And just like that, spring is all up in our business. 73 degrees on Saturday, I see you! Commence alfresco activity plotting, now. Longer days, yes! More bike rides, also in the cards.
How was your weekend? Did you go score some doughnuts? (Yes, I will take the blame for any cravings you suddenly have.) Mine had some fantastic food highlights, like these insane dumplings at Dumpling Kitchen; the weekend brunch-only Adjarian khachapuri (pictured) at Anda Piroshki at Second Act, a Georgian treat made with feta, mozzarella, and a fresh egg on top—it’s a street food treat Anda remembers eating when she was a teen, and it’s cheesy deliciousness all baked in a little canoe made of her piroshki dough; dinner at Oakland’s Hopscotch included their Yonsei oyster with ikura and uni, it’s so damn good; and Sunday was a brunch with Four Roses Bourbon at Zero Zero. Nothing like starting your Sunday comparing their single barrel with the small batch, hubba. And have you had the casareccia at Zero Zero? I need to figure out how to make prosciutto bread crumbs, stat.
All righty, let’s dive in here. We have plenty of restaurant updates for you (look for a lot of new openings in next week’s issue!), booze news, an upscale food and wine event in Carmel, and our own Dana Eastland had some fun writing up today’s starlets for you.
Cheers! Marcia Gagliardi
According to a piece in Scoop and an announcement on their website, Mark Pastore and Chris Cosentino of INCANTO are closing their 12-year-old Noe Valley restaurant on Monday March 24th. They plan to reopen later this spring, possibly as early as April, as PORCELLINO, which will have a new, more casual bent. They’ll serve lunch and dinner, but with a simpler menu that focuses more on pasta, charcuterie, salads, and sandwiches. In their website announcement, Pastore and Cosentino say they want it to feel like a “casual neighborhood osteria and market.” Not only will there be a shift to more takeout choices, but there will also be a retail section, with meats from Boccalone, pork ragù, pasta, and other items to cook at home, along with a retail wine selection.
The change comes after 12 years, for several reasons. They cite the shifting neighborhood as one reason to create a more family-friendly environment, as well as the simple need to mix things up. Cosentino is also working on a new project in the former Zuppa space in SoMa, and though he’ll stay on at Porcellino, this shift will allow him to step back and no longer be involved in day-to-day operations. For now, you can enjoy Incanto in its current incarnation for a couple more weeks; then get ready for changes.
Incanto - 1550 Church St. San Francisco - 415-641-4500
Coming Soon: BuzzWorks Coming to SoMa, Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company, The Tamale Lady's Mission Cantina
A website has gone up for a SoMa project I have been tracking and trying to find details on for a while: BUZZWORKS. The team isn’t ready to disclose details on the project until May, so we’ll have to rely on their website for now, which says there will be a rotating selection of 30-plus craft beers on tap—with plenty of local representation—and the other big component will be large, high-definition TV screens. Yup, sports will be a big deal here. As for food, the plan is to have local businesses like DNA Pizza, Bar Agricole (which is just next door), and Garage Café supply the vittles—you’ll be able to choose what you want from large flip books, and BuzzWorks will place your order and get it delivered for you. Their plan is to have at least 200 menu options, along with visits from pop-ups and food trucks. Stand by for more in the coming months. 365 11th St. at Harrison.
Back in January, I got a tip that Hilary Passman Cherniss of Devil’s Teeth Baking Company was going to be opening a brewpub in the Outer Sunset on Noriega and 24th Avenue. She asked me to keep it under my hat until she made it through the Planning Commission, and since she got her conditional use permit last week, now we can release a few more details. Woo-hoo!
It’s going to be called SUNSET RESERVOIR BREWING COMPANY, and it will be moving into the former El Grande Produce Market, a two-story building with 6,000 square feet. She wants to make it a family-friendly place, a spot where kids are welcome (she has four, so she knows all about the stink eye most restaurants—and patrons—give to parents). But it’s not about just being a romper room either—she wants adults and the neighborhood surfers to be able to hang out and enjoy their drink (there’s full liquor!) and to have a really good lunch or dinner. The menu will be American brewpub in style, so think burgers, salads, steak, and more.
There will be a 10-barrel system, with five house beers, two guest beers (featuring local brewers), and wine on tap as well. The head brewer has not been finalized yet—Passman Cherniss is currently talking with a friend back east. The space will have room for 100 on the first floor, plus there’s a mezzanine level too. Geiszler Architects is behind the build (Steve Geiszler designed and owns Faultline Brewing), which should be complete by fall—October is the dream date. 1735 Noriega St. at 24th Ave.
Also in January, we wrote about the upcoming location for Virginia “The Tamale Lady” Ramos’s upcoming Mission location, and SFist reveals the lease is signed and the actual location is at 16th Street and Capp, just across the street from Chile Lindo Empanadas. (I’m assuming, but it’s unconfirmed, that the Tamale Lady is going into the Sonia’s space at 2943 16th St., based on the SFist picture.) Construction is under way, and if all goes well, the shop will be open by late spring.
Some big news over at BAR AGRICOLE: a press release announces owner Thad Vogler has brought on Melissa Reitz as chef-partner. She was previously at Camino (where Vogler met her), as well as Quince, Zuni Café, Pizzaiolo, and most recently at Bantam in Santa Cruz. Like the bar, sourcing will be tops. Her new menu includes snacks like falafel with yogurt and cilantro ($7) and duck liver toast with pomegranate molasses ($7), appetizers like raw local halibut with Meyer lemon, puntarelle, and steelhead roe ($13) and roast fennel, mashed beets, and artichoke salad with oil-cured olives ($11), and mains come in two sizes, like Manila clams steamed with smoked black cod, wild nettles, green garlic, and fregola sarda ($12/$20) and a half or whole roast chicken with fried potatoes, chrysanthemum salad, and spicy herb salsa ($25/$48).
The restaurant is closed for the next couple of days and will reopen this Thursday March 13th—Vogler is also busy with getting Trou Normand open next week (more on this next Tuesday). One more change: Bar Agricole will now be closed on Mondays. (Hat tip to Scoop.)
Bar Agricole - 355 11th St. San Francisco - 415-355-9400
I was driving in SoMa on Sunday, tsk-tsking over the closed doors of the EndUp on a Sunday afternoon. (Seriously? What the hell is going on over there? Sunday afternoons used to be an epic scene at that club. Makes me sad.) Then I noticed a huge “restaurant for lease” sign over MOCHICA. A quick hop to their website and Facebook page reveals the restaurant is closed, and this update: “Because of you, we are able to expand our operation, which is currently under construction at a new location in San Francisco. Please check back for updates on our Grand Re-Opening!!” I didn’t hear back from owner Carlos Altamirano in time, but stand by for more. 937 Harrison St. at 6th St., 415-278-0480
Fans of OLIVIER’S BUTCHERY in Dogpatch will need to find another place to score their bavette for the next month: the butcher shop is closing for some upgrades through Friday April 11th. 1074 Illinois St. at 22nd St., 415-558-9887.
LITTLE CHIHUAHUA is starting brunch service this Saturday March 15th. All three of their locations (Divisadero, Noe Valley, Mission) will be offering Mexican brunch dishes, including stacked enchiladas, French toast, and chile relleno; check out all the options here. They’ll be pouring Sightglass coffee and mimosas. For this month only, you get a free coffee or mimosa when you order any brunch dish at the Valencia Street location. Cheers! 292 Divisadero St. at Page, 415-255-8225; 4123 24th St. at Castro, 415-648-4157; 581 Valencia St. at 17th St, 415-355-9144.
In case you were planning to check out the new KIN KHAO for lunch, you will need to switch those plans to dinner instead. Lunch service has been put on hold for now. But there’s a new late-night menu in place from 11pm-1am, with the bar open until 2am (via Scoop).
Caterers Trilogi SF are popping up tonight, Tuesday March 11th, at LA MOVIDA, the colorful wine bar in the Mission. From 6pm-10pm they’ll be serving their Asian-inspired dishes, including Hawaiian sliders and green curry; check out the menu here. They’ve also got some wines to pair with the dishes, as well as some beer suggestions. 3066 24th St. at Treat, 415-282-3066.
Last week I was running a couple of errands at the Ferry Building Marketplace and noticed the brand-new HUMPHRY SLOCOMBE shop, which of course had a line. It’s all gleaming and white, and located in the former Ciao Bella space. Hours are 11am-7pm.
You know about Pi Day, right? It’s this Friday March 14th and is celebrated by math (and pie) nerds the world over. Local pie masters THREE BABES BAKESHOP are devoted celebrants of the holiday, and this year they’re offering pie delivery for $3.14 all day. Their pies will be the usual $35, but that discounted delivery will make you very popular at the office, with friends, or really with anyone. Check out the menu and order here.
Preeti Mistry’s JUHU BEACH CLUB is celebrating one year of business this month, and of course she is throwing a big, colorful party. On Sunday March 16th from 3pm-6pm, catch a Holi party with food and drinks in their parking lot. Holi is the Indian Festival of Love, when people wear white and throw colored powders at each other; it’s a blast. Tickets are $20 and include food; drinks will be priced low and available for sale. Be sure to wear white!
Nowruz is the Persian New Year, and it’s coming up on Thursday March 20th. To celebrate, THE FLY TRAP is throwing a party. Seatings are available from 8pm-9pm, and dinner includes a multicourse meal, along with live music, a samovar station with tea and cookies, and lots of chef Hoss Zaré’s hoss-pitality. Dinner costs $77 per person, and reservations can be made by email or by calling 415-243-0580.
The Fly Trap - 606 Folsom St. San Francisco - 415-243-0580
Starting March 14th, every Friday you can find OFF THE GRID at Fort Mason again, from 5pm-11pm (rain or shine). You’ll find a wide selection of more than 30 vendors, including the likes of Azalina’s, Red Sauce Meatballs, the Lobsta Truck, and Johnny Doughnuts. To fight off Karl the Fog, they’ll have a heated area set up, as well as music and lots of carnival games. Think an old-school arcade, with Whack-a-Mole, Skee-Ball, and shuffleboard. There will also be local wine on tap, Magnolia’s brews, and cocktails from The Alembic. Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd. at Laguna.
We are very sad to report that Shigemi Komiyama, who owned Halu in the Inner Richmond with his wife and daughters, has passed away. He passed in January after a long illness, the Scoop reports. Komiyama was also the drummer for local surf-rock band The Shitones, and Halu was decorated with lots of rock-and-roll memorabilia. He was known as a kind, very fun man, and our thoughts are with his friends and family.
According to a post on their Facebook page, BARKADA in Oakland is going to begin offering full service. The spot, which opened in May 2013, has until now been a café and bakery. A call to the restaurant revealed that they are indeed changing some things: the café is now entirely laptop-free, and they no longer have wireless internet. Instead, they are offering full table service at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can peek at the menus here, and they’re also serving beer and wine. Breakfast and lunch is served Mon-Fri 7:30am-3pm, with happy hour from 5pm-7pm and dinner from 5:30pm-9pm. Sat-Sun brunch is from 8:30am-3pm. They continue to offer pastries, bread, and cakes to go, as well. 4316 Telegraph Ave. at 43rd St., Oakland, 510-601-7314.
Berkeley restaurant NEXT DOOR is doing some redecorating, says a post on their website. It’s not clear when they’ll be reopening, or what the changes will be, and our calls and emails went unanswered. Liquor license activity suggests that they’ve applied for a full liquor license, but details are unavailable. 3290 Adeline St. at Alcatraz, Berkeley, 510-982-1609.
Novato restaurant HILLTOP 1892 has a new chef, Todd Davies, who previously worked at Lark Creek Inn and Corks at Russian River Vineyards. He has made some changes to the menu, including more share plates and his riff on Bradley Ogden’s famous butterscotch pudding for dessert. The dinner menu focuses on seasonal American comfort food, with classics like meatloaf, chicken roasted under a brick, and a beer-braised pot roast. At lunch, look for sandwiches like pulled pork or an oyster po’boy, along with a selection of seasonal salads and share plates. The weekend brunch options include three different Benedicts, a short rib hash, and burgers. Hours are Mon-Thu 11:30am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-10pm, Sun 10am-9pm. 850 Lamont Ave. at Clausing, Novato, 415-893-1892.
FENIX in downtown San Rafael is hosting Fallon Hills Ranch for a special dinner from chef Shawn Paul of France’s Léon de Lyon on Tuesday April 1st. The three-course dinner features lamb from Fallon Hills Ranch for $40 per person, with optional wine pairings, and live music at 7:30. The evening begins at 6:30pm; reservations can be made here. 919 4th St. at Lootens, San Rafael, 415-813-5600.
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Last year, Diablo Dish noted that BAR DOGWOOD in Oakland was going to be expanding into the space next door (which is along 17th Street and also around the corner, on Broadway), and now we have some details to share. Owner Alexeis Filipello is going to be calling it DARLING’S, an homage to the space’s former existence as Darling’s Pharmacy in the 1920s (Filipello found this out after some research at the Hall of Records—most recently it was a jewelry store). The look will definitely be riffing on the pharmacy theme—Filipello plans to reuse some of the old pharmacy cabinets she found in the basement, as well as integrating tile, marble, and lots of wood. She is also having special brass lights made, and the bar is going to be custom made (look for some ornate metalwork and hand-cut glass).
Darling’s will primarily be used as a space for private events and overflow (there’s room for about 60), and will be open as a bar Thu-Sat. There will be housemade phosphates, lactarts, and other old-school soda jerk-inspired adult drinks. It will also have its own seasonal cocktail list. The spirits options are going to be a bit more limited than your usual bar lineup, although there will be a large selection of small-batch whiskeys, tequilas, and mezcals.
In order to create a walkway in between the bars, Dogwood’s meat counter is going to be ripped up and relocated to Darling’s. The menu will include even more house-cured meats, sandwiches, and more cold items, like salads and a new offering of crudos.
Filipello mentioned that once Darling’s is open, she plans to make both bars a technology-free zone and ban phone use. She says, “I’m tired of people not interacting. I want to have an atmosphere conducive to socializing. Sure, if you need to send a quick text, okay, but no more of people just staring at their phones.” To that, I say amen. Look for an opening in November or thereabouts. The entrance is at 1635 Broadway at 17th St., Oakland.
On Thursday March 13th, Italian winemaker Luca Currado of Vietti wines in Piedmont will be at SPRUCE. He’ll be serving a selection of his wines, available by the glass or paired with a tasting menu from chef John Madriaga. Reservations are encouraged, but bar and lounge seating will be held for walk-ins.
Wine lovers won’t want to miss this class with Bar Boulud’s Michael Madrigale, who is in town to teach a class on Sunday March 16th at 18 REASONS: What Sommeliers Drink When They’re Picking Up the Tab. The class is 3pm-5pm, $40 for 18 Reasons members, $50 for the general public.
BERLINETTA LOUNGE is hosting a few wine events in the coming months, called Flights + Bites, with a new theme each month. On Tuesday March 18th, the theme is green wines (natural, eco-friendly, and biodynamic), with six pours including the 2010 Chateau Montelena cabernet sauvignon and 2012 Hartford Court Russian River pinot noir. Six bites will be paired with the wines, including a tombo tuna with artichokes, spring onions, and tonnato sauce, and a chicken liver tartine with blood orange and black truffle. On Tuesday April 15th, the theme is tax-season wines, and then on Thursday May 29th the lounge will welcome Greg Brewer (winemaker at Melville Winery and his own label, Brewer-Clifton), who will share his pours. The evenings run from 6pm-8pm and cost $25 per person; call 415-400-0554 for reservations. 417 Stockton St. at Bush, 415-400-0555.
Spruce - 3640 Sacramento St. San Francisco - 415-931-5100
The sixth annual Passport to the East Bay Wineries is coming up on Saturday and Sunday March 15th and 16th. The event, which celebrates winemakers in the East Bay (it’s California’s largest urban winemaking region), takes you to 13 different wineries in Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, and Castro Valley, where you can taste wine from more than 20 producers. You’ll find live music, food pairings, and wines that include single varieties and unusual blends. Tickets are $40 per person for just Saturday, $65 for both days, and $10 for designated drivers. The event runs from 12pm-5pm both days; locations vary.
Saturday Mar 15, 2014 – Sunday Mar 16, 2014 12pm-5pm $40 for Saturday only, $65 for both days more info
Thursday Mar 27, 2014 – Sunday Mar 30, 2014 Website Carmel-by-the-Sea
Relais & Chateaux, the European hotel and restaurant company, is celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. Join them at the very first Gourmet Fest Carmel, a weekend-long event with some heavy-hitting Relais & Chateaux chefs, along with winemakers and sommeliers from France, Italy, and the local region. Consider this your warm-up to the upcoming Pebble Beach Food & Wine in April, although this event is going to be considerably smaller and more intimate.
The weekend actually begins on Thursday March 27th and continues through Sunday March 30th. Got some room on your AmEx Black Card? Okay, good—although not all events are priced sky-high, like the $1,095 DRC tasting. There are some great experiences that are less than $200.
Check out events like Caviar 101 Johann Lafer and Champagne Ruinart ($395 per person), or the Taste of Italy lunch with chefs Gaetano Trovato, Michael White, Michael Tusk, and chocolatier Melinda Beebe ($195 per person), paired with wines from Ceretto. There is also a Krug Tasting Event with Olivier Krug that includes tastings of some very rare Krug pours ($595 per person), and a Wild Mushroom Hunt and Lunch with mycologist Chuck Bankcroft and chefs Carlton Lepine and Jacob Leatherman ($175 per person).
You have the option of purchasing single events, or take a look at some of the packages available. The events happen in and around Carmel, exact locations and times vary by event.
Law & Order: SVU star Stephanie March (and Bobby Flay’s wife) was spotted at Tartine last week. She enjoyed a morning bun, bread pudding, and an éclair. She even took a selfie with the staff, with the nicest caption ever.
British actor Benedict Cumberbatch was spotted at Commonwealth on Sunday evening. The actor, who was in such films as 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, and Star Trek Into Darkness, enjoyed a cocktail before tucking into his dinner.