Darren Crawford of The Devil’s Acre busy pouring Old Pals at the tablehopper North Beach crawl for Negroni Week. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Hello, my fellow lovers of balmy weather (and those who love to hate it and live in San Francisco for a reason). I’m already plotting my evening bike ride to an aperitivo with glee.
Last week was a total blast, thank you to everyone who attended the sold-out tablehopper tour of North Beach for Negroni Week! What a fun group. You can check out the photo album of our tablehopping night here.
Next up: this Friday evening is the tablehopper wine tasting event with Patz and Hall, who make fantastic single-vineyard chardonnays and pinot noirs. We’ll be kicking off our Friday night with some of their sparkling wine as well (with gougères!), and I can’t wait to taste charcutier Peter Temkin’s salumi he custom made (using their pinots!). We have just nine tickets left, join us!
And if you can’t make it on Friday, here’s a piece I wrote for the Patz and Hall blog about five of my favorite things to eat and drink in Sonoma (which includes a visit to their Sonoma House tasting room, of course).
So the international food community is mourning the death of the great Roger Vergé, while our local food community is rippling with the shocking and tragic news that writer GraceAnn Walden has unexpectedly passed away (some posts on her Facebook page say the poor thing fell and hit her head, so awful). All of us in the food gossip game owe this OG a lot—she started the Inside Scoop column in 1991 and owned and ran that beat like a boss. When I started the tablehopper column in 2006, she was very supportive (although I know it was primarily motivated by the fact that I’d be providing some competition to the Chronicle, which had let her go the year before).
This Newark-born broad was brash, funny, opinionated, sharp (both senses), and no one could burn a bridge like her—she was a master of flaming emails (yes, I received a few too) and scathing comments, public and private. But in time she would usually drop her grudge against you and soon be nice, hoping you’d forget the previous bucket of bile she had poured on you. (I now wish I had shaken off the most recent one she lobbed my way sooner.)
As I said to a writer pal, she was a bulldog with a kitten heart. Anyone who read her Yummy Report knows what a lover of animals she was (it’s so sad, her two pooches, Tinkerbell and Bruno Mars, are at The Marin Humane Society in Novato—here’s hoping someone can adopt the two of them). She was a great ally and very supportive of good people trying to make it in the restaurant world. She loved San Francisco so much and showed off its many culinary charms in her food tours. She had stories for days. GraceAnn, you left us way too soon—you still had so many more axes to grind. Condolences to her many friends and family and everyone you knew this spitfire of a lady. The world is much less feisty without her. RIP, GAW.
With a big tip of the cap, Marcia Gagliardi
This event is sold out, thanks everyone, we look forward to hosting you!
Whatcha doing this Friday evening? It’s time to get your ticket to this one-of-a-kind tasting, designed to explore California terroir through the beautifully crafted chardonnays and pinot noirs from Patz & Hall. (I tasted these elegant wines at their new Sonoma tasting room and thoroughly enjoyed them.)
This event, co-hosted by tablehopper, will be held this Friday June 12th at Naked Kitchen, a restored Victorian home in the Mission District, where guests will be welcomed with a glass of Patz & Hall’s small-production 2012 North Coast Brut Sparkling Wine, only available at the winery. And gougères! How’s that for a kickoff to your weekend?
You will then be seated for 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. There will also be charcuterie—custom-made with Patz & Hall wines by noted local charcutier Peter Temkin (Show Dogs, Foreign Cinema)—like bresaola, merguez, and a soppressata, plus local Sonoma cheeses. Enjoy mingling with James and Heather (and moi!) before and after the tasting.
The event is Friday June 12th, starting at 6:30pm. $65, all inclusive. You can purchase your ticket on Sosh! Only four tickets remain for this special evening!
Some very exciting news hit the ABC wires this week: chefs and co-owners Margie Conard and Dana Tommasino of the (sadly closed) Woodward’s Garden have found a new nest to land in. If all goes as planned with escrow and the ABC license transfer, they are taking over the Roostertail space in Lower Pacific Heights (or as my friend Vas at Zinc Details likes to call it, LoPa) and will be opening GARDENIAS in its place. (So, the garden theme will continue…)
The ladies are beyond thrilled with how it worked out—it’s a sweet space that was renovated just about four years ago, with a spacious kitchen and back patio. The size is just right. (A personal shout-out to Steven “Stu” Gerry of Zephyr for helping them secure it.) And if the timing goddesses are with them, Gardenias should be opening in early July. Looking forward to some updates very soon. 1963 Sutter St. at Fillmore.
Belinda Leong and Michel Suas of B. PATISSERIE continue to spoil us with the opening of their next project, B. ON THE GO (we previously wrote about it here). The wonder pastry duo took over the former Blue Fog Market space, which has had a series of failed businesses in its location, and they have created such a special corner space! It’s going to operate like a sister to b. patisserie, taking on the production of the croissants and doughs, and allowing the original location more room for their pastry craft.
They have also added a mustard-yellow rotisserie (it matches the color at b. patisserie) and will be making sandwiches with a variety of meats, from an outstanding porchetta (they chop up the meat and glorious crispy skin, saturate it with salsa verde, and nestle it all into their ciabatta) to the Grec sandwich with rotisserie Mary’s chicken and herbaceous yogurt, an homage to a shawarma-like sandwich (it comes on a soft roll) that Leong remembers from her days living in Paris. There will also be a Cubano, and their grilled cheese is very unusual: it’s made on a thinly sliced round of custom-made bread, about the size of a tortilla, that they fold over and fill with a variety of cheeses (smoked Gouda, Gruyère, and Swiss) and mushroom duxelles like a quesadilla. Decadent and delicious. Sandwiches range from $11-$13. There are also plans to sell the porchetta and chicken by the pound, and a vegetarian option will be added to the rotisserie too.
Additional items will include some salads and three kinds of classic desserts, like a pudding, panna cotta, and crème brûlée, plus a seasonal bread pudding and a galette, all designed for takeaway. Cookies range from lemon sable to ginger molasses to chocolate peanut butter. To be clear, nothing will be a duplicate from what you currently find at b. patisserie—each place has a different offering. Lastly, you’ll find some vinegar drinks, like mango mint and raspberry vinegar.
There is a counter where you will place your order, and there’s a large walnut communal table where you can eat your goodies (which Suas made—in addition to the other reclaimed walnut features in the space, including the counter!), although it’s mostly designed to be a takeaway spot. There are colorful Spanish tile floors and the beautiful glass tiles the color of wine in the kitchen, with lots of light. Have fun looking for the cute hand-painted pigs in the space.
If all goes according to plan, b. on the go will open on Thursday June 18th. Hours will be Tue-Sun 11am-4pm. We’ll keep you posted. UPDATE: B. ON THE GO IS NOW OPEN (AS OF JUNE 23RD). 2794 California St. at Divisadero.
Last fall, we told you about the new project from Xan deVoss of Fox and Lion Bread and Barbara Gratta of Gratta Wines, BUTCHERTOWN GOURMET, and I’m thrilled to report they have set their grand opening date to Saturday June 20th (visit their Facebook page for details on the party). The ladies have been doing some pizza nights on Fridays as soft-opening test runs in the meantime and will start them back up starting June 19th (luckily for us).
When things are fully up and running, you’ll be able to come by during the day for deVoss’s fresh-baked bread (she will be offering her rustic country-style levain, batard, and two loaves: raisin and rye deli loaf), and there will be a breakfast sandwich in the morning, on housemade English muffins, plus cinnamon rolls and granola. You’ll also see premade sandwiches on focaccia (both a meaty one and a vegetarian one) that you can grab and go. There is drip coffee and espresso service—they’re using Equator Coffee—and look for some fun Cubano-style style drinks, too, plus they plan to get Joyride cold brew on draft (in addition to some beers!). Check out the menu right here. Initial hours are looking like Tue-Fri 9am-2pm and potentially 9am-4pm on Sat.
As for Gratta’s portion of the business, the plan is to pour her wines a couple of evenings during the week, so Thu-Fri 4pm-9pm and Sat 1pm-7pm. There will also be some meats and cheeses available. She has a tasting bar in the back, while the bakery and some shared seating is in the front. Here is the list of wines available. And even though there’s a wine bar, it will be a family-friendly environment.
As for the name, just a little reminder that Bayview used to be called Butchertown (so don’t show up expecting a meat case). Congrats ladies on getting Butchertown Gourmet open! Follow along on Facebook for updates on the opening, hours, and more as it takes shape. 5273 3rd St. at Williams.
It has been a long, slow, arduous process for the Sanchez family of the famed MAMA’S RESTAURANT (1701 Stockton St.) in North Beach to try to open their offshoot Lil’ Mama’s in the nearby (and very spacious) Piazza Market space (formerly Rossi Market) on Vallejo. Their plans are to serve breakfast, lunch, and brunch from 7am-3pm, lightening some of the load off the mother ship, or mama ship, as it were. There would also be a coffee and juice bar, grocery store, self-service hot food bar, baked goods, and more, available 7am-8pm.
Fortunately they made it through a zoning change approval at least week’s hearing, but they still need approval from the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Transportation Committee, the full Board of Supervisors, as well as the mayor’s signature. You can help support this project by joining their Facebook group. Read more about this complicated process (and their plans) on Hoodline here and here. Come on, let’s have that long-vacant building get some life in it already. 627 Vallejo St. at Columbus.
It looks like a landlord issue has caused another closure. According to Hoodline, CHILANGO in the Castro has closed as of Sunday May 31st. A letter in the window says that the restaurant’s new landlord will not renew their lease. The terms of a new lease were not favorable, so they decided to close. The space was previously home to Azteca Taqueria, from the same owner, who had been in the space for 26 years. (The same owner also operates Casa Mexicana at 180 Church Street, which will remain open.) 235 Church St. at Market.
One of our fabulous tipsters sent word that ‘WICHCRAFT in SoMa had closed, and a call to their New York headquarters confirmed that it is indeed permanently closed as of Friday June 5th. Perbacco reportedly has a new project (a European brasserie) moving into the space, we’ll let you know when more information emerges on that timeline. 868 Mission St. at Jessie.
Local apparel company San Franpsycho has opened a new coffee and ice cream bar at its Inner Sunset location. It’s called SUNDAYS but is actually open daily, serving ice cream from Three Twins, coffee from De La Paz, cold brew from Four Barrel, and pastries from Devil’s Teeth Baking Company.
It’s open now, but the grand opening party is scheduled for Saturday June 13th from 12pm to 6pm. At the party, there will, of course, be ice cream and coffee, as well as beer and live music. Sundays hours are Mon-Wed 8am-8pm, Thu-Sat 8am-9pm, and Sun 8am-7pm. 1248 9th Ave. at Lincoln, 415-213-5442.
File this one in the coming soon folder: according to some license activity, a second location of COFFEE CULTURES is going to be coming to a new development in SoMa. The first Coffee Cultures in SF is at 225 Bush St., which uses Counter Culture Coffee from North Carolina (who recently opened a training center in Emeryville). According to the developer’s project page, there is going to be a café, wine bar, and market, and a roof garden. A representative from Counter Culture Coffee tells us to look for an opening in five months or so—we’ll let you know when we get more details. 1321 Mission St. at 9th St.
Starting Tuesday June 16th, Mission Bay residents and workers will have a new lunch spot, on Tuesdays and Fridays, at least. Off the Grid is launching a new pod from 11am to 2pm with three food trucks each day. The participating trucks will change each week, and will include the likes of Liba Falafel, Lobsta Truck, An the Go, and Fins on the Hoof. 1451 4th St. at Mission Bay Blvd. South.
Speaking of Off the Grid, they are also participating in the Eat (RED) Drink (RED) fundraiser we mentioned last month. On Friday June 12th at the Oakland Museum of California food pod from 5pm to 9pm and then again at Picnic at the Presidio on Sunday June 14th from 11am to 4pm, they’ll be donating a portion of their proceeds to (RED) and have even partnered with Bank of America so that every swipe of a Bank of America card means a $0.40 donation to (RED). 1000 Oak St. at 10th St., Oakland; Main Post Lawn at Lincoln, the Presidio.
Starting Saturday June 13th, catch new brunch pop-up Soul Delicious at The Lookout from 11am to 4pm. The pop-up is a partnership between Wes Rowe of Wes Burger, Dominique Garcia of Mama, and the Motown on Monday DJs. The two chefs will alternate cooking soul food each week, with Rowe kicking it off on the 13th. The first menu includes Rowe’s famed Uncle Brother’s fried chicken with cheese grits cakes and jalapeño cream gravy, sweet or savory waffles, and Austin-style breakfast tacos. Take a look at the whole menu right here, and let the hunger pangs begin. 3600 16th St. at Market, 415-431-0306.
BAR AGRICOLE is teaming up with Deovlet Wines for a special wine and pig roast dinner on Thursday June 11th. The family-style supper will be served on their patio, with multiple courses and four different wines from winemaker Ryan Deovlet. The menu for the dinner can be found here and includes a roasted whole little pig with salsa verde, new potatoes, grilled onions, and Little Gems. The dinner begins at 7pm, and tickets are $125 per person, including food, wine, and gratuity.
On Saturday June 20th, head to EPIC STEAK for the annual High on the Hog feast from 1pm to 4pm. The party is about pork in all its meaty glory, with barbecue and other preparations from EPIC, as well as Homestead, 1300 on Fillmore, Wood Tavern, and Waterbar. The party is also a celebration of pinot noir, with selections from wineries like Domaine de la Côte, Goldeneye, Joseph Phelps, and Beauregard. The Henry Coopers will be providing live music, and the whole event is a fundraiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind, which will also be in attendance with puppies to meet and play with. Tickets are $65 per person. 369 The Embarcadero at Folsom, 415-369-9955.
You really won’t want to miss this night of pigging out from La Cocina’s San Francisco Street Food Festival, 4505 Meats, and Jim N’ Nick’s on Saturday August 15th at Pier 70. The party is a celebration of the retirement of Jim N’ Nick’s spit, a 30-foot spit rig from Alabama, and whole pigs will be roasted on it by some pretty amazing chefs. Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats will be joined by Nick Pihakis of Jim N’ Nick’s and Rodney Scott of Scott’s Bar-B-Que in South Carolina, along with locals like Traci Des Jardins, Josey Baker, and David Bazirgan. The party includes passed appetizers, a sit-down, five-course dinner, drinks, and music by Noise Pop; the whole thing is a benefit for La Cocina. The evening runs from 6pm to 10pm, and tickets are $150 per person, or opt for the $250 “We Came to Eat” Passport, which includes a ticket to the dinner and $200 to spend at the San Francisco Street Food Festival. Pier 70 at Illinois.
Sho Kamio, the chef and owner of Iyasare on Fourth Street in Berkeley, has purchased neighboring Zut!, Scoop reports. The space, which has previously housed Eccolo, Ginger Island, and Fourth Street Grill, will be closed later this month and should reopen in July. East Bay Express reports that the restaurant will barely change names; Kamio plans to call it Zut Tavern and will be cooking Mediterranean cuisine with a California, seasonal influence. The menu will be smaller than the current one and will change more often, plus he plans to add an oyster bar to the space. He’s brought on chef Nate Gabriel (Michael Mina, Jack’s Oyster Bar & Fish House) as chef de cuisine, as well. 1820 Fourth St. at Delaware, Berkeley.
Vegan restaurant MILLENNIUM has made the move east to Oakland and is officially open in their new location. As reported in April, they’ve taken over the former Box & Bells space in Rockridge. The new space offers a swell patio, as well as their vegan dishes and a full bar. Hours are Sun-Thu 5:30-9:30pm and Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm. 5912 College Ave. at Chabot, Oakland, 510-735-9459.
CHOWHAUS, a new restaurant in Montclair serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, has opened. Scoop reports that the restaurant comes from Tracey Belock and her husband Joe Schnell, who have a background in such San Francisco restaurants as Farallon and Quince. The food is comfortable, but rooted in seasonal California style, with many items made in-house, including charcuterie, bread, and pastries. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and brunch, and dinner just launched this week after a soft opening phase. 6118 Medau Pl. at Moraga, Oakland, 415-339-3395.
Iconic publication Sunset Magazine is leaving its campus in Menlo Park, where it has been located since 1951. That’s not news, but there’s been lots of speculation about where they might end up, and now we have the answer: Jack London Square in Oakland, along with a satellite presence at CornerStone in Sonoma. The new offices, which will include a test kitchen and wine cellar, will be on the second floor of the Market Building at 55 Harrison Street, where a Ferry Building-style market hall is planned as well. The Sonoma location will be home to their magazine’s test garden, as well as an outdoor kitchen. San Francisco architecture firm RMW is designing the new space, but there is no word at the moment about when the move will be complete. 55 Harrison St. at Water, Oakland.
The 11th annual Pinot Days wine tasting is coming up on Saturday June 20th at City View at Metreon. The tasting offers pours from more than 80 pinot producers from California, Oregon, and internationally. The trade and media tasting is from 11:30am to 1:30pm, and you can register here. Then, the public tasting will be from 2pm to 5pm, with early entry at 1pm also available. Tickets are $75 per person or $100 for early entry. City View at Metreon, 135 4th St. at Howard.
As of this last weekend, WEST COAST WINE in Cow Hollow is now serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-2:30pm. And starting June 15th, they will be open seven days a week: new Monday hours will be 4pm-10pm, with happy hour from 4pm-6pm.
It’s also worth noting that on Tuesday June 16th, winemaker Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards wines will be pouring a flight (including his first-ever release of a Kanzler chardonnay, 2013, the new release 2013 pinot noir, and a barrel sample of the 2014 pinot noir), 6pm-9pm. And mark your calendar, because on Wednesday July 8th, winemaker Curt Schalchlin of Sans Liege Wines will be in the house from 6pm-9pm. 2165 Union St. at Fillmore, 415-376-9720.
Another gay dive bar bites the dust: according to SFist, scruffy Mission gay bar TRUCK is closing. Owner Paul Ringhofer-Miller has owned the place for eight years and says he is looking forward to planning events elsewhere, including at the Russian River. The exact closing date is yet to be determined, and there are lots of farewell parties happening this week, so head on down and say goodbye! I know we will all miss being overserved there.
As for the new owners, SFist caught the liquor license application for the new owners, and it looks like it will be called Wooden Nickel and the owners are Cassy Fritzen (a bartender at Zeitgeist), Shannon Lynn, and Nancy Chung. We’ll keep you updated on their plans for the place. 1900 Folsom St. at 15th St., 415-252-0306.
What do you do when your bar’s name receives a cease and desist order? Why, rename it CEASE & DESIST, of course. At least, that’s what the team at The Buffalo Club did, according to Capp Street Crap. No word who exactly the order came from, but a quick Google search offer lots of opportunities for speculation. Fortunately, the mirror-ball buffalo head is allowed to stay. 2331 Mission St. at 19th St., 415-906-5571.
The former La Movida space on 24th Street has been taken over by the team from Place Pigalle, as previously reported on tablehopper, and now they’ve got a name. It’s going to be called BIG REC TAPROOM and looks like it will be focused on beer. 3066 24th St. at Treat, 888-477-9288.
LOCAL BREWING CO., a new brewery from Regan Long and Sarah Fenson, is now open on Bluxome Street in SoMa. As Lessley Anderson noted in The Chronicle, Local Brewing, which opened last Tuesday, is one of the only breweries in San Francisco where women are brewing the beer. Long and Fenson actually began home brewing more than 10 years ago, and the new brewery is the realization of what had become their obsession. The goal of Local Brewing, they say, is to create a brewery worthy of a special trip, but not so intimidating that only “beer geeks” will be able to enjoy themselves. They’re keeping their production close to the taproom, separated only by a small guardrail, so that people can see where the beer is made and maybe even learn a little bit about brewing during their visit.
There are currently 8 beers on tap, but eventually there will be 16 total taps. The current list includes two spins on IPA and an IRA, or India Red Ale, plus the Bluxome Black Lager and SF Lager, a common lager-style beer. They are also serving some simple snacks, like salads and sandwiches, to accompany the beer. Moving forward, they also plan to offer workshops and classes out of their warehouse space. Hours are Tue-Sun 2pm-10pm, closed Mondays. 69 Bluxome St. at 5th St., 415-932-6702.
Permits have been signed and work is set to get started on BREWSTER’S BEER GARDEN in downtown Petaluma. We’ve just gotten word from owner Mike Goebel that he’s planning a pretty ambitious space that will include a large restaurant with a beer garden (natch), bocce ball court, kids playground area, and a bar. “The site was phenomenal,” said Goebel in a phone interview.
“I like the people and the culture of Petaluma, and it’s nestled in with cool historic buildings right on the river,” he said of the now-parking lot near Buffalo Billiards on Petaluma Blvd North.
Goebel is the owner of several bars in San Francisco and the restaurant Mamacita. He’s tapped chef Chris Beerman of the popular San Francisco comfort food restaurant Citizen’s Band (also Boulevard, Conduit) to head up the kitchen, which will focus on “barbecue-influenced” food and local craft brews. Goebel hopes to create a family-friendly space, including the possibility of bringing in dessert food trucks or coffee carts to add even more to the experience.
“I want something cool and different; we think this is a really sweet opportunity,” Goebel said. Expect the opening in 9 to 12 months.
That’s right, you can win a month’s suppy of local, sustainable seafood from Community Supported Fishery: Real Good Fish.
Life is too short for canned tuna, farmed salmon, and frozen, imported shrimp. We love fresh Monterey Bay anchovies, rich Carmel Canyon black cod, flaky, sweet Big Sur sand dabs, oysters with the briny tang of Tomales Bay, and California Chinook salmon straight from the boat. These are just some of the local seafood that Real Good Fish members enjoy.
One tablehopper reader will win a one-month membership to Real Good Fish, with 37 pickup sites from Carmel to Marin County.
To enter to win, all you need to do is forward today’s tablehopper newsletter to one friend (but even more would be so very fabulous), and add a note to your friends about Real Good Fish, your favorite sustainable seafood, or why you read tablehopper! Be sure to Cc: or Bcc: me at email@example.com so I know you sent it—I promise I won’t use anyone’s email address. The deadline to enter is Sunday June 14th at 11:59pm. We’ll notify the winner soon thereafter. Good luck!