This week's tablehopper: storm's a-comin'.
One of my favorite courses at the R.T.B. Fillmore pop-up: tortellini in brodo filled with smoked porcini, with smoked foie gras and ham broth. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Howdy, peeps. I hope you had a good weekend, and some of you even lucked out with a three-day weekend (all the Tahoe powder chasers were stoked!). My weekend was a bit low key with some lovely home-cooked meals, I got some art in at FOG Design + Art Fair, did my duty as a San Franciscan and checked out ecstatic dance for the first time, and was thoroughly impressed with a stunning pop-up meal at R.T.B. Fillmore on Sunday evening (more on that soon!).
I just wanted to let any of my fellow vintage San Francisco history buffs know that I am starting to post images from my vintage restaurant postcard collection on Instagram (which get pushed to Facebook and Twitter, so you can follow along there as well)! I hope you enjoy it, and I really hope to hear some stories and fun facts from folks as I add more! (If you want to join me and help support my obsession, consider buying one of my vintage SF restaurant tablehopper t-shirts and Blue Fox hoodies, check ‘em out!)
This week, man, storm’s a-comin’, on many fronts. Cold ones. Let’s all take good care of each other this week. Every week. If anyone is going to the Bridge Together Golden Gate event on Friday, let me know! I’d love to meet up with some folks (I’m a “bridger” volunteer for the event). Bust out the purple!
Hugs. Marcia Gagliardi
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Special Food Events and Nights, From Sunday Roasts to the Good Food Awards
There’s nothing like a good Sunday night roast, which MAGNOLIA GASTROPUB & BREWERY obviously understands, as they just launched a new weekly dinner, Sunday Joint. (And since it’s in the Haight, the other joint makes sense too.) Each prix-fixe Sunday Joint dinner (always under $40 per guest) will center around a cut or joint of meat, such as beef prime rib, pork loin, or leg of lamb, plus an appetizer and sides like Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, and other vegetables. And, oh yes, there will be dessert, like a seasonal trifle or sticky toffee pudding. Starts at 4pm and available until it runs out. Weekly menu details will be revealed via Facebook and Instagram as each dinner approaches.
Also in the Haight, the new SLICE HOUSE by Tony Gemignani is honoring Janis Joplin’s birthday on Thursday January 19th with a special pie (Cry Baby), a spicy number topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, red and white onions, garlic, serrano chile, Calabrese chile, shallots, and ‘nduja. Buy a slice and receive a free psychedelic lemonade or fountain drink of your choice, all day. Open Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. 1535 Haight St. at Ashbury, 415-552-2520.
BARZOTTO has added gnocchi night to Tuesday dinner (5:30pm-10pm). Each week, there will be an off-menu gnocchi special, like potato gnocchi with herbed brown butter, walnuts, and balsamic, or sweet potato gnocchi. (And don’t forget, their Italian ramen is on Sundays and Mondays.)
Fans of POGGIO in Sausalito know this is the time of year they host their annual bollito misto. Come by January 25th-29th, and chef Benjamin Balesteri will be carving tableside a variety of meats simmered in a rich broth and served with sauces like salsa verde, horseradish crème fraîche, bone marrow butter, and kumquat mostarda. On the cart, you can expect to find cotechino sausage, beef tongue, brisket, veal breast, and oxtail. This traditional Milanese winter meal is $25 per person.
On Friday January 20th, you can ignore the inauguration footage and head to the opening party for the Eat Chinatown exhibit instead. This photo exhibit by Andria Lo and Valerie Luu (the duo behind Chinatown Pretty/@chinatownpretty) is at 41 Ross, and it commemorates classic Chinatown restaurants, diners, and bakeries that have been open for more than 40 years—and their patrons. The opening reception is 5pm-9pm, and beer and snacks from featured restaurants will be provided (including New Lun Ting Cafe/Pork Chop House, Capital Restaurant, Hon’s Wun Tun House, and Eastern Bakery). The exhibition is up through April 9th, don’t miss it (gallery hours are Thu-Sun 11am-4pm). 41 Ross Alley at Jackson.
This weekend is also the 2017 Good Food Awards, with 193 food crafters in town on Friday January 20th for the Good Food Awards Ceremony, with small bites, cocktails, and the winning food and drink at the reception. On Sunday January 22nd is the Good Food Awards Marketplace at Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion (8am-2pm). For $5, you can buy a ticket for access to the marketplace, with 75 of the winners selling their winning food and drink, many of which are normally unavailable in the Bay Area. (Retailers and media are also invited to join 140 of the winners at the Good Food Merchants Guild at the industry-only Good Food Mercantile for $35 on Saturday January 21st.)
Whatcha doing on Sunday January 22nd? Book a seat for this collaborative dinner with Acquerello chef Suzette Gresham and Carl Foronda of 1760. Both chefs are having fun with this cross-cultural dinner and coloring outside their usual lines. Courses include mini lumpia with shrimp and longanisa and lobster cannoli, and “Spam” embutido musubi and truffled arancini. Tickets are $65 per person (wine option available as an add-on) with multiple seating times from 5:30pm-9:30pm.
1760 - 1760 Polk St. San Francisco - 415-359-1212
Lefty O'Doul's and Café St. Jorge Closing
An unfortunate landlord dispute is bringing down a classic and beloved San Francisco institution: LEFTY O’DOUL’S in Union Square is closing Friday February 3rd. The dispute is between landlord Jon Handlery and Lefty O’Doul’s owner Nick Bovis. If those names ring a bell, it’s because it’s the same duo who locked horns over the Gold Dust Lounge, which was just around the corner before Bovis was evicted and saved the bar by moving it to its current location in Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s pretty despicable to see this happening all over again.
Hoodline reports Bovis has already stripped the Lefty’s walls of their memorabilia in an effort to save them from Handlery’s claims that he owns the name and contents of the restaurant. Bovis is reportedly hoping to secure a nearby location in Union Square where they can reopen Lefty’s later this year. And Handlery says he’s going to reopen Lefty’s in the current location. This is gonna get ugly. (You can read more about the history of the baseball-lovin’ restaurant and bar here.) 333 Geary St. at Powell, 415-982-8900.
I was sorry to get an email from Andrea de Francisco, the owner of CAFÉ ST. JORGE in Bernal that she is selling the business after opening her love letter to Portugal back in 2013. Silver lining: the new owners (the Saleh family) are keeping it exactly the same—same staff, same menu, same everything. Andrea will be staying on for a bit and training after the sale goes through, so be sure to swing by and give her your best wishes over the next month or so. She says she is going to miss you! 3438 Mission St. at Kingston.
San Francisco Businesses Showing Support for Planned Parenthood and Other Organizations on Inauguration Day
This weekend is going to be an intense one, with protests and Women’s Marches and even a performance art piece across the Golden Gate Bridge as the inauguration happens. Some San Francisco businesses are adding their voices to the dissent and offering support to Planned Parenthood and other crucial services and organizations.
From BRENDA’S FRENCH SOUL FOOD: “On Fri Jan 20th and Sat Jan 21st in protest of the incoming presidential administration, the owners of Brenda’s French Soul Food and LIBBY JANE CAFE will be donating 10 percent of all sales to Planned Parenthood and the SFILEN (San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network). At this pivotal point in our country’s history, the owners and managers agreed that any gesture to support anti-hate groups, provide a space of inclusivity, and offer extra support to our immigrant community that the restaurant industry depends so heavily on is vitally important.
“Our goal this weekend is to provide comfort and solace to those who may find themselves on the streets of the Civic Center exercising their freedom of speech, while knowing that they will also be supporting two important cause groups.”
TACOS CALA, the taco shop behind CALA in Hayes Valley, is generously donating proceeds from taco sales all week (!) to organizations that help preserve our rights, including Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Watch, Centro Legal de la Raza, Horizons Foundation, and the ACLU. Open Mon-Fri 11am-2pm. Hickory Street (behind 149 Fell St.).
There is also this list on Facebook of “California businesses [that] are showing their support for Planned Parenthood and all that it does to provide critical health services and provide responsible family planning. On [Friday] January 20th, companies throughout California are donating proceeds from sales and making other contributions to Planned Parenthood Advocacy and Planned Parenthood Texas, which is on the verge of having its Medicaid funding cut.
“You can show the incoming administration that the people of this great state are with Planned Parenthood and all that it does by opening your wallet and supporting these businesses on Inauguration day. Please check back as the list of participating businesses is growing every day. If you have a business of any type and would like to participate, please email Pamela or Tala.” (Thanks Pamela Busch and Tala Drzewiecki for assembling this amazing list! If you’re in LA, there are some businesses listed as well!)
San Francisco Bi-Rite Market - $1,000 cash donation (3639 18th Street, Mission, and 550 Divisadero, NOPA) Castro Village Wine Company - 10% of sales on 1/20 (4121 19th Street, Castro) Christopher’s Books - 10% sales on 1/20 (1400 18th Street, Potrero Hill) Collage Gallery - 10% sales on 1/20 (1345 18th Street, Potrero Hill) Delfina - (3621 18th Street, Mission) Dig Wine - 100% of Friday night tasting fee. Six wines from Domaine Sigaut in Chambolle-Musigny, $35. (1005 Minnesota Street, Dogpatch) Doc’s Clock - 50% of proceeds from bar on 1/20 (2575 Mission Street, Mission) Dynamo Donut - 10% of sales on 1/20 (2760 24th Street, Mission) El Rio - 100% of proceeds from bar on 1/20 (3158 Mission St, Mission) Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant - 10% of sales on 1/20 (One Ferry Building, #23, San Francisco) Fig & Thistle Wine Bar - 100% of profits from special rosé flight on 1/20 (313 Ivy Street, Hayes Valley) Fox and Lion Bread Company - 10% of pizza sales (5273 Third Street, Bayview) Gratta Wines - 10% of sales on 1/20 (5273 Third Street, Bayview) Jackalope - 100% of tips from 6-9pm on 1/20 (1092 Post Street, Lower Nob Hill) Nectar Wine Lounge - 10% of sales on 1/20 (3330 Steiner Street, Marina) Ona.life - $1 from from every purchase / delivery on Jan 20th - Premium Cannabis Delivery Serving San Francisco + Marin County - (www.ona.life) One Ocean Seafood - 40% of sales from oysters at Ruby Wine Fundraiser (1419 18th Street, Potrero Hill) Provender Coffee and Food - 100% of sales from special pink scone (1415 18th Street, Potrero Hill) Radio Africa - 10% of sales on 1/20 (4800 Third Street, Bayview) Revel Wine - 10% of sales on 1/19 (wine distributor) Ruby Wine - Proceeds from Friday night wine flight (1419 18th Street, Potrero Hill) Sacred Thirst - one case of wine to be raffled off at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant on 1/20 (wine importer) Scuola di Vino - 10% of sales on 1/20 (wine importer) Terra Firma Wine Company - 10% of all wine delivered on 1/20 (wine distributor) Terroir Wine Natural Wine Bar & Merchant - Proceeds from three wine flight (1116 Folsom Street, SoMa) Trumpet Wine - 10% of sales on 1/20 (wine importer) Umi Sushi - gift certificate to be raffled off at Ruby Wine (1328 18th Street, Potrero Hill) William Cross Wine Merchants - $10 from each Women Winemakers tasting flight (2253 Green Street, Russian Hill)
East Bay Joli Vin Imports - 10% of sales on 1/19 & 1/20 (wine importer) Ordinaire - 10% of sales on 1/20 (3354 Grand Avenue, Lake Merritt) The Punchdown - 10% of sales and personal donation matching (1737 Broadway, Downtown Oakland) Selection Massale - 10% of sales (wine importer) Starline Social Club - 10% of proceeds and 50% of a special pink drink (645 West Grand Street, Downtown Oakland)
Lastly, for those who are gathering at Justin Herman Plaza and marching on Saturday January 21st, WHITECHAPEL will opening early at 2pm to provide a safe and comfortable place to gather before the march, with 100% of the proceeds of their special menu offered that day going to Planned Parenthood. AMAZING. Thank you, Whitechapel. (Tip big, people.) 2pm-5pm. 600 Polk St. at Turk.
Restaurant Week Is On, from SF to Berkeley to Oakland
It’s that time of the year, when Bay Area restaurants offer special lunch and dinner menus and deals. SF Restaurant Week returns January 18th-29th, with 120 restaurants. Some places offer two-course menus for $15 or $25 and three-course (or more) menus for $40 or $65. It’s a good way to check out a place you’ve been curious about, and newcomers to Restaurant Week include ‘Aina, Babu Ji, Bellota, Black Cat, Cassava, Chouquet’s, Matador, Old Bus Tavern, The Perennial, Tratto, Wayfare Tavern, and more.
Berkeley Restaurant Week is running January 19th-29th, also offering lunch ($20) and dinner menus ($25 or $35). Check out places like Ajanta, Comal, Easy Creole, Gaumenkitzel, La Marcha, Revival Bar + Kitchen, and more.
Oakland Restaurant Week is also January 19th-29th, with restaurants offering prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus at $20, $30, $40, and $50 price points (promotional prices reflect up to 25 percent off regular à la carte items). Be sure to visit the site each day to enter the “Lucky 7” sweepstakes, with three ways to win gift certificates and more.
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
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Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Rum & Sugar and Biig (Softly) Open in the Tenderloin, Winter Cocktails of the Farmers Market on February 15th
Last fall, I mentioned a new bar was taking over the former Castle Club in the Tenderloin, RUM & SUGAR, and Hoodline reports it’s now open. Look for a wide selection of rums, rum-based cocktails, and local beer and wine. It’s meant to have a neighborhood vibe (dogs are welcome). Open daily 2pm-2am. 823 Geary St. at Hyde.
I have been waiting for the past month for BIIG to finish its interior so I could take some pics, but you may as well know that it’s softly open right now in its new Tenderloin location at Turk and Taylor (the former 21 Club). The bar is from Jordan Langer (Big, Oddjob), Ryan Melchiano, Pete Glickshtern (Jones, Oddjob), and Ryan Hisamune. The original Big bartenders, Brian Felley and Mo Hodges, are busy with their own bar, Benjamin Cooper, but this new incarnation will continue the legacy of making bartender’s choice cocktails for guests on the fly. You just tell the bartender your liquor preferences, spiritous or not, and look for some seasonal touches.
I’ll report back soon on the décor, which includes a herringbone marble countertop and lumber panels that were at Big’s previous location. Soft opening hours (according to Hoodline’s report) for now are Wed-Thu 5pm-10pm and Fri-Sat 6pm-1am (or thereabouts). 98 Turk St. at Taylor.
Mark your calendar and get your ticket for A Library of Libations: Winter Cocktails of the Farmers Market, coming up on Wednesday February 15th. This evening in the Ferry Building will include literary-inspired winter farmers market cocktails and bites from 20-plus Bay Area bartenders and chefs. CUESA, the San Francisco chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild, and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library are all collaborating on this event. Yup, there will be cocktails with names like From a Tale of Two Citruses to Infinite Zest, so get ready. Heh. Guests receive three full-size signature cocktails featuring Jack Daniel’s, Rabarbaro Zucca, and Ron Zacapa, along with unlimited sample-size drinks.
Early-bird tickets are $50 (ends January 18th!), general admission tickets are $55 (ends February 5th), last-minute tickets are $60 (ends February 15th)—and then you can get a season ticket for $140 (ends February 15th, more info here). 5:30pm-8pm. Ferry Building Grand Hall, 1 Ferry Building.
Ferry Building - One Ferry Building San Francisco - 415-983-8000
Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Get Your Ticket for an ICHI Sushi Fundraising Event on Monday January 30th
Monday Jan 30, 2017 5pm–7:30pm $60 Tickets Corridor rooftop 100 Van Ness Ave. at Fell, 29th floor, San Francisco
The SF restaurant and dining community is a tightly knit one, and when one of our treasured businesses or families is having a rough time, we rally for them. I reported last week that our dear ICHI SUSHI crew has moved back into their original space, and while visiting the restaurant is a great way to help out Tim and Erin Archuleta, there’s another way want to help get them back on their feet. (Tim’s time spent in the hospital with an unfortunate health scare left them with some nasty bills.)
I am so happy to see the Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group decided that instead of having their restaurant Stones Throw host their monthly Eat Like a Chef, Drink Like a Somm charitable dinner, they decided to join forces with a dozen Bay Area restaurants and bars to host an incredible fundraiser instead on Monday January 30th. There will be food and drink from Blue Plate, CatHead’s BBQ, Deli Board, Flour + Water, The Front Porch, Lolinda, Mission Chinese, Mr. Tipple’s Recording Studio, Namu, PizzaHacker, The Riddler, and Waterbar. There will also be some live entertainment.
All proceeds from the event’s ticket sales will go to help Tim and Erin pay hospital bills and prosper in ICHI Sushi’s latest location.
The event is being held outside, so here’s hoping the weather cooperates, damn it! It’s going to be an early evening event (5pm-7:30pm) held on the 29th-story rooftop above Corridor.
Tickets are $60, and guests will have the opportunity to purchase $15 raffle tickets for the chance to win a variety of dining prizes, including but not limited to dinner for four at The Progress, State Bird Provisions, Monsieur Benjamin, and Zero Zero, and dinner for two at Tosca and Mina Test Kitchen. There’s also a grand prize to dine out for a year (twelve $100 gift certificates to restaurants across the city).
Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Power Breakfasting and Lunching
We’re going to take a quick trip to the 650 to MAYFIELD BAKERY & CAFÉ, which had a pretty busy day last week, with both Joseph Gordon-Levitt coming in to enjoy a business breakfast with a guest to talk about an app, and then Mark Zuckerberg came in with his wife for lunch.