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Aug 17, 2015 18 min read

August 18, 2015 - This week's tablehopper: haute mess.

August 18, 2015 - This week's tablehopper: haute mess.
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This week's tablehopper: haute mess.                    

More New Mexico chile awesomeness: the casareccia pasta dish with spicy pork ragù at Gioia Pizzeria on Polk has chile in it. Photo: ©

Hopefully you are all still relaxed from our absolutely gorgeous weekend (although that earthquake yesterday morning was kind of a buzzkill way to start the week). I can’t believe I actually got into the water at Ocean Beach on Saturday. Watching a pod of dolphins swim along the shore was pure magic (we were all glad they weren’t sharks, trust).

Also magic: being able to swing by Mollie Stone’s on Sunday and pick up a box of freshly roasted Hatch chiles, what? Check out future roasting dates around town here. (And the cream cheese with Hatch chiles mixed in that I also picked up for Sunday brunch? Kind of awesome.)

Not awesome: wrecking on my bike last week at 17th and Church (that shitshow of MUNI tracks and the bike lane have no business being near each other, truly—thanks to the kind strangers who helped me out, and especially the one who hugged me, you are the sweetest human being). And what is up with no glass bottles in Dolores Park, are you kidding me? Makes #roséallday a little challenging, especially if we’re talking about rosé bubs here. SF, get it together.

One way we are definitely getting it together is this coming week for Eat Drink SF! Things kick off on Thursday August 20th—I’ll be judging at the Taco Knockdown and co-hosting Classic Cocktails: The Art, Stories, and Up the Sleeve Tricks with Leilani Vella from Sipsmith Gin on Saturday at 2pm. (Get 15 percent off the cocktail class with promo code SIPGIN.) And don’t forget: use code: TABLEHOPPER for an extra discount off Grand Tasting and VIP Grand Tasting tickets! Who loves you?

Mwah. 💋 Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Fiorella, a New Italian Restaurant and Enoteca Coming to the Outer Richmond


The exterior of the former Shimo, the future home of Fiorella. Yelp photo by Mona C.

Folks in the Outer Richmond are going to be getting a neighborhood Italian restaurant and enoteca this winter called FIORELLA. The project is going into the former Shimo and is from Boris Nemchenok (of Lower Haight’s Uva Enoteca), who is partnering with chef-partner Brandon Gillis (formerly Franny’s in Brooklyn and Bark Hot Dogs in Brooklyn and Manhattan). Nemchenok actually grew up in the Richmond and is excited to head back to the neighborhood.

On the menu: pies from the wood-fired oven, fresh pasta, and of course a fantastic list of Italian wines, which is Nemchenok’s passion. Dinner and brunch will be served, and there will be around 40 seats. They are currently targeting December 2015 or January 2016 for their opening. We’ll keep you updated in coming months as things take shape. 2339 Clement St. at 25th Ave.

New Openings: The Keystone, Cadillac Bar and Grill


The bar at The Keystone. Photo courtesy of The Keystone.


Dining room at The Keystone. Photo courtesy of The Keystone.

A report by Dana Eastland. The former home of Annabelle’s in SoMa is reopening on Monday August 24th as THE KEYSTONE. Earlier this month, we gave you a preview on the plans for the food and the new concept. The final details have been worked out and now it’s ready to open.

Chef Zack Freitas has created the new menu. To recap, the focus is on American comfort food, with a decidedly modern, California style; the menu is divided into categories like Morsels, Popular, Delights, and Ambitious. There is also a selection of desserts from pastry chef Jenny Yang, with an emphasis on seasonal fruit (though the fiend brownie is no joke, with chunks of macadamia nut, toffee, and chocolate). Kelly Naughton is the bar manager, and the drink menu is approachable and fun, with cocktails, 20 beers on draft, and 15 wines available by the glass, including 2 sparkling options. Plus, they are offering two happy hours, one from 4:30pm-6:30pm and again from 10pm-12am.

The space has been redesigned by D-Scheme Studio to simultaneously look back to the building’s history and to the future, with a modernized vibe. They’ve stripped down the space and exposed more brick as well as an original skylight. The bar is still the anchor of the space, but they’ve added seating on both sides of it, and opened up the dining room. It opens Monday August 24th, and hours will be daily 11:30am-12am. 68 4th St. at Mission, 415-777-1200.

Another blast from the past is getting a makeover: CADILLAC BAR AND GRILL has been resurrected and is opening in The Market on the ground floor of the Twitter building. The original Cadillac opened in SoMa in 1982 and closed in 1999 to make room for the Moscone Center South, and it was quite infamous for its giant margaritas, platters of fajitas, and generally good times. For a fun trip through the restaurant’s history, check out this visual history on their site.

History aside, the new location is serving an (almost refreshingly) un-updated menu with pitchers of margaritas, chile con queso, guacamole, mesquite-grilled fajitas, and their “puffy tacos.” Hours are Mon-Thu 11am-10pm (bar until 11pm), Friday 11am-11pm (bar until 12am), Sat 5pm-11pm (bar until 12am), closed Sun. Happy hour Mon-Fri 3pm-6pm. 44 9th St. at Market, 415-554-0181.

Upcoming Projects: Black Cat in the Tenderloin, Plin Becoming Nostra


The former New Star, future home of the Black Cat. Yelp photo by Kevin Y.

A couple of new projects are coming down the pike. Hoodline brings news of BLACK CAT, a restaurant and bar opening in the Tenderloin at the end of 2015 from Fritz Quattlebaum. The all-day restaurant (which will also have full liquor) is moving into the former New Star space, which has been vacant for a couple of years. Gi Paoletti is behind the design, and chef Ryan Cantwell (Eccolo, Chez Panisse, Bar Jules, Zuni Cafe) will be leading the menu (American with global influences, primarily small plates), serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bites in between.

The project is in the Verona Hotel, which is home to the Mary Elizabeth Inn Supportive Housing Program, and Quattlebaum mentions there will be “an entry-level training program for residents of the neighborhood.” (No word if the project will be paying any homage to our city’s famous Black Cat Bar from the first half of the 20th century, read more about this amazing bar here.) 400 Eddy St. at Leavenworth.

Last week I noticed that PLIN on Valencia was closing and changing its name to Nostra. I reached out to chef-owner Alexander Alioto, who confirmed the news and concept change, but then released the details to the Scoop. He’s reportedly going to be creating a more neighborhood-friendly place where guests can choose from a variety of housemade pastas (8-12), plus sauces (6-10), seasonal vegetables, and proteins. Pricing should range from $12-$18. The bar area will become Bar Mia, focused on amari, amaro-based cocktails, and bites. Stand by for reopening details soon. 280 Valencia St. at 14th St.

Expansions: The Plant Café Organic Now Open in Dogpatch, Onigilly, and The Ice Cream Bar


Kale salad at The Plant. Photo courtesy of The Plant.

A few SF businesses are expanding, starting with the seventh location of THE PLANT CAFÉ ORGANIC, now open in the AIC (American Industrial Center) in Dogpatch—their catering and test kitchen are in an adjoining space. The entire menu is going 100 percent organic, with some new items added as well. The Plant is also REAL-certified, “the nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and food service operators committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.” Hours are daily 8am-9pm, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 2335 3rd St. at 20th St., 415-801-5089.

Another local business we noticed is expanding is ONIGILLY, which got its start as a La Cocina business and is now going to open a third location, in the Financial District. We connected with founder Koji Kanematsu, who said they plan to open in the second week of September. You’ll be able to come by for their tasty rice and seaweed snacks, perfect for all those busy FiDi workers who want a healthy and delicious snack. We’ll keep you posted. 455 Market St. at 1st St.

And now it’s time for dessert. Back in April, we mentioned that The Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley was expanding to the Castro, and now we’ve heard it’s going to be called THE CASTRO FOUNTAIN. They are targeting a late fall/winter opening. They will serve ice cream and also hope to expand their selection of baked goods. 554 Castro St. at 19th St.

Get Ready to Lounge Alfresco at Seafood Alley at Sam's Grill, Opening Soon


Photo courtesy of Sam’s Seafood Alley.


Photo courtesy of Sam’s Seafood Alley.

There will be a new spot to lounge around outside, feast on oysters and crab rolls, and enjoy a cocktail. Meet Seafood Alley, a new patio space opening outside SAM’S GRILL AND SEAFOOD RESTAURANT on Belden Place on Thursday August 27th. Managing partner Peter Quartaroli has really taken the concept of an outdoor area to the next level, with a protective awning, hardwood flooring, comfy lounge seating, and quite the eye-catching teak burl bar. Considering the classic restaurant got its start in 1867 as a seafood stand, it’s nice to see some outdoor presence again—and in this case, the digs are pretty swanky.

Seafood Alley will be open continuously Mon-Fri 11am-9pm for lunch, happy hour (5pm-7pm), and into the evening. It will have its own menu (take a look here), featuring local and sustainable seafood, including raw oysters, ceviche, bay shrimp or prawn cocktails, salads (including shrimp or crab Louie), chowder, and there’s also a steak sandwich, shrimp roll, and crab roll. You can kick back with a martini or Manhattan, beer and wine, and their new drink, The Alley Cat (cucumber vodka, Aperol, and cucumber on ice with a squeeze of lemon).

Sam's Grill and Seafood Restaurant            - 374 Bush St. San Francisco - 415-421-0594

Tidbits: Origami Market, Taste of Jiangnan


Wuxi-style wonton soup from Taste of Jiangnan. Yelp photo by Gary S.

ORIGAMI MARKET is opening in SoMa on Wednesday August 19th. The healthy fast-casual spot comes from Kash Feng of Live Sushi and the newly opened Omakase and serves lunch and dinner in-house or for takeout. The menu offers Asian-influenced salads, bowls, and rolls, with lots of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free choices to satisfy everyone. Ingredients will be sustainable and well sourced, like Mary’s Chickens and Meyer Ranch for the antibiotic-free beef, and everything is less than $16. Hours are Mon-Sat 11am-9pm. 669 Townsend St. at 8th St., 415-865-9788.

Clement Street has a new Chinese restaurant, with fare from the region of Wuxi, according to those ever-knowledgable Chowhounds. It’s called TASTE OF JIANGNAN (and has nothing to do with Crystal Jade) and is currently softly open. They aren’t offering their full menu quite yet, which means no noodles, but there are still initial positive reports. The wontons are reportedly a highlight, as are the braised “big bones” that are no joke for the carnivorously inclined. 332 Clement St. at 5th Ave., no phone.

Cawfee Tawk: New Locations for Réveille, Philz, Plus Uncommon Grounds TV Series


The exterior of the future Réveille Coffee Co. flagship. Photo courtesy of Réveille Coffee Co.

Stylish brothers Chris and Thomas Newbury of RÉVEILLE COFFEE CO. are getting ready to open their fourth and largest location this winter. The new location is in Mission Bay and will serve as their flagship and headquarters, with a roasting facility, training center, and espresso bar. In addition to the roasting space, they will be opening CAFÉ REVEILLE next door, with a full kitchen and bar serving wine and beer. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be available, along with their coffee. The space requires a full buildout, so it will be awhile before the doors open, but they’re aiming for this winter. 610-620 Long Bridge St. at 4th St.

One-cup-at-a-time juggernaut PHILZ COFFEE is bringing their mint mojitos to yet another neighborhood. Their latest location is now open in Potrero, adjacent to the Design District. They’ve got all the usual coffees, and there are extended evening hours too. Hours are daily 6am-8pm. 1775 17th St. at De Haro, 415-814-8096.

COFFEE BAR has introduced a new, special coffee concoction to check out: cold-brew horchata. It’s made in-house, using their cold brew from Mr. Espresso beans, along with rice, cinnamon, and vanilla. Hello, lover. It’s available at all of their locations.

Todd Carmichael, La Colombe Coffee founder and star of The Travel Channel’s Dangerous Grounds, has a new series premiering on the Travel Channel on Monday September 14th called Uncommon Grounds. He’ll be exploring the culture of different countries through the lens of their relationship to coffee, including trips to Japan, Paris, Havana, and Lusaka, Zambia.

New Service: Brunch Changes at Bar Tartine and Huxley, Lunch at Belga, Late Night at Hog & Rocks


Pork leg with fried eggs for brunch at Huxley. Photo courtesy of Huxley.

Weekend brunch at BAR TARTINE is changing a bit. Instead of the usual à la carte menu, chefs and owners Nick Balla and Cortney Burns are now offering a prix-fixe family-style menu, with more focus on their favorite way of cooking, which is how they cook for their friends and family. The new menu debuted on Saturday August 15th and will continue to accommodate vegetarian diners and others with dietary restrictions. The price will change depending on what is served, but will always be in the low- to mid-$30s. Take a look at a sample menu here. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays 11am-2pm.

Speaking of brunch, you can now get it at HUXLEY on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 2pm, starting Saturday August 29th. Their famous avocado toast is available, along with egg dishes like the pork leg with fried eggs, chickpeas, roasted peppers, tomatillo salsa, and cilantro yogurt, or a summer succotash omelet with chanterelles. Their brunch cocktails are also available, of course.

BELGA has launched lunch, running Mon-Fri 11am-3pm. You can check out the menu here, which includes salads, a croque madame, roasted tomato soup and fried bread, and a hamburger and frites. And beer! 2000 Union St. at Buchanan, 415-872-7350.

We’re big fans of late-night dining over here, so it’s exciting to hear that HOG & ROCKS is now offering a late-night menu on Fridays and Saturdays from 11pm to 1am. A menu highlight is the sausage and beer pairing, which features a different housemade sausage paired with a selected beer for just $15. The special will change regularly, but right now it’s an all-pork sausage with zucchini pepper slaw and a Flying Dog IPA.

Help ECS with a Happy Hour at The Hall Tonight


Party time at The Hall. Photo from Facebook.

Tonight, Tuesday August 18th, don’t miss a special happy hour at THE HALL from 5pm to 8pm. There will be live music, drink specials, food, and desserts for sale from CHEFS, and a portion of all proceeds benefit Episcopal Community Services, or ECS. This is a great, fun opportunity to give back a little and share community, and you know you were headed to happy hour anyway, right? 1028 Market St. at 6th St., 415-558-8293.

Ruth Reichl in Conversation (and She Has a New Cookbook)


This event is a bit farther afield than our usual coverage, but when it’s Ruth Reichl, well, we know people will drive a fair distance for our grand dame of (the former) Gourmet. On Monday August 31st, she will be appearing in conversation with Michael Krasny at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, brought to you by the Peninsula Open Space Trust as part of their 2015 Wallace Stegner lecture series. 8pm. Tickets and more info here.

You can bet she is going to talk about her upcoming cookbook, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Changed My Life, coming out at the end of September. If you don’t make it for the POST talk, you can see her in October on her book tour. She’ll be at Bar Agricole (hosted by Omnivore Books) on Tuesday October 6th and hosted by the Commonwealth Club in Silicon Valley on Wednesday October 7th—mark you calendar.

510 News: Beefstro at KronnerBurger, The Growlers' Arms Sadly Closing


Salty, rare, delicious burger slinger KRONNERBURGER is taking beef to the next level on Monday August 24th with Beefstro, a meat party par excellence. From 6pm to 11pm they’ll be serving a four-course menu that includes grass-fed rib-eye steaks that have been aged 90 days, for $65 per person. There will also be wine pairings available for $40, and the fine folks from Ordinaire Wine will be on hand to share some cave bottle selections. Reservations can be made by email. 4063 Piedmont Ave. at 41st St., Oakland, 510-823-2371.

I was sorry to learn that Seamus and Shelley Mulhall have decided to close their pet project, THE GROWLERS’ ARMS after less than a year of them being open. In a note to their newsletter subscribers, they say: “Dear friends and fans, and those of you that have become practically family, it is with great sorrow that we have to let you know that we are closing The Growlers’ Arms. During these last ten months, we have met so many incredible people who have supported us and have appreciated our vision. We would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement. Our final night will be Wednesday August 19th.”

They will be celebrating with a three-course dinner for $45, prepared by guest chefs from their days at Chez Panisse. You can also come by tonight for their last Tasty Tuesday menu, three courses for $30. Best wishes to the Mulhalls, I know their many friends will be so sorry to hear this news. 4214 Park Blvd. at Glenfield, Oakland, 510-328-1315.


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Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Black Hammer Brewing Open in SoMa, Bar Nua in North Beach


Black Hammer Brewing, with an excited bartender. Photo from Facebook.

A report by Dana Eastland. The latest brewery to hit the scene is BLACK HAMMER BREWING, which is now softly open in SoMa. It is owned by Jim Furman, and head brewer Bryan Hermannsson is brewing German-inspired beers like a kölsch and Oktoberfest, as well as a squid ink IPA, an English ale, and their very own Nautilus hibiscus saison. They aren’t serving food, but takeout from nearby restaurants is encouraged, and they’re working on getting together a lineup of beer-friendly food trucks to pull up in front. The look is rather industrial, with handmade wooden tables and a bar, and garage doors that roll up for ventilation and sunshine on nice days. They are still working out the hours but will be closed Tuesdays; call before heading in. 544 Bryant St. at Zoe, 415-997-9253.

North Beach has an Irish pub called BAR NUA that just opened in the former Trattoria Volare. The space, right across from Washington Square, has great views and people watching, and comes from Vivian Michael Walsh, who also owns Durty Nelly’s and Martin Mack’s. There are cocktails, including a “Best Damn Bloody Mary,” as well as beer and wine. 561 Columbus Ave. at Union.

Quick Bar Updates: Alembic's Temporary Closure, Fire at The Riptide, Cantina's New Owner


The original interior at The Alembic. Photo by Jennifer Yin via Postcard Communications.


The original vintage vibe at The Riptide. Yelp photo by Jim M.


Things are getting close with THE ALEMBIC’s expansion and new dining room (yay, there will be even more room to enjoy chef Ted Fleury’s awesome cooking). They are looking at temporarily closing for some final construction from Sunday August 23rd through Thursday August 27th (subject to change). When they reopen, the team will still be putting finishing touches on the space, but it’ll be pretty close to finished. I’ll keep you posted with a peek at the expanded space and renovations in early September. As for the temporary closure, call 415-666-0822 or check The Alembic’s social media before heading over.

Really sad news: SFist reports there was a fire at THE RIPTIDE this morning (ugh). It looks like the quirky little beach bar will be closed for a while (a post by the bar on their Facebook page says it is “completely devastated”). Such a shame, hopefully some of the knotty pine will survive? 3639 Taraval St. at 47th Ave., 415-681-8433.

There’s an ownership change at Lower Nob Hill/Union Square’s CANTINA: Andrew Chun (Press Club, Schroeder’s) has taken over from former owners Duggan McDonnell, Aaron Prentice, and Christine Larsen (it opened in 2007). In an email, Chun says, “We love the bar and are big fans of Cantina. We are keeping the staff, concept, and name. We may do some minor touch-ups over the next few months, but most of the changes will be to the back of house.” So for now, the pisco punch by the pitcher continues! 580 Sutter St. at Mason, 415-398-0195.

As for Mr. Duggan McDonnell, I am happy to report I am looking at a preview copy of his new book, Drinking the Devil’s Acre: A Love Letter from San Francisco and Her Cocktails, which is coming out on September 15th (you can pre-order it at Green Apple Books here)! So excited to crack this one open and start reading it. Here’s what Duggan has to say about it: “I was certain the world didn’t need another cocktail book chockablock with recipes and pretty photos. I was also certain that there has not been enough narratives published on the subject of the bartender’s life. Inside its pages are many amazing recipes, with archived photos sourced by yours truly and beautiful photos shot by Luke Abiol—but it isn’t a book that belongs strictly on the coffee table or in the liquor cabinet.

“All of the prose in this book is autobiographical; every word is my experience of history, of shaking, serving and sipping the most significant cocktails to the city of San Francisco. Perhaps Drinking the Devil’s Acre will also thrive on the nightstand.

“Whether you’re a native, a current resident, or someone who has only visited San Francisco but once, remember the subtitle: A Love Letter from San Francisco and Her Cocktails. This book was written for you.” Sweet. And look for a lot more about this book release in coming weeks—you know there will be parties, and drinks.

Oregon Wines Come South for Pinot in the City on August 26th


On Wednesday August 26th, Oregon wines will be taking over the Presidio’s Golden Gate Club at Pinot in the City. The event is put on by the Willamette Valley Wineries Association and will feature more than 65 wineries from Oregon’s wine country. Many of the winemakers will be in attendance, so you’ll have the chance to chat with them about their pours. The event will be focused on pinot noir, the region’s best-known grape, but there will be wines made from other varieties, too, like pinot gris, pinot blanc, and chardonnay. For a full list of participating wineries, head right this way.

From 12pm-4pm the event is trade only, and those of you in the trade can register for that portion here. The event will be open to the public from 6pm-9pm, and tickets are $75 in advance, or $80 at the door. The Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop at Sheridan.

               Wednesday Aug 26, 2015 Trade 12pm–4pm, consumer 6pm–9pm $75 in advance, $80 at the door more info

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