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Jan 10, 2011 21 min read

January 11, 2011 - This week's tablehopper: afternoon delight.

January 11, 2011 - This week's tablehopper: afternoon delight.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: afternoon delight.                    

The eggs (by candlelight) in Cafe Jacqueline’s kitchen.

Can I just do a shout out for spicy food? I’m gonna, right now, because not only did it put some fire in my belly this past cold-as-hell week, but I think it also burned out this lame cold that has been lingering and way overstaying its presence in my life. Spices II said, “Begone! And don’t mess!” I also chomped on some delicious (and spicy!) lamb chops at Don Pisto’s on Saturday night, a kickass new menu item over there. I was actually supposed to be dining with friends at Cafe Jacqueline that night, but a nasty power outage in North Beach meant no soufflé for us! I think the universe was actually trying to take care of me, and steer me to spicier fare. Word.

I spent quite a bit of time home last week, so here are two things I was digging in my housebound state: free, fresh (and sometimes warm!) bagels delivered to my door on Mondays (all I have to pay for is a small delivery fee) from Sour Flour—yeah, bagel delivery! The other (not for the faint of heart) was the very dark and gory (but also kind of funny) horror movie Bitter Feast, about a New York chef/TV star who goes completely batshit when his career implodes—he kidnaps a food blogger who wrote a lousy review of his restaurant, and proceeds to exact some really demented revenge on the guy (out now on DVD and Video on Demand). (I’m sure there are some cooks and chefs out there who will dig it.)

Okay, back to my exploding inbox. Things are getting out of hand over here at ‘hopper HQ.

Ciao! Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

A Little This 'n' That: Random News Bits


Dish from Atelier Crenn; photo by Ron Armstrong.

Here’s a smörgåsbord of news tidbits for you:

Things are getting close for ATELIER CRENN—the latest opening date is now Friday January 21st. You can expect a writeup in tablehopper next week, but in the meantime, here’s a copy of the menu for you to look at.

Sounds like THE BRIXTON is trying for a Friday opening. Will have the menu and more for you next week; didn’t have it in time for today’s posting. 2140 Union St. at Webster.

Starting this coming weekend, IRONSIDE in SoMa is launching weekend brunch from 10am-2pm. There’s a $16 bottomless brunch buffet, and $10 bottomless mimosas. And here’s a link to a flyer on Facebook (featuring some bottomless diners—but please, wear your pants to brunch, it’s cold out) that you can print to get bottomless mimosas for $5 (or a free Four Barrel coffee drink), expires February 13th.

Fellow fans of MISSION CHINESE FOOD should note that they are no longer open on Wednesdays (hours are Thu-Tue 11:30am-10:30pm). And sadly they are no longer taking reservations, but if your party is larger than four, you can still call ahead and give them a heads up so they can do their best to accommodate you.

It seems that JONES has temporarily closed. In fact, they never had their New Year’s Eve party. Seems there’s a holdup with their liquor license, stand by.

The Scoop reports that consultants Frank Klein and Chad Newton are taking over the food operations in the Jewish Community Center with Joanna Karlinsky’s departure there.

I was happy to learn on Thrillist that the ABC license I saw for KASUMI was not just for yet another crappy sushi place slinging unagi and rock ‘n’ rolls, but it’s actually a ramen place by day, and yakitori by night (including pork jowl, and bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms). The project is from the folks behind Shabu House in the Outer Richmond. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm and 5pm-10pm, Sun 5pm-10pm. 2608 Ocean Ave. at 19th Ave., 415-586-8800.

Update on Where to Get Jacked Up (on Coffee)


Caffè Pascucci photo by Henrik Kam.

I have three updates on coffee-related news for you:

Over in SoMa/South Beach, CAFFÈ PASCUCCI opened on Monday. I previously mentioned this is the first U.S. location for this Italian coffeehouse that dates back to the 1800s. The menu will include over 20 kinds of savory and sweet coffee beverages, dessert drinks, yogurt-based smoothies, and frozen-specialty options (and here’s a tip for you: stop by and mention Daily Candy for a free drink of your choice this week!). As for the food menu by consultant Chad Newton, there is a variety of salads, plus a roasted Diestel turkey sandwich with Swiss cheese and walnut pesto ($7.95), a Pascucci “BLT” made with smoked Sonoma bacon and spicy black pepper mayo ($7.95), and panini like one made with local artisan cheese, caramelized onion, and fig jam ($7.95). Look for local purveyors like 4505 Meats, Fatted Calf, and North Beach’s French Italian Bakery on the menu. There are also some early evening snacks, like cured meat or cheese plates. Open Mon-Fri 6am-8pm, Sat-Sun 7am-7pm. 170 King St. at 3rd St., 415-957-1100.

BAR AGRICOLE is now open for coffee service during the week, starting at 8am. On the menu: single origin coffee from Four Barrel, a Slayer espresso machine, laugenbrötchen (a German pretzel roll), housemade jams and apple butter, and free Wi-Fi. Here’s your latest cool spot for a breakfast meeting.

SFoodie announces that another Lambretta scooter-themed coffee kiosk, GRAND PRIX, will be opening in Tillman Place in early February, just outside of Azul (near Grant). The menu is reportedly similar to others (like Vega), with Blue Bottle coffee and Goody Goodie treats. Hours will be Mon-Fri 7:30am-4pm, Sat-Sun 9am-3pm. 1 Tillman Pl. at Grant.

Wise Sons Deli Debuting at Off the Grid


Photo collage from Wise Sons Deli.

While business partners Leo Beckerman and Evan Bloom are looking for a permanent place to open their Jewish deli concept (ideally in the Mission), WISE SONS DELI, they are going to be offering a preview of their dishes in conjunction with the Saturday Off the Grid at McCoppin Hub. But instead of setting up a table or a truck, they will be cooking brunch across the street, in Jackie’s Vinoteca & Cafe (at 105 Valencia St. at McCoppin). On the menu: dishes like cheese blintzes with fresh fruit compote; lox, eggs, and onions served with housemade rye toast and dill crème fraîche; corned beef hash (made with their housemade corned beef); and French toast made with their challah. Holla! It all kicks off on Saturday January 22nd; brunch will be served from 9am-2pm.

And then hold onto your yarmulke, because starting February 5th, they will be debuting their pastrami, which will be served with their housemade sauerkraut, dill pickles, and rye bread (trust me, I already requested a Reuben, but they said they would have to see how the kitchen works out first). They are doing this in conjunction with Good Food Month, specifically for pickles and charcuterie week. They mentioned selling tickets for this one, so follow them on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the news.

New Fast-Casual Concept Opening Downtown


Just next to the House of Shields and Crunch will be SUSHIRRITO, a fast-casual and Asian fusion-sushi concept (not to be confused with a purrito). Like it sounds, there will be six-eight different burritos to choose from, stuffed with rice and either raw or cooked seafood (and in the example below, fried Japanese chicken)—but instead of a tortilla, they will be wrapped in nori. Imagine a large sushi roll that is cut in half, and meant to be eaten in hand. Prices will range from $7-$11.

Some combinations include the Latin Ninja, with salmon, mango, avocado, asparagus, kaiware sprouts, shaved lemon, shredded cabbage, cucumber, pickled red onion, and ginger-serrano sauce; and the Smokin’ Chicken, with chicken karaage, avocado, plantain, green onions, shredded cabbage, cilantro, and chipotle crema—another one mentioned was with shrimp tempura. Owner Peter Yen brought on Ty Mahler as the chef (and part owner), who was formerly the executive at Roy’s, and has traveled to Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Taiwan over the past year. He is going to be using sustainably sourced seafood, and in one additional step, they will be working with their supplier, Royal Hawaiian, to help monitor the mercury levels of certain fish.

Gi Paoletti designed the space, and while there won’t be any seating, some standing room tables should be coming soon. It was designed to be a place offering quick, fresh, and made-to order food (à la Chipotle). Hours will be Mon-Fri 11am-3pm. Depending on how inspections go, they hope to open next week around Tuesday January 18th. 59 New Montgomery St. at Market, 415-495-7655.

Gluten-Free/Vegan Bakery Now Taking Requests at 331 Cortland


As of the beginning of January, gluten-free/vegan bakery SPECIAL REQUEST has opened in the 331 Cortland marketplace in Bernal Heights, and owners Vanessa Morales and Freddie Colombani are excited to be part of the 331 concept and the unique neighborhood. They’ve taken over Wholesome Bakery’s space (Wholesome is now selling out of La Victoria).

Vanessa and her husband Freddie started Special Request a year and a half ago. A savory chef of over 13 years at places like the Ritz Carlton San Juan, Joël Robuchon Las Vegas, and LarkCreekSteak, Vanessa was disappointed to find she could never eat any sweets because of her gluten and dairy intolerance. Then she started getting so many special requests from clients for vegan desserts that she took matters into her own hands and began developing a repertoire of gluten-free and vegan desserts, so Special Request naturally became the name of their new business.

Freddie tells us that one of the biggest challenges to starting the business was sourcing gluten-free ingredients, but with over 60 taste-tested items now in their repertoire, you can expect to see new, seasonal desserts rotating in every few weeks with an emphasis on great flavor, good textures, and presentation.

At the moment, their offerings include a coconut tapioca pudding with pineapple salsa ($4; the ladies at Carried Away are reportedly in love with this creation); rocky road, Meyer lemon, and spiced ginger cupcakes ($3); brown rice crispy treats ($1.50); chocolate caramel pecan and fresh fruit tarts ($5); pumpkin and double-crust apple pies ($5); and mango cheesecake ($4.50). And yes, they’re happy to take orders for special requests with 2-3 days notice. (You can also get their desserts at Lilah Belle’s.) 10am-5:30pm daily, open until 6pm Sat, closed Thu. 331 Cortland Ave. at Bennington, 650-630-7452.

Closures Around Town (and Beyond)


A display at the now-closed Sweet.

A few closures to report on:

Eater mentions SMALL POTATOES catering will be opening a small lunch spot out of their headquarters at 35 6th Street at Stevenson at some point this spring. SFoodie further mentions their little pastry shop on Church, Sweet, has closed.

The Hawaiian SUNDANCE KITCHEN (next to the Kabuki Theatre/Sundance Cinema) has closed, according to the Inside Scoop. Mahalo. Can someone kickass please move in there, renovate the hell out of it, and rock it? Hell, I think there’s even full liquor. Do it! 1865 Post St. at Fillmore.

It was first reported on CHOW that the ARMANI CAFÉ in Union Square at Emporio Armani has closed. According to the post, “The store is being remodeled; when it reopens, the restaurant will be gone.” I have good memories of caffeinating and lunching there when I worked at 77 Maiden Lane back in my advertising days. Meow.

Across the bay, Scoop mentions that after 10 years, Gordon Drysdale’s CAFFE VERBENA in downtown Oakland has closed. Drysdale will reportedly “help a new regime transition into the space—word on the street is that the landlords are looking for replacements.” 1111 Broadway at 11th, Oakland.

Some $1 Deals for You


Photo from Waterbar.

Since today’s date is all about the ones, WATERBAR is celebrating with a dollar deal: $1 oysters all day and night. Slurp, slurp!

And here’s another dollar deal you can cash in on: ZOG’S DOGS is offering $1 hot dog Mondays (through February 1st). Just remember to print out the online coupon before heading over. While supplies last, and limit one per customer.

Two Alt-Markets This Saturday January 15th


Photo from New Taste Marketplace.

This Saturday January 15th there are not one but two alt-markets going on. From 12pm-5pm, NEW TASTE MARKETPLACE will be holding its third event, a fundraiser for The Food Pantry, which distributes groceries to over 600 low-income participants every week. Vendors include: Mission GastroClub and their char siu pork belly tacos, Slow Hand BBQ (hello, brisket), and Sataysfied’s Indonesian chicken and pork satays. The complete list of vendors can be found on St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, 500 De Haro St. at Mariposa.

Meanwhile, THE SF UNDERGROUND MARKET/FORAGESF is collaborating with Public Works to host Night Market. But not so fast, because there will also be a day portion that starts at 11am (until 4pm), featuring mostly “take-homeables” (jams, produce, soaps, desserts, etc.), although hot food will also be available. If you want to avoid the crowds, this is a good time to go.

The second shift (6pm-2am—two hours later than it normally ends!) will be mainly hot food that’s ready to eat. There will be workshops in one room, a dance party in another, and two full bars. Come in the evening if you want to drink, eat some food, listen to some music, and hang out.

11am-11pm: $5; 11pm-2am: $10. You can look at the list of new and returning vendors. Since Public Works has a full-bar, the entire market will be 21+ for both the morning and evening. In order to enter the market, you need to sign up in advance for a free membership to the SF Underground Market . (If you’ve signed up in the past, no need to re-apply. Unlike your lipstick, which might be kind of thrashed after eating some pizza and barbecue.)

               Saturday Jan 15, 2011 more info

Studio Gourmet Returns... with Hoss Zaré!


Horatius photo from Facebook.

The second episode of STUDIO GOURMET returns, this time with Hoss Zaré of Zaré at Fly Trap on the afternoon of Sunday January 16th. The event has moved to Horatius in Potrero Hill, where you’ll be able to hang out over a glass of bubbly and some small bites during the reception (there will also be live jazz by Ariel Eisen). Chef Hoss is then going to lead a cooking demonstration, teaching you how to prepare Italian eggplant with sun-dried yogurt. Immediately following the demo, there will be an interview with Hoss, and to wrap up the event, you’ll be able to enjoy some small bites paired with wines provided by Horatius. The lineup is going to include dishes like 
braised Italian eggplant crostini, paired with 
2009 Ernest Goews & Co. sauvignon blanc; pistachio meatball served with a harissa-honey pomegranate glaze
, paired with 
2006 PKNT cabernet sauvignon from Valle Central, Chile; and a few other delicious bites, including dessert.

Tickets are $65, but there are a couple ways you can save money on tickets. You can either sign up for Feastery with this link and get tickets for $35. Or if you don’t want to sign up with Feastery, you can get a ticket for $45 with this link, which was specially offered to tablehopper readers. The next guest will be Jen Biesty of Scala’s on March 13th.

               Sunday Jan 16, 2011 2:30pm–5:30pm more info

Prime Rib Sundays at Alexander's Steakhouse

I’m a big fan of prime rib, so I was happy to hear about this new prime rib night now underway at ALEXANDER’S STEAKHOUSE in SoMa on Sunday nights. You’ll be able to enjoy a prime rib dinner for $35, which includes a side dish and a signature hamachi shooter. Bring on the horseradish.

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

Special Five-Course Baja Dinner at Don Pisto's


The michelada and house salsa at Don Pisto’s.

Jealous of your friends currently on vacation in Sexico? (I know about three people who are south of the border, and am trying to not begrudge them their tans during this cold-ass week we’ve had.) Anyway, no matter, because DON PISTO’S is bringing the Baja to you in a special five-course dinner on Monday January 17th. The menu is inspired by what you’d find in Baja California, with dishes like Puerto Nuevo siete mares (seafood stew made from lobster stock and a wide variety of fish and shellfish), and taco stand quail (heavily spiced and grilled over charcoal). Owner Pete Mrabe says, “I will be using higher-end and more exotic ingredients than I usually would. It’s a dinner for an adventurous eater.” Considering the guy slow poaches lobster in pig fat, I’d say you’re in good hands. $45, inclusive of food, tax, and tip. Drinks are separate, and wine pairings are available. Reservations only, call 415-395-0939.

               Monday Jan 17, 2011 more info

Don Pisto's            - 510 Union St. San Francisco - 415-395-0939

CANCELLED: Second Annual I-Talian I-Ranian American Spaghetti Feed at Long Bar


The original Long Bar; photo courtesy of restaurant.


What is guaranteed to be quite the industry night is the upcoming Second Annual I-Talian I-Ranian American Spaghetti Feed at LONG BAR on Monday January 17th. Chefs Massimiliano Conti of La Ciccia and Hoss Zaré of Zaré at Fly Trap will team up with Erik Hopfinger to offer “impressive portions of family-style, soulful cuisine.” For $29, you will get three courses, a glass of sangiovese from the Marche, and it sounds like some Negronis will be in supply as well (let’s just say there will be 25-pound solid blocks of ice that will be carved up and plunked into heavy crystal rocks glasses). Carlo Splendorini of Michael Mina and Ali Tahsini of Bourbon & Branch will stir things up with Jacques Bezuidenhout (a “token South African”) behind the bar.

And one other thing to note: Long Bar has launched weekend brunch, from 11:30am-4pm, with dinner service starting just when brunch wraps up. 2298 Fillmore St. at Clay, 415-440-1700.

               Monday Jan 17, 2011 more info

DaVero Olio Nuovo Dinner at COCO500


Photo from DaVero.

I’m a big fan of the olive oil from DaVero in Dry Creek Valley, and their olio nuovo is definitely something special. On Tuesday January 18th, COCO500 is hosting their annual olio nuovo dinner, offering a special tasting menu to celebrate the bright green liquid gold. The four-course menu is as follows: burrata with farmers’ market vegetables, vinaigrette, and grilled levain; spaghetti with smoked herring, black pepper, and bottarga; choice of grilled New York strip with Parmigiano-Reggiano and lemon, or cacciucco (Tuscan seafood stew); and for dessert, Colleen’s olive oil cake with vanilla gelato and fruit conserva. $60, and $35 for the optional wine pairing. Call 415-543-2222 for reservations.

               Tuesday Jan 18, 2011 more info

COCO500            - 500 Brannan St. San Francisco - 415-543-2222


the sponsor

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

(Sponsored): Register Now for the Fancy Food Show!

Register now to attend the 2011 Winter Fancy Food Show, the largest specialty food trade event on the West Coast. Come and experience 80,000 specialty foods and beverages, and spot the new trends for 2011.

It’s happening this month, from January 16th to the 18th at the Moscone Center. Register today! (Registration open for trade only.)

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

All Hail the Royal Cuckoo


Photo from Urban Daddy.

There’s a new bar that opened in Bernal, THE ROYAL CUCKOO (as Grub Street noted, it was the former Belinda’s, and dates back to 1907). UrbanDaddy mentioned it’s now open, with an eclectic-sounding look (taxidermy, church pews), quality classic cocktails, and a card-cataloged collection of vintage records you can play. A reviewer on Yelp also mentioned the Hammond organ was in effect one evening, with live music (including singer Lavay Smith). I think the bar looks pretty fabulous—reminds me of some of the hideaways I used to frequent when living in Los Angeles—dig the wood ceiling! Open nightly, from 6pm-2am (and sometimes open earlier in the afternoon). 3202 Mission St. at Valencia, 415-550-8667.

CAV Wine Bar Morphs Into Pause, Maybe Opening This Week


A liquor license update mentioned the opening of PAUSE WINE BAR in the CAV Wine Bar & Kitchen space on Market Street. Scoop mentions it’s the folks behind Dogpatch’s Yield Wine Bar, who were able to land a temporary liquor license. Grub Street chimes in that the menu will be vegetarian-focused (and expanded a bit from Yield’s, since the kitchen at Pause is bigger). According to a tweet, they are trying to open this week, inspections pending. Open Wed-Sun 5pm-12am. 1666 Market St. at Gough.

New All-Italian Wine Shop Opens on Van Ness


Photo from Enoteca Vino Nostro.

A friend pointed this new Italian wine shop out to me over the holidays, and it looks like their website is up: ENOTECA VINO NOSTRO. The owner, Amanzio Tamanti, has been importing and distributing wine from Italy for over 22 years, so it’s actually a retail shop for his Tosco Wines Inc. import business, with wines from the Piemonte to Puglia (supplemented with some other selections, over 200 in all). I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but my friend said he picked up a nice bottle (and some olive oil) there. Open Mon-Sat 11am-8pm. 1455 Van Ness Ave. at Pine, 415-440-4001.

Crab and Iron Horse Sparkling Wine Dinner at Americano


The bar at Americano. Photo by Cesar Rubio.

AMERICANO at Hotel Vitale has partnered with Iron Horse Vineyards to host a crab and sparkling wine dinner this Wednesday January 12th. The three-course menu includes: County Line heirloom chicory salad with polenta croutons, Parmigiano, and citrus; local Dungeness crab with roasted garlic butter and salsa verde; and for dessert, apple huckleberry pie with vanilla ice cream. Americano will be pouring Iron Horse Vineyards Ocean Reserve, a special, limited edition, sparkling wine created in partnership with National Geographic to benefit the ocean. $1 for every glass and $4 for every bottle purchased during the evening will be donated to establish marine protected areas and reduce overfishing around the world. $40 per person, with wine sold separately by the glass and bottle. (You can also order food and drink off the regular menu.) Reservations are not required but recommended, 415-278-3777.

               Wednesday Jan 12, 2011 more info

Americano            - 8 Mission St. San Francisco - 415-278-3777

Terry Theise Reading at Omnivore on Thursday January 20th


Head on over to OMNIVORE BOOKS next Thursday January 20th to hear acclaimed importer and wine guru Terry Theise read from his recent book, Reading Between the Wines. In the book, “Theise describes how wine can be a portal to aesthetic, emotional, even mystical experience—and he frankly asserts that these experiences are most likely to be inspired by wines from artisan producers.” The event is from 6pm-7pm, free. And why do I think there will be wine there…? (There are quite a few events at Omnivore this month, check them out here.)

               Thursday Jan 20, 2011 6pm–7pm Free more info

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


the socialite

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

Kick Off Good Food Month this Saturday


 Event Info

Saturday Jan 15, 2011 – Sunday Feb 20, 2011 Info

Sure, we can’t all get tickets to the Good Food Awards—the first national awards program to recognize American craft food producers who make food that is tasty, authentic, and responsible, with host Alice Waters—but we can all get a taste of those award-winning foods at the GOOD FOOD AWARDS MARKETPLACE on Saturday January 15th at the Ferry Building.

The Good Food Awards Marketplace is free and open to the public from 8am to 2pm, so come on down and chat up the producers, taste some of their goods, and buy some to take home, too. This event is just the start of Good Food Month, chock-full of Bay Area-wide events both educational and delicious that bring together farmers, chefs, food crafters, thinkers, activists, and the local community. Get the full (and they do mean full) listing of events here, but here’s a quick preview of what’s coming up:

During Coffee & Chocolate Week January 17th-23rd, check out panel discussions focusing on the role of women in the bean-to-bar chocolate trade, coffee tasting workshops led by Ritual Roasters and 18 Reasons, and behind-the-scenes tours of local San Francisco chocolatiers.

January 24th-30th is Cheese & Preserves Week for a range of hands-on workshops from a cheese and preserve pairing to a kefir and yogurt making session hosted by Happy Girl Kitchen, to preserving Meyer lemons with INNA JAM at Local: Mission Eatery.

From January 31st to February 6th, Charcuterie & Pickles Week brings home the bacon tasting with Black Pig Bacon, The Fatted Calf, Cochon, and The Epicurean Connection. Also, take a farm walk with Live Earth Farm, or join the pickling lab with executive chef Jake Des Voignes of Local: Mission Eatery.

Immigrant Food Week February 7th-13th features a salsa celebration with La Cocina, and a free “good food” shopping, prepping, and tasting tutorial with Filippo Bartolotta, one of Italy’s premier wine gurus and chef William Werner of Tall Tale Preserves Co. at the W Hotel.

And to top it all off, join the San Francisco Brewers Guild for SF Beer Week February 11th-20th for an exciting lineup of all things beer. SF Beer Week brings a range of experiences from beer and grilled cheese pairings to a multi-course dinner paired with organic beers.

All Kinds of "Underground" Dinners This Month: Take Your Pick


 Event Info

Friday Jan 14, 2011 – Sunday Jan 30, 2011

Let’s just make it official and call January 2011 Bay Area underground dinner month. There are quite a few delicious-sounding ones going on this month, so don’t be shy, step right up, and take your pick.

First up is the WHOLE BEAST SUPPER CLUB’s prix-fixe pork tasting menu at La Victoria on Friday January 14th. Kevin Bunnell (Tulio Ristorante [Seattle], Town Hall, Serpentine) will offer a five-course tasting menu with items like head meat stew with winter vegetables and fennel gremolata, and beet salad with pork shoulder croutons. It’s BYOB, so feel free to bring the pork-friendly beverage of your choice. $50, 6:30pm and 9pm seatings. Book here. 2937 24th St. at Alabama.

Then on Saturday January 15th, chef Marc Tennison and sommelier Becky Pezzullo of UNDERCOVER SUPPER will bring you four courses at their 2-Cute 2-Eat event. Quail, rabbit, and deer will supplant the usual meats—so don’t expect to see chicken, pork, or beef. Local wine pairings are included, so for example, ciriole pasta and rabbit ragu with sage and pecorino paired with 2009 La Clarine Farm ‘Suma Kaw’ syrah. $60 donation, 7pm. Questions and reservations, email here. Location will be near Precita Park.

West Berkeley’s Local 123 will host COOKING WITH LEIF on Friday January 21st for eight mini courses such as rye toast with Chioggia beet, sheep ricotta, stinging nettle, cara cara; fried broccoli with yuzu kosho aioli; and golden turnip soup with black trumpets and warm spice. Wine, beer, and other beverages will be available. $50 per person, $15 corkage, cash only, 7pm. Full menu here, and RSVP here. 2049 San Pablo Ave. at Addison, Berkeley.

At the end of the month, chefs Ted Fleury and Jordan Grosser—creators of the STAG DINING GROUP—are collaborating with SF bartender collective The Cocktail Lab to present their next Clandestine Dinner, appropriately dubbed Speakeasy, as each course will be paired with a creative housemade libation. Look for items like lobster chawan mushi and pressed duck confit on their five-course menu. Tickets ($80) are available for 7pm Saturday January 29th, and 5pm Sunday January 30th. Location will be in the Mission.

the sugar mama

Giveaways (get some)

(Sponsored): Enter to Win Tickets to TrueItalian's Late Night Pasta Party


Enter to win tickets to TrueItalian’s Late Night Pasta Party at Foreign Cinema on Monday January 17th, 2011, from 7:30pm-11:30pm. Come meet an impressive culinary think tank comprised of leading chefs from the Bay Area, authors, food writers, retailers, producers, and buyers.

The night will include classic Italian pasta dishes made with the finest Italian ingredients. An expert will be on hand to explain features of the foods being served and the traditions associated with classic Italian cuisine. The night will also include dancing and music. This is your opportunity to meet a handful of nationally prominent, specialty food retailers, chefs, and the head of all Italian food and wine exported to the U.S., Rodrigo Cipriani, President of Buonitalia.

Address: 2534 Mission St. at 21st St., San Francisco, California

You must be 21 or over to attend. While this exclusive event is intended for food professionals only, this tablehopper giveaway is open to anyone (I have 20 spots to give away, so odds are good)! All you need to do to enter the drawing is to forward today’s tablehopper newsletter to one friend (but even more would be so very fabulous), and add a note to your friends about the TrueItalian 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 Thursday January 13th by 11:59pm. I will notify the 20 winners on Friday. Good luck!

Questions? Contact Tracey Fleming.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Swapping the Tano Triple Lutz for a Pinot

According to a tweet from Acquerello, Brian Boitano was in the house, and “loving Greg Linn’s Grangerville.”

Power Dining at Kokkari

A tablehopper reader writes in: “Wanted to let you know I was dining at Kokkari Saturday night and not only was Gavie Newsom there with his gorgeous wife and friends, but seated in the back room with what looked like a meeting of the minds at the big round table was Nancy Pelosi with about 11 other gusts.  When Gavin finished his meal, he came by and said hello to Nancy. They embraced and were very friendly.”

Raidin' It at EPIC Roasthouse

Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain and wide receiver Jacoby Ford, along with Comcast Sports announcer Kate Longworth, were upstairs in EPIC Roasthouse’s Quiver Bar enjoying cocktails, steak, mac ‘n’ cheese, and Charles Woodson cabernet when news of the firing of Raiders head coach Tom Cable came through. Blackberrys were reportedly “working on high volume.”

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