This week's tablehopper: jamón, jamón.
How we got things started on the tablehopper-Cover crawl at Mason Pacific: Val De Mer brut nature rosé. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Bom dia! I’m practicing my Portuguese again, because tomorrow I depart for beautiful Portugal! I’ll be in Lisboa on my own for a few days (if you have any tips to send, please do!), and am then meeting up with a group of wine professionals (I know, lucky me) for an immersive tour into Portugal’s wine country. It’s going to be one heck of an education. And I’m so fired up to get my jamón, pastel de nata, and bacalhau on. You can follow along on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, where I’ll be posting pics for the next couple of weeks!
I’m just happy to be getting out of here—United canceled my flight this morning. (What. The Hell.) But fortunately I was able to find another flight combination that gets me in on the same day. Whew. I return on November 14th, so the next tablehopper issue won’t be until November 18th! (Publicists and restaurant owners, please don’t pitch me on anything happening until after that date, obrigada!)
Last week was all kinds of awesome. We had the tablehopper-Cover crawl (you can check out pics here), with a group of us dining and walking from Mason Pacific to Stones Throw to Verbena. It was a truly fabulous progressive dinner. (Don’t forget, anyone can use code tablehopper for $25 off your first meal with Cover!)
Oh yeah, and there was that Giants win. There were also plenty of Halloween shenanigans going on, and I rocked out on my birthday on Saturday, complete with brunch at Verbena, bubbles and Barolo at Biondivino, a fantastic omakase dinner at the sushi counter at Pink Zebra, and disco dancing late into the night at Go Bang! at the Stud. Family supper on Sunday was the cherry on top of an epic weekend! (Although I managed to get a lot of writing done in there too, magic.) And now I gotta pack, and get these other deadlines done, oy!
A couple of final notes: here’s a fun piece I wrote for 7x7.com last week on seven restaurants that do really fun tableside service (I’m talkin’ flambé drinks and spinning bowls of salad here, people).
And please: don’t forget to vote today, okay?
Saludos! See you in a couple of weeks! Marcia Gagliardi
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Doug Washington Opening a New Project on Broadway in Oakland: OK Falls
Restaurateur Doug “Mr. Hospitality” Washington (Town Hall, Salt House, Anchor & Hope, Grand Fare) has just signed the lease for a space at 1542 Broadway and will be opening a new restaurant called OK FALLS in spring 2015. The “OK” stands for Okanagan, a beautiful agricultural area in British Columbia where Washington’s parents and relatives all currently live—his grandparents lived and farmed there (they had orchards). You’d never guess from Washington’s last name that all of his mother’s side come from Udine (in Northern Italy), which is an important component to this very personal project.
The cuisine is going to be focused on homey Italian-American cooking, with executive chef Rebecca Boice leading the kitchen. Boice also has some Italian roots—her grandfather was a first-generation immigrant who ran a butcher shop in Morgan Hill called Stephen’s Meats. Boice worked at Zuni for 10 years and was most recently the executive chef at Toast Kitchen + Bar. Expect a strong focus on California seasonality and sustainability to ripple throughout the menu. Sample dishes include beef carpaccio with rosemary chips; grilled bruschetta with Tuscan-style chicken liver pâté, smashed cannellini beans, and long-cooked greens; yellowfin tuna conserva with roasted sweet peppers, red onions, and sultana raisin salsa verde. Rustic Italian dishes, like housemade sweet Italian sausage with all-day red sauce and spaghetti, and Marsala-braised chicken with 40 cloves of garlic sauce will also be on the menu. Oh yeah, and a house specialty will be lasagna.
With food like that, it’s a good thing the space will have 90 seats. There’s also an 18-seat bar and a private dining room. Oh, and did we mention the cabin? Yeah, there will be a cabin. It’s a fantastic feature to the entire project: a wood-shingled cabin in the middle of the room will host everything from private dinners to talk-worthy art installations, which will border on performance art some evenings. And it’s not a tiny one: we’re talking 21 feet by 21 feet. Inside, it will have clean white walls, wood floors, and chandeliers. It’s going to be quite the hot ticket for private events (and peeking through the windows).
The bar is another focal point, with Jamal Robinson (Town Hall) curating the cocktails and consulting on the menu. There will be a stainless steel counter behind the bar, giving it more the feeling of a kitchen workspace. Look for handcrafted syrups and tinctures, fresh ingredients, and quality spirits. One of the cocktails is the Pasquina, an homage to Washington’s grandma.
There’s a great team assembled, including wine and spirits director Haley Moore (Bacar, Spruce, and now the wine director for the Stock & Bones Company, which includes Town Hall, Salt House, and Anchor & Hope, plus Irving St. Kitchen in Portland). Her wine list will have many Italian selections, but will also represent California and other European countries too. The project will eventually serve morning coffee and lunch, but dinner to start, six nights a week.
Stand by for some sneak peeks and more in coming months—the project is going to have an urban-rustic look and a really artistic component to the entire experience (I look forward to sharing more). For now, check out the great bones of this huge space—it has fantastic brick walls and vaulted ceilings with a skylight. 1542 Broadway at 16th St., Oakland.
Gabriela Cámara (Contramar) Is Coming to San Francisco!
Gabriela Cámara, the restaurateur whose Contramar in Mexico City redefined modern Mexican cuisine when she opened it 16 years ago, is opening her first restaurant in the United States right here in San Francisco. It’s moving onto the block of Fell Street between Van Ness and Franklin, Hoodline reports. Though Cámara is still working out the concept for the new project, it will likely be seafood-oriented, with a sustainable focus. She definitely has a way with seafood: the tuna tostadas on the menu at Tacolicious are an homage to the signature dish at Contramar.
Cámara currently owns several other restaurants in Mexico in addition to Contramar, and if you’d like to read a bit more about her and her impact on Mexican City’s food scene, check out this article in The Los Angeles Times from 2005. Right now, the new project has neither a name nor a timeline, though Diana la Cazadora (Diana the Huntress) is a possible name and she’s definitely aiming to open in 2015, possibly as early as the spring. 149 Fell St. at Franklin.
Game Getting Ready to Open In the Former Masa's
As reported in February, Sachin Chopra of Michelin-starred All Spice in San Mateo is taking over the former Masa’s space with his wife, Shoshana Wolff. The new restaurant is called GAME and is opening on Thursday November 6th. Zach Freitas, an All Spice alum, is serving as executive chef, with Rodrigo Ormachea on pastry (a Peruvian native who has worked at Dry Creek Kitchen, Revival Bar + Kitchen in Berkeley, and Plum and Haven in Oakland) and Conor Carroll (most recently at Burritt Room + Tavern) as sommelier.
The menu offers two choices for dining: you can order à la carte or go with the chef’s five-course tasting menu. Whatever you decide, the kitchen is focused on game, including duck with pan-seared polenta, yogurt, and blackened alliums ($35), and a roasted venison with trumpet mushrooms, pumpkin, and watercress ($36). There is also a freekeh porridge (which is officially a trend item, it would seem) with charred cabbage, boletes, and palm. You can also try an elk burger ($21), but there are only 21 available every day (a nod to the game blackjack). Take a look at the menu here.
As for the storied space, it has been opened up to include an expanded bar, and a front window allows more light into the dining room. Designer Michael Brennan’s original paintings of animals playing cards adorn the walls, giving the space a whimsical feel reminiscent of a Wes Anderson movie. (We’re happy to see Masa’s toile-upholstered chairs have stayed put.) The dining room seats 50, in addition to a private dining room for 12.
As for wine, Carroll and Wolff worked together on the wine list. Carroll also developed the cocktails, which will adhere to classic recipes, but with some unexpected savory ingredients incorporated into the drinks. Hours are Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm. 648 Bush St. at Powell, 415-874-9481.
Tender Now Open in (Where Else?) the Tenderloin
Last week we shared news of the opening of Huxley at 846 Geary, and now it’s time to shine the light on their next-door neighbor at 854 Geary, TENDER. We previously mentioned this wine and beer bar project was from Miriam Lipton, who is opening in a space that has been vacant for more than 40 years.
She has brought on Mickey Clevenger (whom many of you will remember from Bacar’s glory days) as a partner and wine director—he is overseeing the 21 wines on tap, plus there are three beers from Drake’s and some sparkling wines in bottle too (you can see the beverage list here). A big advantage to wine on tap is they can pour all kinds of sizes, from tastes to carafes. You can enjoy a flight of any three (with 3-oz. pours) for $15, and there’s a happy hour flight for $10.
There are also many kinds of cheeses and charcuterie available (from Zoe’s Meats in Santa Rosa and Fabrique Délices in Hayward) for $6 each; all plates are served with sliced baguette from Jane (also a neighbor), cornichons, and whole-grain mustard. There’s Brillat Savarin, Crottin d’Antan Poitou (a goat cheese), and truffle mousse and saucisson sec. You can choose three items for $15, five for $25, and seven for $35; at happy hour you get a choice of three for $10. There are also some side items like Marcona almonds, fruit, and XOX truffles from North Beach too.
You’ll find some seats at the bar, while the majority of the seating is at high-top tables with metal stools along the wall. Some cool features include a mural by artist Andrew Schoultz (known for his trees), and the roll-down door features a great piece by Ben Eine—oh, and check out the brass taps.
Hours are Sun 4pm-11pm, Mon-Wed 5pm-12am, Thu-Sat 5pm-1am. 854 Geary St. at Larkin, 415-589-7879.
Openings: Crepe-Madame in SoMa, Breakfast at Tiffany's
Crêpe-Madame, a crêpe restaurant from French native Laetitia Verdeaux in SoMa, is opening on Friday November 14th. Verdeaux has been running a catering business out of a small commercial kitchen for the last two years, and her new space will allow her to continue her catering operation while also offering crêpes for dine-in and takeout. There will be savory buckwheat crêpes (which are gluten-free), almond-infused sweet crêpes, and a salad bar. 685 Harrison St. at 3rd St., 415-513-9252.
According to Yelp, Portola diner BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S has reopened. As reported in June, the popular spot closed last year after the owner passed away, but new owners have taken it over. It sounds like they’ve made some changes to the space, but kept the menu the same. Unfortunately, the phone is not connected yet, so we weren’t able to get additional information. 2499 San Bruno Ave. at Thornton.
Special Food Events: Bon Appetit Grub Crawl, Woodward's Special Dinners, California Olive Oil, More
Did you miss the tablehopper’s evening with Cover last week? Well, here’s a chance to get out and do something similar! Bon Appetit magazine is in town hosting Grub Crawl on Saturday November 8th. There are actually two crawls: an early one through Hayes Valley that begins at 11am and an evening one through the Mission that begins at 5pm. The Hayes Valley crawl includes stops at Souvla, The Boxing Room, and Nojo, while the Mission crawl includes Craftsman & Wolves, St. Vincent, and Tacolicious. Each crawl includes food and drink at every stop, and tickets are $149 per person, but tablehopper readers can get 15% off with code BAGC15. Hayes Valley crawl begins at 11am at La Urbana, 661 Divisadero St. at Grove; Mission crawl begins at 5pm at Tacolicious, 741 Valencia St. at 18th St.
Dana Tommasino and Margie Conard of the recently closed Woodward’s Garden are doing two special nights of dinners on Wednesday November 12th and Friday November 14th at a private studio. The Harvest Feast dinners will include four courses of seasonal, Middle Eastern-inspired dishes, including braised duck with quince, honey, cinnamon, roasted brussels sprouts, and couscous with lemon and kabocha squash. Both dinners from 6:30pm-9:30pm and are BYO; tickets to the Wednesday dinner are $75, and for the Friday dinner are $85. Location will be shared upon ticket purchase.
‘Tis the season for freshly pressed olive oil (“olio nuovo”) here in California, and Séka Hills in the Capay Valley is celebrating their harvest with a special dinner at BENCHMARK PIZZERIA in Kensington on Wednesday November 12th. In addition to highlighting Séka’s olive oils, they will also be featuring produce from River Dog and Full Belly Farms, also located in the Capay Valley. From 5pm to 9pm, you can order from the special menu à la carte, with dishes like housemade mozzarella on toast with rapini and Séka oil, linguine with Séka oil, garlic, pecorino, and chile flake, and a selection of pizzas. 1568 Oak View Ave. at Curtis, Kensington, 510-647-9724.
Here’s a sweet evening for your radar: bakers Rose Levy Beranbaum, Emily Luchetti, and Alice Medrich will be at the JCCSF* on Tuesday November 18th, in conversation with none other than *Sunset Magazine’s Margo True. The group (who between the four of them have published over 25 books on baking, by the way) will be talking about cookies, cakes, chocolate, pastry, and all things dessert, starting at 7pm. Oh, and of course sweets will be served! Tickets are $25 for general admission, $35 for premium seating, and 10% off for JCCSF members. 3200 California St. at Presidio.
Looking to Do Gouda this holiday season? You can taste some special, award-winning domestic cheeses and raise money for Farms for City Kids on Friday November 14th at Frankeny Images Studio. The evening includes six different cheese tastings, including selections from Jasper Hill, Spring Brook Farms, and Achadinha, along with meats and baked goods from Olympic Provisions, La Quercia, Marla Bakery, and Miette. There will also be beverage pairings. The evening begins with a reception at 6pm, followed by tastings from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Reservations can be made here, and a donation of $40-80 is suggested. 439 Bryant St. at 2nd St.
Pop-Ups: Grilled Cheez Guy, Hal Jr.'s Bar-B-Q
As of today, Tuesday November 4th, Grilled Cheez Guy will have a regular pop-up at Rickshaw Stop every Tuesday and Wednesday from 11am-3pm. Owner Michael Davidson wants to be sure to include other local producers in his business, so look for products like Santipapas Salsa, Quiche & Carry, and Brown Dog mustard. Everything will be available for takeout or dine-in, and delivery should be coming soon. 155 Fell St. at Franklin.
Jason Lund of Hal Jr.’s Bar-B-Q is doing his third pop-up at Mission Minis on Saturday November 8th from 7pm-10pm. Lund is from the Midwest, where he perfected his Kansas City-style barbecue. He uses a dry rub, smokes his meat for hours, and makes all his sauces and sides from scratch. Plus, he’s been working on a couple of new menu additions. We’ve been wanting to find time to check this one out, let us know if you go! 3168 22nd St. at Capp.
Closures: Burmese Kitchen, Pasta Pomodoro
It looks BURMESE KITCHEN in the Tenderloin is closing at the end of November. According to a note on their website, they’ve lost their lease “due to the changing nature of San Francisco.” Eater caught up with owner Dennis Lin, who says that they will try to find a new, affordable location, although that is proving to be difficult. In the meantime, Lin is hoping to offer some pop-ups, so sign up to receive updates if you want to follow along. 452 Larkin St. at Turk, 415-474-5569.
Noe Valley Blog reports that the 24th Street location of PASTA POMODORO has closed. Apparently, the landlord is making some major renovations to the building, including seismic upgrades, and the restaurant does not appear to be moving back in after the construction. 4000 24th St. at Noe.
510 News: A Dora Pie, The Growler's Arms Now Open
Berkeleyside Nosh reports that the husband-and-wife team of Christopher Blue and Jess Steeve of Chocolatier Blue has opened a new bakery in the former Slow restaurant space, called A DORA PIE. As the name suggests, it is a pie shop, and they also serve coffee from Flying Goat, cookies, and meringues. Pie flavors are seasonal; current options include meringue, pecan, pumpkin, and chocolate silk. In the future, look for evening hours with savory pies, beer, and wine, but for now, hours are 10am-7pm. 1966 University Ave. at Miliva, Berkeley, 510-529-4191.
We heard from the team at THE GROWLER’S ARMS in Oakland that they have officially opened. Originally, the space was slated to open in October, and we reported lots of details then. After a few delays, they are now open and serving gastropub fare, classic cocktails, and artisanal beer. For some nice images of the space, check out this slideshow at UrbanDaddy. The bar opens 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. 4214 Park Blvd. at Glenfield, Oakland, 510-328-1315.
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
(Sponsored): The Right Policy to Save Your Bacon
What do Dosa, Gary Danko, Benu, Wise Sons, Monk’s Kettle, Jane Bakery, Trattoria Contadina, and top spots stretching from the Wine Country to Silicon Valley all have in common? They work with Panos Insurance Agency, one of only 150 “Elite” Farmers Insurance agents nationally offering preferred rates no one can compete with.
“Saved us over 35 percent … with broader coverage.” —State Bird Provisions
Panos has made the restaurant, hospitality, and retail industries a top priority. We understand your needs—and risks—from the inside out and our track record shows it. From Construction Buildout to Key Man Protection and Employment Practices Liability Coverage, over and over we hear how happy our clients are that they had the proper coverage when they needed it.
Get a competitive quote today—because Insurance is for Tomorrow.
Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Coming to the Inner Richmond: Pivot, a Retail Wine Shop and Bar from Some Industry Pros
Last week, Eater noted the ABC license activity and players for PIVOT, a project that is coming to the Inner Richmond. I reached out to Michael Ireland—a well-respected sommelier who has worked at The French Laundry, Quince, Benu, The Restaurant at Meadowood, and consults for Verbena and Gather restaurants—for some details on the project. He’s partnering with John Vuong (Ame, Gary Danko) to open a wine bar and retail shop just next door to the Bitter End, hopefully in spring of 2015.
The name is inspired by the fact that these two friends have quite the fine-dining background, but want to pivot into something more casual, creating an atmosphere that is warm, comfortable, and authentic. They are both Bay Area natives—Ireland lives within walking distance of the business and is excited to bring something new to the neighborhood.
The plan is to have an extensive selection of 30 wines by the glass, ranging from a $6 glass from a keg to more expensive and rare picks. Ireland says they’ll all have a “high yum factor” and they look forward to matching people with exactly what they like, because that’s what these two do. Look for some special wines from Ireland’s and Vuong’s personal collections, with some folks consigning some bottles too.
There will be some delicious food as well; the consulting chef is their friend Daniel Brooks, who will also be doing a bit of a pivot since his background is primarily Michelin-starred restaurants (including Quince and in Spain). He will develop the menu and help staff and train the kitchen; someone else will captain the kitchen in the future. Look forward to seeing what he puts together.
The space was previously a retail shop, and while they don’t have to do any heavy demolition, they do plan to move the facade so they can create a small patio in the front. There will be two levels, with skylights, and about 47 seats. Look for some urban street art in the space as well. They will be open early (just before lunch) and will progress into the afternoon and evening with more food and a wine bar atmosphere. We’ll keep you posted as this one shapes up in coming months. 443 Clement St. at 6th Ave.
Reopenings: The Alembic's Kitchen, Café Cocomo Finds New Home
After closing for renovations in January, THE ALEMBIC’s kitchen has reopened. There is a newly expanded menu from chef Ted Fleury, including albacore crudo with kohlrabi and Asian pear ($14), chicken wings with Calabrian chile jam and green papaya ($10), and chicken liver mousse with quince, huckleberry, and fried chicken skin ($11). The menu, which you can look at here, is mostly focused on small plates, along with some new fall cocktails from Larry Piakowsky. The dining room is still under construction, but once it opens in about two months, there will also be a selection of large dishes and meat platters for sharing. Kitchen hours are Mon-Fri 4pm-12am, Sat-Sun 12pm-12am. The bar is open until 2am nightly. Welcome back, guys!
CAFÉ COCOMO, the salsa club that closed earlier this year after 15 years in Dogpatch, has found a new home at PlayaSF in Fisherman’s Wharf, at the former Parlor bar. Look for more parties, dancing, and theme nights, as well as dance lessons and all different types of Latin music for shaking your moneymaker. 2801 Leavenworth St. at Beach.
The Alembic - 1725 Haight St. San Francisco - 415-666-0822
Give Back the Bird Cocktails for the Holidays
During the month of November, you can raise a glass to a good cause with the Give Back the Bird program, which benefits the SF-Marin Food Bank and is sponsored by Wild Turkey (Jupiter Olympus plays a big part in this charity fundraiser). Local bars will be offering their own take on the old-fashioned all month, and for each one they sell, $2 will be donated to the food bank.
Participants include Trick Dog (Golden Gobble: Wild Turkey rye, pumpkin spice syrup, caramel apple tincture), Smokestack (On the Drumhead: Wild Turkey 81 rye, Cole Porter syrup, orange bitters, black cardamom and juniper berry bitters), Rye (The Old Fashioned Thanksgiving: Wild Turkey 81 rye, pumpkin spice black tea syrup, bar keep apple bitters, Angostura bitters), Elixir (The Old Fashioned Pilgrim: cardamom-, cranberry-, cinnamon-infused Wild Turkey 101, honey syrup, orange bitters, orange zest), and 1760 (Old Fashioned 17: Wild Turkey rye, Campari, Cinzano 1757, Angostura bitters, orange bitters). A full list of participating bars and their cocktails can be found here. Locations and hours vary.
Talia Baiocchi Talks Sherry All Over Town
There is still so very much to learn and love about sherry, and author Talia Baiocchi is going to be in town this month promoting her new book, Sherry: A Modern Guide to the Wine World’s Best-Kept Secret (Ten Speed Press). It’s a fabulous book, with a deep overview of how sherry is made and its various styles, plus producer profiles and recipes for sherry-based cocktails and sherry-friendly tapas.
Catch her at ST. VINCENT on Wednesday November 5th from 5pm-6:30pm for a sherry happy hour. Then, on Thursday November 6th, she’ll be at OMNIVORE BOOKS for a sherry tasting and book signing from 6pm-8pm. For a nosh along with your sherry, catch her at THE SPANISH TABLE MILL VALLEY on Friday November 7th from 6pm-7:30pm for a sherry tasting with tapas and a book signing. Finally, on Sunday November 9th, head to TRICK DOG for another happy hour from 5pm-8pm.
Omnivore Books - 3885a Cesar Chavez St. San Francisco - 415-282-4712
Special Wine Events: Tour de Terroir, PinotFest
For an in-depth exploration of the different appellations in the Napa Valley, check out the Tour de Terroir from PlumpJack Wines on Tuesday November 11th at MatrixFillmore. The tasting features two wines each from Odette Estate, PlumpJack Winery, and Cade Estate Winery. Each of the wineries is in a different appellation in Napa, and you’ll have the opportunity to taste a white and a red from each. There will also be bites from PlumpJack Catering. The tasting runs from 5:30pm-8:30pm and tickets are $50 per person.
If you love pinot noir, you won’t want to miss PinotFest at FARALLON from 3pm-6pm on Saturday November 22nd. The popular event includes pinot noir from 60 producers on the West Coast, including Alma Rosa, Bonaccorsi, Kosta Browne, Littorai, Williams Selyem, Pey-Marin, and Twomey. And don’t worry, Farallon will be providing appetizers to keep you going. Tickets are $125 per person. 450 Post St. at Powell, 4th Floor, 415-956-6969.
Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Get Ready to Celebrate Truffle Season
Tuesday Nov 4, 2014 – Thursday Dec 25, 2014
Halloween has come and gone, the Giants have won the World Series, and now we’re on to that most luxurious moment of the year: white truffle season. Bring your bankroll and celebrate in style at these spots around town and beyond.
Beginning Wednesday November 5th, PERBACCO will be serving a special menu with three grams of truffles shaved tableside. Some of the dishes include a veal tartare with garlic and Langhe hazelnuts with truffled lard crostino, or tajarin with prosciutto di San Daniele and a 63°C egg. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant.
ACQUERELLO always does an exceptional job with white truffles, and this year is no exception. There are a couple of ways to get your fix: you can order a five-gram truffle supplement to their regular prix-fixe menu with some of their special dishes for $70, or you can order their tasting menu for $195, which includes a special truffle dish. If you really want to go for it, though, order the special white truffle tasting menu for $395 per person, which includes five courses highlighting the delicious morsels. Truffles will be on the menu from now until they are no longer available, which will probably be in early December.
DELFINA celebrates their anniversary and truffle season together every year, and this year marks their 16th year in business. On Wednesday November 19th, they’ll be offering warm roasted chestnuts and a prosecco toast with a special à la carte menu featuring white truffles. Then on Monday and Tuesday November 24th and 25th, catch their truffle dinners and expanded selection of Barolos and Barbarescos to pair. The menu is still being finalized, but the dinners sell out, so snag your reservation now by calling the restaurant!
From Wednesday November 19th until Saturday November 22nd, catch the annual white truffle dinners at QUINCE. Each night they’ll be offering the choice of a five- or nine-course truffle tasting menu, with optional wine pairings. The five-course menu is $350 per person with wine pairings for an additional $250, and the nine-course menu is $550 per person and wine pairings are $375, not including tax and gratuity.
In the East Bay, OLIVETO is doing their annual truffle dinners from Tuesday November 18th through Friday November 21st. The menu is still being finalized but reservations are available now.
In Sausalito, POGGIO is once again bringing the truffles from Thursday November 6th until Sunday November 16th. They’ll be offering an à la carte menu with lots of special truffle dishes, including mezzelune pasta filled with crescenza fonduta and served with toasted hazelnuts and brown butter, and raviolo filled with ricotta cheese, egg yolk, and brown butter.
DONATO ENOTECA is offering a special four-course truffle tasting menu from now until they run out (probably the week of Thanksgiving). It’s $135 per person, and includes some choices for the first and second course. Some of the menu items will also be available à la carte. 1041 Middlefield Rd. at Main St., Redwood City, 650-701-1000.
Wine Country Buzz (it’s what happens there)
Flavor! Napa Valley, Farm to Fork Fall Feast, Best Winery Chefs, and 1313 Main
By 707 correspondent Heather Irwin. Sign up for the BiteClub Newsletter.
*Flavor! Napa Valley*, a celebration of food and wine featuring dozens of top chefs and winemakers, will be happening from Wednesday November 19th to Sunday November 23rd. During the five-day festival, hands-on events like Pickling and Preserving with Long Meadow Ranch, Cake Decorating with Duff Goldman, Cheese Making with local chef Sheana Davis, as well as chef demonstrations from the likes of Todd English, Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Chiarello, and Christopher Kostow happen throughout the valley. There are also wine tastings, wine dinners, seminars, and even more classes to round out the week. Event details and tickets (which range from $75-$295) are available online. [Ed. note: be sure to see the special pricing offered for tablehopper readers on some events here!]
Get Your Eat On: There are two deliciously incredible events on Saturday November 8th. (Sadly, you’ll have to choose.) First up is the Farm to Fork Fall Feast at Glen Ellen’s Atwood Ranch. You’ll get to meet local farmers, cheesemakers, and cider makers, then sit down to what promises to be an incredible meal from Zazu Kitchen + Farm’s Duskie Estes. (And trust us, when Duskie’s in the kitchen, no one goes hungry.) She’s whipping up pumpkin soup, kale salad, red wine-braised beef shank, chicken with Asian pear, and much more.
Tickets are $150 per person and include live music from the Easy Leaves Duo. Proceeds benefit Sonoma County Farm Trails and the young farmers scholarship fund. Details online.
Also on Saturday November 8th is the Best Winery Chefs dinner and fundraiser at Santa Rosa Golf & Country Club. Featuring Simi Winery’s chef Kolin Vazzoler, Robert Mondavi’s Jeff Mosher, Lynmar Estate’s David Frakes, and Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s Tim Bodell, each chef takes on one course with a special wine pairing. Tickets are $145 per person, with proceeds going to the Redwood Empire Food Bank and other local charities. Details online or by calling 707-526-2922.
La Taberna has opened in downtown Napa, a much-anticipated new restaurant from the ZuZu tapas crew. Inspired by the pintxo bars of Northern Spain, it’s a modern take on the classic Spanish tavern. The menu will include tortilla de camarón, ceviches, empanadas, and halibut croquetas. Hours are Sun-Thu 2pm-11pm and Fri-Sat 2pm-12am. 815 Main St., Napa, 707-224-5551.
Restaurant and wine bar 1313 MAIN in Napa has a new menu, after last summer’s chef changeup. Executive chef Adam Ross debuts creative dishes such as poutine beef-fat (!) fries with oxtail gravy ($12), crispy pork trotters with quail eggs ($15), lavender-smoked duck breast with pickled huckleberries ($24), and lamb chops with harissa jus and lime yogurt ($21). The bar snacks menu (think poutine, a burger, and oysters) is half off during happy hour. In addition to wines by the glass, flight, or bottle, 1313 Main also has an extensive collection of beer, ciders (sadly not including any local ciders), spirits, and port.
Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Giants’ manager and one of the most stoic people on television, none other than Bruce Bochy celebrated his triumphant return to San Francisco with a meal at Waterbar on Thursday night. His party enjoyed a festive bottle of Billecart brut rosé, a “deluxe french fry presentation” with lobster, caviar, and hollandaise (whoa), along with pan-roasted sablefish, seared petrale sole, and grilled ono. For dessert, the kitchen sent out a special dish shaped like a baseball. Gotta love those Giants!
Roseanne at Elite Cafe
Comedy icon and 2012 presidential candidate Roseanne Barr was spotted at Elite Cafe, which is funny given her working-class roots and comedy. Anyway, she was there with one other woman and they kept to themselves and had a quiet conversation. She is still looking very trim after her highly publicized weight loss.
Secretary of Spruce
Former Secretary of State and all-around inspirational lady Madeleine Albright was spotted at Spruce on Friday night. She was there with a private party.