The downright charming Italian Homemade Company chefs making cassoni for the EatWith Tablehopper event. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Woot, it’s Friday! But I am quite sure you already know this. If you have successfully made your way through that monster tablehopper issue from Tuesday, maybe you’re thinking about scoring a burger deal from ABV this weekend, or trying a new brunch in the Mission, checking out the Outside Lands Summer Pairings series (or chili cook-off!), or attending the Broctacular event on Sunday. Collect all four! We also have a new bar opening tonight, Tsk/Tsk, so you can read all the deets in the lush.
Last night was the (very tasty) EatWith Tablehopper event at The Italian Homemade Company in North Beach, with aperitivo o’clock provided by Campari America. Check out the recap today, which has some extra tidbits in there for you, plus I just posted pics from the party on Facebook! (If any of you attended the event last night, don’t forget to tag your photos/posts with #eatwithtablehopper to enter the EatWith ticket giveaway contest!)
We also have some 707 scout news for you, since that’s where you’ll find some real summer.
Enjoy your weekend! Marcia Gagliardi
Last night, I cohosted my first event with EatWith, Aperitivo Time in Rimini, at THE ITALIAN HOMEMADE COMPANY in North Beach. Campari America and Rye on the Road made sure we got into an aperitivo frame of mind quickly, with plentiful Aperol spritzes (click these links for recipes!), Negronis, Negroni Sbagliatos, and their fantastic summer Negroni. (I love seeing a room full of red and deep orange cocktails.) Here’s the complete photo album on Facebook!
The Italian Homemade Company in North Beach is a casual spot run by some bona fide Romagnoli (which would be people from the region of Emilia-Romagna)—we feasted on a classic piadina (a flatbread filled with tangy stracchino cheese, prosciutto di Parma, and arugula), followed by a cassone (a hot, stuffed sandwich that is like a calzone made with piadina dough—we tried a traditional cassone with spinach, potato, and mozzarella), and my personal favorite: piping hot housemade tortellini pasticciato (the sauce was made with Bolognese and a ton of béchamel!). Mamma mia! No carb left behind! Plus we had some tiramisu made fresh that morning, which made me adore that dessert all over again.
I broke out my vintage tablecloths to cover the bar tables (mom’s old Vera tablecloth from the ’70s, represent!), and to match, I put together this Italian playlist on Spotify, Aperitivo a Rimini with some Italian classics (you can listen to it here)—when the kitchen starting singing and dancing along, I knew I had made a good one. Such a fun night!
If you didn’t make it to our little festa last night, you can always swing by The Italian Homemade Company for lunch or early dinner (the portions are hefty!), or do takeaway of their freshly made pastas.
You should also take a look at the many events listed on EatWith—it’s a global platform for unique dining experiences, and a great way to discover home restaurants and pop-ups, locally and around the world, from Alsatian Flavors of Texas to Moroccan feasts to summer grilling with chef Jonnatan Leiva. Bonus: tablehopper readers can use an extra-special first-time user discount code: use code EatWithMarcia for 15 percent off from now through August 31st!
Mille grazie to EatWith, Campari America, The Italian Homemade Company, Rye on the Road, and all our fabulous guests for such a special North Beach night! Baci!
Last month we mentioned the news about Tsk/Tsk, a temporary pop-up opening in the former Ziryab on Divisadero before the actual bar, HORSEFEATHER, opens in the space this fall. The project is from owners Justin Lew (creative director and director of operations for Future Bars Co.) and Ian Scalzo (beverage director of Future Bars Co.).
After a few delays, we’re happy to announce Tsk/Tsk is opening tonight (Friday July 17th), and there’s one more cool thing to know: Bacon Bacon is doing the food menu. Ruh-roh! There are deviled eggs à la bacon, triple b tacos (with bacon, pork shoulder, crispy belly, queso fresco), porky fries, grilled cheese (with cheddar, bacon, bacon jam), their bacon cheeseburger, a bacon-fried chicken sandwich, and some salads, too, from a bacon corn salad to a Cobb. Plus dessert, like chocolate-covered bacon and candied bacon cookies. Pace yourself, please.
As for the drinks, doesn’t an Electric Margarita, banana orgeat piña colada, or sweet tea mint julep from the slushie machine sound good right about now? There will also be the Beet Down (gin, strawberry-beet purée, lemon, rosemary, absinthe, whipped cream), boilermakers, classic cocktails, highballs (like the McBain , a Stiegl Radler with Campari and salted grapefruit, or the Xpresso, with Mosswood’s espresso whiskey and cream soda), beers, and more.
Hours are nightly 6pm-2am. 528 Divisadero St. at Fell.
RESTAURANT HAZEL, the new Occidental restaurant from Berkeley chefs Jim and Michele Wimborough, has opened! For months, the former Bistro des Copains has been undergoing some serious interior updates. Both chefs have been teasing fans on their Facebook page with pictures of roasted branzino, curried scallops with Santa Rosa plums, cupcakes, and braised short ribs with polenta.
The rustic California-Mediterranean menu is centered around the restaurant’s two wood-fired ovens. Jim is a pro with the fire, after years working with it at Boulevard, Kokkari, and Evvia. Because working with temperamental coals isn’t for just anyone, Michele will head up the desserts, including sundaes, cookies, and cakes, and she will make a seasonal treat every Friday for Pie Day. The inside scoop: blueberry pie is up first.
Hazel (named after Jim’s great-grandmother, who inspired him to become a chef) will be doing dinner only its first week and then lunch and dinner seven days thereafter, as well as weekend brunch. 3782 Bohemian Hwy., Occidental.
After just three years, FAGIANI’S BAR/THE THOMAS is closing in downtown Napa. Ninebark will be its immediate replacement. The vintage Fagiani’s sign in downtown Napa has gone dark again. In fact, it’s gone altogether. After just three years, the upscale, retro restaurant is shuttering. Call it the curse of the building (which was the site of the town’s most notorious murders), the kerfuffle the Fagiani family made over the original name, the ever-changing lineup of chefs, or maybe just the need for something different in the Napa Valley dining scene.
Whatever the reason, the NYC hospitality group behind the restaurant, AvroKo, is reinventing it as Ninebark (the name refers to a woody bush native to the region).
What’s really captured our attention: AvroKo has partnered with Michelin-starred wunderkind Matthew Lightner, who will open the restaurant and handle all of their West Coast culinary operations. There are whispers of a second restaurant in Calistoga, and there will likely be other Wine Country eateries. Lightner rose to fame as executive chef of Castagna in Portland, Oregon, then received two Michelin stars in NYC after opening Atera.
The restaurant and rooftop bar will feature “California-focused, market-forward cuisine” based around “innovative preparation techniques,” with proposed menu items like scallops with bottarga, seaweed, and buttermilk; skewers of fatty tuna, shiso, peppercorns, and sorrel; and savory porridge with smoked fish, heirloom rice, and sourdough.
The Thomas/Fagiani’s is slated to close at the end of July, and Ninebark will hopefully open in early August. Call us stoked.
Move over cronuts, kouign amann are the “it” pastry of the moment. With layers of puffed dough, caramelized sugar, and more butter than should be legal, they’re so worth whatever caloric damage inevitably follows.
And no one makes them better than Celine Plano, the new pastry chef at PASCALINE GOURMET SHOP. It’s in her blood, after all. Having grown up in Brittany, Plano is well versed in the complex and unforgiving creation of Breton’s most famous cake. “These are from where I’m from,” she says, pointing the kouign amann among the meticulous rows of muffins, scones, breads, and cakes she’s made that morning.
Plano is just half of the dynamic French duo behind the newly opened breakfast and lunch spot along Gravenstein Hwy (next to Mom’s Apple Pie). The other half of the team is Didier Pascal Ageorges, the former culinary powerhouse of Chalk Hill Winery, SF’s Ritz-Carlton, and Hotel du Palais Biarritz in France. Plano worked with Ageorges at the Ritz-Carlton and is also chef and technical adviser to Callebaut, the world’s largest premium chocolate manufacturer.
Not that sweets are all you’ll find at Pascaline Gourmet Shop. Open just a few weeks, they’re open for lunch as well, with simple but luxurious salads and sandwiches (think croque monsieur). The team also does catering and events, and Ageorges said they plan on including pop-up dinners and other surprises as they settle into the space. Stay tuned for more tastes from Pascaline. Tue-Sun 7am-7pm. 4550 North Gravenstein Hwy, Sebastopol; 707-521-9348.