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Jul 9, 2012 18 min read

July 10, 2012 - This week's tablehopper: tuesday, newsday.

July 10, 2012 - This week's tablehopper: tuesday, newsday.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: tuesday, newsday.                    

The acorn grits course (served in the kitchen) at Dixie. Photo: ©

Bonjour, fine folks. Why the French? Well, this Saturday is Bastille Day, with all kinds of activities added to last week’s socialite listing, so check it out. Hell, I’ll take any excuse to drink Champagne. Oh, and since we’re talking wine, you might want to take a peek at this piece I wrote for last week on wine deals around the city. It’s all about Tuesdays, really. Yeah, that would be tonight. Have fun out there.

So who is coming to the CUESA Summer Celebration on Sunday evening? The lineup of food and drinks is NUTS. I will have a table near 4505 Meats and Campo de Encanto Pisco (yup, you might as well call it the rumpus room), so you should come by and par-tay with us. Not only am I giving away a pair of tickets to the Sunday afternoon grand tasting tent for SF Chefs, but I’m also going to have something else that’s very, very cool at the table. Hint: it’s foxy. Come by!

Looking for more entertainment? Today on You Gotta Eat This, I talk about some of the city’s latest awesome sandwiches at Machine Deli (currently a pop-up at Laszlo). Rawr.

Looks like we have 24 hours of sunny weather, get out there and boost your vitamin D while you can.

Cheers! Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Presidio Social Club Flips the Bird to the Foie Gras Ban


Bang the drums! Photo courtesy of Presidio Social Club.

Here’s a totally surprising piece of news: since PRESIDIO SOCIAL CLUB is on federal land, the restaurant has determined it’s actually exempt from the statewide ban on foie gras. I know, right? It’s a crazy piece of news. So starting at 4pm on Bastille Day (this Saturday July 14th), PSC will continually feature foie gras on its menu (from Hudson Valley Foie Gras). The menu will include a foie gras slider on a toasted housemade brioche bun paired with a Sauternes cocktail for $20.

For Bastille Day (and on July 15th), there will be a special dinner for two (starting at 5pm) for $48 per person: butter lettuce salad with Champagne vinaigrette and fines herbes; wood oven-roasted côte de boeuf with frites; and profiteroles to finish—plus a bottle of Chateau Domaine du Dragon grenache rosé is also included. Guests may add seared foie gras for $18.

What does this mean for other restaurants on federal land (or Indian reservations)? The plot thickens.

Presidio Social Club            - 563 Ruger St. Building 563 San Francisco - 415-885-1888

Stag's Lunchette, Now Open in Oakland


The Stag’s Lunchette interior. Photo by Lincoln Smith.


The pastrami sandwich. Photo courtesy Stag’s Lunchette.


Stag’s housemade hot sauces. Photo by Lincoln Smith.

It has been a long time coming, but now we can say, “Release the sandwiches!” And a whole lot more. It’s all going down at STAG’S LUNCHETTE, the new lunch counter in Oakland from Alexeis Filipello, owner of Bar Dogwood. As previously mentioned in tablehopper last December, there is a rotisserie, and spreads, sauces (her dad even made the cute sauce caddies on the tables), pickles, and even the bacon are all housemade.

Breakfast includes Bagel Baron bagels (read all about this awesome new bagel maker here) with house-smoked trout; slow-poached eggs with herbs and toast; housemade ricotta with lemon thyme, honeycomb, Marcona almonds, smoked Maldon salt, olive oil, and toast; and Starter Bakery baked goods.

Lunch brings suckling porchetta sandwiches with pickled radish and Meyer lemon aioli with Stag’s XX sauce (spicy habanero-yam sauce); Duroc meatball crépinettes with pickled vegetables, chicken liver mousse, and garlic-chile aioli on a Firebrand brioche bun; green garlic crab cake sandwiches with fennel, romaine, and Aleppo aioli; housemade pastrami basted in butter and demi-glace with Emmental, ginger kraut, and piquant dressing; and egg salad or crumbled tofu salad with fried capers and shallots on Acme levain served open-faced with house-cured anchovies or sun-dried tomatoes.

There are also some awesome salads (Caesar, frisée aux lardons, plus more), and hello, half-sour pickles! In the dessert department, they’re no slouches either: they’ll be “importing” Mast Brothers Chocolate directly from Brooklyn. It will be used in their desserts, and bars will also be available for purchase.

It has a spiffy barn-y look, with reclaimed wood, walnut tables, mahogany wainscoting, and wood floors, with seating for 40. Hours are Mon-Fri 8am-4pm and Sat 10am-4pm; coffee service (from Roast Coffee Co.) starts at 8am, and lunch service starts at 11am. 362 17th St. at Franklin, Oakland, 510-835-STAG.

Café Update: Machine Coffee and Deli, Blue Bottle at the Heath Store, More


The Machine Coffee counter; photo via Facebook.


The “Drill Press” (pastrami melt) at Machine Deli. Photo: ©

Things are moving along for MACHINE COFFEE AND DELI, the new addition next to Show Dogs. It has soft-opened the coffee part of the business, serving Four Barrel coffee drinks Mon-Fri 8am-4pm. The deli part (which is currently a pop-up at Laszlo) will be opening August 1st. Machine Coffee and Deli, 1020 Market St. at Golden Gate, 415-558-9560.

Meanwhile, MACHINE DELI (the pop-up at Laszlo that’s open Mon-Fri from 11:30am-2:30pm) has expanded its offerings to include build-your-own sandwiches, featuring charcutier Peter Temkin’s housemade meats, like his unbelievable pastrami, roast beef, and smoked turkey. (If you want to hear more about his tasty sandwiches, listen in to this episode of You Gotta Eat This.) Machine Deli at Laszlo, 2526 Mission St. at 21st St.

Eater broke the news that BLUE BOTTLE is opening a seventh location (a kiosk) at the new Heath Ceramics factory and store in the Mission. Yup, you’ll be able to enjoy your macchiato in a Heath demitasse cup. Look for the kiosk to be up and running at the middle of July (you can read more here about what else will be on offer). Hours will be Mon-Fri 7am-6pm and Sat-Sun 8am-6pm. 2900 18th St. at Florida.

Uppercasing reports the PEOPLE’S CAFE is back in business after it suffered a nasty fire about a year ago. 1419 Haight St. at Masonic, 415-553-8842.

Oh, and the fine folks at PAL’S TAKEAWAY in the Mission will now be serving up some brunchy items on Sundays. The menu isn’t quite set yet, but it will include sandwiches like the warm brown butter River Dog egg salad, smoked trout, Lao sausage, coffee smoked ham, and a few other treats (the menu should be up by Friday). Sunday 11am-2:30pm(ish).

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

Chez Maman Opening in Hayes Valley July 16th


The famed Chez Maman burger. Photo via Yelp by Earl G.

After reporting that CHEZ MAMAN [WARNING: you click that link and you’re gonna get some music!] was opening in Hayes Valley, we now have a targeted opening date: Monday July 16th.

The French bistro menu will be the same as the original location, with some unexpected additions. Since the chef (Russell Cab) worked at owner Jocelyn Bulow’s Mexican restaurant in Potrero Hill, Papito’s, in addition to the usual delicious burger, mussels, and crêpes, there will also be quesadillas, burritos, and tacos on the menu. But the wine list will be primarily French, mais oui. There are 25 seats, plus an 8-seat counter (ideal for solo diners), and 4 seats outside. Open daily 11:30am-11pm; brunch will be served Sat-Sun 10:30am-4pm. 401 Gough St. at Hayes, 415-355-9067.

Downtown Action: Machka (a Turkish Restaurant) and Roka Akor


Machka sign; photo via Facebook.

A couple of new downtown projects are on the horizon. First, back in March, Eater noted MACHKA was coming to 584 Washington, next to Taverna Aventine. A recent press release fills in the details: it’s going to be a Turkish restaurant, and Jocelyn Bulow (Chez Papa Bistrot, Chez Maman, Papito) is consulting. The owner is Farshad Owji (with his wife, Sibel)—the two are actually attorneys, but now they’re getting into the restaurant game (Farshad spent 10 years in Turkey and really loves the cuisine).

Machka should be opening on Monday July 16th, serving contemporary Turkish cuisine with Mediterranean influences prepared with seasonal, locally sourced, and (mostly) organic ingredients. Some dishes on the opening menu range from grilled octopus to blue cheese- and chorizo-stuffed dates with pastrami and a frisée salad. Uh, yeah, that’s definitely contemporary. The kitchen will be headed up by chef de cuisine Reynol Martinez (Globe, Papito, Aperto, and Epic Roasthouse). There are 32 seats, with a communal table, hardwood floors, and an exhibition kitchen, plus sidewalk seating, weather permitting. Lunch and dinner will be served Mon-Sat 11am-10pm. 584 Washington St. at Montgomery, 415-391-8228.

Liquor license activity points to the chain ROKA AKOR opening in 500 Jackson, previously Cypress Club, Scott Howard, and Zinnia. The restaurant will be a steak and sushi place (with a robata grill), with locations in Chicago and Scottsdale. Inside Scoop confirms the restaurant’s intention to open an SF location. Stand by for details on timing and more soon. 500 Jackson St. at Montgomery.

Mobile Food News: Sigsbee's, and Boris Portnoy's Satellite Republic


The Sigsbee’s truck. Photo via Facebook.


Boris Portnoy and his Satellite Republic moped. Photo via Facebook.

After hitting some permitting delays, the SIGSBEE’S truck is ready to hit the streets, starting Monday July 16th. The project is from siblings Tony and Jennifer Jett, who are working with chef Garritt Blanz (Lark Creek Group, Beast & the Hare). The menu includes handcrafted sandwiches (both for breakfast and lunch) and salads, using house-roasted meats with seasonal market ingredients. Since the siblings are both living with celiac disease, there are gluten-free breads available as well. The menu includes a roast beef sandwich with Gruyère fondue, fennel, arugula, and Worcestershire aioli on Acme herb slab ($9.50), and the Sigsbee’s deviled egg sandwich with house bacon, Maytag blue cheese, and frisée on an Acme bun ($6.50). And pickles! Sigsbee’s will also be serving Four Barrel Coffee. They will be serving lunch five days a week, 8am-2pm, in Mission Bay at 455 Mission Bay Blvd. (in the park around the corner on Bridgeview Way).

Eater gets word that pastry chef Boris Portnoy (most recently at Meadowood, but I remember him most for his amazing desserts at Winterland and Campton Place) is launching his own street food one-man show: SATELLITE REPUBLIC. He’s tricked out a moped-trike (he’s obsessed with mopeds) with a tandoor oven that’s mounted on a propane turkey fryer. Dude. And here’s the kicker: this Muscovite is going to be serving dishes from Georgia, Uzbekistan, and “cities bordering the Caucasus Mountains,” and making bread to order for sandwiches. Eater mentions a “Georgian lamb sandwich with garden parsley and tkemali, a sour plum sauce from the region.”

You can try out this sandwich and a couple of other items this Wednesday July 11th from 5pm-8pm at NO Shop, just next door to Four Barrel at 389 Valencia St. Portnoy will also be popping up in Napa, so follow Satellite Republic on Facebook for updates. Ten percent of profits will be donated to “an after-school art program for children of the refugees from the Chechen War now living in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge.”

Okay, You Pinkberry Fanatics....


Photo from Pinkberry’s Facebook page.

It was previously mentioned in tablehopper that PINKBERRY was coming to San Francisco, and this Friday July 13th, the 200th Pinkberry store will be opening in Macy’s, the first Pinkberry location in the city. But the day before, on Thursday, there’s a launch event from 5pm-10pm, when they’ll be offering a free yogurt and one topping to customers. (This location will offer six flavors in all.) Store hours will be Sun-Thu 10am-11pm, and Fri-Sat 10am-12am. 170 O’Farrell St. at Stockton, 415-391-1529.

Butterfly Dinner with "Demon Chef" Alvin Leung


Chef Alvin Leung’s version of xiao long bao/Shanghai soup dumplings. Photo via Facebook.

Feeling fancy? And adventurous? On Sunday July 22nd BUTTERFLY on Pier 33 will be hosting a special multicourse dinner by visiting chef Alvin Leung of the restaurant Bo Innovation in Hong Kong. All courses will be served with wines from Korbin Kameron. Not only is the setting beautiful, but Leung’s famed “X-treme” Chinese cuisine is pretty cool, with molecular gastronomy touches in each dish, like crab with green onion oil, tomato foam, and seaweed jelly. You can see the rest of the menu here.

The event supports ArtistWorks, a provider of online musical instruction, and will feature Nathan East as a guest speaker to talk about the venture. Dinner begins at 7pm, and reservations can be made by calling Butterfly at 415-864-8999 and speaking with Johnny. Nine courses, $250, wine included. Pier 33 at Bay St.

Chef Ravi Kapur's Liholiho Yacht Club Returns!


Photo from Liholiho’s Facebook page: Korean fried quail, red fresno BBQ; pork ribs, peanuts, Red Boat caramel; duck sausage, red miso, pickled beet.

After a brief hiatus, Ravi Kapur and LIHOLIHO YACHT CLUB are popping up again with two new dates: Sunday July 15th and July 22nd. This time, though, the pop-up dinners will be at STATE BIRD PROVISIONS. Reservations can be made via State Bird Provisions’ website, and it appears that the 22nd is all booked. However, last-minute cancellations are common, so keep checking back if your desired dates and times are not available now (follow Liholiho on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates). Price is $50 for the menu (not including tax and tip); beverages additional.

(Be sure to check out Ravi and State Bird Provisions in Marcia’s piece for 7x7 magazine on the new vanguard of chefs who cook from the heart.)

State Bird Provisions            - 1529 Fillmore St. San Francisco - 415-795-1272

Noisette Food and Music Festival Comes to the Mission


On Saturday August 4th, the folks that brought you the Noise Pop festival will be throwing Noisette, a block party-style food and music festival at PUBLIC WORKS in the Mission.

A $60 ticket will get you access to the event, with musical acts including the Dodos and Taken by Trees, and eight tasting portions of food from Bay Area chefs such as Ryan Pollnow of flour + water, Dennis Lee of Namu Gaji, and Mike Selvera of Bar Crudo. There will also be ice cream from Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous and Speakeasy beer for $3. VIP tickets are available. The event takes place Saturday August 4th from 1pm-5pm, $60, 21 and over only. Public Works, 161 Erie St., between Duboce and 14th.

A Whole Slew of Cooking Classes


Sharon Ardiana’s pasta. These are rigatoni, but you’ll learn other tricks in her “North vs. South” class. Photo ©


Pickled onions from Jarred. Photo from website.

On Sunday August 19th, wonder woman and chef Sharon Ardiana of RAGAZZA and GIALINA will be teaching a class on handmade pastas at 18 REASONS. The theme is “North vs. South,” as in Italy, and attendees will learn to make a specialty from each region: cavatelli from Puglia in the south and passatelli from Emilia-Romagna in the north. The class is from 5pm-9pm and costs $125. Tickets can be purchased here.

Throughout July, Liam Mayclem of Eye on the Bay and Foodie Chap will be hosting cooking demonstrations and classes at the FERRY BUILDING every Saturday—it’s all part of a preview series for SF Chefs in August. Local chefs, including Dennis Lee (Namu Gaji) and Francis Ang (Fifth Floor), will be participating. Details and tickets can be found here.

Also at the FERRY BUILDING, CUESA will be hosting free cooking demonstrations every Saturday at 11am, highlighting seasonal produce. Joanne Weir will be there this Saturday, followed by Jen Musty of Batter Bakery on the 21st.

If you’re like me, the gorgeous summer bounty at the farmers’ market has led to so much beautiful produce in your kitchen that you simply cannot eat it all. LA COCINA can get you out of this jam with its Pickle Party on Wednesday July 18th. Emiliana Puyana of Jarred will be leading class participants in pickling all sorts of summer vegetables. The class will be 6:30pm-9pm and costs $65. Tickets can be purchased here.

HopMonk Tavern to Open in Novato This Fall


The beer garden at HopMonk’s Sonoma location. Photo from Facebook.

Coming in over the wires, Dean Biersch has announced that a third location of HOPMONK TAVERN will be opening in Novato in the former Southern Pacific Smokehouse, hopefully this fall. The bar will have 18 beers on tap, including HopMonk’s special house Kellerbier and Dunkelweizen, as well as rotating options from other breweries. There will be an outdoor beer garden, a music venue separate from the dining area, and a menu of pub food. This location will be adding wood-fired pizzas to the menu as well. It will be located in the Vintage Oaks Shopping Center, at Highway 37 and 101, in Novato.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

The Alchemist: A New SoMa Bar Project from Kinson Lau


The Alchemist logo.

The affable Kinson Lau, most recently the GM of Gitane for the past two years (he just left on Saturday), is opening his own place in SoMa: ALCHEMIST. It’s going to be a comfortable and low-key bar, with a great selection of seasonal cocktails, beer, and wine. Consulting on the bar menu is Seth Laufman (he has bartended at Gitane, Burritt Room, and is currently at Local Edition and Comstock). Laufman will also be working with a few other bartenders on the project.

There will also be a food component later on, but more details on the menu and location will be available closer to the opening date, which is targeted for early September. Stand by for updates in tablehopper in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, Gitane is not only hiring a replacement for Lau, but wine director Greg Borden has also departed. Stand by for news from Gitane on the hiring front as well.

Two Fun and Rather Fab Wine Events on Sunday July 22nd


Broc Cellars. Photo from Facebook.

On Sunday July 22nd, DIG WINE SHOP in Dogpatch is hosting a tasting of Italian wines from importer Neal Rosenthal. The tasting will consist of seven wines, beginning with a sparkling from Liguria, and moving to whites, lighter reds, and fuller reds. Charcuterie from Fatted Calf and cheese from Cowgirl Creamery will be served as well, so you’ll stay sober enough to enjoy every glass. The tasting will be from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Tickets are $40 per person, and can be purchased by emailing. 1005 Minnesota St. at 22nd St., 415-648-6133.

Also on July 22nd, BROC CELLARS in Berkeley will be hosting its fourth annual “Broc-tacular.” It’s an open house that includes four tastes from chef Ian Begg of Txoko, with wine pairings by Broc Cellars. Total cost for food and wine is $20 (yes, you read that right), and you can RSVP on the website or just show up. 1pm-5pm. 805 Camelia St. at 5th St., Berkeley, 415-728-5012.

707 scout

Wine Country Buzz (it’s what happens there)

Wine Country Ike's, Dreamy Copain Dinners, Suckling Pig Tendejon Suppers


Ike Shehadeh of Ike’s Place (courtesy of Ike Shehadeh).


Copain Winery in Healdsburg (courtesy of Copain Winery).


Chef Mateo Granados of Cocina Latina (courtesy of Mateo Granados).

By 707 correspondent Heather Irwin. Sign up for the BiteClub Newsletter.

Bay Area sandwich sensation IKE’S PLACE opened its first Wine Country outpost this week. Though owner Ike Shehadeh has been fighting an uphill battle to get the Santa Rosa spot open since 2010 (and really, when is Shehadeh not fighting an uphill battle), the i’s have been dotted and the t’s crossed for the opening, and Shehadeh even promises to include a few locally inspired sandwiches on the menu. We’re nominating the “Merv’s Little Super” (the name of the convenience store that long stood at the location), with Slim Jims, sliced hot dogs, hot sauce, and a dash of malt liquor. 1780 Mendocino Ave. at Dexter St., Santa Rosa.

It seems hopes of reviving Napa’s UBUNTU may have been premature. Much ado was made recently over news that Terra/Ame owners Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani were sniffing around the shuttered space, but SF’s Eater reports the deal is dead. Apparently the couple gave up on the spot after coming to a deal with owner Sandy Lawrence but stalling on terms with landlord Rebecca Lee. Bummer.

Corey Lee of Benu, Momofuku’s David Chang, and Ken Tominaga of Hana Japanese will be in the kitchens of Healdsburg’s COPAIN WINERY for a series of exclusive Supper Club dinners. Winemaker Wells Guthrie will bring out a selection of the Russian River Valley winery’s highly coveted library and single-vineyard wines to pair with the carefully crafted menus of the James Beard Award-winning chefs.

Tominaga’s July 14th menu includes sashimi of live East Coast scallops, Mendocino uni, lobster chawan mushi with sturgeon caviar, Wagyu beef, and Kindai bluefin tuna toro. Corey Lee cooks September 2nd, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Boulder’s Frasca on September 30th, and David Chang December 14th. Supper Club ticket prices vary by event, starting around $300.  Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance by calling the winery at 707-836-8822.

Healdsburg chef Mateo Granados is bringing back his wildly popular Tendejon dinners—communal outdoor gatherings focused around rotisserie meats, cocktails, and seasonal side dishes. The events will be hosted on the back patio of his new restaurant, COCINA LATINA, Wednesday and Thursday nights with suckling pig, lamb, or whole roasted Yucatan-style chicken. Dinners are $35 per person and reservations are suggested. 214 Healdsburg Ave. at Mill St., Healdsburg, 707-433-1520.

the sugar mama

Giveaways (get some)

(Sponsored): Fall in Love with Rhone Wines on Bastille Day!


Be seduced by the power and mystery of Rhone wines at Romancing the Rhones, an amazing tasting experience featuring gold medal wines from California, Oregon, and beyond, on Saturday July 14th at the historic Old Mint in San Francisco.

Dine with the winemakers at a gourmet Rhone Romance Luncheon, with cuisine by Chez Papa. Blind taste award-winning wines and vote for your favorites! Enjoy sassy Rhone-friendly food and wine pairings. Discover new passions at the Grand Tasting, where 100-plus deliciously seductive Rhones, including elegant whites, flirty summer-ready rosés, sexy-smoky syrahs, and intriguingly exotic blends, await your tasting pleasure.

Romancing the Rhones” Grand Tasting The Old Mint in San Francisco Saturday July 14th, 2012 11:30am-4:30pm, including lunch Don’t Rhone alone! Join us! Buy tickets online.

tablehopper is giving away one pair of Gold Bar tickets, which includes the gourmet Rhone Romance Luncheon with the winemakers, barrel tasting, a blind tasting of Rhone Shootout winners, the grand tasting, and the awards ceremony—the tickets are worth $85 each!

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 so I know you sent it—I promise I won’t use anyone’s email address. This is a quickie, so the deadline to enter is Wednesday July 11th at 3pm (PST). We’ll notify the winner late Wednesday afternoon!

If you don’t want to take your chances, tablehopper readers have access to a special offer: purchase a Silver Dollar ticket ($65), and be automatically upgraded to Gold Bar status (worth $85). Gold, baby! Just use code: Tablehopper.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Funny Dude Dines at Nopa and Cupola

A tablehopper reader let me know she spotted funnyman Dave Chappelle at nopa last Tuesday evening (he was performing a couple of surprise shows up the street at The Independent).

After some Twitter tips (and subsequent sleuthing), it also appears Chappelle dined at Cupola Pizzeria last night.

Xtina and Tasting Menus

This sighting is a bit far afield, but it’s a fun one, so let’s do it: a reader spotted Christina Aguilera at the atmospheric Restaurant 1833 in Monterey this past weekend. She reportedly dined with her boyfriend (Matthew Rutler) and son, Max—the adults had the tasting menu with wine pairings. My spotter says she was very kind to the staff and incredibly attentive to Max.

They Might Be Giants

The last Saturday night in June, EPIC Roasthouse hosted the 2002 Giants World Series team reunion in the private dining room. Twenty-two of the twenty-five players were there for the event along with their wives and families. Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, JT Snow, and Rich Aurilia were in the crowd.  Also, Hall of Fame first baseman and left fielder Orlando Cepeda, team president Larry Baer, GM Brian Sabean, and Hall of Fame Giants announcer Lon Simmons were also in attendance.

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