A parade of Pfendler Vineyards wine and dishes at Hakkasan. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Buon giorno. I just have a few tidbits today for you—I have been drowning in deadlines, and things are beginning to heat up around here with just two weeks until I leave for my trip to New Zealand. (Can’t. Wait.)
Earlier this week, I was invited to a wine dinner with Pfendler Vineyards in one of Hakkasan’s gorgeous private dining rooms (the one we dined in features an enormous lazy Susan made of marble). I was happy to discover how well Pfendler’s chardonnays (especially the 2009) paired with the fried dim sum (like the XO scallop puff and crispy prawn dumpling), and our table was busy tasting and pairing the three pinot noirs with the parade of saucy dishes that followed (I could drink the 2011 pinot noir with the pipa duck all night). Many thanks to Kimberly Pfendler and winemaker Greg Bjornstad for hosting—this was my first time tasting wines from the Petaluma Gap, and I really enjoyed the acidity in the wines.
So we have lots of happenings this weekend: there’s the New Taste Marketplace (check it out below in the chatterbox), Satellite Republic and Liholiho Yacht Club are each popping up, and oh yeah, Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day. Have fun out there.
A few more items to keep you busy: here’s a recent list of must-eat dishes in SF that I contributed to on Blackboard Eats, and I also have my monthly roundup of five new restaurants to try on 7x7.com.
Happy eatin’ and drinkin’! Marcia Gagliardi
NEW TASTE MARKETPLACE is back this Saturday March 16th with more than 35 vendors selling local, artisanal food products at St. Gregory’s in Potrero. You’ll find folks like Nana Joes Granola, Tango & Stache, Marla Bakery, Beauty’s Bagel Shop, the boys of Frozen Kuhsterd, the delicious meats from Slow Hand BBQ, and the new pop-up Rascal and Rae, plus many more. The event is 12pm-5pm, and there will be live music and activities for kids too. 500 De Haro St. at Mariposa.
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.
Friday Mar 29, 2013 – Sunday Mar 31, 2013 Info/tickets The Roxie Theater 3117 16th St. at Valencia
As reported on tablehopper in January, San Francisco is getting a whole new film festival this year: the FOOD AND FARM FILM FEST at the Roxie. The fest, which runs from March 29th-31st, is being produced in conjunction with Bi-Rite Market and features films about food and where it comes from, paired with a bite to eat from a local chef. The list of films is now available and includes some cool choices. Check out a teaser for the festival here. A panel of judges, including your very own tablehopper, will award their favorite films the Chef’s Choice award.
Tickets to each film are $20, and includes the screening and a snack. Festival passes are also available for $95. All the proceeds of the festival benefit Three Square Meals, an organization that provides free nutritional information to underserved communities. 3117 16th St. at Valencia, 415-863-1087.
Rumor has it Martin Yan may be pondering a move north. After opening M.Y. China in San Francisco’s Westfield Centre last December to solid reviews, the buzz around Santa Rosa is that he’s looking for a second location in Wine Country. Fueling the fire: Hints on his Facebook page that something big is in the works and a picture of Santa Rosa’s own cheflebrity Guy Fieri pulling noodles at the restaurant yesterday. A collaboration in the works?
SPQR chef Matthew Accarrino heads to Forestville for a one-night guest chef gig at the Michelin-starred FARMHOUSE INN on Thursday March 21st. Part of the restaurant’s Wine Dinner Series, he’ll whip up a collaborative multicourse dinner inspired by his book SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine. The menu includes stuffed quail with rhubarb, spring onion, black truffle, and Castelluccio lentil; rabbit lasagna and prosciutto cotto; as well as an hors d’oeuvres reception and book signing. There will also be wine pairings from the restaurant’s master sommelier, Geoff Kruth. To buy tickets ($175 each) and secure reservations, call 707-887-3300 or visit the Farmhouse Inn website. Farmhouse Inn is offering a 25 percent discount on accommodations for those attending the dinner. 7871 River Rd., Forestville, 707-887-3300.
Sonoma County Restaurant Week kicks off Monday March 18th with more than 100 restaurants from Petaluma to Geyserville serving up prix-fixe dinners for $19, $29, or $39. Most chefs have ramped up their games to attract new diners during this notoriously quiet winter season but it’s important to check the menu offerings to make sure you’re in for something worthwhile.
After poring over every menu, here are my top five picks:
Go haute at Dry Creek Kitchen, John Ash & Co.: Here’s your chance for the bling without the cha-ching. DRY CREEK KITCHEN features a wild mushroom velouté (a fancy word for soup), lardo-wrapped pork loin, and walnut mousse with candied bacon on its $39 menu. 317 Healdsburg Ave at Front St., Healdsburg, 707-431-0330.
JOHN ASH & CO. has a 63-degree egg with bacon lardons, pomegranate-glazed beef cheeks, or king salmon; and a warm chocolate truffle cake or lemon mousse dome for dessert, $39. 4330 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa, 707-527-7687.
Foraged fare at Backyard: Forestville’s newest bistro, BACKYARD, sources most of its food from West County, and the restaurant week menu features a wild foraged mushroom soup along with shepherd’s pie and one of the few gluten-free/vegan dishes on RW menus, a truly indulgent gnocchi with foraged mushrooms and hemp oil, $29. 6566 Front St., Forestville, 707-820-8445.
Off the beaten path: Although chef Domenica Catelli’s Rolodex is filled with A-list fans, her approachable Geyserville restaurant CATELLI’S THE REX doesn’t advertise with flash and pomp. Instead the food does the talking. For restaurant week, she’ll be featuring an organic kale and blood orange salad with locally harvested walnuts, handmade 10-layer lasagna with braised rabbit, and her legendary warm sourdough bread pudding for $39. 21047 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville, 707-857-3471.
If you’re coast-bound, ROCKER OYSTERFELLER’S in Valley Ford is a Southern-fried stop that’s serving up crispy okra with Tabasco ketchup, andouille sausage gumbo, 18-hour smoked beef brisket, and buttermilk fried chicken with Lagunitas ale gravy, $29. 14415 Highway 1, Valley Ford, 707-876-1983.
For a complete list of participating restaurants check out the Sonoma County Restaurant Week website.
Santa Rosa produce paladins TIERRA VEGETABLES and CHALK HILL COOKERY are collaborating on a six-course vegan meal at the Tierra Vegetables Farm on Saturday March 23rd at 6pm. Chef Matteo Silverman turns humble produce, heirloom beans, and cornmeal grown on the farm into you’ll-never-miss-the-meat dishes like thyme-scented cashew cheese ravioli, butternut squash chowder with fire-roasted chile, spring lettuces with hickory-smoked olives, red polenta with shiitake mushroom ragù, and chocolate almond brownies with Meyer lemon nectar. The cost is $65, some of which will benefit the White Barn project. Bring your own wine, beer, or other beverage. Reservations are required as seating is limited to about 50 people. Details online, 707-837-8366.