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Mar 11, 2013 23 min read

March 12, 2013 - This week's tablehopper: flav-o-flav.

March 12, 2013 - This week's tablehopper: flav-o-flav.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: flav-o-flav.                    

Flav-o-rama: Laksa with hand-pulled noodles by Azalina’s Malaysian. Photo: ©

Hola. How was your weekend? Mine was pretty en fuego, starting with the Hard Water preview party (details are in today’s column) and then Festa della Donna at A16 on Friday night. The restaurant was packed with lovely ladies (and the men and women who love them). Was such a pleasure to turn my friend on to Occhipinti wines, and we adored guest chef Maria Sinskey’s stuffed guinea hen breast with olive oil-roasted potatoes, and for dessert, the fluffiest Marsala zabaglione with citrus supremes.

After sweating the wine headache off at boot camp Saturday morning, I headed to a friend’s house to learn how to make egg-filled arepas (they are as delicious as they sound) and empanadas. And drink his homemade beer. Daytime drinking, always dangerous.

Sunday was all about the Russ & Daughters brunch at the JCC, which I had on my calendar since the day it was announced. All you have to do is mention that there will be sable in the vicinity, and I will come running. We also got to savor their Gaspe Nova smoked salmon, pickled herring, whitefish and baked salmon salad, and kippered salmon (and babka, and rugelach) while listening to Mark Russ Federman talk about his amazing family history with Joyce Goldstein. Can’t wait to crack his brand-new book, Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House that Herring Built.

Sunday evening, I took a much-needed bike ride to Wise Sons for the last pop-up dinner in a series by Azalina’s Malaysian. Fortunately my friend was game to order everything on the menu with me, from the superlative laksa with hand-pulled noodles to the mamak beef rendang with coconut rice (duuude). We also went for the chai banana fritters with durian ice cream for dessert. You want to know what’s horrible? Burping durian ice cream while on a long bike ride home. Oh dear lord. That mistake is never to be repeated. My bad!

Wanted to wish a big congrats to all the local chefs nominated for Food & Wine’s annual People’s Best New Chef. You have through March 18th to vote for your favorite. Our nearby picks include Matthew Accarrino (SPQR), Kim Alter (Haven, Oakland), Thomas McNaughton (Flour + Water), and Evan and Sarah Rich (Rich Table). Please take a moment to vote and support our local talent!

Lastly, any of you who know me know that I am completely sandwich obsessed (this is what happens when your family has delis in its history—my parents had one, and my aunties too). Which is why I bring you a Citysearch guide of my favorite places for sandwiches in SF. You ready to do some damage?

Have fun out there—tomorrow is shaping up to be even more gorgeous. We are so spoiled. Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Padrecito Now Open in Cole Valley


The dining room at Padrecito. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©


Communal tables at Padrecito. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©


The bar at Padrecito. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©


Bar area seating. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©

A report by Dana Massey-Todd. As previously mentioned in tablehopper, the crew from Mamacita is opening PADRECITO in the former EOS space in Cole Valley. The team, which is also responsible for places like Tipsy Pig, Umami, and Blue Barn, includes Nate Valentine, Sam Josi, and Stryker Scales.

The new spot is quite large, with three different levels. On the main level is the dining room, which includes intimate booths for two, communal tables, and bistro-height tables. The second level, off to one side, accommodates the bar, and a mezzanine level upstairs has additional seating that will eventually be available for large groups and private parties.

The agave-focused bar program was developed by David Ruiz and features lots of tequila- and mezcal-based drinks (por supuesto), though gin and whiskey lovers will also be able to find something to love. The cocktail menu was illustrated by local artist Alyson Thomas and is pretty freaking cute too. The bar area is a fashionable take on a Mexican cantina, with rough-hewn wood (reclaimed, of course) and indigo walls with lots of black-and-white photographs and art objects on the wall. It seems like the sort of place where Diego Rivera might be equally likely start a fight or initiate an affair.

The dining room has very high ceilings and dramatic windows, which many will remember from the EOS days, and the height has been kept comfortable with natural-weave and punched-metal hanging lamps. The wall at the back of the bar is cut out, too, so diners can see the bottles through a faux window, which adds some nice dimension.

The menu, from head chef Luis Contreras (who is also a partner) is smaller and more focused than the one at Mamacita, and everything is housemade from scratch, including corn and flour tortillas and all of their salsas and sauces. Look for tacos served in pairs, enchiladas and chilaquiles, and an array of appetizers and sides, which will change with the seasonal availability of ingredients. As much of the restaurant’s produce as possible is coming from Oak Hill Farm in Glen Ellen (owned by Josi’s grandmother, adorable), and they’ve arranged for the farm to plant some special items just for them, so you’ll find some unusual vegetable choices on the menu, like crispy kale sprouts.

Padrecito is set to open on Tuesday March 12th (that’s today). They’ll be open Tue-Sun at 5:30pm and will likely stay open until 10:30pm, though that may change depending on how busy they are late at night. They are also hoping to add brunch and lunch in the future, so stay tuned. 901 Cole St. at Carl, 415-742-5505.

Now Open: Hard Water


The horseshoe bar (and big buoy light). Photo: ©


The bar at night. Photo courtesy of Hard Water.


Shelves o’ whiskey. Photo courtesy of Hard Water.

On Friday evening I had a chance to check out HARD WATER, Charles Phan’s new bar and kitchen at Pier 3 that is opening Thursday March 14th. (Every time I mentioned it to someone this past weekend, I had to say the name in my best Don LaFontaine voice, as if I were announcing an action flick: HARD WATER.) The space (designed by Olle Lundberg) is actually not that large—just 1,300 square feet—and pretty spare. It’s all about the horseshoe marble-topped bar at the center—surrounded by wood-topped stools—and a massive, barnacle-encrusted buoy that was cut in half and turned into an overhead light. There are also some marble high-top tables and counters around the periphery of the space.

The most eye-catching feature is the back-lit wall lined with rare and historic whiskeys that will quietly beckon you to open your wallet and whip out your credit card (although some are not for sale, sorry). Bar director Erik Adkins has been collecting out-of-production, rare, and allocated whiskeys for the past 10 years, and so now here’s the result from all that bourbon bunkering. You’ll have more than 150 American whiskeys to try in all, whew.

Although it’s cool to turn people on to Rittenhouse 21, 23, and 25 years, there are also some barrels that have been recently acquired for the bar, from 9- and 10-year barrels of Willett to Buffalo Trace Weller 107, plus barrel-strength Four Roses, and Heaven Hill Elijah Craig 12 year (which is also non-chill filtered, for you bourbon geeks). There are six to eight cocktails (with American whiskey as their base), like the à la Louisiane and the Dixie. Behind the stick, you’ll also see Joel Baker full time, and some shifts by bartenders like Jennifer Colliau and Ethan Terry.

I was happy to see chef de cuisine Melissa Perfit in the open kitchen, who some of you may recognize from Hog Island and Bar Crudo. The New Orleans-inspired menu is full of bar- (and bourbon-) friendly bites, like cornmeal-crusted alligator and stuffed artichoke, plus larger dishes like seafood gumbo, fried chicken, smothered pork shank, and okra étouffée (peek at the menu and pricing here). There’s also a raw bar, with crab, shrimp, oysters, and Louisiana crawfish. Don’t feel like having a whiskey? (I hope you get that figured out soon.) Check out the wine list from Chaylee Priete, which includes some local wines by the glass from Scholium Project, Wind Gap, and Tendu.

Hours to start are lunch daily 11:30am-2:30pm and dinner 5:30pm-midnight (subject to change in opening weeks). There is also going to be a takeout window, and some seating outside too. The place looks smart in the daylight, and I can see it getting totally packed as a popular after-work destination (and yet with all those hard surfaces, I wonder how loud it’s going to be—but hey, that’s how it goes at HARD WATER). Pier 3, The Embarcadero at Washington, 415-392-3021.

Now Open: Hutong (Formerly Betelnut)


Stone pot noodles, roasted onion purée, Surryano ham, crispy anchovies, egg yolk. Photo from Hutong.

Right on schedule, the transition from Betelnut to HUTONG has happened after a one-week closure, with the restaurant opening last night (Monday) for its first dinner service. As mentioned previously, the new “back alley” look (hutong means “alley”) includes wall treatments with layers of paper, newspaper, posters, and clippings, and the awning has “HUTONG” in big graffiti letters. (Don’t worry, Cow Hollow denizens: The restaurant is not a skate shop.)

Last week, we ran a teaser of some items on chef Alex Ong’s menu. Well, now you can peek at the menu in its entirety. Knowing how much chef Ong likes to play with spice and sweet and sour (and texture), just reading the menu makes my stomach rumble.

Remember that lunch will be discontinued from Mon-Thu and will just be served Fri-Sat. New hours are Mon-Thur 5pm-10pm (bar opens at 4pm), Fri-Sat 11:30am-11pm, Sun 11:30am-10pm. 2030 Union St. at Buchanan, 415-929-8855.

Rumors: Richard Blais Opening a Restaurant in the Bay Area, and So Is Al's Beef?


The cover of Richard Blais’ new cookbook.


Al’s Beef: that dirty beef was ordered wet, hot, and sweet. Photo: ©

A tipster let me know that chef Richard Blais (of Top Chef fame, and currently touring his first cookbook, Try This at Home: Recipes from My Head to Your Plate) is going to be opening a new restaurant in the Bay Area sometime in the not-too-distant future. He is currently house hunting as well, so it sounds like a move from Atlanta is in the cards. Stay tuned for details about the restaurant and more.

Another import: I heard something about the famous AL’S BEEF in Chicago is coming to the Bay Area, starting with a location in San Jose. I haven’t been able to get confirmation from anyone at Al’s, so stand by. Let’s call this “Chicago beef watch.”

I almost can’t believe this news in the Bay Area Reporter that THE PATIO in the Castro may finally reopen after all. Sounds like owner Les Natali is trying to resolve some conditional use permit issues—and if all goes well, it may reopen this summer. Time will tell. 531 Castro St. at 18th St.

One more rumor: Seems MISSION BEACH CAFE had to unexpectedly close on Sunday, leaving the brunch-seeking masses confused by the sign on the door that said “closed until further notice.” No worries, however: Things are sorted and MBC was back open for business as usual yesterday.

Mission Beach Cafe            - 198 Guerrero St. San Francisco - 415-861-0198

Expansions: Acre Coffee in Civic Center, Sushirrito in FiDi


Toast and a latte from Acre. Photo courtesy Acre.

Petaluma’s ACRE COFFEE has expanded into San Francisco with a location in the Public Utility Commission building in the Civic Center, providing workers and tourists in the area with a new option for Four Barrel coffee, breakfast, and lunch. For breakfast, look for granola and pastries, and for lunch, you’ll find sandwiches, salads, and soups that change seasonally. Take a look at the full lunch menu here. They’re open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm. 525 Golden Gate Ave. at Polk, 415-431-4421.

FiDi sushi lunch spot SUSHIRRITO is getting ready to open their third downtown location. That’s right: MORE SUSHI BURRITOS. The new spot will take over the former Sawaii Sushi location on Kearny and will offer the same menu as the two current locations (Gi Paoletti Design Lab is also behind all of the locations’ look and design). They’ve got a beer and wine license this time around, too, so they’ll have a few additional beverage choices, including sake. There is still some permitting to get through, and they’re currently aiming for an early to mid-April opening. When they do open, their hours will be Mon-Thu 11am-4pm and Fri-Sat 11am-7pm. 226 Kearny St. at Sutter, 415-544-9868.

Closures (Whomp, Whomp)


The dining room at Tommy Toy’s. Photo from Facebook.

After a commendable 27-year run, TOMMY TOY’S will be closing on Saturday March 30th, according to Scoop. People can call the room and dining style dated, but I actually wish someone with some kick-ass Chinese chops would take it over and rock it. The opulent and over-the-top dining room was beautiful—I’d love to still be able to go to a banquet dinner in there. The food may have slipped over the years, but the room is so fabulous that I’m sorry to see this old-timer go. I swear, if I had some money… 655 Montgomery St. at Merchant.

Another old-timer is leaving the scene: HAIG’S DELICACIES, the awesome Mediterranean market on Clement Street that had a 57-year run. Such a bummer. You can read a note from the owners here on The Richmond blog. Their wholesale business will continue, so you’ll still be able to buy some of their products at stores in the Bay Area. 642 Clement St. at 8th Ave.

Tidbits: La Luna Cupcakes, New Chef at Hayes Valley Bakeworks, Great Indian Food


Tres leches cupcakes from La Luna. Photo from Facebook.

Those LA COCINA alums just don’t quit: Elvia Buendia of LA LUNA CUPCAKES is opening a brick-and-mortar location in the Crocker Galleria on Thursday March 21st. She’ll be serving her sweet and savory cupcakes, from carrot cake cupcakes to savory ones, like bacon and eggs, and beef with cheese and salsa. (Interesante.) Open Mon-Fri 8am-6pm and Sat 9am-5pm. 50 Post St., Level 1, Store 10, at Montgomery, 510-904-2864.

There’s a new consulting chef at HAYES VALLEY BAKEWORKS: Jon Helquist, an alum from Chez Panisse, Manzanita, and Seghesio Family Vineyards. Look for a new array of upgraded salads, sandwiches (like the fried chicken sandwich with smoked paprika mayo, arugula, provolone, and pickled onions), soups (like black bean chili with cheddar corn bread croutons), and pizzas. And don’t forget, HVB is a project of Toolworks, a San Francisco nonprofit that has created employment opportunities for thousands of individuals with disabilities since 1975. Open Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat 8am-5pm. 550 Gough St. at Fulton, 415-864-2688.

Permits reveal an Indian restaurant will be taking over the former Kan Zaman in the Upper Haight; the name on the license is GREAT INDIAN FOOD, let’s hope it lives up to its name. 1793 Haight St. at Shrader.

Dinner Events: Satellite Republic, Liholiho Yacht Club, Mystery Night at Maverick, Italian Cheese at Piccino


Front room at Maverick. Photo from Facebook.


Boris Portnoy at work. Facebook photo by Tyler Gourley.


Pig’s head, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, mint, and peanuts at a Liholiho Yacht Club dinner. Photo: ©

Boris Portnoy of SATELLITE REPUBLIC will be popping up again in Oakland at THE PUNCHDOWN WINE BAR, with his fabulous Georgian food. On Saturday March 16th, he’ll be serving a nine-course family-style dinner for $50 per person (seriously, you better come hungry). Wine pairings will be available as well, and reservations are available from 5:30pm-10pm. Then, on Sunday March 17th, catch a five-course, Supra-style feast. Supra refers to a traditional Georgian feast with a designated toastmaster, who leads diners in toasting before each course (start practicing now). The meal will include the toasting, and costs $90 per person, including wine pairings. Reservations can be made for 5pm. 2212 Broadway at West Grand, Oakland.

Ravi Kapur’s pop-up, LIHOLIHO YACHT CLUB, is returning for two nights to STATE BIRD PROVISIONS. He’ll be serving dinner Sunday March 17th and Sunday March 24th, and reservations can be made here. Right now, there aren’t any reservations left, but you can check back for cancellations or get on the waiting list by sending an email. (Following them on Twitter is another way to score seats.) Take a look at the evening’s menu in progress here. Kapur also sent word that he is still in the process of looking for a brick-and-mortar space in the Mission, so stay tuned for more information on that hopeful quest. (Help a brother out?)

Embark on an exciting culinary adventure at MAVERICK on April Fools’ Day (that would be Monday April 1st) with Mystery Night. You pick your meal via a mysterious letter, and then competitively guess the ingredients based on the accuracy of your palate. Each correct guess wins points, and at the end of the evening the winners take home prizes. There’s a bonus wine round too: If you can guess the varietal of the optional wine pairing correctly, that means even more points. The dinner costs $45 per person, plus an additional $15 for wine pairings. Multiple seatings will be available between 5:30pm-10:30pm; call the restaurant at 415-863-3061 for reservations and details.

Say formaggio! Join PICCINO for an evening of Italian wine and cheese on Monday March 18th. Andy Lax from Fresca Italia cheese importers will be there, sharing tastes of three different cheeses, plus a three-course dinner featuring one cheese per course. Each of the dishes will also be paired with Italian wine. The dinner begins at 6:30pm and costs $95 per person, including wine pairings. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant.

Piccino            - 1001 Minnesota St. San Francisco - 415-824-4224

Some Seriously Awesome Feasts for Your Radar


The dining room at Ajanta. Facebook photo by Marty Snortum.

Tuesday March 19th is Italian Father’s Day (La Festa di San Giuseppe), and to celebrate, PALIO D’ASTI is serving a feast worthy of a serious papa bear. The meal will be served family style, with antipasti, three types of risotto, four entrées, and Sicilian cheesecake for dessert. The dinner is $55 per person, excluding beverages, tax, and tip. Children under 13 pay the dollar equivalent of their age. Reservations are available from 5pm-9pm and can be made by calling the restaurant.

Looking for a serious Indian feast? Grab some hungry friends and head to the delicious and delightful AJANTA in Berkeley to try their new chef’s tasting menu. The menu, which is available every night from 5:30pm-9:30pm, includes three appetizers, four main dishes, and sides of rice, naan, pickles, and chutney, plus your choice of dessert. All that food is only $27 per person ($24 for a vegetarian option), and wine and beer are available for an additional cost.

Ajanta            - 1888 Solano Ave. Berkeley - 510-526-4373

Join Carrotmob in Supporting Sustainable Sushi


Fish at Yuubi. Photo from Facebook.

Tired of all the mid-level sushi restaurants in this town selling unsustainable seafood? Yeah, me too, which is why this is pretty cool: Carrotmob is working with YUUBI JAPANESE RESTAURANT to demonstrate that sustainable seafood is important to local consumers. Here’s the deal: Yuubi is interested in sustainable seafood, but they aren’t sure that consumers will pay more for it. So Carrotmob has stepped in and, for the next three weeks, the restaurant wil be serving sustainable fish.

You can purchase a $30 voucher through Carrotmob in the next three weeks, and use it anytime you like. For every voucher purchased, 40 percent will go toward helping Yuubi develop a more ocean-friendly kitchen. The hope is that consumers will use their money to show that sustainable options really matter. (There’s also something about $1.00 sakes if you like Yuubi’s Facebook page.) You can read more information about the campaign, and help support a local business in the process! 501 Balboa St. at 6th Ave., 415-386-2011.

Upcoming Readings and Events


On Wednesday April 3rd, catch Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of New York’s Eleven Madison Park at the JCCSF. The event is called Eleven Madison Park Loves New York and offers an inside look at the restaurant and their new book, I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes. James Oseland, the editor of Saveur, will be on hand too. The event begins at 7pm and also includes a snack from chef Humm and wines from Shoe Shine Wine. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for JCCSF members, and $15 for students. 3200 California St. at Presidio.

On Wednesday March 20th, head to OMNIVORE BOOKS for an event with Elissa Altman, author of Poor Man’s Feast: A Love Story of Comfort, Desire, and the Art of Simple Cooking. From 6pm-7pm, you can hear the New York native talk about her journey from a lover of fancy food to an appreciator of simpler fare. The event will include a book signing and is free.

Omnivore Books            - 3885a Cesar Chavez St. San Francisco - 415-282-4712

510 Openings and News


The Cubano at Carriage House. Yelp photo by Jon D.


La Fable. Photo from Facebook.

In Old Oakland, the folks at DISTRICT have opened a to-go lunch outlet at their current location, called District Carriage House. The menu has soups like clam chowder and a seasonal vegetable choice, a variety of sandwiches including a Cubano and a burger, and pizza. They’re open Mon-Fri 11am-1:30pm, and orders can be placed by phone or in person. 827 Washington St. at 9th St. (entrance on 9th), Oakland, 510-452-0031.

LUNGOMARE in Jack London Square is now serving weekend brunch. Add in the view and adult beverages, and you are set. Brunch Sat-Sun 9am-3pm. 1 Broadway at Water, Oakland, 510-444-7171.

Also in the neighborhood, the new exec chef at BOCANOVA has been announced: John Jackson. 55 Webster St. at 1st St., Oakland, 510-444-1233.

Berkeleyside notes LA FABLE (start practicing your French accent when you say it) has opened in the former Chester’s Bayview Café space. Sounds like it’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with room for 30 plus an outdoor patio and a deck with bay views. 1508 Walnut St. at Vine, Berkeley, 510-849-9995.

Last week I wrote about the upcoming Next Door restaurant. Also coming to the neighborhood is EASY CREOLE by Grant Gooding, Jess McCarter, and Jeron Thomson. It started (and continues to exist) as a pop-up restaurant in San Francisco at The Residence in the Castro. Due to their success as a pop-up, they were able scrounge up enough pennies to soon open up a brick-and-mortar space in the former Ming’s Chinese Kitchen in Berkeley. The menu will feature a rotating array of New Orleans staples such as jambalaya, shrimp Creole, and red beans with rice, along with new creations like sweet vegan gumbo, spinach-mushroom étouffée, and Red Stripe jerk. They will soon be open (in about a month or so) for lunch and dinner. 1761 Alcatraz at Ellis, Berkeley.

And as previously mentioned on tablehopper, new owners of the previous Boilerhouse restaurant were opening ASSEMBLE in its place. According to Berkeleyside, they are now open for lunch Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm. Menu items include a cheesesteak, muffaletta, and fish and chips. Dinner is coming soon. 1414 Harbour Way South at Cutting, Richmond, 510-215-6025.


the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)

(Sponsored): The NWBLK Equation Series With Basil Racuk

What happens when the New Black brings together a world-class artisan, a jet-setting professional, and tasks them with creating a refined and functional leather bag that exceeds the standards of the modern urban dweller?

The New Black announces the first in its Equation Series. One designer, the NWBLK creatives, and the public exploring the process of design and production.

Our first subject, Basil Racuk, is joined by Jamestown Properties Creative Vice President George Krauth (Chelsea Market NY) to collaborate on a custom bag designed to suit George’s lifestyle.

“Luxury is the experience.” The dialogue and interaction between Racuk and Krauth is presented with tools and a live audience in a workshop installed at the New Black.

This special occasion, Thursday March 28th, 2013, at 6pm is limited to the first 200 tickets found here.

$500 toward a custom piece by Racuk will be offered to attendees and customers for $350. The collection of Basil Racuk bags at the NWBLK will be on display and for purchase exclusively at the gallery.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Explore the Dark Side of San Francisco History on Thursday March 14th


Raise a glass to San Francisco’s shady past on Thursday March 14th at the Hooch, Harlots, and History Party at the Old Mint. The event, which is a fundraiser for FlipSide, a San Francisco history and event group, will feature stories from local history buffs (like Cantina’s Duggan McDonnell and “Broke Ass” Stuart) about our fair city’s dark, twisted, and very quirky past, plus drinks from 21st Amendment and Pisco will be available. Tickets are $10 ($5 for SF Museum and History Society members), and include one drink, a docent-led tour of the Mint, live music, and lots of knowledge. The event is from 6:30pm-9:30pm. 88 5th St. at Mission.

New Projects: Yong San Lounge, Cellarmaker Brewing Company, and Castro Bars


Yong San Lounge; Yelp photo by Kevin Y.

ABC permits reveal Lower Nob Hill/Union Square dive bar YONG SAN LOUNGE is being taken over by the Duncan Ley/Benjamin Bleiman gang (Bullitt, Tonic, Dr. Teeth, Lightning Tavern, and more). I am beginning to fear for bona fide barflies in this town—with every seedy corner dive bar getting snapped up lately, it’s going to become even harder to find a place where the bartender knows your name and you can nurse a cheap beer in peace under the cheap glow of some Christmas lights. 895 Bush St. at Taylor, 415-771-1838.

There’s a new brewery and taproom coming to SoMa this summer, CELLARMAKER BREWING COMPANY. Grub Street has more details about this project from Connor Casey (Fritz Winery, Press Club, and Marin Brewing Company) and brewer Tim Sciascia (Marin Brewing Company and Samuel Adams). They will be focusing on beers made with unique hops from around the world, and some “Belgian-style saisons, stouts aged in bourbon barrels, and sour beers aged in wine barrels with different fruit combinations.” Stand by for updates in coming months. 1150 Howard St. at 7th St.

Grub Street also has an update on what’s next for the former Trigger location in the Castro, BEAUX. The owners of The Edge, Midnight Sun, and Q Bar are taking it over and plan to open in late summer or early fall. Look for a more approachable style from Geremia Design, some cocktails that have a bit of attention paid to them, and dancing on the weekends. 2344 Market St. at Noe.

(MIDNIGHT SUN is also getting a refresh by designer Craige Walters (Fable) and should not be closing during the process. Stand by for a new look by June, which will include a new front wall with windows.)

Wine Dinners (Billecart-Salmon!) and Deals


The beautiful vineyards of Champagne. Photo: ©


Photo from luella.

You love bubbles? Yeah, me too. Book your spot for a special Billecart-Salmon Champagne pairing dinner at SPRUCE on Tuesday March 19th at 6:30pm. Dinner will highlight the Billecart-Salmon line of Champagnes, including vintage, nonvintage, rosé, and their new barrel-fermented and aged release, sous bois (there will be eight in all). Geoffrey Loisel, the general manager for Billecart-Salmon U.S., will be present. $198, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Call 415-931-5100 to reserve.

On Thursday March 21st, COI will be hosting Andrew and Adam Mariani of Scribe Winery for a five-course dinner. $150, includes both food and wine. Reservations are required and can be made via or by calling 415-393-9000.

Okay, looking for something a little less spendy? For the month of March, LUELLA in Russian Hill is celebrating eight years with its annual wine special. Every Sunday through Thursday, every wine on the by-the-glass menu will be available for $4 per glass or $20 per bottle. 1896 Hyde St. at Green, 415-674-4343.

COI            - 373 Broadway San Francisco - 415-393-9000

Support Women Behind the Bar with Cocktail Cult


Photo by Kelly Pulieo.

Some badass Bay Area women are getting together to create a beautiful new cocktail book, and they could use your help. Pür Spirits, a local women-owned spirits company, and talented photographer Kelly Puleio are producing a book featuring recipes from—and portraits of—some of the Bay Area’s finest female bartenders (the look will be inspired by Art Deco, Tamara de Lempicka, and 1930s Berlin). The book will also include lots of Bay Area bar history and lore, and will provide a fun, visually arresting look at our local cocktail culture and its roots. The book will be called Cocktail Cult: Free Spirited Cocktails & Pure Spirited Women. To pay for the printing costs of the book, they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign, so you and your fabulous self can get involved. Their goal is $15,000, and anything above that will be used to compensate Puleio for her costs.


the socialite

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

Top of the Day to You: St. Patrick's Day Events


Skimo the dog is ready to party. Flickr photo by hellocopter.

Event Info

Sunday Mar 17, 2013 – Sunday Mar 17, 2013

St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday March 17th this year (although the parade is Saturday), and you’ll want to get some luck of the Irish with these events and specials to celebrate.

At JASPER’S CORNER TAP they’ll be serving some special Irish dishes, like lamb pasty and corned beef with cabbage. Of course, they’ve also got drink specials going for $8, like the J.J. Sour with Jameson, lemon, orgeat, and bitters. Check out the specials here.

At FIFTH FLOOR they’ve got several different drink specials to toast to the luck of the Irish, like the Blarney Stone (Irish whiskey, lime, ginger beer) and an Irish whiskey flight. Here’s the full list of drink specials. They’ll also be serving Guinness ice cream, delish.

As happens every year, ROYAL EXCHANGE is throwing a huge block party to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This year, it begins at 11am on Friday March 15th with Irish food specials in the restaurant and will continue into the evening with live music, lots of beer, and rowdy folks in green. The party will continue into the weekend, too, from 11am-close on Saturday and Sunday.

Check out some cold sweet specials at THE ICE CREAM BAR in Cole Valley. They’ve got drink specials like the Dublin Honey with Guinness and honey ice cream, plus Guinness ice cream, potato leek soup, and corned beef. The specials will be available March 14th-17th. 815 Cole St. at Carl, 415-742-4932.

Want to make your own St. Patrick’s feast? 4505 MEATS has brisket, corned beef kits, and corned beef that just needs to be heated. Give them a call to order. 1909 Mission St. at 15th St., 415-525-4239.

Since it’s a Sunday, you can tuck into an Irish brunch at THE PHOENIX BAR & IRISH GATHERING HOUSE in the Mission, or maybe lunch and a pint at DURTY NELLY’S in the Outer Sunset. Otherwise, pretty much every single Irish bar in the city (and boy do we have a lot of ‘em) will be overflowing with Guinness-drinking mobs, so take your pick.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Close Encounters

Last Tuesday, the wonderful (and bunny boiling) Glenn Close dined at Spruce with a group of eight.

Then, on Thursday, she enjoyed breakfast at Boulette’s Larder, again with a group. No word on if she tried to turn that Hungarian sheepdog into a coat or not.

A Dinner About Nothing

Famous (painfully) funnyman Larry David was having dinner with a group at Grand Café last week. The group he was with had a good time, and hopefully didn’t offend anyone too much.

The Click Story

Bay Area rapper E-40 was spotted at Fish Story in Napa over the weekend. Apparently he was in town looking at starting a winery.

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