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Apr 18, 2011 21 min read

April 19, 2011 - This week's tablehopper: a slice o' heaven in the 707.

April 19, 2011 - This week's tablehopper: a slice o' heaven in the 707.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: a slice o' heaven in the 707.                    

Scott Beattie’s special touch on my Clover Club at Spoonbar.

Sometimes, you just gotta get outta Dodge. It’s amazing what 24 hours in springy Sonoma can do to clear your mind. I headed out of the city on Saturday afternoon, stopping at Martinelli Winery for a quick tasting before meeting up with my friend (Ziggy the Wine Gal) at her charming homestead. Then we were off to the Alexander Valley Bar at Medlock Ames for a cocktail, and then Francis Ford Coppola Winery for the Eight Perfect Pairings event. After eating our fill of delicious lamb buns, we swung by Spoonbar to commune with a couple of Scott Beattie’s superlative concoctions, and then were off to a house party.

Sunday entailed a nice sleep-in, and then brunch on Ziggy’s patio with a view of her trees and irises. I went for a two-hour walk on Sweetwater Creek Road, complete with mooing cows, bleating sheep, circling hawks, beautiful green grass dotted with wildflowers, and sun, sweet sun. It really couldn’t be prettier up there. Caught a little more sun on the patio at Bovolo on the square in Healdsburg as I ate half of their spring pizza (asparagus, black pig bacon, and a farm egg), and then (sadly) had to hit the road. You can see some pics in my mini “Weekend in Sonoma” album on Flickr.

It took a lot to pry me out of the 707’s clutches, but knowing I had a test “Dux” dinner from chef Eddie Lau at The Summit SF waiting for me later that evening, well, just watch me hit the gas pedal. Dinner was a five-course duck menu at the chef’s counter (with seven other guests), and was all kinds of delicious (check out the first pic in the series here). He’ll be launching these Sunday dinners on May 8th, stand by for further details on tablehopper soon! ‘Cause trust me, you’re going to want to go.

For those who celebrate it, I hope you’re having a fab Passover, and I’m definitely looking forward to Easter with the fam on Sunday. Oh, and on Saturday, I’ll be getting my whiskey on at this CUESA whiskey tasting in the afternoon. See you there?

I hope you all get a chance to enjoy a springtime hike somewhere—seriously, take a couple hours if you can, and go for a stroll. ‘Hopper’s orders!

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Sebo in Hayes Valley Is Changing Up Their Menu (and Taking Reservations)


Hmmm, are these nigiri now retired? Photo by Blair Sneddon Photography.

SEBO in Hayes Valley has made some big changes to their menu: there will now be 7-10 small cooked dishes, but not as casual as the Sunday izakaya dishes. New items include chawan mushi ($8), a savory steamed custard with scallop, fluke, and sea urchin; aji ichiyaboshi ($12), cured and grilled horse mackerel fillet; and nishin soba ($12), house-cured herring over soba soup noodles. Look for dishes to rotate every two weeks. With the addition of these dishes, there will be a 30% reduction of sushi on the menu.

The other piece of big news: after five years, Sebo is now going to take reservations through Urbanspoon’s Rezbook. A portion of the dining room will be reserved for walk-ins, and the sushi counter will always be for walk-ins only. Look for the reservations system to launch very soon; I’ll keep ya posted on Twitter.

"Izakaya Takeover of SF 2011" Continues with Ki in SoMa


SoMa’s “Zen Compound” (which houses Prana Restaurant and Temple nightclub) is going to be hosting a third business, KI. This eco-sensitive izakaya will feature dishes made with local ingredients and sustainable seafood. Owner Paul Hemming recruited environmentalist and author Casson Trenor to help concept and open Ki (Trenor’s name may be familiar to you through his other local and sustainable sushi project, Tataki).

Chef Brian Beach (AQUA, Waterfront, Infusion Lounge) is assembling a menu of kushiyaki and yakitori (pork belly, organic chicken, housemade tofu, and rabbit), and classic izakaya dishes, highlighting sustainable choices like sardines, local albacore tuna, and arctic char. Menu highlights ($6-$17) include kasuzuke, seasonal fish cured in sake lees and cooked on a cedar plank with pickled shimeji mushrooms; Kurobuta gyoza; and eryngii, mushroom tempura with fennel and Meyer lemon.

Beach will be working with sushi chef Isamu Kanai (Deep Sushi). Highlights on the sushi menu ($6-$18) include small plates like scallop carpaccio served on a chilled Himalayan salt plate with grilled cherry tomatoes, red shiso pesto, and baby mizuna; sustainable nigiri options; vegetable rolls; and house specialty rolls like Ki’s Real California Roll, which will change with the seasons. There will be 10 seats at the sushi bar.

Bevvie options include sake, Japanese craft beers (including Echigo Koshihikari malt rice beer, Orion Draft, and Coedo ‘Kyara’), and specialty cocktails. Hemming designed the 30-seat restaurant to be an “izakaya of the future,” with LED-lit shoji screens, and geisha and samurai art work from UK-based graffiti artist Hush and local San Francisco artist Micha LeBrun. Due to open Friday May 6th; hours will be lunch Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, dinner Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm. 540 Howard St. at 2nd St. 415-278-0495.

Chilepies Opening a Second Location in the Castro's No Name Sushi Spot


Chicken potpie with green chile sauce; Yelp photo from Keilin H.

There have been rumblings about what is going into the former No Name Sushi/Nippon Sushi spot in the Castro, and it’s going to be CHILEPIES (SWEET & SAVORY). The original chilepies is a sister business to Green Chile Kitchen, known for its pies (savory and sweet), and hello, pie milkshakes. This location will be selling savory items like the green chile chicken pot pie, vegetable pot pie, and the new carne asada red chile pot pie. The hoped-for opening date is mid-June. In the meantime, you can watch chilepies on the Cooking Channel show Unique Sweets on Sunday April 24th. 314 Church St. at 15th St.

More Tasty Asian Fare Coming to the Fillmore

The good news and the good news. First, an Asian specialty grocer is expected to move into the space across from Delfina Pizza on California Street that is currently occupied by George, the much adored local pet store. Designed by Jim Maxwell of Architects II (Dosa on Fillmore, Bin 38, Pisco Latin Lounge), DUMPLINGS & BUNS will not only sell all-natural, creative versions of its namesake items, but will feature Asian comfort fare provisions like dipping sauces, teas, dressings, condiments, snacks, mochi, etc. The owner behind the project is May Lee Iorfido; Dumplings & Buns is slated to open in mid- to late July. Second—in the good news department for Fillmore denizens—your pooch need not despair: George is moving just one block away to 2512 Sacramento, and will be open for business April 30th. 2411 California St. at Fillmore.

Radish Aiming to Open Thursday April 21st


Photo of the sunny interior by Blair Sneddon Photography.

After resolving some permit issues, it looks like RADISH should be opening this Thursday April 21st. As previously mentioned in tablehopper, the project is from owner Emily Summers and chef Adam Horndeck. Breakfast will feature dishes like eggs Benedict, a vegetable omelet, French toast, and donuts, while lunch brings nine different sandwich options, including a steak sandwich and numerous vegetarian options. Many items will be made in-house (breads, dressing), and they’re even roasting their own coffee; sourcing will be local and organic when possible. Hours will be 8am-10pm daily, and until 11pm on the weekend.

Radish            - 3465 19th St. San Francisco - 415-834-5441

Big Barbecue Joint Coming to the Mission

Looks like Scott Youkilis (Maverick, Hog & Rocks), Eric Rubin (Tres Agaves Liquor), and Dave Esler (Hog & Rocks) are going to be busy with a NEW (AND UNNAMED) BARBECUE RESTAURANT opening on 19th Street. Scoop reports it’s going into a former senior citizen center, and is going to have 100 seats, with a dining hall feeling. You’ll be able to order meat by the pound, but don’t look for just one regional style (meats and vegetables will be either grilled or smoked). There will also be a full bar. Look for a late winter opening. You can read more details in a Q&A with Scott Youkilis on Eater here. 3416 19th St. at Mission.

Nico's Tacos (Kind of) Open in North Beach

A North Beach tablehopper reader let me know NICO’S TACOS appeared to be open in the former North Beach Pizza space on Grant. This is not a classic taqueria—the offering is more international, taking inspiration from street food around the world, and the website mentions organic and homemade ingredients. A lone Yelp review mentions: “Not quite setup but they are selling three types of tacos—chicken, pork or steak. They have a table setup next to the window so you can order from the street—kind of cool…We ordered a steak to go—soft small flour tortilla slightly grilled. We asked for little slaw and lots of salsa and some hot sauce. It was rolled up w/ a bit of cilantro in foil like a large hand roll. Not bad but definitely fusion with an American twist.” Hours seem to be Tue-Sun 11:30am-10pm. 1310 Grant Ave. at Vallejo.

Burger News: Super Duper Expands, Maverick's Juicy Lucy, Umami Cometh


New Super Duper rendering courtesy of Zack | de Vito design firm.

Adriano Paganini (Beretta, Starbelly, Delarosa) and Edmondo Sarti (Starbelly) are preparing to open the doors to the second outpost of SUPER DUPER at 721 Market Street in a 3,000 square-foot space that was formerly home to Seller’s Market (current ETA is late May/early June). A third location of the fast food burger concept is also in the works in Mill Valley at 430 Miller Avenue, which is slated to open later this year.

To celebrate the one year anniversary of the original in the Castro, Mayor Ed Lee’s office will officially proclaim April 28th as Super Duper Day in the City of San Francisco. Super Duper will celebrate one year of success by giving away free burgers on Thursday April 28th from 2pm-3pm.

Starting next Tuesday April 26th, MAVERICK continues on its quest to give you a heart attack with the release of the Juicy Lucy. This terrifying creation involves two of their butter burger patties stuffed with smoked Gouda, topped with gribiche, watercress, and an egg on an Acme Bread bun. You can get it with fries and a glass of wine for $20. This is a continuation of Maverick’s special Tuesday-only engagement, 17 on 17th, which is first come, first served.

Oh, and an update on UMAMI BURGER: the current target date is late summer. Sadly, they still can’t reveal the exact Union Street location to me.

New Hours at a Few Spots Around Town


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

LOCAVORE is starting brunch this Saturday April 23rd, and will launch Sunday brunch three weeks later. Some items to look for are homemade duck and rabbit sausages, local oysters, and more. Hours will be 10am-2:30pm.

Starting Tuesday April 26th, JUHU BEACH CLUB will be open into the evenings, serving Tue-Fri 11:30am-8:30pm. Look for added menu items and more.

WAYFARE TAVERN is going to be open for Saturday lunch, starting on Saturday April 30th, at 11am.

A Few Polk Gulch Tidbits


Photo by Daniel Azarkman.

Looks like a few things are percolating in Polk Gulch, according to tablehopper intern Daniel Azarkman. He noted some activity on Bush Street: an awning with FINA ESTAMPA on it. Some of you will remember the Peruvian restaurant that used to be on Van Ness by that name. Well, it seems that it will be reopening (same name, same concept) in June. Will let you know when I hear back from the owner. 1407 Bush St. at Polk.

Over on Van Ness, PHILZ COFFEE acquired the adjacent space and turned it into a “Philz Lounge,” which is basically a bunch of tables, chairs, and power outlets. Now they have about three times the seating capacity, and enough room in the original space for a new build-your-own-bagel and oatmeal bar. Mon-Fri 6am-8:30pm, Sat-Sun 6:30am-8pm. 748 Van Ness Ave. at Turk, 415-292-7660.

This Wednesday is Guest Chef Sandwichpalooza at Pal's


Pal’s banh mi; photo by Blair Sneddon Photography.

Happy Birthday to PAL’S TAKEAWAY, which is turning two this Wednesday April 20th. Of course they are celebrating in style, with Guest Chef Sandwichpalooza! Here’s what the guest chefs have cooked up for you: Carlo Espinas from Comstock with his roasted pork belly and oyster sauce on Acme green onion slab; Sharon Ardiana from Ragazza and Gialina with her secret “crack” spice-rub chicken breast with Calabrian chile spread and sugar snap pea slaw; Ryan Ostler’s slow-smoked brisket on a Wise Sons Deli bialy with horseradish sour cream and pickled spring shallot; and for dessert, Kat Zacher’s peanut butter-strawberry jelly chocolate bars! Collect all four!

Pal's Takeaway            - 3066 24th St. San Francisco - 415-203-4911

Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants Celebrate EarthCare This Week


Photo from Kimpton.

This Thursday April 21st, Kimpton Hotels is kicking off its week-long EARTHCARE campaign. Get a ticket to attend the event at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, featuring tastes from Fifth Floor, Grand Café, Puccini & Pinetti, and Scala’s Bistro, plus participating partners Heirloom Organics, Riverdog Farm, Alba Organics, and more. Proceeds will go to the The Nature Conservancy, and The Trust for Public Land. Purchase tickets in advance for $20 by calling 415-395-8524; $25 at the door. 5:30pm-7:30pm. Sir Francis Drake Hotel, 450 Powell St. at Sutter.

Weekend Events Celebrating the Launch of Food Trucks (the Book)


Well that was fast: out this month from Ten Speed Press is Food Trucks: Dispatches and Recipes from the Best Kitchens on Wheels by Heather Shouse. Local trucks and vendors featured in the book include Curry Up Now, PizzaHacker, Tanguito, and Sexy Soup Cart.

This Saturday April 23rd, Shouse will be at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market selling her book at Book Passage from 11am-1pm, with food for sale from Roli Roti. Sunday April 24th is an informal book party in honor of the “underground” food trucks with food for sale from Crème Brûlée Cart, PizzaHacker, and Magic Curry Kart at the fabric8 gallery (3318 22nd St. at Valencia). 5pm-8pm.

Spring Cooking Class with Fab Irish Bakers


Want to tap into your Irish roots? Maybe you just want to know how to bake kick-ass scones. On Tuesday April 26th, La Cocina will be hosting a spring cooking class with Claire Keane of Clairesquares and Gemma Stafford of Rise and Dine Corporate Catering. These skilled Irish bakers will teach a hands-on class where you will learn how to make Irish soda bread, shortbread, brandy butter, and scones. Class will open with samples of fresh-baked soda bread, Kerrygold cheese and butter, and a complimentary Irish coffee. ‘Cause it wouldn’t be an Irish baking class without some booze. 6:30pm. $65; sign up here. Kerrygold of Ireland and La Cocina are generously co-sponsoring this event. 100% of the proceeds from this class will go to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in keeping with Clairesquares’ philanthropic company mission. 2948 Folsom St. at 25th St.

La Cocina            - 2948 Folsom St. San Francisco - 415-824-2729

Recap from the Spanish Pantry Tradeshow


Uncured Ibérico de Bellota pork from Ibérico Fresco. Photo by Daniel Azarkman.

A report by Daniel Azarkman, tablehopper intern: Soon enough there will be consolation for the fact that we don’t live in Spain, and most of it will come in cans, jars, or bottles. Last Thursday, San Francisco’s Bently Reserve hosted the SPANISH WINE CELLAR & PANTRY, a tradeshow for all things edible, importable, and Spanish. Most of the purveyors were there to find a retail distributor, which brings hope for their goods appearing on American shelves sometime soon. While it would have been impossible to try all the wines offered and still leave on two feet, I found the smaller food section a lot more navigable. Knee-weakening highlights included seared pieces of uncured Ibérico de Bellota pork, top-shelf canned seafood from the frigid waters of Galicia, and bread baked from a uniquely flavorful wheat grown around Seville. You can view photos of the event, along with many more details, here.

New Oakland Eats


The friends and family meal at Berlyn’s; photo by The Feast/Tamara Palmer.

According to a pre-opening event invite I received, BERLYN’S GOURMET EATERY will be opening on April 23rd in Oakland from owner Larry McClendon and chef Dontaye Ball (Good Foods Catering). Their goal is to “bring healthy, nutritious, fast food to Oakland … [with] this upscale delicatessen specializing in a combination of hot and cold sandwiches, salads, and soups. Plus specific recipes focusing on the Bay Area soul food cuisine.” Looks like The Feast headed over for the friends and family dinner, check out a slideshow of the vittles here. 132 International Blvd. at 1st Ave., Oakland, 510-798-7900.

Local food blogs were all popping with the news that XOLO, the new Oakland taqueria from Dona Savitsky and Thomas Schnetz (Doña Tomás, Flora) is now open, just across from the Fox Theater. Grub Street already checked it out, mentioning the Vampiro taco (al pastor, salsa ranchera, red onions, serrano chiles, and cilantro on a fried-cheese tortilla) and bacon-wrapped Danger Dogs with the works, plus birria on the weekends. There are also some burritos, averaging $8.75, ay, dios mío. Opening hours are Mon-Thu 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am. (Hmmm, and am wondering what the status is on the bar they were supposedly opening next door…) 1916 Telegraph Ave. at 19th St., 510-986-0151.

Another piece of Oakland news that got a lot of pickup: the retro KWIK WAY DRIVE-IN in Oakland has returned, Scoop reports. On the menu: usual suspects like burgers, fries, and milkshakes, plus a few pizzas, fried chicken, salads, and other sandwiches. 500 Lake Park Ave. at Rand, Oakland, 510-832-1300.


the sponsor

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

Have You Eaten Somewhere Great This Week? Deep Dish It!

Just yesterday, Deep Dishing was featured on 7Live. Do you know about this new forum about Bay Area restaurants and bars? What’s different is this community is based on positivity. It’s about what to order, not what to avoid. It’s about sharing what’s good, what rocks your socks off, and why you’d want to return somewhere—not why you want to run away. It’s also about sharing secrets, like what’s off the menu, or your favorite super-duper sandwich combo.

Before heading over to a new hotspot, like Cotogna or Prospect, or maybe a place that’s been on your list, like Out the Door on Bush, take a peek at Deep Dishing first to see what dishes the community recommends. You may even pick up a hot tip or two.

You can post (and drool over) pictures, vote and comment on dishes, share your own hot tips, and even ask questions in the Tip Please! forum—and help solve the dilemmas of your fellow diners. So check it out, create a profile, start voting and posting, and I hope you have fun dishing it up.

Attention restaurant and bar owners: is your business listed on Deep Dishing? Take a look and make sure your business information is complete, like your hours and offerings. You can even link to your Twitter feed! Feel free to upload any images, tips, and information to your page.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Wine Bar News (Yup, There's More Than One to Report On)


Press Club. Photo courtesy of Press Club.

A while back I mentioned PE YALE, a wine bar opening next door to Atelier Crenn on Fillmore. Sounds like it opened this past weekend. 3131 Fillmore St. at Pixley, 415-441-1461.

Over on Yerba Buena Lane, PRESS CLUB WINE BAR AND LOUNGE is now serving a broader menu, with beer on tap and by the bottle, in addition to an expanded wine and food menu. 20 Yerba Buena Ln. at Market, 415-744-5000.

Local Kitchen Gets a Full Liquor License; All Spice Gets Beer and Wine

LOCAL KITCHEN in SoMa scored a full liquor license and is now offering full bar service (drinks on the new cocktail menu are $10). Local will also be offering a new 10pm and onward late-night menu Tue-Sat (until close), with dishes from the wood-burning oven (pizza, macaroni and cheese, and chicken). Happy hour will continue from 4pm-6:30pm. 330 1st St. at Folsom, 415-777-4200.

And down in San Mateo, ALL SPICE now has their beer and wine license. Cheers to that. 1602 South El Camino Real at Borel, San Mateo, 650-627-4303.

the socialite

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

Dining Out for Life Is Thursday April 28th


 Event Info

Thursday Apr 28, 2011 Info

At least 93 Bay Area restaurants will participate in the annual DINING OUT FOR LIFE fundraiser, donating 25% of their food, or food and alcohol sales on Thursday April 28th toward HIV prevention and care in the Bay Area. So go ahead and order apps and dessert ‘cause it’s going to a worthy cause.

In San Francisco, participating restaurants include Andalu, Baker & Banker, Bushi-Tei, Chez Papa Resto, Destino, Dosa on Fillmore and Valencia, Farina, Firefly, Luce, Maverick, Mission Beach Cafe, Radius, Serpentine, ThirstyBear Brewing Company, Top of the Mark, and many more; and in the East Bay, places like À Côté, Disco Volante, Rick & Ann’s, and Venus are taking part too.

There’s also a raffle the night of the event, with prizes like a round trip ticket to anywhere in the continental U.S., a Napa vacation package, and gift certificates to Dining Out for Life restaurants. Raffle tix are available now online.

Since 1991, Dining Out for Life has grown to include 3,500 restaurants in 55 cities in the U.S. and Canada. The funds raised will go to programs that help curb HIV infection rates and support those who are HIV positive in our communities. In the Bay Area, the benefitting organizations are the STOP AIDS Project serving San Francisco, and in the East Bay, AIDS Project East Bay, CAL PEP, HEPPC/Casa Segura, Rainbow Community Center, WORLD, and Allen Temple AIDS Ministry.

Can't-Miss Events: SF Chefs Unite to Help Japan (and Others)


It’s not often you get to experience the workings of a great lineup of top San Francisco chefs in one meal like you will at SF CHEFS UNITE on Saturday May 7th and Sunday May 8th at Technique Restaurant (350 Rhode Island St. at 16th St.) at the California Culinary Academy, all to benefit the JCCCNC’s Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.

Each evening begins with a 6pm cocktail reception, and at 7pm, a six-course, Japanese-inspired meal with beer, sake, wine, and cocktail pairings, plus a silent auction for local goodies. Featured chefs include Chad Newton, FK Restaurants and Hospitality; Danny Bowien, Mission Chinese Food; Richie Nakano, Hapa Ramen; Michael Black, Sebo; Robbie Lewis, Bon Appétit Management Company; Jordan Grosser, Stag Dining Group; and Jake Godby, Humphry Slocombe. Cocktails, beer, and wine will be courtesy of Scott Baird and Josh Harris, the Bon Vivants; Jesse Friedman, Beer and Nosh; Erik Ellestad, Underhill Lounge; Alex Fox, Bar Tartine; and Alex Finberg, Farm Wine Imports and Beer & Soul Selections. (Follow updates on Twitter).

Tickets are $150, all-inclusive, and go to support a cause that continues to be urgent (the tremor we had yesterday is so very little compared to the aftershocks they’re experiencing in Japan). The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California’s Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund donates 100% of its proceeds to local nonprofit and community service organizations in Japan for citizen-to-citizen relief efforts.

No time for a formal meal? The Larkin Street location of WHAT’S UP DOG is offering a special “Hapa Dog,” from which $1 of every purchase also goes to the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. The dog comes topped with nori shavings, furikake, grilled onions, wasabi mayo, and a pineapple teriyaki sauce. 528 Larkin St. at Turk.

No time for a meal at all? You can still help the people of Japan at TRUE SAKE’s drive-through event this Saturday April 23rd. They’re calling it “Can” You Help? Day, and all you have to do is drive by True Sake between 1pm-6pm, and they will run out to your car! Donate over $10, and receive a can of sake. You can come into the store too, of course. 560 Hayes St. at Laguna.

Fantastic Lineup of Culinary Talent at Taste of Potrero Event


 Event Info

Thursday May 12, 2011 7pm–10pm general admission; 6pm–7pm VIP $50 general admission; $100 VIP Info                        Dogpatch Studios 991 Tennessee St. at 20th St., San Francisco

This isn’t going to be any ordinary bake sale: on Thursday May 12th the TASTE OF POTRERO gala debuts to raise funds for Daniel Webster Elementary School, and the PTA is planning quite the culinary shindig over at Dogpatch Studios.

The lineup of SF talent hails from restaurants in Potrero Hill and adjacent neighborhoods, including Dogpatch, SOMA, Noe Valley, and Mission/Media Gulch, and beyond. PTA fundraising chair and blogger Epicurean Zealot reports: “We’ve got the recently Beard-nominated Flour + Water and Bar Agricole. We’ve got neighborhood gems Contigo, Piccino, Skool, Grand Pu Bah, Serpentine and Slow Club. And…we’ve got the exciting stylings of Kitchenette, Tacolicious, and Hapa Ramen.” The event website shows that Heirloom Café is on board too.

As for wines and spirits, the Bon Vivants will be on hand, as well as Batiste Rhum Agricole, Greater Purpose Wines, Un Po’ Pazzo, and Potrero locals Vinos Unicos. So yes, expect some fine hand-crafted cocktails and beverages.

There’s the silent auction too, with unique and exotic products and services throughout the Bay Area. Epicurean Zealot blogs about the evening’s entertainment: “Jane Wiedlin from the GoGos, who is always up to support a good cause, is going to spin a DJ set. Some of the kids from Top Chef will be stopping by to shake hands and share some insights. There’s even an aerialist acrobat scheduled to perform.”

Tickets start at $50 apiece for 7pm general admission, but VIP tix ($100) will get you extra tastes and exclusive access from 6pm-7pm. Sounds like an evening of great food and drink, great fun, and great support for art, music, P.E., and other school programs threatened by budget cuts.

the sugar mama

Giveaways (get some)

(Sponsored): Win Premium Tickets to the Paso Robles 29th Annual Wine Festival!


Begin your romance with Paso Robles Wine Country during the 29th Annual Wine Festival (May 20th-22nd). Taste from more than 80 wineries on Saturday May 21st, 2011 from 2pm-6pm in the idyllic Paso Robles Downtown City Park. Food and wine come together during the Grand Tasting as the afternoon is complemented by chef demonstrations, an Artisan Alley, live music, and complimentary cheese, bread, and water stations featuring FIJI Water.

The weekend is complete with more than 140 wineries hosting individual events, including winemaker dinners, barrel tastings, winery and vineyard tours, and barbecues. Visit for more information and to purchase your tickets!

tablehopper is giving away one pair of premium admission tickets to the Saturday Grand Tasting. All you need to do is forward today’s tablehopper newsletter to one friend (but even more would be so very fabulous), then Cc: or Bcc: me at so I know you sent it—I promise I won’t use anyone’s email address. The deadline to enter is Sunday April 24th by 11:59pm. I will notify the winner early next week. Good luck!

In case you just want to get your tickets now, click here!

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Jeremy Irons Hits the FB

Jeremy Irons was spotted in the Ferry Building Marketplace “with a camera crew and being pointed in directions by them,” according to a tablehopper contact. Leah Garchik has more: “[he’s] with a British film crew making a worldwide documentary about recycling, for the BBC. San Francisco was chosen, said Robert Reed of Recology, because it has become known internationally for recycling, and, in particular, a compost program that collects food scraps at restaurants and compostables from all properties, then creates compost for 200 vineyards.”

A Couple Star Sightings at Brenda's

In town for some (unscheduled) appearances, comedian Dave Chapelle dined at Brenda’s French Soul Food on Sunday—he had the fried catfish Benedict. And Katherine Moennig (Shane from The L Word) had breakfast there on Monday.

E-40 Spotted Dining Just Off the I-80

Local rapper E-40 was spotted having lunch at Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto in Berkeley with an entourage last Thursday. He dined on sole Parmesan, spinach dip, and coconut shrimp—but no dessert.

Baseball Players on the Town

A couple ball players around town: a reader reports seeing Barry Bonds at Pluto’s in the Marina (no word if he asked for any “extras” on his salad), and LA Dodger Matt Kemp had lunch earlier last week at Puccini & Pinetti. From what the diners in the restaurant said, he was dining alone, had a bottle of sparkling water, and the restaurant’s chicken panino (he even opted for a green salad on the side instead of the French fries).

Teen Wolf Was Hungry for Some Meat

This one is a bit far afield for usual tablehopper coverage, but whatever: Michael J. Fox and his family had dinner at Mayfield Bakery & Cafe in Palo Alto on Saturday night. They enjoyed a selection of dishes, including the braised lamb shoulder.

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