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May 2, 2011 24 min read

May 3, 2011 - This week's tablehopper: put a fork in it.

May  3, 2011 - This week's tablehopper: put a fork in it.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: put a fork in it.                    

Interviewing chef Daniel Boulud at Pebble Beach Food & Wine (yes, in the back of a Lexus).

Wow, the past 48 hours have been intense—such massive, massive news. Suffice it to say, I have had trouble tearing my eyes away from the news reports and focusing on writing my column (and I can’t just blame these monstrous allergies that came out of nowhere to attack me and knock me down, blergh).

This past weekend at Pebble Beach Food & Wine was quite the culinary and cocktail and vino whirlwind—I can’t believe what epic spring weather we scored this year. I managed to hit the Grand Tasting Tent on Saturday, two fascinating wine tastings, the delicious Tom Colicchio Tribute Dinner, and a little after-party action. Here’s my slideshow on Flickr of the weekend, with a bunch of fun chef sightings.

My highlight of the entire weekend, however, was interviewing chef Daniel Boulud. He kindly hung out with me for half an hour, and to escape the noise of the tent, we held the interview in the back of a Lexus (the event sponsor) parked out front. (Hey, Lexus—you should make some cars into official interview pods next year, it was perfect!) I will post interview highlights in the next week—I had to get this column out first! Kudos to Coastal Luxury Management for yet another year jam-packed with talent and great tastes.

Since this past weekend knocked me out, and I’ve been feeling the call of a spring cleanse, starting on Cinco de Mayo, I’m going to be taking it easy for the next three weeks by going vegetarian and laying off the sauce. There are a few events where I will have to fall off the wagon, like the Swamp Cabbage fundraiser event where I’m going to be judging jerky, and hello, the Star Chefs event will certainly pose some sobriety/vegetarian challenges. But otherwise, I’m looking forward to some time to back away from the ever-decadent temptations in my life.

A few more events for your radar: please don’t forget the SF Chefs Unite dinners for Japan are this weekend, please take a look! And Sunday, we salute our delightful mothers—I have a lineup of some Mother’s Day places here in case you still haven’t figured out what you’re doing yet (you better get on that!).

Lastly, did you know next Thursday May 12th is Bike to Work Day? It’s a great way to get inspired to hop on a bike—and you’ll have lots of encouragement to do so. City streets have been better than ever to ride on lately, with many more changes underway, so I hope you’ll check it out!

Enjoy the sun, hop on your bike, and I’ll see ya in the vegetable aisle!

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

New Directions for Daniel Patterson and Lauren Kiino


Lauren Kiino (left) at Il Cane Rosso; photo from Facebook.

Just at the end of last week, Daniel Patterson and Lauren Kiino announced that they are dissolving their current business partnership. Lauren will be the sole owner of IL CANE ROSSO in the Ferry Building, and Daniel will be the sole owner of PLUM in Oakland. The release also mentioned Lauren is currently working on a new restaurant project in San Francisco. Grub Street notes Patterson will be redoing and renaming the Bracina project in Jack London Square, which reportedly has started construction, and it seems they are close to a chef hire. (There are a number of additional details about the developing concept and project, if you’d like to check ‘em out.)

Opening Next Week in the Castro: Criolla Kitchen

Last week I mentioned chef Randy Lewis was behind the business moving into the Bagdad Café space, and now he tells me it’s going to be called CRIOLLA KITCHEN. He said the cuisine is going to “trace the soul food journey, from Africa to Cuba, Puerto Rico, New Orleans…” He said he plans to open next week, starting with nightly dinner service. He then plans to add breakfast and lunch, and then 24-hour service on the weekends. I’ll have the menu for you and more next week. 2295 Market St. at 16th St.

Devil's Teeth Baking Company Now Open


The counter o’ treats at Devil’s Teeth Baking Company.

One of my “Outside Lands” dwellers tipped me off that DEVIL’S TEETH BAKING COMPANY is now open on Noriega at 46th Street. I had a chance to speak with owner Hilary Cherniss, who is finally open after a “looong ride.” On the menu: house-baked muffins, scones, cookies, cinnamon rolls, bread pudding, pie, and there’s a breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon, and cheddar on a biscuit; lunch brings soup, quiche, curried chicken salad, and lasagne. Oh, and let’s not overlook “beignet Sundays.” There is also Blue Bottle Coffee (no espresso, however).

It’s a very tiny space, with only a few seats inside, so don’t plan on being able to linger for hours with your friends, although there is a beautiful bar made of bay laurel (Cherniss is hoping to get approval for some seating outside). Oh, and about that name: as Ocean Beach Bulletin noted last winter, it’s “a nickname for the Farallones, the chain of islands west of Ocean Beach visible on clear days.” Opening hours are Wed-Mon 7am-2pm, closed Tuesdays; depending on the needs of the neighborhood, she may open for longer hours. 3876 Noriega St. at 46th St.

The reader also mentions there’s a new Mediterranean place that opened at 3848 Judah St. at 44th Ave., but details are sketchy at this time.

Coda Has Reopened as the Brick & Mortar Music Hall


Exterior photo by Daniel Azarkman.

A tablehoppin’ Missionite told me a partner in The Independent on Divisadero was reopening the shuttered Coda. After a little poking around, lo and behold, it’s Michael O’Connor, one of the founding owners and partners at The Independent, in addition to starting and owning The New Parish and Hibiscus in Oakland. The space has reopened as BRICK & MORTAR MUSIC HALL—and is already hosting some shows while operating under the Coda permits (the owner of Coda, Bruce Hansen, is remaining a partner in B&M).

O’Connor mentioned there will be a food component but that “isn’t totally inked in stone yet,” but he does share this: “I can say that it won’t be a supper club but more of a casual vibe with no reservations and no OpenTable. I’d like it to feel more like an Austin music/food spot, however without any delicious BBQ… I recruited Sarah Kirnon and designed and built the interior at Hibiscus to complement her food and I’m hoping to lock in another one of my favorite chefs to create a more casual version of what he already does.”

In the meantime, beginning this Friday May 6th at 5pm, caterer neighbor Crimson Kitchen will be serving “Bombay Bar Food.” Indian native Meghna Agarwal will be serving a variety of dishes (all under $9), like Kali Mirch Chicken ($7.50), black pepper and chicken; Ajwaini Bhindi ($6.50), fried okra with spices; and Chatpate Aloo ($6.50), fried and spiced potatoes. Look for these dishes and more every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5pm-12am until mid to late June (it’s a temporary thing). And you can check out the upcoming musical lineup here. 1710 Mission St. at Duboce.



The counter at Ox Café; photo by Daniel Azarkman.

There’s a new café open on South Van Ness called OX CAFÉ. Here’s a report from tablehopper intern Daniel Azarkman: “It’s a tiny corner space with three stools inside and one table on the sidewalk. They don’t have a hood so they have to bring in most of their hot foods, but it all looked and smelled pretty good. I gather the owners are from southern Mexico since they were especially proud of their cochinita pibil torta. They also have a ‘Mayan Mocha,’ which uses Mexican chocolate and a bit of chile powder. Coffee is from McLaughlin in Emeryville; the organic Peruvian blend they let me taste was really nice.” Hours are Mon-Fri 6:30am-6pm, Sat 8am-6pm, and Sun 8am-5pm. 798 South Van Ness Ave. at 19th St., 415-824-1838.

Scoop announces MAZA RESTAURANT (a restaurant from the Naan N Curry folks) has opened in the former Pasta Pomodoro space in North Beach. They are reportedly open for lunch and dinner, starting at 11:30am. 655 Union St. at Columbus, 415-399-9061.

As I mentioned earlier, SEBO was going to start taking reservations for tables (not at the counter) with Rezbook. The system is now live! Since it’s a web-only system, you can book through Urbanspoon until Sebo gets a chance to update their website.

And over in Potrero Hill, PLOW finally got their beer and wine license, so you can have some bubbles with your brunch. Next Friday May 13th, Plow is hosting Robert Perkins from Skylark for Ruby Wine’s annual rosé release party. You can taste four wines and appetizers from Plow for $10; no reservations, no sit-down dinner. 5pm-8pm.

Piccino Is Getting Close!


The new Yellow Building, home of Piccino, MAC, and DIG.

I headed over to Dogpatch a couple weeks ago to take a peek at the upcoming PICCINO, MAC, and DIG spaces in the “Yellow Building.” Things are definitely close: the restaurant will reopen on Wednesday May 11th, so expect a big update in tablehopper next Tuesday. Piccino is no longer serving food in their (now-former) location. The coffee bar has moved into its new spot, and is running limited hours this week (7am-12pm) due to staff training, and will have regular hours as of May 11th. You can take a peek at the cute new bar on their Facebook page here. 1001 Minnesota St. at 22nd St.

Piccino            - 1001 Minnesota St. San Francisco - 415-824-4224

Update on Bayview Projects Coming to 5800 Third Street


Exterior photo by Blair Sneddon Photography.

Erin Archuleta, tablehopper hardhat writer, shares this update with us: In mid-to-late August, the Bayview neighborhood will be throwing open its doors to the Carroll Station condo community at 5800 Third Street (off of the T-Line and Third Street). It will be welcoming in breakfast and lunch diners to the newest project from Tanya Holland—of Food Network and Cooking Channel fame—which will be a follow-up to her Oakland soul food favorite, Brown Sugar Kitchen.

The project also welcomes the Mission District’s Peruvian outpost, Limón, adding an additional Limón Rotisserie to complement their Valencia Street flagship restaurant and South Van Ness rotisserie locations with their now-famous chicken. (They plan to open at the same time as Brown Sugar Kitchen.
) And, fresh & easy will be a welcome newcomer for Bayview residents, who have long been without a proper grocery store. This will be one of two fresh & easy locations in the southern part of San Francisco, targeting newly developed areas in Silver Terrace/Visitacion Valley and Bayview.

Out in what locals affectionately refer to as “The Second Alphabet” section of Bayview, this triumvirate of businesses and the over-500 residential condos represent a huge burst of neighbors for the area. This tablehopper writer has been working in the ‘hood for a few years now, and knows our neighbors will be stoked to have lunch options in addition to the long-time stakeholders at B&J 1/4 Lb. Burgers and the random church guy with the BBQ drum at the laundromat. Check back with the hardhat for an inside peek at the construction to come over the summer.

Chef Change at Cavallo Point


The Dining Room at Murray Circle.

Executive chef Joseph Humphrey is leaving Cavallo Point’s MURRAY CIRCLE after three years in the Sausalito destination, as reported in Scoop. Filling his shoes is Justin Everett of Sonoma’s El Dorado Kitchen. Meanwhile, leave it to Jay Barmann at Grub Street to mix business and pleasure, getting word while at Pebble Beach Food & Wine that Humphrey is “planning to open his rumored S.F. restaurant in the vicinity of Union Street. But that was all he’d say at this point, until it’s firm.”

Open and Shut Cases

Uptown Almanac spotted some resurgence activity of BOMBAY BAZAR AND ICE CREAM—according to signs on Valencia Street, they are reopening at 245 South Van Ness Ave. at Erie.

Eater reports DARLA’S served its last burger in the Inner Sunset over the weekend. 822 Irving St. at 9th Ave.

Ponzu Closes This Month to Make Way for Jasper's Corner Tap

Following up on a tip I heard at Pebble Beach, PONZU, located adjacent to the Serrano Hotel, will close on May 29th, after 11 years in business. After closing for about six weeks, it will reopen as JASPER’S CORNER TAP, with chef Adam Carpenter serving tavern-inspired fare. They expect to open in mid-July. In the meantime, the restaurant will continue to operate under normal business hours, so you can still get your happy hour on. 401 Taylor St. at O’Farrell.

Special Meals: COI (Guest Chef Sean Brock), Masa's (Jamón Ibérico!), and Dux


COI dining room; photo from COI.

A few special meals around town for your radar: on Friday May 27th, chef Sean Brock of Husk in Charleston will be joining Daniel Patterson in the kitchen at COI for one evening only. 5:30pm-10pm. And on Saturday May 28th, he’ll be cooking with chef Charlie Parker at PLUM.

Over at MASA’S, ham fans will be able to get their jamón Ibérico groove on from May 4th-May 28th with a six-course tasting menu featuring Spain’s prized ham. Executive chef Gregory Short’s menu includes pan-seared rib-eye of Ibérico pork with Fuji apples, celery branch, smoked potato confit pork consommé and pastry chef Maggie Leung’s baked strawberry “Pop Tarts” with Ibérico ham ice cream. $105.

Remember the Dux Sunday night tasting menu I mentioned chef Eddie Lau was launching at The Summit SF? Well, starting this Sunday May 8th, it’s on. The inaugural menu will be available May 8th, May 15th, May 22nd, May 29th, and June 5th. You can read all about it and how to reserve your spot (there are limited seats) on Lau’s new Dux site, ‘cause he’s all organized and shit. I also posted some pics from the test meal here. $60.

Plum Opens for Brunch (and News About Plum Bar)


The interior of Plum, now Ume. Photo by Scott Kester.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, PLUM in Oakland is opening for weekend brunch starting this Saturday May 7th. Items on the menu include a buttermilk biscuit ($12) with peas, ricotta, egg, tarragon, morels; scramble of farm eggs ($12) with spring onion, puntarelle, Parmesan; and corned beef and pork belly hash ($12) with slow-cooked eggs, smoked onion, and favas. Oh, and you can get the late-night burger ($12) as well. (Whether you put an egg on it or not is up to you.) For the complete opening brunch menu, click here. Sat-Sun 10am-2pm.

Brunch will be especially rad when the neighboring Plum Bar opens up. Construction is starting in a few weeks, currently targeting August for the opening. There will be many unique design elements, including a dramatic chandelier, reclaimed wood, handblown glass, and plants behind glass at the end of the bar (bartenders will use the plants and botanicals for their drinks). Scott Beattie is the bar consultant, and Michael Lazar (the scientist/bartender for Left Coast Libations) will be the bar manager. Since owner Daniel Patterson has to secure two separate liquor licenses for Plum and Plum Bar, and the restaurant’s license will hit first, look for drinks starting in the beginning of July after 10pm. It will actually be a way to try out “preview cocktails” for the bar. Cheers. 2216 Broadway at 22nd St., Oakland.

Plum            - 2214 Broadway Oakland - 510-444-7586

Berkeley Updates: Origen, eVe, Books, and Goats!


Former Locanda Da Eva exterior; Yelp photo by Rich H.

The Diablo Magazine blog brings word that “Daniel Clayton and Trace Leighton of Nibblers Eatery and Wine Bar in Pleasant Hill are venturing west, bringing their farm-based local, sustainable fare to where it all started. The two co-owners are expanding to Berkeley, taking over the former Locanda da Eva space at 2826 Telegraph Avenue.” The new restaurant will be ORIGEN: A FARM TO FORK RESTAURANT (origen is a Catalan word that means “from the source”), and they are hoping for a late-summer opening. No word if they plan to keep Nibblers open as well.

Meanwhile, EVE in downtown Berkeley has opened their outdoor patio for the summer, now operating it as a casual outdoor lounge. Starting this Thursday May 5th, the patio will be open Thu-Sat 3pm-10pm, with an outdoor beer and wine bar, plus a small menu (oysters on the half shell, house-cured meats, and the like).

Thought you would like to know that MOE’S BOOKSTORE in Berkeley is offering the first 100 in-store customers who purchase $35 or more worth of cookbooks (new, used, or collectible) during the month of May a complimentary goodie bag containing gift cards, certificates, and coupons redeemable for free food or discounts at 15 popular East Bay restaurants and specialty food purveyors. Participating businesses include Café Fanny, Chocolatier Blue, Cioccolato Di Vino, Gather, Italian Colors Ristorante, Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill, Maoz, Ozumo, Pasta Bene, Revival Bar & Restaurant, San Francisco Soup Company, Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto, The Sunny Side Café (two locations), and Venus Restaurant. 2476 Telegraph Ave. at Dwight, 510-849-9938.

Lastly, this Saturday May 7th, Rockridge Market Hall is hosting an all-day event, Go for the Goat! There will be tastings and product samples of cheese, ice cream, caramels, chocolate, milk, butter, ravioli, goat kebabs, and more at The Pasta Shop, Market Hall Bakery, Market Hall Produce, and Marin Sun Farms. There will also be a milking and petting pen from 12pm-5:30pm in the parking lot with Nigerian dwarf goats from Oakland’s Havenscourt Homestead—but don’t let the kids put two and two together when Marin Sun Farms butcher Chuck Traugott does his goat butchery demo at 2pm. There’s also a panel discussion at 4pm with Sibella Kraus of SAGE, “Why Consuming Goat Products Is a Good, Responsible Choice,” with panelists Lynn Huntsinger, UC Berkeley’s Rangeland Ecology Program; Bob McCall, Cypress Grove Chevre; and Nate Chisholm, Marin Sun Farms. Reservations required for the panel discussion; please RSVP here. 5655 College Ave. at Keith, Oakland.

A New Wine Bar for Rockridge: Toast Wine Lounge


Photo from Toast Wine Lounge (Facebook).

Of course the one Monday I don’t check a business’s Facebook page that I have been tracking for months, and they open. D’oh! Last week, TOAST WINE LOUNGE opened in Rockridge, on the corner of College and Chabot. Owners Heather Sittig and Kristen Policy (both Berkeley residents) have hired Peter Jackson to run the kitchen; his menu includes some Spanish-inspired dishes, like coca (flatbreads) and escabeche. Other selections include burrata with fennel pollen and olive relish; and hot dishes like spicy lamb meatballs and pan-roasted sturgeon. There are also a few kid-friendly dishes, including mac and cheese. The wine list is focused on small-production wines. There are 35 seats indoors (check out those good-looking Eames dowel-leg chairs) and 20 seats on the patio; hours are Tue-Thu 3pm-10:30pm and Fri-Sun 11am-10:30pm. 5900 College Ave. at Chabot, Oakland, 510-658-5900.

News About Two Italian Places in the Peninsula

DIVINO in Belmont has kicked off weekend brunch, available Sat-Sun 10am-2pm. The menu includes brunch items ($10.50-$12.95) like omelets, pancakes, a fritatta, French toast, and two eggs any style with New York steak ($18), potatoes, and toast. There are also some savory choices, like a meatball panino ($11) on onion focaccia. 968 Ralston Ave. at 6th Ave, Belmont, 650-620-9102.

And in San Carlos, the other Locanda is now open, LOCANDA POSITANO. Time to get your Neapolitan pizza on, 650 peeps. Open Tue-Sun 11:30am-10pm. 617 Laurel St. at San Carlos Ave., San Carlos, 650-591-5700.

Veggie Fiesta at Mission High School May 14th


Local nonprofit Nextcourse and Off the Grid, along with Bi-Rite, are putting on the second annual VEGGIE FIESTA on Saturday May 14th at Mission High School. Come by from 11am-3pm for a family-friendly event featuring vegetable-inspired items from some of the city’s fave food trucks. The signature dishes will showcase the best of the Bay Area’s spring produce. A portion of the food truck sales will be donated to the nutrition education program at Mission High.

Drinks from HonesTea will be available for sale, as well as a special treat that Mission High School’s Culinary Leadership Team developed as part of their nutrition education program, with all proceeds going towards the nutrition program. Plus, there will be games and a raffle for prizes, including a butchering class from 4505 Meats, ACT theater tickets, a three-day “romance package” in New Orleans, and two round-trip Virgin America airline tickets to anywhere in the United States.

Nextcourse, a San Francisco nonprofit that teaches sustainable food education and cooking to lower income groups, has been teaching nutrition and cooking classes at Mission High for the past five years.

Don't Miss This One: Swamp Cabbage Wild Game & Foraged Feast Fundraiser


I get invited to a fair number of events, but this is definitely one of a kind. Coming up on Saturday May 21st is the SWAMP CABBAGE WILD GAME & FORAGED FEAST FUNDRAISER, a fundraiser for the post-production of Swamp Cabbage (a documentary by Hayley Downs and Julie Kahn), and hosted by Savory Thymes.

The menu is looking straight-up wild (no joke): with chicharrones by Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats; Mendocino wild boar prosciutto, harvested by Hayley Downs and Farmer John, and cured by Morgan Maki; spring fry by Davey Jones Deli; Dungeness crab crack, provided by Monterey Fish Market, and prepared by Kayne Raymond and Joel Raass; wild-caught raccoon stew, provided by Joe Debine, and prepared by James Goldman and James Stolich; Rocky Mountain elk chili, hunted by Jeff Heath, and prepared by Nate Dorris; wild boar sausage and Bellwether crescenza beehive oven flatbread and spring onion and mozzarella beehive oven flatbread, harvested by Hayley Downs and Farmer John; sausages by Morgan Maki, prepared by Ali Ghiorse, Kayne Raymond, and Joel Raass; wild mushroom soup, prepared by Ali Ghiorse; wild nettle surprise, prepared by Andrew Pimlott and Susan Kim; Tierra beans and bloody butcher corn bread, grown by Tierra Vegetables, and prepared by Ali Ghiorse; plus a whole slew of desserts. Plus beer and wine and other fine beverages (click the event for the full lineup).

I’m going to be a judge in the JERK OFF JERKY TASTING (with Helge Hellberg), and there’s also going to be a PICKLE PARTY SMACK DOWN (with Sandor Katz), and music by Chicken Paw, Middle Maki, and DJ Matt Weeder. As the announcement states, “Surly children and vegetarians welcome!” Tickets are limited, and range from $75-$500 (remember, it’s a fundraiser, so do what you can); click here for yours. 6pm-9pm at Hillside Gardens in Mill Valley.

               Saturday May 21, 2011 6pm–9pm $75 and up more info

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Bar News, Beer News, Bartender News!


Interior photo of Koko Cocktails from Facebook.

A while back, tablehopper intern Daniel Azarkman alerted me to the unfortunate and impending displacement of KOKO COCKTAILS from its current location into another spot in the neighborhood. Things have been up in the air with timing, so I was waiting to report on it. But now The Tenderblog brings word that Koko’s plans to move into a nearby location may be foiled due to some opposition in the neighborhood. If you want to support this cool neighborhood bar, please consider attending a hearing this Thursday May 5th. You can read all the details here.

Meanwhile, over in the Castro, I’ve been phone tagging with partner Mike Goebel to hear the news of what the former Bar on Church/Transfer was morphing into. Looks like Eater was able to dial in a connection, and reports the bar will be called CHURCHILL (as in Winston). Partners Mike Goebel, Anthony Healy-London, and Darin Brunson also own Bloodhound and Double Dutch, and will be putting in a jukebox, pool table, a lounge area with couches, and they added some windows to let in more light. Designer Lauren Geremia (who also did Bloodhound) is giving the place the reclaimed wood treatment, with blown-glass chandeliers and custom lighting. There will be 10 beers on tap, and good cocktails. The opening is reportedly in a couple weeks. 198 Church St. at 14th St. Update: one of the owners provided some additional details. He added that Dylan O’Brien (Bloodhound) is also a member of the partnership. Some additional furnishings and features will include a custom-made backbar constructed of steel frames with wood shelving, a bartop built by Danish master craftsman Soren Hansen of hand-picked walnut and ebony, coffee tables made of old wood explosive boxes from WWII, and couches made from old sail cloths. Yup, there’s a vintage military theme going on with all the salvaged materials. The cocktail program will be simple and unique, similiar to Bloodhounds, with  rotating specialty cocktails, and they will carry as many locally produced spirits and beers as possible.

Over in SoMa, the LiveSOMA blog reports the CITY BEER STORE is expanding into a next-door space, providing more room for their bottleshop and tasting bar. 1168 Folsom St. at 8th St., 415-503-1033.

Last week, my Bernal connection mentioned in an email to me that “EL AMIGO (that little bar in front of Emmy’s [Spaghetti Shack]) will turn into a fancy tequila bar.” Sure enough, Bernalwood confirms the rumor, reporting “the family that runs El Amigos is transforming the joint into a ‘more upscale’ tequila bar.” Before you start bemoaning gentrification, Bernalwood adds this: “I was made to understand that ‘more upscale’ will likely be relative; rather than being upscale upscale, the tequila bar will simply be more upscale than the old El Amigos — which isn’t really so hard to do, so we’ll have to just wait and see.” A commenter on the blog chimes in with a tidbit that a bartender at The Royal Cuckoo is taking it over. Oooh, the plot thickens. 3355 Mission St. at Virginia.

Lastly, in the Mission, bartender Steve Schneider of New York’s Employees Only is guest bartending tonight at BERETTA, and at DELAROSA on Wednesday May 4th. 5:30pm-1am, both nights.

Closures: The Eagle and The Ace Cafe

Sad: THE EAGLE TAVERN did in fact close over the weekend. Time will tell what will happen next in the space. It will be missed by many… 398 12th St. at Harrison.

I received an email from a reader saying THE ACE CAFE was closing, and according to a tweet, they are in fact closed and are currently looking for a new location. 1799 Mission St. at 14th St.

Derby-Inspired Bourbon Cocktails (and More) at Quince This Week


A Mint Julep, The Derby, and the Million Dollar Filly; photo by Eric Wolfinger.

It’s Kentucky Derby time, and QUINCE is getting into the swing of things with a week-long Derby-themed series of cocktails and snacks from May 2nd-May 7th. We’re talking more than Mint Juleps, dearie. Lead bartender Jason “Buffalo” LoGrasso is mixing up classic bourbon and rye cocktails, with each focusing on a different bourbon or rye representing the six major distilleries in Kentucky. There will also be select bourbon and rye flights (all from Kentucky), and a special menu of bar bites (crispy oysters, deviled eggs, and steak tartare). You can even play along with a “betting” form, and if you pick the right pony, winning “wagers” will earn perks at Quince. 5pm-10pm in the Quince bar and lounge.

Quince            - 470 Pacific Ave. San Francisco - 415-775-8500

Victorian-Era Party with the 15 Romolo Gang and Carpano Antica


Image from the event invite.

On Thursday May 19th, the 15 Romolo crew is hosting the CARPANO ANTICA MYSTERY MANSION COCKTAIL AFFAIR at the historic Westerfeld House on Fulton and Scott in the Alamo Square Historic District. The Affair kicks off at 6pm with 15 Romolo’s award-winning Dixon (City) Cider and passed canapes. There will be music by the Sour Mash Hug Band, antique cocktails, a vermouth and amaro “experience,” a “Wheel-O-Schwagg,” and the Craft Your Own Manhattan Project. Victorian-era attire is not only encouraged, but will be rewarded with specials gifts, so do it up. The owner of the mansion will also offer guided tours. $20, get your ticket here. 1198 Fulton St. at Scott.

               Thursday May 19, 2011 6pm–10pm $20 more info

the socialite

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

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations Around Town


Photo from TRES.

Sure, there will be no shortage of Cinco de Mayo fiestas around town this Thursday, but here are a few to take note of:

DON PISTO’S will be open from 11am-midnight for lunch and dinner.

At ORSON, they’re starting with drinks at 5pm, accompanied by some special Mexican bar snacks from chef Elizabeth Falkner. Here are the drink specials ($5-$10) they have lined up with Tequila Revolucion: “Agave Paradisi” with Tequila Revolucion Silver, Aperol, agave, grapefruit, lime, egg white, bitters; “Diabolico” with Tequila Revolucion 100-proof, crème de cassis, lime, jalapeño, ginger beer; “El Camino Real” with Tequila Revolucion Añejo, Campari, Bénédictine, orange bitters; and “Ancho Villa” with Tequila Revolucion Reposado, espresso, ancho chile-chocolate syrup, fortified cream, cayenne.

PISCO and DESTINO are celebrating two occasions, Cinco de Mayo and Destino’s 11th anniversary, with special tapas and $5 drink specials all night, plus live DJs from [In]Response and JR Xol. And there’s no cover!

Both MIJITA restaurants are serving $5 margaritas all day, and Mijita at AT&T Park will also be featuring a “taco happy hour” with select half-price tacos from 2pm-4pm. After this Mijita closes for the night, the $5 margaritas will become available in Public House for the rest of the evening so you can watch sports while enjoying a margarita.

TRES (fka Tres Agaves) is throwing a party so big, they’re closing down the alley next door. The fiesta starts at noon with mariachis, folklórico dancers, and live wresting matches featuring luchadores from Fog City Wrestlers and No Name of LIVE 105 ‘til 2pm. There will be five extra bars where you can order $5 TRES margaritas, $4 Dos Equis and Tecates, and $2 tacos during the mid-day happy hour. Starting at 6pm, three DJs—Juanita More, DJ Jorge Torres, and DJ Happy—will hit the boards ‘til last call at 1:45am. While you’re there, check out the expanded tequila list arranged and organized around terroir and flavor profiles, and the cocktails, such as a Tequila Negroni featuring Siete Leguas Blanco, or a Mexico City (a riff on the Manhattan).

And for an event for a good cause, don’t forget the La Cocina/CUESA event mentioned last week, Hecho en San Francisco.

CUESA's 11th Annual Spring Breakfast Is May 14th


2010 Spring Breakfast; photo from CUESA.

Event Info

Saturday May 14, 2011 8:30am, 10am, and 11:30am $40 for adults, $15 for children Info/tickets                        Ferry Building CUESA's teaching kitchen

Once again, the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) invites the community to gather on Saturday May 14th  for their annual SPRING BREAKFAST fundraiser, where guests will enjoy market-fresh food and drink as well as the company of a farmer or food artisan at every table.

Facebook’s ‘culinary overlord’ Josef Desimone and executive chefs Tony Castellucci and Dean Spinks  will create the morning’s repast using ingredients from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Start the day right with the Bloody Mary and virgin Bloody Mary bar, which will feature FAIR. vodka, a fair-trade certified spirit. Then feast on the menu of farm-fresh scrambled eggs with spinach, mushroom, chive; herb-roasted potatoes; pork-maple sausages; blueberry pancakes with maple syrup, whipped honey-pecan butter, whipped butter; fresh blackberries, strawberries, cherries, raspberries with crème fraîche, yogurt, and honey; bacon, spring onion, and fromage blanc quiche; market salad with micro herbs, chive blossoms, fresh peas, and blackberry vanilla or wholegrain mustard olive oil vinaigrette; assorted breakfast pastries; Philz coffee; and apple and orange juice.

Tickets are $40 for adults, $15 for children 3-13, free for children under 3, with three seatings at 8:30am, 10am, and 11:30am in CUESA’s teaching kitchen on the north side of the Ferry Building. Ticket sales benefit CUESA’s educational programs, like weekly chef demonstrations, panel discussions, and farm tours. CUESA is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through its educational programs, and the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

the sugar mama

Giveaways (get some)

(Sponsored): Escape the "Summer" in San Francisco with a Three-Night Stay at Hotel Renew in Waikiki!


Escape the “summer” in San Francisco with a fantastic three-night getaway to the always warm and sunny beaches of Waikiki. All you need to do is sign up for the quarterly Hotel Renew e-newsletter by 5pm PST on Monday May 9th to become eligible to win a three-night stay at the property. One winner will score a city-view king room (with a complimentary upgrade, based on availability).

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Hotel Renew offers a complimentary continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, an on-site surf school run by Gone Surfing Hawaii (which provides private rentals and board lessons), and much more. Learn more at

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Parkin' it in Hayes Valley


Awww, Parker Posey (presumably in town for the filming of Hemingway & Gellhorn) was spotted on the Arlequin Cafe patio on Saturday afternoon. Bonus points to the tablehopper reader for the stealth photo.

And the "C" Is for Crab Legs. And Clams.

John C. Reilly was spotted Saturday afternoon having lunch at the Petit Café (within downtown’s Grand Café). He was with a “lady friend” and had the French onion soup and petit plateau (which includes oysters, crab legs, clams, and prawns).

Josh Lucas Taking in the Sights and Sounds...

Looks like actor Josh Lucas was spotted on the town again: he dined at Venticello, and then headed out to the Boom Boom Room for a little music to end his evening. As my spotter said, “He is even sexier than you would think in real life along with his drop dead smile, considering he is almost 40…” Okay, so let’s not put him out to pasture just yet.

KISS, Kiss

Over at Waterbar, Tommy Thayer, guitarist for KISS (and fulfilling the “Spaceman” makeup position) came in for a meal on Saturday night. Partner Pete Sittnick says, “I stopped by the table to tell him, ‘I saw KISS live before you were even out of high school. As a matter of fact, neither was I.’” Good one, Pete.

Take a Walk on the Wild (Salmon) Side

Lou Reed came into Sushi Ran in Sausalito for a meal. And just last night, chef Casey Thompson from Top Chef came in as well.

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