This week's tablehopper: sunny disposition.
Celebrating sparkling rosé weather at the Gastropilgrims dinner at Airbnb (featuring spumante brut rosé of nebbiolo d’Alba from 460 Casina Bric). Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Hi chickadees. How’s this gorg weather working for ya? Uh-huh. Yeah. I totally had the best sunset beach walk on Saturday and am already fast-forwarding in my mind to springtime. Some of the blossoming trees are with me on this. My sunny mind-set fit perfectly with the Jamaican vibes over at Kaya in Mid-Market. You really should go and get the Deep Dub cocktail and piri-piri chicken (and swirl soft-serve for dessert) so you can feel the island juju too. (And the price is right.)
I have also been on such a ramen tear lately (I still blame the movie Ramen Heads), be sure to zip through my Instagram feed if you’re looking for some new spots. I’ll be writing about a new and amazing discovery soon—but I gotta go back one more time.
So next week is Valentine’s Day, and most dinners and deals make me want to scratch my eyes out, but Alfred’s is doing a nice offer ($65 for a three-course dinner, with a choice of porterhouse with roasted bone marrow or a filet rossini with black truffle and foie gras butter, to share), or you could have some real fun and attend this cannabis pairing multicourse dinner with The Opulent Chef, whether you’re single, coupled, or going out with your girlfriends for Galentine’s Day—all that and then some! Another aphrodisiac- and bloom-filled night you can check out will be this special Valentine’s Day event about tropical flowers and their sex lives at the Conservatory of Flowers. Heh-heh.
Enjoy the week. Get outside. Drink some beer. Marcia Gagliardi
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Coming Soon Report: Shake Shack to Marina, Cento to Caputo, Hayes Valley Getting Molto Italiano
We just heard about New York’s SHAKE SHACK coming to Shallow Alto (as my friend who lives there lovingly and hilariously calls it) and Larkspur, and now it looks like if it gets approval, it will also be taking over half of the vacant Real Food Co. space in Cow Hollow. (The other half will be a boxing gym, handy for working off your anger at binge eating not one but two ShackBurgers in one sitting.) It all still needs to make it through planning and neighborhood approvals, so stand by. 3060 Fillmore Street (at Filbert). [Via Hoodline.]
At a recent event, I heard rumors that Donato Scotti (of Donato & Co. in Berkeley and Donato Enoteca and Cru in Redwood City) was opening a project in San Francisco, and sure enough, an ABC license application reveals he is taking over the recently closed Caputo in South Beach, which went kaput a couple of years ago. The new project will be CENTO OSTERIA, and Eater fills in some initial details: Scotti and Donato Enoteca business partner Gianluca Guglielmi will be focusing on Piemontese cuisine, with pizza and pasta, and aperitivi (they have that nice bar area). Look for an April opening or thereabouts. 100 Brannan St. at Embarcadero.
More Italian news: Hoodline chased down the story that DOPPIO ZERO PIZZERIA NAPOLETENA is opening in the Caffe Delle Stelle space in Hayes Valley—the owner is retiring. The Italian owners—Angelo Sannino and Gianni Chiloiro—will be installing a wood-fired pizza oven and offering true Neapolitan pizza (certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana), along with Southern Italian dishes, housemade pastas, and a full bar with cocktails, plus outdoor seating with heaters. The owners are also behind The Meatball Bar in the FiDi—with a second one coming to 602 Hayes—and they already have two Doppio Zero locations (in Cupertino and Mountain View). 395 Hayes St. at Gough.
Chef News: Hoss Zaré Returning to Iran, Sean Thomas Back at City Counter
Well folks, it’s the end of an era of Hosspitality and Hossy Hugs: our dear Hoss Zaré is heading back to his native Iran and starting a new chapter in his life back home. He has been such a big part of our local culinary scene for years. He started as a dishwasher at The Fly Trap back in 1988, which he later bought and took over. Read this heartfelt piece about him from a couple of years ago by Tamara Palmer, and here is my review of Zaré at Fly Trap from back in 2009. He’s had some really rough times (his parents were tragically and horrifically murdered in Iran, and he suffered a heart attack back in 2010, scaring us all!), but he has always kept his big heart open and full of love.
He included this in a farewell piece he sent to me: “I spent three decades of my life waking up to dazzling sunshines, soothing breezes, and calming sea waves of San Francisco filled with love of the sun, delight of the beach, and generosity of the ocean overpowered by warmheartedness and thoughtfulness of its people. You supported me during my days of gloom and glory, success and failure, and health and hurt. In return to all your kindness and hospitality, I brought you the sweetness of Baklava, colorfulness of Koofteh, and richness of the bone marrow, and my genuine Hosspitality!” Indeed.
You have a chance to visit Hoss at his final appearance this Saturday February 10th at a demo at the CUESA Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (at 12pm). It’s the day before he leaves town, so don’t miss one last Hossy Hug. Best wishes and much happiness to you, Hoss. Thank you for all the kindness and warmth and heartfelt meals all these years.
Another one of my favorite longtime chefs, Sean Thomas, who held it down at Blue Plate for seven-plus years and then consulted on the opening menu at City Counter in the Financial District, is now the executive chef at CITY COUNTER. He has added a County Line chicory Caesar salad (with pomegranate, bacon, and his famous pecorino dressing), and he’s working on a new happy hour menu—come by Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm for it (they have also added Lo-Fi Cocktails to the menu). Open Mon-Fri 11am-7pm. 115 Sansome St. at Bush, 415-844-0633.
Tidbits: New Taiyaki Spot, Half Off at One Market, Mardi Gras Plans
You like cute waffle sandwiches in the shape of a Japanese fish? Of course you do. There’s a new taiyaki place that has opened in Union Square, AMAMI, offering a variety of fillings (like red azuki bean and white mochi, or matcha cream with black sesame mochi—get one freshly made), plus green tea matcha soft-serve ice cream on the side, hot or cold tea lattes, and more. 430 Geary Blvd. at Mason.
This Saturday may be ONE MARKET’s big 25th anniversary dinner, but this Friday February 9th, you can enjoy half off the entire menu all day and night, including all beverages! It’s a wonderful way to say “thank you” to their customers. Reservations are strongly suggested but there will also be some tables open for walk-ins.
Just in case you are plotting your plans for Mardi Gras (which is next Tuesday February 13th), here are a few ideas for you: of course BRENDA’S FRENCH SOUL FOOD will be serving up beignets for brunch (and is offering king cake beignets until then!), JUST FOR YOU in Dogpatch will be serving their traditional N’awlins fare, and you can snag some po’boys at QUEEN’S LOUISIANA PO’BOYS (they have their new location at Pier 33). And there’s the newish BAYOU in the Mission too.
TOWN HALL always throws a helluva party, and THE ELITE CAFE is hosting a party too, with unlimited crawfish. SF Beer Week plus Mardi Gras equals a party on the patio at 4505 BURGERS AND BBQ with special beer releases from Harmonic Brewing, po’boys, gumbo, and king cake. ALBA RAY’S will have live music in addition to a special Mardi Gras menu (including andouille corn dogs, jambalaya cones, po’boy sliders, and beignets with a king cake twist). Frozen Irish coffee slushies will keep you going. Laissez le bon temps rouler!
And if you want something with less beads and Hurricanes but still some Louisiana soul, SERPENTINE is kicking off its new once-a-month Sunday Supper Series beginning Sunday February 11th and will celebrate the flavors of Louisiana served family style for just $40 per person (tip not included, tickets here).
East Bay Openings, from Nyum Bai to Elbo Room Jack London Square
East Bay friends, get ready to start your engines (or top up your BART card) to head to Fruitvale for the opening of NYUM BAI from Nite Yun in the former Half Orange space. I’ll have more on this Cambodian street food outpost in a couple of weeks—it’s due to open on Saturday February 17th. Nite’s beautiful cooking bewitched many of us during her pop-ups in San Francisco and at her stand in the Emeryville Public Market, and now she has her own brick and mortar. It will be open Wed-Mon 11am-2:30pm and 5pm-9pm.
Open now in Rockridge is the first LA BOULANGERIE DE SAN FRANCISCO, serving Pascal Rigo’s lineup of croissants, egg sandwiches, tartines, salads, and coffee service. It opened in the former Pasta Pomodoro. Open Mon-Fri 6:30am-7pm, Sat 7am-7pm, and Sun 7am-6pm. 5500 College Ave. at Lawton, Oakland, 510-350-8332. [Via Nosh.]
Another SF import that will be coming over to the East Bay is a second location of the Mission’s ELBO ROOM. While the bar begins to count down its last year on its lease in SF, it will be opening in Jack London Square in the former Night Light (also a two-level space) as ELBO ROOM JACK LONDON SQUARE. Eater caught the announcement on Facebook, and it looks like an early to mid-February opening is the current timeline. So, soon. 311 Broadway at 4th St., Oakland.
That same Nosh post mentions Cassandra Chen of CC Made is in soft-opening mode of her new café, ZAZZI FOODS, offering granola bowls (she owns and produces Café Fanny granola), toasts, and more, including coffee service with Tartine Coffee Manufactory. 1398 University Ave. at Acton, Berkeley.
Berkeley students should be happy with the new location of SLIVER PIZZERIA after their quick shuttering in their former location, serving their vegetarian pie of the day in the former Pieology. Now open daily 11am-10:30pm at 2468 Telegraph Ave. at Haste, Berkeley. Via Nosh
While Charlie Hallowell’s restaurant group (Pizzaiolo, Penrose, and Boot & Shoe Service) attempts to stabilize while he “steps away” for a six-month leave—with some employees choosing to leave since he isn’t—it looks like the second location of BOOT AND SHOE SERVICE that was coming to Berkeley’s Shattuck Avenue has been put on hold. The Chronicle piece also mentions there is a new chief operating officer, Donna Insalaco, who will run the restaurants for now.
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
(Sponsored Event): This Saturday! One Market Restaurant Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary with Legendary Chefs' Dinner Gala.
Co-founder and managing partner Michael Dellar, chef-partner Mark Dommen, and GM-partner Larry Bouchard invite you to a taste of 25 Years of One Market Restaurant. Legendary chefs, including Bradley Ogden, George Morrone, Patti Dellamonica-Bauler, and Adrian Hoffman—who made the fabric of the restaurant from day one—come together to celebrate this historic Silver Anniversary. Enjoy an all-inclusive evening, beginning with cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres, followed by a seated five-course dinner with extraordinary wine pairings. Each One Market chef will create a course highlighting the best of their offerings while at the helm. All for just $165.
This grand night will be filled with even more superlatives, including a performance by the internationally renowned jazz songstress, Paula West, an original One Market employee. And a portion of the ticket proceeds will benefit the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.
For more information and to purchase your tickets, click here.
Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Booze News: Del Mar Opens, Hotaling & Co., Almanac Barrel House and Taproom in Alameda
Over in the Marina, the former HiFi Lounge has been reconcepted and redesigned into DEL MAR, a tropical oasis. Partners Max Young (Mr. Smith’s, The Bamboo Hut, McNally’s Irish Pub, and The Reel Fish Shop and Grill) and Michael Wilbert (Mr. Smith’s) spent four months redesigning the space, which now includes hand-built swings and swing chairs (making it hard to tell how tipsy you really are), custom jungle print wallpaper, a spray-painted surf mural by local artist Camer1, and a bar and back bar refaced with shou sugi ban cypress from Delta Millworks in Austin, Texas (each piece of wood was specifically milled, burned, and then painted by hand). Of course there’s a tropical-inspired cocktail menu to match, including a 12-year aged rum mai tai and a Venezuelan rum old-fashioned, plus bowls for sharing and a daily slushie. Happy hour starts tomorrow (February 7th), running 5pm-8pm, plus DJs and dancing on the weekends. Sunday afternoons will be coming in the spring. 2125 Lombard St. at Fillmore.
A name change in the local spirits world: with the sale of Anchor Brewing to Sapporo Holdings Limited, Anchor Distilling Co. is now Hotaling & Co. (the company relinquished the rights to the Anchor trademark). For those of you who know your SF history, the Hotaling name should be familiar: A.P. Hotaling, who came to San Francisco during the Gold Rush, was the largest liquor wholesaler in the West, and amazingly his whiskey warehouse didn’t burn down in the 1906 quake and fire—there is both a rhyme and a special Old Potrero release named Hotaling’s in honor of the booze miracle. You can read more (and learn the rhyme) in the press release here. Dennis Carr remains the company’s president and CEO, and Hotaling & Co. will also remain under the ownership of London’s Berry Bros. & Rudd and Tony Foglio.
Big news in beer land: Jesse Friedman and Damian Fagan of Almanac Beer Co. just opened their brand-new 30,000-square-foot production brewery, barrel house, taproom, and HQ in Alameda. The Almanac Barrel House and Taproom will serve barrel-aged and fresh beers on-site (where they are brewed). There’s an indoor beer hall and an outdoor beer garden overlooking San Francisco Bay. Food is currently not available, but they will have food trucks most days, and outside food and deliveries are welcome. Kids are also welcome (supervised!) and so are dogs (on the outdoor patio only). Open Wed-Sat 12pm-8pm and Sun 12pm-6pm. 651B W Tower Ave. at Pan Am Way, Alameda Island.
(Also worth noting: last week, I featured Admiral Maltings and The Rake, which are just next door—and actually brought Almanac on board to share the space—so you can make it a double play.)