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Oct 11, 2010 21 min read

October 12, 2010 - This week's tablehopper: hot damn.

October 12, 2010 - This week's tablehopper: hot damn.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: hot damn.                    

Tomatoes and melons at Saison.

Awwww yeah, we get another blast of Indian summer heat, and I am already happily plotting a week of evening bike rides and outdoor excursions. One place that should absolutely be on the top of your list is the patio at Saison, overlooking the hearth, where I had one of my most atmospheric and captivating meals last Friday. And with this last gasp of warm weather? If you can spring for the $98 tasting menu, go for it—it’s all kinds of special. (Look for a writeup soon.)

Whatcha doing Wednesday night? You really should be coming to the Wine & Spirits Top 100 tasting event! Not only because I will be there selling my book (come by and say hi!), but I just got the lineup of what the New & Notable restaurants (as voted by the magazine) will be serving, and let me tell you, it’s good. The afore-mentioned Saison will be serving their delicious chicken liver mousse with huckleberries, Asian pear, and rose, Nombe will have wagyu beef tataki, Comstock Saloon is bringing pickled eggs toast (Hangtown-style Firebrand bakery rye bread with pickled eggs, bacon, and oyster dressing), Hog Island will be shucking oysters… the list goes on. And Barefoot Coffee will have an espresso for you at the end of the night! Click here for tickets before 5:30pm tonight, when sales end! (And tablehopper readers get 10% off with code TBLEHOP10.)

Thursday I’m going to be swinging by Waterbar to toast chef Jacques Pépin, who will be hosting a 75th birthday reception with KQED from 6pm-8pm. (You can still get tickets—and there’s also a dinner menu available in the main dining room, which includes a hand-drawn menu by none other than Jacques himself.)

My week started with a bang on Sunday night, attending the clandestine industry party celebrating the 500th birthday of Benedictine at the Old Mint (have you been in the restored building yet?—it’s remarkable). The Bon Vivants know how to throw a soirée (and it was completely monk free)—plus we got a rare taste of Benedictine from 1935! And now I’m already looking to the weekend, which is all about the Treasure Island Music Festival—gonna go get rowdy both days, oh you know it.

Have fun out there.

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Chef Changes at Farina


Exterior of Farina. Photo courtesy of Farina.

As reported in the Scoop last week, opening chef Paolo Laboa of FARINA has departed. While he doesn’t have any specific plans at this time (and would be one hell of a chef to acquire, ahem), I’ll be sure to keep you posted on where he lands—hopefully somewhere local. Yes, I was a fan.

As of today, Farina has just announced his replacements: the brother and sister cooking team of chefs Fabrizio and Serena Rebollini, also from the Ligurian region of Italy. Their family has owned restaurants since 1919, and they are reportedly already working on the launch of a line of pestos and sauces, as well as contributing to the development of fresh menus and the upcoming Farina cookbook.

Look for continued integration of regional dishes on the menu, and not just from Liguria: some new kitchen hires over the summer include Roman-born sous chef Valerio Martorelli and Sicilian-born master baker, Salvatore Di Stefano. They have been working closely with chef José Canas on the Farina menu.

Farina            - 3560 18th St. San Francisco - 415-565-0360

Congrats to the Esquire Best New Restaurant Winners

Big congrats to the local restaurants included in the ESQUIRE BEST NEW RESTAURANTS OF 2010: Frances, and Gather in Berkeley (and extra-big kudos to chef of the year Sean Baker of Gather, who is also now a partner in the restaurant). And I was happy to see Nick Balla of Nombe get the nod for one of the four “chefs to watch.” (The story was broken by Eater National.)

MICHAEL MINA Opening October 19th


Chef Michael Mina. Photo provided by Michael Mina.

And so the space at 252 California Street lives on: next Tuesday October 19th, the latest incarnation of MICHAEL MINA opens for dinner. Mina’s menu, executed by chef de cuisine Jeremy Ravetz, will integrate French and Japanese influences. Lunch will be served Mon-Fri exclusively at the bar, and will feature an array of seasonal small plates as well as salads, soups, and Michael Mina Classics, like the well-known ahi tuna tartare. Guests can also choose to dine at the chef’s tasting table, with a minimum party of eight. Dinner will be served nightly, and will be an à la carte menu that will include items for the table to share, and the option to have the chef cook for your table. For dinner, appetizers will range from $15-$29, and entrées from $31-$45.

The design was by Frost Tsuji Architects (FTA), who were responsible for the design of AQUA twenty years ago. There is a dark walnut bar and tables, with an emphasis on organic and natural textures. A highlight of the experience will be the handmade and custom porcelain by Northern California ceramicists Jered Nelson, Trent Burkett, and Scott Parady.

The sommelier is Matthew Turner, and the wine list was created by Rajat Parr, featuring an eclectic collection of small, boutique, American wineries as well as celebrated French and European vineyards. There will also be cocktails featuring hand-pressed juices and seasonal ingredients—the lounge will open Mon-Fri at 11:30am, and Sat-Sun at 5pm.

MICHAEL MINA            - 252 California St. San Francisco - 415-397-9222

Antica Trattoria Closing This Saturday


Flickr photo from doortoriver.

As so, the end is here: ANTICA TRATTORIA is serving its last meal this Saturday October 16th. On Sunday October 17th, the restaurant is hosting a Festa di Grazie Mille, an evening of celebration for friends and neighbors from 4pm-8pm. All donations will benefit Project Open Hand. Tanti saluti, Ruggero! 2400 Polk St. at Union, 415-928-5797.

Fina Estampa Is Cerrado

A tablehopper tipster (Jason B.) wrote in to let me know FINA ESTAMPA, that random Latin American-Spanish place on Van Ness, has closed. 1100 Van Ness Ave. at Geary.

A Couple New "Piccolo" Businesses in North Beach

Are pop-up restaurants the new street food? Anyway, as reported in the Inside Scoop, since Joey & Eddie’s in North Beach is officially closed, and the new owner hasn’t been revealed yet, current chef-owner Joseph Manzare is launching an interim project called BEEBO. Starting this Thursday (and running through Sunday), you can swing by for rustic Italian food (pasta, pizza, grilled fish, and meat), and there will be a happy hour with 75-cent oysters. Eater posted an image that also reveals $5 margaritas until 7pm. Thu-Sun bar at 4:30pm, dinner 5pm-7pm. 1652 Stockton St. at Union, 415-989-7800.

And as reported in Scoop, MACELLATO—THE SANDWICH has taken over the Caffè Macaroni space in North Beach. There are just two sandwiches being served every day, the Gallina (a Fulton Valley fried chicken sandwich) and the Italiano (Fra’ Mani salami, mortadella, hot coppa, and provolone)—you can read Jonathan Kauffman’s take on the fried chicken sandwich here. Who’s behind the project is 25-year-old Vito Froncillo, son of Andrea Froncillo of the Stinking Rose Group—Andrea wanted to get his son going in the family biz, and a simple sandwich shop seemed the perfect vehicle for him and his friend Dino Mastino to get their feet wet. Available for takeout, or you can also enjoy a beer or glass of wine if you’re eating in. $9 (tax included), cash only. 11am-6pm daily. 59 Columbus St. at Gibb.

Poquito Now Open in Dogpatch


The bar at Poquito.

For the past couple of years, I’ve heard a tapas bar/restaurant was going to move into the old Franklin’s Bar location on 3rd Street in Dogpatch. A tablehopper reader tipped me off that it was finally open, so I cruised over to check it out this weekend. The name is POQUITO, a Latin American tapas bar, and is a first-time joint effort from Richard Vila and Jason Yoo.

Vila mentioned his mother is Spanish, and his father is from Ecuador, so the menu reflects dishes he grew up with from both of those cultures (and many are from family recipes). You’ll find arepas, llapingachos (Ecuadorian potato pancakes with cheese and green onions), empanadas, along with a few sandwiches (including a Cubano and a media noche), and a variety of tacos, which come on jicama wrappers instead of corn tortillas. There’s also a selection of five plates like shrimp ceviche and chicken under a brick, all $10 and under. There’s a full bar (with flat-screen TVs, natch), with a focus on tequilas, and a list of $9 specialty cocktails.

I have to admit—the menu looks appetizing and has some unique-sounding dishes, but the place is really lacking in décor. Seems like it’s still a work in progress, so don’t come with high style hopes—just come hungry and/or thirsty. Hours are Mon-Sat 11am-9pm, and Sun 11am-3pm (TBD). 2368 3rd St. at 20th St., 415-643-3900.

All Drinks on Deck at Jones


The outdoor terrace. Photo by Blair Sneddon Photography.


One of three bars. Photo by Blair Sneddon Photography.

Due to open at 6pm this Friday October 15th is JONES, a new rooftop restaurant, bar, and lounge (the entrance is to the right of the Gaylord Suites, through the towering wrought iron gates) brought to you by Peter Glikshtern (behind projects such as Public Works, Club Six, Mighty, and Som). You can order drinks on the 8,000-square-foot courtyard terrace complete with a blue steel bar, wind-deterring trees and landscaping, and indoor/outdoor table seating. Sounds like they’ve put the historic building through a dramatic reconstruction, making Jones into an urban oasis and glam after-work drink spot with room for 125.

In about a month or so, chef Ola Fendert of Oola will be adding small plates for happy hour, a full menu for dinner with dishes like beer-steamed mussels and pizza, and chocolate-stuffed French toast and chicken and waffles for Sunday brunch. Not only will the menu be local and seasonal with organically farmed meat and organic, fair-trade coffees and teas, but the space will have lots of eco-friendly details from “green” linens to solar energy and their own composting system in the works. Hours will eventually be Tue-Wed 4pm-11pm, Thu-Sun 4pm-2am, with brunch 11am-3pm, Sun only. 620 Jones St. at Geary, 415-614-9265.

Guest Chef Action This Week at Pal's Takeaway and Tacolicious


Tomorrow (Wednesday) at PAL’S TAKEAWAY, their guest chef sandwich series continues with a return visit from Sara Spearin of Dynamo Donut. She will be offering an unglazed sour cherry-cornmeal donut sandwich with smoky roast turkey, spicy apple slaw, cheddar-jalapeño spread, and Annabelle’s wild arugula. Yeah, you read that correctly: donut sandwich. Inside Tony’s Market, 2751 24th St. at Hampshire, 415-203-4911.

And starting this Thursday, the guest chef series resumes at the TACOLICIOUS MARKET STAND, with Chris Kronner, Bar Tartine, on Thursday October 14th; Michael Tusk, Quince, is doing duck tacos with red cabbage and spiced quince on October 21st; Hoss Zaré, Zaré at Fly Trap, is on October 28th; and Josh Skenes, Saison, is on November 4th. It’s an eight-week gig going through December, with upcoming appearances from Grace Nguyen from Out the Door, Jenn Puccio from Marlowe, and more. Proceeds go to CUESA’s education programs.

Get Ready for the Next Street Fixe: "The 'Wiches"


Reservations (limited to 96 between two seatings) go on sale tomorrow, Wednesday October 13th, for the next STREET FIXE, The ‘Wiches! The sit-down street food event will be on Tuesday November 9th at HEART.

This third event is a five-course all-sandwich dinner ($35), and will feature the culinary stylings of Kitchenette (Willey Farm beet, cucumber and persimmon sandwich), Good Foods (smoked and seared pork belly slider), Soul Cocina (sloppy Jose poquitín with Soul Cocina chorizo), Toasty Melts (duo of melts: spicy cheddar with tomato, cotswald with cranberry), and Sweet Constructions (dulce de leche ice cream sandwich).

The first seating is 6pm-7:30pm, and the second seating is 8:30pm-10pm. Special wine menu and select craft beers by Heart (prices vary).

Heart            - 1270 Valencia St. San Francisco - 415-285-1200

A Couple Cool Culinary Events in the Mission This Saturday


Lisa Rogovin from the In the Kitchen with Lisa tour I took.

This Saturday October 16th, you have a couple of ways to pack on some delicious calories. First up, Parties That Cook and Lisa Rogovin have partnered up for an event called MOUTHWATERING MISSION. You’ll start with a two-hour interactive culinary tasting tour of the Mission, including a stop into La Palma Mexicatessen, where you’ll learn about some of the ingredients you’ll cook with later. After reconvening back at the La Victoria Bakery kitchen, the group moves into a cooking class with Parties That Cook, featuring Mexican-inspired dishes such as little chicken tacos with chocolate mole and queso fresco, and mini chalupas filled with chorizo and avocado. Read all the details here. $95 per person. Starts at 11am.

Also at La Victoria Bakery will be HELP A BROTHER OUT!, an event to help raise funds for Nick Harper of Wholesome Bakery, who was just recently diagnosed with brain cancer. There will be a bakesale from 11am-3pm, featuring treats from Mission Minis, Fat Bottom Bakery, Wholesome Bakery, Bike Basket Pies, Mad for Madelines, MaliNumNum Treats, Alfajores by El Porteño, Sour Flour, and more. And then from 6pm-10pm, there will be a street food party, with vittles from Soul Cocina, Slow Jams, Hapa SF, El Porteño Empanadas, Gumbo Cart, Adobo Hobo, Dezy’s Drinks, Chai Cart, Smitten Ice Cream, Sataysfied, and more. Proceeds will go to Nick’s Rad Recovery Fund.

New Brunches in the Mission and Bernal


Photo: ©

This seems almost like a no-brainer: THE FRONT PORCH is starting brunch this Saturday October 16th from 10am-2:30pm. On the menu: biscuits with country gravy; country ham and red eye gravy with two eggs any way and homefries; sweet potato waffles with syrup and toasted pecans; parfait with seasonal fruit, yogurt, and granola; baked egg with grits, wild mushrooms, and spinach; and huevos rancheros with tortilla, beans, salsa, and guacamole. The lunch menu—which includes chicken and waffles—will also be available during brunch. Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm, Sun 5pm-10pm, lunch Wed-Fri 12pm-3pm, brunch (hooray!) 10am-2:30pm. 65A 29th St. at Tiffany.

Another addition to the brunch scene is  THE SYCAMORE, which is starting brunch service this weekend. On the menu: their now-famous pork belly donuts with maple Maker’s Mark glaze (3 for $3); carnitas Benedictos, a housemade corn sope topped with carnitas, poached egg, jalapeño hollandaise, pico de gallo, avocado, and cotija cheese ($12); along with a variety of omelets, sliders, salads, and sandwiches—including their popular roast beef. And bottomless mimosas. Brunch is served Sat-Sun 11am-3pm. 2140 Mission St. at Sycamore (at 18th St.), 415-252-7704.

Awesome Lineup of Book Authors at Omnivore This Weekend


Talk about a trifecta of talent! OMNIVORE BOOKS is hosting Melissa Clark (yes, the one who writes A Good Appetite, the weekly feature in the New York Times Dining Section) this Friday October 15th from 6pm-7pm. She will be talking about her book, In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories About the Food You Love.

And then on Saturday October 16th (3pm-4pm), Connie Green (AKA the queen of foraging) and Sara P. Scott will be talking about The Wild Kitchen: Seasonal Foraged Foods and Recipes. And then later that evening, from 6pm-7pm, Dorie Greenspan will be there to talk about French home cooking and her book, Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. All events are free.

Omnivore Books            - 3885a Cesar Chavez St. San Francisco - 415-282-4712

Special "Oktoberfest" Dinner By Christopher Lee at Bar Jules


The counter at Bar Jules.

Chef Christopher Lee, most recently of Eccolo, is busy with his popup store, and is now doing a popup dinner series called Cooking From Weeds. The first one is this Sunday October 17th at Bar Jules in Hayes Valley. According to his post, “It’ll be in the spirit of Oktoberfest (well, maybe an Alsatian version) with a simple three-course meal of homemade sauerkraut, weisswurst, and braised smoky bacon. First course will something very vegetable, and a roasted fruit dessert. We’ll have a couple of California craft brews and some nice wines to choose from.” Sounds delish, right? The price is $55 (wine not included), cash only. Read about how to make reservations on his blog—first come, first served. 609 Hayes St. at Laguna.

A Bite of NOLA (and a Benefit For the Bayou)


Fan of New Orleans cuisine? Wanna taste what chef Justin Simoneaux is going to be cooking for us when Boxing Room opens next year? Next Monday October 18th, ABSINTHE BRASSERIE & BAR is going to be hosting Lagniappe Dinner, a preview to Boxing Room, and a benefit For the Bayou,  a non-profit organization fostering restoration, protection, and aid to the Louisiana coastal wetlands. The four-course prix-fixe menu will include Star Route Farms baby beets with celery root and Creole remoulade; Monterey squid with housemade tasso, lemon aioli, and crostini; Long and Bailey Farms pork tenderloin with candied yams, braised greens, and spiced cane syrup; and warm pecan pie with bourbon ice cream. The menu is $35; and you can add beer and wine pairings for $15 (Boxing Room will eventually offer over a dozen draft options). Dinner is from 5pm-10pm in Absinthe’s private dining room. Space is limited; reservations required (415-551-1590).

Absinthe Brasserie & Bar            - 398 Hayes St. San Francisco - 415-551-1590

Details About the STREETSMART4KIDS Dine Out and Donate Campaign


Do you know about the STREETSMART4KIDS DINE OUT AND DONATE campaign? From October 1st through November 15th, 50 of San Francisco’s restaurants are participating in the program. When paying your bill at participating restaurants, diners are asked to leave $3 or more per table, in cash, in the provided STREETSMART4KIDS check-presenter envelope.

Volunteers collect the donations, deposit them at Wells Fargo Bank, and at the end of the program, 100% of the money collected is distributed to the Huckleberry House programs at Huckleberry Youth Programs, Casa de las Madres, and Larkin Street Youth Services—none of the donated dollars will be used to fund STREETSMART4KIDS administrative costs. Take a look at the list of participating restaurants here.

Modern Coffee Celebrates One Year in Oakland

This Friday October 15th, MODERN COFFEE in the historic Tribune Tower in downtown Oakland is throwing their one-year anniversary party. They will be holding special coffee tastings throughout the evening from their selection of local roasters, and featuring food and drink from some of their favorite local purveyors. They’ll also be unveiling the photography exhibit “In the Moment” by Bay Area photographers DeCenzo-Cordova. 6pm-9pm. 411 13th St. at Franklin, Oakland, 510-835-8000.

New Prix-Fixe Menu at Ozumo in Oakland


At Ozumo San Francisco.

This is my kind of deal: OZUMO OAKLAND has introduced a new $35 prix-fixe menu, available nightly from 5:30pm until close. The four-course menu includes multiple choices for each course. Recent entrée selections have included a kushi platter with five skewers from the robata grill; jidori chicken, a chicken breast and thigh with ginger tare glaze; or gyu kakuni, Niman Ranch short ribs in an aka miso sauce. Sunday dinner service has just started (along with a Sunday happy hour starting at 4pm, and dinner from 4:30pm until 9pm). And on Sundays only, select bottles of sake will be offered at 50% off the listed menu price. 2251 Broadway at Grand, Oakland, 510-286-9866.


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the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Time for More Guest Bartending at Jardinière


The bar at Jardinière. Photo: © 2010.

Are you ready for Brock 2010? That’s what Brock Keeling of SFist will be serving this Thursday October 14th for his guest bartending night at JARDINIÈRE. The cocktail is a 20th Century rendition of vodka, Lillet, lemon, and white crème de cacao ($9). He’ll be behind the stick from 6pm-8pm. You’ll also be able to order Watson Farm lamb meatballs with preserved lemon and goat’s milk yogurt for $9. And while you’re there, be sure to congratulate Eugenio Jardim, who just won Sunset Magazine’s Sommelier of the Year Award for 2010. Salud!

Jardinière            - 300 Grove St. San Francisco - 415-861-5555

Bourbon Grand Tasting on Sunday October 17th


Russell’s Room at Bourbon & Branch.

Coming up this Sunday October 17th will be an amazing Bourbon Grand Tasting with at Bourbon & Branch. All rooms (including the secret ones) will be in action for the event: Main, Library, Mezzanine, and Russell’s Room. (Bourbon & Branch will be fully and exclusively dedicated to the Bourbon Grand Tasting for the entire evening.) The tasting event will run from 6pm-9pm, and there will be more than 10 excellent bourbon brands (including Elijah Craig, Maker’s 46, Evan Williams, Basil Hayden’s, Bulleit, Four Roses, etc.) pouring tastes of their various expressions, as well as mixing special cocktails. Tickets are $55.

               Sunday Oct 17, 2010 6pm–9pm $55 more info

Thierry Theise On the Town


Wine importer Terry Theise has a brand-new book out, Reading Between the Wines, and there are a variety of local events happening to celebrate with him. On Saturday October 23rd, Terry will be at the FERRY PLAZA WINE MERCHANT 11am-2pm signing books immediately after his live radio interview with West Coast Live, also in the Ferry Building. Visit with Terry, buy a signed copy, and relax in the Wine Bar for a flight of Terry Theise Estate Selections (a flight of one Champagne, one Austrian wine, and one German wine [TBA] will be available in the wine bar on Saturday for $14). A signed copy of the book is $24.95, and with that purchase you will get 15% off any bottle of wine that states “Terry Theise Selections” on the label.

On Tuesday October 26th, CHEZ PANISSE will offer a special menu and selections by the bottle or glass, paired with each course. $100 per person, includes a signed copy of the book. Restaurant reservations: call 510-548-5525.

Over at COI, Daniel Patterson and Terry are collaborating for a special seven-course dinner on Wednesday October 27th. The dinner will be complemented by eight wines that Terry has selected. Terry will read passages from his book at the dinner, and of course sign your copy. $185 (includes a copy of Terry’s book). Reserve at 415-393-9000.

Sicilian Wine Dinner at Locanda da Eva (on October 27th)


Passionate about Sicilian wine? Then you’ll want to come to LOCANDA DA EVA in Berkeley for a Sicilian wine dinner with Robert Camuto, author of Palmento: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey on Wednesday October 27th. The four-course dinner includes insalata di mare: calamari, mussels, and shrimp with lemon and pepperoncini; maccheroni with roasted eggplant, lamb sausage, herbs, tomato, and caciocavallo (prepared vegetarian upon request); swordfish with roasted peppers, celery, and castelveltrano olives; and ricotta budino with stewed figs, pistachios, saffron, and whipped cream. The menu will be paired with wines from wineries featured in Camuto’s book, including Biondi, Terre Nere, Bonavita, Graci, Riofavara, and Occhipinti.

$75 per person, including wines, plus tax and gratuity; $50 without wines. Books will be available for sale, and Camuto will be in the dining room throughout the dinner to answer questions, meet guests, and sign books. More information about Palmento is available here. Reservations strongly recommended: 510-665-9601.

Other stops on the Palmento tour include a reading and signing at Books Inc. (2251 Chestnut St.) on Monday October 25th at 6pm, and then a Sicilian dinner that night at A16 (2355 Chestnut St.) at 7pm (space is limited, call 415-771-2217 for reservations).

               Wednesday Oct 27, 2010 7pm $75 more info

Locanda da Eva            - 2826 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley - 510-665-9601

Cheese and Beer. Mmmmm, Beer.


Photo from The Cheese School.

The Cheese School of San Francisco is hosting the California Cheese & Beer Harvest Fest on Thursday October 28th from 6pm-9pm. Now in its fourth year, attendees at the annual event can mix and mingle with several of California’s most celebrated cheesemakers. There will be ample samplings of a selection of cheeses, beer, and accompaniments, with expert hosts on hand to answer questions. Participants include Cowgirl Creamery, Bellwether Farms, Redwood Hill Farms, Barinaga Ranch, Bleating Heart Cheese, Cypress Grove Chevre, Fiscalini Farms, Rustic Bakery, McQuade’s Celtic Chutneys, and other local artisans. $30 per person, and advanced registration is required.

               Thursday Oct 28, 2010 6pm–9pm $30 more info


the socialite

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

Spice of Life Festival Is Sunday October 17th in the Gourmet Ghetto


 Event Info

Sunday Oct 17, 2010 10am–6pm Free admission Info Shattuck Ave. from Rose to Virginia St.

This Sunday October 17th, join in the fun and festivities at the 8th Annual SPICE OF LIFE FESTIVAL, a five-block long food and art fair in North Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. The event will feature cooking demos by local chefs, wine tasting and micro-brews, live music presented by the Berkeley Jazz School and Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, artist exhibitions and an interactive nature sculpture project, yoga and bodywork demonstrations, a farmers market, and lots of kids’ activities.

New this year will be about 15 Bay Area street food carts shaking up the culinary scene. The food emphasis is on sustainable sourcing and East Bay trucks, like newcomers Skylite Snowballs, but expect some culinary standouts from SF too, including Hapa SF and Let’s Be Frank. While you’re there, you can check out some new neighborhood gems, like Lush Gelato’s Argentine-style gelato and sorbetto, along with neighborhood restaurant favorites and pop-up vendors selling artisanal foods.

Chefs MikeC and Olivier Said of the Kitchen on Fire Cooking School will host a full day of demonstrations on the Culinary Stage, including some of the neighborhood’s top chefs demonstrating the Cal-French-Med trifecta of Gourmet Ghetto cuisine, like Todd Kneiss of Bistro Liaison, and cookbook authors like Vanessa Barrington of D.I.Y. Delicious and Jennie Schacht of Farmers’ Market Desserts.

Vintage Berkeley will host “Wine Tasting on Vine,” featuring top local winemakers pouring and discussing their wines along with live music. A silent auction and raffle of great prizes from local businesses will benefit the Berkeley High Jazz Program, and the student musicians will perform at the event. You’ll also get to enjoy art exhibits, a farmers market, and kids’ activities, which include eco-carnival games, a puppet show, a climbing wall, and more.

Bay Area Dine Out For Meals On Wheels Is November 9th


 Event Info

Tuesday Nov  9, 2010 Info                        Bay Area-wide                        888-716-3669

Here’s another good reason to eat out on a Tuesday night: on November 9th, as many as 150 Bay Area-wide restaurants are taking part in the first annual BAY AREA DINE OUT FOR MEALS ON WHEELS. When you dine out at participating restaurants, 10% of the proceeds will be donated to the local Meals On Wheels.

Go to to see which of your favorite restaurants are pitching in. San Francisco restaurants include Perbacco, Rose Pistola, 1300 on Fillmore, Acquerello, Commonwealth, E&O Trading Co., Fifth Floor, Florio, Pizza Nostra, Zuppa… the list is long. The other Bay Area counties have plenty of restaurants to choose from too, including Italian Colors and Ajanta in Alameda County, Yankee Pier and Chevalier in Contra Costa County, Roadside BBQ in Marin County, Gambardella’s and John Bentley’s in San Mateo County, and Paolo’s in Santa Clara County. Diners will also be able to make donations at each restaurant that will go directly to the local Meals On Wheels program in their county.

Every year, the seven Bay Area Meals On Wheels programs provide nearly 3 million hot, nutritious meals to over 8,500 homebound seniors, as well as supportive services and daily human contact. The participating Meals On Wheels organizations are Meals On Wheels of San Francisco; Alameda County Meals On Wheels; Meals On Wheels of Contra Costa; Marin Meals On Wheels; Meals On Wheels by Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. San Mateo County; Santa Clara County Meals On Wheels; and Meals On Wheels of Solano County.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Rock Star Brunch

I heard that Win Butler, lead singer of Arcade Fire, had brunch at Slow Club on Saturday before their show at the Greek. He had the turkey sausage hash with corn and gypsy peppers, and a latte. He and his friend reportedly “blended right in with the rest of the hipsters brunching at 2pm…very low-key.”

Cooking for God (and Chuck)

According to a tweet, Thomas Keller was in the house at RN74.

And chef Alexander Ong at Betelnut was honored to cook for the 95th birthday of Chuck Williams. Ong made Williams’s favorite, the beggar’s chicken, along with pig, cumin lamb, and Chuck polished off two scoops of vanilla and strawberry ice cream for dessert.

Spike That Coffee

Spike Lee was spotted at W San Francisco having a meeting in their “Living Room” while enjoying a latte.

Men in Suits

The former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, dined at Yankee Pier in Lafayette last night. He sat on the patio with several other men in suits discussing politics and enjoyed an heirloom tomato salad and wild Alaskan king salmon. He was reportedly gracious to his servers and shook hands with the manager when he left, saying that he and his guests really enjoyed their meal.

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