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Oct 13, 2014 23 min read

October 14, 2014 - This week's tablehopper: hellraiser.

October 14, 2014 - This week's tablehopper: hellraiser.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: hellraiser.                    

An incredible course at The Lab: pumpkin soufflé (with a pumpkin gelato popsicle) and Almanac’s heirloom pumpkin barleywine. Photo: ©

Man, today had a tough start, with the news that San Francisco Media Company has abruptly pulled funding for the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Which means tomorrow, Wednesday, is the last day the paper will be released—after 48 years of “printing the news and raising hell.” But the fat lady has not sung her last song for the progressive weekly—there’s still an opportunity and hope that someone could buy it (read that SFist link for more from my kick-ass publisher, Marke Bieschke). Time will tell on this one—for now, everyone in the SFBG office had to pack up their offices today, their emails were shut down, and the website only has a placeholder message up for now. Hard stuff. (At least they managed to retain control of their Twitter handle, so follow along for updates.)

The SFBG is an iconic part of our SF fabric, and I have so enjoyed contributing to it each week over the past year. If you had told me when I moved here 20 years ago that I was going to be writing a food column in the Bay Guardian, I wouldn’t have believed it! It’s a cruel twist that tomorrow is the release of the annual Best of the Bay issue (did you know the “best of” issue was a style that the SFBG started?!). It’s a damn good issue, and if you’re in it, you should be especially proud. Sadly the staff wasn’t able to get the online version of it posted in time before the curtain so cruelly dropped, but here’s the PDF of it! Here’s hoping for a phoenix chapter in the paper’s important tale.

The winds are gusting outside, a storm is trying to form, it feels appropriate. Hey Giants, make some good news for the city today, okay?

Before we dive into the news here, I’d like to point you to this important piece by Dominique Crenn about “female chefs.” Please give it a read, thanks.

See you Friday. Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Melissa Perello Slated to Take Over the Baker & Banker Space for Her Next Project


Exterior photo by Craig Lee.

Exciting (potential) news here: if the ABC license transfer and escrow gods cooperate, it looks like Melissa Perello of FRANCES will be taking over the recently closed BAKER & BANKER space in Pacific Heights. Perello was not able to confirm or deny that she is in contract to purchase the space at this time, but based on what I was able to dig up online, it looks like that’s the plan.

Perello has been looking for a second space for some time. In an interview with Haighteration more than a year ago, she said, “I’m thinking about starting to think about Frances #2” and “I’m looking to replicate [Frances] on a larger scale. I’m just contemplating it.” Once Perello can talk about the location, we’ll have to see what her plans entail for her second project. And all of SF (and beyond) will be eagerly listening. 1701 Octavia St. at Bush.

Frances            - 3870 17th St. San Francisco - 415-621-3870

Progress Report on The Progress


Some news at the upcoming THE PROGRESS, the second project from State Bird Provisions’ Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski that they’re opening next door: they have hired Jason Alexander as the general manager and wine director. He was most recently the GM for Meteor Vineyard and was the wine director for both Gary Danko and Cyrus (yeah, he’s no slouch in the wine department). In a conversation with Brioza, he says they have known each other for a long time, working on events together, and they were happy to herald Alexander’s return to the restaurant world.

One more tidbit: The Progress will be opening in 2014. Yay. While details aren’t really ready to be released yet, The Progress is going to be living up to its name (it’s in homage to The Progress Theatre that was on the site from 1911-1925). Brioza says the name stands for a firm foundation and can also be used in reference to what they’re going to be doing: progressing their dining style (without being pretentious). He says they aren’t reinventing the wheel, they already did that with State Bird—this will be a tribute to the past as they pave their way and look to the future. The food, wine, service style will all reflect progress; he added that they are very excited about their kitchen and front-of-house team. One big motif is the artisan role in what they do and create, so look for a continuation of many handmade elements in this next space. I’ll keep you posted in the coming months! 1525 Fillmore St. at Geary.

Check Out the Renovations at the Newly Reopened Quince


The new entrance. Photo by Patrik Argast.


A look into the Champagne bar and lounge. Photo by Patrik Argast.

QUINCE reopened September 20th after closing for renovations in July, and here are some updates on how it looks (yes, it’s swanky!). Local designer Douglas Durkin designed the new space, which includes a private entryway, a new bar and lounge area, two new private dining rooms, a refreshed kitchen with a chef’s counter, and some new art and furniture. The focus of the renovation was on making the dining room feel more comfortable and inviting, with an eye toward both the restaurant’s former home on Octavia and the current space’s architectural past (it was built in 1907).

Metalworker Michael Bondi created the new entrance, a glass and metal structure that carries guests from the street to the dining area. In the dining room, more brick walls have been exposed and offer warmth, and the entryways have been rounded to soften the hard edges. New banquettes keep the seating luxurious. One of the most exciting additions, if you are a lover of bubbles, is the Champagne bar and lounge at the entrance. Wine director Jai Wilson is offering a selection of wines from small producers in Champagne, including many farmer-owner wineries and others that are being imported to the United States for the first time. In addition to the bottles, you can also order à la carte from the tasting menu while seated in the lounge, and an hors d’oeuvres menu will  be available, along with caviar service.

They’ve added two more private dining rooms, each with seating for as many as 12 people. There are also two seats at a chef’s counter, for those looking to experience the kitchen firsthand. The renovation has  allowed for a private dining room at next-door’s Cotogna, called the Octavia Room. It is situated in the kitchen, if you’re really into seeing the action up close. Quince and the new lounge are open Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10pm.

Quince            - 470 Pacific Ave. San Francisco - 415-775-8500

Mochica Reopening on Potrero Hill October 16th


One of the dining areas at Mochica. Photo by Aubrie Pick, courtesy Mochica.


Another dining area at Mochica. Photo by Aubrie Pick, courtesy Mochica.

As previously reported on tablehopper, Peruvian restaurant MOCHICA is reopening on Potrero Hill, and it’s happening this Thursday October 16th. Chef and owner Carlos Altamirano has expanded the menu to reflect the additional seating afforded by the new location, and there is also a full bar. Look for small dishes like ceviches and the anticuchos de corazón (that would be beef heart skewers served with crispy potatoes and spicy salsa panchita). As for entrées, there’s a chicken stew in aji amarillo sauce with potato, botija olives, and a hard-boiled egg, or a Peruvian-style paella with seafood and a squid ink base.

As for that full bar, of course you’ll find pisco sours, along with traditional chilcanos, also made with pisco, plus ginger and lime. The space was designed by Keith Morris of Abueg Morris Architects, and it has an industrial feel, with warm wooden panels and hand-painted murals on the walls. There are two dining rooms and a bar area, with seating for groups of different sizes. Dinner Sun-Thu 4pm-11pm and Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm, weekend brunch Sat-Sun 10am-2:30pm, and happy hour Mon-Fri 4pm-6pm. 1469 18th St. at Connecticut, 415-278-0480.

Changes at 22nd and Guerrero and Sushi Bistro on 24th Street


The exterior of 1000 Guerrero. Yelp photo.

After changing from Tao Café two years ago, COMPANY is now becoming HOFFMANN’S GRILL AND ROTISSERIE. Chef Karen Hoffmann, one of the partners from Company, is now the sole owner. The menu will be focused on simple, comforting food that reflects the seasons, with many items made in-house, including bread, pasta, and sausage. Each day will feature a rotating meat special, as well as roast chicken available by the half or whole, and a burger with smoked cheddar and grilled onions. The wine list will include four choices on tap and a selection of bottles from small producers. Hoffman’s will open on Tuesday November 4th, and hours will be Sun, Tue-Thu 5:30pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10pm, closed Mondays. 1000 Guerrero St. at 22nd St., 415-374-7479.

A couple of readers were asking me what was going on at the 24th Street location of SUSHI BISTRO—which has been closed since August—and the owners have confirmed that they sold the location. Things continue as is at their Balboa Street location, where they have absorbed some of the 24th Street staff. A reader tells me the new business moving into the 24th Street space is KAZAN, which will “serve sushi and Japanese tapas,” and should be opening this week. 2809 24th St. at York.

Tidbits: Klyde Opens, a Second Tender Greens, Cuco's Closes


A rendering of Klyde. Courtesy Klyde.


Cuco’s, you’ll be missed. Photo from Facebook.

An all-day café has opened in Union Square, called KLYDE CAFÉ & WINE BAR. It’s inside the Hotel G, though the projects are unaffiliated. The kitchen is run by local Sam Fechheimer, the project’s executive chef, whose previous experience includes Michael Mina, Locanda, and Il Cane Rosso. The menu offers American classics, such as egg dishes like poached eggs with merguez sausage at breakfast, along with pastas, salads, and sandwiches at lunch and dinner. The wine list offers more than 60 bottles from the United States and France, many of them priced around $30. The selection of wines by the glass will rotate regularly. Hours are daily, with breakfast 6:30am-12am (that’s right, breakfast all day), lunch 11:45am-2:30pm, happy hour 3pm-7pm, and dinner 3pm-12am. 386 Geary St. at Mason, 415-654 5061.

As previously reported, San Francisco now has a second location of Los Angeles-based salad chain TENDER GREENS. It opened Wednesday October 8th, according to Facebook, serving meal-sized salads, platters, and soups. Hours are daily 11am-9pm. 266 King St. at 4th St., 415-230-3141.

As we reported back in July, Haight Street burrito joint CUCO’S was in danger of eviction and closure. After weighing their options and considering legal action, the Campos family, who owns the restaurant, decided to close on Monday October 13th, according to Hoodline. Despite the closure, they may reappear as a pop-up or maybe even a restaurant in the future. Best of luck to them. 488 Haight St. at Fillmore.

New Menus: Nico Switching Format, Brunch at Plin


Exquisite halibut with fava beans, corn, and little gems, a springtime dish at Nico. Photo: ©

After almost a year in business, Pacific Heights restaurant NICO will be changing menu formats at the end of this month. Each evening, a three-course menu will be available for $45 and a five-course one for $55 per person. Wine pairings will be available for $30 for the three-course option and $45 for the five-course one. The intention behind the change is to offer a more European-style experience, where guests can relax and let the kitchen take care of them, while continuing to be approachable. Snacks and the à la carte menu will be available at the bar. 3228 Sacramento St. at Lyon, 415-359-1000.

PLIN will be offering weekend brunch as of Saturday October 18th, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30am-2:30pm. In addition to an à la carte menu, you can also try a family-style prix-fixe option for $30 per person. Menu items include baked eggs with polenta; French toast with mascarpone and pecans; and eggs Benedict with a choice of sausage and bone marrow, shrimp and basil, ham, or sous vide salmon. Bottomless brunch beverages are also available, and you can catch aperitivo hour from 3pm-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays after brunch. 280 Valencia St. at 14th St., 415-644-8425.

Cawfee Talk: Tiny Warrior, Snowbird


The menu at Tiny Warrior. Photo from Facebook.

There’s a new spot in the Mission for delicious iced coffee, called TINY WARRIOR. It’s a little coffee spot, with a bit of a bar bent: five different flavors of signature iced coffee are blended and shaken to order, with flavors like Moroccan (cardamom, cinnamon, and clove syrup) and Mission mocha (Tcho chocolate and smoked chile). You can add freshly muddled mint or chocolate ice cubes to your coffee too. House coffee, pour-over, and plain iced coffee are also available. Hours are Tue-Sun 7am-5pm, closed Mon. 3376 18th St. at Capp, 510-847-4754.

Observant Yelpers caught the opening of SNOWBIRD COFFEE in the former Drip’d Coffee Lab in the Inner Sunset. They offer coffee from different roasters on a rotating basis (right now it’s Wisconsin’s Ruby Roasters), including some of their own roasts. Plus, they’ve got a little bit of counter seating and free Wi-Fi. We weren’t able to find their hours, but their Instagram tells us they are closed Tuesdays. 1352 9th Ave. at Irving.

You Can Do This: Eat Cheese for a Cause


The patio at the Cheese School of San Francisco. Photo from Facebook.

THE CHEESE SCHOOL OF SAN FRANCISCO is hosting the annual cheesy fest for the California Artisan Cheese Guild on Thursday October 16th at 7pm, Meet the Cheesemaker. There will be 24 cheesemakers there, with tastes and stories to share, including the fine folks from Achadinha, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, and Cowgirl Creamery. In addition, catch wine from Herb Lamb Vineyards and beer from Headlands Brewing Co. The event is a fundraiser to help educate and support California cheesemakers, so don’t miss the silent auction. Tickets are $25 for cheese guild members and $35 for the general public. 2124 Folsom St. at 17th St., 415-346-7530.

Help Students of All Ages at These Parties and Events


The next generation of chefs at Bay Leaf Kitchen Summer Camp. Photo from Facebook.

Spark, a national organization that helps middle school students from underserved communities stay engaged in school, is having their annual Sugar Rush on Thursday October 16th at 7pm at the Sir Francis Drake hotel. The event is full of sweet treats and savory bites from local restaurants including Akiko’s, Nona Lim, and Scala’s Bistro, along with wine and beer. Tickets are $85 per person, or $150 for VIP, which includes cocktails, exclusive small plates, 6pm entry, and cooking demonstrations. 450 Powell St. at Sutter.

Support the Bay Leaf Kitchen on Sunday October 26th at RED DOG for their first annual Kitchen Harvest Dinner. The four-course dinner comes from chef Lauren Kiino along with guest chefs Laurence Jossel (Nopa), Luke Chappell (Luke’s Local), and Kate and Mac Magruder (Magruder Ranch). In addition to the four courses, there will be cocktails from Trick Dog’s Tommy Quimby, wine, and beer, along with live music and seating alongside chefs, farmers, and other producers. The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 5:30pm and runs until 9:30pm; tickets are $125 per person, or $1,000 for a table of six or $2,000 for a table of ten. 303 2nd St. at Harrison, 415-692-0211.

Help a new generation of chefs at San Francisco State University’s Hospitality and Tourism Department’s Taste of the Bay event on Wednesday November 12th. The evening, which is put on by students, takes place at the City View at Metreon and includes food from local restaurants like Café Claude, Hog Island Oyster Bar, and M.Y. China. There will also be lots of local wines and both live and silent auctions. It all raises money for scholarships and activities at the school. Tickets are $100 in advance or $150 at the door, and the party goes from 6:30pm-9:30pm. 135 4th St. at Mission, 415-405-3966.

On Tuesday October 28th, head to 18 REASONS for their Teach a Community to Fish dinner from Bar Tartine’s Nick Balla and Cortney Burns. The menu is heavy on seafood (and looks delicious), and proceeds benefit 18 Reasons’ Cooking Matters program. The evening goes from 7pm-10pm, and tickets begin at $250 per person and include all food and wine pairings from Bi-Rite Market.

18 Reasons            - 3674 18th St. San Francisco

Time to Party with Books and Pizza


Don’t miss the world’s best party mash-up: a book and pizza party at TONY’S PIZZA NAPOLETANA on Tuesday October 21st from 5:30pm-9:30pm. The evening is a celebration of Tony Gemignani’s latest book, The Pizza Bible, which covers how to make pizzas from regions all over the world, including Naples, Chicago, California, and Rome. Entry to the party is free with the purchase of a book ($29.99) and includes pizza made with recipes from the book, as well as cocktails, beer, and wine. There will also be a photo booth and accordionist (we said it was a party!). Yeah, this is how you do a book party!

               Tuesday Oct 21, 2014 5:30pm-9:30pm Free with the purchase of a book ($29.99) more info

Tony's Pizza Napoletana            - 1570 Stockton St. San Francisco - 415-835-9888

The Growlers' Arms, an Oakland Gastropub from Seamus and Shelley Mulhall, About to Open


Bread fresh out of the wood-fired oven. Photo courtesy of The Growlers’ Arms.

An exciting update for you on THE GROWLERS’ ARMS, the upscale gastropub (yet cozy tavern) from Seamus and Shelley Mulhall that’s opening on Wednesday October 22nd in the former Marzano in Oakland’s Glenview district. The duo will be offering an English-style experience with California sensibility (across the board, from the cuisine to the decor). There will be a 10-seat bar, banquette seating in a deep port color, plus some church pews, with 65 seats, and 15 outdoor seats with heat lamps.

Look for experienced service with those small touches that really make things shine—the team comes from places like Boulevard and Farallon (the Mulhalls are some serious restaurant industry vets, with Danko, Boulevard, La Folie, and Chez Panisse in their collective backgrounds). There will be old silverware (Seamus says they have been polishing it like crazy), and the room has old portraits of California icons like John Muir.

The chef is Brian Ventura, previously A16, who toured 15 Michelin-starred gastropubs in May with the Mulhalls in England and Ireland. Seamus said they were really struck with how strong a role English farming played in the cuisine: “It was just really good country food.” Look for English dishes that will be fun, and reflect and rotate with the seasons. Here’s the first look at a draft of the opening menu, which includes starters like snails on Growler toast with a fennel-parsley salad, scarlet turnips, and herb dressing, and favorites like bubble and squeak. The team is working with whole animals (pig, goat), so they will be making haggis (“not your grandfather’s!”), some terrines, and pâté—plus more goodies in their charcuterie refrigerator. They also got in the last-of-the-season local salmon and made gravlax with St. George Terroir gin. Mains include oven-roasted sole with Brussels sprout champ and Lancashire hot pot with a goat chop bonus. There are a lot of sides, salads, and more to round out the meal.

Miranda, their sous chef, has been practicing baking bread in the wood-fired oven—which is not the easiest thing. She has also been working on traditional English desserts, like spotted dick, but they’re going to opt to call it by its other name, spotted dog, just to nip all those jokes in the bud, okay? Plus there will be seasonal pies (up now: apple pie with English cheddar).

The bar manager is Linda Hare-Touye, who has most recently been at Quince, but many will recognize from her years at Aqua. In addition to classic cocktails, there will be artisan beers, with four beers on tap and ten beers and cider by the bottle. Mostly small, local craft brews with some English ones, and, of course Guinness.

The bar will open at 4pm (with snacks), and the kitchen opens at 5pm. The space will be open nightly until 10pm, closing at 9pm on Sunday. Look for weekend brunch to launch in a month or so (with some blood pudding!). 4214 Park Blvd. at Glenfield, Oakland.

510 Update: Dinner at Ordinaire, Longbranch Seems to Be Open, Grange Hall Update, More


Ordinaire Wine Bar. Yelp photo by Nique F.

As reported in August, you can order pizza from Boot and Shoe Service while enjoying wine at ORDINAIRE on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5:30pm-10pm. Well, turns out you can order dinner from Ordinaire itself Thursday through Saturday from 5:30pm-10pm; Chris Kronner is no longer popping up there (he has a restaurant to open!). The menu is concise and changes regularly; this week, there’s escarole salad, country pâté, and lamb breast. 3354 Grand Ave. at Elwood, Oakland, 510-629-3944.

We tried to get some details on the opening of LONGBRANCH—which is opening in the former Sea Salt—but unfortunately were told to just “follow along on Facebook and Twitter.” The background noise suggested it was open (maybe it was a test dinner), and they are currently holding some special events, but nothing could be confirmed. So call ahead before you go, but even then it might be a gamble. Our original post with a few details is here, and you can take a peek at the space here. 2512 San Pablo Ave. at Dwight, 510-984-0518.

We had a chance to catch up with Matt Burger, who we reported not too long ago is opening GRANGE HALL in the Barlata space in Temescal. Their timeline has been pushed a little due to patio and liquor licensing concerns. Barlata is still open at the moment, and now Grange Hall is aiming for an early 2015 opening. 4901 Telegraph Ave. at 49th St., Oakland.

One of the owners of MOCKINGBIRD let us know that there’s been an issue with their liquor license (sounds like their landlord may have misinformed them in some way). While they work on sorting that out, they’ve voluntarily stopped serving alcohol. That’s bad news, but the good news is that you are now able to BYO with no corkage or other service fee. 1745 San Pablo Ave. at 18th St., 510-290-0331.


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Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

The Oasis Reopening in SoMa, with Heklina and D'Arcy Drollinger On Board!


A peek at the Fez Room (pre-transformation). Photo via Facebook.

It’s true, two of SF’s fabulous drag queens and personalities, Heklina (TrannyShack) and D’Arcy Drollinger, have taken over the long-closed OASIS in SoMa (most recently Caliente), and will be reopening the 6,000-square-foot venue back under the Oasis name, with their target set for New Year’s Eve (hopefully the project won’t run on drag queen time and be late, because they want to get it open!). Additional partners in the venture are Geoff Benjamin and Jason Beebout (of Samiam).

Heklina and D’Arcy have been doing shows and events together the past couple of years, and have been searching for and looking at numerous venues to claim as their own (Heklina says, “I wanted my own little birdcage!”). With so many venues in the performance world closing, these two are excited to offer, as Heklina puts it, “an oasis of performance, drag, and glamour to keep the flag flying!” Acts will be hosted from around the world, ranging from drag to theater to cabaret. Heklina adds there will be some nightclub and promoter nights to pay the bills, but they want it to be different, and not yet another space with flyers of shirtless boys.

The space is currently being gutted, with the floors being made even (can’t have anyone falling in their heels), the stage being built, the walls getting painted, the space getting zhooshed, and many more improvements. Alas, the old swimming pool was filled in long ago. The space also include the neighboring VSF, which will be transformed into the Fez Room (it already has a Moroccan vibe to it) and has its own bar. Stand by for an update before we hop into 2015. You can follow along on their Facebook page, which is where they’re posting updates (along with fun pics of the space when it was the Leatherneck bar). 298 11th St. at Folsom.

You Can Get Your Beer On at Richmond Republic Draught House


Opening night at Richmond Republic Draught House. Photo: Tim McLaughlin.

About a year ago, we mentioned two of the partners in Chomp N’ Swig (David Heft and Albert Lara Rodriguez) were partnering with Ender Markal to open a new business in the former Haig’s Delicacies space. A couple of weeks ago, they opened RICHMOND REPUBLIC DRAUGHT HOUSE, which is currently serving 24 beers on draft (and one nitro), plus a cider and sour. David Heft mentioned the taps are almost all Bay Area craft beers, except when there’s a beer they just want to try and they go out-of-bounds. There’s a mug club too: for $150, you can enjoy free beer on Tuesdays, you’ll always get $1 off your beer, and there’s going to be an annual party.

There’s a full kitchen, and the food will be launching next weekend (Friday October 24th), with high-end burgers, housemade sausages, a big salad, and other bar bites like wings and nachos.

It’s a big space with room for 92—there’s a long bar and a main room, as well as a mezzanine. They also play the game on three big screens plus a projector. Hours (for now) are Mon-Wed 5pm-12am, Thu-Fri 5pm-2am, Sat 10am-2am, and Sun 10am-12am. 642 Clement St. at 8th Ave., 415-702-6069.

Jackalope Softly Open Just Off Polk Gulch


JACKALOPE, a new bar just off Polk, has softly opened in the former Mark’s Bar space. The project comes from some of the partners involved in nearby Soda Popinski’s and shares some conceptual elements. Jackalope will also have a wheel game, as well as an upstairs “duck hunt” room with an older television and some nostalgic video games. As for the cocktail list, it’s all about twists on classics like an old-fashioned and Manhattan. They’re still gearing up, so hours are a little touch and go, but by late November, the hours will be Sun-Thu 5pm-2am and Fri-Sat 3pm-2am. 1092 Post St. at Polk, no phone yet.

You Won't Find Jonny Raglin Behind the Stick at Comstock These Days


Jonny “Flash” Raglin showing us some tin flash. Photo: Facebook.

I was dismayed to read on Facebook that last Friday was Jonny “Flash” Raglin’s last night at COMSTOCK SALOON. Fortunately he is staying in The Absinthe Group family—he’s just moving over to the upcoming 888 BRANNAN PROJECT. Founder Bill Russell-Shapiro tells me they just got their permit a week or two ago, and hope to start work later this month. It looks like late March/early April is the new target for this 5,400-square-foot Spanish project that is a full buildout, which has chef Ryan McIlwraith (previously the opening chef de cuisine at Coqueta) leading the kitchen. The restaurant will be open all day.

Raglin—who did a lot of the design and development at Comstock—is going to be the project manager at 888 Brannan (which is still unnamed), and once the project opens, he will stay on as the operations manager and will also be running the bar and cocktail program. Raglin assured me he’ll sling drinks again at Comstock from time to time, but for now, he’s going to have both of his hands full with this very big project. I know many of us will miss seeing him at Comstock, but that just means we get to torture Jeff “Jefe” Hollinger all the more. 888 Brannan at 8th St.

Comstock Saloon            - 155 Columbus Ave. San Francisco - 415-617-0071

Prime Your Glass: Wine & Spirits Magazine's Top 100 Tasting Event Is Here


Bubbly with a view at the Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting in 2012. Photo from Wine & Spirits’ website.

Coming up on Tuesday October 21st is one of the most fun wine events of the year, the 11th annual Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Top 100 Tasting Event. You will be able to taste wines from the Top 100 wineries of 2014, with many of the winemakers present. There will also be great food, from oysters to cheeses, and bites from new and notable restaurants like 1760, Dirty Habit, Stones Throw, Shed, Lolo, and the Barrel Room.

The event is at City View at Metreon, and fingers crossed for some gorgeous fall weather so we can enjoy our Louis Roederer and Dom Ruinart on the outdoor terrace, am I right? Get your tickets here, which range from early VIP entrance ($150 at 5:30pm) to general admission ($110 at 6:30pm). The event is a benefit for San Francisco Baykeeper, supporting their initiatives that fight water pollution. See you there! City View at Metreon, 135 4th St., 4th Floor.

Ready to Drink Some Wine?


The wine library at Press Club. Photo from Facebook.


The patio at Jax Vineyards tasting room. Photo from Facebook.

If you’d like to learn a bit more about wine, check out the tasting series from PRESS CLUB called “Taste Wine Like a Pro.” The classes meet monthly, with a different theme for each class. On Wednesday October 22nd, sommelier Mauro Cirilli will be pouring “Anything Odd” wines from unusual regions or made with unusual processes, including orange wine. Wines include the 2013 Jambalaia, La Clarine Farm, Sierra Foothills and 2010 Vitovska, Zidarich, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy. In November, you’ll learn about good wines for Thanksgiving, and December is all about bubbles from all over. The series takes place from 6pm-7:30pm and costs $50 per person. Head here for tickets and more information.

Jax Vineyards in Calistoga has opened a tasting room in SoMa, in an old family warehouse. They are open for tasting by appointment Monday through Friday, as well as a happy hour Wednesday through Friday from 4pm-8pm. You can try out flights and glasses of wine, as well as bottles to enjoy there or take home. There’s also a cute little patio too. 326 Brannan St. at 2nd St., 415-446-9505.

On Wednesday November 5th, Russian River Valley wines will take over the General’s Residence in Fort Mason, with Single Vineyard Night from 6:30pm-8:30pm. A huge line-up of Russian River wines will be available, including Davis Bynum, Sojourn Cellars, and C. Donatiello. There will be food from City Kitchen and Truffle Gateau,along with like music and a silent auction. Tickets are $55, with additional seminars and raffle tickets available for $25-$50. General’s Residence, 1 Fort Mason at Franklin.

Whether you love Italian wine or want to learn more about it, POGGIO is the place to be this month with their Venti wine specials. Until October 31st, they’ll be offering 20 bottles of wine from the 20 wine regions of Italy, all priced at $20. The kitchen will be offering regional dishes to complement the wine, as well. Some of the wines include an Abbazia di Novacella, Schiava, 2011 from Trentino Alto-Adige or Lungarotti, Rubesco, Rosso di Torigiano, 2010 from Umbria. Reservations can be made by calling 415-332-7771.

Press Club            - 20 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco - 415-744-5000


the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Goldie Goldie Greenie


Goldie Hawn at the Green and Gorgeous Gala. Photo by Drew Altizer Photography.

The beautiful (and hilarious) Goldie Hawn was in town on Friday for the Gorgeous & Green Gala at the Bently Reserve, and while here, she enjoyed a Bloody Mary at the ST. REGIS. Did you know this year is the Bloody Mary’s 80th birthday? It was born in the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis New York in 1934.

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