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Nov 12, 2012 28 min read

November 13, 2012 - This week's tablehopper: gobble.

November 13, 2012 - This week's tablehopper: gobble.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: gobble.                    

Quail egg samosa at Campton Place. Photo: ©

Well, howdy. Did you have a rocking weekend? I think I am finally on the other side of this damn cold, eight days later (it’s so lame, don’t catch it). However, it did not stop me from enjoying Pop-Up Magazine on Thursday night, followed by a boozy nightcap (“La Gran Manzana”) at Jardinière. Robitussin is so overrated, really. (I also did a repeat performance with an old-fashioned at Dixie on Saturday night after the Omnivorious party, and then went right to bed. Zzzzzzz.)

Friday night was rather fabulous—I embarked on a staycation and checked into a room at the Campton Place hotel (it had a wonderful New York gentleman’s apartment feel to it with all the pear wood) and took a scalding hot bath in the deep limestone tub. Glorious. Dinner downstairs at Campton Place Restaurant turned into a four-hour affair, and for anyone who loves Indian flavors and cuisine, you have to check out the refined Spice Route menu by chef Srijith Gopinathan. I really enjoyed the creativity of the menu—stand by for a recap soon. And is there anything better than breakfast in bed in a hotel? And when it’s a masala omelet with chai tea, well, it’s hard to beat. I so loved my Bombay breakfast. Thanks kindly for the hospitality, Campton Place!

This week I have a MEGA roundup of Thanksgiving options for you, from were to get turkeys to pie to biscuits. Last night while writing my column, I was also trying out my carving technique on a cooked Diestel turkey that Whole Foods styled me with. Yes, I am already enjoying leftover turkey sandwiches—it’s a wonderful thing—and I am about to make some posole.

One thing I am not doing is a roundup of where to eat out on Thanksgiving this year—my list was going to be almost exactly the same as last year’s list (check it out). You can also look on OpenTable to see who’s serving Thanksgiving dinner if you need to eat out—they always have a comprehensive list.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, did you know Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings will be at Davies Symphony Hall that weekend on Saturday November 24th? Bring on the swagger! Great way to burn off the turkey—and guests seated in the second tier can enjoy cocktails during the show, color me stoked.

Excuse me, I need to put this turkey sandwich down. Okay. Let’s hop to it.

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Tony Gemignani's Capo's Opens in North Beach Friday November 16th


Tony Gemignani in front of Capo’s. Photo: ©


The dining area (with seven tons of brick wall). Photo: ©


The big booths (with the custom bench addition) and the phone booth in the back. Photo: ©


The Deco-inspired, custom wood bar. Photo: ©

At long last—and after a year of originally hearing the news that Tony Gemignani (of famed Tony’s Pizza Napoletana) was opening a new restaurant in the former Pulcinella space on Vallejo—he gets to open CAPO’S this Friday November 16th. Capo’s is going to be quite an anchor on Vallejo Street, with its vintage-inspired neon sign shining brightly among the vacant businesses with shuttered windows.

As soon as you walk through the elegant front doors, you’re going to feel transported to another place: think Chicago, spanning the 1920s-1950s (complete with some dark, dramatic lighting). To the left, there’s a meat slicer in the window and a long custom Deco-inspired wood bar running along the left wall; in between the bar and the dining room there’s a low dividing wall, with daily newspapers waiting on them for lunchtime customers to read. To the right are large booths and a banquette, all with tufted backs in oxblood leather. I love the additional bench seat that can be added to the coveted booths—and each booth has a round picture of famous mob bosses above it on the brick walls (made with seven tons of 100-year-old brick). While the name capo means “boss”—and you’ll find plenty of gangster memorabilia—there are also pictures of Feds counting money and other nods to Chicago culture, from baseball to beers.

The ceiling is made of pressed tin, the floors are cork, there’s a functioning 1930s-era phone booth (you can call anywhere in the U.S. for free), and the plates are classic Niagara china. The restaurant used to be the site of Adolph’s in the 1950s, and on the back wall, you’ll see it featured in a vintage oil mural on canvas of Vallejo Street. (Tony is trying to track down the original artist—he found the artwork rolled up on the site.)

Tony tells me he had the idea for the place about four years ago; he has been working on the six styles of pizza he’s serving for a while. Since deep-dish pizza takes a longer time to bake (and therefore guests stay longer at the table), he knew he needed to dedicate a restaurant just to this style of pizza. There are four traditional Chicago styles you will find: cracker-thin crust (it doesn’t have any fat in it and is served in squares), deep dish, stuffed (which is like deep dish but comes with a lid of dough and sauce on top), and cast-iron (the crust is cooked in lard). He’s using Ceresota flour (no one else can get it out here), and the sausage mix he’s doing is a combo of Chicago sausage that he has shipped here and housemade Calabrese.

Another special pizza you’ll see is the “quattro forni”—a pizza cooked in four different ovens (there are only 20 available per day)—and lastly, there will be a gluten-free option coming too. There are also Chicago classic dishes like baked mostaccioli, chicken Vesuvio, and, of course, a Chicago beef sandwich at lunch—also look for a lot of dishes being finished in the wood-burning oven, like the lasagna. Take a look at the entire menu here—and check out the custom-designed pizza box by Jeremy Fish.

The bar is primarily dedicated to whiskey, and if you order the Chicago cocktail, the vintage National register on the bar will be put to use (and you get a $1 token off your next Chicago).

Dinner is served Mon and Wed-Thu, and lunch and dinner are served Fri-Sun (you can swing by for a slice and salad at lunch, or a Vienna dog). Reservations can be made by phone only (and you might want to call for one now, because the book is filling up: 415-986-8998). A couple more things to note: there will be valet parking, but the joint is cash only. Capone would approve.

Capo's            - 641 Vallejo St. San Francisco - 415-986-8998

Open Now and Coming Soon: The Little Chihuahua, Turtle Tower, Noir, Sous Beurre Kitchen, and More


The new Little Chihuahua. Photo courtesy The Little Chihuahua.


The pho ga at Turtle Tower. Photo: ©


Chef Michael Mauschbaugh of sous beurre kitchen. Photo via Facebook.


Kitchen Story. Photo courtesy GrubStreet.

The third location of THE LITTLE CHIHUAHUA is now open on Valencia. As previously reported on tablehopper, they’ve taken over the former Urbun Burger space. The menu will be the same as the other locations—except they won’t be doing nachos and enchiladas for now; something new and exciting will be replacing them soon. Beer and wine. Open 11am-10pm daily. 581 Valencia St. at 17th St., 415-355-9144.

Well, San Francisco State University students will be happy to learn TURTLE TOWER is opening another location in the Student Center on Monday November 26th. Hours will be Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, although it will be closed during winter break. West Plaza Alcove B, 1650 Holloway Ave., C-134.

As previously mentioned on tablehopper, owner Brian Cassanego is going to be opening NOIR in the former Frjtz in Hayes Valley, and it looks like the soft opening will be happening in mid-December. Here’s a preliminary peek at the menu. Per Diem’s chef, Adam Hinojosa, is consulting on the menu, which offers everything from popcorn with different toppings to herbed frites three different ways (with lemon aioli, or tossed in béarnaise and topped with an egg, or tossed in short rib gravy with smoked cheese curds); wild mushroom crêpe with a sunny-side up egg and Parmesan broth; salads; and larger entrées like fried chicken and waffles (pumpkin waffle, chicken sausage gravy, sage honey butter, spinach), and adobo pork stew.

The wine list by sommelier Gianna Gaudini will feature 25-30 by-the-glass options, 50-60 bottles, and 4-6 selections on tap; there will be a chilled wine cellar ensuring wines are stored and served at the proper temp. As a reminder, the decor is inspired by film noir and the Jazz Age (Gi Paoletti Design Lab is behind the design). The film lounge area in the back will screen black-and-white movies, and music will span from jazz to trip hop, although they are hoping to be able to have a live jazz duo play, plus offer outdoor seating. 581 Hayes St. at Laguna.

Meanwhile, over in the Mission, pop-up SOUS BEURRE KITCHEN is moving from its digs inside Sugarlump Café to a permanent space. Chef-owner Michael Mauschbaugh hopes to open next summer; sbk’s last service at Sugarlump will be December 14th, although he will be popping up now and then. 2704/2706 24th St. at Potrero St.

Grub Street shares details on KITCHEN STORY, the restaurant that is taking over Tangerine in the Castro. The couple, Steven and Ji Yeon Choi, also own Sweet Maple and Blackwood in the Marina. Look for an all-day California menu with “a few Asian twists”; peep at the menu here. The soft opening is scheduled for November 19th. 3499 16th St. at Sanchez.

Lastly, was sorry to learn in Haighteration that my neighborhood Thai place, THAI PLACE II at 312 Divisadero St., has new owners who will be making changes in the new year, including a new name: SA-BEANG THAI. Meanwhile, the former CHILLI CHA CHA (494 Haight St.) is going to be TERRIFIC THAI.

A First Look at Dandelion Chocolate


The interior at Dandelion Chocolate. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©


The bean roaster. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©


The final product! Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©

A report by Dana Massey-Todd: Another project along the Valencia corridor is getting ready to open on Wednesday November 14th. As previously reported on tablehopper, the newest addition, DANDELION CHOCOLATE, is taking the third remaining space at 740 Valencia, alongside Abbot’s Cellar and Craftsman and Wolves.

The project comes from partners Todd Masonis and Cameron Ring (with the help of Alice Nystrom), and is not only a retail outpost for their bean-to-bar chocolate, but also functions as their factory. Visitors will be able to tour the factory and observe the entire process of chocolate-making, from the bean to the final wrapping. They roast, crack, sort, winnow, grind, conche, and temper the chocolate on site, and then mold it into bars and wrap it in beautiful packaging.

For now, they will just be operating the factory and selling chocolate bars out of the retail area, but there’s more to come. Soon, they’ll have a café up and running, with hot chocolate drinks, some chocolaty pastries, and other offerings. The final menu hasn’t been finalized yet, but they want to keep it focused on chocolate. As Masonis pointed out, they are right next to Craftsman and Wolves, and within walking distance of Tartine and Ritual Coffee. Rather than compete with these businesses, they’ll stick with what they know best: all things chocolate.

As they get going, they’ll also be participating in some exclusive collaborations, like Dandelion Chocolate-covered confections from Kika’s Treats, which will be available exclusively at their retail location.

The space, like its neighbors, features ever-so-high ceilings and lovely natural light. They haven’t attempted to hide the fact that this is a factory; rather, they’ve embraced the natural beauty of their equipment and made it a focal point. The lighting is all very vintage industrial, and the space is spare. There is some handsome wooden shelving and nice long tables, and most of the signage is either repurposed cocoa bean bags or chalkboards. Check back for more updates as the café gets closer to opening. For now, hours are Wed-Fri 12pm-4pm and Sat 11am-6pm. 740 Valencia St. at 18th St., 415-349-0942.

Chocolate Lab: Opening Friday in Dogpatch


Mandarin mousse cake; photo courtesy of Chocolate Lab.

As previously mentioned on tablehopper, Michael Recchiuti’s CHOCOLATE LAB is opening this Friday November 16th in Dogpatch. The Lab will have a variety of offerings, and will be open for lunch, dinner, drinks, and everything in between. You’ll be able to select something off the savory menu of tartines on Firebrand bread (like bay shrimp, or chickpea and vegetables), or cheese and charcuterie plates. And, of course, there will be a dessert menu with chocolate and caramel plated desserts, plus cookies, pastries, chocolate confections, ice cream, and hot and cold chocolate drinks. (I can’t wait to try the bittersweet chocolate custard.) Adult beverages (think vino, vermouth and sherry cocktails, local beers) along with soft drinks, coffee, and tea will also be available.

There are 23 seats inside and some seats outside on the Tennessee Street side, weather permitting. Also worth noting: just a few doors down is the Little Nib retail shop (807 22nd St.). Hours are Sun 12 pm-5pm, Tue-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm (closed Sun evenings and all day Mon for private bookings). 801 22nd St. at Tennessee, 415-489-2881.

Closures: Seasons, Cafe Metropol, Hawk's Tavern; Fire on Friday at Gitane Closes It Temporarily


The bar at Gitane. Photo by Jeff Dow via Facebook.

Some closures around town: first, SEASONS RESTAURANT at Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco has closed for a renovation; look for a new restaurant and concept in late May 2013. In the meantime, dining service is still available daily in Seasons Bar and Lounge for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails from 6:30am-12am.

Scoop reports Klaus and Albert Rainer have closed CAFE METROPOL after almost 20 years of business. Seems they are working on a new project; stand by. 168 Sutter St. at Kearny.

I was sorry to read on Twitter Friday evening that GITANE suffered a fire. The restaurant is currently closed, and they are aiming to reopen Thursday November 15th. Fortunately no one was injured.

Up in Mill Valley, a tipster let me know that HAWK’S TAVERN had closed. 507 Miller Ave. at Camino Alto, Mill Valley.

Gitane            - 6 Claude Ln. San Francisco - 415-788-6686

Special Dinners: MythBusters at 1300 Fillmore, Italian at Heirloom Café, and Mondays at Jardinière


Chef David Lawrence with the MythBusters crew. Photo courtesy 1300 on Fillmore.

As we all know, MythBusters is all about the pressing questions in life. On Sunday November 18th, the big one is “Does it really taste like chicken?” The MythBusters team called on local chef David Lawrence of 1300 ON FILLMORE to prepare exotic meats in the style of his famous fried chicken, and see if it tasted like chicken or something more, well, exotic. The restaurant will be screening the episode at 5pm and again at 8pm on Sunday, and you can partake in the adventure with the $5 “Tastes like Chicken” special, which includes three bite-size samples of exotic meat, plus a chicken sample. Make your best guesses, and the people with the correct answers will be put in a raffle. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant.

Also on Sunday November 18th, transport yourself to Italia with a special Italian wine dinner at HEIRLOOM CAFÉ. They’ll be serving a six-course dinner, all of it inspired by the cuisine of Italy. Each course will be paired with a heavy hitter of Italian wine, including a 2004 ‘Granato’ from Foradori. The full menu, pairings, and tickets can be found here. The dinner starts at 6pm and costs $95 per person, including food, wine, tax, and tip.

There are only two more prix-fixe Monday dinners at JARDINIÈRE this year, and they are extra-special ones. On Monday November 19th, catch guest chef Ken Tominaga and sake sommelier Stuart Morris of Hana Japanese Restaurant. Take a look at the menu here. The dinner costs $75, including five courses and sake pairings. Then, for the final Monday prix-fixe, porchetta is on the menu, and will be featured in three courses; the dinner costs $49. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the restaurant.

Jardinière            - 300 Grove St. San Francisco - 415-861-5555

The Dinner Party Project Continues with Dinners at RN74, 1300 on Fillmore, and AQ


The many faces of Mina. Photo courtesy SF Chefs website.

The SF Chefs Dinner Party Project continues this fall, with three more dinners to check out. As mentioned in tablehopper in the spring, these events are pretty cool, because a collection of chefs get together to prepare some exciting food, which doesn’t happen all that often. This fall, cozy up to these dinners that give a special nod to chef friendships. You can find all the details and tickets here. Tickets range from $130-$190 for Visa Signature cardholders and include beverages and gratuity (yay). A portion of all proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund for victims of Hurricane Sandy too. What’s not to love?

On Tuesday, November 27th at 6:30pm, it’s Maximum Mina, at RN74 with Michael Mina himself and many of his friends and alumni from his kitchens. And, for a fun twist, Mina will be doing the sweets at this dinner, while his pastry chef, Lincoln Carson, tries out the savory courses. Wine pairings will be from Rajat Parr (Mina Group). Chefs Omri Aflalo (Bourbon Steak), Jason Berthold (RN74), and Ron Siegel (Michael Mina) will also be in attendance.

Thursday November 29th at 7pm it’s all about soul with Soulful Supper Club. David Lawrence (1300 on Fillmore), Emily Luchetti (Farallon and Waterbar), and Hoss Zaré (Zaré at Fly Trap) will be serving soul food from their various backgrounds, alongside a lot of warm personality, at 1300 ON FILLMORE.

Then, on Monday December 3rd at 7pm, make sure you Mind Your SPQRs and AQs with Mark Liberman of AQ and Matthew Accarrino of SPQR. These two will be serving multiple courses of bold, seasonal food, with both wine and cocktail pairings. The dinner will take place at AQ.

AQ            - 1085 Mission St. San Francisco - 415-341-9000

Get Started on Your Holiday Shopping with These Markets (and Come Say Hi to Me!)


La Cocina’s 2011 Gift Bazaar. Photo from Facebook.

The holiday season is indeed approaching (I know, I know). I’m not the only one with a calendar that’s already getting jammed, so I wanted to get these two shopping events on your radar. Join me and let’s celebrate the holidays by avoiding the mall and supporting local purveyors of good stuff. On Saturday December 1st, check out the Meet Market at BLUXOME STREET WINERY. There will be a whole bunch of local vendors, including yours truly, the tablehopper. That’s right, I’ll be there, hawking my books and fun vintage T-shirts, so come say hi and check ‘em out. 1pm-6pm. 53 Bluxome St. at 4th St.

And on Friday December 7th from 1pm-6pm, LA COCINA will be throwing their fourth-annual Gift Bazaar at the Crocker Galleria, so put that on your calendar too. Yes, I’ll be there as well. More details coming soon! 50 Post St. at Montgomery.

Pop-Ups: Brunch with ChefRoulette, Dinner with Eastern Addition, Movies with Mission Dispatch


SF FoodLab sets the stage for lots of popping up. Photo from Facebook.

Seems like there’s always something new at SF FOODLAB, and this month is no exception. Check out their newest pop-up, ChefRoulette, on Sundays from 10am-2pm. Each weekend, a different chef will be on hand preparing brunch, and they’ve got bottomless mimosas and free sparkling wine too. The chef and menu changes weekly; this week’s guest is Nick’s Wheely Good Breakfast, who will be serving some Cuban-inspired dishes that sound fantastico. Then, in December, chef Ryan Baker of Coi, Manresa, and Delfina, will be take his turn at the stove. For future chef updates and details, check out their Facebook page. 1106 Market St. at 7th St., 415-834-5348.

As previously reported on tablehopper, Vinyl on Divisadero will be playing host to the fine fellows of EASTERN ADDITION on Wednesdays this month. Desi Danganan and Tim Luym (previously of the Summit and Poleng Lounge) and Jacobo Juarez (Som) are in the Burmese phase of their dinners for the next two weeks. Reservations can be made by emailing them your name, phone number, and number of diners in your group; you can also call 415-952-6198. 6pm-11pm. 359 Divisadero St. at Oak, 415-621-4132.

If you’re not quite ready for months of indoor living yet, head down to MISSION DISPATCH on Saturday November 17th for The Camp-In. Alite Designs will bring their tents and chairs to the yard, but you should also BYO camping gear (think camping chairs, headlamps, and the like) while watching the summer camp classic Wet Hot American Summer. Rice Paper Scissors will be serving Vietnamese street food and some special movie- and camping-themed snacks, like flavored popcorn and s’mores. You can peer at the menu here. The event begins at 4pm, and dinner will be served 4pm-7pm. The movie begins at 6:30pm, and they’ll be selling “concessions” from 6:30pm-9pm. Entry is free; food prices vary from $3 to $11. 1975 Bryant St. at 18th St.

Openings Across the Bridges: Belcampo Meat in Larkspur, Grand Lake Kitchen in Oakland


The interior at Belcampo Meat Co. Photo by Jack Schow.


The counter at Grand Lake Kitchen; photo courtesy of Facebook.

New, Yreka-based ranch BELCAMPO MEAT CO. has opened their first retail shop, in Larkspur’s Marin Country Mart. The space houses a full-scale butcher shop, including beef, pork, lamb, and poultry. They also sometimes stock rabbit and goat, plus specialty poultry items, depending on the season. They are currently taking orders for holiday turkey and goose, so now’s the time to check it out. The retail mercantile also sells Blue Bottle coffee, rillette, terrines, and other locally-sourced gourmet products. If all that grocery shopping piques your appetite, you can order a casual breakfast or lunch while you’re there. The butcher shop and mercantile is open 9am-8pm daily, and the restaurant is open 9am-3pm daily. 2405 Larkspur Landing Circle, Building 4, Larkspur. 415-448-5810.

As reported earlier on tablehopper (although back then it was called La Grand Jatte Kitchen), now open near Lake Merritt is GRAND LAKE KITCHEN. The deli/diner from May Seto (previously a GM at Delfina and wine buyer for The PlumpJack Group) serves healthy and affordable sandwiches, salads, and take-home items (take a look at the menu here). There’s a 12-seat counter and outdoor tables—and then there’s the lake, just out the door. Open Mon-Sat 10:30am-7:30pm. 576 Grand Ave. at El Embarcadero, Oakland, 510-922-9582.


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Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Take a Tour Through Cocktail History with La Maison Cointreau


The beguiling interior of La Maison Cointreau. Photo courtesy La Maison Cointreau.

The French liqueur company Cointreau is taking over a Potrero Hill warehouse for a week and has transformed it into the specially designed La Maison Cointreau. The event features a variety of rooms, each designed to explore a particular facet of Cointreau’s past and present (including a cocktail lab, designed to look like an apothecary). Each guided tour features a viewing of antique cocktail recipe books and a crash course on cocktail history, lessons, and tastes from Kyle Ford, and fabulous music in a special space (think boudoir meets ballroom). The best part? It’s all free—you just have to RSVP. Tours are available to the public on Wednesday November 14th and Thursday November 15th from 6pm-9:30pm. Trade tours run from 1pm-4pm, both days. 21+. 1550 17th St. at Wisconsin.

Show Your Support for the East Coast with SF Hearts NY Event November 18th


The images and stories coming in from the East Coast have been haunting, to say the least. Many West Coast residents have found themselves at a loss for how to help from so far away. A bunch of folks in our local bar community have an event planned to help out. On Sunday November 18th, LOCAL EDITION will be hosting a Coney Island-themed party to raise money for bars and restaurant hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

It’s called SF Hearts NY, and there are a ton of bartenders participating, including Steven Liles of Smuggler’s Cove, Scott Baird of Bon Vivants, and Melissa Boyd of Beretta. Tickets are $25. There will also Coney Island-inspired snacks from the likes of Jasper’s, 15 Romolo, Tango & Stache, Maverick, and more available for purchase. All drinks will be $5 during the event, which runs from 4pm-8pm. 691 Market St. at 3rd St., 415-795-1375. (Look for the door next to the T-Mobile store.)

If you can’t make it to the big party on Sunday, head out on Saturday November 17th. Lots of local bars will be running drink specials to raise funds too. Rye, Bourbon & Branch, Smuggler’s Cove, 15 Romolo, Broken Record, Elixir and Dalva are just some of the watering holes participating; if you’re not sure, just ask at your favorite spot.

Rockin' Pig Roast at Elixir November 17th


The interior at Elixir. Photo from Facebook.

Help ELIXIR celebrate its ninth anniversary with H. Joseph Ehrmann at the helm (the bar itself has been slinging booze for 154 years!). On Saturday November 17th, he’s throwing a Jamaican-themed bash with Appleton rum cocktails and punch. Neighbor Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats will be there, too, heading up a rum-soaked, Jamaican-jerk pig roast.

Plus, the whole thing is a benefit for Share Our Strength, a national organization committed to ending childhood hunger. The event kicks off at noon, and it sounds like they’ll be at it until the rum and pig run out. General tickets are $45 and include a $10 donation to Share Our Strength, one cocktail, one bag of 4505 chicharrones, one plate of food from the pig roast, and a glass of rum punch or a pint of Newcastle. Woo! There are VIP ticket options too; get the details and the tickets here. 3200 16th St. at Guerrero, 415-552-1633.

Wine Events: Bubbly Action, Holiday Wine Pairing, and Enoteca 100


Hooray for bubbles! Photo: ©


The interior at Donato Enoteca. Photo from website.

Whoooa, this is some pretty serious bubbly! On Wednesday December 5th, Uncorked Events will be hosting Pinot and Bubbles, a veritable sparkling and pinot extravaganza. There will be bubbly offerings from 10 countries, including heavy-hitter brands, like France’s Perrier-Jouët and California’s Roederer Estate, and smaller, more obscure offerings, like Bagrationi from Georgia (the country, not the state!). There’s a hefty lineup of pinot noirs as well, with both domestic and imported pours. The event will be held in the Regency Center’s Lodge Level event space from 6pm-9pm, and there will also be snacks. Tickets are $50 per person in advance, and $65 at the door. There is also an early-bird group special for $45 per person (if you buy at least five tickets), so get some people together and make the sparkles happen. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the San Francisco Food Bank. If you bring cans of food to donate, you’ll be entered in a raffle to win take-home bottles of wine and bubbly. 1290 Sutter St. at Van Ness.

Get yourself ready for a holiday wine pairing class with Vinny Eng, the man behind the beverage program at BAR TARTINE. He’ll be at SALUMERIA on Wednesday December 12th, showing you how to select the right wine to go with the right dishes. You’ll start out at 6:30pm with a glass of prosecco, and then enjoy five mini-courses of food, with appropriate pairings. Tickets are $125 per person, and include food and wine pairings. Only 12 seats! 3000 20th St. at Florida, 415-471-2998.

On Saturday December 1st, take your Italian wine-loving self to DONATO ENOTECA in Redwood City for the Enoteca 100: Grand Food and Wine Tasting. There will be 100 Italian wines to taste, plus porchetta, risotto, pizza, and charcuterie. The tasting goes from 1pm-4pm, but you can arrive at 12pm if you purchase one of the $65 VIP tickets. General tickets are $55, or snatch up one of the limited early bird tickets now for only $45. 1041 Middlefield Rd. at Main, Redwood City, 650-701-1000.


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

Insider Tips on Throwing a Fab DIY Thanksgiving


Turducken by 4505 Meats; photo from 4505 Meats.


My overflowing plate at Casa Gagliardi. Photo: ©

Event Info

Thursday Nov 22, 2012

Nothing shows off culinary chops like hosting Thanksgiving. If you’ve been slated as this year’s host, here are some resources for the big day. Sharpen those knives, get out that apron, and get cookin’!

First things first, brush up on your cooking skills with a demonstration by chef, restaurateur, and The Next Iron Chef season 3 winner Marc Forgione at MACY’S UNION SQUARE on Wednesday November 14th at 6pm. While you’re there, you can pick up last-minute housewares too. Be sure to RSVP to save a spot. 170 O’Farrell St. at Powell, 415-397-3333.

Of course, you need a turkey. Head to OLIVIER’S BUTCHERY for free-range turkeys from Branigan’s Turkey Farm. They’ve also got you covered if your gathering is a smaller one: just order the ready-to-cook turkey roti (or another type of roti if you wanna go that route). They’ll be open 10am-7pm Mon-Wed before Thanksgiving, so place your order now. 1074 Illinois St. at 22nd St., 415-558-9887.

For something really special, check out the turduckens and smoked heritage turkeys at 4505 MEATS. You can order them online, and most of the options will be available for pickup starting Saturday November 17th. There are some exceptions, though, so check their website for details. Act quickly! 415-255-3094.

You can also order your turkey online through DELICIOUS KARMA. They’ve got BN Ranch turkeys this year, and are giving a special 10 percent discount. Just enter promo code 10%OFF-TURKEY at checkout. Orders must be placed by 11:59pm on Thursday November 15th for Thanksgiving delivery.

If you don’t want to cook your own bird, buy one already roasted at WHOLE FOODS—you just have to warm it up (it’s pretty foolproof, and tasty too). Petite Diestel turkeys start at $54.99, but there are more options as well. Check you nearest location for details (bonus: you can order online and pick up at the store). Find your nearest location here. (Be sure to pick up some Artisan Bakery rosemary pull-apart rolls too—they’re delish, and perfect for sandwiches with leftover turkey.)

If you’ve got the turkey handled but have no energy (or oven space) for side dishes, order your favorites from SQUARE MEALS. You can check out the menu options here. Orders placed by Friday November 16th will be ready for pick up on Thanksgiving morning or delivery on Wednesday November 21st. 2127 Polk St. at Vallejo, 415-674-1069.

Look to the FERRY PLAZA FARMERS MARKET for a bounty of gorgeous produce for Turkey Day. They’re holding the usual Tuesday market, plus a special Wednesday market on November 21st, 10am-2pm. If you don’t have time to shop, order a special “Everything but the Turkey” basket through Good Eggs for all your produce needs. Order by Sunday November 18th for pickup or delivery November 20th or 21st.

BI-RITE MARKET stocks everything you need for the big day, too, including lots of premade sides. All are available for preorder—just check their website for available choices and give them a call. 3639 18th St. at Dolores, 415-241-9760 ext. 3.

This next tip can be our little secret. You can order a complete Thanksgiving meal from A.G. FERRARI FOODS. $109.99 nets you an Italian-themed feast featuring three pounds of local turkey breast, butternut squash soup, A.G. Ferrari cranberry sauce with zinfandel, roasted autumn root vegetables, Brussels sprouts with pancetta in a sherry-shallot vinaigrette, stuffing, turkey gravy, chestnut and squash risotto with Parmigiano-Reggiano, focaccia dinner rolls, and a sweet almond cake with pears and amaretti. Or get all nine sides (no turkey) for $79.99. Both packages serve eight; with more desserts on the à la carte menu. Check out the full list of options here, and order by calling 877-878-2783 or visiting their nearest location.

BOXING ROOM is also offering whole Thanksgiving dinners to go. Theirs has a Southern bent—think collard greens and cornbread stuffing—and you get to choose a roasted or deep-fried bird. The whole shebang costs $325 and serves eight to ten people; half orders are available for $162.50. Order by Wednesday November 21st for pickup on Thanksgiving morning between 9am-12pm. To order, call 415-430-6590.

For a full-service catering experience or custom-tailored delivery of your feast, check out KITCHIT. Just fill out the inquiry portion on the website outlining what you need, and they’ll get in touch with you about your options.

Joanna Karlinsky of SWEET JO’S CHILI & BISCUITS is offering her famous biscuits two ways: you can have them delivered on Thanksgiving morning, fully baked, or you can get them frozen and bake them yourself. (it’s easier to take full credit yourself that way, trust me.) She’s also got a full lineup of Thanksgiving dishes, from the turkey itself to a couple different stuffings. Everything you order from her is counted as a Kickstarter contribution too. Just make sure you order by Monday November 19th. Check out her website or give her a call for the details. 415-336-9472.

The fabulous ladies at THREE BABES BAKESHOP have a variety of ways to get one of their delicious pies into your welcoming arms. First, preorder online, with choices like apple, pumpkin, brown butter pecan, and salty honey walnut. Then you can pick up your pie from a variety of locations on Wednesday November 21st: they’ll be at WISE SONS DELI from 10am-7pm, at the FERRY BUILDING for the special farmers’ market from 10am-2pm, and out of a truck in Pacific Heights from 3:30pm-7pm. If that doesn’t work for you, they’ll also be at 18 REASONS on Thanksgiving Day from 9am-1pm. And, as a final option, they can also deliver to local addresses. Place your order by Friday November 16th.

If you need baked goods in addition to pie, ARIZMENDI is the place. They’ve got pies, cheesecake, rolls, and bread to keep you rolling in the carbs. They are super-busy the week of Thanksgiving, so save yourself some time and preorder by calling 415-566-3117. They’ve got multiple locations for pickup; check the website for the one nearest you.

Looking for something unusual? NOMBE is offering Thanksgiving-themed bento boxes this year, with goodies like satsuma imo with marshmallow, chestnuts and manju (sweet bun), and fried Brussels sprouts, with caramelized bacon and apple gastrique. Each bento box comes in four layers, to serve four people, plus a basket of roasted chicken. You can also order a half box if you’re having an intimate Thanksgiving for two. The boxes are $35 per person, and must be ordered by Thursday November 15th to pick up on either Monday November 20th or Tuesday November 21st. Call 415-681-7150 or email to order.

If you’re in the East Bay, there are lots of options for you too. PIETISSERIE is taking orders for pies. Order your pie now, and pick up on Wednesday November 21st or even Thursday morning.

MILKGLASS BAKING has pecan, apple, and pumpkin pies. You can order on the website, or email your order in. Pickup is at their Gilman St. kitchen in Berkeley. 1287 Gilman St. at Curtis.

If you need a good spot to pick up side dishes, head to THE PASTA SHOP. They’ve got prepared sides for pick up, plus a full assortment of appetizer platters for welcoming your guests. They have locations in Berkeley on 4th Street and in the Rockridge Market Hall.

You gotta have wine, of course. Even if you’re attending someone else’s Thanksgiving, showing up with a fab bottle or two is always a classy move. Check out how wines will pair with turkey at WILLIAM CROSS WINE MERCHANTS. They’ll be throwing a tasting on Wednesday November 14th from 6pm-9pm, featuring the “guest of honor” (that would be a turkey). You can sample the bird and taste wines along with it, then make your purchases right there. Bonus: they can ship to other parts of the country if you’re traveling, as long as you order on Wednesday November 14th. 2253 Polk St. at Green, 415-346-1314.

So are you ready? Good, now get to the kitchen, you!

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