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Jul 25, 2011 22 min read

July 26, 2011 - This week's tablehopper: room with a view.

July 26, 2011 - This week's tablehopper: room with a view.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: room with a view.                    

Breathtaking view from my hotel room window at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe.

Having lived in San Francisco since 1994, I know how important it is to get the hell out of the city in July, unless you enjoy suffering the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Me? Not so much. So Thursday night I skedaddled back up to Lake Tahoe for a long weekend, spending a couple nights at the fab-u-lous Ritz-Carlton Resort in Lake Tahoe and my family’s cabin in Tahoma. (It’s pretty amazing to return to a place you’ve been going to every year since you were two.) I’ll be doing a writeup of the my Tahoe visit soon. And really, is there anything better than mountain air and daily hikes and dips in a stunning lake to clear your head? They do a lot for the human mind and spirit. Highly recommended.

The next month is a busy one for me, with a bunch of deadlines to meet before I hit the road again. Yup, yours truly just booked a biiiig trip, one that has been on my bucket list for a while: I’m going to Turkey for three glorious weeks. Just getting my itinerary together, but I warmly welcome any recommendations, from eats in Istanbul to which cave hotel to book in Cappadocia—bring ‘em on! Thanks, travelers!

Hey, do you have your tickets to SF Chefs? This week’s socialite has more info, but I’d like to call to your attention a fun panel I am moderating on the afternoon of Saturday August 6th: The Real Restaurant Wives of San Francisco. Cocktails included. One more panel for your radar: I’ll be at the Commonwealth Club next Wednesday August 3rd, moderating a discussion about “What makes a restaurant great?” Hope to see you there.

Lastly, in the midst of all this consumption and good living we all enjoy is the heartbreaking news about the massive famine in Somalia and other parts of drought-stricken East Africa. Donating to the United Nations World Food Programme is one way to help—a paltry 50 cents can feed a hungry child. Please consider making a donation right now. 11 million people are hungry—it’s a terrible, terrible situation. The mind reels. Here are 10 more ways you can help—please spread the word.

Thanks for reading.

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Nopalito Opening a Second Location in the Inner Sunset


The interior of the former Bistro 9; Yelp photo by B. W.

Exciting news for Inner Sunset dwellers: later this year—say, October or November—NOPALITO will be opening a second location in the former Bistro 9 space on 9th Avenue. The lease was just signed last week on the space, which is going to offer a significantly bigger kitchen for the team, and more seats for you: about 80 total.

The larger kitchen means the masa and other items will probably be made at this location for both restaurants; and there’s a basement, which will allow more room for nopa and Nopalito’s whole animal program. There’s also talk of a smoker, and possibly a grill in the outdoor patio space (which won’t be used for seating). All this means Nopalito chefs Gonzalo Guzman and Jose Ramos will have more opportunities to experiment and expand the menu’s offerings. There will be beer and wine to start, although full liquor may enter the program as well. Is the Inner Sunset thirsty for mezcal? Time will tell. Construction is going to be a bit extensive, so stand by for updates. 1224 9th Ave. at Lincoln.

Martin Yan's M.Y. China, Opening in the Westfield Centre in Early 2012


Exterior rendering of M.Y. China.

I was waiting on a rendering of Martin Yan’s upcoming Westfield Centre project before writing about it, so here we go. Slated to open in February 2012 is M.Y. CHINA, a restaurant that will span modern and traditional Chinese cooking. Yan is working closely with rock stars Willy and Ronny Ng of Koi Palace in Daly City, who will oversee the day-to-day culinary operations. It ends up the team has been traveling to China the past two years for research, culling inspiration, menu items, and more from their trips.

The menu is going to feature three primary categories: hand-pulled “longevity” noodles, dim sum, and wok-fired entrées. But don’t expect a mile-long Chinese menu: M.Y. China will focus on serving 10-15 dim sum selections; the noodle section will feature traditional la-mein (hand-pulled) or “longevity” noodles served in soup or with sauce, along with hand-cut stir-fried noodles (like dan-dan noodles with sesame butter, braised cabbage, fennel, and trio of peppercorns). Other dishes include sautéed Gulf shrimp with gingko nuts, wolf berries, and yellow rice wine glaze, and mandarin orange-glazed Peking duck served two ways: crêpes with crispy skin and fluffy lotus buns stuffed with duck breast, spring onions, cucumber, and hoisin plum sauce.

And since the restaurant will feature an open exhibition kitchen and is all about visibility (instead of keeping things on the “ancient Chinese secret” tip), diners will be able to watch the noodle chef twist and pull noodles and see dumplings being made. Baldauf Catton Von Eckartsberg—the architecture firm behind the San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace—will lead the design, which will feature a white stone façade and a contemporary look inside, with wood block counters and die-cut walls. The 200-seat restaurant is part of the Restaurant Collection Under the Dome on Level 4 at Westfield San Francisco Centre, with “outdoor” tables for 50 under the historic dome.

Details on Canela, Opening Soon in the Castro


Back in April, I mentioned changes were afoot at the Capri restaurant space in the Castro. Taking its place will be CANELA, a Spanish-style restaurant from owners Mat Schuster (who has run cooking schools at Draeger’s and Whole Foods Markets), and Paco Cifuentes (who is Spanish, and will be featuring recipes from his mother).

The menu will include small plates of traditional Spanish dishes, like tortilla de patata, gambas al ajillo, croquetas de jamón, Spanish clams, albondigas, and meat and cheese platters, plus cocas (Spanish-style flatbreads)—but they will be making them with cheese, with toppings like Spanish sausage or sofrito. Because Lord knows, we all love some cheese. There will also be sandwiches, like grilled chicken and Manchego with smoked paprika aioli, and lomo (pork loin) with aioli and pickled onion; vegetarian options will also be available. Salads will range from the healthy to the hearty, and homemade soups will always be on the menu. Gazpacho, you know it. There will be an in-house baker responsible for all the bread doughs, plus not-very-Spanish treats like cakes, cookies, pie, and other sweets.

Lunch and dinner will be served daily, but the owners also want the space to be available to people who just want to swing by for a coffee (both espresso and pour-over coffee will be available) or tea, or perhaps a small bite. To go along with your meal, there will be a number of cavas and cava-based cocktails, along with Spanish and California wines. The 49-seat restaurant is getting new tables and all new surfaces, including recovered banquettes and wallpaper, and will feature a communal table and a bar counter. Look for an opening in about six weeks. Hours will be Sun-Thu 11:30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am (hours subject to change later on). 2272 Market St. at 16th St., 415-552-3000.

Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen Opens in Downtown


View of the bar and one of the communal tables at Jasper’s.

Opening this Wednesday July 27th is JASPER’S CORNER TAP & KITCHEN, a new bar and modern tavern in the former Ponzu space. (It’s named after one of San Francisco’s first surveyors, Jasper O’Farrell.) Bar manager Kevin Diedrich (previously rocking things over at the Burritt Room) is joined by dining room manager Matthew Meidinger, and chef Adam Carpenter.

Chef Carpenter’s tavern-inspired menu of bar snacks, small bites, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and main dishes includes a warm soft pretzel ($4/$8) with smoked Gouda and cheddar fondue; shrimp salad roll ($15) with vegetable rémoulade, bacon, brioche-style roll; fish ‘n’ chips ($13/$21) with wild true cod with polenta crust, tartar sauce, mushy peas; and shepherd’s pie ($16) with minced lamb, and aged white cheddar potato crust.

There will be some stellar handcrafted cocktails (additional bartenders behind the stick include Jacques Bezuidenhout, Allison Webber, and Brian MacGregor), along with 18 beers on tap, and more than 25 beers by the bottle. Additional bonus: Master Sommelier Emily Wines designed the wine program, featuring 29 wines available by the taste, glass, carafe, or bottle, and 6 wines will be offered on tap. Take a look at the initial beverage menu here.

It’s not a small space, with 137 seats, two levels, and seating at a bar, in the lounge, and in the restaurant. There are two communal tables, along with four televisions in the lounge. Breakfast (Mon-Fri 6:30am-10am, Sat-Sun 7:30am-11am), and dinner (5pm-10pm daily) will be served for now. Look for lunch and weekend brunch to start shortly. The bar is open Sun-Wed 5pm-1am, Thu-Sat 5pm-2am. 401 Taylor St. at O’Farrell, 415-775-7979.

House 530, Bringing Tasty Thai to Valencia in September


Dungeness pad Thai; Yelp photo by Jason A.

All the way back in 2008, I mentioned a third location of Thai House Express was supposed to open on Valencia Street near 16th Street. After yeeeaaarrrssss of permit delays, a license reveals the project is finally getting warmer. Set to open some time in mid-September, HOUSE 530 will seat about 80 guests for lunch and dinner. Owner Paul Meeriyagerd is putting together a menu that will include some of the Thai favorites served by his parents at THE, but will also let in quite a bit of California influence and local ingredients. With a bit of bar seating and a modern atmosphere, the idea is to be a little more House and a little less Express, though takeout will be available and delivery is a possibility somewhere down the line. 530 Valencia St. at 16th St.

Cedar Hill Will Be Cooking Up Southern Fare in the Marina


Noodle Theory exterior; Yelp photo by Ameer N.

Permits reveal CEDAR HILL is opening in the former Noodle Theory space in the Marina from chef Jon Rietz and Emily Lai. Inside Scoop reveals Rietz is a Texas native who was recently at Memphis Minnie’s, and will be installing a smoker from Texas. The Southern menu will range from classics like brisket and pulled pork, and there’s talk of doing their own bacon and smoking fish. That’s right, folks—the city is awash in smoked meats. The 50-seat space will offer counter service during the day, with table service in the evening, and there will also be a few sidewalk tables as well so people walking by can see you chow down on smoked pork chops. The current targeted opening date is reportedly around Labor Day. 3242 Scott St. at Chestnut.

Beep Beep! This Week in Food Truck News


Photo courtesy of Nom Nom Truck.

Another week, another truck pulling up somewhere to take your money or your business. KIDDING. Well, not entirely—you still have to pay to eat. Firing up the engine this week is L.A. import, the NOM NOM TRUCK. On the menu: Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches and Vietnamese tacos, and later this summer, you’ll also see some strawberry basil popsicles and cucumber mint lemonade. Partner Misa Chien tells me the debut schedule is as follows: Thursday, Off the Grid Upper Haight at Stanyan and Waller, 4:30pm-8:30pm; Friday, on Sacramento Street between Montgomery and Kearny, 11am-2pm; and Saturday, Proxy Hayes Valley at 432 Octavia Street, 5:30pm-9:30pm. Follow them on Twitter for more.

SFoodie brings word that Off the Grid will be hosting trucks on Mondays at a new location, St. Mary’s Square Garage (at Kearny and California). You’ll be able to snag your lunch from 11am-2pm, and don’t forget you can find a seat in the park above the garage.

SFoodie mentions another new truck gathering, TRUCK STOP, which is on a privately owned alley off Mission Street between 1st and Fremont Streets. Sounds like there will be three trucks there (like the new Kasa Indian Truck and Chairman Bao) Mon-Fri 11am-2pm; check the calendar for updates.

The Great Burger Takeover of the City


Photo from Super Duper.

I’m beginning to imagine a huge burger mothership over the city, beaming down its progeny into each neighborhood. The next burger outpost is going to be zapped into the Marina, with SUPER DUPER opening another location in the Johnny Rockets on Chestnut Street. A couple eagle-eyed tablehopper readers sent in rumors and pics, and now a liquor license filing confirms it. Timing will be revealed once partner Adriano Paganini returns from a trip to Italy. 2001 Chestnut St. at Pierce.

Things are moving along for the second SF location of PEARL’S DELUXE BURGERS, which is due to open in late August on the corner of 6th and Market in the former Chinese deli. Co-owner Sylvia Yi tells me the look will be “comfortable diner meets Star Trek”—but not too stereotypical or nostalgic. There will be some exposed duct work and industrial elements, melding the modern with the traditional. 40 seats total, and the space is big enough to warrant selling beer and wine. 1001 Market St. at 6th St.

Eater reveals all the details about BURGER URGE, opening on Haight Street in the former Soul Patch tattoo parlor from co-owner Sam Sirhed. The 75-seat spot will be fast-casual, with around 10 burgers to choose from made with Niman Ranch beef, plus a turkey burger, and a vegetarian burger, along with sandwiches, soups, salads, and beer and wine. Late October is the current target. 1599 Haight St. at Clayton.

Limited Editions: Dux 2.0, La Lumière Bleue Spéciale, and a Pop-Up Pastry Shop


Photo of the first Dux meal by Jesse Friedman.

A few special menus for you to take note of, starting with the second installment of chef Eddie Lau’s DUX at THE SUMMIT. The next menu will be an homage to summer ingredients, seven courses in all, for $70. Upcoming dates are Sunday July 31st, August 7th, August 14th, August 21st, and August 28th. Check out the menu and make your reservation here.

Attention K-Mart shoppers: now through the end of August, JARDINIÈRE has introduced 
La Lumière Bleue Spéciale, a special and limited dish for $25 that isn’t listed on the menu. Tuesday is porchetta
, Wednesday is fried chicken
, Thursday is cassoulet
, Friday is cioppino, 
Saturday is prime rib (want!)
, and Sunday is pork chops. Come early and tell your server you saw this online.

And on the morning of Sunday August 7th, pastry chef Belinda Leong (AQUA, Gary Danko, Pierre Hermé, Manresa) will open a pastry pop-up shop at FLOUR + WATER from 9am-noon. She will be introducing her new line of pastries, which includes unusual items like bostock (twice-baked, soaked brioche with almond frangipane and passion fruit), and kugelhopf (a specialty from Alsace, France, a yeasted dough with raisins and almonds), plus simpler items like coffee cake and bacon-cheddar-chive scones. Guests can eat in or take food/beverages to go.

Dangerous Delivery


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

Don’t say I didn’t warn you: PAL’S TAKEAWAY is now offering sandwich delivery to the greater Mission, Bernal, Castro, and parts of SoMa via TCB Couriers. There’s a $25 minimum order for delivery. Follow Pal’s on Twitter for inspiration, and call 415-203-4911 to order ‘em up!

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

Cool Prizes for Helping the 7 Squared Project


Here’s a unique way to support some local non-profits and small businesses that are doing good work in SF: THE 7 SQUARED PROJECT, created by filmmakers Amber Crosby and Kyle Garrett, will create mini-documentaries to showcase seven non-profits and seven businesses doing purposeful, socially responsible work, and they’re crowdfunding the project on IndieGoGo, where you can earn some cool perks for donating by August 14th.

Five of the featured places are food-focused—Four Barrel Coffee, Heart of the City Farmers’ Market, La Cocina, Mission Pie, and the San Francisco Food Bank—so you can get some tasty prizes by donating to their films, prizes like exclusive bags of coffee or a cupping session and roasting class from Four Barrel, free drinks and NeoCocoa truffles at the SF Street Food Festival, a Mission food tour with the staff of La Cocina (all expenses paid), and free pie or a “Pie Subscription” for a year (one whole pie a month) from Mission Pie. They’ll need $3,500 per video ($49,000 total for all 14 in the series), so what do ya say? Let’s show our fave places some love.

Get Inspired in the Kitchen by Some Pros


Photo from Elizabeth Falkner’s website.

Who better to learn from than the pros who do the food thing every day for a living? Some upcoming classes are offering just that, check it out. Rachel Saunders, founder of the Blue Chair Fruit Company and author of Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, will be talking about fruit preserving at the Tyler Florence Shop on Wednesday July 27th (Napa) and Thursday July 28th (Mill Valley), 6pm-8pm both days. Two more perks: there’ll be wine pairings by John Anthony Vineyards, and you get 20% off your other purchases the night of the event (excluding antiques and gift cards) when you buy a copy of Blue Chair Jam Cookbook. Call or email to RSVP with the store location. 59 Throckmorton Ave. at Miller, Mill Valley, 415-380-9200; and 710 Main St. at 4th St., Napa, 707-254-9977.

Chef Elizabeth Falkner is teaching a series of classes Saturdays 3pm-6pm in the private dining room at ORSON. On July 30th, learn why air is important in desserts like mousses, marshmallows, and soufflés. On August 13th, focus on doughs and dumplings and how to get the right texture for flaky pastry, biscuits, and meatballs. On August 20th, it’s an Ice Cream Social with several types of sweet and savory ice creams. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served at all classes, in addition to what’s made in class. $100 per person per class. Contact Christina Glenn at 415-488-3747 or by email to book a class, and be sure to mention any dietary restrictions.

On Saturday August 6th, join author Aliza Green at OMNIVORE BOOKS for a class with the masters featured in her book The Fishmonger’s Apprentice: The Expert’s Guide to Selecting, Preparing, and Cooking a World of Seafood. They’re teaching old-world, classic skills for the modern food enthusiast, and sharing insights on how the fish get to your table. 3pm-4pm.

Two Upcoming Restaurant Openings in Berkeley


Photo from Zaika website.

tablehopper reader Marc R. alerted me to the upcoming opening of ZAIKA in Berkeley, in the short-lived Meridian International Foods Cafe. This 120-seat Indian restaurant—a sister to India Garden in Pleasanton—is due to open by the end of this week or the beginning of next. Dishes will span the north and south of India, from butter chicken and lamb curry to dosas and idli, along with numerous tandoori dishes, lunch specials, extensive appetizers, and chaat, like sev puri and bhel puri. Zaika—whose name means “flavor” or “taste”—will be open for lunch and dinner, serving beer and wine. 2054 University Ave. at Milvia, Berkeley, 510-705-1343.

In mid-August, JOSHUYA BRASSERIE will be opening in the substantially remodeled space that was formerly home to Joshu-ya Sushi Bar. Executive chef/owner Jason Kwon will be serving contemporary Japanese cuisine prepared using seasonal, sustainable, and often locally sourced ingredients. Starters include a cured salmon salad with shaved daikon, fennel, Asian pear, and truffle-crème fraîche sauce, and Maine lobster sushi with Santa Barbara uni (another version of East meets West?). Mains include pork chashu (slow roasted pork belly) soba, and braised short rib sukiyaki. In addition to the 55-seat dining room, there will be a garden patio. Hours are Mon-Sat 11:30am-4pm, and nightly for dinner from 5pm-10pm. 2441 Dwight Way at Telegraph, Berkeley, 510-848-5260.

Rise and Shine: Berkeley Café News


The counter o’ treats at Paisan (photo from their website).

What the Fork announces PAISAN has opened for daily breakfast service. Their website mentions a scrambled egg sandwich with Niman Ranch applewood-smoked ham, tomato, and Vermont cheddar, plus muffins, scones, and coffee from Blue Bottle. Oh, and if you join their email list (or drop off a business card), you can score a free Blue Bottle coffee drink. Mon-Sat 8am-11am. 2514 San Pablo Ave. at Blake, Berkeley, 510-649-1031.

A post on Chowhound mentions REMEDY COFFEE has taken over operation of the café in the Berkeley Art Museum. Further details on Thrillist (beware, the annoying hi-yah sound of their videos will play as soon as you open that page) include eats like frittata sandwiches, and egg, bacon, and cheese breakfast pizzas. 2625 Durant Ave. at Bowditch, Berkeley, 510-548-4366.

Oakland: Faz Cometh, and Changes at 1015 Clay


Chef Faz Poursohi.

Chef Faz Poursohi is back on the culinary scene, opening FAZ OAKLAND at 1111 Broadway in Oakland (the former Verbena space) on 11/11/11. The menu will feature “fresh Mediterranean cuisine with a twist” under the direction of head chef Saeid Mosaddad. Look for Persian dishes, a selection of kabobs, handmade-to-order pastas, and more. The restaurant will be designed by San Francisco firm Architecture & Light, and will feature an exhibition bar and kitchen (with a custom-built rotisserie centerpiece), outdoor seating in the garden, and live music performances. Faz will be open for lunch and dinner, with cocktail and appetizer specials during happy hour, Monday through Friday. 1111 Broadway at 11th St., Oakland.

And Grub Street notes via a Chowhound post that Jesse Branstetter has pulled out of the nascent 1015 CLAY project.

New Meaty Options at 510 Farmers' Markets


The Fifth Quarter stand; photo from Facebook.

Berkeleyside announced FIFTH QUARTER CHARCUTERIE from Scott Brennan (previously of Café Rouge) has started selling at Kensington’s farmers’ market on Sundays. You can get product updates on Twitter.

Reader Marc R. also writes in to let me know ADESSO is now selling charcuterie at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.


the sponsor

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

(Sponsored): Have You Eaten Somewhere Great This Week? Deep Dish It!

Have you checked out Deep Dishing, a new forum about what to eat and drink at 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 Locanda or Mission Chinese Food, or maybe a place that’s been on your list, like Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, 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)

Two Options This Thursday: Scotch Whisky and Special Press Club Guests

Trying to figure out what to do this Thursday evening (my preferred evening to go out)? There’s an intimate Scotch whisky tasting hosted by the Whisky Archive at Guerrero Gallery, led by whisky specialist Mark Cassidy of The Whisky Shop. Look at the event listing to see what you’ll be sampling. 7pm-9pm. $65, seats are limited. 2700 19th St. at York.

Over at PRESS CLUB, the last night of their July Visiting Vintner Series is this Thursday, with representatives of Chalk Hill Estate Winery and Robert Sinskey Vineyards. You can enjoy a featured flight and rare by-the-glass offerings that you can normally only experience at the respective wineries. (Visiting vintners in August will be Domaine Carneros and Seghesio Family Vineyards.) 6pm-9pm. 20 Yerba Buena Ln., between Market and Mission, 415-744-5000.

               Thursday Jul 28, 2011 more info

Urban Wine (and Bites) at the Urban Wine Xperience in Oakland


Photo of 2010 Urban Wine Xperience from Oakland Local on Flickr.

Raise a glass to the vibrant urban wine scene on Saturday August 6th at the sixth annual URBAN WINE XPERIENCE at the Jack London Pavilion in Oakland. 20-plus urban wineries from the East Bay Vintner’s Alliance will be pouring tastes of white, rosé, red, and dessert wines, alongside paired foods from local restaurants and purveyors.

Sip on handcrafted wines from these local wineries: Adams Point Winery, Andrew Lane Wines, Aubin Cellars, Blacksmith Cellars, Carica Wines, Cerruti Cellars, Dashe Cellars, Ehrenberg Cellars, Eno Wines, Irish Monkey Cellars, JC Cellars, JRE Wines, Periscope Cellars, Prospect 722, R&B Cellars, Rock Wall Wine Company, Rosenblum Cellars, Stomping Girl Wines, Tayerle Wines, Urban Legend Cellars, and Urbano Cellars. There will also be summertime bites from these local restaurants and food purveyors: Angela’s Bistro, Bocanova, Bellanico, Brown Sugar Kitchen, Chop Bar, Fra’ Mani, Kincaid’s, La Farine, Miss Pearl’s Jam House, North Main BBQ, Otaez, Pappo, Paradiso, Picán, Wood Tavern, Zut!, and others. There’s live music too!

2pm-5pm. Advance tickets are $40 by July 31st; $60 thereafter. Souvenir wine glass included. Designated Driver tickets are $10. Tickets online here.

               Saturday Aug  6, 2011 2pm–5pm $40 by July 31st, $60 after; designated drivers $10 more info

the socialite

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

SF Chefs Launches August 1st. You Ready?


Thirsty? Jacques can help you.


Hungry? Matthew has the answer.

Event Info

Monday Aug  1, 2011 – Sunday Aug  7, 2011 Info

Start clearing your schedule now ‘cause SF CHEFS 2011 is almost here, and there are quite a few must-attend events. For the third year, the SF Chefs food, wine, and spirits festival is taking over Union Square from August 1st through the 7th, with all kinds of events (classes, demos, parties, tastings, you name it) at participating restaurants and at the Westin St. Francis, and culminating with the Grand Tasting Tent from Friday August 5th-Sunday August 7th.

Here’s one event you’ll want to schedule in right away: the tablehopper is leading a panel with The Real Restaurant Wives of San Francisco on Saturday August 6th, 4pm-6pm, at E&O Trading Co. We’re talking about a behind-the-scenes discussion on famed SF restaurateurs from a totally unique perspective: their wives (and partners)! You’ll meet Leslie Gibin (Perbacco), Amy Wong (E&O Trading Co.), Chantal Keller (Fleur de Lys), and Emily Mitra (Dosa), and since yours truly is in the mix, there will be cocktails involved. Cocktail hour will follow the panel, where the wives will introduce their restaurants’ bartenders, who’ll serve signature cocktails designed by the wives themselves. $50. Tickets here.

So many other exciting SF Chefs events, so little space! Here’s a couple highlights, but be sure to click over to the complete schedule. The Food Arts Industry Series has some interesting seminars for professionals and restaurateurs, with topics like Today’s Wine Tech Trends & Tools, Location! Location! Location!, and The Secrets of our Success. There are classes and demos for everyone, including the family-friendly Four Star Family Meal with chefs and their kids. How cute! Of course, it’s not SF Chefs without the parties: there’s the Sugar & Spice party on August 4th at the Westin, and after parties on Friday (with chef/DJ Hubert Keller on the 1s and 2s) and Saturday (with Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais).

And then there’s the big finale: from Friday through Sunday, the Grand Tasting Tent in Union Square will feature over 100 Bay Area chefs and restaurants; wines from Sonoma County Vintners, Russian River Valley wineries, and more; the city’s best bartenders; and the chance to mingle with restaurateurs, winemakers, chefs, bartenders, artisans, and fellow food aficionados. Participating chefs include Matthew Accarrino (SPQR), Gary Danko (Restaurant Gary Danko), Elizabeth Falkner (Citizen Cake), Tyler Florence (Wayfare Tavern), Emily Luchetti (Farallon and Waterbar), Craig Stoll ( Delfina), Joanne Weir, and Martin Yan. Bartenders include H. Joseph Ehrmann (Elixir), Carlos Yturria (Absinthe), Jeff Hollinger and Jonny Raglin (Comstock Saloon), and Brandon Josie (15 Romolo).

No doubt you’ll taste some of the best bites and drinks of the year at the Grand Tasting, so get your tickets online now ($25-$150)—they’re already selling out.

Don't Miss This Great Panel, Talkin Bout My Generation: Chefs Re-inventing Asian Cuisine


Photo of Richie Nakano from Asian Culinary Forum’s website.

Event Info

Monday Aug 22, 2011 6pm–9pm $35 Tickets Ferry Building, Upper Level, San Francisco

On Monday August 22nd, the Asian Culinary Forum (ACF) brings you a panel that promises to be interesting and informative, and did we mention there’s food? TALKIN BOUT MY GENERATION: CHEFS RE-INVENTING ASIAN CUISINE brings together SF culinary innovators Richie Nakano (Hapa Ramen), Wilfred Pacio (Spice Kit), Dennis Lee (Namu), and Sarah Dey (New Delhi) for a conversation about their creative takes on what Asian cuisine and Asian restaurants mean today.

The event will open with a reception featuring tastes from Namu, New Delhi, Spice Kit, Hapa Ramen, Hodo Soy Beanery, Bex Winery, and Momokawa Oregon Craft Saké. Then the panelists will discuss how they are re-defining Asian food using traditional techniques and new flavors. They bring their diverse backgrounds, experiences, and business models to the discussion, from mobile ramen, to a fine dining chef serving street food, to Cal-Korean cuisine, to an SF dining institution passing from one generation to the next. Thy Tran, ACF founder and director, will moderate. The event will wrap up with an extended Q&A session.

6pm-9pm. Tickets ($35) are available online, and typically sell out (so don’t delay!). Ferry Building, upper level, San Francisco.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

A Quick Hover Near Danny Glover

Danny Glover was spotted by a tablehopper reader having coffee and talking business in the Petit Café at the Grand Café. He seemed happy and was totally friendly with some guests who went up to talk to him.

Sightings at Piatti in MIL(F) Valley

Busy week at Piatti in Mill Valley: Robin Williams was in for lunch (apparently it’s his 60th birthday this month). He had the soup (crushed tomato and chickpea minestrone) and the chicken pot pie. No word if he gave the soup and pot pie different voices and names. And Bill Kreutzmann (he was the drummer for the Grateful Dead) came in for dinner.

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