Adorable morel stencil on Valencia Street. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Welcome to your short week—although mine is the same as it ever was. Actually, I’m getting out of town for 24 hours and heading up to St. Helena for a splashy event, the reopening of the wine cellar at PRESS. And looking at the upcoming warm temperatures tomorrow, it’s going to be a nice road trip, even though I’ll be in a rental car (cough). Thanks everyone for the kind notes about my wrecked Alfa—I got to read many tales of car loss and remembrance. Hey, misery loves company. At least the thought of test driving the new FIAT 500 is making me smile.
So guess what? Today tablehopper turns six! Can you believe that? SO many late Monday nights writing this thing, jeesh. GRAZIE for all the support. The best present you could give my column is to forward this week’s issue to your friends and tell them to subscribe. Truly. Many thanks in advance!
Also want to do a special toast to my adorable parents, who are celebrating their anniversary this Thursday. Their love is one of the sweetest things I know on this earth.
More celebratin’: big congrats to all the semifinalists announced for the 2012 restaurant and chef James Beard Foundation Awards. Check out the list here. Best of luck to all during the finalist process (it’s gotta be harrowing).
Oh, today’s episode of You Gotta Eat This on KGO Radio has me riffing on one of my very favorite breakfasts: chilaquiles. (You saw a picture of one of my favorites last week, now you can hear me talk about them.)
Okay folks, have a very happy Mardi Gras and maybe I’ll catch ya on Friday, maybe I won’t (am debating about making this Friday my Monday off).
The lines are already long at the brand-spanking-new WISE SONS DELI in the Mission. Owners Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman are gonna be busy boys smoking, baking, making, and serving their pastrami sandwiches on housemade bread, Reubens, smoked trout salad sandwiches, matzo ball soup, bialys, babka, and more (and you can come by for lox on Beauty’s Bagels on Saturdays). You can peek at these pics of the menu a friend sent me over the weekend; here’s the main menu and here’s the breakfast/brunch menu. Please note their Tuesday stand at the Ferry Building will continue. Hours (for now) are Wed-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9am-4pm, closed Mon-Tue.
Wise Sons Deli - 3150 24th St. San Francisco - 415-787-3354
Charles Phan has yet another project in his wheelhouse, a new bar and restaurant at Pier 3, according to the Scoop. The press release mentions the 1,300-square-foot bar and restaurant (secured through Alicia Esterkamp Allbin of San Francisco Waterfront Partners) is going to be a departure from his other restaurants in The Slanted Door Group, focusing on the cuisine and cocktails of New Orleans and the South.
Bar manager Erik Adkins (who has worked with Phan for the past nine years) is going to drive the cocktail program, which is the centerpiece of the project. Olle Lundberg will design the space; the canoe you see here was part of Lundberg’s collection, and is also inspiring some of the design details. More details will be revealed in coming months, but for now the targeted opening date is summer 2012.
Last year, we heard about NOPA neighbor Ivan Hopkinson trying to open the Fulton Street Brewpub in the former Fulton Street Bar space at Masonic. Now this article in Local Addition mentions he’s trying to open his brewery and restaurant in the former Auto City Repair and Body Works on Divisadero in the Western Addition. It would be called BARREL HEAD BREW HOUSE, but first the team needs to get through permits, funding, and securing various licenses. Here’s hoping it all comes together, because it would be a fantastic addition to the neighborhood. 834 Divisadero St. at McAllister.
The Mission neighborhood is never short on news: first, I was beyond excited to read in Eater about Alamo Drafthouse Cinema proposing to restore and open a theater in the long-abandoned New Mission Theater. I loved the experience I had watching two films at Drafthouse theaters in Austin last year at SXSW (food and drinks are brought to you). There would be five screens (one would be a large screening room), a bar, and a range of films would be screened, from classic to indie to foreign, plus live events. Be sure to look at all the photos posted on Facebook of the interior of the theater—I am thrilled to think of it being restored to its formerly grand self. And this thoughtful letter from Alamo Drafthouse’s founder Tim League only makes me want to have it happen faster! Follow the proposed Alamo Drafthouse at the New Mission on Facebook for more. 2550 Mission St. at 22nd St.
Scoop announces Gus Murad is closing the dining room at MEDJOOL for renovations, but is keeping the roof deck open. Some tipsters on Twitter planted the rumor that the Beretta folks are taking over, and this post on Mission Mission says, “oh it’s true they are! my man is one of the new managers at Beretta. should be awesome.” 2524 Mission St. at 21st St.
On Valencia, LIMON has converted into a Limon Rotisserie, according to the Inside Scoop. Considering the lackluster meal I had there a few weeks ago, I’d say this is a good move. People want the chicken! 524 Valencia St. at 16th St., 415-252-0918.
Mission Loc@l writes a proposed pub, MISSION PUBLIC SF, is in the cards to open on Mission at 15th Street, reportedly serving California beers and small plates. Owner Anthony Shuton first needs to get approval from the Planning Commission to convert the former hair salon into a full-service restaurant. Stand by. 1910 Mission St. at 15th St.
In the “yay, approvals!” category, LOCAL’S CORNER got the go-ahead to open in a former corner store. Construction is nearly complete, and it should be opening for breakfast and lunch (Tue-Sun) soon. The next round of approvals is needed for the 16 outdoor seats and serving beer and wine (which is when dinner would kick in). 2500 Bryant St. at 23rd St.
Right on time, PARK TAVERN is launching brunch this weekend, and tablehopper is the first to get a look at chef Jenn Puccio’s killer menu. It has some clever options, like a toast section that includes sourdough rye, smoked salmon, horseradish cream, and cress ($8), or sourdough, Dungeness crab, and Green Goddess ($9); Anson Mills cornmeal pancakes, Meyer lemon curd, and strawberry compote ($10); and heartier dishes like country ham steak and poached farm egg, Savoy cabbage and fingerling potato slaw, grainy mustard, and hollandaise ($17). I laughed over the adult smoothie (banana, bourbon, and coffee, $10), and there are a variety of eye-opener cocktails and pitchers, too. You’ll also find some treats from Starter Bakery, like Breton butter cake. Hours are Sat-Sun 11am-2:30pm, with the bar open all day.
And over in the Upper Haight, a tweet from PARADA 22 announced they are now serving weekend brunch, starting at 9am. The menu includes some eggy basics, plus chorizo and eggs, huevos rancheros, and more (almost everything is under $10).
Parada 22 - 1805 Haight St. San Francisco - 415-750-1111
Due to open on Monday February 27th is CASSAVA BAKERY + CAFÉ in the Outer Richmond (formerly Le Bread). Husband-and-wife team Yuka Loroi (Starbelly) and chef Kristoffer Toliao (Luce) originally did some pop-up dinners around town, but now they have their own place. The sample menu mentions some simple breakfast items (although there is also “Japanese Breakfast” with stuffed rice balls, miso soup, onsen tamago, and housemade pickles), while lunch brings soups (potato and ham, lentil), salads, and panini (like meatloaf on challah), plus fresh-baked cookies, empanadas, and quiches. There will also be Ritual Roasters Coffee served. Hours will be 7am-7pm daily. 3519 Balboa St. at 36th Ave., 415-640-8990.
Joining the LuLu/Oola/Zero Zero zone on Folsom Street will be JAMBER, according to LiveSoMa and Eater. Owner Jess Voss is opening a “wine pub” with her brother Matt, and will serve 20 California wines and 10 beers on tap. It’s designed to be a casual and comfortable place to hang out (the menu will be focused on comfort food). The 50-seat space also has an enclosed patio. Look for a May opening. 858 Folsom St. at 4th St.
There are way too many opportunities for me to make crude jokes here, so I’m going to bite my tongue and sit on my hands and just present the facts: opening on Thursday March 15th in North Beach is THE PENTHOUSE CLUB & STEAKHOUSE. Yes, there will be GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS, plus a 20-foot video wall, two stages, two levels of seating (including the “Make It Rain” section, not sure I want to inquire more about that one), and this is what is kind of blowing my mind: the largest Champagne display in Northern California (now, what kinds of Champagnes are in that display is another matter entirely). The press release mentions steaks and reserve wines, but that’s about all we know for now. The club will be open for lunch and dinner. 412 Broadway at Montgomery, 415-391-2800.
A few closures around town: Eater reports LE BORDEAUX in North Beach has closed after barely six months in business. 524 Union St. at Stockton.
This is a little late, but a tablehopper tipster let me know DELI-UP CAFE in the Mission closed at the beginning of the year. It has a nice patio in the back; here’s hoping someone cool opens something good in there. 2200 Bryant St. at 20th St.
Closing on March 31st is LA BARCA in the Marina, open since 1963. As reported in the Scoop, new owners Tod Alsman and Chris Fogarty (R Bar and Wreck Room) and Cass Fegan (Sloane) are partnering with La Barca owner Jimmy Bernard’s son, Vance Bernard, who is taking over for his father. The name and concept are in development, and they are currently looking for a chef to do an approachable New American menu. Gi Paoletti is behind the redesign. 2036 Lombard St. at Fillmore.
After that mess of a flood in October, MISS PEARL’S in Oakland is reopening. And what a night to do so: tonight, on Mardi Gras! Designer Anthony Laurino has made some changes to the décor, but chef Eddie Blyden will still be rocking his menu of modern Southern dishes made with local ingredients. New Orleans-style gumbo, jambalaya, hush puppies, and etouffée will be keeping company with Georgia-style greens, shrimp, and grits, and Carolina low-country bouillabaisse. You can check out the menu here.
The “Jam House” has been dropped from the name, and it will now be known as Miss Pearl’s Restaurant & Lounge. There will still be live music on the weekends (and no cover charge), and happy hour is on weeknights from 3pm-6pm. Sundays bring bottomless mimosas and kids 12 and under eat free at the Mimosa Buffet Brunch. As for tonight, the paint is still wet, but the Mardi Gras celebration will include $5 gumbo and bar bites, $5 Hurricanes and daiquiris, and live music from the Craig Cafall Blues Band, 4pm-midnight. 1 Broadway at Water, Oakland, 510-444-7171.
Whew, the Diablo Dish had a big update on Oakland projects, but here’s the quick recap: Paul Canales has released a few details about his still-unnamed space next to Flora (“he’s strongly considering adding a small, curated wine shop where customers can buy bottles of wine to bring with them to the restaurant,” “a rotating series of pop-up stores in the artsy/design vein” are mentioned, plus some treats from his wife Mary’s Ici ice cream shop, and timing is hinted at “late summer, early fall opening at this point”).
More tips: LE CHEVAL is due to reopen in its previous location at 1007 Clay Street, and it should be within the month; the chocolate café BITTERSWEET CAFÉ is opening a new location at 1438 Broadway in Rockridge in mid-March, serving breakfast and lunch; and BEER REVOLUTION in Jack London Square is planning to expand into an old train depot where they’ll open a restaurant called the Old Depot (although this is six months to a year out).
One more thing for your radar: a reader let me know FLIPSIDE has opened in the former Adam’s Burger space on Lakeshore. The burgers are made from hormone-free meat (or you can choose turkey, or vegetarian) and come on buns or Texas toast; the menu includes a sick-sounding hangover burger with fried egg, American cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, French fries, and Tabasco mayo, ay yi yi. There are also salads, a kid’s menu, milkshakes, and more. 3401 Lakeshore Ave. at Longridge, Oakland, 510-879-7195.
Opening tonight, Tuesday February 21st, is BRASA in the former eVe Restaurant space. As previously mentioned, husband-and-wife team Christopher and Veronica Laramie converted eVe into this fast-casual spot serving Peruvian cuisine, focusing on rotisserie chicken and Peruvian street food. There is also takeout and delivery. 1960 University Ave. at Bonita, Berkeley, 510-868-0735.
Meanwhile, ANGELINE’S LOUISIANA KITCHEN is temporarily closing on Monday February 27th to get ready for their expansion into the space next door. They are expected to reopen on Monday March 5th. 2261 Shattuck Ave. at Bancroft, 510-548-6900.
On Tuesday February 28th, Gail Simmons of Top Chef and Top Chef: Just Desserts will be at the Marin Art & Garden Center to discuss her new book, Talking with My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater. There will be a discussion, book signing, and VIP dessert reception featuring food and sweets by Taste Catering. All proceeds benefit Marin Art & Garden Center’s educational programs. 7pm-10pm. $65 VIP ticket includes the talk, dessert reception, and a signed book; $45 includes talk and a signed book; $30 includes talk only. Tickets here or call 415-455-5260. The Marin Art & Garden Center, The Livermore Pavilion, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross.
Also on Tuesday February 28th, chef Jason Berthold of RN74 will be on the live talk show Studio Gourmet at Circolo. Arrive at 5:30pm for a welcome cocktail and bites, followed by a cooking demo and tasting, and then a live interview with chef Berthold. Special guest Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis will be on hand to pair wines with the dish from the demo (check out the lineup of dishes on the website). Tickets: $35 (or two tickets for $60). 500 Florida St. at Mariposa.
This is sure to be a powerful event: on Thursday March 1st, author Elizabeth Andoh will be at OMNIVORE BOOKS to talk about Kibō (Brimming with Hope): Recipes and Stories from Japan’s Tohoku. Here’s more: “Kibō, an e-book, was written by Japanese culinary authority Elizabeth Andoh, who was in her Tokyo kitchen when the Great Eastern-Japan Earthquake struck. Over the following months she witnessed the strength of the people of the Tohoku region—one of the largest miso- and sake-producing areas in Japan—as they struggled with the effects of the resulting tsunami and nuclear accident. She was inspired to write Kibō (meaning “brimming with hope”) to not only tell the story of the food of the Tohoku region but also to document the experiences of its people, both before and after the disaster.” Free talk. 6pm-7pm.
And on Tuesday March 6th, there will be a Butcher’s Guild Panel Discussion at REVIVAL BAR + KITCHEN in Berkeley with authors Ryan Farr, Marissa Guggiana, Peter Hertzmann, and Morgan Maki of Bi-Rite Market. They will be discussing the business and art of butchery, plus there will be a book signing, salumi, a specialty cocktail, and snacks. No reservations necessary; free. 6pm-7pm. 2102 Shattuck Ave. at Addison, Berkeley, 510-549-9952.
Here’s a little hodgepodge o’ cocktail news for you: let’s start with this update from Grub Street on the shituation at the GOLD DUST LOUNGE as they try to secure status as a historical landmark (and Willie Brown is now involved in trying to help save it). 247 Powell St. at Geary, 415-397-1695.
Bartender David Curiel of the Hideout (who always manages to make some of my very favorite drinks) is now offering cocktails on Thursdays at BROKEN RECORD. His menu (Heart Attack and Vine) includes $8 drinks like the Desarmador with Oro Pisco, lime, grapefruit, agave, Angostura, and Prosecco; a Bourbon Mule; Blood and Sand; and a couple drinks by his cohorts, The Black Manhattan by Todd Smith (rye, Averna, coffee tincture) and The Black Daiquiri by Josh Harris (Pampero, Averna, lime, simple syrup, coffee tincture, orange bitters). He’s going to rotate some drinks each week, but one constant will be a shot of Irish whiskey and a spicy pickle back for $4 (the pickle juice will hopefully be ready by next week).
Over at DR. TEETH AND THE ELECTRIC MAYHEM, Thursdays are now Thaco Thursdays, with $2 tacos (chicken, beef, mahi mahi, or vegetarian, with roasted beets, goat cheese, sweet potato fries) and two-for-one margaritas all night (depending on the liquor you choose, the price will vary, starting at $7 for house margaritas). And don’t forget: you can score a free ride to and from Bullitt, Tonic, Dr. Teeth (Mayhem) or Rebel—just “Hit up the man in the burgundy Suburban.” Call 415-830-7679. Pickups start at 8pm, and don’t forget to tip your driver. 2323 Mission St. at 19th St., 415-285-2380.
This Wednesday February 22nd, swing by BAR DOGWOOD in Oakland starting at 8pm, and you’ll be able to get soused on some classic tiki drinks from “Trader” Chris Lane and Dion (“the Beachcomber”) Jardine (it’s also a birthday celebration). Hawaiian shirts welcome.
On Monday March 5th, WO HING GENERAL STORE is hosting a tiki night, starting at 6pm. Guest bartender Steven Liles from Smuggler’s Cove will be in the house, and chef Michelle Mah will be cooking modern updates of classic pu-pu platter bites.
Now’s your chance to attend one of Scott Beattie’s monthly Seasonal Cocktails class: thanks to a sponsorship by St. George Spirits, the class is now $30 off (tickets are $65). And if you use code tablehopper, you get another $10 off, how you like them apples? Beattie’s next class is Friday February 24th (future classes are on the last Friday of each month). (Pssssst, you can also use the tablehopper code for $10 off the Mixology 101 class by H. Joseph Ehrmann on March 7th.) It all goes down at THE BOOTHBY CENTER FOR THE BEVERAGE ARTS.
March 1st-3rd, NOMBE is hosting a beer and sake tasting each evening with Japan’s most acclaimed craft beer maker, Kiuchi Brewery. The owner of the Kiuchi Brewery (and Hitachino), Mikio Kiuchi, will be at present on March 1st only to pour complementary welcome sake—so make resos now. Chef Noriyuki Sugie will be offering a dinner of four courses (small plates): Pacific saury and foie gras terrine, sun-dried sweet potato; mackerel brandade, pickled shishito pepper; rice-crusted swordfish, caramelized pork belly; spicy octopus and tripe, long beans; plus ramen made with hand-crafted miso, awazuke beef cheek. Seating is limited. $36. Call for more details and to reserve your space: 415-681-7150.
Thursday Mar 29, 2012 6:30pm–9:30pm; VIP from 5:30pm $95 General, $165 VIP, $500 Executive Info/tickets The Bently Reserve 301 Battery St. at Sacramento, San Francisco 877-26-TASTE
With a lineup of culinary and cocktail talent this fabulous, Share Our Strength makes it easy to fight childhood hunger just by attending TASTE OF THE NATION SAN FRANCISCO on Thursday March 29th at The Bently Reserve. Block off your calendar from 6:30pm-9:30pm (from 5:30pm for you veeps) for the fab eats and drinks with chef chair Michael Tusk (Quince, Cotogna), and sleep well knowing that 100% of the moola will go to local beneficiaries Three Squares and Children of Shelters.
You can look forward to food from these generous restaurants: A16, Beretta, Café des Amis, Cotogna, Dosa, Fifth Floor, Frances, Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., Jardinière, Leopold’s, Luella, Marlowe, Mayfield Bakery, Osteria Coppa, Park Tavern, Perbacco, Pizza Antica, Scala’s Bistro, Spruce, and The Village Pub. They won’t be leaving you high and dry—booked for bevvies are Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., HMS Cocktails/The Boothby Center, Hotsy Totsy Club, Scott Beattie Cocktails, and VeeV Açai Spirits.
Plus there’ll be live entertainment and silent and online auctions featuring lifestyle, epicurean, and travel packages. Tickets are $95 General, $165 VIP, $500 Executive. 21+ only. Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit, works to end childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives.
Sunday Mar 4, 2012 10am–6pm $25 advance, $30 door, $10 children 6-12; up to two children under 6 free per adult Info/tickets Herbst Pavilion Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
How much chocolate can you eat within 30,000 square feet? Find out when the sixth annual SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE SALON returns on Sunday March 4th to Fort Mason. Over 55 master chocolatiers, confectioners, wineries, and other culinary artisans will be wooing attendees with their wares—be there if you want a bite of the action.
Participating chocolatiers and confectioners include Amano Artisan Chocolates, William Dean Chocolates, The TeaRoom Chocolate Company, Guittard Chocolate Company, La Chatelaine Chocolat Co., Monterey Chocolate Company, CocoTutti, Saratoga Chocolates, CC Made, Toffee Talk, Dandelion Chocolate, David Bacco Chocolatier, Socola Chocolatier, Nicole Lee Fine Chocolates, Toffeeology, Neo Cocoa, Sixth Course Artisan Confections, Vice Chocolates, Clarine’s Florentines, Victoria Chocolatier, Christopher Michael Chocolates, Jade Chocolates, Truffles in Paradise, NewTree, Alter Eco Fair Trade Chocolate, Kika’s Treats, and Kallari.
Additional participants include Farm Fresh To You, Jerk’NPickle artisan beef jerky, R&B Cellars, Urban Legend Cellars, Sol Rouge/Winery Collective, The Winery SF, Quady Winery, VAD Vodka, Alquimia Organic Tequila, 21st Amendment Brewery, Firehouse Grill and Brewery, Books Inc., the Bread Project (nonprofit), The New York Times, Rigolo Café, Cuisine Noir magazine, and many more.
Chef appearances to note: Tanya Holland (of Cooking Channel, and Brown Sugar Kitchen and B-Side BBQ in Oakland), and Marisa Churchill (Bravo’s Top Chef). Look for panels, demos, and book signings as well, and a screening of the public television program Chocolate FRENCH.
Tickets are available online for $25, or at the door for $30. Up to two children under 6 free per adult. $10 each additional child under 6 and all children 6-12.
The Whiskies of the World Expo gathers the world’s most fascinating distilled spirits along with their makers and ambassadors to give its guests an opportunity to sample, learn, and experience a night of delicious spirited fun. The grand tasting will be aboard the San Francisco Belle Yacht (remains docked), with its three ballroom-size tasting decks, and an open roof Whisky & Cigar Pairing deck. Come on Saturday March 31st to enjoy hundreds of whiskies, a full buffet dinner, Masterclasses, the Bushmills Pipe and Drum Band, whisky mixology, artisanal food pairings, live jazz, cigars, and more.
Learn, celebrate, experience!
tablehopper is giving away one pair of tickets (two tickets total, a $240 value). All you need to do is forward today’s tablehopper newsletter to one friend (but even more would be so very fabulous), and add a note to your friend(s) about the event. Be sure to 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 Sunday February 26th at 11:59pm. We’ll notify the winner on Monday. You must be 21 or older to enter. Good luck!
Don’t wanna press your luck? Purchase tickets online now, and use code TABLEHOPPER for $10 off!
Haighteration shares this fun story of Lenny Kravitz in the Lower Haight, who swung by Wing Wings and was reportedly a fan of the Angry Korean wings (we have this in common). The piece also mentions he was heading to The Slanted Door for dinner that night. (If you have a sec, you should read the entire story about how he even ended up in the Lower Haight, it’s a good one.)
The city was all abuzz last week with a visit from President Barack Obama, who made an unexpected pit stop at Great Eastern in Chinatown for some dim sum to go. There’s been a huge (and slightly misinformed) hubbub over the fact that the restaurant still serves shark’s fin soup, and just last month the President signed the Shark Conservation Act into law.
Fortunately SFoodie puts things in perspective: “Of course, the California law allows restaurants to sell off their existing stocks of shark fin until July 1, 2013, making that restaurant’s menu still completely legal — and I’d rather see that shark fin eaten rather than completely thrown away, entirely wasting the life of the animal that died to supply humans with the luxury foodstuff.” The greater scandal is how this woman is grabbing a handful of the President’s hindquarters.
And big congrats to chef Michael Tusk of Quince, who was invited to cook for the President at a private dinner that evening.
Last Thursday, the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent dined at Park Tavern (grande dame Denise Hale was in their party). Since one is supposed to address the Princess as Your Royal Highness, imagine being a server that night: “Your Royal Highness, would you like the chicken [she did] or the burger [the prince did].” (The Princess was reportedly the guest of honor at the opening reception for “The Cult of Beauty” at the Legion of Honor.)