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Sep 20, 2010 19 min read

September 21, 2010 - This week's tablehopper: from the city of lights to lights out.

September 21, 2010 - This week's tablehopper: from the city of lights to lights out.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: from the city of lights to lights out.                    

Dinner at Bruno Paillard’s home.

Hey, where’s my morning croissant and café noisette? My pre-noon glass of Champagne seems to have gone missing as well (I hope I don’t get the shakes), along with my daily allotment of cheese, charcuterie, gougères, and chocolate. Le sigh. Oui, France was amazing. I can’t wait to show you pics of my trip to Champagne (harvest was such a cool time to be there), and my few days in Paris literally took my breath away—what a city. I’m trying to get my Paris write-up done for this Friday’s issue, and Champagne will be soon thereafter since I know a lot of you are traveling there in coming weeks and want recos!

Today’s column is a shorty—my flight got in late yesterday, I am jetlagged all to hell, and I came home coughing like an old man (no, I wasn’t smoking—I came down with a nasty cold just as I started my time in Paris, dagnabbit). Je suis fatiguée. Look for more in the news department this Friday as I catch up on everything. In the meantime, have fun over the next few days at SF Cocktail Week (look for more events in today’s hopper!), and I’ll pop up later this week.

Au revoir!

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Ragazza Opens Wednesday September 22nd


Photo from Haighteration.

Yeah, I am loving my neighborhood even more, because Sharon Ardiana’s second pizzeria-restaurant, RAGAZZA, opens Wednesday September 22nd! The former Metro Kathmandu space has been spiffed up with red tiles, black walnut tables, suspended filament lights, and charming enlarged images of the women in Ardiana’s family (check out pics on Haighteration). Folks will also be pleased with the acoustic tiles keeping the sound down. In time, the charming back patio may be opened up for dining—for now, it’s inside dining only.

The menu is similar to her first baby, Gialina, but includes a few new dishes, like a shortrib sugo with strozzapreti and Parmigiano Reggiano (plus a little celery salad on top), and a chicken alla diavola dish with chilis, lemon, and braised broccoli rabe. Ardiana also added a meatball pizza, and plans to add some baked pastas soon, like buckwheat cannelloni stuffed with ricotta and wild mushrooms. The chef de cuisine is Allyson Harvie. Beer and wine. No reservations. Hours are 5pm-10pm daily, and possibly extending hours Fri-Sat to 10:30pm or 11pm, stand by.

Ragazza            - 311 Divisadero St. San Francisco - 415-255-1133

One Pho Door Closes, Another Opens

I was sad to come home to the news that POT DE PHỜ on Geary has closed—they are reportedly going to look for a new San Francisco location with better traffic (and not the vehicular kind).

However, according to a tweet from Grace Nguyen, the chef of OUT THE DOOR on Bush Street, you can now order chicken or beef pho on Monday nights ($10). Dine in only, Mondays only.

Out The Door            - 2232 Bush St. San Francisco - 415-923 9575

Spice Hound to Join 331 Cortland's Artisan Marketplace


In early to mid-October, look for a new vendor to join the 331 Cortland Marketplace in Bernal Heights: SPICE HOUND will be offering a full selection of unique spices and gourmet salts in the space formerly occupied by Della Terra Organics. Spice Hound owner and spiceologist Tammy Tan, who started the company three years ago out of Sunnyvale, said she was super excited when she heard that she’d been chosen for the spot. This will be her first retail storefront.

At 331 Cortland, Spice Hound will be stocking over 100 different spices, dried herbs, and specialty salts for home cooks and professionals. They’ll carry smoked and flavored salts (like black truffle sea salt, and chardonnay and oak fleur de sel), as well as salts from all over the world (like French grey sea salt). As for the spices, they’ll have pantry staples like peppercorns and cinnamon (three kinds, in fact, for you bakers out there), and hard-to-find items like grains of paradise, crystallized ginger, and the super-hot (seriously) ghost chiles. You’ll also be able to grab freshly ground blends and rubs, from poultry and beef rubs to more eclectic blends like garam masala, Egyptian dukka, and Middle Eastern za’atar.

All their unique salts and spices will be available pre-packaged, or BYOC (“C” for container) and get just the amount that you need. As the seasons change, expect to see blends like pumpkin pie mix, mulling spices, as well as a rotating selection of vanilla beans from eclectic places. They also plan on holding spice tastings and classes in the future. Tammy also relies on her customers for new ideas, so she encourages people to ask about any obscure spices they’re looking for. You can also find Spice Hound at the College of San Mateo farmers market on Saturdays, the Campbell farmers market on Sundays, or online to ask about your favorite spice.

331 Cortland Marketplace            - 331 Cortland Ave. San Francisco

The Ultimate Brown Bag Lunch


Ready for the ultimate brown bag lunch? 26 of San Francisco’s top restaurants are packing inspired, one-of-a-kind “brown bag” lunches to serve six, and auctioning them online to benefit the SFC Brown Bag Lunch Project. One hundred percent of proceeds from this BROWN BAG LUNCH AUCTION will go to San Francisco Community School, a K-8 public school located in the Excelsior neighborhood, for programs like physical education, art, and their school garden. Bidding ends September 24th, so don’t miss it (all lunches start at $90 and are for six people, but the value of the lunches goes up to $300). Winners will be alerted on September 27th, and lunches will be ready for pick-up at their respective restaurants at 12pm on Friday October 8th.

Participating restaurants include Benu, Delfina, Tartine Bakery, Dosa, Nombe, SPQR, Absinthe, Tacolicious, 4505 Meats, Bar Jules, Beretta, Betelnut, Bocadillos, Canteen, Chef Chad Newton, Chez Papa Resto, Delarosa, Foreign Cinema, Globe, Greens, Il Cane Rosso, Kokkari, Marlowe, Nopalito, One Market, and Zaré at Fly Trap. Get more details here.

               Monday Sep 20, 2010 – Friday Sep 24, 2010 more info

Help the CHEFS Organization at an ECS Happy Hour Fundraiser  


Photo from Taverna Aventine.

Come on out and raise a drink to a great cause: Episcopal Community Services’s CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Services) program is having a HAPPY HOUR FUNDRAISER at Taverna Aventine on Thursday September 30th, 5:30pm-7:30pm. These are the same folks who brought you SummerTini—join them to celebrate the successes they’ve made over the last year in helping our neighbors end homelessness in their lives. Your ticket includes a glass of sparkling wine and light appetizers prepared by students of CHEFS. All ticket sales and a portion of drink sales will be donated to ECS, so get your ticket here.

               Thursday Sep 30, 2010 5:30pm–7:30pm $20; depending on capacity, $25 at the door more info

Let's Eat at the Tabemasho Fundraiser for the JCCCNC


In Japanese, tabemasho means “let’s eat,” and that’s exactly what attendees will be doing on Saturday September 25th at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California’s annual fundraiser, TABEMASHO. Starting at 4pm, there will be a mochi-pounding event, then appetizers and a seated meal presented by local restaurants and chefs (Seiji Wakabayashi, bushi-tei; Alex Ong, Betelnut; Patricia Unterman, Hayes Street Grill; Nick Balla, Nombe; and many more), plus sake and shochu tasting, Japanese specialty foods, and homemade Nikkei comfort foods. There will also be live and silent auctions. The evening will honor George Okamoto Sr. of Nomura & Company, a pioneer of the California rice industry.

Tickets are $100 for reserved table seating, and $25 for children 6-12 years old. Purchase your tickets early as last year’s event sold out.

               Saturday Sep 25, 2010 4pm–8pm $100; $25 for children 6–12 years old more info

Take a Peek at PIQ in Downtown Berkeley


Late August in Berkeley saw the opening of PIQ (pronounced like “peek,” stands for Pane Italiano Qualita)—an Italian bakery and café from a group of Italian food and wine professionals who believe in both high quality food and quick service. (Think: Italy’s slow answer to fast food.) PIQ serves espresso drinks and pastries in the morning; focaccia, panini, and antipasti at lunch; and pizzas and antipasti at dinner. The café sports modernist fixtures imported from Italy, a bi-level interior, and outdoor seating. Hours are Mon-Thu 6:30am-9pm, Fri 6:30am-10:30pm, Sat 9am-10:30pm, and Sun 9am-9pm. 91 Shattuck Square at Addison, Berkeley

Rockridge Market Hall Hosts Picnic in the Street


This Sunday September 26th, the annual Picnic in the Street hosted by the Rockridge Market Hall merchants promises to be a culinary hootenanny for the entire family. Between 12pm and 6pm, Picnic goers can expect delish foods, comparative tastings, demos, wine tastings, and the ever-popular Cookbook Exchange (benefiting the Rockridge Public Library), plus cupcake decorating and pumpkin painting for the kiddos.

Menu highlights include Oliveto’s spit-roasted porchetta sandwiches; Hapuku Fish Shop shrimp Louis sandwiches, lobster bisque, and fresh halibut ceviche; Marin Sun Farms grilled bistro steak sandwich with salsa verde, and Marin Sun Farms hot dogs and chili dogs; Market Hall Produce portobello sandwiches, grilled corn on the cob, and gazpacho; Peaberry’s gelato in bowls and cones, and iced tea; The Pasta Shop adobo pulled pork sandwiches with picante cabbage slaw with salsa; the Cheese Counter’s cheese plate and fresh pasta; wines from France, Spain, and Italy at Paul Marcus Wines; and pudding pops at Market Hall Bakery. Bloomies will present personalized swag making. Across the street, Market Hall neighbor Cactus Taqueria offers taquitos, tamales, guacamole, and aguas frescas. And finally, it is Oktoberfest at Ben & Nick’s.

Ongoing comparative tastings will provide the opportunity to taste a variety of ingredients from food artisans, such as Blue Chair Jams and California extra virgin olive oils. There will also be a Berry Bar ($2 tastings of seasonal berries), a mix and match Olive Bar, and the Charcuterie Cone, with a tasting of cured meats.

Phew, if that’s not enough, Picnic in the Street is actually a street fair within a street fair, coinciding with the Rockridge Out & About street festival, whose chef stage from 12pm to 5pm will feature demos and tastings from the food experts of Market Hall along with the district’s top chefs and bartenders.

               Sunday Sep 26, 2010 12pm–6pm more info

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Additional Events Announced for SF Cocktail Week

Dominic Venegas.jpeg

Dominic Venegas photo by Jenn Farrington.

Looks like SAN FRANCISCO COCKTAIL WEEK has added yet another slew of events to their schedule, which runs from Tuesday September 21st to Monday September 27th. Remember, most of the following are in addition to the events previously announced, so plan accordingly.

The newly added and updated events are as follows:

Wednesday September 22nd Elixir Presents The Mixfits Bartender Relief Fundraiser 9pm-2am Elixir’s Charity Guest Bartending program welcomes professional bartending friends near and far for one very special night: Tony Devencenzi (Bourbon & Branch), Dominic Venegas (Smuggler’s Cove), and Sean Kenyon (Steuben’s in Denver, Colorado) join Elixir’s H. Joseph Ehrmann and Ben Cavara. Tips go to The Bartender Relief Fund while a menu of cocktails will support the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail. The Mixfits will set you straight! Free admission; no-host bar. Elixir, 3200 16th St. at Guerrero.

Thursday September 23rd Classic Cocktails Through a Modern Lens 3pm-5pm Learning how to mix a serious cocktail at home with quality ingredients is as important as knowing how to cook a great meal. These days, however, while many people bake their own bread or make their own pasta, they don’t spend the same attention on crafting a perfect cocktail. Your domestic mixology will achieve loftier heights than you’ve ever imagined after this class with Jennifer Colliau, a bartender at Heaven’s Dog and The Slanted Door, and creator of Small Hand Foods, a local company dedicated to reproducing forgotten sweeteners and mixing ingredients. She’s joined by Erik Ellestad, a bartender at Heaven’s Dog and The Alembic who has garnered national fame for his Savoy Cocktail book project—making every drink in alphabetical order. $25 per person. Heaven’s Dog, 1148 Mission St. at 7th St.

Science of Absinthe at the California Academy of Sciences 6pm-10pm Ted Breaux from Lucid Absinthe gives an enlightening presentation on “The Science of Absinthe,” presented by BBC Elite, as part of the renowned California Academy of Sciences weekly NightLife events. Every Thursday, adults over 21 are invited to enjoy music, science, entertainment, and cocktails, while experiencing the Academy’s world-class exhibits and having fun with friends. This night also features Velocity Circus, Science Tarot, DJ sets by Mad Science, and live music by Geographer and Kill Moi. $12 per person; tickets available exclusively at the Academy of Sciences. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr.

Saturday September 25th Martin Cate’s History of the Fern Bar 1pm-3pm The fern bar is a now much-maligned but important part of the history of American taverns. From its humble beginnings in San Francisco at Henry Africa’s in 1970, it launched a style and concept that was spread nationwide, widely seen in film and television, and led to international chains like TGI Friday’s. Known for its own distinct culture, atmosphere, and cocktails, the fern bar is credited by some as the birthplace of the Lemon Drop and was home to the Harvey Wallbanger, wine spritzer, Tequila Sunrise, and lots of drinks with ice cream. Much of the iconography and style of the fern bar was the result of one man, Norman Hobday, who, like a latter-day Don The Beachcomber, created a wholly new concept based on the idea that bars should be inviting and comfortable, like your grandmother’s living room. Much like Don before him, he adopted a persona (“Henry Africa”), and even shared Don’s penchant for Safari Suits. (Unlike Don, Norman is still with us today—he now owns a San Francisco fern bar called Eddie Rickenbacker’s, famous for their rare motorcycle collection, Tiffany lamps, and the legendary Norman himself.) In this fun-filled seminar, Martin Cate, owner of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, will lead you on a discovery of one of the great eccentrics of San Francisco. You’ll study the drinks of the era, so prepare to experience cocktails that challenge your concept of “good.” Polyester attire strongly encouraged. $25 per person. Elixir, 3200 16th St. at Guerrero.

The Return of Absinthe—the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 2:30pm-4:30pm Join renowned absinthe distillers Ted Breaux of Lucid, Peter Schaf of Vieux Pontarlier, and Lance Winters of locally distilled St. George for this finely shaken panel discussion that gives the real lowdown on this famous classic spirit, and find out why it was a staple in every respectable cocktail bar during the pre-Prohibition era. Our resident experts will safely guide you through dangerous waters as they discuss the contemporary absinthe renaissance, clear the fog of persistent misconceptions that give the spirit a bad reputation, and explain the need for a proper legal definition to protect you, the consumer. This petite soirée includes tastings of classic absinthe cocktails, accompanied by valuable insight into vintage absinthe mixology, and why it remains a black art in the modern era. And naturally, the three accomplished distillers/historians who lead our discussion will have a sampling of their absinthes on hand, so bring your questions, an appetite for information, and a thirst for classic absinthe cocktails. $20 per person (ticket includes tastes of each distiller’s flagship absinthe, snacks provided by Comstock Saloon, and a few green-fairy inspired surprises). Comstock Saloon, 155 Columbus Ave. at Kearny.

Cocktail Crawl: Drinking with Dominic Join one of San Francisco’s bartending legends, Dominic Venegas, as he takes you on a personal walking and drinking tour of his favorite historical establishments in San Francisco. You can join any time, and Dominic will do his best to follow the schedule below. Free admission; no-host bars. Complete Cocktail Crawl schedule.

Tours of Distillery No. 209 1pm and 2pm Get a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of Distillery No. 209! Join head Ginerator, Arne Hillesland, at Pier 50 in San Francisco, who will take you through the basics of distillation and demonstrate what makes 209 a modern gin with a distinct balance of citrus and juniper notes. A gin lover or not sure, you may discover something to confirm your love or convert you forever. Free; reservation REQUIRED in advance by emailing Wendi. Space is limited. 50 Pier, #B.

Sunday, September 26th Hangar One Cocktail Cookout on the Island Barbecue: 2pm-6pm; Guided Tours: 3pm, 4pm, and 5pm The East Bay’s best bartenders are teaming up with Fatted Calf for a meaty, boozy outdoor festival, pairing barbecue with ice-cold cocktails and a cocktail competition under the sun at the renowned Hangar One distillery in Alameda. Ticket includes a round-trip ferryboat ride featuring Hangar One cocktails (designed and served by Master Mixologist Scott Beattie of HMS Cocktails) from San Francisco’s Ferry Building and shuttle transportation to BART to and from the Hangar One Distillery. $50 per person (ticket includes barbeque, cocktails, and round-trip transportation from SF Ferry Building and BART. On-site parking is free.) St. George Spirits Distillery (AKA Hangar One), 2601 Monarch St. (on the former Naval Base), Alameda.

Hangar One Ferry and Shuttle Schedule, free with ticket purchase: 1:15pm-1:30pm FERRY: Boat loads at SF Ferry Building (please be on time!) 1:45pm Ferry departs from SF to Alameda 2pm BART: Shuttle pick up at West Oakland station 3pm BART: Shuttle pick up at West Oakland station 5:45pm-6:15pm FERRY: Shuttles depart Hangar One for return trip to SF Ferry Building 6:30pm BART: Final shuttle departs to West Oakland Station 6:15pm-7pm Ferry Boat return trip to SF Ferry Building

I-talian I-ranian American Spaghetti Feed 8pm Negronis; 9pm Sangiovese, Antipasti, Spaghetti & Meatballs; 10pm Tiramisu and Grappa Chefs Erik Hopfinger of Long Bar and Hoss Zaré of Zaré at Fly Trap are proud to offer a menu reflecting seasonal, regional dishes you won’t want to refuse for Sunday Supper. Wear your favorite velour tracksuit or elastic-waisted trouser; you are going to eat big. $22.98 per person (includes dinner, glass of wine, and tax; exclusive of gratuity). Advance ticket purchase not required; reservations recommended. Please RSVP to Long Bar, 2298 Fillmore St. at Clay.

PS This isn’t on the official schedule (hey, he’s from New York), but this Wednesday from 6pm-close, Beretta will welcome cocktail ace Alexander Day, formerly of New York cocktail destination Death & Company, to tend bar. He’ll serve up four cocktails, inspired both from his days at Death & Co. and by upcoming consulting projects: Aperitivo Julep (Dry Vermouth, Amaro, Crème de Pêche); Grand Street (Beefeater Gin, Punt e Mes, Cynar, Maraschino, Grapefruit); Conquistadora (Tequila, Mezcal, Blanc Vermouth, Yellow Chartreuse, Strawberry); and Spry Friar (Gin, Honey, Lemon, Pineapple, Absinthe). Beretta, 1199 Valencia St. at 23rd St., 415-695-1199.

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

Scott Versus Cancer Benefit at Thieves Tavern


Here’s a chance to show that this is an industry and a city that rallies when one of their own is in need. Please consider attending the SCOTT VERSUS CANCER BENEFIT, with a raffle and prizes, at Thieves Tavern on Monday September 27th, 5pm-1:30am.

Spruce staff member Scott Lawrence was recently diagnosed with stage four tongue cancer, and now Spruce Restaurant, Café des Amis, Pizza Antica, Mayfield Bakery & Cafe, The Village Pub, and Thieves Tavern are hosting this benefit to support an unfortunate young man who is in for the fight of his life. Though luckily Scott has Kaiser insurance, with his recent surgery, he will be out of work for a minimum of four months. To help him maintain his present living situation while he recovers, they’re asking that we find it in our hearts and wallets to help impact this young man’s life.

If you would like additional information or would like to donate raffle items, please contact Alvin Abrian at 510-325-6231. You can view Scott’s progress and information at or on Twitter @scottgotcancer.

               Monday Sep 27, 2010 5pm–1:30am $10 donation at the door more info

Puglia Wine Week Starts September 28th


From September 28th to October 4th, Wines of Puglia will be holding the first ever PUGLIA WINE WEEK in the US, with noted winemakers from the Puglia region of southern Italy visiting major US cities, including San Francisco. These wines will be presented in the US for the first time, with many at very accessible prices. Specialty menus and pairings, in which four wines from each vineyard will be paired with Apulian-inspired dishes by the chefs, will be offered at the following restaurants through the week of the promotion:

  • A16 will feature wines from Tormaresca; Francesco Domini, the company’s wine director, will present his wines on September 28th at 7:30pm.
  • Incanto will feature wines from Vallone; Giuseppe Malazzini, the winery owner, will meet the public on September 30th at 7pm.
  • La Ciccia will feature wines from biodynamic Cefalicchio; owner Nicola Rossi will attend a special dinner on October 4th.

Also during Puglia Wine Week, the public and wine professionals can taste an extensive selection of great wines from Puglia that represent all the main areas of the region at The Jug Shop, including labels from the following wineries: Albea, Barsento, Cefalicchio, D’Alfonso del Sordo, Due Palme, Li Veli, Tormaresca, Vallone, and Vigne & Vini.

               Tuesday Sep 28, 2010 – Monday Oct  4, 2010 more info

Kanpai! Sake Day is October 1st


Celebrate Japan’s Day of Sake by joining in the festivities at the 5TH ANNUAL SAKE DAY on Friday October 1st at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) in San Francisco’s Japantown. Sake Day 2010 will feature sake tastings from dozens of sake vendors and breweries, food and sake pairing stations, live Okinawan music by Sushi Cal Band, raffles, prizes, and more. Event presenters True Sake and Nombe Restaurant (Mari Takahashi, her husband and sake sommelier Gil Payne, and executive chef Nick Balla) will offer Japanese cuisine and street food to pair with amazing sakes. Other participants include Joto Sake, Take no Tsuyu Brewery (Japan), the Japan Prestige Sake Association, Hakuro Brewery, and the Akita Sake Promotion and Export Council.

Tickets are $75 through September 30th, and $80 at the door. (Don’t forget your valid ID.) Funds raised from the event will benefit the JCCCNC’s cultural, educational, recreational, and social programs.

               Friday Oct  1, 2010 6pm–9pm $75 regular; $80 at the door more info

the socialite

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

Enjoy a Special Meal While You Help Build a NEST


 Event Info

Sunday Sep 26, 2010 5pm $90, including tax and tip Info                        Slow Club 2501 Mariposa St. at Hampshire, San Francisco

On Sunday September 26th, Slow Club is hosting a FÊTE D’ARTISAN to benefit NEST, a non-profit that empowers female artisans around the world. The evening will start at 5pm with a cocktail reception featuring Jen Colliau of Small Hand Foods. Then chef Matt Paul will present a four-course harvest menu with ingredients from sponsors Free Spirit Farm, farmer Martin Bournhonesque, ABS Seafood, Prather Ranch, and TCHO Chocolate. Each course will be paired with wines donated by Teira Wines and Fort Ross Vineyards.

Harvest Menu

  • Antipasto of assorted crostini
  • Arugula salad, strawberries, fromage blanc, fried spiced pecans, moscato vinaigrette
  • Pan-roasted black cod, caponata of roasted eggplant, gypsy peppers, fennel, tomato, olives, basil
  • Grilled New York strip steak, heirloom tomatoes, summer squash, white corn, parsley oil
  • Mini chocolate pot de crème
  • Peach and blueberry crisp

(Menu may vary slightly due to availability.)

Tickets are $90 and include tax and tip.

October Begins With the World Veg Festival


 Event Info

Saturday Oct  2, 2010 – Sunday Oct  3, 2010 10am–6pm $7 suggested donation; children, students, and seniors free; everyone free  before 10:30am both days Info                        San Francisco County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park Lincoln Way and 9th Ave., San Francisco                        415-273-5481

Go ahead, spend two days vegging out, literally. The San Francisco Vegetarian Society presents the 11th Annual WORLD VEGETARIAN DAY FESTIVAL, a two-day celebration taking place Saturday October 2nd and Sunday October 3rd in the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park. The weekend will be filled with fun and informative events and entertainment, including lectures by the movers and shakers of the vegetarian movement, creative vegan cooking demos, international cuisine to sample or buy, vegan friendly merchandise, a children’s corner, veggie speed dating, and a vegan fashion show. Featured speakers include John Robbins, Rory Freedman, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Michael Klaper, Dr. Milton Mills, Dr. Carl Myers, Dr. Anteneh Roba, and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

the health nut

Gettin' Fit (take a lap, tablehopper)

Ready to Detox


I will admit, part of me was relieved to see another Core Vitality Detox is coming up in October, from the 10th through the 30th (yes, it ends right before Halloween). I know that after 10 days in France consuming copious amounts of Champagne and cheese, my liver could certainly use some cleansing. And no, this isn’t one of those Master Cleanses where you’re subsisting on lemon water with maple syrup and cayenne pepper—this cleanse is actually full of whole, organic, seasonal, and nutritious food. It’s a cleanse that will leave you feeling recharged and refreshed, instead of deprived, cranky, and starving. (Although saying goodbye to coffee for three weeks is always hard for me, I cannot deny!) Wanna check it out? Early bird pricing ends September 25th.

the sugar mama

Giveaways (get some)

Enter to Win Tickets to the Wine & Spirits Top 100 Event!


Wine & Spirits Magazine will host its 7th annual TOP 100 TASTING EVENT on Wednesday October 13th, from 6:30pm-8:30pm, at the Galleria at the San Francisco Design Center. The 100 wineries from around the world selected for the Top 100 event have delivered the best overall performances in the magazine’s tastings conducted during the past year.

Also featured at the event will be the magazine’s New & Notable restaurants in the Bay Area, which include Baker & Banker, Barbacco, Comstock Saloon, Diamond Lil, Heirloom Café, Hibiscus, Hog & Rocks, Locanda da Eva, Nombe, and Saison. Each restaurant will serve bites of a signature dish paired with wines featured at the tasting. Additionally, guests will enjoy specialties from local artisanal purveyors, including Hog Island Oysters, Nicasio Valley Cheese, Zoe’s Meats, Socola Chocolate, and Barefoot Coffee Roasters. Oh yeah, and yours truly will have a table at the event, so you can swing by and purchase a signed copy of my book for $17.50!

Event proceeds will benefit San Francisco Baykeeper.

Tickets are $105; $125 VIP (includes early admission at 6pm and a sparkling wine reception), and can be purchased here.

tablehopper is giving away one pair of tickets (two tickets total). All you need to do is forward this week’s tablehopper newsletter to one friend (but even more would be so very fabulous), and add a note to your friend(s) about the event, then Cc: or Bcc: me at so I know you sent it—I promise I won’t use anyone’s email address. The deadline to enter is Sunday September 26th by 11:59pm. I will notify the winner on Monday the 27th. Good luck!

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Black Magic Baklava

A fun surprise on Potrero Hill: Carlos Santana came in to Pera for dinner. He had the roka salata, chicken shish kebab, and baklava, along with a couple glasses of malbec, and finished with a cappuccino (nope, he wouldn’t be able to get away with that in Italy). He was reportedly “verrrrry” kind to other patrons and the staff.

Not Far to Walk...

Last week, The Walkmen had dinner at Dosa on Fillmore before their show at The Fillmore!

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