkeley - 510-225-6055
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
(Sponsored): Honor Thy Father with a Porterhouse from Whole Foods
A card for dad this Sunday is nice. A tender, thick, juicy, hormone- and antibiotic-free steak is even nicer. Especially if it’s from Whole Foods Market, so you know it’s a steak that’s been certified by independent inspectors and prepared by the most professional cutters in the business. Ask them about anything from serving sizes to recipes, from organic and grass-fed beef to kebabs.
A great match for your Father’s Day steak is a selection from our colossal collection of beers. Heads up…there are hundreds of them, from artisanal imports to local handcrafted brews.
Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Pig and Booze Dinner at Orson This Wednesday
Pig. Booze. Deep-fried Monte Cristo sandwiches. Yeah, you heard that right. This Wednesday June 16th, Orson is hosting another one of its infamous PIG AND BOOZE DINNERS. The menu is only $40 (pairings are another $25)—here’s the lineup:
Amuse Mini bahn mi with pork tongue, Vietnamese pickles, basil, mint, cilantro Bubbles with absinthe or Goose Island Mathilde beer
First Course Dandelion greens, maple and soy pork floss, quail egg Riesling Spätlese trocken, Mosel, or Hopf Dunkel
Main Course Porchetta, corn and broccoli raab chow chow, natural pork jus Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley or Maker’s Mark Manhattan
Dessert Course Monte Cristo with true Canadian bacon, Swiss cheese, strawberry jam, smoked almond ice cream Amontillado sherry
Wednesday Jun 16, 2010 more info
Orson - 508 4th St. San Francisco - 415-777-1508
Dominique Crenn Pairing Up with The Alembic for Minute
Chef Dominique Crenn of Luce and Daniel Hyatt of The Alembic came up with this unconventional concept of MINUTE/MINUIT (as in à la minute, and minute, as in tiny). The first one is this Sunday June 20th. And here’s the twist: it starts at midnight, to celebrate the kickoff of summer. The inaugural event will feature four courses of innovative dishes with pisco-based cocktails, and Crenn will be collaborating with chef Ted Fleury of The Alembic.
Here’s the delish-sounding menu: amuse: tomato water and pisco gelée shot/sea urchin/caviar. First course: a dish to enjoy the difference of temperature: hiramasa and coconut snow/mackerel “escabeche,” and soba/arctic char “duck fat,” pisco-impregnated watermelon, and Daniel’s pairing: pisco, matcha, fennel, jalapeño. Second course: abalone/oxtail/oxtail consommé/flowers, and Daniel’s pairing: pisco, cherry, red miso, chervil. Third course: squab/texture of summer strawberries, and Daniel’s pairing: pisco, rhubarb soda, BBQ spice. For dessert: apricot/peach and pisco vacherin/peach sorbet, and Daniel’s pairing: pisco, smoked black tea, lemon, wildflower honey, soy caramel, egg white. I know, god damn. It’s $50 (not including tax and tip), and since seating is extremely limited, be sure to reserve ahead of time via email, and Daniel will get back to you.
Sunday Jun 20, 2010 12am (midnight) $50 (not including tax and tip) more info
The Alembic - 1725 Haight St. - 415-666-0822
Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Father's Day Options
Sunday Jun 20, 2010
FATHER’S DAY is this Sunday June 20th, and of course there are a variety of meaty events and options to help you celebrate. (And if your dad happens to be a vegetarian, why don’t you take him to the tablehopper Indian Street Food Lunch the day before?)
First up, the Sunday pig roast has returned to PRESIDIO SOCIAL CLUB. Executive chef Ray Tang will be roasting a humanely raised and organic pig from Ilano Seco Ranch in a Caja China wooden box. There will be complimentary sliders and a happy hour from 3pm-5pm, with ukulele, local beers, and tropical cocktails by Tim Stookey (Hawaiian shirts encouraged). FYI, the pig roasts will continue every Sunday with a happy hour from 4pm-6pm, featuring pupu platters, and two mai tais priced at $20. The roasted pig, in a different preparation each week, will be served as a dinner special following the happy hour.
SPRUCE is putting a ”Cowboy Steak” on the menu, an enormous, prime grade, 28-day aged rib-steak from Niman Ranch. It’s big enough for two—or just let dad have it all to himself. Call 415-931-5100 for reservations.
ESPETUS CHURRASCARIA in San Francisco and San Mateo are both offering a $49.95 prix-fixe all-you-can-eat Brazilian rodizio menu that will include a gourmet salad bar with 15-20 items, hot side dishes, and 12-14 varieties of skewered meat carved tableside. Also, each party will receive one complimentary $10 gift card to be used on a future visit.
THE RITZ-CARLTON, SAN FRANCISCO is hosting a Father’s Day brunch and barbecue in the Terrace Courtyard from 10am-3pm. There will even be big-screen TVs broadcasting the day’s sporting events (hello, Italian World Cup match at 11am!), and a live jazz trio. $75 for adults; $39 for children 5 to 12, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations: 415-773-6198.
Would you prefer something more strenuous than eating meat off a bone? MCEVOY RANCH is offering their second annual Father’s Day Weekend Hike at the stunning 550-acre olive ranch, located in the Marin County hills west of Petaluma. On Saturday June 19th from 10am-12:30pm, guests will embark on a challenging hike through the olive orchards up to a picturesque ridge with panoramic views, and then return to the milling room to learn about how McEvoy Ranch makes olive oil, followed with a rustic post-hike snack, with views of the olive groves. Tickets are $50 per person and advance reservations are required.
Is your dad a bit hands-on? You can buy him a 4505 MEATS class (whole hog butcher class, sausage 101, or spring lamb) for $125, which includes plenty of meat to take home. Check out the schedule and more here. (The classes just went on sale today, act quickly!)
And on Monday June 21st, CAFÉ ROUGE is hosting a butchery class, The Art of Sausage, with Victoria Wise, author of the just-published Sausage: Recipes for Making and Cooking with Homemade Sausage ($23 plus tax). Wise was the first chef at Chez Panisse Restaurant and then at Pig-by-the-Tail, her charcuterie establishment just across the street. Recipes will be for crépinettes and cased sausages, including boudin noir. This class is both demonstration and hands-on. Food and wine will be served. All students will be given 2 lbs. of sausage to take home. $65, 6:30pm. Reservations: 510-525-1440 after 10am.
San Francisco Magazine's Best of the Bay Area Party Is July 1st
Thursday Jul 1, 2010 VIP 6pm–11pm; main event 7pm–11pm VIP $175 advance, $160 with discount code TBLHPPRVIP by June 26th, $200 at the door; main event $100 advance, $90 with discount code TBLHPPR by June 26th, $125 at the door Tickets/info Metreon CityView 101 4th Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco
Hailed as the city’s biggest bash of the year, San Francisco magazine’s BEST OF THE BAY AREA PARTY is marking its 10th anniversary on Thursday July 1st at Metreon CityView. Join San Francisco magazine to toast the best people, places, and things that make the Bay Area the best place to live, work, and play.
Expect a lot of eats, treats, drinks, and beats. This year’s bash will feature more than 40 restaurants, including flour + water, Baker & Banker, Martins West, and The Alembic; free-flowing bars with signature Ketel One cocktails, Trumer Pils beer, the Sonoma Valley Grapes & Wine lounge, and more; and multisensory entertainment from The Americana Cigar bar, vodka luges, the cool sounds of DJL!, SPUR’s urban installations, and Pacific Art Collective’s live art.
tablehopper readers: buy your tickets by June 26th to get special pricing: $160 for VIP tickets (use discount code TBLHPPRVIP), and $90 for general admission tickets (use code TBLHPPR), a savings of $40 and $35 off door prices, and $15 and $10 off advance ticket prices, respectively. Better hop to it; tickets will sell out quickly.
Best of all, the Best of the Bay Area party benefits Family House. There will also be raffle tickets you can buy for great prizes.
Book Reviews (another place for your nose)
The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto: by Pete Mulvihill
The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto Bernard DeVoto
“Whiskey and vermouth cannot meet as friends and the Manhattan is an offense against piety.”
Today I’d like to put a quirky classic, lovingly reissued by Tin House Books, on your radar: The Hour, a Cocktail Manifesto by Bernard DeVoto (with a witty introduction by Green Apple Books’s neighbor, Daniel Handler).
From Handler’s intro: “Bernard DeVoto’s name may not ring a bell now, but people were certainly listening in his time. DeVoto was an historian and a journalist, a scholar and a polemicist, a novelist and a soldier. He curated the papers of Mark Twain and edited the journals of Lewis and Clark. He wrote a column for twenty years at Harpers’ Magazine, incurring the ire of the FBI and the state of Utah. He won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and his immense, three-volume history of the American West is still in print and still read.”
So now that you know roughly who the author is, here’s a taste of the book:
“There are only two cocktails. One can be described straightforwardly. It is a slug of whiskey and it is an honest drink. Those who hold by it at 6:00 p.m. offend no canon of our fellowship. Scotch, Irish, rye, bourbon at your will—but of itself alone…To make a slug of whiskey, you pour some whiskey on ice. (Lately the fashionables have been saying ‘whiskey on the rocks’; suffer them patiently. But do not let tolerance get out of hand. A few months ago in Chicago, at a once respectable bar, I was offered ‘Whiskey on the Blarney Stone’—the ice was colored green. Let the place be interdicted and its proprietor put to the torture.) The slug of whiskey is functional; its lines are clean. Perhaps the friend for whom you make it will want two or three drops of bitters. Fine: there is no harm in bitters, so long as they are Angostura—all others are condiments for a tea-shoppe cookbook. If he wants fruit salad in it, remind him that cocktails are drunk, not eaten, but go along with him as far as a thin halfslice of orange or, better, one of lemon peel. Deny him pineapple, cherries, and such truck as you would cyanide. If he asks for sugar, tell him you put it in to begin with, and thereafter be wary of your dealings with him. For sugar means he is backsliding and will soon cross the frontier to join the heathen, with bottles of grenadine and almond extract in his pack. But before you give a slug of whiskey to anyone be sure that it is cold. Cocktails are cold.”
Sure, there is some dated stuff in here (the book was published in 1951): DeVoto is NOT a feminist, and his distaste for olives in a martini can be a bit precious. But overall, this a thoroughly amusing polemic about that magical hour when day turns into night, work ends, and the best meal of the day is on the horizon. Thank you, Tin House Books, for keeping me from having to pay $100 online for an out-of-print edition of this quirky gem of a book.
Want to know the other cocktail? You’ll have to buy the book here.
Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Hottie Rosario Dawson On the Town
A couple sightings of the gorgeous Rosario Dawson: she was spotted at the Ferry Building, and reportedly, “kept a low profile, but did stop into Recchiuti for a jar of the Extra-Bitter Chocolate Sauce. Very sweet and down to earth.” She also paid a visit to Humphry Slocombe, where she ordered Tahitian vanilla. She was in town speaking about her organization, Voto Latino, for The Redford Center at the Sundance Kabuki on June 9th.
Top Chef in the House
Top Chef winner of 2009, Michael Voltaggio, had dinner at Spruce last night (he was in a party of six).
Footloose in Fisherman's Wharf
Kenny Loggins visited Bistro Boudin for lunch with his son. He had the clams appetizer and fish & chips, while his son enjoyed their new sourdough fish tacos—yup, they’re making sourdough tortillas over there.
The Right Stuff
Sam Shepard and his son were at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg last Monday night for the Healdsburg Jazz Festival. They enjoyed dinner while talking it up with guitarist Kai Devitt-Le, only 16 years old, who was the lead performer for the evening and apparently a friend of Shepard’s son.