The famed NoMad roast chicken for two (isn’t it great when dishes surpass their hype?). Photo: © tablehopper.com.
How y’all doing? Did you survive SB50? I keep hearing how everyone is happy to have the city return to normal…although today is Mardi Gras, so some folks’ livers just can’t catch a break.
If you want a quick reminder on who’s doing what, you can head to Town Hall for their annual party, Boxing Room, The Elite Cafe, 1300 on Fillmore, and in the 510, Penrose will have special cocktails, food, and beignets all night. Let the good times roll. And be sure to play Beyoncé’s latest tour de force one more time before heading out. (Question to self: How many times is too many to watch a video? I can’t stop. It’s one of the most powerful things I’ve seen her do.)
Here in New York, I have been up to some definite shenanigans, from enjoying last week’s Slow Wine event, to a hearty dinner at Rosemary’s, and a gut-busting brunch at The Brooklyn Star, adventures in halva, and some culcha at the new Whitney.
Last night was a decadent one: when Eugenio Jardim tells you he’s in town for the West of West tasting with Ernest Vineyards, and they invite you to a late dinner at the NoMad, the answer of course is yes! That roast chicken—what a truly extravagant wonder of a dish.
I’m having a great time assimilating—am learning my subway lines, finding my local markets, and figuring how long it takes to get around (with some definite curveballs). So I figured it was time to write this piece for Time Out on 10 Things Out-of-Towners Will Immediately Notice About New York. (I forgot to add all the smoking on the street, ugh.) Oh, and let’s look at owl cafés in Japan, shall we?
Cue the bagel excitement, really and truly, because Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman of WISE SONS are very, very close to opening WISE SONS BAGEL & BAKERY, their 2,200-square-foot commissary kitchen, production bakery, and shop on Fillmore. They’re about 95 percent finished, and barring any last-minute hiccups, are hoping to open around Friday February 26th (that date could shift, but that’s the goal).
To recap, there will be just around 10 seats, so it’s primarily designed for takeout. You can order bagels, classic schmears, and baked goods, and there will be an array of smoked fish, like lox and sable. (There’s a chilled case for grab-and-go items too.) An exciting tidbit: some of the smoked and cured fish will be from the same purveyors that New York’s famed Russ & Daughters use.
There will also be five to eight bagel sandwiches, like the West Coast Veggie (house hummus, roasted seasonal vegetable, pickled onions, market green mix on a poppy seed bagel), East Coast Veggie (cucumbers, hothouse tomatoes, pickled onions, market green mix, and whipped cream cheese on an everything bagel), and an Egg & Cheese (cage-free egg omelette, breakfast patty made from chicken and pastrami with typical breakfast spices, and melted Tillamook cheddar on a bialy).
The espresso bar will be supplied by Intelligentsia, which roasts to order in Potrero Hill. And how’s that for a meeting of the minds (Intelligentsia + Wise Sons = so smaht!).
Initial hours are looking like 7am-3pm and could morph to 8am-2pm or thereabouts; we’ll have to see how things shake out. Hours will probably extend on the weekends. We’ll keep you posted.
Inside tip: Wise Sons is getting some practice with their bagel production and selling them on 24th Street at WISE SONS DELI, as well as at their stand at the Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. No guarantees on availability, but who knows, you could get lucky. Follow along on Instagram for updates. 1520 Fillmore St. at Geary.
Great news, ramen fans/fanatics/fiends: MENSHO TOKYO ramen is now open in the TenderNob (just next door to wine bar Resolute). Chef-owner Tomoharu Shono has six ramen shops in Tokyo (he opened his first in 2005), and this will be his first in the U.S. Each one has a different menu and theme, plus limited runs of dishes every month (he has come up with well over 400 different bowls, ranging from ramen to tsukemen, mazesoba, and aburasoba).
His San Francisco outpost will be focusing on authentic Japanese ramen, but will be using a combination of imported and local ingredients. The initial opening menu includes tori paitan ramen (available with chashu), organic ramen (shio or shoyu), and vegan tantanmen. Expect the menu to grow and change in coming days.
The full menu will eventually include many more kinds of ramen (tori paitan ramen, tonkotsu ramen, ebi miso ramen, organic ramen—shio or shoyu, vegan tantanmen, and white truffle shio ramen); tsukemen—a type of ramen when you dip the noodles into a concentrated broth (tori paitan gyokai tsukemen and spicy ebi miso tsukemen); and mazesoba—a soup-less style of mixed ramen (maze hitsuji and vegan mazesoba).
Shono is returning to Japan and will be back in SF in March to add to the menu (he has some of his Tokyo team in place here). Working with Shono on the launch is Abram Plaut, who eats at over 200 ramen shops every year in Tokyo. (Look for his upcoming app, Ramen Beast, which will be a guide to the best ramen shops in Tokyo, starting with the top 150.) Plaut will also be balancing his time between SF and Tokyo—he’ll be here the next three weeks and then returning to Japan for a month or so.
Note that space is limited (28 seats) and the lines are long, so be prepared for quite a wait while everyone tries to visit this exciting newcomer. There are also beers on draft and in bottle. Open Tue-Thu and Sun 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 5pm-2am. 676 Geary St. at Leavenworth.
Here’s a quick roundup of openings for you, starting with MATADOR, which we first told you about in detail back in December. To recap, this is the taco bar and tequileria (with frozen margaritas, holla!) opening in the former Sugar Café. Sugar owner Keith Goodman has brought in Miriam Lipton (Tender) and Kris Esqueda (Huxley) to create, design, and operate the venture, one of the few Mexican restaurants with booze serving the Union Square and TenderNob area.
You can take a look at the menu here. Matador will be open daily for lunch and dinner (11am-3pm and 5pm-10pm) and the bar is open 3pm-5pm and until 11pm Fri-Sat (but no food service except for chips, salsa, and guacamole); eventually they plan to serve until 2am on the weekend. 679 Sutter St. at Taylor.
Great news: after being forced to close LOS SHUCOS due to a tragic fire last year, owner Sofia Keck is finally reopening on Saturday February 13th. But as this piece in the Scoop notes, she will only be open Thu-Sun. She started catering during the closure and found it to be lucrative, so she is going to continue with it. Look for new items on the menu, including chicken sausages and “mixtas” (a Guatemalan hot dog in a taco). New hours will be Thu and Sun 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12:30am.
Los Shucos - 3224½ 22nd St. San Francisco - 415-366-3868
Now open in Mid-Market is CORRIDOR CAFÉ from the Hi Neighbor restaurant group (Fat Angel, Trestle, and Stones Throw) on the ground floor of the 100 Van Ness building. An exciting component is that it’s a partnership and chance for locals to try LAMILL Coffee, a well-regarded roaster based in Los Angeles. There are classic coffee drinks on the menu, plus some fun additions like a crème brûlée latte (cappuccino, caramel, and brûléed sugar) and two milk teas.
You’ll find Firebrand pastries (morning bun, bear claws, and more), housemade sandwiches, salads, and baked goods like a Corridor Cruffin (with Gruyère, prosciutto, and chive), blueberry muffin top, and cornbread bites with jalapeño-honey butter. Breakfast items include a mimosa-style yogurt parfait (vanilla and Champagne yogurt, winter citrus, housemade honey granola), a spinach quiche, and a croissant egg sandwich (bacon, egg, cheddar, and scallion crème fraîche on a Firebrand croissant, just $4).
Lunch includes a bay shrimp po’boy on a brioche hoagie with Old Bay-seasoned bay shrimp, lettuce, avocado, and pickled onions; a Cuban sandwich with shaved ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, and pickles; and a falafel wrap.
The space was designed by Abueg Morris Architects, with a standing counter inside and outdoor seating too. Look for the second half of the project, Corridor, to open in April 2016 next to the café—it will serve “elevated comfort fare with smart-casual service and no need for reservations,” plus beer and wine. Open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat 8am-2pm. 100 Van Ness Ave. at Fell.
You never thought the day would come! Wise Sons Bagel & Bakery is opening soon, and Fastbite by Caviar has your preview! Tomorrow only (Wednesday February 10th), get a pack of four Wise Sons bagels—two poppy seed, two sesame seed—and a pint of cream cheese for $10.
Set your alarm: this special offer is available from 8:30am to 10:30am only—and it’ll be in demand. These babies have been boiled in malt and baked, leaving a crusty outside and soft chewy interior. Add a schmear and savor the first bites of SF’s best new bagels.
Click here to start your Fastbite order. Offer valid 2/10/16 while supplies last. #wisesonsbagelsNOW
There’s a new watering hole in the Financial District, THE TREASURY, which opened in the same historic Beaux arts building as Blue Bottle Coffee on Sansome. The spacious bar is from former Bacar vets Arnold Eric Wong (E&O), bartender Carlos Yturria (Lure + Till, Claude Lane, Absinthe), and Phil West (Range, Third Rail), and partner Steven Werney of Teutonic Construction (Twenty Five Lusk).
Bar director-partner Yturria’s list of craft cocktails is meant to be fun, but quality, with drinks like the Shark Tank (Cutty Sark 108 Scotch whisky, huckleberry and coconut shrub, absinthe, lemon), Giggle Water (Christian Drouin Calvados, housemade quince preserves, bubbles, lemon), and Oro Viejo (Partida añejo tequila, pecan and oloroso sherry reduction, St. George absinthe, Dale’s DeGroff’s pimento bitters). Sherry lovers will find 20 selections by the glass, plus beer and wine.
You also won’t go hungry, with bar bites like chicken liver mousse, seafood like oysters and a crab roll, and pigs in a blanket with gourmet sausage. Take a look at the menu here.
Geremia Design (Hogwash, Coffee Bar, Churchill) is behind the interior, with double-height ceilings, leather seating, marble tables, and a massive bar, with a folded facade of brass metal and black—it’s a bit Paris bistro, with some Victorian touches too. Open Mon-Wed 3pm-12am, Thu-Fri 3pm-2am, and Sat 5pm-2am. 115 Sansome St. at Bush.
After months of delays (you know how it goes), Michael Ireland (previously a sommelier at The French Laundry, Quince, Benu, The Restaurant at Meadowood) and John Vuong (Ame, Gary Danko) have finally been able to open the doors to their wine bar and retail shop in the Inner Richmond.
When we originally broke the news about the project, it was called Pivot, but it’s now HIGH TREASON. But don’t let the name worry you about any high-priced wine shenanigans, these two gents are all about delivering delicious wine at an affordable price point, with no pretentious BS either. There are about 60-65 bottles on the list for now, and it will eventually grow to 120. (There is also a high-end list from their consignment collection if you want to roll deep.)
The list isn’t pigeonholed to a particular style, although they are saying away from big brands and about a third of it will be from California. There will also be French, Italian, Spanish, German, Austrian, and Slovenian wines in the mix.
As for the food, look for this part of the offering to ramp up—they’re still in soft opening mode right now (the grand opening is scheduled for Saturday February 13th). Their consulting chef is Danny Brooks, who is developing the menu—think small plates to start (cheese, charcuterie, croquettes, french fries in duck fat), and then more involved dishes in time.
There are 47 seats, with a bar, tables, and high-tops, plus a private dining room upstairs for dinner, education, and tastings. A big part of their concept is to be able to offer multicourse dinners a couple of times a month centered around the wines (instead of vice versa). They’re having fun playing vinyl on their turntable—look for some somms who also spin to drop by.
Hours for now are Mon-Sat 5pm-9pm, but after Sat, they will be open Mon-Fri at 4:30pm and Sat-Sun at 11:30am. They’ll close at 10pm Sun-Thu and at 11pm Fri-Sat. 443 Clement St. at 5th Ave., 415-555-1212.
Look for boutique wines, international selections, spirits, and more, with triple the selection of the New York shop. You’ll find extensive collections from Burgundy, the Loire, the Northern Rhone, Piedmont, Germany, and Champagne, and quite a selection of small-production California wines.
Boor Bridges Architecture designed the spacious 3,500-square-foot space, which has custom, handcrafted shelving. You’ll find a private event room and a tasting area where customers can sample wines (you can also order food in from the Palace). Look for upcoming free tastings, educational seminars, meet-the-winemaker opportunities, book signings, and other wine-related events. Open Mon-Sat 9am-9pm, Sun 12pm-7pm. 2 New Montgomery St. at Market, 415-780-1405.
A romantic mood will envelop the Ferry Building on Valentine’s weekend. Experience the magic and beauty of the waterfront at night at the 10th annual Food from the Heart on Friday night, February 12th.
Merchants at the Marketplace will offer tastings and seasonal hors d’oeuvres ($2-$6 each), and Napa Valley Vintners will pour wine ($4 per taste). The event is free, with nominal charges for food and wine.
Marketplace shops will all be open from 5pm to 7:30pm for Valentine shopping on Friday night. There will be tango dancing and music to serenade visitors. Proceeds will benefit Slow Food San Francisco. Tickets will be available at the Ferry Building Friday night at tables throughout the Marketplace.
EPIC Steak played host to quite the lineup of pro athletes (and their families) while SB50 took over the city. Joe Montana, along with Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning’s father Archie Manning, dined at EPIC Steak on Wednesday, with football icon Tom Brady’s father at the next table over.
Football legends Steve Young and Troy Aikman enjoyed a party in the private dining room upstairs, and Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, former pro quarterback Warren Moon, and the number-one draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jameis Winston, were also spotted.