Helllllo, amazing party! (The Juanita MORE! pool party on Sunday at the Phoenix Hotel and Chambers.)
Woooowheeeee. San Francisco knows how to throw one hell of a Pride weekend—and the fantastic news from New York on Friday evening only sprayed more glitter and gas on the fire. It was a weekend of spontaneous reunions with friends everywhere I went, from Dolores Park to the streets of the Mission to the epic Juanita MORE! pool party at the Phoenix and Chambers on Sunday. I can say with some confidence that I laughed more than I slept this past weekend. Ha ha! So if you’re wondering why today’s issue appears to be a bit more petite than usual, well, there’s your answer. The ‘hopper is tired and pulled over with her hazards on. Am contemplating an espresso IV drip.
As promised, here’s a link to my New York photo album on Flickr to accompany last Friday’s jetsetter piece. Finally had a chance to upload the pics with all the captions (such a tedious task—why can’t my computer just remember what I ate?).
And hey, thanks everyone who voted for tablehopper for the San Francisco magazine Best of the Bay Area 2011 Readers’ Poll! Guess who won for Best Email Action? (And can I just say I love how dirty that sounds?) So I hope this means I’ll see you at the Best of the Bay Party on Thursday. You have your ticket, right? Right.
Now excuse me while I go stomp in some puddles! Argh! I know you’re with me on that sentiment.
Over on Mint Plaza, THERMIDOR has decided to make some adjustments to their format. Owners Bruce Binn and Neil Jorgensen are going to be emphasizing their nice lineup of cocktails and moving toward being an easygoing place to enjoy cocktails, graze on some great food, and relax. The new menu launches this Thursday June 30th, and is geared toward snacks you’d want to eat and share while drinking, like little burgers, chips and caviar, and their delicious “little Caesar” (all $6), along with a bigger burger and a lobster roll (both $12), and flatbread pizzas ($11-$12). There’s also a raw bar, with oysters and a spicy ahi tuna dish; check out a copy of the sample menu here.
As for the cocktails, there’s an extensive selection of $7 cocktails on the list, like a Paloma and Sazerac, while you can upgrade to some handcrafted drinks for $9-$11. You can look at the cocktail menu here.
For those who still want a sit-down experience, you’ll be able to enjoy a three-course prix-fixe dinner in the circular room for $35 (the menu will be posted online every day). They will also continue to offer their street food-style lunch—follow on Twitter for updates.
Thermidor - 8 Mint Plaza San Francisco - 415-896-6500
Over in North Beach, Eater has been tracking (and Inside Scoop chimes in with some details) the opening of LE BORDEAUX, just next door to Don Pisto’s. Owner Sylvain Castet hails from Bordeaux, and will be offering a variety of classic hors d’oeuvres like charcuterie and duck terrine, a “Beef and Duck Menu,” and a Bourgogne fondue (hint: it’s beefy). There will also be a prix-fixe lunch ($29 or $39), and brunch on the weekend ($29). Since there is no liquor license, diners can BYOB it. There are 56 seats in the two rooms, along with a fireplace (perfect for July in San Francisco). Open Tue-Sun 11am-3pm, 5pm-11pm. 524 Union St. at Grant, 415-529-1674.
In Laurel Village, SWANK COCKTAIL CLUB just launched its partnership with Blue Bottle Coffee last week. It’s now Swank “Cocktail and Coffee Club”, open seven mornings a week, starting at 6:30am. The staff has gone through intensive Blue Bottle training, and you’ll be able to enjoy some pastries by Pinkie’s Bakery with your macchiato. Would be a fun spot for a morning meeting, methinks. 488 Presidio Ave. at California, 415-346-7431.
And FYI, COI is closed for a summer break (and kitchen upgrade) through July 5th.
Chefs Sarah and Evan Rich will be doing a pop-up dinner at RADIUS in SoMa on Monday July 11th. (Sarah was a sous chef at MICHAEL MINA, and Evan was most recently chef de cuisine for Daniel Patterson at Coi, and executive sous chef for Michael Tusk at Quince before that.) It’s going to be a four-course dinner, priced at $60 (wines will be offered for extra). The (tentative) menu is as follows: tomato, mozzarella, strawberry, and red mustard greens; tagliolini with summer squash, Parmesan, and shiso; chicken with farro, pickled cherries, and peas; and for dessert, peach, blackberry, and nasturtium namelaka. Make reservations (available from 6:30pm-8:30pm) by emailing, and the team will confirm.
Last month I mentioned the opening of SOUS BEURRE KITCHEN in Sugarlump café. Well, chef Michael Mauschbaugh has started serving dinner. The affordable menu is now posted, with dishes like a “cassolette” of confit chicken, juniper berry sausage, fennel, and braised cannellini beans ($14). You can follow Sous Beurre Kitchen on Twitter for updates. Mon-Sat 5pm-10pm. 2862 24th St. at Bryant.
Over at NOMBE, The Bold Italic is hosting a “Backstory Dinner” in their A Moveable Feast series on Tuesday July 19th. You’ll meet owners Gil and Mari, get a brief intro to izakaya dining, and get to try their new kaiseki (multi-course) menu paired with sakes. 7pm. $60 (does not include gratuity), and tickets are non-refundable.
Cow Hollow party people: this Saturday July 2nd, the owners of UNWIND ON UNION will be celebrating their one-year anniversary with a DJ on their back greenhouse patio, plus drink and food specials, and more. 12pm-6pm. 1875 Union St. at Octavia, 415-931-3436.
And on Sunday July 3rd, COFFEE BAR is hosting The SF BBQ Rib Throwdown, with barbecue from Good Foods Catering, Cathead’s BBQ, The Jetset Chef, and Gator’s Back Porch BBQ. One $20 entry ticket gets you four tokens good for four portions of barbecue side ribs, a signature side dish from each vendor, and a cup of Lagunitas beer (or house wine). One token for voting goes to your favorite vendor. 4pm-7:30pm. Corner of Florida and Mariposa.
I don’t know how far out you book your calendar, but you should know BAKER & BANKER is hosting a fun lineup of guest chefs in the coming months. On Wednesday July 20th, Jake Godby from Humphry Slocombe will be doing a special dinner menu. No, it won’t be a series of ice cream sundaes, although that would be rad—Jake was trained as a chef. It will be a multi-course tasting menu of gougère pretzel with mustard; Parmesan dumplings with corn, pea shoots, sweet 100 tomatoes; romesco soup with spot prawns, hazelnuts, olive oil sabayon; chicken fried sweetbreads, upside-down cornbread with buttermilk dressing; summer inspired sorbets; and honey wort pie with peaches and yogurt sherbert.
Chef Thomas McNaughton from Flour + Water will be cooking on August 24th, and Ryan Farr from 4505 Meats will be stopping in on September 14th. $75 per person. To make a reservation, call the restaurant directly at 415-351-2500.
Baker & Banker - 1701 Octavia St., San Francisco - 415-351-2500
A couple quick updates: LUCE at the InterContinental San Francisco has announced Daniel Corey is the new chef de cuisine (he was the executive sous chef, working under chef Dominique Crenn during her tenure); his new menu will be in place in mid-July.
Over at Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito, MURRAY CIRCLE’s new executive chef is Justin Everett (he is replacing Joseph Humphrey, who is departing to open his own restaurant). Everett’s background includes El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma and Auberge du Soleil. The restaurant is introducing a more casual service style, with new à la carte menu selections; new bar, brunch, and lunch menus will be rolling out in early July.
If you love movies and wine, you’re in luck ‘cause every Tuesday through September 6th, the TOP OF THE MARK is hosting a free wine tasting from 5:30pm-7:30pm, followed by a free screening of a film shot in San Francisco. It’s all part of Top of the Mark’s Summer Movie Series, and yup, that was the f-word there: free! (Seating is based on a first-come, first-served basis though.)
Playing tonight is Bullitt (1968), accompanied by a tasting of Chandon Brut and Domaine Chandon Rosé. We’re talking the ever-smokin’ Steve McQueen, so you might consider upping the ante with the Gold Star Package ($45 per person), which will get you stage seating, two rounds of martinis, a trio of appetizer sliders, and chips with guac.
Next up on the schedule is Dirty Harry (1971) on Tuesday July 5th, followed by D.O.A. (1950) on July 12th, and Innerspace (1987) on July 19th, all accompanied by Domaine Chandon wines. The wine tastings will switch to MacMurray Ranch and Ecco Domani starting July 26th, and to Brancott and Ravenswood on August 23rd. Here’s a copy of the full schedule for the summer.
Each film was chosen because it was shot at, from, or around the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel, so you’ll get to see a lot of classic SF movie scenes, not to mention the fab view from the Top. Updates to the movie and wine lineup will be here. 1 Nob Hill at Mason, 415-616-6916.
Tuesday Jun 21, 2011 – Tuesday Sep 6, 2011 5:30pm–11pm more info
Quick update for you on what’s happening in Oakland: via Grub Street, I learned there’s an Off the Grid-like gathering of food trucks happening on Friday evenings called BITES ON BROADWAY. It’s held at Oakland Tech High School, with vendors like Fist of Flour Pizza Company, Vesta Flatbread, 51st State, El TacoBike, and more. Follow on Facebook and Twitter for updates. 5:30pm-8:30pm, through October 21st. Broadway and 45th St., Oakland.
Via Grub Street and What the Fork, the former Farmers’ Market Bistro space in Old Oakland is now 1015 CLAY—and it will be morphing into another name later this year (perhaps in August). For now, chef-owner Jesse Branstetter (previously at Chop Bar) is open for limited hours, serving coffee and a couple breakfast items in the mornings (Mon-Fri 7am-11am), and tasty-sounding take-out sandwiches for lunch (until 3pm), like a crunchy chicken club ($8) with buttermilk fried chicken, applewood-smoked bacon, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and sourdough. Also seems like they’re open for happy hour on Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm-8pm, serving $5 wine, $4 beers (like Linden Street and Drake’s Brewing Co.), $6 specialty cocktails, and $5 bites. Check out their website for updates on the menu and hours. 1015 Clay St. at 11th St., Oakland, 510-238-8780.
Lastly, Grub Street and Inside Scoop shed some light on Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen’s latest project, B-SIDE BBQ, which will be opening in the Yardie Jerk space on San Pablo. She’ll be doing a few different kinds of barbecue, ranging from Memphis to Texas, with some of her own flair as well. She’s aiming for an August opening, starting with lunch takeout only. 3301 San Pablo Ave. at 34th St., Oakland.
As much as you might want to, you just can’t eat out that much, so here are two CSAs offering some fab-sounding proteins to inspire your home-cooked meals: sign up with SIREN SEASA for six weeks of high-quality, local, sustainable seafood, or pickup a Whole Hog cooler from 4505 MEATS this weekend for some seriously porky nose-to-tail eating. Whether you go with surf or turf, you’re bound to eat well.
Founded by Anna Larsen with help from Bruce Cole, Siren SeaSA is the first seafood CSA in the Bay Area. Signing up means extremely fresh seafood for you, and it means encouraging local fishermen to take up sustainable methods like hook-and-line fishing. For six Saturdays from July 16th through August 20th, members will pick-up a portion of seafood with enough for four people in Petaluma 8am-10am or San Francisco 11am-2pm (locations TBA). Weather permitting, the schedule includes wild king salmon from Bodega Bay and Fort Bragg, halibut from Bodega Bay, whole market squid from Monterey, wild-caught Pacific sardines, Miyagi oysters from Tomales Bay, and black cod. With this first round limited to 100 subscribers, you might wanna act fast. $255 for six weeks.
4505 Meats is offering a second round of their Whole Hog CSA in time for your Fourth of July BBQ. They’re using 300-lb. Berkshire/Tamoworth pigs from Rancho Chupinos farm in the Santa Cruz area to make a variety of items, many of which are already prepped and/or cooked to make it that much easier for ya, like brined and smoked pork chop, peppery braised pork belly, white wine and confit leg, ronde de Nice and basil sausage, candy cap scrapple, blood and cherry custard, lard, apricot mostarda from Local Mission Eatery, chicharrones (party bag-sized, oh yeah), and pork stock. Yeah, it’s meaty! Pick up Friday July 1st between 12pm-2pm at Local Mission Eatery, or Saturday July 2nd between 8am-11am at the 4505 Meats Ferry Plaza Farmers Market booth. Each five-plus-pound bundle comes in a highly reusable, insulated 4505 Meats cooler, and feeds 6-8 people. $75.
All ewe lamb lovers are invited to the second annual Lamb Jam San Francisco on Sunday July 17th at the Golden Gate Club! From 3pm-6pm, celebrated Bay Area chefs will compete to prepare the best local lamb dishes in all the land, paired with wines from Paso Robles, for an afternoon of feasting and fun. Guests will learn about lamb through a butchery demonstration by local shepherd Don Watson and chef Matthew Accarrino from SPQR.
Celebrate Paso Robles wines with emcee Liam Mayclem, host and a producer for CBS5 TV’s Eye On The Bay, and chefs Antelmo Faria (Tacolicious), Banks White (FIVE, Berkeley), David Bazirgan (Fifth Floor), Dino Vazquez (Eastside West Restaurant & Bar), Eric Berg (Wente Vineyards), Jeff Mall (Zin), Jeffrey Lunak (Morimoto Napa), and more.
tablehopper has already given the tickets away to the winners of the sugar mama giveaway, so buy your tickets now if you want to come—it will sell out!
On Thursday June 30th, FOREIGN CINEMA is hosting Italian wine importer Oliver McCrum of Oliver McCrum Wines. The four-course meal will be paired with Piedmontese wines (details here), and hosted on the mezzanine. 6:30pm. $100, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations: 415-648-7600.
On Monday July 11th, OZUMO SAN FRANCISCO will host master brewer Philip Harper, the British-born maker of Tamagawa sake in Kyoto, Japan. Executive chef Alejandro Morgan will serve an assortment of small plates, sushi, and other snacks to accompany Harper’s sakes. $40. 6:30pm-8:30pm. Reserve online. (Harper will also be at Ozumo Oakland on Wednesday July 13th; $35.)
Starting July 1st, the LARK CREEK RESTAURANT GROUP will be offering half-price bottles of wine during brunch, lunch, and dinner service at all their restaurants through the month of July. Restaurants include Fish Story, The Tavern at Lark Creek, LarkCreekSteak, Lark Creek Walnut Creek, One Market Restaurant, the new Cupola Pizzeria, Yankee Pier (locations in Larkspur, Lafayette, and Santana Row in San Jose), and Parcel 104 at the Santa Clara Marriott (Friday evenings only).
Through Thursday June 30th, CREDO’s dinner guests can each exchange six corks for a glass of wine (limit one per customer). The restaurant is trying to encourage cork recycling by partnering with the National Resources Defense Council. The corks Credo collects will be recycled through ReCork. For more information on cork recycling, please visit 100percentcork.org.
And as the HIDDEN VINE nears its closure on July 9th, the current owners will be offering all bottles of wine at 20% off from July 7th-July 9th, 5pm-2am. The Hidden Vine’s new location in the Financial District—slated to open in September—will feature a more extensive wine and food program, a wine club, private room, and outdoor bocce court. 620 Post St. at Taylor; entrance on Cosmo Pl.
Many folks in the Bernal neighborhood have been wondering about the fate of SKIP’S TAVERN, which is under new ownership. The new incarnation is The Lucky Horseshoe, and the plan is to open this Wednesday June 29th. Sounds like the owner is doing what she can to secure an entertainment license, and keep the bar’s live music tradition alive. In the meantime, you’ll be able to watch the Giants game on their 55-inch screen. You can read all about the bar in this piece by the fine folks over at Bernalwood. 425 Cortland Ave. at Andover.
Trying not to get stuck in the SF fog this Fourth of July? (No snickering, please.) Try heading over to the waterfront patio at EPIC ROASTHOUSE for their “Stars & Stripes” BBQ and Happy Hour on Monday from 1pm-6:30pm. They’ll be serving up a Fourth of July special for $35 with your choice of BBQ brisket; slow oven-roasted, jalapeño-garlic-stuffed pulled pork; or whole rotisserie chicken; and sides of malt vinegar potato salad, wood-oven spunky baked beans, and an ice cream cone, plus a choice of a Skyy Vodka cocktail or Anchor Liberty Ale. They’re running the Happy Hour menu throughout the afternoon too.
So you might not be able to escape the fog for the Fourth, but you could still head down the coast to another patio at HALF MOON BAY BREWING COMPANY, where they’re debuting a new weekend BBQ menu featuring rotating, house-smoked entrée specials. This weekend’s specials will be hickory-smoked sockeye salmon ($18) over baby mixed greens with cucumber, tomato, carrots, and berry vinaigrette; half an applewood-smoked chicken ($15) marinated in fresh herbs and their Mavericks® Harbor Lights Ale with grilled asparagus; applewood-smoked tri-tip sandwich ($18) on housemade beer sourdough with garlic bleu cheese spread and buttermilk onion rings; and smoked St. Louis pork ribs ($19) glazed with Mavericks BBQ sauce. Side choices have classic BBQ written all over them: potato salad, buttermilk onion rings, cole slaw, French fries, and spiced black beans.
Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. is also hosting their first-ever Independence Day Fireworks Party at the nearby Mavericks Event Center (107 Broadway, Half Moon Bay) starting at 7:30pm. It’ll be a great vantage point to watch the Coastside Fireworks at 9:15pm. Call 650-728-BREW (2739) for tickets, which are $35 per person and include appetizers, beer, and wine, with a portion going to Coastside Fireworks. Tickets are limited and must be purchased beforehand. And there’s live music throughout the Fourth weekend, with the Megatones (a blues band) playing Monday July 4th 5pm-9pm. 390 Capistrano Rd. at Prospect, Half Moon Bay, 650-728-BREW (2739).
Sunday Jul 10, 2011 6pm–9pm $95; use code TABLEHOPPER for $5 discount Tickets Ferry Building
Save the date on Sunday July 10th for CUESA’s first SUMMER CELEBRATION. If you’ve enjoyed their Sunday Suppers or Spring Breakfasts, or just wished you were able to nab tix to either of those popular annual events, then the Summer Celebration is gonna be right up your alley. This walk-around tasting event in the Ferry Building will highlight all the best summer produce from the farmers of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market through the creative cuisine of Bay Area chefs, bartenders, and more.
Starting at 6pm, local chefs will serve summer-inspired hors d’oeuvres prepared with ingredients from sustainable California farms. Here’s a sample of the 35 different bites you can expect: tomato gelée, burrata, Pantelleria capers (Tim Caspare, Cotogna); “Papa al Pomodoro” soup of tomato, bread, olive oil, basil (Ruggero Gadaldi, Beretta and Delarosa); Llano Seco pork sandwich, albacore tonnato sauce, Acme herb slab (Bruce Hill and Eric Lowe, Bix); smoked hummus, marinated local squid, pickled melon, blistered Padrón pepper (Sean Thomas, Blue Plate); heirloom bean salad, corn, heirloom tomatoes, adobo-marinated skirt steak (Telmo Faria, Tacolicious); char siu, grilled lamb belly, wasabi tobiko, pickled green shallots, rice crêpe (Nate Keller, Gastronaut); strawberry sliders, honeyed mascarpone, caramelized blackberries (Patti Dellamonica, One Market); and blueberries, white chocolate, hazelnut sablé (William Werner, Tell Tale Preserve Co.). Did your stomach just grumble reading that lineup?
Additional participants include Barbacco, Bon Appétit Management Co., California Culinary Academy, Comstock Saloon, Cowgirl Creamery, El Porteño, Fatted Calf, Flour + Water, Gitane, Greens, ICHI Sushi, Il Cane Rosso, La Victoria Bakery and Les Elements, MarketBar, Millennium, Monk’s Kettle, Namu, Nopalito, Origen, Ozumo, Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, Prather Ranch Meat Co., Scala’s Bistro, Serpentine/Slow Club, and The Village Pub.
You certainly won’t leave hungry, or thirsty either, with drinks prepared by bartenders from Americano, Bourbon & Branch, Cantina, Churchill, Range, and Rye. They’ll be mixing and muddling seasonal produce with small-scale, artisanal spirits from Art in the Age (ROOT and SNAP organic liqueur), Campo de Encanto Pisco, Charbay Winery and Distillery, Distillery No. 209, FAIR.Quinoa Fair Trade Vodka, Square One Organic Spirits, and St. George Spirits. Taste craft beers from Magnolia Brewery, and wines too from Don and Sons, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, Hess Collection and Hess Family Estates, J. Lohr Winery, Kenwood Winery, and Mark West Wines. Designated drivers can check out non-alcoholic options from Purity Organic and SodaCraft, or caffeinated ones from Blue Bottle and Peet’s.
Expand your epicurean education at the whole beast carving station presented by Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats et al. (he’ll also have hand-carved, pasture-raised lamb and pork grilled on-site); entertain your friends at a whimsical photo booth by Magbooth; enjoy live jazz and blues bands; and listen for winning raffle numbers throughout the evening—it might be you!
Tickets are $95, but tablehopper readers get to take $5 off using code TABLEHOPPER so you can eat and drink your fill of summer, all while supporting CUESA’s education programs and food sustainability goals.
On Thursday July 14th from 5:30pm-8:30pm, make plans to dine (and drink) at Forks & Corks at the Fort Mason Firehouse, where yours truly will be in attendance. Your ticket will score you five dishes from five SF food trucks—An the Go, Brass Knuckle, El Porteño Empanadas, JapaCurry, and The Crème Brûlée Cart—and tastes of 60-80 wines from 30 of Sonoma’s finest wineries.
Two lucky tablehopper readers will each win a pair of tickets to the event: 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 email@example.com so I know you sent it—I promise I won’t use anyone’s email address. The deadline to enter is Friday July 1st at 12pm (noon). I will notify the winners Friday evening. Good luck!
Tickets to Forks & Corks are $55 online, $65 door. Use the code SPECIAL for $15 off! And here’s another bonus: the first 200 guests who show up will receive a complimentary copy of The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco: Find the Right Spot for Every Occasion. And yes, the tablehopper will be there to sign your book (and to help out diners in need with on-the-spot restaurant recommendations).
Be sure to take a peek at all the great events happening for Sonoma in the City San Francisco. And don’t forget to use code SPECIAL for $15 off tickets!
It wouldn’t be Pride without a good Sandra Bernhard sighting. She was spotted at Scala’s Bistro on Sunday night with her daughter, band, publicist, and manager. Chef Jen Biesty and one of the sous chefs went to her new show, “I Love Being Me, Don’t You?” over the weekend and said it was amazing. Go, Sandra!
A tablehopper reader spotted actor Jesse Plemons (Landry Clarke on TV’s Friday Night Lights) at Brenda’s French Soul Food on Monday at the tail end of lunch. The spotter queries: “Think he might be in town shooting the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie, The Master?”