The matzo ball soup at Wise Sons Delicatessen. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Man, did that four-day weekend rock. From hitting up some tasty brunches (Wise Sons Deli, Central Kitchen) and lunch (Sandwich Shop at Bar Tartine) to taking advantage of popular sushi counters while people are out of town (ICHI) and catching a movie (Lincoln) to drinking bubbles at et al, rocking out to Sharon Jones, and hitting up the Dickens Fair (if you have little ones, you really should take them), well, my weekend was not wanting for things to do (and eat). And I think our family’s Thanksgiving dinner was the nicest yet—the food was so damn good, and the sentiments shared at the table, even better. I hope yours was also fantastic.
So now we’re shaping up for a doozy of a storm (which I just learned at the SF Auto Show potentially has its etymological origins in the nickname for the Duesenberg, which was called a “Duesy”). Even though this weekend is going to be a rainy one, I really hope you’ll consider checking out these awesome holiday gift bazaar events this weekend: I’ll be at Bluxome’s Meet Market on Saturday and The Bold Italic’s Gift Box on Sunday! tablehopper T-shirts in effect.
A couple of notes: first, do you follow tablehopper on Facebook? No? You are missing out on some fabulous food pics and news, people. But if you DO “like” the tablehopper Facebook page, can you take a look at something? Ends up you don’t see all the posts unless you do this: hover over the “Liked” button, and click “Get Notifications” and “Show in News Feed.” Otherwise Facebook decides what you should and shouldn’t see based on their super-mysterious algorithm and whatnot. Just want to be sure you’re not missing all the goods!
Also, have you hopped over to YouTube’s Hungry Channel lately? You’ve watched my Hungry In… videos about my favorite North Beach and Mission picks, right? RIGHT?! Well, this week, my Hungry In… cohort in New York, Josh Ozersky does an awesome pizza tour of the East Village. Wait until you see the slice of Sicilian, it’s ridiculous.
Have a good week, folks—we can survive all five working days of it, really, we can!
(Marcia rhymes with Garcia, yo)
Some big news was released on Friday: up at THE FRENCH LAUNDRY, chef de cuisine Timothy Hollingsworth is departing, and taking his place in early 2013 will be David Breeden, formerly the executive sous chef at Per Se in New York (he was also chef de partie at the Laundry in 2005). A Greeneville, Tennessee, native, Breeden worked in some of Charleston, South Carolina’s finest restaurants, including Charleston Grill, McCrady’s, and the Woodlands Resort and Inn.
Hollingsworth will be heading out on his own as a culinary consultant, and he also revealed in an interview with Grub Street that he’s “been thinking about a casual, Mexican-style taqueria. Basically, using some of the techniques I’ve learned at the French Laundry and nice ingredients, and to explore opportunities for bringing this concept to different parts of California.” Yeah, he’s putting the tweezers down (and those are sure to be some mighty tasty tacos). Hollingsworth is also debating about moving to San Francisco or Los Angeles, which will happen after Breeden gets fully settled.
Meanwhile, on the local scene, BIN 38 has hired a new chef, Caleb Jones, who was previously chef de cuisine at Claudine (he has also cooked at Michael Mina and Fifth Floor).
Wanted to provide you with a few updates on upcoming projects since some of you wonder about these things as much as I do. First, let’s peek at the upcoming BOCAZOTE coming to Cole Valley (formerly known as Papazote). Construction is chugging along, and since it looks like the restaurant will be ready around Christmas, they will probably wait for January to open. 901 Cole St. at Carl.
Another delay: Brenda Buenviaje and Libby Truesdell’s upcoming po’boy shop in the Lower Fillmore, BRENDA’S ORIGINAL PO’BOYS, is now looking at summer 2013 (oh, the joy of change-of-use permits). 1406-1408 Fillmore St. at Eddy.
Chef Chris Kronner (previously Bar Tartine, Serpentine, Slow Club) is known by many for his delicious, meaty, salty, rare burger. Luckily for us, he is currently hosting a pop-up, KRONNERBURGER, in a space flanking Bruno’s in the Mission. Swing by Sun and Mon from 6pm-2am (these are the weekly hours for now), and you can order his famed burger (with a supplement of bone marrow, natch), along with a couple of salads, fries, onion rings, and poutine (check out last week’s menu here). Don’t eat meat? Does that plate of marrow ($14) terrify you? Fret not, there are vegetarian and pescatarian options as well (hello, vegetarian or crab burger).
There are also guest bartenders (yup, there’s full liquor!). This week will have Locanda’s Gabriel Lowe slinging drinks (last week was Daniel Hyatt). Cocktails are $10, and there’s also a whisky-root beer float, and beer and wine. Also new this week: a happy hour on Sat from 4:30pm-8pm.
The Scoop mentions Kronner is currently looking at two potential permanent spaces in the Mission and on Polk; for now, we have the pop-up. Follow updates on the KronnerBurger Facebook page. 2379 Mission St. at 20th St.
Here’s a new spot to check out brunch and its beverages. NECTAR WINE LOUNGE is now serving brunch on weekends, along with juices from THRIVE. There will be mimosas with unusual juice combinations, plus a variety of healthful and not-so-healthful choices. Check out the menu here. Mimosas and juices are available by the glass, flight, or carafe. Brunch is served Sat-Sun 11am-3pm.
Good news: you can also swing by for just the juices daily Mon-Fri 8am-3pm and Sat-Sun 9am-3pm (one 16-ounce container of Thrive’s fresh-pressed juice is $9). The cold-press juices are hydraulically extracted, ensuring stable, nutritious product packed with good enzymes. Yup, juice is beginning to look like the new pizza in this town. 3330 Steiner St. at Chestnut, 415-345-1377.
As promised, here are some details on this weekend’s SLEW of upcoming holiday craft markets, so you can stay away from the mall and support local purveyors this holiday season. I’ll be at a couple of them, too, with my vintage T-shirts and book—come say hi and check out how soft and stylee these tablehopper tees are! Be like the tablehopper: hit up more than one!
First up: 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. That’s right, I’ll be there, hawking my books and fun vintage T-shirts. There are a BUNCH of vendors, and you’ll be able to drink wine while shopping. Yes, wine. That rocks. 1pm-5pm (12pm early entry for wine club members). 53 Bluxome St. at 4th St.
Also this weekend: at THE BOLD ITALIC, be sure to swing by the Gift Shop with 5M Project. On Saturday December 1st and Sunday December 2nd, they’ll be hosting a bunch of local designers and craftspeople, with lots of quirky and handmade wares. Oh, and guess what? On Sunday, I will be there, hawking my—yes, you guessed it— too-cute vintage T-shirts. There will also be snacks, drinks, a photo booth, and Skee-Ball. Admission is free. Sat 11am-5pm and Sun 12pm-5pm. The Bold Italic, 34 Page St. at Franklin.
The BAZAAR BIZARRE will also be on Saturday and Sunday, December 1st and 2nd this year. The bazaar features more than 200 local artists, designers, and craftspeople. For a full list of vendors, check here. Also this year, they’ve got a special food mart lined up, with delicious gifts from the likes of Kika’s Treats and Double Dutch Sweets. The fair runs both days from 11am-6pm and is free to attend. 620 7th St. at Brannan.
In Potrero Hill, head to the NEW TASTE MARKETPLACE on Saturday December 1st from 10am-3pm for lots of food products to take home with you or gift for the holidays. St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church, at 500 De Haro St. at Mariposa.
Don’t forget: next Friday December 7th from 1pm-7pm, LA COCINA will be throwing its fourth-annual Gift Bazaar at the Crocker Galleria, so put that on your calendar too. Yes, I’ll be there as well. 50 Post St. at Montgomery.
Thanksgiving may be over, but the feedbag must stay on! Celebrate the beginning of olio nuovo season with a special dinner at COCO500. On this Wednesday November 28th, they’ll be running a special four-course dinner, featuring the delicious oil from DaVero. You can get the details and scout a menu here. (Which includes gnocchi, and oh yeah, there’s some truffle on there too. ‘Tis the season!) The tasting menu is $60, and wine pairings are available for $25. Reservations are available beginning at 5:30pm and can be made by calling the restaurant.
On Saturday December 1st (dude, December is here already?!), chef Michael Mauschbaugh of sous beurre kitchen is cooking a five-course wild game bird dinner with Kitchit at FoodLab at A TEMPORARY OFFERING. Dinner is $65/person; seatings at 7:30pm, 8pm, and 8:30pm. 1106 Market St. at 7th St.
FIFTH FLOOR will be doing its Second Annual Holiday Guest Chef Series, starting Tuesday December 4th. Each day next week (through Saturday December 8th), a guest chef will work with David Bazirgan to create a seven-course tasting menu that reflects and showcases the guest’s heritage and cultural background. Guest chefs include Ravi Kapur (Liholiho Yacht Club), Mourad Lahlou (Aziza), and Jason Fox (Commonwealth), along with Jamie Bissonnette from Coppa/Toro and Barbara Lynch from No. 9 Park, both in Boston. For the full lineup, dates, and details, check out the event page. The dinners cost $125 each, and wine pairings are available for an additional $75. Reservations are available beginning at 5:30pm and are highly encouraged. A portion of the proceeds will be going to Meals on Wheels.
Fifth Floor - 12 4th St. San Francisco - 415-348-1555
This is quite the visit from New Orleans! On Thursday November 29th through Saturday December 1st, boogie your way to BRICK & MORTAR MUSIC HALL for an evening with live music by the New Orleans Suspects. That’s not all: New Orleans institution Jacques-Imo’s will be providing food as well. For more details on the event and to get your tickets, go here. Food service begins at 6pm each evening, and music kicks off at 9pm. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 at the door. 1710 Mission St. at Duboce, 415-371-1631.
New York Times’ food writers Kim Severson and Julia Moskin have a new cookbook they wrote after Frank Bruni challenged the two to a little mano-a-mano action in the kitchen. The resulting cookbook is called Cook Fight, and it includes 125 recipes, plus an amusing take on the challenges the two took on.
The pair will be at LEFT BANK LARKSPUR on Thursday November 29th as part of Book Passage’s Cooks with Books series, facing off with a new challenge: feeding you. The event begins at 6:30pm. Tickets to the event are $110, and include food, wine, tax, tip, and a signed copy of the book. 507 Magnolia Ave. at Ward, Larkspur, 415-927-3331.
Then, on Friday November 30th, you can catch the pair at OMNIVORE BOOKS for a book signing and talk. The event is free and runs from 6pm-7pm. Books will be available at the event.
On Saturday December 1st, local meat maven and sausage king Bruce Aidells will be at PROSPECT, promoting his new book, The Great Meat Cookbook, with a lunch and talk. His wife, chef Nancy Oakes (of Boulevard and Prospect) will be doing the cooking, so it should be extra special. The event begins at 12:30pm, and tickets are $115, including food, wine, tax, tip, and a signed copy of the book.
THE PASTA SHOP is hosting a couple of author events in December: chef Hubert Keller will be serving some tastes and signing his new book, Souvenirs, on Saturday December 8th at Rockridge Market Hall (1:30pm-3pm). And then there’s the Cooks’ Holiday Book Fair on Saturday December 15th (2pm-4pm) at the Berkeley Pasta Shop at 1786 Fourth Street, when you can get books signed by Bruce Aidells, Shelley Lindgren and Matt Accarrino (of SPQR), Alice Medrich, Cheryl Sternman Rule, and cheese queen Laura Werlin. Bonus: anyone buying more than one book at these events gets a discount on additional books.
Back in March, the popular CHINA VILLAGE in Albany closed due to a fire. The spot, which was famous for its spicy Szechuan specialties, has been trying to reopen ever since. According to some online sources, it’s getting close. The owner, John Yao, told the Albany Patch that they’ve faced lots of delays and hope to open in January, but a commenter on Chowhound says the latest estimate is February. Neither date is currently confirmed—we’ll keep you posted as we hear more (for now, the phone just rings and rings). 1335 Solano Ave. at Ramona, Albany, 510-525-2285.
Meanwhile, in Oakland, beloved movie theater THE PARKWAY has been given new life at a location in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood. It has been revived and renamed THE NEW PARKWAY. The original location near Lake Merritt shuttered in 2009. It was a favorite spot where you could catch a movie while sitting on couches and enjoying pizza and beer. For more details on the theater’s history, go here. J. Moses Ceaser is the primary operator of the new spot, though other parties are also involved.
Originally, it was looking like they’d be able to open this month, but now Ceaser says the spot is looking at a mid-December opening. They’ll be showing second-run films and serving pizza and beer to a sofa-lounging audience. And, unlike its predecessor, all ages will be welcome. 474 24th St. at Telegraph, Oakland, no phone.
Now all we need is for GREAT CHINA to reopen in its new location (hopefully in spring 2013). 2190 Bancroft Way at Fulton, Berkeley.
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Bar News: Jason "Buffalo" LoGrasso Joining Rich Table; Range Opening a Bar in Dogpatch, Hi Tops Opens
Good news for fans of Jason “Buffalo” LoGrasso’s delicious cocktails: he is now heading up the cocktail program at RICH TABLE. He most recently led the fab program at Cotogna and Quince, and has also been behind the stick at Beretta, Alembic, Bourbon & Branch, and Rickhouse. Look for his stylish, ingredient-driven riffs on classic cocktails with a new drink menu beginning this week. Highlights include the Hayloft (mezcal, applejack, almond, pomme butter, and dry cider), the Shivered Timbers (pot still rum, pomegranate, ginger, and canela), and the Strawbarely Legal (pisco, strawberry gomme, chocolate mint, albumin froth, and seltzer). You’ll seem him there during dinner hours.
Some ABC activity revealed RANGE’s chef-owner Phil West and bar manager Jeff Lyon are taking over Retox Lounge in Dogpatch. The license mentions the name THIRD RAIL BAR (hat tip to Eater for the URL); yeah, some killer cocktails are coming to the neighborhood. With Serpentine and the updated Dogpatch Saloon, there will be no shortage of quality places to drink. 628 20th St. at 3rd St.
And over in the Castro, Grub Street reveals HI TOPS, the gay sports bar in the former Lime, is due to open this Thursday November 29th. There will be an extensive selection of beers on tap, and former Absinthe chef Jamie Lauren consulted on the menu, with twists on corn dogs and the like (like a pork chop on a stick—which is sure to get comments). And whoa, 16 flat-screen TVs. 2247 Market St. between Noe and Sanchez.
PRESS CLUB’s wine director Mauro Cirilli is starting Wine Wednesdays on November 28, a monthly wine tasting event. The first one is a dinner that will lead guests through holiday pairing techniques (paired with four courses of food). 6pm-8pm, $75, contact Teresa Breaux. 20 Yerba Buena Lane at Market.
Also on Wednesday November 28th, Vittorio “Gianni” Capovilla (known for his grappa and fruit distillates) will be in town to pour his new rhum agricole (from the island of Marie-Galante in Guadeloupe), along with Capovilla grappas and brandies at BAR 888 in the Intercontinental Hotel. 5:30pm-8:30pm, $30, RSVP here or call John Lewis at 415-369-9049. 888 Howard St. at 5th St.
On Sunday December 2nd, catch a cocktail class at E&O ASIAN KITCHEN with bar manager Carlos Yturria. He will be leading a class on Asian cocktails and how to mix three of them. Of course, there will be tastes of all of them and snacks from the restaurant, so you’ll learn about pairing cocktails and food too. The class is from 5pm-7pm, and tickets are $20 per person. 314 Sutter St. at Grant, 415-693-0303.
Also on Sunday December 2nd, HEIRLOOM CAFÉ will be hosting a tasting of six different wines they’re excited about right now. There will be bubbles, white, and red, and all bottles will be available for purchase. They will also be serving grilled cheese sandwiches to go with the wines, and answering any questions you might have. The event is from 5pm-8pm, and tickets are $20.
Get yourself ready for all the toasting you’ll need to do this holiday season with the oh-so-fabulous annual Champagne tasting at ARLEQUIN WINE MERCHANT. On Thursday December 6th from 5pm-8pm, they’ll be pouring tastes of more than 30 Champagnes for your celebratin’ pleasure. Look mostly for grower-producer bubbles, including Jacquesson, Lassaigne, Benoit Lahaye, Laherte Frères, Larmandier-Bernier, Paul Bara, Vilmart, and Agrapart et Fils. All bottles will be available for purchase too. Admission is $65 per person, at the door.
Arlequin Wine Merchant - 384 Hayes St. San Francisco - 415-863-1104
Well, the Olympics have been over for a while, baseball season was awesome and is also quite over, and election season finally passed, too, so now what are you to do with your competitive streak? There’s always football, sure, but even better is the BARBACK GAMES from Fernet-Branca. The games toured all around the country and return to San Francisco for the National Championship on Sunday December 2nd. The event kicks off at 8pm and is free, but be sure to RSVP. Also, if you or someone you know is a barback, he or she can register to compete here. Regency Ballroom, 1300 Van Ness Ave. at Sutter.
Sunday Dec 2, 2012 8pm Free, but RSVP more info
Monday Dec 3, 2012 Reservations available from 5:30pm $250
OK, this dinner is not only a doozy of a dining experience on its own; it’s also a benefit for the ongoing Hurricane Sandy relief effort. On Monday December 3rd, chefs Corey Lee (Benu), Christopher Kostow (Meadowood), Evan Rich (Rich Table), Chris L’Hommedieu (Prospect), and Bill Corbett (Absinthe) will be joining Daniel Patterson to cook a seven-course meal together at COI. Each chef will prepare one of the courses, plus a dessert course from COI’s pastry chef, Matt Tinder. The dinner includes wine pairings as well, and all proceeds will benefit hurricane relief.
There is also a silent auction for some pretty great dinners, and anyone can bid. Check out details here. The dinner costs $250 per person, and includes food, wine, and tip. Reservations can be made be calling the restaurant, or through the website. For more specific information on the organizations receiving aid and how they were selected, go here.
Sunday Jan 6, 2013 – Thursday Jan 31, 2013 Dinner-only tickets are $199, hotel packages start at $332 Info The Ahwahnee Hotel 1 Ahwahnee Dr. at Village Dr., Yosemite National Park
Chefs from around the country, including several Bay Area notables, are gathering this winter in Yosemite National Park for the 27th annual CHEFS’ HOLIDAYS AT THE AHWAHNEE, a series of eight culinary retreats between January 6th and 31st at the Ahwahnee Hotel. Each session includes a “Meet the Chef” reception, educational cooking demonstrations and tastings, a behind-the-scenes kitchen tour, and a five-course gala dinner in the Ahwahnee Dining Room. The gala dinner, prepared by the chefs, also includes wine pairings. If you haven’t visited Yosemite in awhile, here’s a great excuse to get up there and enjoy the park (and the lovely grounds of the Ahwahnee).
The eight sessions will include Bay Area locals like Mark Sullivan of Spruce, Matt McNamara of Sons & Daughters, Annie Somerville of Greens, and Peggy Smith and Sue Conley of Cowgirl Creamery. Other chef participants include Joey Campanaro of the Little Owl in New York, Nyesha Arrington of the Wilshire in Los Angeles, and Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in New York. Here’s the schedule:
Session 1: January 6th-8th Moderator: Janice Wald Henderson, food and travel journalist Participating chefs: Douglas Keane (Cyrus, Healdsburg), Victor Scargle (Lucy, Yountville), Peter Armellino (Plumed Horse, Saratoga)
Session 2: January 9th-10th Moderator: Janice Wald Henderson, food and travel journalist Participating chefs: Mark Sullivan (Spruce), Annie Somerville (Greens), Ben “Wyatt” Dufresne (Plumpjack, Squaw Valley)
Session 3: January 13th-15th Moderator: Connie Barney, culinary tour guide Participating chefs: Joey Elenterio (Chez TJ, Mountain View), Jesse Cool (Flea Street Café, Menlo Park), Brian Streeter (Cakebread Cellars, Napa Valley)
Session 4: January 16th-17th Moderator: Connie Barney, culinary tour guide Participating chefs: Mark Estee (Campo, Reno), Peggy Smith and Sue Conley (Cowgirl Creamery), Adam Mali (Brasserie S&P)
Session 5: January 20th-22nd Moderator: Carolyn Jung, food and wine journalist Participating chefs: Matt McNamara (Sons & Daughters), Daniel Holzman (The Meatball Shop, New York), David Lentz (The Hungry Cat, Santa Barbara)
Session 6: January 23rd-24th Moderator: Carolyn Jung, food and wine journalist Participating chefs: Suzanne Goin (Lucques, Los Angeles), Waylynn Lucas (Fonuts, Los Angeles), Nyesha Arrington (Wilshire, Los Angeles)
Session 7: January 27th-29th Moderator: Andrew Friedman, author Participating chefs: David Bazirgan (Fifth Floor), Kim Alter (Haven, Oakland), Laurence Jossel (Nopa, Nopalito)
Session 8: January 30th-31st Moderator: Andrew Friedman, author Participating chefs: Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto, New York), Jimmy Bradley (The Red Cat & The Harrison, New York), Joey Campanaro (The Little Owl, New York)
Two- and three-night packages are available at the Ahwahnee—check here for details. Reservations for the chefs’ events only can also be purchased independently here. Dinner-only tickets are $199 per person, and packages begin at $332 per person.
Benjamin Bratt and his wife, Talisa Soto, who played a Bond girl in License to Kill, were spotted at Just for You Café by a tablehopper tipster on Saturday. They were there having a quiet brunch with their kids and are apparently quite the handsome/hot family.