This week's tablehopper: meatses partses.
Killer app: Sichuan ‘nduja with shrimp chips at Fung Tu. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Hi there! It’s a sunny day in New York, and I am feeling a twinge of spring in my step—I even got to enjoy a fantastic Taim falafel while sitting at a sunny playground on Sunday! Felt so good to just sit outside. But the forecast also has some upcoming snow, so there’s that. So schizophrenic, NYC!
I hope you got a chance to see my pics of Maison Premiere in Williamsburg, what a stunning and delicious and thirst-quenching place.
I had a busy week writing two pieces about buttery items for Time Out USA: six crazy-delicious and creative croissants and the top baked goods America is obsessed with. Any more I should be aware of?
Saturday I was deep in the land of the salty and the meaty and the cured at Charcuterie Masters event in Queens—check out my recap in the New Yawker. Yeah, it was heaven. (And you can order from some of these folks online, so it’s not just limited to NYC, by the way.)
I can’t believe how much work and email I gotta deal with right now, so I’m off. Hope you are holding down the fort for me!
Hugs! Marcia Gagliardi
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Release the Bagels! Wise Sons Bagel & Bakery Now Open
Probably one of the most anticipated projects this year, Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman just opened WISE SONS BAGEL & BAKERY last Friday February 26th. We have been tracking this one for you for a while, but here’s a quick recap for you: this is the Fillmore location of their 2,200-square-foot commissary kitchen, production bakery, and shop, where they will be making thousands of bagels (you can find them at all Wise Sons locations now, including the Contemporary Jewish Museum and 24th Street deli, plus their stand at the CUESA Farmers Market on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays). There are currently five kinds: plain, sesame, poppy, salt, and everything ($2 each), plus a bialy.
There’s a counter where you can order bagels, all kinds of schmears, bagel sandwiches, baked goods (hello, babka!), and coffee and espresso drinks (they’re using Intelligentsia). The smoked fish lineup includes some selections from the same purveyors that New York’s famed Russ & Daughters use, so the bases are loaded.
There is also a case with grab-and-go items, and you can bring home smoked fish and their famed pastrami too. Check out the menu online here. Pay special note to the Bodega Egg & Cheese (cage-free egg omelette, aioli, and melted Tillamook cheddar on a bialy, and you can add their house breakfast patty made from chicken and pastrami with typical breakfast spices).
Since there are only 10 seats or so, it really is meant to be a takeout situation here (just wanted to manage expectations before you schlep over). Initial hours are Mon-Fri 7am-3pm and 8am-3pm on the weekend. 1520 Fillmore St. at Geary, 415-872-9046.
Surprise! The Myriad Now Open on 15th and Market
It was just about a year ago when we first mentioned THE MYRIAD—a new market hall with small businesses and a bar coming to the Castro (at the base of a brand-new apartment building)—and it’s now open. The partners in the 4,000-square-foot project are Jordan Langer, Pete Glikshtern, and Jeff Whitmore (from Jones, Oddjob, and The Midway), and they’re working with developer Forest City.
The opening tenants are Antonik’s BBQ (flea marketers may already be familiar with the skewers from this popular food stand), Cro Cafe (you may know them from Temescal Alley), Raw (the juice bar also has a location in the Second Act Marketplace), Homestead Cookies, Church Street Flowers, and this is handy: AnB Cell Phone Repair (so you can enjoy a coffee while your phone gets fixed). There are spots for five or six more tenants, which will include butcher shop Gambrel & Co. (it already has a location in Redwood City) and Crêpes S’il Vous Plaît.
A fun component to the project is the bar, called Mrs. Jones, obviously married to Tenderloin bar Jones. It’s located in a 20-foot shipping container that was placed inside the market. Look for a rotating menu of five to eight cocktails every other week or so, created by Joey Picchi, who is behind the cocktails at the group’s other establishments (Oddjob, Jones, The Midway). You can look at the opening cocktail menu here.
Once their off-sale permit kicks in, you’ll be able to purchase all the ingredients you need to replicate each cocktail at home, including the recipe. (It would be quite the way to show up to a party, with the complete cocktail set.)
There are are 40-45 seats, with even more coming (stand by for some barstools). A bonus is the outdoor seating, where you can kick it with your coffee outside. The Myriad opens at 7am for coffee and pastries and is open until midnight. 2175 Market St. at 15th St.
Bacon Bacon Opens a New Location in SoMa
Fans of the BACON BACON truck, or their café in Upper Haight/Cole Valley, will be happy to know there is now a second brick-and-mortar location in SoMa, right by AT&T Park. Like the Haight café, the menu is more expansive than what you find on the truck. For example, there’s a very popular breakfast burrito (with scrambled egg, pulled pork, bacon, avocado, cheddar, Momma Lil’s peppers), and at lunch, there is a Cubano and three different salads (and one of them is bacon-free, so if you have a non-bacon-loving friend, they have that option).
The breakfast hours are pretty dialed: while you munch on a maple bacon scone, you can grab a cheddar-bacon scone for your coworker while your cappuccino is being made (they use beans from Roast Co.). The menu also includes a Havana latte, made with sweet condensed milk (take it easy on that one).
Hours for now are Mon-Fri 7am-3pm and 8am-3pm on the weekends. Once baseball season kicks in, look for expanded hours until 8pm. Owner Jim Angelus tells me they are developing some new additions to the menu that will be easy to carry to the game. They also deliver via Caviar, so the SoMa side of town has a new outpost to order from. 737 3rd St. at King.
Mahmoud "Mo" Khossoussi of Maykadeh and Mo's Grill to Open Dip in North Beach
A well-known face and character in North Beach, Mahmoud “Mo” Khossoussi, the owner of Maykadeh and Mo’s Grill, wasn’t too keen on his retirement after 53 years in the restaurant biz. The 70-something self-made man explained to me, “I got bored.” So now he’s collaborating with his daughter, Haleh Cunningham (who will be working on the creative direction), to open DIP, his next restaurant.
Khossoussi has quite the compelling history: he moved the U.S. from Tehran when he was 17. He didn’t speak English, but look who went to Cal Poly and Cal State Hayward and studied accounting and economics. He opened his first restaurant in Castro Valley in 1969, while he was in college, because he needed to support himself. He went to school during the day and worked at the restaurant at night. Turns out, you just can’t just tell a hard worker to retire and take it easy.
It ends up his family (including his granddaughters) are all in love with dip sandwiches, like a French dip, so he decided to to finally pursue this idea that he’s had for a long time. Dip is going to be a sandwich shop, serving au jus sandwiches made with organic meats and Acme bread. There will be grass-fed beef (a cross between Tuscan beef and Angus), lamb, nicely marbled pork (sourced from Salmon Creek), and a pork belly sandwich, too, all served au jus. There will be pickles and Dip’s own mustard on the side, plus the option to order potato gratin and other vegetable dishes. Delivery will also be available.
The space will have a butcher shop look, with white subway tile, wood, and brass details. It was formerly a clothing store, and after going through all the change-of-use permits, they are finally under construction and hope to open in May. Way to go, Mo! 1318 Grant Ave. at Union.
Tidbits: Thai Saap Ver and Brazilian Cafe de Casa, Off the Grid Fort Mason Returns, More
Over the holidays I heard about a new Thai place coming to the former Grand Pu Bah space in the random design district/roundabout area. Now a friend tells me the restaurant is SAAP VER, and that it’s not only open but totally tasty. The name is slang for “crazy delicious,” and chef Nutnawat Aukcarapasutanun (known as “Kobe”) wants to “take your taste buds ‘up to eleven.’” Any website that references Spinal Tap and their food is all good by me. (I can’t wait to check this one out when I’m back for a visit.)
Expect quality ingredients and sourcing—chef Kobe has been cooking in Thai restaurants for more than10 years, but this is his first solo venture, with the help of some investors. While Kobe is Bangkok-born, his kitchen has a team from different regions, and each cook is responsible for different dishes, from northeastern dishes like green papaya salad and larb, to another chef who’s on noodle duty. A manager from the team tells me the kitchen is almost like a night market with different vendors, each making dishes that are authentic and some that are lesser known too.
The space has a colorful style that looks really fun and playful, their inspiration a mash-up of “Thai countryside street markets and 1970s-era outdoor film showings”—they wanted it to feel like a market where you’d grab a bite outside before seeing a movie.
They have been in soft opening mode and are launching the full menu this Friday, so here’s your sneak peek! There is also a full bar, with some classic cocktails and Thai-inspired ones too—they are currently staffing up (and looking for more bar team members), so expect this to take more shape in coming weeks.
Hours are daily lunch 11am-2:30pm (they have a fun Thai street vendor set lunch, plus other combos) and dinner 5pm-10pm. Hours will expand soon as well. 88 Division St. at Vermont, 415-255-8188.
According to Chowhound, the Brazilian CAFE DE CASA, which has a location in South San Francisco, has opened a café in Fisherman’s Wharf. The menu has traditional salgados (snacks) like pão de queijo and empadas, plus tapioca crêpes (an awesome street food snack made with tapioca flour that can be savory or sweet, and it’s gluten-free), salads, açai bowls, Brazilian coffee, and more. Open Mon-Fri 6am-5pm, Sat 7am-5pm, closed Sun. 2701 Leavenworth St. at North Point, 415-345-1055.
Starting Friday March 4th, Off the Grid returns for its sixth season at Fort Mason Center. This year will have 31 food vendors (11 will be new), 3 bars with cocktails from Rye on the Road, plus DJs and local bands. New vendors include A16, Southern Comfort Kitchen, Izzy’s Cheesesteaks, Bacon Mania, Boba Guys, Gyro Stop, Frozen Kuhsterd, Rasoi, Flambé, and PB&JG. Returning vendors for the 2016 season are Bombzies BBQ, Crème Brulee Cart, Happy Dumplings, Bok Ssam, Fritas, Bini’s Kitchen, Jeepney Guy, Señor Sisig, Lobsta Truck, The Boneyard, Johnny Doughnuts, Chairman Bao, An the Go, El Sur, Curry Up Now, Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen, Korean Bob Cha, Hula Truck, Taco Guys, and Koja Kitchen. Open 5pm-10pm. Fort Mason.
Fans of the pizzas at CUPOLA PIZZERIA in the Westfield Center will be sorry to hear it has closed after five years of business. (Via Inside Scoop.)
Cupola Pizzeria - 845 Market St., 4th floor, San Francisco - 415-896-5600
the new yawker
Dispatches from NYC (you talkin’ to me?)
I Wasn't the Only One Who Went Hog-Wild at Charcuterie Masters
There are some events you simply cannot miss, and that was entirely the feeling I had when I first heard about Charcuterie Masters, hosted by NY Epicurean Events. And since it was being hosted at Flushing Town Hall in Queens, it felt like a subway adventure too!
I was excited with the prospect of learning about local charcuterie and salumi makers, all in one spot. The most exciting table for me was Caseiro é Bom, a Portuguese shop in Newark that I can’t wait to go visit. Owner and butcher Rodrigo goes through 30 hogs a week, and when you see the vast array of meats and products, you’ll understand why. He is a man obsessed. His table was positively overflowing in product, and he wanted you to taste it all. Sure, okay—if you insist.
His pata negra was astounding, aged 36 months (and the only pata negra in the U.S.!). He raises his own animals on a farm in New Jersey, and the rich flavor in his jamón says these animals are raised with exquisite care. He’s going to be adding 10 purebred black Iberian pigs to his farm as well, as soon as they make it out of quarantine. Read more about this amazing butcher here. I can’t wait to head over for more of his chorizo alentejano!
The folks from Dickson’s Farmstead Meats in Chelsea Market offered a tasting plate of their rich mortadella, herbaceous and silky headcheese, and my very favorite, their ham! Going back for a quarter pound of that—am already envisioning it on a baguette with some butter! And they’re also a great butcher shop, highlighting artisan meats and sourcing from sustainable farms in New York.
My friend and I went bonkers for the freshly made pâté from Ridgewood European Pork Store—so glad I was able to bring a chub home, that stuff was gold, with perfect texture, seasoning, and flavor. I love that the owner suggested it on a plain bagel for breakfast. Now we’re talkin’.
Some other favorites: the culatello and coppa Calabrese from Møsefund Farm, the nation’s largest Mangalitsa pig farm; the spicy soppressata from Oui Charcuterie; the full lineup of meats from Great Barrington’s The Meat Market, but especially their bresaola-like “faux pho” with pho spices. I also cracked up over how much ‘nduja people are making—was great to see the ‘nduja and finocchiona from ‘Nduja Artisans there, the makers of my favorite domestic ‘nduja!
Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Tiki Paradise Pagan Idol Now Open in FiDi
Back in October, there were rumors about a tiki bar coming to the Financial District, courtesy of the Future Bars team. Cue the tropical breezes and smell of rum in the air: PAGAN IDOL is now open around the corner from their popular bar Rickhouse (you enter on Bush Street).
There are two rooms: you can try to take a seat in the Captain’s Quarters, complete with aquariums and portholes, or sit in the larger room with tiki heads and a volcano burping smoke. Yes, really. Take your pick of well-executed umbrella drinks, and there are some large-format numbers too. You can read more in this Hoodline piece (and see some pics). Open Mon-Fri 4pm-close, Sat 6pm-close. 375 Bush St. at Kearny, 415-985-6375.
Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
No Purple Drank?
The one, the only Prince was at Mr. Tipple’s on Saturday night. He gave another surprise concert at the Paramount in Oakland over the weekend and is performing this Friday at the Oracle Arena. He reportedly ordered some limoncello (with a straw, no less). LUV U.
You Can Jus Eat in Peace at Mela
Mela Tandoori Kitchen in Civic Center hosted a couple interesting guests a week ago, starting with Jus Reign (Jasmeet Singh), the YouTube star and Bollywood actor who was recently in the news for being forced to remove his turban at the airport by the TSA (he’s Sikh). To be clear, the issue was about not having to remove his turban, but about the TSA not providing a private room with a mirror so he could put his turban back on. You can watch his video breakdown of what happened—and you should. It’s a teaching moment (and also funny as hell).
The night he ate at Mela he was appearing at the Empire Room (across the street) and was reportedly a fan of the chili cheese naan, chicken tikka masala, and faluda for dessert.
Another faluda fan was Amir Khan, British professional boxer and two-time former world champion and current WBC Silver Welterweight title holder—he will be fighting in Las Vegas on May 7th against Canelo Alvarez. He stopped by with his NY socialite wife, Faryal Makhdoom, for his favorite tandoori mixed grill and chai.