This week's tablehopper: get the led out.
Housemade fettucelle with veal bolognese and pecorino at Rose Pistola. Yay, carbs! Photo: © tablehopper.com.
So, do you have a Negroni in your hand right now? Or maybe a Negroni marshmallow? A Doughgroni from Mr. Holmes? It is Negroni Week, after all. This Thursday is gonna be all about Negroni ice cream at Humphry Slocombe…and for those of you on the tablehopper Negroni Week North Beach tour, you’ll have a variety of Negronis in your hands. Looking forward to seeing you, have fun out there.
My weekend was definitely not lacking in fun. It started with checking out the updated menu (and cocktails) by chef Steve Walker at Rose Pistola (associate editor Dana Eastland and I were celebrating three years of toiling, excuse me, working together on this column), and then early Saturday morning I hopped on the party shuttle to the sold-out BottleRock, which was definitely the way to travel (I found a last-minute bus ticket on Craigslist, woohoo).
The day was full of sun (yes!), laughs with friends, plenty of cocktails and Cali wine (not cheap, but at least it was good stuff!), Neapolitan pizza from Ca’Momi, and the highlight was seeing Robert freakin’ Plant, who showed us all how to rock it at 66. I can’t believe how many Led Zep tracks he performed (check out the set list)—it was definitely a lifetime highlight for this music lover to see rock ‘n’ roll royalty perform. If you want to jump on tickets for 2016, a limited number of tickets are on sale now—BottleRock 2016 will be on Memorial Day weekend (May 27th-29th).
Sunday I had to wake up early again (this time to get the other kind of lead out) since my dad was picking me up early to hit the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival. The event for us is usually about the Alfa Romeos, although I have to say the picnic spread my dad packs is my other favorite part of the day: he makes bonkers-good sandwiches (we used to own a delicatessen, go figure), brought fresh fava beans from the family garden to snack on with a chunk of goat cheese, a couple of beers, fruit (always), and the clincher is the chilled espresso (made with beans from his friend’s company, Caffè Bona). I can confidently say we had the best lunch at the races (and I had the cutest date).
Just a quick reminder that this Friday is Summertini, an event that benefits CHEFS, the outstanding local program that fights poverty and homelessness through job training and placement in the food industry. There’s also a live auction (check out these prizes!) and a silent auction too—be prepared to be inspired to bid! I really hope you’ll join me at the elegant Bently Reserve—you’ll find some fantastic food and cocktails too. Don’t forget: tablehopper readers can get $15 off general admission tickets with code “tablehopper” at checkout.
Oh, and one more thing, in case you missed it: yesterday, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants released their list of global (well, kind of) winners (you can check it out here). Take it with many grains of Maldon salt (you can read more on why in this NY Times piece). Because really now, any list that doesn’t include Benu or Atelier Crenn in their top 100 is suspect in my book.
Enjoy our blue skies (while they last). June gloom, unfortunately, is a thing. Marcia Gagliardi
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Let's Check Out Lord Stanley, Opening for Dinner on Polk Street Very Soon
Due to open in a week or so is LORD STANLEY, a brand-new restaurant from first-time owners Rupert and Carrie Blease, who are also husband and wife. It will be a welcome addition to the Nob Hill/Russian Hill border, just on the corner of Broadway and Polk, in a neighborhood that doesn’t have many places that strike this kind of chic (yet casual) tone. The corner location is full of light and has an airy look, one that will definitely catch your eye. But more on that in a moment.
The Bleases first met while working together under Raymond Blanc at the two-Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, England. (Carrie, a Southern California girl, had her externship there after graduating from the CCA in SF and was then a commis for a year, while Rupert, an Englishman who did his culinary studies in Toulouse, started at Manoir as a line cook and left a sous.) The duo moved to New York together in 2005, with Carrie working as a line cook at Blue Hill New York and Rupert as a line cook at Per Se. A couple of years later, the couple moved to London to help their former Manoir colleague Agnar Sverrisson open the one-Michelin-starred, Scandinavian-inspired restaurant, Texture.
They then moved to San Francisco with the goal of opening their own restaurant, something they have talked about for the 10 years they have been married. It has been in the works for a couple of years, with Carrie working as a sous chef at Commonwealth and Rupert as a sous at Central Kitchen. At Lord Stanley, they’ll work in tandem, collaborating on the savory and sweet.
As for their vision for Lord Stanley, the couple stresses they want the dining experience to be casual and approachable. The dishes won’t be too complicated—they will exhibit a purity of flavor, so don’t look for a lot of components on the plate. But, of course, the ingredient sourcing will be tops, exhibiting beautiful preparations and skilled technique. Dishes will be lighter and cleaner—a bit Californian, Scandinavian, and European too (with a bit of a British accent). They will even be making their own bread and butter.
The compact menu (that’s a preview for you!) includes starters like salmon that is marinated with lemon and dill, lightly cold-smoked and confited (ditto the potatoes) and served with beurre blanc. Starters range from $12-$17, while mains like slow-cooked and grilled lamb shoulder with warm allium salad, and black cod with fava beans, avocado, and curry are $24-$29 (and please note the gratuity is included in these prices—Lord Stanley is following a service-included model). Desserts include one of Carrie’s favorites from living abroad: Eton mess ($12), with raspberries, strawberries, and elderflower, and a chocolate pouch ($13) made of crêpe batter with poached cherries and chocolate mousse. There is also going to be a seven-course tasting menu.
The restaurant has about 40 seats, with a mezzanine that has a communal table. Boor Bridges Architecture did a stellar job transforming the space, which was previously T2J Thai, though the building dates back to 1925. There is an open bar area, where guests will find a standing counter—you’ll see local beers on draft (Almanac Beer Company’s Golden Gate Gose and Magnolia Pub & Brewery’s Kalifornia Kolsch) and some bottled selections to go with a selection of bar snacks.
The clean lines of the space are enhanced by the poured and polished concrete floor, the light palette of white and gray, and custom-made poplar tables by Brandon Muñoz of Los Angeles (he also did the communal table that seats 14 upstairs, which can be used for private groups). Another eye-catching element upstairs is the “felting” art piece of sheep’s wool on the wall made from San Juan Islands sheep by Ashley Helvey; there’s also a cork floor. You’ll note some industrial elements throughout, like the seismic beams and stripped wood posts.
Wine director Louisa Smith, who is also a winemaker, will be overseeing the diverse and global list, which will feature many small producers (organic and biodynamic practices will be highlighted); good value is also a focus. She will be pouring sparkling wine by the glass from Les Capriades and Ruppert-Leroy, as well as bottles and glasses of Frantz Saumon Romorantin 2012, Tripoz Macon-Loche 2013, Domaine Guion Bourgueil, and Vinoterra Saperavi Kakheti, Georgia.
Open Tue-Thu and Sun 5:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-11pm. Weekend lunch coming soon. We’ll let you know when there’s a firm opening date. 2065 Polk St. at Broadway, 415-872-5512.
Farmhouse Kitchen Now Open in the Mission
A new Thai restaurant has opened in a quiet corner of the Mission (in the former Florida Street Café), called FARMHOUSE KITCHEN. As Eater mentioned earlier, the restaurant comes from partners Kasem “Pop” Saengsawang and his wife, Iing Chatterjee, of Kitchen Story and Blackwood. They are offering Thai restaurant staples, including a variety of curries and noodles, but the menu from chef Saengsawang has some interesting regional Thai dishes too.
Check out the kai yang with som tum ($18), a half chicken marinated in turmeric and coconut milk served with papaya salad, black sweet sticky rice, and plum sauce, or the 24-hour beef noodle soup ($15), a slow-cooked beef stew with egg noodles, broccoli, basil, bean sprouts, cilantro, green onion, and garlic chips. There are also some unusual smaller dishes, including crispy frog legs ($12) and the “Bullet Train,” lightly fried silkworms with garlic chile sauce ($10). There is also a selection of small-production wines by the glass and the bottle, with five whites and four reds.
Hours are lunch Mon-Fri 11am-2:30pm, and dinner Sun-Thu from 5pm-10pm and Fri-Sat 5pm-10:30pm. 710 Florida St. at 19th St., 415-814-2920.
Coming Soon: Michael Mina in Cow Hollow, Mission Beach Cafe Expansion?
The former home of Café Claude Marina, which closed back in March, has a new owner. Michael Mina has bought the space, according to Scoop. The exact concept for the location hasn’t been decided yet, though it sounds like it may be more neighborhood-minded and modest than some of Mina’s flashier projects around town. However, what he plans to do with the space in the meantime is almost more interesting: it’s going to function as a pop-up/incubator for some of the Mina Group’s most promising young chefs. The first pop-up will come later this summer from RN74 chef Adam Sobel and Mina himself, who will be collaborating on a Middle Eastern-inspired dinner (Mina was born in Egypt, and Sobel is half Israeli). 2120 Greenwich St. at Fillmore.
The story continues with LUNA PARK, which was maybe for sale and in talks with PlumpJack, but then that fell through. Scoop noticed that Bill Clarke, owner of Mission Beach Cafe, is buying the restaurant. Liquor license activity reveals the name “Thin Place,” but no other details are available. We were in touch with Clarke a few months ago about another Mission location we heard he was considering, so he definitely seems to be in expansion mode. For now, we’re on standby for more info. 694 Valencia St. at 18th St.
Say Hello to Provender, a Potrero Hill Coffee Shop
A report by Dana Eastland. Tony Ferrari and his brother Austin Ferrari have partnered up to open a coffee shop in the former Baked spot on Potrero Hill. They’ve also brought on Aran Healy (Ruby Wine Company) and Dave Tullis as partners in the project, which is called PROVENDER. The brothers grew up in a large Italian family, where drinking espresso was an important ritual, and they want to bring that same spirit to the neighborhood. They’ll be using Sightglass beans and focusing on making the best coffee and espresso they possibly can. Tony Ferrari is also an owner at Hillside Supper Club.
The 300-square-foot space was built out by partner Dave Tullis, and the original Victorian style has been rendered in clean lines with a white and blue palette, hex tile flooring, and wooden countertops. As for the name, provender is an old term for dry feed for animals and so they figured: “Hell, let’s offer provender to the people of Potrero, YES?”
There is also a selection of housemade pastries, like black sesame banana bread; a savory biscuit with goat cheese, scallion, and bacon; and a chocolate chip cookie with sea salt. The small, tight menu offers food to go, like a lamb sandwich with charmoula aioli, a vegetarian beet sandwich, split pea soup with garlic, a quinoa salad, and an arugula salad.
They are still waiting on a health department inspection, but hope to open next Tuesday June 9th. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for up-to-date information on the opening. Hours will be Tue-Sun 8am-7pm, closed Mondays. They may stay open until 9pm in the future, depending on business. 1415 18th St. at Missouri.
First Look at the Brand-New Sandwiches at Belcampo Meat Co. (Lunch Is Served!)
At this point you may have figured out that we’re pretty sandwich obsessed. So it’s with great pleasure to announce that there’s a brand-new spot for you to get quality sandwiches during the week: BELCAMPO MEAT CO. on Polk is now serving lunch Monday through Friday! You’ll find an array of sandwiches, all featuring Belcampo’s quality and organic meats from animals raised humanely on their farm in Shasta.
Their newish chef, Dirk Tolsma, who came on earlier this year, has put together quite a sandwich menu (in conjunction with the Belcampo team) that includes a tartare tartine ($12), in which their fantastic steak tartare—mixed with creamy and bright yellow-orange egg yolk and pickled ramps—is piled on toasted whole wheat from Della Fattoria. You’ll also see their fantastic cheeseburger ($12), which is a rather perfect burger, with caramelized onions and butter lettuce; I so dig this burger.
Pork lovers will want to veer toward the roast pork Cubano ($11), a rare thing to find done well in this town. It has thin and juicy slices of mustard-roasted pork loin, ham, melty Swiss cheese, and their house pickles, all tucked into crispy ciabatta. It’s a beaut. But then there’s the wicked bacon & bacon ($14), with pulled bacon (yeah, think about that for a second) and slices of crisp bacon inside a sesame bun, and Tabasco aioli and tangy cabbage slaw. Don’t tell your cardiologist.
High on the creativity scale is the mean eggs & ham ($12), a deep-fried egg (again, get ready for the bright orange and creamy yolk!) inside a sesame bun with their deviled ham (it gets mixed with sriracha aioli and scallion), slices of avocado, basil, and cilantro—it’s kind of like a banh mi that ate a Scotch egg and went to California.
If you’re a sloppy joe fan, prepare thyself for the next level: the sloppy mutton ($12)—or, as I discovered, the “slutton,” as the team calls it (I am still laughing to myself over it). And the moniker is well deserved: a deeply flavorful filling of braised mutton shoulder and belly is tucked inside a soft sesame bun that soaks it up just so. And here’s the kicker: there’s a layer of roasted garlic mascarpone in there, genius! That sandwich is not one you want to miss. And here’s a little tablehopper insider deal: if you order the slutton (you have to call it that!), you’ll get a free side of their beef tallow fries ($3 value). And trust, you want those fries. It’s slutton time!
One last tip for you: if you are hungover, or fighting a cold, or just need a little comfort, a cup of their bone broth egg drop soup ($6) is what you want.
You can enjoy lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-3pm. (And be sure to pick up a dozen of their amazing free-range eggs and a little something from the meat counter on your way out the door—they have a bunch of new products, like sausages stuffed with jalapeño cheese, oh yeah.) 1998 Polk St. at Pacific, 415-660-5573.
Closures and Changes: Globe Closes, a New Taker for Udupi Marina
We received word that Joseph Manzare’s GLOBE, which he opened with wife and partner Mary Klingbeil in 1997 and was such a late-night hangout and industry spot for years, has sadly closed its doors. He reportedly lost his lease and the restaurant had its last night on Saturday May 30th. We have reached out to Joseph for details and will let you know when we hear more from him directly. 290 Pacific Ave. at Front.
The Marina location of UDUPI PALACE has closed, according to a hawk-eyed tablehopper reader. A sign in the window says a new restaurant called Kobani Mediterranean Grill is opening soon in the space. No word on exactly what happened, but we have to guess the labor violation fines the restaurant was hit with earlier this year had something to do with it. The mini-chain’s Mission and Berkeley locations remain open. 3242 Scott St. at Chestnut.
Tidbits: Kama O Deli, Changes at Zazie and The Liberties, Update on Spice Jar
There is a new deli in South Beach called KAMA O DELI, serving Asian-inspired wraps and sandwiches, like a beef sukiyaki “rito” or pork belly sandwich. Yelp reports are generally positive, citing it as a good place for lunch, with good value and friendly service. 590 3rd St. at Brannan, 415-872-9622.
Another San Francisco restaurant is changing their pricing and payment structure for workers: Cole Valley’s brunch staple ZAZIE has officially done away with tipping. In addition, owner Jennifer Piallat tells us everyone on the restaurant’s staff will now receive a living wage, profit sharing, fully funded dental and health insurance, paid sick leave, and a 401(k) with employer match. They’ve raised prices slightly, and done away with the San Francisco ordinances surcharge (previously $1.25 per diner). The changes are effective as of today, Tuesday June 2nd. Good job, Zazie, and all the best to your staff! 941 Cole St. at Parnassus, 415-564-5332.
Mission pub THE LIBERTIES is celebrating 15 years in business this month with a special Mission burger combo. For $15 you get the half-pound burger with cheese, bacon, and a side of fries, along with a half pint of any beer on tap. They’ve also recently refreshed the interior and added a heated outdoor space. 998 Guerrero St. at 22nd St., 415-282-6789.
As reported on tablehopper in April, the former Local’s Corner space in the Mission has a new taker. It’s called THE SPICE JAR and comes from owner Ryuichi Hamada. The restaurant will be serving “Asian comfort food,” Hamada says, with dishes inspired by many different Asian countries. Right now, he is hoping to open in late June but is still waiting on an ABC license transfer. The space is getting a quick refresh (and a hood), as well. 2500 Bryant St. at 23rd St., 415-829-3668.
Mark Bittman Comes West: California Matters Series Plus the Commonwealth Club
A report by Dana Eastland. New York Times columnist and author Mark Bittman is in California and has produced a video series in partnership with UC Berkeley and the Berkeley Food Institute, called California Matters. The 10-part series is all about the food scene in California, with each episode tackling a different issue.
I had a chance to talk to Mr. Bittman about the series and hear about what he is most excited to share with viewers. California, he says, is “really the most interesting place to look at these things. You get the most diversity…everything you want to think about with food and agriculture is here.” To that end, the series will be looking at everything from agriculture to labor justice for food service workers to urban foraging. The series kicks off on Monday June 8th right here, and you can catch the trailer in the meantime.
Speaking of Mark Bittman, he’ll be in Lafayette on Wednesday June 3rd at The Commonwealth Club discussing his new book, A Bone to Pick. The evening goes from 6:30pm to 7:45pm and includes discussion of Bittman’s latest research and the effect of the American food system on our bodies and our planet. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for Commonwealth Club members, and there are also premium tickets available that include a copy of the book. Acalanes High School Performing Arts Theatre, 1200 Pleasant Hill Rd at Stanley, Lafayette.
World on a Plate Book Event on June 17th
Author Mina Holland will be in town on Wednesday June 17th, at Book Passage at 6pm. Holland, who is the editor of Guardian Cook, will be promoting her new book The World on a Plate. The book contains 100 recipes from all over the world, along with cultural and historical facts and stories about each recipe. Signed copies of the book will be available. Ferry Building at Embarcadero, 415-835-1020.
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
(Sponsored): Visit the New Sonoma House at Patz & Hall
Just minutes from the Sonoma Square, amid an idyllic backdrop of vineyards and mountains, the Sonoma House offers an unforgettable setting for exploring Patz & Hall’s legendary single-vineyard chardonnays and pinot noirs.
We’ve opened our vault this summer to offer the Library Experience every Friday at 3pm, where our cheesemonger and sommelier host an intimate library tasting of chardonnays and pinot noirs, paired with delicious local cheeses. Or join us for the Salon Experience, a private tasting of six single-vineyard wines paired with locally sourced gourmet food pairings. For a more casual experience, we offer seated tastings at our Tasting Bar.
Make a reservation for any of these experiences and discover why Wine & Spirits named Patz & Hall one of the “Top 100 Wineries in the World” six times in 12 years.
If you’d like to come up to Sonoma for the day, be sure to check out this blog post tablehopper wrote for us, featuring some of Marcia’s favorite places to eat (and drink!) in Sonoma—because what would a visit to Sonoma be without a Glarifee?
Can’t make it to Sonoma right now? Don’t miss the one-of-a-kind tasting, co-hosted by tablehopper, on Friday June 12th at Naked Kitchen in San Francisco. This is a dynamic wine tasting led by Patz & Hall co-founders James Hall and Heather Patz, who will explore the intricacies of terroir and the diversity of chardonnay and pinot noir through a side-by-side comparison of five single-vineyard wines, paired with charcuterie made with Patz & Hall wines by noted local charcutier Peter Temkin (Show Dogs, Foreign Cinema), plus local Sonoma cheeses. You can purchase your ticket right now on Sosh! Tickets are $65, all inclusive. See you there!
Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
New Projects: Pete Mrabe Buys Amante, and The Treasury Is Coming This Fall
Some breaking bar news: Pete Mrabe (of Chubby Noodle and Don Pisto’s notoriety) is the new owner of AMANTE in North Beach. He was already operating Chubby Noodle in there, but will be changing the menu format since Chubby Noodle is moving to the former Pisto’s Tacos space (more on that in our earlier post here). Mrabe plans to update the cocktail menu—he’s hiring a consultant to create signature cocktails, and he’s fired up to get some quality ice in there too (but don’t worry, he’s not into anything too fancy, just what’s tasty and fun). We’ll keep you posted on his plans for the space. 570 Green St. at Columbus, 415-361-8850.
Meanwhile, the Financial District is going to have a new bar called THE TREASURY from former Bacar vets Arnold Eric Wong (also E&O), bartender Carlos Yturria (Lure + Till, Claude Lane, Absinthe), and Phil West (Range, Third Rail), and partner Steven Werney of Teutonic Construction (25 Lusk). Look for quickly prepared craft cocktails, local beer and wine on tap, and a menu with plenty of bar snacks. Scoop reports it will be opening in late fall (this is the same historic 1912 building where Blue Bottle Café is opening in a couple of weeks). We learned that Geremia Design (Hogwash, Coffee Bar, Churchill) is behind the “New York-style bar” interior, which will include “soaring ceilings, rich textures, and gilded details.” 115 Sansome St. at Bush.
A Champagne Dinner (and Film!), The Clift Turns 100, Hecho's Monthly Tequila Tasting
Join NICO and wine importer Martine Saunier (founder of Martine’s Wines), plus current president Greg Castells, on Thursday June 4th for a screening of the new film A Year in Champagne and a special four-course dinner. Oh, and maybe some Champagne too (of course). The film spotlights Saunier as she travels throughout Champagne and meets with the producers she works with there, and this fun evening will include many of the wines featured in the film.
The evening starts at 6pm with movie snacks and Champagne to enjoy during the show. Then, midway through the film, chef Nicolas Delaroque will serve a four-course menu paired with even more Champagne (including the rare Gonet-Médeville Champ D’Alouette 2002). The dinner menu will be determined the day of the event for optimal seasonality, but you can check out the wines and snacks here. Tickets are $165 per person and include food, Champagne pairings, tax, and tip. 3228 Sacramento St. at Lyon, 415-359-1000.
Downtown’s CLIFT HOTEL is celebrating 100 years in business this month. To celebrate, they’re throwing a cocktail party at the Redwood Room on Thursday June 4th from 8pm to 2am, featuring cocktails from many of San Francisco’s best bartenders. Look for drinks from Nora Furst (Lolinda), Shawn Vergara (Blackbird), and Daniel Godinez (15 Romolo), which will be available at the cocktail party and will then become part of the regular drink menu. The party also includes live entertainment and bites. Plus, 15 precent of all drink sales from the month of June will be donated to the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society. Cheers! 495 Geary St. at Taylor, 415-775-4700.
On Monday June 8th, head to HECHO to learn everything you need to know about tequila from bar manager Amar Dillon. Every month, Dillon will be offering a Monday class with different tequilas. You’ll have a chance to sample blancos, reposados, and even some mezcal. Tickets to the class are $45 and include an hour-long class, tastings, and plenty of appetizer bites to keep you sippin’. The class is 7pm-8pm. 2200 Market St. at 15th St., 415-231-6267.
Armstrong Brewing Company Reopening This Summer in South San Francisco
South San Francisco is about to get a new brewery (well, kind of), called ARMSTRONG BREWING. The brewery is actually moving to a new location on Grand Avenue, after several years brewing in a location that closed last year. The new space is opening this summer, hopefully at the end of July, depending on permits and construction. Once they do open, look for six different beers on tap that will rotate out every two weeks or so to keep things interesting. This is the list of beers that are planned for the opening. There will also be food inspired by the beer gardens of Germany, along the lines of sausages and pretzels. Follow along on Facebook for more details on their exact opening date. Hours will be Wed-Sat 5pm-11pm, Sun 12:00pm-9pm. 415 Grand Ave. at Maple, 415-745-2739.
Wine Country Buzz (it’s what happens there)
Aaron Meneghelli Named Executive Chef at The Farmer & The Fox
We heard a rumor last week that chef Joseph Humphrey had left St. Helena restaurant THE FARMER & THE FOX, and now the press team has sent over the news of his replacement. Aaron Meneghelli, a Napa Valley native who was previously executive chef at Calistoga Ranch and chef de cuisine at Angele, will be taking the helm at Cairdean Estate, which includes The Farmer & The Fox, as well as Butterscots Bakery and Deli. The restaurant concept will remain the same, with gastropub-style food made using local and seasonal ingredients. As for Humphrey, he will be pursuing his own projects closer to his Oakland residence—the commute up there was pretty brutal. We’ll keep you updated on what’s next for him. 3111 St. Helena Hwy. N. at Byrd Hill, St. Helena, 707-302-5101.
Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Nopa Collie and the Infinite Pork Chop
Smashing Pumpkins leadman Billy Corgan was spotted at the chef’s counter at Nopa on Friday night. Our tablehopper reader says he was there with a friend. They started their dinner with a flatbread, and then he enjoyed the pork chop as his main dish.