This week's tablehopper: foiemageddon.
The quiche of your dreams, seriously. At Cassava Bakery & Café. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Well, THAT was an epic weekend. I love it when the weather plays nice with Pride festivities. I can’t believe how many friends I got to catch up with, dance with, and laugh with—this is what happens when you’ve lived here since 1994. I was hoping to see Kelly Tunstall and Ferris Plock’s new art show, Edible Complex, that opened on Friday night and go dancing afterward, but I managed to totally burn my hand while cooking at home (damn hot bowl, OW!) and had to pull it on over. Wah. (All better now, thanks—hands are amazing with how quickly they heal.)
Anyway, this week started with a bang: Monday was the first day of my tablehopper Insider Week on Gilt City! I have been working with Gilt City to curate deals and experiences with some of my favorite local businesses, restaurants, and more—subscribe and get ready for two more days of great offers this week!
Also hot this week: where to go for the final days of foie gras. Did you see my article in the June issue of 7x7, where I post five of my favorite foie dishes in SF? Check it out if you’re looking for a hit list—foie gras will be illegal on July 1. Required reading: this article that posted on Bloomberg last night that notes a loophole in the ban, and mentions how there doesn’t seem to be anything in place about enforcing the ban.
I am also planning to try the foie ramen at Ame, and tonight, Hapa Ramen is serving foie terrine on their duck ramen at their pop-up at Wing Wings. You should also know that at Palio D’Asti, you can add seared foie gras to any dish on the menu at lunch and dinner (except happy hour pizza) for only $5. Follow me on Twitter for more up-to-the-minute foie specials this week as I see them.
Enjoy the sun, enjoy the foie!
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Hayes Valley Bakeworks to Open June 28th
A report by Dana Massey-Todd: As previously mentioned on tablehopper, HAYES VALLEY BAKEWORKS is a new café opening at Gough and Fulton. It will feature pastries made from scratch, in-house, as well as wholesome pizza specials each day. There will be soups, salads, and sandwiches available to go, and they are running soup recipes from various local food personalities including, that’s right, the Gagliardi family’s own minestrone soup. For sipping, there will be Four Barrel coffee and Revive Kombucha on tap. The café has a health-conscious bent, with pizza crusts made from quinoa and potato dough, vegan sandwiches, and a vegetarian focus. Don’t worry, though: I spotted the butter stash on my visit and it wasn’t paltry. You can view the opening menu here.
The pastries will include plenty of opportunities for indulgence, like brownies, scones, and chef Alyssa Levy’s signature Three Bs cookie. What do the Bs stand for? Why, peanut butter, brown butter, and butterscotch, of course. Keep your eyes and belly peeled for the maple-bacon cinnamon roll too. The Bakeworks is operated through Toolworks, a nonprofit that places people with disabilities and the formerly homeless in job training, and the café will further support this mission by employing these participants. So you can enjoy knowing you’re supporting a wonderful organization alongside that cinnamon roll. The opening is Thursday June 28th. Open Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat 8am-3pm, and closed Sundays. 365 Fulton St. at Gough, 415-864-2688.
More Baked Goods: La Boulange du Dome and B. Patisserie
Now open under the 102-feet-wide glass dome at Westfield San Francisco Centre is the 20th location of La Boulange, LA BOULANGE DU DOME. The (now Starbucks-owned) bakery and café offers a full range of mini tea sandwiches, snacks, soups, salads, tartines, and grilled sandwiches, as well as traditional pastries and breakfast items. There are also macaron ice cream sandwiches and wines by the glass. Open Mon-Sat 10am-8:30pm, Sun 10am-7pm. 865 Market St. (Level 4 Under the Dome).
After waiting to find out what was moving into the vacant Crepe & Coffee location on California Street, the Scoop announced pastry whiz Belinda Leong will be opening a brick-and-mortar location of her B. PATISSERIE. Also exciting: she is partnering with “Michel Suas, owner of TMB Baking Co. and Thorough Bread, co-founder of San Francisco Baking Institute and a guy with 45 years of experience.” Yeah, the whiz is working with the wizard. Look for a hoped-for opening by the end of the year. 2821 California St. at Divisadero.
The Name of Adriano Paganini's Project in Medjool Revealed: Lolinda
I’ve been waiting around for word of what Adriano Paganini (Beretta, Delarosa, Super Duper, Starbelly) was going to be calling his upcoming Latin project in the former Medjool location, and leave it to a Craigslist want ad to inform me: LOLINDA. The ad also shares this about the concept: “simple and sustainable cooking with a Latin-fired twist. Bearing influences from Argentina, Spain, and regions of South America, Lolinda highlights a commanding wood-fired grill, a thoughtful selection of from-small-to-not-so-small steaks, and an abundant offering of appetizers and share plates that embraces the whole-animal consciousness prevalent in San Francisco’s culinary world.”
Dinner will be served nightly; stand by for details on timing and more. Last I heard from the team, the plan was to open late summer/early August. It’s a big space, 9,000 square feet in all, with 250 seats in the dining room and 150 on the rooftop terrace. The bar program is in the works but expect a South American influence with a solid stock of piscos, plus tequilas and whiskeys. 2522 Mission St. at 21st Street.
Update on the Red Vic: Will Be Second Act Market Place and Events
As previously reported in tablehopper, the Red Vic movie house will be reopening as a multiuse space later this year, including an expansion of THE ALEMBIC and a marketplace of other food businesses. And now we just received word on the marketplace tenants. The venture, which will be called SECOND ACT MARKET PLACE AND EVENTS, will contain the Red Vic Auditorium, a space available for community events, entertainment, and films, as well as the aforementioned food marketplace.
The marketplace tenants will be Picnic Bakery, a bakery focused on accommodating dietary restrictions without sacrificing flavor; RAW, a juice bar serving drinks made from local local, organic produce; High Cotton, which will serve high-quality hot lunches and dinners to go; and Lali’s, a Georgian (the country, not the state) restaurant with a seasonal focus. Betsy Rix, one of the owners of the Red Vic, says they hope to open the auditorium and marketplace at the end of 2012, so stay tuned for updates.
Charles Chocolates Reopening in San Francisco
Last Wednesday I got a call from Chuck Siegel of CHARLES CHOCOLATES saying that after a long hunt, he found a kitchen and retail space on Florida Street, previously the Potrero Brewing Co. (It’s also across the street from the upcoming Heath Ceramics location.) He’s hoping to have everything up and running with the kitchen by September 1st, and he mentioned he will then open the retail space and café a month later. 535 Florida St. at Mariposa.
Tidbits: Brunch at Pera, NewTree Cafe and Kaka Udon Open, More
You ready for a medley mash-up of news? Here goes. First, PERA in Potrero Hill has made some changes: there is more of a dedicated wine bar where you can hang out, and co-owner Irfan Yalcin has been leading the kitchen since their former chef Muhammet Culha left earlier this year. Yalcin is reportedly turning out new delicious dishes using old-world recipes that are very Turkish in origin. Which is why they are adding weekend brunch! On the weekends, you will get a classic Turkish breakfast of eggs cooked to order, menemen (my favorite breakfast in Turkey: eggs and peppers), sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, three kinds of cheese and olives, homemade jam, honey, hot bread, herb and feta omelets, fresh fruit, and traditional red tea brewed in a samovar. There are a few other dishes like French toast and their regular lunch menu.
A tablehopper tipster let me know about a new downtown chocolate shop and café, NEWTREE CAFE & CHOCOLATE SHOP, which sells soup, salads, coffee, and lots of chocolate. The interior is reportedly very welcoming. Open Mon-Fri 7am-5:30pm. 1 Ecker Pl. (base of Market Street Plaza between Jessie and Stevenson), 415-524-6416.
Tipster Jason B. let me know about another cute café: this one is near Ghirardelli Square, and is called BLACKPOINT CAFE. It has a nice-looking style, and is serving Equator coffee, along with breakfast burritos, gelato, and breakfast pastries—there’s also free Wi-Fi. 882 N Point St. at Larkin, 415-800-8448.
Now open on Franklin is the (unfortunately named) KAKA UDON KITCHEN. The menu lets you build your own udon bowl, with your choice of broth and toppings, from kara-age fried chicken to inari (tofu skin); check out the menu here. There are also lunch bento boxes, nigiri, maki rolls, and a selection of appetizers like fried oysters, soft-shell crab, and sashimi. (And there is probably the cutest ESL missive ever on their About Me page.) Open daily 10am-2:30pm and 6pm-10pm. 1535 Franklin St. at Pine, 415-577-2380.
This Friday June 29th will be the last day for VICTORIA PASTRY CO. in their current location (1362 Stockton St.) in North Beach, according to a post on Yelp. Scoop announced the 98-year-old bakery is moving to a new location at 700 Filbert Street. Stand by for details on when they will reopen. New location: 700 Filbert St. at Columbus, 415-781-2015.
BLUESTEM BRASSERIE announced the promotion of Josh Lucas and Francis Hogan to the position of co-executive chefs. Both have been on board almost since day one, and they just unveiled a new salumi program, which has been six months in the making: look for soppressata, fenular (Norwegian lamb ham), and bresaola (Piemontese-style dried beef).
Over in Russian Hill, a tipster let me know SUSHI GROOVE is planning to reopen in July after their vermin issue (ahem), reportedly with a new owner who used to work there. The interior is currently under construction. 1916 Hyde St. at Green, 415-440-1905.
Old-School News: 23 Club in Brisbane's New Chef, Park Tavern's Three-Martini Lunches
The historical 23 CLUB in Brisbane has a new chef as of six weeks ago: Steve Moran, a proud San Francisco native. The food will focus on seasonally available ingredients in simple preparations, including housemade sausage from an old family recipe, and burgers are served on a crusty French roll (oh so San Francisco). The new bar menu features quality, simple classics with housemade touches like brandied cherries. They feature a something-for-everyone range of musical acts, from country and western to zydeco to jazz, so be sure to bring your boogie shoes. There is also an outdoor patio for catching the last of the sunshine before the wall of fog moves in. The kitchen is open daily 3pm-10pm, bar 3pm-2am, though be warned that if the bar is slow, they may close earlier. 23 Visitacion Ave. at Mariposa, Brisbane, 415-467-7717.
PARK TAVERN is launching a Three-Martini Lunch on Fridays, starting June 29th. For $37, you get a prix-fixe menu, or pay $50 and get the optional martini (note: not full size) or rosé pairing. Check out the menu here. Reservations are available from 11:30am-2:30pm.
Eat Your Greens: Chef's Market Box and a New Farmers' Market Location
Now in its third week, the Chef’s Market Box from MISSION COMMUNITY MARKET is in full swing. Inside each box is a recipe from a local chef, plus all the fresh produce needed to make it. Each week, a different chef will curate the box with a seasonal recipe inspired by the farms and produce at MCM. This week, 4505 Meats is featuring everything you need to make Ryan Farr’s kick-ass burgers at home. Sweet! Basically all you need to do is order the box online through Good Eggs until Wednesday, swing by the market (or have it delivered) on Thursday, and get cookin’.
Folks living in the Lower Polk will want to check out the new Pacific Coast farmers’ market in Fern Alley (near Sutter) between Polk and Larkin on Saturdays from 10am-2pm.
510 News: Nido in Oakland, Turkish Kitchen in Berkeley, Hopscotch, More
Diablo Dish brings word that NIDO will be opening a brick-and-mortar location in Jack London Square (it’s the same Nido as Nido community foods, delivering homemade Mexican meals to folks in the area). Chef-owner Silvia McCollow and her husband Cory reportedly hope to open their new spot by September. Here’s more on what they’ll be offering: “Nido will have an emphasis on the Pacific coast region of Mexico so expect a lot of fresh seafood dishes such as whole wood-grilled fish and ceviche crudo, in addition to her popular tamales de pavo, made with slow-braised Mary’s organic turkey.” Bonus: Jaynelle St. Jean of PieTisserie will also have a permanent space in the new project, serving “flavors such as Okinawan sweet potato, kumquat custard, and banana chai cream (nice!).”
Last week we reported that Maoz Vegetarian had closed, and now Berkleyside mentions TURKISH KITCHEN is opening a second location in its place later this summer. 2395 Telegraph Ave. at Channing, Berkeley.
HOPSCOTCH restaurant in Uptown Oakland has added lunch service Tue-Fri from 11:30am-3pm. New dishes include fish and chips with duck fat chips and a fried oyster po’ boy served on a French roll. At happy hour, $2 beers and $5 red and white wine options are available Tue-Fri from 3pm-5pm. 1915 San Pablo Ave. at 19th St., Oakland, 510-788-6217.
One more item: NOTHING BUNDT CAKES has arrived in Emeryville at 5745 Christie in Powell Street Plaza. The bakery is now open and will host several grand-opening activities in July.
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
(Sponsored): Check Out tablehopper's Insider Picks on Gilt City
Do you subscribe to Gilt City San Francisco? Well, in case you don’t, this is the week to do it because tablehopper and Gilt City have partnered up for a special Insider Week, featuring Marcia “the tablehopper” Gagliardi’s favorite restaurants, lifestyle brands, local businesses, and more.
Look for offers at top places like Sebo, Contigo, Deli Board, Namu Gaji, and Ragazza, along with Public Bikes, Basil Racuk, and Whole Body Tonic. Deals, baby, deals! Click here to see the Insider offers and experiences that have already posted, and look for more this coming Wednesday and Thursday!
Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
This Friday, Nombe Debuts a Japanese Beer Garden
On Friday June 29th, NOMBE will be hosting its first summer beer garden event at Wix Lounge in the Mission. The rooftop party (it’s on top of the US Bank building, just one block from Nombe) will run from 5pm-8pm. Guests can enjoy three pints of beer (your choice of Kirin, Sapporo, and Asahi draft and bottled beers, poured on-site by the vendors), plus hand-rolled sushi, edamame hummus with taro chips, oysters on the half-shell, grilled Kurobuta pork belly, Nombe chicken wings, and deep-fried baby potatoes in soy butter or foie gras butter. $50 (early bird) or $60 (at the door); price includes tax and gratuity. A portion of proceeds will benefit La Cocina. Reserve your spot by calling Nombe at 415-681-7150 or online. Look for more upcoming dates this summer. Or, in the case of San Francisco, “summer.” 2601 Mission St. at 22nd St.
Nombe - 2491 Mission St. San Francisco - 415-681-7150
Wino News: Wine & Wall Open, and Tank 18 Is Coming Soon
As previously announced in tablehopper, Lark Creek Restaurant Group has now opened WINE & WALL, a combination wine shop, tasting bar, art gallery, and private dining venue (One Market is just next door). Local firm Architecture & Light designed the space, and Suzy R. Locke and Associates will be curating the gallery shows. The wines were selected by Lark Creek V.P. of Beverage and Service John Hulihan and are dispensed by a state-of-the-art wine-tasting dispenser from Napa Technology WineStation. Guests can also enjoy bites from One Market’s chef Mark Dommen and pastry chef Patti Dellamonica-Bauler. Open Mon-Fri 11am-6pm. One Market Plaza (on Steuart St. between Market and Mission), 415-243-WINE (9463).
Grub Street brings word of an urban winery coming to SoMa, TANK 18, from winemaker Patrick MacCartee. It will be a “full-production urban winery with fermentation tanks in the rear and a tasting bar open to the public at the street-facing side.” The opening is planned for fall. 1345 Howard St. at Dore.
Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Underground Market Returns This Thursday June 28th
Thursday Jun 28, 2012 5pm–10pm $10 Info Public Works 161 Erie St. between Mission and 14th Sts., San Francisco
Back for the first time in, well, far too long is forageSF’s much-anticipated UNDERGROUND MARKET. Join favorite vendors new and old this Thursday June 28th at Public Works, and you might be part of a historic moment. At 9pm this Thursday, the Kickstarter campaign for Forage Kitchen will end: if they haven’t raised $150,000 by then (they’re at just over $100K), it all goes poof. That means you can make the difference just by attending since all the money raised during the market will go toward the Kickstarter campaign.
And did we mention the Date Auction yet? Yeah, the Date Auction means you get to bid on fun activities with local chefs and other food folks, like a ramen tour of the South Bay with Hapa Ramen, a Vietnamese tasting tour of SF with Rice Paper Scissors, and abalone diving with forageSF’s own Iso Rabins. It starts at 8pm, so you’ll wanna get in there early if you want a chance to bid and win.
All food items will be $5 or less, and all vendors will have passed Health Department muster (for those who get their undergarments in a bunch over these things). Check out the likes of Biscuit Bender, Casa de Chocolates, Rice Paper Scissors, Boffo Cart (Italian), Frozen Kuhsterd, The Cookie Department, Homeroom, Suite Foods, Bread Srsly (no gluten ingredients), Mission Cheese, Grilled Cheese Guy, Jerk Chicken, Canvas Underground, Chile Lindo, and more. While you’re munching, enjoy music from The Human Condition (live bluegrass), DJ Hubcap Jones, and others.
$10 cash at the door. Pledge to Kickstarter at $35 and up, and get in free (bring your confirmation). 5pm-10pm. 161 Erie St. between Mission and 14th Sts.
Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Dodging for Lunch
Last Tuesday, just hours before the Oakland A’s shut out the L.A. Dodgers in the teams’ series opener, the Dodgers’ No. 3 hitter, Matt Kemp, who was sidelined due to a hamstring injury, was seen having lunch at Bluestem Brasserie with agent and former A’s pitcher, Dave Stewart. Kemp had the grass-fed steak sandwich. (Oakland native Stewart is best known for his first-rate pitching during the 1989 World Series, which earned him the MVP honor.)