That’s one way to get handed a glass of bubbles. Cheers, darlings! Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Whoooooosh, well, that was an action-packed weekend. Sunday was the 38th annual Academy of Friends gala and Oscar party (there are five AIDS/HIV organizations that will benefit from this year’s gala’s ticket sales), and I was in charge of coordinating the 16 restaurant partners, which were feeding 800 guests that night! I was in awe of watching all the restaurants load in, set up, and bang it out. #beastmode
Tremendous thanks and gratitude to all the restaurant partners that took part: the food was phenomenal! Take a look on Instagram for a recap, from the superlative carnitas tacos from Uno Dos to Nightbird’s waffles with The Caviar Co. caviar, smoked egg yolk, and crème fraîche, plus foie gras pot stickers from Eight Tables, savory cotton candy cones from The Alembic, festive carnival-inspired desserts from Kahnfections, Le Marais Bakery, and Precita Park Café, and…Barbra Streisand! The circus theme was so much fun.
The restaurant community already works so hard and is so short on any free time, so to have them support our fundraiser in such a big way really means a lot. The best way to say thanks is to visit them! Here’s who you can move to the top of your dining rock star list: Gibson, Eight Tables, Nightbird, The Caviar Co., Kahnfections, China Live, Maybeck’s, Uno Dos Tacos, Rooh, Nomica, Mr. Espresso, Perle, Serpentine, The Alembic, Precita Park Café, Bluestem Brasserie, Le Marais, The Saratoga (who made a fab cocktail!), and Goat Hill Pizza (who so generously fed our awesome volunteers)! Big round of applause and so much gratitude. THANK YOUUUUUUU!
March came in like a lion, and how fitting, it’s Women’s History Month! Rawr. Don’t forget La Cocina is celebrating International Women’s Day all week with A Week of Women in Food (March 5th-11th). Take a look at the special dinners hosted at locations around town, pairing La Cocina chefs with local chefs, plus beer and spirits partners.
And next Monday March 12th, don’t miss Jardinière’s new Noches en Mexico series, taking place the second Monday of each month. Sous chefs Christinne Marmolejo and Carlos Trujillo will create a three-course menu featuring cuisine from a specific destination, with beverage pairings included. The 12th is off to the city of Aguascalientes.
All righty gang, I’m still catching up with my damn self, so let’s get to this week’s hopper.
Cheers! Marcia Gagliardi
After a six-month hiatus and move, NICO is finally set to reopen in Jackson Square (in the former Black Cat!) in early April. When they reopen, husband-and-wife team chef Nicolas and Andrea Delaroque will begin with weekday lunch service (Tue-Fri) and Saturday dinners, continuing with a modern French style highlighting market-fresh ingredients. There will be prix-fixe menus (either three courses for $38 or two for $32), while dinner will bring a four-course menu for $62, as well as a six-course $75 “carte blanche” menu, if you want a chef’s choice menu.
A new addition will be full liquor, so expect a tight cocktail list from consultant Danielle Peters (Wild Craft Wandering Bar Service). There will be some bar snacks, too, like wild mushroom waffle and Atika cheese. Look for some of the original team to return, from front of house to kitchen team members. They look forward to greeting their former customers. I’ll keep you posted on the opening. 710 Montgomery St. at Washington.
The former Thai Stick (a name that has made me laugh for years) in Pacific Heights/Upper Fillmore has new owners, and The New Fillmore confirms one of the three partners is John Litz, a partner in Lazy Bear. The new project will be fine casual—no tasting menus here—but you can still expect excellent hospitality. They will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a late-night menu, with cocktails. His two chef-partners have reportedly cooked in “Michelin-starred restaurants locally and abroad” but that’s all we know on the food for now. There will also be a redesign, but the long bar will stay—and outdoor seating will be added. Stand by for more details. 2001 Fillmore at Pine.
There’s a new delivery-only Chinese restaurant in the Inner Sunset called THE LITTLE FRESH, and it looks pretty damn good—more than a little. The chef is from Tianjin, China, and the menu includes Sichuan and Northern Chinese dishes, like smashed cucumbers, spicy chicken Sichuan style, cold noodles with sliced chicken, and mapo tofu. Great news: they deliver late! You’ll find them on UberEats (use my code eats-ubertablehopper for $5 off) or use code MARCIAG on Postmates. Hours are Sun-Thu 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-1am. 420 Judah St. at 9th Ave.
In the Outer Sunset, there’s a new dumpling spot open called YUANBAO JIAOZI, and they make their dumplings fresh and on-site. Flavors include celery and fish, pork and three delicacies (leek, egg, and shrimp), shrimp and zucchini, and more. You can get some of them in soup or panfried instead of steamed. There are also some side dishes to round out your meal. Open daily 11am-10pm. 2110 Irving St. at 22nd Ave.
Fans of the banh mi sandwiches (which include housemade mayo) from BUNN MIKE will find a new second location in Potrero Hill. You’ll also be able to pick up Dynamo Donut and coffee from Oakland’s AKA Coffee. Open daily 10:30am-5pm. 300 De Haro St. at 16th St. [Via Hoodline.]
Bagel lovers, you’re going to want to head to Bernal’s PIZZAHACKER on Sunday mornings for the new BagelMacher pop-up. You’ll find everything bagels, plus smoked salt, sesame, sesame za’atar, poppy, and a raisin ras el hanout (spicy)—yeah, that chef Robert Feely has no shortage of creativity. The bagels are naturally leavened (in keeping with the pizza magic they do over there) and boiled in lye water. Bagels are $2 each, and you can get shmears and more, like Sierra Nevada organic cream cheese, grass-fed butter, avocado, or fruit preserves for just $2.
There’s also the Big Macher ($10, on your choice of bagel) with lox, cucumber, red onion, capers, cream cheese, preserves (the menu says: “Yes, jelly and lox, just trust me”), served open-faced (again, the menu speaks: “What are we? Animals?”). If the jelly is just asking too much, you can also order the Lil Pisher, which is the same as Big Macher, but without jelly.
Available 10:30am-1pm, and they hope to expand to Saturdays soon. And just in case you’re planning to buy a bunch for your friends or the freezer, they’re only doing 150 a day, so no dozens to go just yet. There’s also coffee available from The Coffee Shop, so sit back and enjoy your brunch. 3299 Mission St. at 29th St.
More fun in pizza land: CASEY’S PIZZA in Mission Bay is now serving lunch on Fri (11:30am-3pm) and Sat (hours are 11:30am-9pm). Which means the brunch pie is back. And that’s a great thing. 1170 4th St. at Long Bridge.
Another tidbit for you: over near Precita Park, HILLSIDE SUPPER CLUB just turned five and has three new special offers, starting with a Sunday Supper, when guests can make their own $40 prix-fixe menu by choosing a dish from each menu category (starters, mains, and desserts—and there’s a chicken potpie currently on the menu, jus’ sayin’). They are also offering Free Corkage Mondays and “10 at 10” Weekends, when all small plate starters (there are nine to choose from) and wines by the glass are $10 from 10pm to close. Knowing their great wine list, you’ll want to check that out. 300 Precita Ave. at Folsom.
DOÑA TOMÁS owner Dona Savitsky recently returned from a trip to Mexico City and is launching a regional lunch menu for next week (Tuesday March 13th-Friday March 16th, 11am-2:30pm). The menu sounds delicioso: al pastor and grilled pineapple taco with fried onions and avocado salsa ($4.25), rajas en crema quesadilla with pico de gallo ($4.25), fried rock shrimp taco with chipotle aioli and purple cabbage ($4.25), tuna ceviche tostada with avocado, cucumber, and aioli ($6), and churros with Mexican chocolate ($5), plus a cucumber-pineapple agua fresca ($4). Pray for patio weather. 5004 Telegraph Ave. at 51st St., Oakland.
East Bay eaters have yet another way to score 4505 BURGERS & BBQ at their door before 4505 opens this summer in Oakland: UberEats is now delivering every Wed-Sun from 5pm-9pm, which means you can get the best damn cheeseburger, or a two-meat plate, or their awesome Cobb salad. Hopper faves: the bone-in smoked chicken (OMG, order a half pound!), the brisket, the smoky posole (although they need to tweak the cost-size ratio), and the meaty baked beans. The pork spare ribs are epic. Look for some specials coming soon that will be unique to UberEats. Get $5 off your first order on UberEats with my code: eats-ubertablehopper.
Wine lovers will want to catch this screening of the documentary Our Blood Is Wine, about the 8,000-year-old winemaking tradition in the Republic of Georgia, on Sunday March 11th at The New Parkway at 3pm. There will be a Q&A and wine tasting following the screening with filmmaker Emily Railsback, sommelier Jeremy Quinn, and the Georgian winemakers featured in the film. 474 24th St. at Telegraph, Oakland.
(Sponsored): Cheese Lovers, Get Your Tickets to the California Artisan Cheese Festival (March 23rd-25th)!
Cheese, cheese, and more cheese… Get your tickets now before they sell out for the 12th Annual California Artisan Cheese Festival March 23rd-25th in Santa Rosa. Nosh your way through The Best Bite on Friday night, an epic walk-around tasting and friendly competition with cheesemakers, chefs, and cheese mongers paired with beer, wine, and cider.
Saturday, treat yourself to insightful and delicious seminars and pairing sessions with industry experts. Then it’s a happy two hours at Cheese & Cocktails, with distilled spirits and artisan cheese sampling. Sunday wraps up the weekend with a lively multicourse Bubbles Brunch and the ever-popular Artisan Cheese Tasting & Marketplace, with more than 100 cheese, beverage, and artisan vendors! It’s a cheese lover’s DREAM. Buy tickets at artisancheesefestival.com and follow us @artisancheesefestival!
Comedian, writer, and actor Eric Wareheim was in town for La Paulée (aka lots of dudes and Burgundy) and made an appearance at a welcome party at The Midway (where a friend said, “It took all my strength not to try to be the Dev to his Arnold”). According to his Instagram, he also hit up Tony’s Pizza Napoletana (Detroit red top pizza for the win), Tartine Manufactory (carbs and fantastic wine!), Coi (caviar!), and Scribe Winery.