A round of the Gentleman #2 cocktail at Laszlo.
Ooooooh, boy! Indian summer finally showed the hell up. The hot nights remind me of living in LA—am loving riding my bike in the evening, and am all about making caffè shakerato in the afternoon (espresso and milk shaken over ice in a cocktail shaker). Looking for a place to dine outside today or tonight? Just flip to page 131 in my book for ideas!
Speaking of my book, I’ll be signing copies over Charbay cocktails this Thursday September 30th at Bardessono. Who’s coming? For $20, you get a copy of my book, a cocktail, and bites from 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. I know, that’s quite the flav-o-flav lineup. See you there—happy hour starts at 5pm!
I’m thirsty. Is it Thursday yet?
Though they’re still waiting for their liquor license to come through, husband-and-wife team Joel Bleskacek (Campton Place, Oliveto, 42 Degrees) and Maxine Siu (Oliveto, 42 Degrees) have opened their new Potrero Hill daytime restaurant. To recap from previous tablehopper coverage, PLOW is serving a classic American menu (such as French toast with caramelized bananas and crème fraîche, ricotta pancakes, a fried egg sandwich, and muffins and buttermilk biscuits), and it seems people are loving their plow potatoes (which are deep fried to order—don’t ask, just order them). Oh yeah, and let’s not overlook the biscuits and gravy made with their housemade sausage. And then there’s this little number, the Chinese breakfast with two fried eggs over steamed rice and Chinese sausage. Yum. Prices are nice (almost everything is under $10), and there are even breakfast options for little ones.
As for lunch, there are a few salads, including a chicken salad, and sandwiches like a roast pork one, or grilled vegetables on ciabatta. There are also a couple hot dishes: semolina gnocchi ($9) in tomato sauce, and short ribs ($13) with polenta and gremolata.
Expect all-day breakfast everyday, with lunch beginning at 11:30am, brunch on weekends, and lots of natural light with your meal. Hours are Tue-Fri 7am-2pm, and Sat-Sun 8am-2pm, and they will host the occasional winemaker dinner with Ruby Wine too. One more thing to note: people in SF talk about their business featuring all-local ingredients, but Plow’s owners took it one step further, since everyone they used to design the place (including their contractor) hails from their 94107 ZIP code.
Plow - 1299 18th St. San Francisco - 415-821-7569
After a bit of a waiting game, chef Ian Marks, previously of Hog Island Oyster Company, will be opening his restaurant, BEAST AND THE HARE in the former La Provence space on Guerrero Street. His business partner is Dylan Denicke (another Hog Islander), who will manage the front of house. They have the keys and are currently cleaning and painting the 48-seater, pushing for an early November opening. The menu will be very “San Francisco farm-to-table,” along with oysters (natch), and since Marks spent some time at Fatted Calf, he’ll be doing his own charcuterie. (He also mentioned possibly doing his own cheese down the road as well.) The menu will feature about seven small plates, and two larger entrées, with nothing over $18. The look will be rustic and “old tavern-y,” with exposed wood, including a cypress communal table and bar top. Hours will be 5pm-10pm, and they’re also going to try out late hours Thu-Sat from 10pm-1am for industry folks, and weekend brunch.
Beast and the Hare - 1001 Guerrero St. San Francisco - 415-821-1001
I heard word that executive chef Michelle Mah is no longer at downtown’s MIDI. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to track her down before my deadline to find out details about her next move. As for Midi, they are currently reviewing plans for the restaurant, so stand by for more details and an update soon. 185 Sutter St. at Kearny, 415-835-6400.
Thank heavens, something tasty is moving into the Ebb & Flow/Craig’s Place corner spot at 18th and Guerrero: a second location of Bill Clarke and Alan Carter’s MISSION BEACH CAFE. The concept will be similar to the original location, but the menus will focus more on vegetables and seafood. Leading the kitchen is Trevor Ogden, the new executive chef of both locations, and MBC alum Ron Silverberg will return as chef de cuisine. Lunch and dinner will be served during the week, and brunch and dinner on the weekends. Michael Brennan will be handling the remodel and design. Exact plans, restaurant name (the latest liquor license calls it “Repast”), and opening date are TBD, stand by.
Mission Beach Cafe - 198 Guerrero St. San Francisco - 415-861-0198
After a brief renovation period, A16 reopens tonight, September 28th. And there will be a special guest this evening in honor of Puglia Wine Week: Francesco Domani, friend and general manager of Tormaresca winery, will be at A16 to share his stories of operating the Tormaresca winery in Puglia, which is owned by the Antinori family. There will be Tormaresca wines available by the glass, carafe, and bottle, and chef Liza Shaw will be offering some special dishes to pair with them, like a bruschetta of roasted sunchokes, preserved Meyer lemon, and sea urchin to pair with the chardonnay; pizza with ricotta, roasted anchocress, and bottarga; quattro formaggi ravioli with a black olive, tomato, and eggplant sauce; and roasted duck polpettine with braised treviso and mosto.
A16 - 2355 Chestnut St. San Francisco - 415-771-2216
On Sunday afternoon, I walked into my kind of meat heaven: Taylor Boetticher’s new FATTED CALF storefront location in Hayes Valley. It’s all there, starting with a fantastic selection of local and heritage meats, plus salumi (finocchiona, mortadella, soppressata, pancetta, and more), hunger-inducing pâtés and terrines and rillettes and ciccioli, duck confit, sausages, and you can even purchase beautiful duck fat. There are also supplies from a variety of purveyors, like Andante cheeses, Della Fattoria bread, Rancho Gordo beans, St. Benoit yogurt, along with housemade pickles and sauerkraut. There are also prepared foods, like a meatloaf sandwich, a bollito misto (call first—it’s not there every day), a couple hot dog options, and a farro salad.
The former knitting shop has been transformed into an airy-feeling location, with a gleaming Berkel slicer, Heath tiles, lots of wood, and quite the aging room, with salumi and sides of beef and pig hanging in the window. The space was designed by Wylie Price, and is really striking and a bit industrial. The shop is just down the street from Blue Bottle Coffee’s kiosk on Linden, which makes for a wonderful one-two punch. Open daily 10am-8pm. No fear, the Fatted Calf stand will remain at the Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and at Napa’s Oxbow Market. 320 Fell St. at Gough, 415-400-5614.
The next time your sweet tooth strikes, you better hope it’s on a weekday from 5pm-7pm, because that’s when you can head on over to MIETTE in Hayes Valley for $1 macarons! Yup, it’s a macaron happy hour. 449 Octavia St. at Linden, 415-626-6221.
Now open in the Ferry Building is SIDEKICK, the latest venture from Sue Conley and Peggy Smith of Cowgirl Creamery—they moved into the former (and adjacent) LuLu Petite space in the Ferry Building Marketplace. It’s basically a cheese and dairy bar, offering everything from a variety of mozzarellas to milks.
The mornings begin with challah rolls with sweet and savory fillings, gougères (uh huh), cottage cheese with fresh fruit, and sweet and savory yogurt bowls. At 11am, the afternoon kitchen opens with a fresh mozzarella bar (with choices from burrata to fior di latte that come with mache, and either heirloom tomatoes or prosciutto), green salads, a daily artisan cheese plate, cheese soup (a Grana Padano panade with green beans, toast, and little Cowgirl Cottage Cheese dumplings), raclette, cheese toasties (either cheddar or crescenza), and stuffed flatbreads. You can also get chilled milk drinks, like coffee, chocolate, or raspberry, along with cream sodas and spritzers. The Marin style includes tiles from Heath, reclaimed elm wood counters, and blue gum eucalyptus walls. Hours are Mon-Sat 7am-3pm and Sun 10am-6pm (Saturday hours will extend to 7pm in a few weeks).
A few mini-Mission items: according to Uptown Almanac, it looks like there is finally some activity in the long-closed LA RONDALLA: the space is currently gutted, and according to workers on site, the owners hope to open before Christmas. There are no changes on the liquor license, so it looks like the Barrios family continue to own it. 901 Valencia St. at 20th St.
Just down the street, the THE BLUE FIG cafe is now open, serving items ranging from “blue waffles” to croque-madames to Reubens. 990 Valencia St. at 21st St.
And this Wednesday, the PAL’S TAKEAWAY guest chef series continues with Ryan Ostler, formerly from Bruno’s and Broken Record, busting out a Marin Sun Farms pulled lamb goodie on his housemade pita bread with apple-jicama slaw and harissa. Hubba. 2751 24th St. at Hampshire.
After some delays and final inspections, THE SUMMIT will finally be opening this Thursday September 30th. To recap a previous tablehopper posting, 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). Looking forward to trying all of it, from the coffee service to lunch (mmmm, red pastrami sandwich!) to late-night dessert.
The Summit - 780 Valencia St. San Francisco - 415-861-5330
Looks like the HENRY’S HUNAN empire is going to open their sixth spot in the Excelsior: they will be opening their latest location in the former Granada Cafe. There will be 80-90 seats, with a full bar. The target date is the end of November or beginning of December. 4753 Mission St. at Leo.
Yeah baby, it’s all about street food, all the time! The latest location for the OFF THE GRID truck and street food stand gatherings is Saturdays on McCoppin, that little dead lot right next to the U-Haul store off Valencia Street. You know, the place you go to score your crack. Anyway, now you can score eats from the likes of the El Norteño Taco Truck and Liba Falafel during the day, and dinner from trucks like Curry Up Now and 51st State. There will also be three new mobile vendors: Little Green Cyclo (Vietnamese bahn mi), Brass Knuckle (waffle-pressed sandwiches), and Le Truc Gastrobus.
Lunch is from 11am-4pm, and dinner is from 5pm-10pm—just follow @SFcarts or check on Facebook for updates on who will be parked there on Saturdays. To recap, there is also the big Fort Mason gathering on Fridays from 5pm-9pm, Upper Haight on Thursdays (from 4pm-8:30pm), and Civic Center Friday during the day from 11am-3pm.
COCO5OO’s chef, Michael Morrison—a Mediterranean mixmaster known for his handmade pastas and wood oven-baked fish—has now taken the helm of THE MOSS ROOM, collaborating with owner Loretta Keller. He is also going to be the next featured chef in the LOCALIZE series of dinners from Noise 13 and TABLEonethree, which will be on Monday October 11th.
The family-style menu will include passed local and seasonal bites (chef will be cooking from the best of the farmers’ market); agnolotti; roasted local cod with Tomales Bay clams, celery, and smoked ham; and olive oil cake for dessert. There can also be wine paired with each dish; and before each course, chef will converse with the table about what he has prepared. (Note that parking is validated for the garage.)
Monday Oct 11, 2010 6:30pm $65; $85 with wine pairings more info
It’s official: Daniel Patterson’s 48-seat Oakland project, PLUM opens this Wednesday the 29th, and along with it is a new addition to the Daniel Patterson Group: Ron Boyd (AQUA, Beautifull) has signed on to take over the role that Jeremy Fox was to fill at Plum and in the group overall. Boyd will oversee Patterson’s restaurants (Coi, Il Cane Rosso, and the upcoming Plum, though the further-out Bracina will be chef Lauren Kiino’s main responsibility), and Boyd will also work on developing new ideas for the group, its garden, and allowing Patterson to focus on and be present daily at Coi. Boyd was formerly the chef de cuisine at AQUA, and most recently, was conducting R&D for Beautifull’s healthy prepared foods. Earlier in his career, Boyd was Patterson’s chef de cuisine at Elisabeth Daniel.
Kiino will be playing a big part in Plum as the opening chef. Bill Corbett will be doing the desserts at Plum (like roasted white chocolate parfait with huckleberry and tarragon, $9), but Boyd will also be now working with pastry chef Deanie Hickox, who left Manresa to help out at Coi.
(You got all that? Good.)
So, what’s going to be on the menu at Plum? It’s well priced, with many dishes under $20, and a four-course menu for $45. There are snacks to start, like chickpea fritters or crispy chicken skin with seaweed (both $4); starters like a smoked black cod and potato purée ($12) or chilled eggplant soup ($9); larger vegetable dishes like mushroom dashi with yuba, tofu, and greens ($13) or steamed chanterelle custard with nettles and hazelnuts ($13); meaty mains like slow-cooked farm egg with savory chicken-giblet fried farro and sprouts ($17), or seared squid with kohlrabi, mustard greens, and black rice porridge ($18). And since it’s open late, there will be a burger (gasp) and a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.
As for the wine list, wine director Andrew Mosblech has put together an international list with about 50 selections, and 25 will be available by the glass or “flask.” The wines were described to me as balanced, fresh, and food friendly, with a focus on good value, integrity, tipicity, and a sense of discovery (look for some unique grapes, like moschofilero and schiava). As for you cocktail lovers, Scott Beattie’s list (and bar) won’t be in effect until next year, but one of his aperitif/cocktails will be on the opening list, the Bella Rufina (brachetto, orange bitters, amarena cherry), along with some sakes, sherries, and beers. The space will have some drama, like walls in deep colors, a chandelier, and of course some unique art, like X-ray cross-sections of plums. There will be either counter or communal table seating. Hours will be 5pm-1am daily. Reservations accepted!
Plum - 2214 Broadway Oakland - 510-444-7586
A tablehopper reader tipped me off that ADDIE’S PIZZA PIE is now open in Berkeley. Berkeleyside has more details: the project is from Jennifer Millar of Sweet Adeline Bakeshop and Thomas Schnetz of Flora, serving almost ten kinds of New York-style pies, along with three kinds of frozen custard. Dinner Wed-Sun. 3290 Adeline St. at Alcatraz, Berkeley, 510-547-1100.
And starting tonight, September 28th, TRADER VIC’S EMERYVILLE will reopen its doors after closing in April for a remodel. Look for a larger lounge area and an additional banquet room, new furniture, and even more rum cocktails. 9 Anchor Dr. at Powell, Emeryville, 510-653-3400.
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Another wine shop is coming to SoMa: this one is called THE SECRET WINE SHOP, and owner Christy Bergman will be highlighting local, small production, and quality budget wines, in addition to hosting special tasting events featuring wine education and local winemakers. The shop is opening in a historic warehouse, and will include a tasting room, wine shop, and art gallery. The targeted opening date is mid-October. Until then, they’re open Mondays 5pm-8pm and by appointment (and also for special wine education events). Monday nights they hold a blind tasting from 5pm-8pm, asking for a $5 donation (and your rating). Wines are revealed at 7:45pm, with the winner announced right away. October 4th is about local blind budget reds, and October 11th is local blind budget whites; journalist and author Alice Feiring will be there on October 26th and 27th. Full calendar here. 1097 Howard St. #209 at 7th St., 415-625-3285.
If you can’t make it up to Bardessono for my happy hour event this Thursday September 30th, there’s this wine event from Uncorked Events and Indulge Food & Wine Events that’s happening in the city, PAIRED. The event will be set up in three rooms: boutique wine, craft beer, and speciality cocktail. Each beverage table will be matched with a food purveyor to showcase an optimal match. Featured restaurants include: A.G. Ferrari, Bar Crudo, Beretta, BIN 38, Clare’s Deli & Late Night Kitchen, Cowgirl Creamery, Credo, Destino, DOSA, Espetus Churrascaria, Georges, Iluna Basque, Left Coast Catering, Ottimista, Paragon, Pica Pica, Ristobar, SusieCakes, Tacolicious, Taverna Aventine, TCHO Chocolates, and The Republic.
Boutique wines include: Dow’s Port, Dry Creek Vineyards, Dryland Wines, Hanna Winery, JC Cellars, Kokomo, La Follette, Pax/Donelan, Sbragia, Seghesio, Sol Rouge, Terra Valentine, Thomas George Estates, and Vivid Bliss Sparkling . Craft beers include: 21st Amendment, Anderson Valley, Big Sky Brewing, Blue Moon, Deschutes, Firestone-Walker, Lagunitas, North Coast, Mateveza, North Coast, Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada, Speakeasy, and Trumer Pils. Specialty cocktails will be from Cantina, Delarosa, Distillery 209, DOSA, Eve Lounge, Matrix Fillmore, Pisco Latin Lounge, and The Craft .
The entire upstairs and balcony at the Golden Gate Club will be reserved for the VIP area, and will feature premiere food and beverage purveyors (VIPs also have access to PAIRED a half an hour before General Admission). The VIP experience includes: CHAYA, Ana Mandara, Murray Circle Restaurant at Cavallo Point, I Love Blue Sea Oyster Station, Madecasse Chocolates, A.G. Ferrari Artisan Cheese Station, Blackbird Vineyards, Darioush Winery, Duvel Moorgat Brewery, Fisher Vineyards, Gosset Champagne, Robert Foley Vineyards, Orval Brewery, and Silver Oak Cellars.
Stroke 9 will be performing an acoustic show, the Fito Reinoso Quartet will play Cuban classics , and DJ Sol will spin chill grooves. The event benefits Hands on Bay Area. Use the promo code ‘tablehopped’ for $10 off regular or VIP admission.
Thursday Sep 30, 2010 6:30pm–9:30pm, VIP Entrance 6pm $60–$150 more info
You can start celebrating OKTOBERFEST at JARDINIÈRE on Monday October 4th with a special German-themed prix-fixe dinner. The Oktoberfest dinner includes three courses and three wine pairings for $45. Reservations are not necessary, but are encouraged.
And then on Thursday October 7th, ANCHOR & HOPE is hosting a party with German draft beer (you can keep the glass), vittles like curryweiss and bratwurst, oyster gratin on sauerkraut, and potato knish with smoked trout and mustard sauce. There will also be The Golden Gate Bavarian Dancers. 5pm-10:30pm. Tickets are $40 including tax when purchased in advance. Tickets admit one, plus food and three draft beers. Additional draft beer $2 each.
And SOCIAL KITCHEN & BREWERY is also celebrating on Thursday October 7th. They will be serving their two German-style beers, along with three locally-brewed Oktoberfest-style beers from 21st Amendment Brewery, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant San Francisco, and ThirstyBear Brewing Co. The $25 admission price includes a glass of all five beers, as well as German food, including sausages, obaster cheese spread, housemade beer mustard, and salads. A soundtrack of beer hall and contemporary German music compiled by DJ Desperate Pedestrian will be played. Joining SKB Brewmaster Rich Higgins will be brewmasters from the other breweries to discuss the beers and join in the celebration. It all starts at 6pm.
Thanks to everyone who entered the contest to win tickets to the seventh annual WINE & SPIRITS TOP 100 EVENT. I have already chosen the winner, so now’s your chance to take advantage of the 10% off for all tablehopper readers; just use the code TBLEHOP10, and click “Purchase Admission” to receive the discount.
The event will be held at the Galleria at the San Francisco Design Center, and is a benefit for San Francisco Baykeeper. 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.
In addition to the Wineries of the Year, W&S will recognize its New & Notable restaurants in the Bay Area, which include Baker & Banker, Barbacco, Comstock Saloon, Diamond Lil (Mind Your Tongue), 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. Guests will also enjoy specialties from local artisanal purveyors, including Hog Island Oysters, Nicasio Valley Cheese, Zoe’s Meats, Socola Chocolate, and Barefoot Coffee Roasters.
Wednesday Oct 13, 2010 Trade: 4:30pm-6:30pm; VIP consumers 6pm; General admission 6:30pm–8:30pm $105; limited number of VIP tickets are $125 (10% off with code TBLEHOP10) more info
I had all kinds of intentions to check out the new PUBLIC WORKS club this weekend, but sadly ran outta steam. Anyway, this new party space from Pete Glikshtern and Jeff Whitmore (both behind Mighty) is a combination art gallery, club, performance/event space, and bar. One cool thing is they’re providing space during the day for artists to conceive and produce work (four artist residents will be extended, at no cost, a daytime workshop).
The space will also function as a community room in the evening, available free of charge to neighborhood groups and other benevolent organizations. Public Works will donate a portion of their proceeds to various local non-profits, in addition to assisting them with promotions and events. Root Division, a non-profit that brings art classes to kids in schools that can’t afford programs, is a current beneficiary. Check out their website for future DJ gigs, parties, live bands, and more. 161 Erie St. at Mission, 415-932-0955.
Thursday Oct 14, 2010 6pm–9pm $30; Red Tie Gala ticket holders free Info/tickets The Burritt Room in the Crescent Hotel 417 Stockton St. at Sutter, San Francisco
Get that red hot outfit out ‘cause red is what it’s all about at the RED TIE LAUNCH PARTY on Thursday October 14th, 6pm-9pm, in the Burritt Room at the Crescent Hotel. This par-tay is bringing together some of the city’s best in art, music, food, and drink, and all for a good cause: Little Sisters of the Poor and St. Anne’s Home.
Join the party by entering through an old speakeasy stairwell to reach the Burritt Room. This secret entrance will lead you to an evening of music and DJs, complimentary SKYY cocktails and local wines, culinary bites by Taste Catering, and more. Plus you’ll see models exhibiting a special collection of wearable sculpture by the Academy of Art University.
The Red Tie Launch Party is the official kick-off for the biennial Red Tie Gala 2010 to be held at Neiman Marcus on Friday November 19th. Tickets for the Launch Party are $30 at the door or online, or make it a double and get into the Launch Party free with a Red Tie Gala ticket. 21 and up only; RSVP by October 12th. Follow the party on Twitter and Facebook. Both events benefit Little Sisters of the Poor and the elderly poor residents at St. Anne’s Home in San Francisco.
Five-time Grammy Award nominee (and one-time winner) Macy Gray had lunch at Bistro Boudin last Friday with four guests. She had the angel hair pasta with herb-grilled shrimp, and sourdough bread (viva carbs!).
Another reader writes: “Just had dinner at Alexander’s Steakhouse (the artist formerly known as Bacar). Seated at the table to my left was David Boreanaz (the hunky dude from Bones and Angel). Seated to my right was Mark Zuckerberg (the not-so hunky dude who created this thing called Facebook). I’m so star struck right now!”
A tablehopper reader told me after viewing the SF film premiere of The Romantics (produced by Trevor Traina) at the Clay on Fillmore, the party moved across the street to Long Bar. The film buff says, “I got to meet Elijah Wood (hello Frodo) and had a lovely long conversation with another actor in the movie, Jeremy Strong, fresh off Broadway. It was Jeremy’s first visit to San Francisco and he was enamored with our fine city—especially after a few of Long Bar’s generously poured cocktails.” Sounds like Jeremy was off to Napa the next day, the land of more pours.
Our favorite gourmand, Ruth Reichl was spotted around town in San Francisco, in addition to tweeting about her experiences. A tablehopper reader saw her at Quince, which was closed for a private event. Of Quince, she said, “the mysteriously tender crunch of abalone. Ethereal pillows of pasta. Cauliflower mousse. Chanterelles. Memorable white beans.” She also hit up Boulettes Larder at the Ferry Building (“Breakfast beneath the Bay Bridge at Boulette’s. Gently poached eggs on yogurt-laced dal, crisp pappadums. Warm toast. Apricot jam. Happy.”) and Little Skillet (“Long hungry line. Standing on Skillet’s sunny sidewalk, waiting for fried chicken. Preppy pink shirt jogs past. Oh SF! [Worth the wait.]”). Zuni continues its thrill: “Sweet, slippery anchovies nuzzle sharp shards of cheese. Add the ancient flavor of olives; soften with celery’s crunch. Perfect. Zuni.”
She also hit up the Thursday Market and visited the Namu stand (“A joyful jumble of sweet meat, salty seaweed, spice, scallions and fragrant rice. Gloriously messy Korean tacos at the Ferry Building.”) and chomped into a Zilla dog from 4505 Meats: “chicharron curls on bacon-laced hot dogs zinged with kimchee. Irresistible. Maddeningly delicious porchetta line’s too long.” Seems the call of some oysters also reeled her in: “And finally, the sheer briny simplicity of just-opened oysters, naked on ice, with a view of the Bay. San Francisco: pure pleasure.”