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Jun 2, 2014 25 min read

June 3, 2014 - This week's tablehopper: on the town.

June  3, 2014 - This week's tablehopper: on the town.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: on the town.                    

Smoked beef tartare with quail egg, fresh horseradish, and buttermilk at The Elite Café. Photo: ©

How was your weekend? It turned out to be pretty dang nice, no? On Friday night, I had a fun jaunt to the Outer Richmond to peek at the soon-to-open Marla Bakery, stand by for details in next week’s column. Later that evening, I also checked out the new chef’s menu at Elite Café—it was fun to go with a fellow SF old-timer and slip into one of the private wood booths, talk about flashbacks. Chef James London is doing some really great things to shrimp and grits, let me tell you.

Sunday was a double play, starting with a multicourse brunch by Ante Meridian at Naked Kitchen (chef Anthony Yang made a delicious rice porridge with togarashi pork). And then that evening was the annual Star Chefs & Vintners Gala, benefitting Meals on Wheels. All the chefs, bartenders, and vintners brought their A game to the sold-out event, which raised approximately $2.6 million! Way to go, and special kudos to gala chef chair Nancy Oakes of Boulevard for everything she does to make the event so special.

So, pretty much every week I have someone ask me, “How do you do it all?” The answer is espresso. Ha! For those of you who would like a peek into 24 hours of my crazy but wonderful life, the fine folks at Bacchus Management Group asked me to write a 24-hour diary for their Bacchus magazine, go ahead and check it out.

Speaking of coffee and glorious espresso, have you heard about the screening tonight at the Castro Theatre of A Film About Coffee. It looks like a beautifully shot documentary, see you there? There will be coffee! There will only be tickets sold for a couple more hours, FYI.

Lastly, I want to repeat that this Friday June 6th is the annual Summertini at the Bently Reserve, and there are still tickets left! This event is a fundraiser for ECS and the CHEFS program, which you all know is a cause that does so much to help the homeless population here in SF. The lineup is looking great, with bites from A16, Nopa, Park Tavern, Heartbaker, and Foreign Cinema, plus cocktails from Trick Dog and Cantina. Oh yeah, and fab auction items, bring your credit card.

tablehopper readers can buy tickets at a $30 discount off the $130 ticket price. Just use code tablehopper14. I really hope to see you there—it’s a great event, and a crucial fundraiser for their many important programs.

Okay, see you Friday, enjoy the sunny week! Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

The Aveline and The European Opening Friday June 6th


The welcoming and light-filled dining room. Photo: Wes Rowe.


The Vegetable Garden; photo by Eric Wolfinger.


The bar of The European. Photo: Wes Rowe.


The back lounge of The European. Photo: Wes Rowe.


The dining room at Aveline. Photo: Wes Rowe.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to tour the beautiful AVELINE and its neighboring bar and lounge, THE EUROPEAN, which are opening this Friday June 6th in the former La Scene in The Warwick San Francisco. It’s a fantastic downtown location, one that will especially appeal to theatergoers, industry folks who work in the area, and Union Square shoppers and workers. Chef Casey Thompson, who many of you will recognize from the early days of Top Chef, is overseeing Aveline, while The European is bar industry vet Adam Wilson’s baby (his 20-year background spans Australia, New York, Vegas, and most recently, Beretta).

The hotel (completed June 15th) and these two spaces were just massively renovated by the Dutch strategic design consultancy, UXUS. You’ll note Aveline has a lighter design sensibility, with a neutral and calming palette. There are two seating areas (one is closer to the open kitchen) with 60 seats in all (with four at a chef counter), two illuminated wine walls, tufted banquette seating in caramel, two kinds of chairs (including a very comfortable padded gray chair), and softly glowing teardrop pendant lamps and artwork (from Sarah Atkinson and Patrick Wright) that adorn the walls. There are also eye-catching honeycomb patterns in the marble tile and the woodwork above the wine walls. It’s stylish and visually interesting, and the Beaux Arts building itself is classically pretty, with arches and lots of light (the architect, Arthur Brown Jr., also designed Coit Tower).

Texas-born Thompson (she opened Shinsei in Dallas) has been living in Napa since her Top Chef appearance (her partner makes wine), and she has really enjoyed getting into the Wine Country lifestyle, cooking at wineries with gardens and pizza ovens (she says, “What’s not to love about being here?”). Thompson’s very personal cuisine style is New Californian, but she says it’s more travel-influenced than trend-influenced, and will highlight her relationships with local farms, artisans, and more (her French training and Southern roots will also be apparent). Thompson is 36, and as she puts it, she’s “hitting my culinary stride.” Her plating is elegant and dishes will be served on a variety of beautiful plates in different shapes, colors, materials, and textures. You can look at the creative menu here, which includes dishes like abalone with wood ear mushrooms ($27), succulents, and pepperoni, and fried chicken ($26) with kimchi powder and pickled vegetables.

Or you can sit at the kitchen counter, which won’t have a menu (chef’s choice!) and will feature cocktail pairings. There will also be a bar menu in The European, and while there is a burger, it won’t be your usual bar food, with “chips ‘n dip” of chicken skin “chips” with charred onion, smoked eggplant, and trout roe. It’s not all serious, though—there’s also housemade “Spam” with black grape jelly on Texas toast.

Since we’re talking about the bar menu, let’s jaunt across the hotel lobby to The European, which has a darker and slightly edgier look, and one that’s sophisticated too (it almost looks like a black lacquer box). There’s a concrete bar (with 14 seats), smoky glass, sturdy aluminum stools, and dramatic lighting (including some netted globe lights overhead)—if you count the seating in the back lounge, there are 35 seats in all. The back lounge features burnt orange tufted banquettes, gray tufted love seats, ottomans, patterned wallpaper, and neoclassical three-legged tables topped with black glass. It feels like a swanky study, with handsome touches like herringbone-patterned wood floors and filament sconces—you can pull the velvet curtains closed to block it off for private parties.

As for the cocktails, Adam Wilson is going to be serving cocktails expatriate Americans would have found in Europe during Prohibition (with a bit of an update), plus some other gems he has discovered in some rare books. Be sure to check out the “Now & Then” pairing, which features a contemporary cocktail served alongside a taste of the original drink in its vintage form. There will be some original concoctions as well, plus a number of lower-proof cocktails and aperitifs, and it ends up there will be a lot of Champagnes, including some special half-bottles. Here’s the cocktail list.

Aveline is open Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm. Weekend brunch is set to start in late summer from 11am-2pm. The European is open Sun-Thu 4pm-12am, Fri-Sat 4pm-1am. 490 Geary St. at Taylor, 415-292-6430.

Hot Lunch: New Lunch Service Around Town (Kin Khao, Gaspar, Chino, Schroeder's, and More)


Khao soi at Kin Khao. Photo: ©


The smoked salmon mille crêpes at Gaspar. Photo: ©

If you’re looking for some new lunch options around town, well, you’re in luck. Let’s start with KIN KHAO, which has reinstated lunch service Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm. You can look at the menu here, which includes the delicious pretty hot wings ($8), khao soi gai ($15), and the pork bowl ($15), with flat rice noodles, crispy belly, braised shoulder, and a runny-yolk egg in a pork broth.

GASPAR BRASSERIE is now offering lunch service as well, starting Wednesday June 4th. They’ve got a selection of cheeses, as well as a charcuterie plate, lots of soups and salads, the gorgeous smoked salmon mille crêpes, and larger dishes like a burger and steak frites; here’s the menu. Plus you can enjoy one of their lighter Champagne cocktails and not end up totally blotto at 1pm. (Unless you’re having a Don Draper kind of day, then go for it.) Lunch is served Mon-Fri 11:30am-3pm.

SFoodie noted MISSION CHINESE FOOD is offering lunch specials. Right now there’s a buttermilk- and koji-brined fried chicken sandwich that sounds pretty amazing, and it’s only $10, with your choice of a Tsingtao, Coke, or ginger beer included. Score. Look for other specials coming soon—ramen is rumored.

TWENTY FIVE LUSK has a new weekday lunch service, offering a $15 special each day. Mondays are braised short ribs with truffled tater tots and a syrah reduction; Tuesdays bring a smoked duck tartine with bacon, fig mostarda, wild arugula, Fontina cheese, and Portuguese bread; Wednesdays are grilled prawn soba noodles with mint, asparagus, and hoisin barbecue sauce; Thursdays it’s Fried 38 North Chicken with salt-roasted new potatoes, sausage gravy, and cucumber salad; and on Fridays, you can get a Dungeness crab roll on buttermilk pain de mie, with drawn butter and wild arugula. Lunch is Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm.

Just a little reminder that CHINO is now running with continuous hours, from 11:30am-1am, so you can come by for lunch.

And downtown, SCHROEDER¹S RESTAURANT is now offering lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am -2pm. You can check out chef Manfred Wrembel’s menu, with dishes like spaetzle (with corn, tomato, ricotta, poppy seeds), duck pastrami salad (a mix of cabbage, rye croutons, and mustard vinaigrette), and a krautburger (caramelized onions, cheddar, sauerkraut, mustard aioli, caraway fries). You can view the menu here.

Mary Risley Closing Tante Marie's Cooking School at the End of September


Mary Risley in her element. Photo via Facebook.

Last night as I was typing away at this column, an email came in from TANTE MARIE’S COOKING SCHOOL, announcing the closure of the cooking school on Francisco Street at the end of September. I know, a bunch of us have taken excellent cooking classes there, and founder Mary Risley is such an important part of our local food scene. Bless her heart for founding Food Runners in 1987, an organization that picks up excess food from businesses and delivers it directly to agencies feeding the hungry in San Francisco.

She opened the school 35 years ago, and has been teaching cooking in San Francisco for 40 years. In a way, she is going back to her roots by cooking out of her home kitchen again (it’s where she first taught her cooking classes). People will be able to book her home kitchen (it’s wonderful, complete with a beautiful garden out back) for private parties, weekend classes, and more. She has had a private group that has been coming to her home every year for 10 years straight, and she has been enjoying teaching some 10-year-olds how to cook in an after-school program (you kids don’t know how lucky you are!).

if you have a gift certificate or a credit from Tante Marie’s Cooking School, there are plenty of classes for you to take this summer before they close the school at the end of September. The lease is up for the school’s location, and Risley said there are a couple of interested parties talking to the landlord. She said she will be selling the kitchen equipment and dishes (but to be clear, she is not selling the business).

Mary, enjoy having a little more free time (but we’re glad we still have access to your encyclopedic cooking brain and skilled hands), thank you for everything you have done to make us all better cooks, and you better keep making sassy videos!

Plin Coming to Valencia Street from Alexander Alioto


Alexander Alioto. Photo via Facebook.

Chef-partner Alexander Alioto departed Seven Hills at the end of last year, and he has a new solo project in the works, PLIN, due to open in the Mission in late July. He’s moving into the former Conduit/Another Monkey space on Valencia, and will be highlighting Italian seafood and handmade pasta. A fourth-generation chef and now restaurateur, Alioto—whose family opened Alioto’s in 1925—will be recruiting the family to help with the restaurant. He says, “I’m excited to have a larger kitchen now to allow for different cooking techniques and to incorporate my family—my mother is overseeing Plin’s design and my father is lending his expert wine knowledge.”

The menu will include his famed “raviolo uovo” (hopefully without the truffle oil this time around), as well as some namesake agnolotti dal plin stuffed with organic chicken, lemon zest, brown butter, and crispy chicken skin. Some seafood highlights include black bass carpaccio with mussel cream, lemon segments, Espelette pepper, and bread crumbs, and grilled Spanish octopus (almost a mandatory menu item these days) with confit tomatoes, bone marrow, crispy Italian butter beans, lemon juice, and sage.

The wine program will be under the direction of Master Sommeliers Nunzio Alioto Jr., Alexander’s father, and Chuck Furuya—look for some special reserve wines from Nunzio’s own cellar. Since there’s a full liquor license, bar manager Daniel Federico of Harvard & Stone in Los Angeles will be creating cocktails with fresh juices, housemade infusions, and herbs, fruits, and vegetables from the kitchen.

The restaurant is getting quite the makeover by Architects II. The gay-prison design (as a friend hilariously called the dining room’s style) will be no more—Scoop reports the conduit that was installed by designer Stanley Saitowitz is (finally) coming down. There will be 100 seats, with booths, banquette seating, a communal table, and a private dining room (for 12). Alioto’s mother, Joanne, will be integrating some elements that play on earth and sea themes, so look for walnut tabletops, a color palette with shades of blue, and some custom art pieces and unique light fixtures.

Dinner will be served Tue-Sun 5pm-11pm. 280 Valencia St. at 14th St.

Tidbits: Free Pizza at Patxi's, Taker for Greenburger's, Shalala Ramen, More


A deep-dish slice from Patxi’s. Photo by Rebecca Feder.


North Beach Gyros. Photo: ©

Local Chicago-style deep-dish pizzeria PATXI’S is celebrating their 10th anniversary on Wednesday June 4th. To commemorate the occasion there are a lot of specials, including a free pizza party that afternoon from 3pm-4pm at every Patxi’s location. There will be pizza, beer, wine, cake, and a toast for all (anyone wearing a Patxi’s T-shirt to the party will receive a complimentary $20 gift card). Any child present who is 10 and under and has a birthday on June 4th will receive a complimentary pizza (or gift certificate for a free pizza). Space is limited, and the event is first come, first served. They’re also doing a “golden ticket” special with all deliveries on June 4th, with prizes and discounts. There are four locations in San Francisco: Fillmore, Hayes Valley, Irving, and Noe Valley. One more thing to note: Patxi’s has donated more than $315,000 to local nonprofit organizations dedicated to education and children’s health and welfare through their 52 Weeks of Giving program. Keep up the great work!

As previously reported on tablehopper, GREENBURGER’S in the Lower Haight has closed. Hoodline reports that there are actually two new tenants for the project. The first is a one-month-only pop-up called Cool Beans, from chef Tim West and business partner Derek Proudian, which will be in the space until the end of June to test out recipes for their future permanent restaurant. Then, in July, the space will be taken over by Sun Hee Lee, who owns Nara Sushi on Polk, though it doesn’t sound like the new spot will be sushi. 518 Haight St. at Fillmore.

As reported a couple of weeks ago, Mountain View ramen restaurant SHALALA is coming to Japantown. The new location is now open very softly while they get their staff and recipes up to snuff, and we had a chance to catch up with chef and partner Nobu Iwahashi to get some details. He says that the San Francisco location will be a bit different, with a new ramen broth recipe. His new recipe, he says, will eschew most of the chicken in favor of all pork bones, for a more authentic tonkotsu broth, as well as different varieties of ramen than those found in Mountain View, including the possibility of kuro tonkotsu. The grand opening will be in the middle of June. Hours are Mon, Wed-Fri 11:15am-1:30pm for lunch, 5:30pm-9pm for dinner, Sat-Sun 11:15am-9pm, closed Tue. 1737 Buchanan St. at Sutter, 415-757-0552.

It looks like there’s a new gyro place in the former Campanula space in North Beach. We spied a sign for NORTH BEACH GYROS, and initial Yelp reports say that they’ve been open a for a couple of weeks, serving platters, gyros, and kebabs. 701 Union St. at Columbus, 415-655-9665.

According to Yelp and liquor license activity, the former Taishan Cafe has moved into the former Cali Pho Nia (what a name) space on Clement, and changed their name to THE CLAYPOT HOUSE. The specialty is indeed claypots, along with soups and other tasty-sounding dishes. 1000 Clement St. at 11th Ave., 415-668-0838.

As previously mentioned, former 903 Cortland tenant Kinfolk is getting ready to move into a permanent home in the former Pizza Express. They’ve decided to change the name to 3RD COUSIN, and have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the new project. 919 Cortland Ave. at Folsom.

More gelato is coming our way soon, this time from East Bay maker Federico Murtagh and his LUSH GELATO. We spotted the launch of his Kickstarter campaign, and Scoop added some additional details. They make their own gelato base, using Straus cream and produce from lots of local farms, and are hoping to open in August. 1817 Polk St. at Washington.

Closures: Grand Cafe Closing and Relaunching as Something New, Q Closes


Grand Café. Photo from website.

Yet another downtown hotel restaurant has switched up their concept, and this time it’s Kimpton’s GRAND CAFÉ that’s making the shift. They’re closing after dinner service on Thursday July 31st, and will close for a full renovation and new concepting. The front part of the restaurant will become the new bar and restaurant, while the large main dining room will become a ballroom, which was actually the space’s original function. They’re staying mum for now on the incoming concept, chef, and design of the new space, but are looking to reopen in late 2014. Hat tip to Scoop.

The Richmond Blog reports that after 16 years on Clement, Q RESTAURANT is closing on Sunday June 29th. Owners Andrew Gillen and Brinn Riley have decided to close to focus on their health, and take a break from the incredible demands of restaurant ownership. Currently, there is no word on the new taker for the space. Farewell, tater tots! 225 Clement St. at 3rd Ave., 415-752-2298.

Grand Café            - 501 Geary St. San Francisco - 415-292-0101

The Sad Passing of North Beach Icon Lorenzo Petroni


Lorenzo Petroni with wines from his winery. Photo from North Beach Restaurant website.

We were very sad to read in Scoop that Lorenzo Petroni, the owner of NORTH BEACH RESTAURANT and Petroni Vineyards, has passed away after a battle with esophageal cancer. He was an icon in North Beach, where he opened North Beach Restaurant in 1970 with partner Bruno Orsi. Many noteworthy locals were regulars and friends, including Herb Caen (who affectionately called him “il padrone” in columns) and restaurateur Michael Chiarello. Our thoughts are with all his family and friends through this difficult time. And in the words of Mr. Petroni himself, “Life is too short to drink bad wine…so salute!”

The Final Round of Legacy Bars and Restaurants in San Francisco Announced


One of the tablehopper’s vintage-style T-shirts. Photo: ©


Some of the newest inductees to San Francisco Heritage. Photo collage from Facebook.

Legacy Bars & Restaurants, the very cool history guide that launched last year to help commemorate and celebrate San Francisco’s oldest and most iconic establishments, has announced their final round of inductees. They include The Ramp (1950), Café Du Nord (1908), Hi Dive (1916), and Roosevelt Tamale Parlor (1919). All establishments involved in the project have been open for 40 years or more, contribute to the cultural history of their neighborhood, and feature distinctive architecture or design, so you know they’re all worth checking out.

They’ve also launched a nifty pocket guide, which is ideal for sharing with out-of-town guests (or, hello, Father’s Day walking tour!).

As many of you know, the history of San Francisco’s bars and restaurants is near and dear to the hopper’s heart, so we love this project. And hey, we’ve even got a line of vintage San Francisco bar and restaurant T-shirts that include actual logos and art from some of San Francisco’s iconic old establishments, including the Blue Fox. They’re all locally screenprinted on soft, flattering shirts, too, making them a great gift for a friend, loved one, or, hey, yourself! There’s also a cozy Blue Fox hoodie that will get you through our SF “summer.”

Food and Music Events: Outside Lands, Cultivate


Azalina’s chicken curry nachos. Photo: ©


Big Chef Tom’s Banh Baby, Banh burger, from last year’s Outside Lands. Photo: ©

This is San Francisco, so obviously people are just as excited (if not more so) for the food, wine, and beer vendors as for the music lineup at OUTSIDE LANDS this year (August 8th-10th in Golden Gate Park). Tickets to the show are sold out, but if you’re going, it’s a good idea to target ahead of time what you’re going to want to eat. As my family says, strategery!

Like last year, there’s a mega list of food vendors. Yeah, you’ll have more than 200 food and drink options, with new additions like Chino and AQ. Returning vendors (and dishes) to look for include Del Popolo’s pizza, Nojo’s spicy chicken wings, and Wise Sons’ pastrami cheese fries. Vegetarians, you’ll want the fried plantain and black bean burrito from The Little Chihuahua. Everyone wants Rich Table’s porcini doughnuts.

Another bonus: Blue Bottle Coffee Co. will be there to perk you up, along with lots of dessert vendors at Chocolands including Humphry Slocombe and Sharona’s Chocolate Shop. Five La Cocina alumni and culinary talents join A Taste of the Bay Area this year; these include El Huarache Loco, Azalina’s, Sabores Del Sur, Endless Summer Sweets, and Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas. Cheese Lands? Cheese Lands! Sadly, though, hopper favorite Outside Lambs is no more; that lamb poutine rocked.

Beer Lands is also awesome; with Dave McLean (Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery and Alembic Bar) curating the lineup, you know you’re in good hands. There will be 30 breweries pouring 64 beers, including Calicraft Brewing, Magnolia, and Pacific Brewing Laboratory. Look for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Outside Lands Saison again, too. And of course there’s Wine Lands, led by Peter Eastlake (a Food & Wine magazine “Sommelier of the Year: 2013”) overseeing 37 winemakers pouring 120 wines, including Sean Thackrey, Paperboy Wines, and Olivia Brion.

On Saturday June 7th, check out Chipotle’s Fourth Annual Cultivate San Francisco festival. The festival is all about sustainability and food, with cooking demos from chefs, live music, and lots of food and wine to sample. Many local chefs will be participating, including Cortney Burns and Nick Balla (Bar Tartine), Sarah and Evan Rich (Rich Table), and Dennis Lee (Namu Gaji and Smokestack). It runs from 11am-7pm in Golden Gate Park’s Hellman Hollow and is free; check out the music lineup here.

Pop-Ups: Le Dix-Sept at Whisk, Diner Meets Deli, The Fortress


The apricot rosemary tarts from Le Dix-Sept. Photo from Facebook.

Delectable pastry makers Le Dix-Sept will be popping up at Whisk on Sunday June 8th from 11am-3pm. The courtyard space will be a beautiful setting for their gorgeous, French-inspired pastry, including brioche, an apricot rosemary tart, vegetable quiche, and the “Paris-SF” cream puff. Four Barrel coffee will also be on hand. 1217B Fell St. at Divisadero.

For a classic American pop-up experience, head to WISE SONS DELI, also on Sunday June 8th. They’ll be joined in the kitchen by guest Amanda Freitag of New York City’s Empire Diner for a Diner Meets Deli dinner from 5:30pm-9:30pm. Look for their take on classics like the patty melt, banana split, and a wedge salad. All items are available à la carte.

The Fortress pop-up from Eddie Lau is back on Saturday June 14th, this time at Naked Kitchen, with a “Vintage to Modern Cocktail Dinner.” All of the dishes and cocktails will be an interpretation of San Francisco’s past and present; here’s the menu. The dinner runs from 6pm-8:30pm and is followed by an evening social with cocktails and bites from 9pm-11:30pm. Tickets to the dinner are $70 including pairings and gratuity, $30 to just the social, and $95 for both. 945 Valencia St. at 20th St.

Sink Your Teeth Into These Meaty Events


High on the Hog 2012. Photo © GammaNine Photography via Facebook.

To celebrate the new book, The Carnivore’s Manifesto, on sustainable meat practices and eating, AMERICANO is throwing a meat-tastic party with author Patrick Martins on Thursday June 12th. The evening includes a reception and live music, followed by a four-course dinner prepared by chef de cuisine Josh Perez with heritage-breed meats including chicken, pork, beef, and lamb. The reception goes from 5pm-7:30pm, and dinner goes from 7:30pm-10pm. The dinner costs $75 per person, or $110 with wine pairings, and reservations can be made here.

On Saturday June 21st, head to EPIC ROASTHOUSE for their sixth annual High on the Hog party, happening from 1pm-4pm. The porky event will feature food from multiple restaurants, including Waterbar, Southpaw, and One Market, along with pinot noir from Sandhi, MacPhail, Flowers, Pisoni, and Joseph Phelps. The event is raising funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and they’ll be bringing some puppies to meet and play with (awwww, puppies!), plus there will also be live music and games. Tickets are $65 per person.

EPIC Roasthouse            - 369 Embarcadero San Francisco - 415-369-9955

510 News: The Dock at Linden Street, Dumpling Express, Taiwan Bento


Caesar popcorn at The Dock at Linden Street. Photo from Twitter.

East Bay Express reports that James Syhabout’s newest venture next to Linden Street Brewery, THE DOCK AT LINDEN STREET, is opening this week, possibly even as early as Tuesday June 3rd (that would be today), depending on inspections. We mentioned the project back in September, and here’s a recap: Syhabout has paired up with Linden Street Brewery’s Adam Lamoreaux to create a beer-friendly restaurant. There are two parts of the space, the Beer Shed and the Dock. The Beer Shed is a casual beer garden with communal seating both inside and out, and very limited bar snacks on the menu, while the Dock is a full-service restaurant offering a wider range of dishes.

Both areas will be serving beer selected by Lamoreaux, as well as two seasonal cask beers, with beer-friendly food from around the world. All the dishes are designed for sharing, and many don’t even require a knife and fork. There will be Caesar salad-flavored popcorn, jerk chicken wings, and a marinated cucumber salad with avocado and furikake. They’ve also got a full liquor license, with shot-and-a-beer selections and punch bowls for groups. Hours at the Shed are Mon-Fri 4:30pm-close, Sat-Sun 11:30am-close (closing times are still flexible—call first!), and the Dock is open Tue-Sat 5:30pm-9:30pm. 95 Linden St. at 3rd St., Oakland, 510-338-3965.

Chowhounders caught the opening of the new DUMPLING EXPRESS in Berkeley. The dumplings are all made fresh to order, and initial reports on both Chowhound and Yelp are positive, citing fresh flavors and nice, thin wrappers. Also note that it’s takeout and cash only. 2328 Bowditch St. at Durant, Berkeley, no phone.

After plans to raise funds for Pi Dan Noodle House after the death of owner Allison Chen stopped, the restaurant’s space in Uptown Oakland suddenly became available. Though new owners Stacy Tang and Willy Wang are not associated with the previous ownership, their concept is similar: it’s a Taiwanese noodle house called TAIWAN BENTO, the Scoop reports. Their focus will be on fast-casual for the local lunch crowd, and the industrial, modern interior will remain largely the same. They’re hoping to open as soon as July, serving lunch Mon-Fri. 412 22nd St. at Franklin.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

La Botella Republic Now Open in Berkeley


La Botella Republic. Yelp photo by Jwg O.

Berkeleyside Nosh caught the story on LA BOTELLA REPUBLIC back in August, and then updated in March with more details. The new spot, from husband-and-wife team Christopher Clarke and Lauren Brody-Clarke, is a wine shop and “tasting salon” where you can check out some hard-to-find, small-batch local wines. The wine bar will offer Northern California wines (some for less than $15 a bottle), as well as beer and small bites. Any bottles you particularly enjoy can be purchased from the shop. They’re also hoping to offer special events, with sommeliers, winemakers, and chefs. Hours are Tue-Thu 4pm-9pm, Fri 4pm-10pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 1pm-9pm. 2055 Center St. at Shattuck, Berkeley, no phone.

Another Dive Bar at Risk, Hotspot


The Hotspot. Photo from Facebook.

It looks like yet another San Francisco dive bar is in danger of closing. This time, Mid-Market’s HOTSPOT is on the chopping block. Uptown Almanac reports they’ve gotten into a dispute with their landlord after closing for renovations in January, and it’s not clear if they’ll be able to reopen. Their Facebook page cites ongoing legal action, and mentions that the bar is not currently functional. While it’s not clear that the bar has closed permanently, things are not looking good. Sigh. 1414 Market St. at Fell.

Negroni Week Is Here, and You're Going to Feel It


The classic Negroni. Photo by Wes Rowe.

Negroni Week kicked off last night, and the city is going to be awash in all kinds of Negroni specials around town. Here are a few highlights you can hunt down:

I love the special Campari ice made by bar manager Christopher Longoria at 1760, where you’ll find three kinds of Negroni variations on the menu. Order the Negroni Sbagliato to experience the Campari ice cube.

HUMPHRY SLOCOMBE is serving a limited special-edition Negroni Pop ($3.25), made with Campari, gin, vermouth, and grapefruit.

Negroni popcorn? Yup, Negroni popcorn. You’ll find it at PERBACCO.

On Wednesday June 4th (from 6-10pm), Tango & Stache will be at HOLY WATER (warning: music on that link) serving Negroni bacon tacos with Bulldog gin-soaked berries, and on Thursday June 5th from 6pm-10pm, he’ll be at RYE; both bars will be serving Negroni specials all week/night long.

At the BURRITT ROOM/BERLINETTA, swing by for the Berlinetta Playlist on June 6th from 7pm-11pm. Try the Local Yokel Negroni made with Campari, Aperol, 209 Gin, the brand-new Jardesca Aperitiva, and seltzer. Bonus: Mo Hodges, formerly bartender at Big, will be there!

I will definitely need to try the Calabrese Negroni (made with Calabrian chile peppers and apricots) at MICHAEL MINA.

You can check out the bar of the brand-new THE EUROPEAN, opening Friday June 6th—Adam Wilson will have plenty of Negroni variations for you, and Aveline’s pastry chef Kaley Laird is making Negroni gumdrops.

That’s just a sampling! There are so many things going on through June 8th, here in the city and beyond. Check out the full list here. And don’t forget: participating bars and restaurants will be donating a portion of every Negroni sale to a charity of their choice, so some of your boozing will go to a good cause.

Sherryfest Comes to Town June 17th-June 20th


Sherryfest Grand Tasting, New York. Photo courtesy of Sherryfest.

Anyone who loves sherry (raises hand) or wants to learn more about it should check out Sherryfest 2014, which will include tastings, seminars, and dinners held at various locations in San Francisco from June 17th-20th. This is the fifth Sherryfest from Peter Liem, but it is a premiere of the event in California.

The main event is the Sherryfest Grand Tasting at Bluxome Street Winery on Wednesday June 18th, with more than 100 sherries offered from 20 sherry houses; winemakers, bodega principals, and the president and director of the Consejo Regulador of Sherry will be in attendance (trade is from 11am-4pm, consumers from 2pm-4pm). Though it is a free event, preregistration is required for admittance.

Four dinner events will showcase rare sherries paired with special menus at Central Kitchen, Trou Normand, Bar Agricole, and St. Vincent Tavern & Wine Merchant (each dinner is $130, which is all-inclusive of food, sherry, tax, and gratuity). Seminars ($30-$50) will be conducted at the 18 Reasons event space and the newly opened Upstairs Central Kitchen.

Primary bodega hosts for the dinners and seminars include Rey Fernando de Castilla, Williams & Humbert, González Byass, Barbadillo, Sánchez Romate, Tradición, and Lustau. Also participating in the Grand Tasting are such distinguished names as Valdespino, Gutiérrez Colosía, Delgado Zuleta, Osborne, Bodegas 501, La Guita, Urium, Hidalgo-La Gitana, Aecovi, Dios Baco, and many others.

the socialite

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

CUESA's Summer Celebration Coming Sunday June 22nd


CUESA’s Summer Celebration in 2013. Photo © Drew Altizer Photography.

Event Info

Sunday Jun 22, 2014 6pm–9pm $125, $20 off with promo code tablehopperearlybird Tickets                        Ferry Building

The time has come for CUESA’s fourth annual Summer Celebration on Sunday June 22nd from 6pm-9pm. The fabulous event, which takes over the Ferry Plaza for an evening with wine, cocktails, and delicious food, is a fundraiser for the organization’s ongoing education programs.

The floor is divided into six (very summery) categories: stone fruit, berries, cucurbits (cucumbers and melons), grains and legumes, alliums (onion and garlic), and leaves and flowers, and the chefs and bartenders go crazy making the summer’s bounty as delectable as possible. Ryan Farr (4505 Meats), Jen Musty (Batter Bakery), Mario Tolentino (Betelnut), Thomas McNaughton (Central Kitchen), Lauren Kiino (Il Cane Rosso), Shauna Des Voignes (Knead Patisserie), Traci Des Jardins (Mijita), Sean Thomas (The Blue Plate), and Christine Law (Town Hall) are just a few of the participating chefs.

There are also lots of fun activities, including a “Name That Stone Fruit” game, live music, a scavenger hunt, and opportunities to meet farmers. In addition, you’ll find beverages from Rye on the Road, St. George Spirits, Drake’s Brewing, Almanac Beer Co., and Patz & Hall. Tickets are $125 per person, but tablehopper readers can use promo code tablehopperearlybird for $20 off the ticket price (that’s good right up until June 22nd, too).

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Keepin' It Sporty in the Marina

A trifecta of football players (in “The Triangle,” no less) were spotted at Matrix Fillmore and then again at Balboa Café. The posse was Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks, Aldon Smith of the 49ers, and Justin Tuck of the Raiders. Later on, Gavin Newsom showed up at the Balboa, too.

Twenty Five Lusk Is Delicious, Say You...


Photo courtesy of Twenty Five Lusk.

…Say me, Lionel Richie was spotted having dinner at Twenty Five Lusk on Saturday night. He was with a group of seven, and enjoyed the duck mousse appetizer to start.

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