This week's tablehopper: nanu nanu.
What’s hot in my world right now: orzo in chicken broth with marjoram, nutmeg, and Parmesan. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Man, the world is just gutted over the tragic Robin Williams news. It’s a tough one. We all grew up with him in some way or another, and since he’s a friendly local, he touched a lot of lives here. Everywhere, actually—he was not someone who could be contained.
It’s hard to reconcile how a man who gave the world so much laughter and joy and hilarious comedy has left us by his own hand. We ask ourselves, how could such a bright, searingly funny supernova suffer with so much darkness? But as it is with our sharpest comedians, and some of our most brilliant talents, there’s often a tone of shadow, a subtext of pain.
I lost someone so dear to me to suicide, a man who overflowed with talent (and was the funniest person I have known), so this incident dredges up a lot. But I am also heartened by the deeper discussion happening around depression that I’m seeing in the media, on Facebook, in texts, and on social media. We all know someone who suffers from depression, and demons, and substance abuse issues, so while nothing can bring Williams back, if we can help someone else who is grappling with the darkness, or at least have more understanding and empathy for them (and for ourselves), then we are able to let in a little beam of light onto this very bleak happening. Let’s all take good care of each other out there.
It feels clunky to segue here into some banal food news, but let’s shift gears, okay? I wanted to give you a heads-up about some local talent who will be on TV tonight at 10pm PST, on the Esquire network. We have chef Traci Des Jardins appearing on Knife Fight, and next week (August 19th) is Kyle Itani of Hopscotch in Oakland is appearing, and then we have Charles Phan and Anthony Strong of Locanda going head-to-head on August 26th. Nice SF showing, gang!
A bunch of you are Foursquare users, yes? Do you like their redesigned app? It’s full of tips about what to get at various places around town, and tablehopper is chiming in on what to eat and drink at restaurants in SF and the 510. Just follow tablehopper on Foursquare for more! I’ll be adding some more tips soon now that the app is up and running (and our city is blowing up with new openings).
Speaking of new openings, here’s my monthly post on 7x7.com on five new places to check out. Yes, I’m here to help you keep track of it all.
So, I’m on day 11 of my soft-food life after “the incident.” I basically traded in my evil Sonicare for an immersion blender. Who knew that blending chicken noodle soup would taste so good? Ordering ramen without noodles? Yeah, I’m that girl right now. I’m joking that I need to write a book, Fun with Polenta! But really, all I want is to be able to chew in time for the Street Food Festival this Saturday. Or I can just hang out at the Aperol Spritz Brunch and drink my breakfast. See you there!
XOXO Marcia Gagliardi
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Coming This Winter: Foghorn Bayview
Bayview continues to percolate with new projects, and come this winter, FOGHORN BAYVIEW will be sounding its horn. The project is from Eric Nyeste (Proof Grainworks), who some may recognize from the Bayview Underground Food Scene, and his friend and architect, Josh Wallace (Mock/Wallace Architects).
The duo envision a neighborhood place that is going to offer breakfast and lunch, one that is primarily “high-quality Southern” in feel. (Nyeste is from Atlanta, and confesses to be really big on making biscuits—look for ‘em to come topped with seasonal preserves.) Rotating dishes will feature seasonal and local produce, and many will be designed to be portable—the feeling is like a bistro-style version of a fast-casual spot, but with quality at top of mind. We’ll be able to share details about the chef, dishes, and more at a later date. Dinner service, evening events, and beer and wine will potentially come later.
Nyeste’s background includes extensive experience as a barista, as well as a bartender. They will be serving De La Paz and pulling shots off a Synesso, and there will also be a “cocktail” bar, but the sodas, coolers, and drinks will be nonalcoholic (but made with just as much creativity, quality ingredients, and care as a craft cocktail).
The duo are excited to be a part of Bayview; Nyeste says, “There are some phenomenal businesses in the neighborhood, and we want ours to tie in to the existing community. Everything we make will be quality, and will also fit in the context of the neighborhood. We want to be accessible and approachable.”
There will be 26 seats, with communal tables. The design and buildout are following sustainable building guidelines, and they are also grateful to the SF Shines program for their assistance with some components of the project, like refurbishing their sign and ADA compliance. They just finished demolition, so November is the current target for opening. 4608 3rd St. at McKinnon.
The Hall Bringing a Gourmet Marketplace to Mid-Market in September
Back in June we broke the news on the marketplace moving into Mid-Market with involvement from Scott Peterson and Ted Wilson of FINE & RARE. Some details of the project have emerged, and we’ve got an update on what’s going on.
First, the space is taking over the ground floor of the new development at 1028 Market Street and will be called THE HALL, after the building’s former incarnation as a billiards hall. There will be a variety of vendors (more on that later), serving food and offering retail options, and restaurateur Matt Semmelhack (AQ, TBD, Mélange Market, Bon Marché) will also be helping with the design and operations of the new project. The space will feature an indoor/outdoor design, with a large outdoor grill. Picnic tables and trees both inside and out will integrate the interior with the outdoor seating, and high, soaring ceilings will keep the space airy and open. The space will have a rustic, industrial feeling, with eclectic touches and different spaces for each vendor.
And about those vendors. First, Fine & Rare will of course be represented, serving sustainable seafood with local and seasonal ingredients. Cassia from the Fuki food truck will be serving Moroccan and Peruvian cuisine, with an emphasis on spices and seasonings. The Whole Beast from chef John Fink will be offering their meat-centric and sustainably raised meats and seafood, with an emphasis on heritage breeds and utilizing every part of the animal. Raj + Singh offer seasonal Indian food with choices for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike, as rice bowls, plates, and wraps. Little Green Cyclo will also be in the house, with soups that are not normally available on their food trucks, including a pho made with oxtail broth and other choices made from scratch. Dignitá will run a café with coffee, pastries, and snacks. And finally, Anchor Brewing will be running the beer and wine bar.
The space will be open all day, with some purveyors offering coffee and breakfast in the morning, and others focusing on lunch and dinner. The plan is to open in late September, and of course we’ll keep you updated as that gets closer. 1028 Market St. at 6th St.
Smell That? Twofish Baking Company Is Opening in SoMa This Week
Here’s an update on TWOFISH BAKING COMPANY, the Sea Ranch bakery we announced that is opening a location in South Beach from Margaret Smith and Hilla Ahvenainen. They are officially opening their doors tomorrow, Wednesday August 13th. The new space will offer their rather famous baked goods (they are known for selling out at the Sonoma Coast location), including the signature sticky buns and apricot windowpanes, along with scones, muffins, banana bread, and cakes. There will also be some gluten-free choices. Coffee and espresso is from Equator, whose beans they’ve been using since opening 11 years ago.
At lunch, look for three daily changing salads and a variety of calzones. Smith says they are hoping to revive the calzone (Ben Wyatt would be proud), with lighter choices and fresh toppings. There will be a few options, including “Hylla’s Thrilla” with mozzarella, roasted onion, Mike’s Hot Honey, and soppressata; a white calzone with olive oil, garlic, mozzarella, ricotta, and basil; and a vegan option with garlic, onion, mushroom, artichoke hearts, and olives.
For the moment, they are going to try out these different menu options and see what is popular. In the future, there may also be a breakfast calzone, more dishes at lunch, and weekend hours. For now, hours are Mon-Fri 7:30am-3:30pm. 240 Ritch St. at Bryant, 415-970-6965.
You Can Kiss Kiss This Week at Beso in the Castro
The Castro is getting a new Spanish-inspired hangout, BESO, from the folks behind nearby Bisou (no word if Bacio is next). The restaurant opens on Thursday August 14th. Executive chef and co-owner Nicolas Ronan worked with consulting chef and partner Anthony Lemortellec (Boqueria, New York) on the menu of tapas that feature local and seasonal ingredients from their Napa Kitchen Garden in Napa Valley. Dishes include steamed mussels with chorizo, mushrooms with Manchego, steak tartare, and seasonal paellas, plus cut-to-order jamón and Spanish cheeses.
The contemporary 54-seat space was created by Tecta Associates, and the kitchen features some open (glass-encased) areas where guests can watch their food being prepared to order. There are brick walls, a marble tapas counter, small group tables, and a custom communal table made from oak. There are plenty of Spanish and California wines, selected by co-owner and general manager Damien Chabaud-Arnault. Open for dinner nightly. 4058A 18th St. at Castro, 415-801-5392.
Openings and Coming Soon: Old Bus Tavern, Seed + Salt, Udupi Palace Marina, Truck Stop
A new bar and chili shop is coming to Bernal, called OLD BUS TAVERN. It’s a partnership of Old Bus Tavern, a local brewer, and Barchili, which is currently doing an occasional Tuesday pop-up at Pizzahacker. There will be chili on the menu, of course, and their beer, though no other menu details were available. Barchili appears to focus on regional chili specialties, like Cincinnati-style and Frito pie, and of course they have a chili burger. No word yet on an opening date. 3193 Mission St. at Fair.
There’s a new place for clean eating in the Marina, according to Eater. It’s called SEED + SALT and comes from owner Mo Clancy in the former Tuttimelon space on Chestnut. She’s partnered with chef Ariel Nadelberg to create a vegan menu with no gluten or refined sugar, including an eggplant BLT, beet burger, and sprouted buckwheat granola for breakfast. It will most be a takeout spot, with only about 14 seats for those wishing to dine in. The opening date is targeted for mid-October. 2240 Chestnut St. at Avila.
UDUPI PALACE has opened a third location in the Marina, according to Scoop. The vegetarian restaurant, which also has locations in Berkeley and the Mission, is known for its dosas, as well as a thali plate that packs a lot of food for a low price tag. 3242 Scott St. at Chestnut.
Liquor license activity tipped us off to the new TRUCK STOP opening on Duboce in the Mission. Owner King Lei reports that it will be in the same vein as the SoMa STreat Food Park, with trucks and a bar with beer and wine. However, details are still quite sparse: though they plan to open softly within the next couple of weeks, no trucks have been officially signed on. Lei, however, reports that there has been “lots of interest.” 55 Duboce Ave. at Woodward.
Cawfee Tawk: La Capra Coffee from the Town Hall Crew, Blue Bottle
I heard awhile back that the Rosenthal brothers—you know, the ones behind Town Hall, Anchor & Hope, and Salt House—had a new coffee project brewing (har). After a tablehopper tipster sent me a pic of their new café window, well, it’s time to release some details. Mitchell and Steve have partnered up with Hanna Suleiman of Caffè Greco to create LA CAPRA COFFEE. The Rosenthals have been fans of Greco forever, and have talked about opening a café with Suleiman for a long time. But when it came time to figuring out which local coffee to serve, they had a hard time finding something that came close to their love of Italian roasts. So they decided to figure out their own roast!
They have been working closely with a toll (contract) roaster on an Italian-inspired espresso blend and a drip coffee, and have been cupping for months. Things are getting close as they figure out what they like… And we’ll be able to see what made the cut at the end of September (or maybe early October) when they open a café in the Financial District. Sagan Piechota Architecture (Piccino, Blue Bottle) is behind the design, which will feature marble counters, dark wood, and a little bit of seating. Mitch also said he plans to add some sandwiches (but not grab and go) and is trying to figure out how to get their beignets in there (it’s tough because there isn’t a kitchen). We’ll keep you posted on the opening, and who knows, knowing the Rosenthals, they may even start their own roasting facility someday—you know how chefs are. 50 Fremont St. at Mission.
Fans of BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE will have another spot to get their fix: they’ll be opening a new location in the Financial District, and it’s close to 2,000 square feet. Eater reports the offering will be like Blue Bottle Mint Plaza (think waffles and some other bites to go with your coffee). It should open in a few months. 115 Sansome St. at Bush. (There’s also going to be a location in the Twitter building, actually a kiosk, at 10th and Stevenson—that one is looking like early 2015.)
Pop-Ups and New Service Hours: Korean at Hog & Rocks, Ante Meridian Brunch, Lunch at Smokestack
Every Thursday this month at HOG & ROCKS you can check out a special late-night Korean pop-up from chef Robin Song. It begins at 10pm on August 14th, 21st, and 28th, and goes until the bar closes. Menu items are inspired by the street food and drinking culture of Korea, and include bibimbap; a zucchini pancake with soy, peppers, and cress; and kimchi tofu stew with a slow-cooked egg.
On Sunday August 24th, chef Anthony Yang (of Per Se and Michael Mina) is doing his Ante Meridian brunch pop-up at Naked Kitchen from 11:30am-2pm. The four-course prix-fixe menu will be seasonal and costs $40 per person—the man is famous for black truffle waffles, just sayin’. Beverages are BYO, so feel free to bring a delicious bottle of bubbles (or two, depending on how you roll). Get your tickets and check out a sample menu here. 945 Valencia St. at 20th St.
According to an announcement on Facebook, Dogpatch’s SMOKESTACK is now open for lunch. They now open at 11:30am, so their new hours are 11:30am-12am daily, with the bar staying open until 2am Fri-Sat. 2505 3rd St. at 22nd St., 415-864-7468.
Hog & Rocks - 3431 19th St. San Francisco - 415-550-8627
Special Meals: A North Beach-Inspired Italian Supper, Nopalize's New Seasons Events
Looking for a little taste of North Beach, but in the Mission? On Sunday August 24th, TRICK DOG is hosting a late-night North Beach-inspired Italian dinner with Aviation American Gin/House Spirits Distillery and Imbibe magazine. New chef Michael Logan has put together a menu that includes fritto misto and ricotta and eggplant cannelloni. But wait for the drink pairings! One of them is the “Pizza Negroni,” with mozzarella-washed Aviation gin, Campari, Martini & Rossi Gran Lusso, and tomato water. Whoa. The three-course meal ends with Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches, and the pairing has some grappa in it, oh you know it. Tickets are $55, all-inclusive. Seats are very limited, so reserve your spot quickly. Reservations can be made here. 9pm. 3010 20th St. at Florida, 415-471-2999.
If you want to get out of town, check out this farm lunch and estate tour with the NOPA/Nopalize crew on Wednesday August 20th at Devoto Orchards in Sebastopol (it’s first in a series called Seasons—take a look at upcoming events!). You’ll get to taste their heirloom cider, Nopa chef Laurence Jossel will prepare lunch, and pastry chef Anna Lee will provide a morning pastry to go with your Blue Bottle Coffee on the ride up. Depart at 9am, return at 4pm. $150. Tickets and details here.
Perry's Celebrates 45 Years All Month Long
PERRY’S has been on Union Street since 1969 and is celebrating their 45th anniversary this month. Yeah, that’s a good one. They’re having a party on Friday August 15th from 5pm until closing, with live music, guest bartenders, and a chance to play dice with owner Perry Butler. You can read more about Mr. Butler and the iconic bar and restaurant here. There will also be half-price wine all month, and daily specials with the “retro-ish” price of $6.95. Dishes will include classics like London broil and quiche Lorraine. Don’t miss it! 1944 Union St. at Laguna, 415-922-9022.
News in the 510: Changes at Corso, Special Dinner at Boot and Shoe, Changes at Montclair Bistro
Berkeley’s CORSO has made some changes, including signing on a new chef. Scott Eastman is now at the helm in the kitchen—he’s been there since they opened six years ago. They’ve replaced the kitchen’s large pizza oven with a special charcuterie cooler and a pasta cooker. The menu’s focus has shifted toward housemade pasta, whole animal butchery, and Bay Area style and products. Think Italian technique and inspiration, but with a California sense of adventure and maybe not so many rules—take a look at the new menu here. In addition to some new menu items, like a nightly butcher’s special cut of meat, yogurt-marinated rabbit, and extensive charcuterie choices, they’ve also acquired a full liquor license. The new cocktail list takes its inspiration from vintage cocktails, with Italian influence; take a look here. Hours are Sun-Mon 5pm-9pm, Tue-Thu 5pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-10pm. 1788 Shattuck Ave. at Delaware, Berkeley, 510-704-8004.
This Wednesday August 13th, catch a special Italian regional dinner at BOOT AND SHOE SERVICE from 5:30pm-10pm. Every month, a different region of Italy is highlighted, and this month it’s all about Campania. Their pizzas will still be available as usual, along with some regional appetizers, pasta, and main dishes. If you can’t make it this time around, next month’s dinner will be on Wednesday September 10th, featuring the flavors of Sicily. 3308 Grand Ave. at Elwood, 510-763-2668.
Oakland’s MONTCLAIR BISTRO is changing hands at the end of this month, according to a press release we received. After 10 years, chef and owner Henry Vortriede decided to sell the restaurant to Joe Schnell and Tracey Belock, who will be opening it as CHOWHAUS. Montclair Bistro’s last day of service will be on Monday August 25th, followed by a brief closure for remodeling. 6118 Medau Place at Moraga, Oakland, 510-482-8282.
As noted in the Scoop, the Future Bars crew have opened another location of Cask (their spirits and barware store), CASK ON COLLEGE, in the East Bay (near Rockridge). Cask on College also carries wine and beer, and look for tastings too. 3185 College Ave. at Alcatraz, Berkeley,
Boot and Shoe Service - 3308 Grand Ave. Oakland - 510-763-2668
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
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Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Whitechapel, a Gin-Focused Bar, Opening on Polk
Martin Cate, owner of Smuggler’s Cove, has teamed up with bartender Alex Smith and managing partner John Park of Novela, and taken over the former Noble on Polk Street. Their new project is called WHITECHAPEL, after the rough and infamous neighborhood in East London. Cate says that with this project he “aims to do for gin what Smuggler’s Cove has done for rum” with a cocktail menu that shows the spirit’s range and rich history, along with the most comprehensive selection of gin and genever in North America. There will be small-batch gins from around the world, including an exclusive private label from local Distillery 209. For those wishing to get serious about sampling the spirits, you can join their gin club, the Polk Street Irregulars, for special tastings and titles.
As for the space, it takes its inspiration from the London underground and the industrial components of distilling, with a Victorian twist. Of course, if Smuggler’s Cove is any indication, you can expect a full commitment to the aesthetic, along with high production values. There will also be food from chef Caleb Jones (20 Spot, Bin 38, Michael Mina), with inspiration coming from Dutch and British cuisine (where genever and gin originated), and a late-night menu. The plan is to open in early winter of 2015. 600 Polk St. at Turk.
Beer Report: Update on Brewcade, Ferment Drink Repeat Is Coming, Almanac Turns Three, More
We have an update on the upcoming beer-centric arcade bar in the Castro from Shawn Vergara (Blackbird) and his sister, Tiffny Vergara Chung. It’s going to be called BREWCADE, and the plan is to open this November. They have brought on Kai Villegas (most recently at Monk’s Kettle) as GM, and will have 25 handcrafted beers on tap and 5 wines to go with the 20-plus vintage arcade games. There will also be a “Munchie Bar” (4505 chicharrones, caramel corn by CC Made) and a “Soda Pop Bar.” Since it’s next door to the soon-to-open Bandidos Mexican restaurant, you’ll also be able to bring food into the bar. 2200 Market St. #102 at 15th St.
Meanwhile, over in the Portola neighborhood is an upcoming nano-brewery, homebrew supply shop, taproom, and brewery incubator (yeah, it’s time to get out of your garage) called FERMENT DRINK REPEAT from Kevin and Shae Inglin (a husband-and-wife team). According to their Facebook manifesto, they want to “incubate the professional brewers and craft beer brands of tomorrow through collaborative endeavors across the amateur and professional brewing spectrum.” You can read and learn a lot more about their plans on their fundraising page. They hope to open in early 2015. 2636 San Bruno Ave. at Burrows.
Swing by TORONADO on Wednesday August 13th to wish Almanac Beer Co. a happy birthday at their third anniversary party. They’ll be taking over the taps, pouring almost everything they have ever made. There will also be pie from Three Babes Bakeshop, and some special beer-infused items are on the docket. 6pm onward. 547 Haight St. at Steiner.
Lastly, Sayre Piotrkowski and Collin McDonnell have started a podcast called The Beer Curmudgeons. Check out their first episode with Drake’s Brewing Company head brewer John Gillooly and craft beer intellect Ray Daniels.
Scala's Annual Bloody Mary Battle Sunday August 24th
SCALA’S BISTRO is throwing their third annual Bloody Mary Battle on Sunday August 24th from 12pm-2pm. Don’t miss delicious brunch beverages from bartenders at Rickhouse, Novela, La Urbana, and Bergerac, to name just a few. The competitors will be tasked with this year’s theme, “Anything but Red,” and you’ll be able to sample their colorful efforts and vote on the winner. Bites from Scala’s will keep you going, along with coffee from Mr. Espresso, and a portion of the proceeds will go the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. Tickets are $30 general admission or $40 for VIP, which gets you in a half hour early.
Sunday Aug 24, 2014 12pm-2pm $30 general admission, $40 VIP more info
Scala's Bistro - 432 Powell St. San Francisco - 415-395-8555
Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
On the Town Tour
Everyone’s favorite celebrity-couple-to-love (and spread rumors about), Beyoncé and Jay-Z, were in town playing a concert at AT&T Park (perhaps you heard it?). While here, they dined at Tosca Cafe both nights, in the private dining room. You know, the one behind the partition. This makes sense, as Scoop points out, as Jay-Z is an investor in Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield’s The Spotted Pig in New York.
They also lunched at Boulevard with Blue Ivy, and ordered more than 100 sandwiches from The Melt for their crew of 130 at the ballpark, after their final show.
Kimye at Kotogna, kurATE
Everyone’s favorite celebrity-couple-to-hate, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, dined at Cotogna separately on Thursday, according to SFist. Then they dined together at Quince’s curATE on Saturday after Kanye’s set at Outside Lands. Uh-huh, honey, both of them, along with 30 friends, bought out the space for a little after-hours noshing and partying. We’re sure it was klassy.
Celebrities: They Like Ice Cream, Just Like Us
The inimitable Sir Patrick Stewart was at Outside Lands this weekend, where he enjoyed the Chocolate Gold Rush at Humphry Slocombe. Because he is the classiest, most awesome guy ever, he was wearing a shirt with Shakespeare on it and a jaunty cap.
Captain Picard isn’t the only one who likes ice cream—warehouse managers do too. Craig Robinson of The Office was also spotted at Outside Lands, at the Three Twins ice cream stand. He was enjoying a Madagascar vanilla ice cream wafer sandwich.
Chairman of the Pasta
According to a tweet from a Twitter pal, redheaded comedian Carrot Top was spotted at SPQR on Saturday night.