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Sep 9, 2010 22 min read

September 10, 2010 - This week's tablehopper: fly by night.

September 10, 2010 - This week's tablehopper: fly by night.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: fly by night.

Yup, I’m back from Burning Man. (Barely.) How was it? To quote the old SNL skit, “I loved it, it was much better than Cats. I’m going to see it again and again.” It was my sixth year out there in the wild dusty yonder, and clocked in as one of my very favorites. My week started with a double rainbow as we were waiting to drive in (no joke), I hurt myself laughing with my friends daily, the art was so clever and fabulous, the music was bumpin’, the art cars were inspired, I ate some delicious meals (hello, my amazing campmates made the best duck confit I’ve ever had one night!), I always knew where to find a cold beer, and the people, oh the people. I always return from this event loving humanity even more than I already did—the kindness, talent, humor, creativity, playfulness, responsibility, spirituality, and warmth people show out there is so restorative—it holds me, and keeps me coming back. (So no, it’s not just a big druggy rave, although it can narrowly be that for a few.) And damn, it’s hard enough just to get out there—but many, many people work so unbelievably hard all year to put the event on, build their art, and then take it all down. It’s a staggering amount of effort for a week in the desert, but fortunately it endures much further beyond that.

And so here’s why my life never ceases to crack me up: I am not even home for 48 hours, and I find myself invited to have lunch on Wednesday at Chez Papa Resto with Salvatore Ferragamo’s grandson (ladies, trust me, you’re gonna want to click that link). I was like, huh wah? I’ve been hanging out with people dressed like extras in Mad Max and eating out of a cooler for a week, so let me tell you, it was an especially vivid moment to be enjoying a civilized lunch and taste Ferragamo’s delicious Il Borro and Castiglion del Bosco wines. And, of course, he was wearing one hell of a suit (yup, his eyes matched his tie). Meanwhile, I am certain I still had dust in my hair.

And this week’s bizarre arc continues: I board a plane to go to Champagne and Paris tomorrow! As my friend said to me, I’m traveling from the outer reaches of space to the Seine. Quite. I’ll be back in touch after September 21st (and home just in time for SF Cocktail Week, and the opening of Ragazza on September 22nd!). But in the meantime, you can follow my Frenchie traipsing about on Twitter! Can’t wait. And yes, I am pinching myself for many reasons (including the need to stay awake).

À bientôt!

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Una Pizza Napoletana Should Open on September 15th


Photo from Urban Daddy.

Yeah, it’s another week of big openings. New York import Anthony Mangieri is hopefully opening his much-discussed and anticipated UNA PIZZA NAPOLETANA on Wednesday September 15th, and here’s what you need to know: he just makes enough dough for 150 pies a day, there are only four to choose from (no substitutions), no takeout or slices, and the pizzeria is open from Wednesday through Saturday, starting at 5pm. There will also be some southern Italian wines on the list, a few beers, and a Neapolitan coffee. You can check out some pics of the spare look (and absolutely beautiful turquoise pizza oven from Naples) in this slideshow from Grub Street. The interior features many handmade and artistic touches, and you know those 32 seats are going to be in high demand. (Thanks to Grub Street and Urban Daddy for the additional deets.)

Una Pizza Napoletana            - 210 11th St. San Francisco - 415-861-3444

Alexander's Steakhouse Opens Monday September 13th

The Bacar location’s transition into ALEXANDER’S STEAKHOUSE is almost complete, with the restaurant opening on Monday. If you’re familiar with owner JC Chen’s original Cupertino location, then you know to expect some swanky steaks—exclusive wagyu in the house! Chef Jeffrey Stout will also be putting out a variety of Japanese-influenced dishes, from hamachi shooters to griddled shortribs with unagi (Inside Scoop has links to the menu here, here, here, and here are the steaks). The steaks aren’t the only things that are spendy; the arctic char really is $36, and the Maine lobster is clocking in at $65. There’s also a nine-course tasting menu for $155. Wine director Eric Entrikin, a Master Sommelier, is in charge of the wine list and bar program. Time to dust off that Amex Black card. 448 Brannan St. at 3rd St., 415-495-1111.

Alexander's Steakhouse            - 448 Brannan St. San Francisco - 415-495-1111

The Summit Due to Open Next Week in the Mission


One of the custom tables.

If inspections and permits cooperate, THE SUMMIT will be open next week, hopefully on Wednesday September 15th. The project from Poleng Lounge’s Desi Danganan is going to function on a variety of levels: there’s a counter-service café; a gallery with rotating art shows; and the space was designed to also host meetings and events. There are about 70 seats, with a range of seating options, from a communal bar table to large, lounge-y low tables.

Chef Eddie Lau (Poleng Lounge, Orson, 4505 Meats’ catering) is putting together a menu of modern interpretations of brasserie-style dishes. Look for a made-from-scratch approach to everything, with excellent ingredient sourcing. They’re starting with about eight items, and expanding the menu in a couple of weeks. A couple dishes include Chocolate Pork Beans (slow-cooked Llano Seco pork, Italian butter beans from Iacopi, house San Marzano tomato paste made with romas from Full Belly); and The Chicken Trio (sautéed hearts and beets, sous vide chicken thigh roll, bourbon liver mousse, featuring Petaluma farm chicken and County Line beets).

The opening guest pastry chef is Gabriel Mitchell of Maison Mitchell, and there will be coffee from Blue Bottle. Alex Fox is consulting on and curating the wine and beer program, which will include suggested pairings for menu items. Hours are Sun-Mon 8am-11pm and Tue-Sat 8am-2am; within that timing, pastries are available 8am-5pm, the lunchtime menu is from 10:30am-3pm, dinner is 5:30pm-11pm, and dessert service is 10:30pm-2am (Tue-Sat).

The Summit            - 780 Valencia St. San Francisco - 415-861-5330

Prospect Reopening After an Unfortunate Flood


Prospect’s main dining room: booths and banquette seating. Photo: ©

A ruptured HVAC tube temporarily flooded and shut down PROSPECT on August 29th, but it looks like the restaurant will be reopening for dinner service on September 11th. It was a brand-new pipe in the air conditioning system that burst, dousing the space in three inches of water. The reclaimed white oak flooring got warped, and it was tough to re-source it, mill it, and install it. In the good news department, the staff has been working on the new brunch menu, which will be launching Sunday October 3rd.

Prospect            - 300 Spear St. San Francisco - 415-247-7770

ICHI Sushi Is Opening Soon!

ICHI SUSHI is gearing up to open soon in the former Yo’s Sushi Club space in outer Bernal Heights, maybe even by the weekend. Hubby-wife team, Tim and Erin Archuleta (who writes the hardhat column for tablehopper) are hard at work prepping the itty-bitty 20-seater. The menu will feature ICHI’s award-winning sushi, and a small menu of hot plates featuring sustainable and organic meats. (They’ll rotate the menu seasonally.) Some dishes include broiled hamachi kama kasu (the kama is cubed and marinated in sake lees—the leftover rice after making sake—for at least three days and broiled to perfection, and served with pickled cucumber), and a shiso-pesto somen salad. And about those pickles: they are housemade rice bran (nuka) pickles.

ICHI will feature local wines on tap (by the carafe or half-carafe!), bottled local faves from Skylark and Hirsch, and local beer from 21st Amendment on tap. Not ignoring their Japanese needs, Asahi will also be on tap, and there will be a broad range of sakes to pair with your meal. Once they open, hours will be Sun-Thu 5:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-11pm. 3369 Mission St. at Godeus, 415-525-4750.

Dominique Crenn Moving Into the PlumpJack Cafe Space


A couple little birdies told me Luce’s chef, Dominique Crenn, was going to be opening her own project, Atelier, in the PlumpJack Cafe space, but I was told to keep my maw shut. No matter, since the word is now out: she is aiming to open ATELIER CRENN this December. Crenn will be offering a modern French prix-fixe menu (three courses for $55, five for $65, and a tasting menu for $95) that will allow diners to pick and choose dishes. Reportedly Nancy Nielsen will be designing the space with a European sensibility, with 40 seats in the dining room and 20 in the private dining room. In the meantime, Crenn will stay on at Luce during the transition. 3127 Fillmore St. at Greenwich.

Jennie Lorenzo Leaves Fifth Floor

While I was away, I received an email from the talented Jennie Lorenzo that she was leaving FIFTH FLOOR. No word on where she’ll be next, but she is popping up as a guest chef tonight in a bustaurant called Le Truc. She will be cooking there in tonight’s Off the Grid. Stand by for more soon.

Fifth Floor            - 12 4th St. San Francisco - 415-348-1555

More Chef Comings and Goings

The Inside Scoop reports chef Daniel Guerrini has left EOS RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR after an (almost) 10-year run. His last day will be the end of October; they are currently searching for a replacement. 901 Cole St. at Carl, 415-566-3063.

Also reported: Erica Holland-Toll is leaving her chef position at DUCCA, and she reportedly had “a new project waiting in the wings.” 50 3rd St. at Market, 415-977-0271.

Over in the Sunset, SOCIAL KITCHEN & BREWERY has hired a new chef, Huy Nguyen. His background includes working as a sous chef at Grace Restaurant (Hollywood), pastry chef at Abacus Restaurant (Dallas), and caterer on rock band tours (no word on who). He will be revamping the menu, improving dishes, and adding new ones inspired by cuisine à la bière, the idea that beer has a role in kitchen (and no, this doesn’t mean in the chef’s hand) as well as a place at the table. And he’s putting his pastry background to work, adding a dessert menu with treats like a chocolate torte with roasted malt-infused crème anglaise.

New Tasty Brunch Options Around Town


Citizen’s Band, photo by Jennifer Yin.

A few new brunch options for you: SPIRE is serving brunch Sundays from 11am-3pm. Some items on the menu include sweet potato Benedict with slow poached eggs, a soul food plate with waffle fried chicken and corn bread, and sweet bourbon bread pudding (dishes range from $9-$13). They’re also offering bottomless mimosas for $10.

Also in SoMa, Eater reports CITIZEN’S BAND started serving lunch during the week (with dishes like Cobb salad, fried chicken, fish and chips), and brunch is coming on Saturday (challah French toast, fried chicken and eggs, and corned beef hash).

And over in the Mission, HOG & ROCKS is starting 
weekend brunch, like buckwheat beer pancakes, a toad-in-the-hole sandwich with Mornay sauce, and a BLT made with lamb belly. The bar will be pouring healing numbers like Bloody Marys and Ramos Gin Fizzes. Sat-Sun 9am-2:30pm.

Pastry Chef News

Down in Los Gatos, Grub Street reports pastry chef Deanie Hickox (Ubuntu) has left MANRESA, and will be working with Daniel Patterson and Bill Corbett at Coi, and the upcoming Plum and Bracina. Meanwhile, Belinda Leong (Restaurant Gary Danko, plus numerous places in Europe, like Pierre Hermé in Paris and Noma in Copenhagen) is Manresa’s new pastry chef.

The Tablehopper Is Hoppin' to Bardessono on September 30th!


Photo by Sammy Todd Dyess.

Soon after I’m home from France and shake off the jet lag, I will be zipping up to Bardessono on Thursday September 30th for an evening of cocktails, book signing, and restaurant chatting. Charbay is going to be featuring the Plum Twisted cocktail (Doubled & Twisted Light Whiskey, Canton Ginger Liqueur, a Santa Rosa plum, lemon juice, and simple syrup), created by Tomas Estes. The $20 ticket includes a signed copy of my book, a drink, and hors d’oeuvres by Bardessono chef Sean O’Toole, who is going to be preparing some gazpacho, aji amarillo chicken wings, a spot prawn cocktail with spicy tomato syrup and horseradish panna cotta, and jamón ibérico de bellota with Hill Family farm tomato. Yeah, kind of hard to beat, so come on by!

The event is from 5pm-7pm. There is also a special $399 room rate available for tablehopper readers if you feel like splurging on an overnight visit (and trust me, you do—the place is dreamy)! Let’s enjoy the Indian Summer—see you there! 6526 Yount St., Yountville, 877-932 5333 (hotel).

Random Hodgepodge of Cool Events


Photo of Brittany Crepe from the Homegrown Marin Market.

Since my inbox was absolutely overrun with event announcements, I thought I’d keep it simple and mention a few briefly in case something catches your eye (heck, if I was around, I’d want to go to all of these!):

Tuesday September 14th, Peko Peko is staying up late with Tartine Bakery, and will serve snacks, craft sake, and icy cold Japanese beer from 8pm until midnight. On the menu: hot dashimaki tamago, little fried fish, tomato-y dashi aspic, simmered chicken meatballs, and salted fresh-picked edamame. Tartine Bakery, 600 Guerrero St. at 18th St.

On Wednesday September 15th, Boobs4Food SF presents Boobs, Baos & Bloodhounds!, a happy hour benefiting Meals On Wheels SF. The Chairman Bao Truck will pull up in front of Bloodhound, and Beefeater Brand Ambassador Erick Castro (former bar manager of Rickhouse) will be doing up some drinks as they celebrate one year of volunteering to fight hunger! 5pm-9pm. 1145 Folsom St. at 7th St.

On Thursday September 16th, Meatpaper and Blue Bottle will meet up again at SFMOMA’s Rooftop Garden café for a tasting of coffee-inspired charcuterie, meat-inspired desserts, and Blue Bottle coffee as part of the museum’s evening event series, SFMOMA: Now Playing. You’ll be able to tastes dishes and desserts by Chris Kronner of Bar Tartine, Brandon Jew of Bar Agricole, Chad Arnold of Adesso, and Leah Rosenberg of Blue Bottle, along with complimentary beverages (wine by Scribe Winery and beer by Trumer Pils). 6pm-8pm; free with half-price museum entry. (Free for SFMOMA members.) Tasting plates are $5.

On Saturday September 18th, the Homegrown Marin Market returns, from 12pm-6pm. The sellers at the Market are cooks from around the Bay Area, offering everything from Fat Alley gumbo, to Saucy Dumplings, seasonal tarts, flavored butters and jams, garden-inspired sorbets, Butter Love pies, Brittany crêpes, vegan German currywurst, and more. $5 admission. Studio 333, 333a Caledonia St., Sausalito.

On Monday, September 20th, the talented photographer/cook Eric Wolfinger will host Open Kitchen in the Annex, a very special globetrotting dinner at Outerlands to celebrate an exhibition of Eric’s work at the nearby Carville Annex and to benefit Mari-Med, an organization bringing health care and medical training to post-quake Haiti. For every dinner ticket sold, Mari-Med can deliver basic healthcare to 18 people. Details and more here.

Can You Eat for $4 a Day?

Daunting, right? That’s the average amount food stamp recipients have to spend. Yeah, I know, how can you eat a healthy and filling diet on that amount? So maybe you’re up to the challenge to try spending a week (or even just a day) living in somebody else’s shoes? Sign up to participate here—it’s free! The SF Food Bank’s Hunger Challenge runs from September 12th-18th. And I seriously tip my cap to anyone who tries this!

Enjoy a Taste of Temescal on Tuesday September 14th


On Tuesday September 14th, the second annual TASTE OF TEMESCAL is happening, a culinary crawl of sorts. If you buy a $30 ticket (there are only 450!), you’ll be able to visit a number of restaurants, like Bakesale Betty, Pizzaiolo, SR24, and Doña Tomas for bites and drinks. There will also be live music and prizes. The event benefits a number of organizations, including schools and the Lion Center for the Blind. The event is on Telegraph Avenue between 43rd and 51st from 6pm-8:30pm. Two pedicabs will be available to transport participants back and forth down the Avenue. 510-860-7327.

               Tuesday Sep 14, 2010 6pm–8:30pm $30 more info


the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)

This Weekend Is the 15th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival

The 15th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival is this weekend, September 11th and 12th! Enjoy chocolate delicacies such as chocolate-covered Oreos, chocolate martinis, and Ghirardelli ice cream sundaes. Check out Crown & Crumpet for a special chocolate tea menu (call ahead for a ressie at 415-771-4252!) and don’t miss the famous hands-free Earthquake Ice Cream Sundae Eating Contest each day at 2pm.

All proceeds benefit the San Francisco-based non-profit organization, Project Open Hand. The event is free, but tickets must be purchased to participate in chocolate tasting. Tickets are $20 for 15 samples. Visit for tickets and more information.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Time for Another Spirited Supper: Wednesday September 15th


© is hosting another Spirited Supper; this one is The Modernists, with chefs Elizabeth Falkner and Dominique Crenn, and will be hosted at Orson. The aperitif will start at 6:30pm in the bar, featuring an amuse and a cocktail made with Belvedere. Dinner will follow in the dining room. Here’s the menu (EF is Elizabeth Falkner, DC is Dominique Crenn):

Compressed melon, yogurt pâte de fruit, quinoa, and bay scallop (DC) Cocktail: Pink Pearl: Belvedere Vodka, Pink Pearl apples, egg whites, bitters

Fennel, figs, leeks vinaigrette with Bellwether Farms ricotta (EF) Cocktail: Glenmorangie Highland Scotch, Fig-Mastic Tear Syrup, Burnt Orange

Sweetbreads and farro texture, pickled peaches, and cherry (DC) Cocktail: Ichi the Killer: Bulleit Bourbon, Torani Amer, pink peppercorn syrup, orange bitters

Grilled sourdough ice cream sundae with chocolate, bananas, caramel, Concord grapes, and salted peanuts (EF) Cocktail: Bananas Foster: 10 Cane rum, banana purée, brown sugar, and browned butter

(These dinners have been selling out, and are limited to 50 seats, so get your ticket quickly!)

               Wednesday Sep 15, 2010 6:30pm $85, inclusive of tax and tip more info

Evan Goldstein at Omnivore on September 16th


One of my favorite people to learn about wine from, Evan Goldstein will be at Omnivore Books on Thursday September 16th talking about his new book, Daring Pairings: A Master Sommelier Matches Distinctive Wines with Recipes from his Favorite Chefs. He’ll be there from 6pm-7pm,  and you know there will be some tastings!

SF Cocktail Week Kicks Off September 21st!

Dominic Venegas.jpeg

Dominic Venegas photo by Jenn Farrington.

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare thy livers. SAN FRANCISCO COCKTAIL WEEK returns, with a slew of events running from September 21st through the 27th.

The official kick-off of Cocktail Week 2010 is the inauguration of the Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts on Tuesday September 21st, built by the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail (BCCAC) as a new home base for both the organization and beverage culture in San Francisco. 6pm-8pm. $25 per person. (Ticket includes cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.) 1161 Mission Street, Suite 120.

“That Time of the Month” After Party 9pm to closing Four of San Francisco’s best female bartenders are behind the stick for the night: Brooke Arthur (Prospect), Jill Webster (Laszlo/Rye), Amanda Washington (Rye), and special guest Anu Apte from Seattle (Rob Roy). A portion of all cocktail sales will go to the burn unit at St. Francis Memorial Hospital. Free admission; no-host bar. Laszlo Bar, 2526 Mission St.

Wednesday September 22nd Strange Bed-Fellows: An Exploration in Ham, Oysters, and Malt 1pm-2:30pm Chef Ray England teams up with whisky-men Robin Coupar and Neyah White to present a series of seemingly un-likely combos. Oysters and Islay Single Malt? Japanese Whisky and cheese? Sherry finished malt and ham? $30 per person. (Ticket includes beverages and a light lunch.) Hog & Rocks, 3431 19th St.

Farmers Market Happy Hour 6pm-8pm The country’s first market-inspired happy hour is back at the Ferry Building! Featuring the City’s best farm-to-table bars, the evening benefits the BCCAC and Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA). Enjoy bites from six San Francisco restaurants, including 15 Romolo, Comstock Saloon, 4505 Meats, Plant Café Organic, and Hog & Rocks, grape spirit-based creations by 12 talented bartenders, and tunes by DJ B Love. $40 per person. (Ticket includes cocktail tastes and hors d’oeuvres.) CUESA Kitchen at the Ferry Building Marketplace.

“Rose City” After Party 9pm-12am Behind the bar for one night only at Cantina, San Francisco welcomes two of the best bartenders in Portland, Oregon, Dave Shenaut and Ricky Gomez of Teardrop Cocktail Lounge located in the heart of the Rose City’s Pearl District. Free admission; no-host bar. Cantina Bar, 580 Sutter St.

Thursday September 23rd Ragtag Rabble Gaming Soirée 8pm-12am Games of chance such as craps, blackjack, roulette, and poker played out by dealers dressed in ye olde Barbary Coast-era attire! The Burritt Room will be littered with bars and ragtag tables, along with Cocktail Lab’s signature innovations of classic, turn-of-the-century cocktails, live music, and a buy-in cocktail mixoff. Delicious bites will be created by chefs Matt Spinner of Thirsty Bear and Larry Piaskowy of Cowgirl Creamery. Festive attire encouraged. $60 per person. (Ticket includes cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.) Burritt Room, Crescent Hotel, 417 Stockton St. at Sutter.

“Flash and Waltissimo’s Birthday Bash” After Party 11pm to closing Come celebrate the birthdays of two forces of nature at once: Jonny “Flash” Raglin, co-owner of Comstock Saloon, and Walter “Waltissimo” Moore, co-founder of Encanto Pisco, in Barbary Coast style. Pisco will be flowing and mayhem is sure to ensue. Free admission; no-host bar. Comstock Saloon, Columbus Ave.

Friday September 24th Second Annual Epic Happy Hour 5pm-8pm Friday Sunshine along the Bay: the perfect way to start the weekend. This Second Annual Happy Hour at EPIC Roasthouse’s outdoor patio features tunes by DJ B Love, hearty hors d’oeuvres from executive chef Jan Birnbaum of EPIC Roasthouse, and culinary cocktails from such all-star bars as Rickhouse, Comstock Saloon, Cantina, Rye, DOSA Fillmore, and 15 Romolo. $45 per person. (Ticket includes cocktail tastes and hors d’oeuvres.) EPIC Roasthouse, 369 The Embarcadero at Folsom.

Saturday September 25th Cocktail Carnival Gala 9pm-2am The historic Old Mint is the perfect setting for San Francisco Cocktail Week’s Gala Event, a decadent Barbary Coast-Era Cocktail Carnival. Set to the backdrop of antique punch bowls, “carnival curiosities,” and the raucous horns of the renowned Brass Mafia, hosts The Bon Vivants are joined by bartenders from Smuggler’s Cove, Elixir, Cantina, 15 Romolo, and The Alembic, along with chefs Chris L’Hommedieu (Restaurant Michael Mina) and William Werner (Tell Tale Preserve Co.) in presenting a darkly entertaining, delicious, and memorable evening. “Whimsical” attire recommended. $95 per person. (Ticket includes punch, hors d’oeuvres, and dessert.) San Francisco’s Old Mint, Fifth St. at Mission.

Sunday September 26th Hangar One Cocktail Cookout on the Island 2pm-6pm The East Bay’s best bartenders are teaming up with Fatted Calf for a meaty, boozy, outdoor festival, pairing barbecue with ice-cold cocktails under the sun at the Hangar One distillery in Alameda. Ticket includes a round-trip ferryboat ride featuring Hangar One cocktails (designed and served by Scott Beattie of HMS Cocktails) from San Francisco’s Ferry Building and shuttle transportation to the Hangar One Distillery. $50 per person. (Ticket includes barbeque, cocktails, and round-trip transportation from SF Ferry Building.) St. George Spirits Distillery (AKA Hangar One), 2601 Monarch St. (on the former Naval Base), Alameda.

Monday September 27th Chartreuse Karaoke Gong Show 9pm-2am The grand finale of Cocktail Week is the legendary Chartreuse Karaoke Gong Show, where bartenders and civilians alike take to the stage and belt out their best in front of a panel of celebrity judges. Whether you’re good enough to finish your tune or “gonged” off the stage depends on your performance, enthusiasm, and stage presence. All Chartreuse cocktails are $6 for the night. $10 per person (donation to the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail); no-host bar. The Ambassador, 673 Geary St.

Attendees must be 21 years of age to participate in all San Francisco Cocktail Week events. Tickets and ID will be checked at the door. For tickets, additional information, and updates, please visit here. Advance purchase is recommended—many San Francisco Cocktail Week events sell out and there are often limited tickets available at the event.

Net proceeds from all San Francisco Cocktail Week events benefit the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail. Additional information about BCCAC may be found at And be sure to try a Papa Ghirardelli, the official cocktail of San Francisco Cocktail Week.

               Tuesday Sep 21, 2010 – Monday Sep 27, 2010 more info

WhiskyFest Returns to SF on October 8th

It’s time to get down with the brown, when WhiskyFest returns to San Francisco for the fourth time on Friday October 8th. The event will feature more than 250 of the world’s finest, rarest, and most expensive single malt and blended Scotch, Irish, bourbon, American, Japanese, Canadian, and other whiskies from around the world to sample in one Grand Ballroom. High-end cognac, rum, beer, and other spirits will be represented as well. New to the lineup this year are Tuthilltown, Charbay, WhistlePig, Templeton, Koval Rough Stock’s Montana line, Craft Distillers, and Stranahan’s.

Seminars, featuring their own tastings, will also run throughout the evening. And just so you’re not getting completely blotto, there will be a buffet all evening, plus coffee, tea, water, and soda. Each attendee receives a commemorative Glencairn crystal whisky glass for tastings.

               Friday Oct  8, 2010 6:30pm–9:30pm $110; $150 VIP (5:30pm admission) more info


the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)

Get Ready for a Meaty Day at PRIMAL Napa


 Event Info

Saturday Sep 25, 2010 2pm–7pm $75 general admission; $125 VIP admission Tickets/info                        Chase Cellars' Hayne Vineyard 2252 Sulphur Springs Ave., St. Helena 404-849-3569

Saturday September 25th is PRIMAL NAPA, an outdoor gathering of local butchers and renowned chefs preparing heritage meats while celebrating open fire cooking, whole animal utilization, and the art of the butcher. Guests will be able to explore the chefs’ creations, taste great wines and spirits, and see breakdown demonstrations from fish to lamb to whole sides of beef. The event, presented by ProteinU at Chase Cellars’ Hayne Vineyards in St. Helena, also promotes responsible farms and local agriculture.

Confirmed participants are Ryan Farr, 4505 Meats; Avedano’s Holly Park Market; Dave the Butcher; Joshua Applestone, Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats; Craig Deihl, Cypress; Todd Humphries, Martini House; John Stewart, Black Meat Pig Co.; Duskie Estes, zazu restaurant + farm and bovolo; John Sundstrom, Lark, Seattle; Peter McNee, Poggio; Sheamus Feeley, Farmstead; Peter Jacobsen, Toast; Rob Larman, Cochon Volant; John Fink, The Whole Beast; Mark Pasternak, Devil’s Gulch Ranch; Mark Dommen, One Market Restaurant; Dave Varley, Bourbon Steak DC (and 2010 Grand Cochon winner); Michael Sullivan, Blackberry Farm, Tennessee; Chad Colby, Mozza, Los Angeles; Polly Lappetito, Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant; Matt Kerley, Magnolia Brewery; Jonathan Bodnar, Tall Chef Catering; John Sorensen, Sorensen Catering; and “Who’s Your Butcher?” Contest winner, Kari Underly of Range Inc., Chicago.

Wines and spirits will be offered by Chase Cellars, Domaine Serene, Wind Gap Wines, Zacherle Wines, Cimarossa, Peay Vineyards, Capiaux Cellars, W.H. Smith Wines, Long Meadow Ranch, Alysian Wines, Hartwell Estate Wines, Pine Ridge Wines, Chehalem Wines, Dobbes Family Estate, Rubicon, Bartlow Vineyards, PlumpJack, Rudias Wines, CADE Winery, Magnolia Brewery, and The Alembic with Daniel Hyatt mixing spirits.

The event starts at 2pm, and is open to the public. General admission is $75, and VIP tickets are $125 and include reserve wines, wood-fired oysters, a bacon bar, artisan cheese, and more. Plus a portion of the proceeds will benefit the City of Napa Fire Explorers program, a vocational firefighter-training program for Napa County youth.

CUESA's Sunday Supper Is October 3rd


 Event Info

Sunday Oct  3, 2010 5:30pm reception; 7pm seated supper $75 reception only; $200 reception and seated supper Tickets                        Ferry Building, San Francisco 415-291-3276 x103

Once again, the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) is presenting a star-studded chef lineup at their annual SUNDAY SUPPER fundraiser, to take place on Sunday October 3rd in San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building.

The event starts with a reception in the Ferry Building Marketplace, featuring over 30 hors d’oeuvres stations, cocktails, and an array of wines. Guests will mix and mingle with local farmers, food artisans, and fellow farmers market fans. Following the reception, Supper guests will enjoy a four-course, family-style meal in the elegant Grand Hall. The gala-worthy feast also features wine and beer pairings by award-winning sommeliers, and a whole-beast entrée course carved tableside by renowned executive chefs (by the way, vegetarian meals are available upon advanced request).

There’s quite the long list of culinary talents who will create dishes expressly for the event, including Craig Stoll, Delfina; Chris Cosentino, Boccalone and Incanto; Mourad Lahlou, Aziza; Annie Somerville, Greens; Thomas McNaughton, Flour + Water; Bruce Hill, Bix, Picco, and Zero Zero; and Staffan Terje, Perbacco. If that’s not enough stellar chef power for ya’, check out the live auction at dinner, which will include exclusive packages such as a private dinner for 14 with Charles Phan of The Slanted Door, and a hands-on cocktail class for 10 at the Beverage Academy at Bourbon and Branch.

Tickets for the reception are $75, and $200 for both the reception and supper. Even if you can’t attend, you can still support CUESA’s work to educate eaters and to support small-scale sustainable farmers by buying a $10 Year of Dining Out raffle ticket. You could win a collection of 12 dinners for two from an assortment of exciting restaurants (lucky winners will be announced at the Sunday Supper, but you need not be present to win). Raffle tickets may be purchased at CUESA’s information booth during the Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday farmers markets, at the CUESA office during normal business hours, or on the evening of the event.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Well, That's Funny

Comedian Andy Samberg and three guests had dinner at the newly opened Zut! in Berkeley this last Sunday September 5th. And whaddya know, a funny thing happened: it ends up Andy was the camp counselor of the assistant manager there, and yes, they had a few good laughs over it.

Brown-Eyed Susan

The lovely Susan Sarandon was spotted having lunch at Cannery Row Brewing Company in Monterey, and was reportedly dancing in her seat to Sublime’s Santeria as it played in the restaurant.

A Lovely Breakfast

Jennifer Love-Hewitt was spotted at XYZ for breakfast with a young man. She ate chilaquiles and drank OJ and a latte, while her breakfast buddy opted for eggs Benny.

Senators and Supermodels

The one and only Michael Bauer spotted Senator Dianne Feinstein and supermodel Maggie Rizer at Betelnut, although according to his tweet, it seems the beggar’s chicken was the real star of the evening.

Who Knew... Petaluma!

A tablehopper reader newly situated in Petaluma writes in: “We have found a great little restaurant up here in Central Market. While there last night we spotted an interesting table of four. The last table to leave was Tom Waits, his wife Kathleen Brennan, Megan Mullally, and her husband Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson from the show Parks and Recreation). They seemed very engaged in conversation and didn’t notice the rest of the room was cleared except for me and my wife. Who knew…Petaluma!” (Looks like a perfect new city tagline to me!)

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