Pulehu beef tongue, barley, miso, cucumber at LihoLiho Yacht Club. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Hello, peeps. (Did you have some of those on Sunday?) Besides trekking down to San Mateo on Sunday for an Easter feast with the family (pasta al forno, how much do I love you, let me count the ways), I took it easy this weekend, in an attempt to beat a lame cold that was trying to take me down. I won, killing it with homemade Brazilian chicken soup and pasta e fagioli (was fun to stay in and cook for a change). I couldn’t get sick—I have so many writing deadlines the next 10 days, I don’t know what to do with my damn self. Ay yi yi.
I did play a little hooky last night, leaving my computer on a very rare Monday night out to go check out Ravi Kapur’s LihoLiho Yacht Club pop-up at Citizen’s Band. Am so glad I did, because that was quite the memorable feast (and I mean FEAST—thank God I rode my bike there and back), from housemade lap cheong sausage in delicious sticky rice, to the fantastic smoked octopus with turnips and avocado. Try to catch it the next two Mondays if you can, it has a great vibe.
I am getting ready to head down to Pebble Beach Food & Wine this Thursday, for four days of true culinary debauchery. I’ll be tweeting from the fray. The weather is registering high on the lame scale, but fortunately it looks like it will mellow out by the weekend. There are still some tickets available for a few of the events, so if you get the whim to cruise on down, go for it. I’ll see you there.
And now, let’s go to the opposite end of the spectrum and chat about frugality: today on You Gotta Eat This, I talk about the rotisserie chicken dinner at Green Chile Kitchen, and how I stretch that thing into a three-day meal. My grandmother would be proud.
Now open in Union Square in the Mystic Hotel is BURRITT TAVERN from chef-owner Charlie Palmer, his first restaurant in San Francisco. To recap a previous report on tablehopper, the Tavern is building on the film noir/speakeasy-ish vibe of the flanking historic Burritt Room bar—sure to be the coveted tables are the curtained booths in the 125-seat dining room.
Chef Ashley Weaver’s dinner menu can be viewed here, which includes starters to share (like cornmeal-crusted oysters), five kinds of salads (including a warm asparagus salad with a poached egg), and main dishes like a pork chop, three cuts of steak, and 36-hour lamb shoulder, along with rather safe choices like chicken breast and salmon ($26-$32). Dinner Sun-Thu 5:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm, lunch coming soon. Burritt Room + Tavern, at Mystic Hotel, 417 Stockton St. at Sutter, 415-400-0561.
The crumbled Criolla Kitchen saga continues: it ends up some of the crew have banded together and are launching a weekly pop-up in the Mission called THE WESTWOOD POPUP in the former B3/Winemakers’ Speakeasy space. GM Hans Purohit, chef Jonny Becklund (previously Randy Lewis’ sous chef), and Rob Renteria, along with some of the waiters and back of the house people from Criolla are all on board. The extreme locavore concept is based around sourcing products for the restaurant right in the Mission: from the farmers’ markets to the fish markets, plus breads from Arizmendi, and cheeses from Lucca and Mission Cheese.
You can take a look at the menu here, which includes small bites (all $6) like deviled eggs with pork cracklings and jalapeño relish and radishes with bone marrow butter and smoked salt; starters (all $8) like fried smelts with sweet pickle tartar sauce and beef tartare, quail egg, and caper berry; entrées include roasted chicken, new potatoes, sautéed greens, jus ($16) and a grilled flat iron steak ($17) with melted leeks, tarragon-garlic aioli, fries, along with a cheeseburger ($12), dressed, caramelized onions, horseradish aioli, and fries.
The team has been doing a ton of cleaning and painting to get the space freshened up, and you will see work from local Mission artists on the walls. The restaurant is opening for dinner this Wednesday April 11th, and plans to start brunch in a few weeks. Dinner Tue-Sun. 1152 Valencia St. at 22nd St.
After Sean Canavan left his position as executive chef of BLUESTEM BRASSERIE, chef de cuisine Josh Lucas—formerly the executive chef of Luna Park and he opened Bluestem with Sean—has been helming the kitchen. New dishes include a roasted half chicken with crispy spinach and macaroni and cheese. He’s expanding the restaurant’s selection of house-cured meats, and within the next few weeks, he’ll be adding a variety of salumi to the charcuterie plate, including a lomo and coppa. One more hire: sous chef Emily Fowler, who was the executive chef at Seattle’s Coastal Kitchen.
The PRESIDIO SOCIAL CLUB has a new executive chef, Wes Shaw, who will be working with owner/founding chef Ray Tang. And in a theme-appropriate twist, Shaw spent seven years in the U.S. military service. A Texas native, he’s added beef brisket as the Tuesday night special, along with other changes to the menu (including adding some lighter dishes).
Presidio Social Club - 563 Ruger St. Building 563 San Francisco - 415-885-1888
The ambitious 150-seat restaurant and bakery opening in the former Stars, MAESTRO, is reportedly open now/this week (as I drove by on Saturday, a sign said “open”). Eater has a look at the French bistro menu by chef Neil Marquis. 555 Golden Gate Ave. at Van Ness.
Just across the street, MELA TANDOORI KITCHEN is launching nightly dinner service on Monday April 16th from 5:30pm-10pm. The weekday all-you-can-eat buffet lunch of Northern Indian and Pakistani dishes will continue (Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm), now available for $10.95. Beer and wine are available. 536 Golden Gate Ave. at Van Ness, 415-447-4041.
The Scoop notes FRJTZ is closing in Hayes Valley after 12 years (wow, has it been that long?). Frjtz on Valencia remains open, and owner Santiago Rodriguez is adding daily brunch service at 8am. Meanwhile, the new owner is Brian Cassanego, who is going to be opening NOIR in its place. Details are sparse, but there will be a full menu, beer, and wine. Per the name, the space is going to have a look inspired by film noir and the Jazz Age—Gi Paoletti Design Lab (Bloodhound, Tipsy Pig, Per Diem) is behind the new design. 581 Hayes St. at Laguna.
Beginning this weekend, MISSION BOWLING CLUB is starting brunch service Sat-Sun 11am-3pm. You can check out the menu here, which includes loco moco ($12), which is basically a rendition of the Mission Burger for breakfast, fried chicken and waffles ($11), and more. Whether you bowl or not is beside the point—feel free to just come by for an eye-opener from the full bar and chilaquiles.
Sandwich lovers will want to swing by HEIRLOOM CAFÉ on Wednesday evenings, when they are offering a new sandwich menu in addition to a few choices off the à la carte menu. Some choices (which will rotate weekly) include a Comté tuna melt, pulled pork with fennel slaw and salsa verde, a corned beef Reuben, open-faced asparagus and burrata, a couple grilled cheese sandwiches, and, of course, the Époisses burger. And some killer wine pairings, natch.
On Thursday April 12th, the MISSION COMMUNITY MARKET is back in action for its third year, with some new vendors in their lineup, including 4505 Meats and their high quality, pastured meats, Spring Hill Cheese, Little City Gardens (the first contemporary commercial farm in San Francisco to sell in San Francisco), as well as new vendors from La Cocina and new craft designers from the Mission. Every Thursday from 4pm-8pm at Bartlett and 22nd St.
Heirloom Café - 2500 Folsom St. San Francisco - 415-821-2500
I haven’t been able to successfully reach anyone at CHEZ BERLUE, the new French market and wine bar in Cow Hollow that Eater mentioned was going to open in the former Sean men’s clothing store. According to its Facebook page, it appears to be open daily 11am-8:45pm (those are funny French hours). 1749 Union St. at Octavia, 415-529-2121.
A friend who lives in the Outer Sunset told me a while ago a Mediterranean place was going to open, and now Eater confirms it’s called MEDITERRANEAN CAFE and serving falafel. 3848 Judah St. at 44th Ave.
Are you one of the many fans of the espresso at FOUR BARREL COFFEE? Those lines can be brutal, so you should know you can order a single-origin espresso in the Caledonia alley on the weekends from 9am-5pm.
A while ago, I mentioned some changes at Coco-luxe in the Haight, which was supposed to become Coco-vine and serve coffee, wine from the Markris Wine Group, and chocolate. This report in Upper Casing mentions it’s now going to be called STANZA, but most of the details originally reported in tablehopper appear to be the same. 1673 Haight St. at Cole, 415-367-4012.
Four Barrel Coffee - 375 Valencia St. San Francisco - 415-252-0800
While we’ve got the ol’ soapbox out, we hope you’ll consider taking a look at two upcoming films about the state of food in America. First up, get some folks together at 8pm on Saturday night (April 14th) to watch the documentary Hunger Hits Home on the Food Network. This collabo project between Food Network and Share Our Strength aims to raise awareness about the 16 million children in the U.S. who go hungry every day, and to highlight the hard-working folks who are fighting this hunger crisis. You can watch the trailer online, and get more info about what you can do to help.
On Earth Day 2012 (Sunday April 22nd), Whole Foods Market launches its annual Do Something Reel Film Festival with a screening of The Apple Pushers, a film that follows five immigrant street-cart vendors who, as part of The NYC Green Cart Initiative, are offering fruits and vegetables in New York neighborhoods where fresh produce isn’t widely available. The film is narrated by Edward Norton (hubba), and the screening will be followed by a panel discussion, which takes place live in Austin. 3pm at the Century 9 San Francisco Centre theater. Tickets are $10 online, and proceeds benefit Hunters Point Family, a grass-roots, community-based youth development agency that provides programs to youth and their families living in the Bayview-Hunters Point community. 845 Market St., Ste. 500, at 5th St.
The details regarding Paul Canales’ new Uptown Oakland project keep coming, this time courtesy of the East Bay Express (while the Scoop reveals the name is DUENDE). It’s going to be a multifaceted project, with music, a retail wine shop, ice cream (courtesy of his wife, Mary Canales, of Ici Ice Cream), pop-up shops for artisan pals, and a gallery space. His business partner (and the GM) is Rocco Somazzi, who worked at the Royal/T in Culver City, Los Angeles, which has a similar eclectic format.
The restaurant and bar are the primary focus, however, taking up 75% of the space. The cuisine will be centered around Spanish dishes, with a variety of influences, so don’t look for a cookie-cutter menu of tortilla española and patatas bravas—although Canales (whose origin is Basque) is reportedly fired up to rock some paella. Here’s more from the site: “Duende’s inspirational touchstone is authentic regional Spanish cuisine, however, we will use this touchstone as a jumping off point for free-form culinary improvisations. We will not not be serving Spanish ‘museum’ food. Yet we love the flexibility of the Spanish menu format, giving our guests the ability to create a dining experience that suits their desires of the moment.”
The full-service bar is meant to be energetic and fun, with specialty cocktails, Spanish and local wines and beers, housemade embutidos (cured meats), artisan cheeses, and other meriendas (bar snacks). Arcsine Architecture is leading the design, with a potential late summer or fall opening. Take a look on Duende’s blog for more on the concept, philosophy, and how Duende is much more than just a song by the Gipsy Kings.
Duende - 468 19th St. Oakland - 510-893-0174
A quick roundup of new projects in the 510, starting with HOPSCOTCH, a new bar and restaurant opening this May in Oakland’s Uptown in the former Chef Edwards Bar-B-Que spot. Grub Street was the first to sniff out that owners Kyle Itani and Jenny Schwartz are behind the project (Itani worked at The Meatball Shop with Daniel Holzman in New York, and with Sho Kamio here at Yoshi’s). A press release reveals further details: “global bistro fare and American classics featuring hyper-local ingredients” with a Japanese sensibility and a focus on local and seasonal ingredients, plus craft beer, wine, and small-batch spirits, particularly Scotch. The menu includes asari frites: Kirin-steamed clams and house merguez with duck fat potato chips; veal breast porchetta: kombu-braised kale oshitashi; Sacramento striped bass: English peas and barley-miso butter sauce; and escargot and bone marrow gratin: sourdough toast and mizuna-caper salad. Desserts include a yuzu meringue pie and seasonal fresh fruit tarts.
You can learn more and peek at the space on their Kickstarter page. The 40-seat space has a mid-century American diner look, with a Carrara marble bar (with room for 10) and a cork checkerboard floor. It will be open for lunch and dinner Tue-Sun. 1915 San Pablo Ave. at William, Oakland.
Last week I mentioned MARZANO is expanding into the former hardware store next door, but it ends up it’s only half the space: Diablo Dish noticed via some ABC license activity the other half will be a restaurant called BURGER PARK. 4214 Park Blvd. at Glenfield, Oakland.
And East Bay Dish mentions “Actual Cafe is planning to open VICTORY BURGER in the space next door late this year.” On the menu: burgers made with sustainably raised meat and organic produce. 1099 Alcatraz Ave. at San Pablo, Oakland.
Yet another fast-casual Greek place is opening: Berkeleyside mentions SOUVLAKI GREEK TRADITIONAL FOOD at 2518B Durant Ave. at Telegraph, Berkeley.
Don’t miss the Annual Three-Day Super Sale at TriMark Economy Restaurant Fixtures, featuring our lowest prices of the year on restaurant equipment and supplies.
Live cooking demonstrations, giveaways, free valet parking, and thousands of items on sale at ridiculously low prices. Save big on commercial refrigeration and cooking equipment, cookware, china, glassware, shelving, cutlery, sinks, worktables, ice machines, food storage, steam table pans, and more. Factory representatives will be on hand to answer your questions.
Thursday April 19th through Saturday April 21st, 8am-5:30pm daily. More information at TriMarkEconomy.com.
Opening quite a bit ahead of schedule, LOCAL EDITION, the latest bar from the Destination Bars team (Brian Sheehy and Doug Dalton), is opening this Thursday. It’s located in the basement of the historic Hearst Building—some of you may remember The Manhattan Lounge from a while ago, the space’s last incarnation. It was the publishing floor for The Examiner and The Call, so you’ll see many elements like paper cutters, linotypes, historic newspapers, typewriters, and more. In fact, Dalton’s father and grandfather were both reporters, and papers with their bylines and their typewriters are both displayed. In coming months, more equipment from the archives will be revealed, like a Hearst projector that will play old Movietone newsreels. There’s a stage where you’ll also be able to listen to jazz ensembles and acoustic acts.
The space is huge—5,500 square feet—and has a seating area with room for over 100. There are banquettes, lounge chairs on rollers, and the low tables are topped with marble that was from the Hearst Castle; the bar is also made of the same marble—they found the remnants in the sub-basement and were given permission by Steve Hearst to use it (he’s been instrumental in the project). There are also high-top tables around the bar.
I spoke with Joe Alessandroni (GM, manager for Rickhouse) and Ian Scalzo (opening GM for Local Edition, GM at Bourbon & Branch, beverage director for Destination Bars) about the cocktail program, which will be inspired by mid-century (and spirit-driven) cocktails from the ’50s and ’60s. The 12 original cocktail names are based on events, people, and places of that era, with references to the newspaper business, like The Eagle (a reference to the Hearst logo) and Fidel and Che. In addition to Ian’s composed cocktails, there are “culinary highballs” (a spirit, syrup, and soda made from old-school siphons), and your table can order bottles of punch, like The Daily News, a variation on the Singapore sling with mezcal on the side. A twist on bottle service, there will also be decanter service, with a spirit served with a bucket of ice and soda.
For now, you can either make a reservation for 1 of 12 tables (you’ll be able to do so on the website), or feel free to just swing by (there are a lot of spots held for walk-ins). When it’s busy, you’ll check in with a host who will seat you when tables are available, and about 30 of the tables will have table service. Opening hours are Thu-Fri 5pm-2am, Sat 7pm-2am, and starting Monday, it will be open early-ish for happy hour (possibly 4pm) through Saturday until 2am (hours subject to change). 691 Market St. at 3rd St., 415-795-1375. (Look for the door next to the T-Mobile store.)
A couple beer dinners for your consideration: on Sunday April 15th, you can drink away your tax woes (or your refund) at this Almanac Beer Co. brewmaster’s dinner with Reform Club and chef Eric Ehler of Seoul Patch. Check out the Asian-influenced menu here. It will be your first chance to taste the new Almanac spring release of their Biere de Mars with Fennel from Heirloom Organic Gardens. $40 per person; beverage pairing $25. Reservations are available here. At Specchio, 2331 Mission St. at 19th St.
On Thursday April 26th, chef Sarah Kirnon of Miss Ollie’s is back with cicerone Sayre Piotrkowski for Beer & Soul, a night of Caribbean soul food paired with local brews from Dying Vines and Craftsman Brewing Company. You can view the menu and pairings here. The dinner will be at The Starline Social Club in Oakland, and it sounds like there will be musical performances and DJs as well. Starline’s resident mixologist, Troy Bayless (formerly of Flora) will be making Caribbean-inspired cocktails, too. $60 (tax and gratuity included). Tickets here. Guests select a half-hour block to be seated, starting every half hour from 6:30pm-9:30pm. 2232 Martin Luther King Way at W. Grand, Oakland.
Want to learn more about wine from some local pros? Sommelier Mark Bright of SAISON is hosting Saison Wine School on Saturdays at the restaurant, starting on Saturday April 28th. The two-hour classes will focus on wines from various regions around the world. Beginning at $125/person, it will vary depending on topic. The first class will cover sparkling wine and Champagne. Saturdays 12pm-2pm. Buy tickets through SeatMe.
Saison - 178 Townsend St. San Francisco - 415-828-7990
On Thursday April 19th, head to Root Division in the Mission for an artful evening of food, cocktails, music, and, well, art. It’s TASTE 2012, Root Division’s annual fundraiser held at their gallery and studios from 7:30pm-10:30pm.
The evening’s cuisine will be donated by generous SF restaurants and culinarians. The menu includes garbanzo bean crêpes filled with crescenza cheese, mushrooms, and truffle from Beretta’s Ruggero Gadaldi; housemade smoked boudin blanc and mortadella with Peppadew pepper from Maverick’s Emmanuel Eng; roasted porchetta sandwiches on grilled flat bread with chile sauce from Starbelly’s Adam Timney; and shrimp and squid tostadas with citrus and avocado from Tacolicious’ Telmo Faria. Additional participants include Chiefo Chukwudebe of Chiefo’s Kitchen, Gabriela Guerrero of Delicioso Crêperie, Constanza Ortiz of Maite Catering, Pronto by Bar Bambino, Mission Minis, and Bi-Rite Market.
Grab some art-inspired cocktails from the likes of Melissa Boyd, Beretta; Duggan McDonnell, Cantina Lounge; Lenny Gumm, Dosa; Mark DeVito, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem; Hog & Rocks; Josh Forth, Mosto; and Jon Gasparini, Rye; additional refreshments from BridgePort IPA, Buttonwood Farm Winery, Distillery 209, Eric Kent Wine Cellars/Sarapo Family Wines, Korbel Champagne Cellars, Shiner Bock, Shoe Shine Wine, and Trumer Brauerei. And there’s art for your ears too in the form of live music by Go Van Gogh and Under Water.
Other event perks to look out for: a wine chest raffle, and a silent auction for gift certificates from Bay Area restaurants, spas, salons, and other venues, and small artworks by local artists. Veeps, you’ll get early access to watch Ragazza’s Sharon Ardiana make passatelli pasta, plus a limited-edition, artist-designed tote filled with goodies and gifts.
Get tickets by April 16th, and they’re four for $250, or four VIPs for $400; otherwise, $75 general admission, and $125 VIP. Root Division is an arts and arts education nonprofit providing subsidized studio space to working artists in exchange for their service in creating shared learning opportunities for the community. 3175 17th St. at S. Van Ness, 415-863-7668.
Saturday May 12, 2012 9am and 11am seatings $45 adults, $15 kids Info/tickets CUESA Kitchen under the north arcade Ferry Building, San Francisco
It’s still a month away, but it’s a good time to reserve your seats: the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture’s 12th annual SPRING BREAKFAST fundraiser is coming up on Saturday May 12th (the day before Mother’s Day), when fans of the farmers’ market get a once-a-year chance to join their favorite farmers and food artisans for breakfast.
The market-inspired breakfast menu from Bob Clark (Bon Appétit Management Company, executive chef at eBay) will be served buffet-style, with items like pasture-raised scrambled eggs with fresh herbs, asparagus, and farmer’s cheese; artichoke and leek frittata with goat cheese; roasted potatoes with spring onions and gypsy peppers; sausage from 4505 Meats and Fatted Calf with fresh sage over an apple compote; and a market salad with baby beets, olives, and tomatoes. For a sweeter morning meal, try Martha’s Swedish oatmeal pancakes with tayberry compote, maple syrup, whipped butter, and pecans; blackberries, strawberries, cherries, and raspberries with granola, honey and yogurt; and assorted breakfast pastries with artisan cheeses and handmade jam. And to drink, Peet’s coffee and tea, fresh-squeezed citrus juice, and a mimosa bar!
Tickets are $45 adults, and $15 kids; reserve online. Two seatings, 9am and 11am, under the north arcade at the Ferry Building. CUESA is a nonprofit whose mission is to cultivate a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs.
According to Leah Garchik, the dashing Clive Owen “had dinner at Bix Wednesday with Phil Kaufman (who directed him in HBO’s forthcoming “Hemingway & Gellhorn”) and Jeannette Etheredge.” Further details: he liked the Scarpetta Barbera.
San Francisco Giants reliever Clay Hensley was spotted at Bluestem Brasserie’s bar last Wednesday, just before Friday’s season opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was reportedly loving the bar, and chatting up fans.
The Willie’s World blog reports MC Hammer had a birthday bash this past weekend for 300 guests at the Fairmont’s Tonga Room. Willie shares: “Half of them were in white suits, white ties and white shoes, which apparently is a Hammer thing.” Hopefully no one dressed in white had an incident with the pu pu platters.