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Oct 25, 2010 23 min read

October 26, 2010 - This week's tablehopper: raise a glass (or two).

October 26, 2010 - This week's tablehopper: raise a glass (or two).
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: raise a glass (or two).                    

The interior of the cheerful Parada on Haight Street.

What a week: the sports fans have the World Series to freak about (so funny how many dining rooms burst into shouts and applause on Saturday night, including the usually quiet-as-a-mouse Coi), and the culinary scene is buzzing about the Michelin ratings that came out today. More distractions: this week I have all kinds of news about three places in Upper Fillmore, meaty events, Halloween options, cool fundraisers, wine events… You’ll be busy.

And mark your calendar for my bubbly event at Domaine Carneros on November 11th—looks like we’ll have Janine Falvo from Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar cooking up some bites for the event (I also hear rumors of cheese). Oh, and the event is now from 5:30pm-7:30pm—let’s drink some fizz!

Cheers to all,

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Congrats to the Michelin 2011 Winners


I am sure there were some restless chefs last night, breathlessly waiting for their “Good morning, you have a star!” phone call this morning from Michelin director Jean-Luc Naret (who is stepping down at the end of this year).

Big congrats to Christopher Kostow and The Restaurant at Meadowood team for earning three stars (now bosom buddies with The French Laundry on that coveted tier). The two-star team continues to hold tight, with no new players: Coi, Cyrus, and Manresa. New to the one-star club are: Alexander’s Steakhouse, Applewood (in Guerneville), Baumé (Bruno Chemel is a happy, vindicated man), Campton Place (its first ever!), Dio Deka (I love the food there), Frances, Madera, Mirepoix, Saison, Spruce (congrats, Tim Stannard, you guys got your star), and Wakuriya (go on, San Mateo—this place is in a shopping mall). And congrats to everyone keeping their stars—no easy feat, that.

Here’s the list:

THREE STARS The French Laundry The Restaurant at Meadowood (new)

TWO STARS Coi Cyrus Manresa

ONE STAR Acquerello Alexander’s Steakhouse (new) Ame Applewood (new) Auberge du Soleil Aziza Baumé (new) Bouchon Boulevard Campton Place (new) Chez TJ Commis The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton Dio Deka (new) étoile Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant Fleur de Lys Frances (new) Gary Danko La Folie La Toque Luce Madera (new) Madrona Manor Masa’s Mirepoix (new) Murray Circle One Market Plumed Horse Quince Redd Saison (new) Santé Solbar Spruce (new) Terra Ubuntu The Village Pub Wakuriya (new)

Grub Now (Softly) Open on Valencia


Photo by Blair Sneddon Photography.

At the now-really-truly-finally-and-softly-open GRUB on Valencia, you can have it your way, and have sit-down table service, too. As previously mentioned on tablehopper, the menu will have a create-your-own burger option, with choices like Prather Ranch beef ($11), Colorado buffalo ($12), and ahi tuna ($12), plus a build-your-own mac ‘n’ cheese bar ($9, with $1 per ingredient, like broccoli, pancetta, or steak). The seasonally-changing menu will top out at $18 for a grilled lamb porterhouse, and the 35-bottle wine list will stay under $50, with $7-$12 glasses. Oh, there’s bottomless Pepsi fountain drinks or Roast’s custom drip coffee for $2.50. (You can look at a PDF of the menu here, and wine and beer list here.)

Nightowls take note, the hours are 6pm-1am daily with the kitchen open ‘til 12:30am. For the day birds, weekend brunch will run 10am-2:30pm Sat-Sun with bottomless mimosas for $10—look for brunch to launch in a month or so. Owner Erik Reese is also working on getting a permit for outdoor seating, which would add 10-12 outdoor seats to the already 49 seats inside. Speaking of, inside you’ll find a counter overlooking the kitchen, modern chairs, and plenty of color in the tabletops and the padded red walls (which are just a design element—and not an invitation to go crazy or act like the place is a gymnasium). 758 Valencia St. at 19th St., 415-431-4782.

Amy Glaze Named Chef de Cuisine at Citizen Cake


Freshly painted exterior of Citizen Cake.

Pac Heights residents aren’t the only ones who will be happy with the news that CITIZEN CAKE is aiming to (softly) open its doors around November 7th (they are currently hiring and training staff, so the date is still a bit TBD!). And working alongside chef Elizabeth Falkner will be chef de cuisine Amy Glaze, most recently at Circa (she will still be involved with Circa as consulting chef, helping to define their style and progress their California bistro menu throughout the seasons—chef Angel Veneges, a seven-year Circa veteran, will continue to carry out their new concepts).

As for Citizen Cake, Falkner tells me she is looking forward to working with Glaze; and her recent trips to Barcelona and Rome really inspired her, so look for a chocolate hazelnut sculpture cake inspired by one of her museum trips! Once you pass though the bright poppy exterior, you will be greeted with the pâtisserie counter, an artful and minimalist display on a marble slab. Falkner mentioned that since the liquor license is delayed, they will be focusing on their sodas with handmade syrups and coffee drinks to start (she wants to encourage people to come in and linger over a coffee and a treat, instead of running out the door with a to-go cup). Soon, there will also be ice cream made with liquid nitrogen—which Falkner revealed was actually something higher-end Victorian ladies would make (ends up the technique isn’t as cutting edge as we thought!). She said it makes for a really clean ice cream because it doesn’t crystallize.

The menu is going to start small, with lunch daily from 11am-3pm, snacks and salads in the afternoon, and then dinner from 5pm-10pm. There will always be sandwiches (available on premise, or to go), plus arepas, and some classic dishes, from pastas to mussels and chorizo. More dishes will be revealed as Falkner and Glaze collaborate on the menu. I’ll keep you posted on dishes, and the opening date.

Citizen Cake            - 2125 Fillmore St. - 415-861-2228

Fillmore Bakeshop Now Open


A tablehopper reader let me know that the former Patisserie Delanghe on Fillmore Street has been replaced by FILLMORE BAKESHOP, with the father-daughter team of Douglas and Elena Basegio running the show. Both of them were trained in Switzerland, and some may know Doug from the Woodside Bakery and Cafe (he was there for 20 years). Their style is contemporary European-American, with cakes, tarts, pastries, cookies, pies, seasonal items, and wedding cakes, all made from scratch. Some specialties on the menu include their danishes, like a popular blueberry-cream cheese version that sells out each morning, and an almond-pear croissant. For those wondering, yes, you can still get princess cakes and profiteroles here. The interior has also been updated; there are six seats, with more coming soon. Hours are Tue-Fri 7am-6pm, Sat 8am-6pm, and Sun 8am-4pm. 1890 Fillmore St. at Bush, 415-923-0711.

Sweet Maple Has Opened in the Former Restaurant Cassis Space


Now open in the former Restaurant Cassis space is SWEET MAPLE from owner Steven Choi (he also is behind the Taylor Street Coffee Shop, and Fred’s Place Coffee Shop in Marin). The restaurant is open daily for breakfast (served all day) and lunch, offering a deep fried French toast they like to call “Big Hip” (yeah, that’s what will happen to you if you eat too many of them each week). There are also a variety of panini, burgers made with Niman Ranch beef, soups, and salads. You’ll be able to wake up with coffee and espresso from Equator, or something “stronger,” since they also have a beer and wine license. Look for a completely redone interior, with new tables, chairs, and lighting. Open daily 7am-3pm. 2101 Sutter St. at Steiner, 415-655-9169.

Locavore Soft Opening This Week


At Locavore’s friends and family party. Photo: ©

Last week I swung by LOCAVORE in Bernal Heights for a sneak peek—they are currently doing their soft opening this week and next (through November 4th), and are going to have a grand opening from November 5th-6th. Chef Jason Moniz has created a menu with dishes like braised pork with kale and polenta ($16), and rockfish with cucumber, yellow beans, dill, and potato ($17). The comfortable space features a curved ceiling, a large communal table of white oak, banquettes made from wine barrel staves, and the lights are made of reclaimed materials, like wire mesh and chicken wire, by local artist Kevin Randolph (Bar Crudo). There’s a lounge area in the front with eclectic furnishings, and there’s also a small, handmade wood bar in the back. Hours are Tue-Thu 5pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-10:30pm.

Locavore            - 3215 Mission St. San Francisco - 415-821-1918

The Mission Is Getting Cheesy


From the Mission Cheese blog.

And when I say cheesy, I mean the good kind: the edible kind. And sometimes, the stinky kind! Mission Mission broke the news that Sarah Dvorak will be opening MISSION CHEESE. She is hoping to open this combination cheese café and bar by March 2011, offering a wide variety of quality American artisan cheeses (with very few imports) that you’ll be able to enjoy with beer and wine. Dvoarak, a Wisconsin native, has worked the garde manger station at Jardinière, where she really fell in love with their cheese program. She left corporate retail last year and has been traveling around the U.S. since, exploring and meeting cheesemakers all over the country while getting ready to open her own space. It’s a new building, 30 seats total, including some outdoor seating. 736 Valencia St. at 18th St.

Tonight, Tuesday October 26th, Sarah Dvorak of Mission Cheese and LOCAL MISSION EATERY are partnering up to host Meet the Cheesemakers from 7pm-9pm. You’ll be able to meet four fairly new NorCal cheesemakers (Barinaga Ranch, Bohemian Creamery, Bleating Heart, and Nicasio Valley Cheese) and taste their cheeses, paired with local beer and wine. Tickets are limited, and cost $65.

And then on Friday October 29th, 18 REASONS is hosting Raw Milk Blue Cheeses with Neal’s Yard Dairy. The educational class will focus on the tasting, making, selling, and differences between cheeses made with raw and pasteurized milk. (There will also be traditional English ale poured throughout the event). 6pm-8pm. $35 for 18 Reasons members; $45 for the general public.

Local Mission Eatery            - 3111 24th St. San Francisco - 415-655-3422

Now You Can Enjoy a Beer with Your Korean BBQ Tacos


Off the Grid McCoppin—on a sunny day.

A few weeks ago, Off the Grid organizer Matt Cohen told me he was trying to work out a deal with Jackie’s Vinoteca and Café space, which is just across the street from the fleet of food trucks that take over the McCoppin Hub on Saturdays. According to this post on SFoodie, the deal is on—you’ll now be able to take any food from the McCoppin street food vendors on Saturdays and bring it over to Jackie’s. So you can sit down, grab a beer (or other drinks—there will be weekly specials), and with the rainy season kicking in, I’d say it’s a mighty fine idea. Noon-10pm. 105 Valencia St. at McCoppin, 415-864-5225.

Buon Compleanno: Sociale Turns Nine


Photo from Sociale.

Over in Laurel Village, SOCIALE is turning nine, and is celebrating this week (until October 30th)—guests will be treated to a complimentary glass of Prosecco. And from here on out, executive chef Tia Harrison will be bringing in a whole animal from a local purveyor each week, and serving nose-to-tail dishes for their new “Bumper to Bumper” whole butchery program. The restaurant also had a light refresh, with new chairs, new lighting, new carpet, and a new banquette.

Sociale            - 3665 Sacramento St. San Francisco - 415-921-3200

Updates on a Few New Places (Did Someone Say Burgers?)

Over in SoMa, it looks like THE GRILL has taken over the Luna Taqueria space. According to posts on Yelp, they’re now serving burgers, dogs, fries, and sandwiches. 799 Bryant St. at 6th St., 415-974-5862.

Also in SoMa, it looks like SHOW DOGS is going to get some company in the neighborhood in the form of a burger place. A fourth location of PEARL’S DELUXE BURGERS, to be exact—and it will be right across the street, on the corner of Market and 6th Street. According to the Chronicle, March 15th is the target date (the project came about with the help of the city’s Central Market Cultural District Loan Fund and the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency).

Over in Cow Hollow, the name of Hugo Gamboa, Adam Snyder, and Andy Wasserman’s project in the former Left at Albuquerque space is going to be THE BRIXTON, according to the Inside Scoop. Look for an all-day menu of “affordable American bistro fare.” They are targeting a mid-December opening. 2140 Union St. at Webster.

Prather Gets a Bigger Pasture at the Ferry Building Marketplace


Flickr photo by yipe.

PRATHER RANCH MEAT COMPANY is going to be expanding at the Ferry Building Marketplace, more than doubling their space in Spring 2011. They will continue to sell their array of beef, pork, grass-fed lamb, and local poultry, but have also hired chef Erica Holland-Toll (Ducca) to oversee a variety of ready-to-eat dishes for breakfast, lunch, and take-home. Look for barbecued beef, Carolina-style pulled pork, spiced pastrami on rye, and meatball subs (all on Acme bread), along with seasonal salads, soups, and sides with farmers market-fresh ingredients. Of course Prather’s delicious beef burgers will be available, along with bison burgers, hot dogs, and sausages, plus hand-cut chuck and bean chili, French fries, and onion rings (all fried items will be fried in organic beef tallow or pork lard). You can fill up on breakfast items like eggs and scrapple, “lardy” biscuits and gravy (just what I need, more lard in my life), and a crispy pork chop sandwich with seasonal jam. Yeah, it’s meaty!

A Couple Meaty Events


Cavallo Point cooking school photo by Kodiak Greenwood.

On Friday October 29th, the Cooking School at Cavallo Point will feature Christoph Wiesner, president of the Austrian Mangalitsa Breeders’ Association, and his wife Isabell, for their sole West Coast stop on their four-city U.S. tour. They are teaching a two-part class featuring the Mangalitsa pig from Austria-Hungary. Christoph will lead a seam butchery demonstration and hands-on charcuterie class (10am-2pm), followed by a hands-on cooking class and dinner (6pm-10pm) featuring recipes using the Mangalitsa led by Isabell. The butchery and charcuterie class costs $95 per person (students can take home the charcuterie items they prepare), and the cooking class and dinner costs $145 per person. More details here or call 888-651-2003. 601 Murray Cir., Sausalito.

And on Monday November 15th, the Commonwealth Club is hosting The Conscientious Carnivore: A Guide to Humane and Sustainable Meat Eating with Mac Magruder, grass-fed beef farmer, Magruder Ranch; Deborah Krasner, author, Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat; Marissa Guggiana, President, Sonoma Direct Sustainable Meats and author, Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers; Chris Cosentino, executive chef of Incanto, Food Network star, and offal cuisine specialist; moderated by Traca Savadago, blogger, Seattle Tall Poppy and co-founder, International Food Blogger Conference. The panel will discuss the real meanings of grass fed, free range, and organic; what local cattle farmers are doing to create sustainable methods of raising cattle; and how to choose and cook meat that promotes personal and environmental health. 5:30pm networking reception, 6pm program, 7pm book signing. Free for members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID). Buy tickets here or call 415-597-5705. SF Club Office, 595 Market St.

Where to Score White Truffle Shavings All Over Your Food


White truffle. Flickr photo from Erika Kerekes.

Feeling flush? I hope so, because we’re about to talk white truffles. ACQUERELLO has been shaving white truffles over dishes like “uovo affogato” (egg over braised creamy leeks and soft pancetta), their trademark Parmesan budino, handmade “tajarin” Piemontese (tagliolini tossed in burro fuso), and aged Carnaroli risotto al Parmigiano—the additional truffle supplement is $60 per dish.

DELFINA is hosting their White Truffle Dinners November 2nd-3rd and November 17th-19th. They’ll be offering a daily changing, à la carte menu with several dishes—and you can have truffles shaved on for $35 (that price may change once they get closer to the date). Look for an extended list of Barolos and Barbarescos, and flights of nebbiolo by the glass as well.

POGGIO is hosting their seventh annual Festa del Tartufo from Tuesday November 9th through Saturday the 13th. You’ll be able to have their specially imported Italian white truffles from Alba shaved tableside (market price) over a variety of Piemontese antipasti (like a sformatino/custard of Castelmagno and porcini crema) and pasta dishes (including a raviolo filled with ricotta and hen’s egg yolk, plus brown butter and sage).

Pot Pie Tuesdays Return to Mission Beach Cafe


Rabbit pot pie photo by Chris Andre.

‘Tis the season: the annual Pot Pie Tuesdays return to MISSION BEACH CAFE on Tuesday November 2nd. Executive chef Trevor Ogden is offering a variety of pot pies: rabbit with root vegetables, $17; Prather Ranch short rib with wild mushroom ragout, $17; vegetable pot pie, $16; and a seafood pot version with lobster, shrimp, crab, shellfish fumet, sea beans, and cherry tomatoes, $26. The delicious crusts are, of course, by baker Alan Carter.

Mission Beach Cafe            - 198 Guerrero St. San Francisco - 415-861-0198

Lots of Author Star Wattage at Omnivore


Whew, you ready for this lineup at OMNIVORE BOOKS? Starting tonight, Tuesday the 26th, Tyler Florence will be there from 6pm-7pm to discuss his new book, Tyler Florence Family Meal (I was looking over it this weekend and am so ready to try some recipes in it). Wednesday the 27th (6pm-7pm) is the legendary Madhur Jaffrey, discussing her new book, At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka (am fired up that I’ll be able to use many of the spices I brought home from India with this one). Seat reservations accepted for those who call to pre-order a book.

Then on Thursday October 28th (6pm-7pm), it’s time for local boys Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay to speak about Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World’s Top Wine Professionals. And Saturday October 30th (4pm-5pm) is James Beard Award winner Sarabeth Levine, discussing Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours. (Mark your calendar for Harold McGee on November 2nd, Chad Robertson on November 6th, and Amanda Hesser on November 7th). You can read about more authors and dates here.

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

The Art of Food Writing, a Benefit for 826 Valencia


Since we have Amanda Hesser in town promoting her new book, The Essential New York Times Cookbook, 826 Valencia was lucky to be able to snag her to help out with a benefit event on November 7th, THE ART OF FOOD WRITING. Joining her is Daniel Patterson (Coi, Il Cane Rosso, Plum), who is preparing a tasting plate of three dishes from the cookbook (included in the ticket price)—he will also be joining in the conversation, to be moderated by Celia Sack (Omnivore Books). Amanda’s book will be available for purchase at the event.

Tickets are $100, with proceeds going to benefit 826’s free student programming.

               Sunday Nov  7, 2010 7pm–9pm $100 ($140 with pre-order The Essential New York Times Cookbook) more info


the sponsor

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

(Sponsored): Dining Out Never Tasted So Good

There are plenty of nights in a year you can dine out (365, to be exact), but if there was one night to really dine out, it would be on Wednesday November 10th. Why the 10th? Because it’s Food for Thought, a fundraising night for the Mission Graduates nonprofit organization.

Dine out at select Mission District restaurants like Bar Bambino, Beretta, Commonwealth, Heart, Heirloom Café, Maverick, Range, Slow Club, and Spork, and they will generously donate a portion of their sales to get Mission youth to college. A delish proposition, right?!

Click here for a list of participating restaurants and make your reservation today! Let your fork help you indulge in support of young people. Last year Food for Thought raised over $35,000, which helped Mission Graduates to offer a five-week summer program to over 100 children grades K-5, pilot the College Bound ambassador program enabling teens to act as mentors to younger kids, and helped secure over $250,000 in college scholarships to support high school students and their families.

For more information, contact Art at 415-864-5205 or via email.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Pey-Marin Vineyards Dinner at Osteria Stellina


The oyster pizza at Osteria Stellina.

Fans of Pey-Marin Vineyards and OSTERIA STELLINA in Point Reyes Station will want to head over for a special reception and Marin-grown themed dinner on Tuesday November 2nd. The reception from 6:30pm-7:30pm will have Susan and Jonathan Pey pouring tastes, and Osteria Stellina’s chef Christian Caiazzo will provide hors d’oeuvres ($35 per person).

Starting at 7:30pm, there will be a four-course dinner with paired wines ($80, exclusive of tax and gratuity), or you can order the dishes à la carte with the paired wines. (The reception and dinner combined is $110 per person.) The menu includes homemade tagliatelle with grilled sweet shrimp, parsley, sage, and walnut sauce, 2009 Pey-Marin riesling “The Shell Mound,” Marin County; warm chicory salad with home-dried huckleberries, organic almonds, shaved local sheep’s milk cheese, and sherry vinaigrette, 2008 Pey-Marin pinot noir “Trois Filles,” Marin County; almond wood-grilled organic grass-fed beef sirloin on a fall hash of roasted squash, chanterelle mushrooms, Fresh Run kale, and slow-cooked heirloom beans, 2006 Mount Tamalpais merlot, Marin County; and roasted, spiced quince ice cream with warm crème anglaise and biscotti. Reservations: 415-663-9988; 11285 Highway 1, Point Reyes Station.

               Tuesday Nov  2, 2010 more info

SF's Inaugural Bay Area Brew Festival Is November 13th-14th


After touring in Los Angeles and Orange County, the inaugural Drink:Eat:Play BAY AREA BREW FESTIVAL will be held in San Francisco November 13th-14th at Fort Mason. The two-day event will feature dozens of international and domestic beers (check the site for the lineup), unlimited beer for three hours, and local food trucks (food sold separately).

Be sure to use the code “tablehopper” for 20% off the $50 ticket.

               Saturday Nov 13, 2010 – Sunday Nov 14, 2010 1pm–4pm $50; tablehopper readers get 20% off: use code "tablehopper" more info

PinotFest Returns for Its 12th Year!


PinotFest at Farallon. Photo courtesy of Farallon.

On Saturday November 20th, PINOTFEST returns to Farallon Restaurant, pouring exclusively pinot noir from 50 of Oregon and California’s best producers. Participating wineries include Adelsheim, Alma Rosa, Amedeo, Argyle, Au Bon Climat, Byron, Bonaccorsi, Brewer-Clifton, Calera, Cambria, Chehalem, Cobb, Costa de Oro, Domaine Drouhin, Domaine Serene, Drake, El Molino, Etude, Fiddlehead, Foxen, Gloria Ferrer, Greenwood Ridge, Handley, Hartford, Hendry, Hitching Post, Iron Horse, J Vineyards, Keller Estate, Littorai, Lynmar, Marimar Estate, Melville, Merry Edwards, Michaud, Morgan, Patz & Hall, Paul Hobbs, Peay, Pey-Marin, Radio-Coteau, Robert Sinskey, Saintsbury, Siduri, Skewis, Soter, Talley, Testarossa, Thomas Fogarty, Whitcraft, and Williams Selyem.

There will also be delicious hors d’oeuvres served at the event. $100 per person. Ticket forms are available online or by calling 415-956-6969.

And in the week leading up to the tasting, from Sunday November 14th through Saturday the 20th, Farallon will also feature flights of pinot noir from several of the participating wineries in the restaurant, along with a special five-course chef’s tasting menu.

               Saturday Nov 20, 2010 3pm–6pm $100 per person more info

Upcoming Wine Events at Heirloom


The lovely bar at Heirloom Café. Photo: ©

A few wine events to put on your radar: HEIRLOOM CAFÉ will be hosting Matt Licklider and Kevin O’Connor of Lioco on November 21st (5pm). They have earned many fans of their un-oaked chardonnay and pinot noirs sourced from great vineyards. $40 per person, all inclusive (hors d’oeuvres and a flight). And then December 5th will have Qupe winemaker Bob Lindquist in the house, same format, 5pm. You can make a reservation by emailing Matt, and he will then confirm with you, and your reservation will need to be booked via advance payment on PayPal.

Heirloom Café            - 2500 Folsom St. San Francisco - 415-821-2500

the sponsor

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

(Sponsored): Lost Art Salon: A Resource for Modernist, Vintage, and Antique Art and Objects

Lost Art Salon’s fine art collection is comprised of over 4,000 works of rediscovered and historically significant artists from the Modern Era, reflecting the major styles and movements of the 20th Century (1900-1960s). Every piece is researched, reconditioned, and cataloged for art historical records at our Salon in San Francisco. Our collection can be viewed on our website or in person Monday through Saturday.

Please join us for our next opening party on Friday November 12th from 5:30pm-8:30pm.

the socialite

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

Halloween Hoo(Boo)tenannies


Photo from

Some local restaurants and bars are putting on some Halloween-themed events, here’s a partial lineup for ya:

Tomorrow, Wednesday October 27th, La Cocina is hosting a Día de Los Muertos cooking class. Chef Luis Vazquez, owner of Chaac Mool, will focus on making traditional Day of the Dead breads like pan de muerto. Guests will leave with a sampling of breads that they made, and dinner and drinks are included. $65. 6:30pm-9pm.

(Since we’re on breads, for you Italian-types who honor Ognissanti on November 1st and Il Giorno dei Morti on November 2nd, Emporio Rulli is making a tasty Lombardian pan dei morti in honor of the holidays, with pine nuts, orange peel, raisins, and almonds.)

Ace Wasabi’s Rock n’ Roll Sushi is hosting a Halloween costume contest on Saturday October 30th (5:30pm-11pm). Join them for dinner and let the staff judge your costume before heading out. The best dressed will win sushi gift cards (1st place: $500, 2nd place: $250, 3rd place: $100). Winners will be notified the next day.

Pisco Latin Lounge is having a Halloween pre-party on Saturday October 30th (6pm-12am). Come dressed in costume and you could win one of several prizes, including a $200 tapas party for you and your friends.

Sushi Ran is hosting a pumpkin carving contest on Saturday October 30th (2pm-4pm). The chefs and managers will decide a winner and will give out a $100 gift card to an under-16 winner, and a $100 gift card to a 16-and-over winner. All pumpkins will be displayed at the restaurant for the Halloween parade the next day. Need more info? Email here.

Bar Agricole is hosting a Halloween dinner on Sunday October 31st ($40 without costume, $35 with). More details here.

On Sunday October 31st, Heart Wine Bar in the Mission is hosting Flesh and the Devil, a “sexy speakeasy event” with obscure wines, affordable passed bites ($3-$7), jazz, blacked-out windows, and password-only entry (you also have to be dressed in costume). There will also be a costume contest and classic horror films projected on the walls. 7pm-11pm. (Pssst, wanna know the password? I got the exclusive for ya: it’s “Hyde Park.”)

Also on Sunday October 31st, Heirloom Café is hosting a supper club with an optional dress theme (Gatsby-1920s), a Champagne hour with gougères, a Dixieland trio, and a particularly scary menu, including boo-rata (fresh mozzarella) and persimmon salad; turkey and bacon meatloaf with sweet potatoes; and a dark chocolate-pear-frangipane tart. $50 per person, including tax, gratuity, and a Montaigneu toast (6pm-7pm, sparkling wine hour). Deep discounts at the cash bar on cellar wines; no corkage fee for old bottles of wine.

Annual ARTasting Party/Charity Event with ARTdeezine


 Event Info

Saturday Nov  6, 2010 5pm–9pm $20 general admission; $10 under 21; $5 off with promo code: Tablehopper; $25 door Tickets 2183 Mission St. between 17th and 18th Sts., San Francisco

Join ARTdeezine LLC on Saturday November 6th for the fifth annual ARTASTING PARTY, where they celebrate and explore the culture and style of San Francisco neighborhoods through art and food. It’s a community-minded event with a focus on local artists, food artisans, and musicians, and on the diverse and colorful Mission district itself.

There will be plenty to taste at ARTasting 2010, starting with complimentary appetizers from 5pm-6pm, plus cheese and fruit. Guests will have the opportunity to sample small bites and purchase street food from local vendors, including pulled pork tacos, Mexican street corn, empanadas from Chile Lindo, and tamales from the Tamale Lady. Then look for sweet treats from Mission Minis, Kika’s Treats, and other local vendors. If you’re 21 and over, be sure to get your logo glass and four wine tasting tickets so you can sample some of the award-winning wines of Calaveras County.

Expect some entertainment and shwag too. Local artists of all mediums will be showcasing their art at the event, and guests can take home a 2011 calendar featuring 12 art pieces that focus on the culture and style of the Mission district. The music for the evening will include a local jazz trio, a fun and funky local band, and DJ Hungr and his Starvin’ For Beats Crew. There will be door prizes and a raffle, including a plant raffle where all the plants used to decorate the space will be raffled off at the end of the night. Proceeds from this year’s raffle will be donated to Nick’s Rad Recovery Fund.

One more thing: tablehopper readers get $5 off with the promo code “Tablehopper”!

Sugar Rush: A Dessert Tasting Fundraiser


 Event Info

Thursday Nov 11, 2010 7:30pm–9:30pm $50 Standard; $85 Supporter; $150 VIP Tickets                        111 Minna Gallery 111 Minna St. at 2nd St., San Francisco

You’ll want to save a lot of room for dessert on Thursday November 11th, when Spark hosts its fourth annual SUGAR RUSH dessert tasting fundraiser at 111 Minna Gallery, featuring top Bay Area restaurants and chefs, including Bill Corbett of Coi and Plum, Chez Panisse, Boulevard, Range, Fifth Floor, Millennium, Jake Godby and Sean Vahey of Humphry Slocombe, Delfina, and Recchiuti Confections. In addition to sampling a delectable variety of desserts, guests will be able to bid in a silent auction that includes luxury hotel packages, jewelry, wine tours, and entertainment event tickets (like 49ers tickets).

Check out photos of some of last year’s gorgeous dessert line-up here, then get tickets here. This event is 21 and over, so bring ID. And don’t worry, calories don’t count when it’s for a good cause.

Spark provides life-changing apprenticeships to youth in underserved communities across the United States, and operates summer and after-school programs that match students with apprenticeships in professions of their choice at local workplaces in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

A Sighting That Isn't Top Secret!

A tablehopper reader spotted Val Kilmer outside of Café Gratitude in Berkeley. He was taking photos of the outside (it wasn’t open just yet). Apparently he’s currently filming a Francis Ford Coppola movie.

LCD Soundsystem Is Eating in My Restaurant, My Restaurant!

Last Sunday night, the day after LCD Soundsystem rocked it out at the Treasure Island Music Festival, members of the band dined at Bar Tartine—they had the burger, omelet, fried green tomatoes, and bone marrow. I can’t believe I (almost) missed the opportunity to meet my future husband (James Murphy); but he wasn’t dining with the group that night—he was at the Hot Chip show at the Warfield with Dagan Ministero from Terroir. And oh rats, he’s already married; oh well, I will wait!

Murphy, aka the future Mr. Gagliardi, seems to be quite the oenophile—he tweeted about Terroir in SoMa during his stay in SF. Le sigh. We’d get along so well.

More Sightings of Ruth Reichl Out and About

Everyone’s favorite dreamer-Tweeter Ruth Reichl was out on the town, loving her meal at Quince (“Most delicious dish! Smooth urchin, silky sliced scallop, crunch of pomegranate, punch of lime. Quince in SF: gorgeous experience.”) and down by the Ferry Building on Monday (“Silvery San Francisco morning. Walking down to the Ferry building. Coffee, bread and cheese, sitting with seagulls the edge of the Bay.”). She also came into Bar Tartine on Sunday night, dining on pâté and salads with LA’s Nancy Silverton.

Breakfast with the Guvernator

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was spotted having breakfast at Vitrine restaurant at The St. Regis San Francisco.

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