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Jun 27, 2016 13 min read

June 28, 2016 - This week's tablehopper: a knife, a fork, a bottle, and a cork, that's the way we spell New York.

June 28, 2016 - This week's tablehopper: a knife, a fork, a bottle, and a cork, that's the way we spell New York.
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This week's tablehopper: a knife, a fork, a bottle, and a cork, that's the way we spell New York.                    

The brilliant frozen Negroni at Alta Linea. Photo: ©

Hello there! Greetings from humid New York, where my hair is growing in volume by the hour. It’s also a bit wind-tossed and partied out from all the Pride festivities I hit this past weekend, my first New York Pride! The Drag March on Friday was beyond faaaaabulous, and moving too, my favorite part of the weekend. But Sunday night’s 718 Sessions boat party on the Hudson with Danny Krivit playing while (literally) cruising by the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline dotted with rainbow spires was pretty damn dreamy. Great bookends for the weekend, wow. I also got some beach time in on Saturday at Gunnison Beach, the most lively nude beach I have ever visited. What a scene! The East Coast just keeps on delivering mad flava, I tell ya.

In the spirit of Pride, I was also so happy to see two pieces I have been working on for Time Out USA go up this past week about the DJs and promoters around the US who are keeping the classic disco spirit alive at their fantastic parties, and their favorite classic disco tracks (with some great commentary from the DJs about why they love ‘em). If you’d like a hip-shakin’ soundtrack (and disco education!), you gotta listen through this piece. Thanks to everyone who helped me pull this one together!

Would you believe it’s my last week in my prize-winning apartment at the Ritz Plaza and my last day at Time Out New York is this Wednesday?! Where did the time go? So insane. No brakes on this thing!

I’m going to be staying at a friend’s place in Manhattan for a couple of weeks before flying to Italy on July 16th (can’t wait), and soaking in my last moments of warm New York nights, dance floors, pizza slices, and bagels. It’s also a good time to be eating all these cold noodle dishes. I’ll be back in San Francisco for the month of August before looking for a sublet and heading back out to New York for September and October. I’m gonna be bicoastal, baby! I need both SF and NYC in my life.

Speaking of bicoastal, take a peek at this fun piece I wrote for Caviar about my favorite pizzas I have tried on Caviar in New York and East Coast-style pizzas you can get delivered in SF. I’ve had much fun exploring the wild world of New York delivery out here, and I can’t believe I was able to order an entire pizza from the iconic Joe’s to my door. Like, whoa. And so dangerous. Heh heh. If you haven’t tried Caviar yet, use my code for $20 off your first two deliveries ($10 off each)! I know I have created many New York slice cravings for you SF readers, so hopefully this helps scratch the itch!

Okay, I have a lot of packing and storage to figure out, so it’s time for me to boogie. I’m taking the Fourth of July holiday off like the rest of you, so no tablehopper next week, and I will be back in your inboxes on July 12th, my last column before my Italian vacanze.

Enjoy the colored fog! (There’s actually a cute eyeglass donation petition about this.) I’m hoping to actually SEE fireworks this year. How novel. Marcia Gagliardi

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Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Don Pisto's Tequila Bar Opening in the Marina, and More


Don Pisto’s Tequila Bar is opening soon. Photo courtesy of Don Pisto’s.


A preview of Don Pisto’s Tequila Bar (the walls will be decorated/the space is in progress). Photo courtesy of Don Pisto’s.

A while back, we told you Pete Mrabe was going to be opening DON PISTO’S TEQUILA BAR in the former Mas Sake space, and it looks like the grand opening will be next week (after the Fourth of July).

The menu will have smaller portions of Pisto’s classics, and everything will be less than $15 (except specials). There will be Pisto’s enchiladas, their amazing tortilla soup, and machaca beef and egg. The menu will have a street food section, with items available by the piece for $3-$7, like a fish taco, carnitas taco, braised beef tamale, street stand burger, and ceviche tostada. You can look at a preview menu here. There’s a full bar—Duggan McDonnell consulted on the list, which he also did for Pete’s (the former Amante).

There’s room for 90 people, with spacious and groovy seats with round backs and bases, some classic Mexican cinder block details, and wood tables. Hours will be 5pm-12am, and later on the weekends. 2030 Lombard St. at Webster.

A few other updates: at PETE’S in North Beach, there’s a new menu for dinner on non-game days, and brunch is starting in a couple of weeks (preview of what’s to come here). 570 Green St. at Columbus.

If you swing by CENTRAL STATION DELI, you’ll note the offerings there have ramped up significantly. Daniel Sudar, who makes dessert for Pete’s, is making pastries, croissants, apple pie, and cheesecake (evidence here). You can also pick up their hefty deli sandwiches, including a New York-style pastrami, plus breakfast sandwiches, lunch salads, lasagna, and other items to take home for dinner. Open 8am-5pm daily. 728 Vallejo St. at Stockton.

Mrabe decided to pass on the POSOLE project in the Mission, so that won’t be opening after all.

Tratto, Corridor, Spark Food Park, Golden Burma, and Other Openings


Pappardelle at Tratto. Photo: Patrick Chin.


The counter and dining area at Corridor. Photo courtesy of J. Wade Public Relations.

The short-lived BDK has been rebranded and reopened by the Puccini Group as TRATTO in the Theater District, next to The Marker Hotel. Chef Kevin Scott, previously of The Big 4, is serving rustic Italian dishes, with housemade pasta, sausages, and pizza. The full bar also has a focus on Italian-inspired cocktails. 501 Geary St. at Taylor St.

Opening today (Tuesday June 28th) is CORRIDOR, the sister restaurant to Corridor Café from the Hi Neighbor Restaurant Group (Trestle, Stones Throw, Fat Angel). This Mid-Market restaurant features counter service and elevated comfort cuisine by executive chef and partner Jason Halverson, including the squid ink conchiglie from Stones Throw, and soup, salad, pasta, entrees, sides, and sweets (check out the menu here). Happy hour runs 3pm-6pm daily, when it’s $5 for every beverage on the menu, including wines by the glass, draft beer, and craft cocktails. Open for lunch and dinner midweek and dinner only on the weekends. 100 Van Ness Ave. at Fell, 415-834-5684.

Nearby, there’s a new and affordable spot that took over the former Jasmin’s Cafe, TACOREA. Hoodline reports they want to make killer tacos, burritos, and spicy Korean bowls too. Hours are Mon-Thu 9am-10pm, Fri-Sat 9am-12am. 809 Bush St. at Mason.

The folks behind the SoMa StrEat Food Park have opened a second location in Mission Bay: SPARK. You’ll find a range of food trucks (check out the schedule here), a beer and sangria garden, fire pits, TVs, a family-friendly game corner, and a double-decker bus. 601 Mission Bay Blvd. at 4th St.

Nearby in SoMa is GOLDEN BURMA from the former Lil Burma food truck folks. The next time you’re stuck going to the Hall of Justice for jury duty, you can enjoy tea leaf salad, tofu noodle salad, or moh hinga (catfish noodle soup). Open Mon-Fri 11am-9pm. 15 Boardman St. at Bryant, 415-735-8282.

There’s a new Sichuan noodle place that opened just next door to Nan King, CHONG QING XIAO MIAN, and Gary Soup reports it’s from those beloved purveyors of spice, some ex-workers from the Z&Y team. Sounds like portions are pretty large as well, and there are some side dishes you can get as well. Menu pic here. Open Mon-Sat 11am-9pm. 915 Kearny St. at Jackson, 415-983-0888.

Fans of BATTER BAKERY’s cookies should know they have opened a retail shop at One Market Plaza. Open Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, with a cookie happy hour daily at 3pm-4pm (2 cookies for $5). One Market Plaza, 415-770-4852.

Hey Kids! Here Comes the Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Truck!


A sneak peek of the Humphry Slocombe ice cream truck, Betty, currently getting wrapped in LA. Photo courtesy of Sean Vahey.

Hide your kids, because the HUMPHRY SLOCOMBE ice cream truck will soon be prowling the streets of SF, and probably playing some punk rock over the loudspeaker (what, you thought it would be playing nice ice cream truck jingles and melodies?). Jake Godby and Sean Vahey are flying down to LA to pick up their black and blue beast, Betty (Mrs. Slocombe’s first name on the TV series was Betty) on July 6th. They will be debuting their Snapchat (@humphryslocombe) and tweeting on the drive back up I-5 as they make secret stops and hand out swag. Yeah, for once, there will be something tasty on the I-5.

The truck will debut at Outside Lands, serving four to six flavors, bourbon Coke floats, and stand by for a special HS novelty as well. (Will it be a missile pop with Jesus Juice?)

The truck will start hitting SF streets at the end of July, and follow their Instagram for upcoming news about a contest they’ll be launching: all you need to do is snap a pic of the truck and post with some sassy hashtag they will surely come up with, and you can win a pint, presto! #lickthat

Closures (Oro) and Changes (Fly Trap, No. 9 Fishermen's Grotto)


The fantastic vintage bar at No. 9 Fishermen’s Grotto. Photo: Mathew Sumner.

Nine months after giving it a go on Mint Plaza, ORO has closed. The restaurant was a collaboration between Tim Felkner (Vigilante Hospitality) and chef-partner Jason Fox (Commonwealth). [Via Scoop.] 8 Mint Plaza at 5th St.

After owning THE FLY TRAP since 1988, Hoss Zaré is selling the 118-year-old business to bar manager and business partner, the awesome Valen West. Stand by for news on what the new concept will be. Meanwhile, Hoss is going to focus on cooking more of his beloved Iranian food and exploring his heritage (and recipes!) while traveling in Iran. Sounds like he’ll be doing some pop-ups and more. Best wishes, Hoss! [Via Chronicle.]

Over on the Wharf, Hoodline followed up on some ABC license activity, which showed Chris Henry of Tommy’s Joynt on Van Ness Avenue is buying NO. 9 FISHERMEN’S GROTTO. The owners, the Geraldis, want to retire, but fortunately the same staff will be kept on. It sounds like Henry will be updating the menu this fall to feature sustainable and local ingredients, and here’s a nice slow clap that they aren’t going to touch that vintage front bar, the most fantastic time capsule. 2847 Taylor St. at the Embarcadero, 415-673-7025.

Special Events, from a Native American Dinner to Sicily's Fabrizia Lanza


Chef Alexandra Raij of Txikito. Photo: © Penny De Los Santos Photography.


Here are a variety of interesting dinners happening around town, click through for more info if something catches your eye.

On Friday July 8th, the next Farm To Fork SF dinner at THE VILLAGE will be with chef Caesare Assad, cooking with Potawatomi chef and TV personality, Loretta Barrett Oden (she opened one of the first restaurants to showcase Native American cuisine). The six-course menu will feature her own takes on chef Oden’s traditional Native American recipes. A portion of all proceeds from this event will be donated to the Oakland-based nonprofit organization, Mandela Marketplace. 7pm. Tickets are $120, with wine pairing. 969 Market St. at Mason.

Check out this unique Feastly lunch on Saturday July 9th: Peru Amazon Jungle Feast: Juanes from Sophie and Leo. Catch their upcoming Peruvian dinners here. $55. 12:30pm-2:30pm.

Sean and Renee Baker (previously Verbena) are doing a dinner Saturday July 9th at HIGH TREASON in the private dining room, serving 8 to 10 courses for $95, with an additional wine pairing for $95. Tickets here. 443 Clement St at 6th Ave.

On Tuesday July 12th, Melissa Perello will be preparing a four-course prix-fixe menu at OCTAVIA, inspired by chef Alexandra Raij of Txikito in New York and her new cookbook, The Basque Book: A Love Letter in Recipes from the Kitchen of Txikito. Dinner includes a copy of the book, which you can get signed by the adored New York chefs (Alex Raij and Eder Montero). $150 per person (additional supplement for wine) and reservations (email here) are limited.

Another exciting cookbook-inspired dinner is on Friday July 22nd, when Fabrizia Lanza (of Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School) will be at PIZZAIOLO for a special Sicilian menu inspired by her book, Coming Home to Sicily. Lanza will be signing copies of her book and saying ciao throughout the evening. Reservations are available 5:30pm-10:30pm. They will also be showing Lanza’s short film, Amuri: The Sacred Flavors of Sicily, on the patio at sundown. 5008 Telegraph Ave. at 51st St., Oakland, 510-652-4888.

510 Update: Agave Uptown Opens, Firebrand Changes, Agrodolce Coming, More


A celebration of Oaxacan culture at Agave Uptown. Photo via Facebook.

Here are some quick news tidbits for you, with links will tell you more!

Opening this Wednesday in Uptown Oakland at the Kapor Center for Social Impact is AGAVE UPTOWN, from Oaxacan chef Octavio Diaz (he is also behind Agave Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar in Healdsburg). Look for authentic and handmade Oaxacan dishes—of course there is a mole on the menu, which his mother helps make in the kitchen every day. There are also botanas like molotes, masa pastries filled with chorizo, potato, and cabbage topped with queso fresco, and rotisserie chicken. Many dishes feature ingredients sourced from Mexico, which Diaz brings back a few times a year, like spices and chiles. Arcsine designed the space, which includes a full bar serving craft cocktails. There are many handmade touches in the pottery and more. Open Sun-Wed 11am-9pm, Thu-Sat 11am-10pm. Brunch is coming soon. 2135 Franklin St. at 22nd St., Oakland, 510-288-3668.

Over at FIREBRAND ARTISAN BREADS in Uptown Oakland, Pal’s Takeaway has discontinued their sandwich service. Firebrand has a new chef, Tommy Schnell, most recently chef de cuisine at Coi. Look for an expanded menu of sandwiches (like lobster rolls and “Mid-Century Chicken Salad” with fried chicken skin—follow on Insta for more teases), salads, breakfast badassery, weekend brunch, beer and wine, and expanded coffee service. [Via Eater.] Open 7am-7pm. 2343 Broadway at 23rd St., Oakland, 510-594-9213.

RED BAY COFFEE has opened a café in a shipping container in Oakland’s Hive complex. [Via Berkeleyside.] 2327 Broadway at 23rd St., Oakland.

FORAGE KITCHEN is taking applications for members who will get to use their brand-new equipment for their food business, and it’s due to open in August! There will also be office space, mailboxes, and a café with a bar and outdoor seating (open to the public). 478 25th St. at Telegraph, Oakland.

A Sicilian restaurant will be opening in the former Café Gratitude in the Gourmet Ghetto: AGRODOLCE. The owners behind Elmwood’s Trattoria La Siciliana are behind the project. Opening late August or September. [Via Berkeleyside.] 1730 Shattuck Ave. at Francisco, Berkeley.

There’s a new Xi’an spot near Berkeley campus, FAMOUS BAO, serving Chinese burgers, noodles, baos, and more. [Via Chowhound.] 2431-A Durant Ave. at Telegraph, Berkeley.

The WOODS BEER CO. is opening the Woods Island Club on Treasure Island on July 9th, complete with a tasting room, barrel aging facility, and an outdoor “beer beach” with sand, palm trees, and beach chairs for enjoying the views of the bay. You’ll be able to make this a fun destination once the new bike path from Oakland to Treasure Island is ready in the fall, with a cold MateVeza IPA ready for you at the end of your ride.

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Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

POTUS Is a Vodka Man

Can you just imagine being at a restaurant and President Barack Obama comes in? Check out the applause and standing ovation as he showed up for dinner last Thursday at TWENTY FIVE LUSK, where he dined in a private room with tech executives (you can see the lineup here). Obama was in town for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University.

Prior to going to his dining room, he visited the kitchen, talked with many of the staff there, greeted executive chef Matthew Dolan, and asked him what was good on the menu that night. Our source told us that the president had a starter of cucumber and melon salad, and as a main course, he had a double portion of an item on the appetizer menu, yellowtail sashimi. He didn’t have any wine but you gotta love that he had a Ketel One on the rocks. One of the president’s personal chefs shadowed at all times the designated presidential waitperson, who was the only one allowed to interact with the food and beverages served to the president.

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