This week's tablehopper: my big fat Greek trip.
A memorable lunch at Marina’s Taverna in Corfu. I will be dreaming of her bourdeto with sweet potato and baked eggplant for a long, long time. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Kalispera! Yours truly is back from Greece 2, and unlike the movie, this sequel was soooo good. Corfu is a magical island, with such a fascinating history (the Venetians ruled the island for 400 years, and Old Town Corfu made me feel like I was back living in Castello!) and cuisine that felt more Italian than mainland Greek. We got to taste a multitude of traditional and housemade Corfiot dishes during an evening event at the Corfu Food and Wine Festival, what a dream.
I packed in a lot in just one week—when you travel that far, you gotta cover some serious ground. I was so touched by the continual kindness and incredible hospitality of the Corfiots, from the café baristas to the taverna chefs to the home cooks to the shop owners. I had so many enjoyable conversations with people.
The island was so verdant, full of kumquats and olive trees, and I was lucky to get a break in the storms one day and head to the beach for a couple hours. There was barely anyone there, and I was one of the only people in the water. A dip in the salty and clear Mediterranean restores me on a cellular level, I swear. I even met a real-live Durrell while on Corfu. (I can’t wait to binge watch the show this weekend.)
I’ve been joking about starting a new clothing line: My Big Fat Greek Pants. And My Big Fat Greek Caftans. Although I actually lost a couple pounds on this trip, what the hell, efharisto to Artemis and her badass fellow goddesses for looking over me this trip, and my waistline.
Now that I’m back, it’s time to start looking at how I’m going to find some summer vibes with all these gray days. One tactic is to look ahead to some alfresco events in Wine Country, like the Kendall-Jackson Farm to Table dinner series, which start up in June (the June 8th dinner is almost at capacity, FYI) and run through October 12th. Each family-style dinner features a different purveyor and ingredients from their culinary gardens—I can’t wait for a warm evening dinner in their stunning estate gardens, with rosé in hand, and my cute mother at my side!
If you’re one of my canna-curious readers, you won’t want to miss this upcoming Pineapple Collaborative event I’m moderating: Flower to the People on Thursday May 30th. We’re going to take a cannabis deep dive with guests Raeven Duckett of Supernova Women, Haejin Chun of Big Bad Wolf, and Jewel Zimmer of Juna Drops, covering everything from handy micro-dosing tips and terminology for the everyday womxn, to CBD’s wellness properties, and how we as consumers can support womxn and communities of color who have long been discriminated against in the cannabis economy.
The event will be hosted by the chic Canopy in Jackson Square, and we’ll sample non-medicated treats and take home goodies (also non-medicated) from SuuKuu (my latest obsession), Lulu’s Chocolate, Plant Magic, and sip on make-your-own sparkling beverages. Thanks to our friends at Caviar, we’ll enjoy a spread from La Mediterranee. See you there? Tickets here.
Okay, gang, let’s dive in. I hope to see you around soon. I think it’s time for a tablehopper dinner or something. :) XO Marcia Gagliardi
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Openings Include ONE65 Patisserie & Boutique, Ichi Sando, Dumpling Specialist, More
So, the very first part of the multi-level ONE65 from chef/partner Claude Le Tohic has opened in Union Square: ONE65 Patisserie & Boutique. Located on the street level, you’ll find a contemporary French patisserie experience, with breakfast and lunch service, and classic bistro seating in a black-and-white space designed by D-Scheme Studio. Freshly baked breads, pastries, chocolates, ice cream, macarons, and more are available. There is also barista service and a selection of wines on tap. Open Mon-Sat 7:30am-7pm and Sun 8:30am-4pm.
ONE65 Patisserie & Boutique is the first of the four restaurants to open, with ONE65 Bistro (opening May 24th), Elements at ONE65 (opening May 24th) and O’ by Claude Le Tohic (opening June 6th) to follow. I’ll have more on all that in coming issues! 165 O’Farrell St. at Powell.
In case you want to go blow some serious cash, another omakase sushi restaurant has opened in the space that Hashida was supposed to be in. The new restaurant is SUSHI NAGAI, with chef Tomonori Nagai’s menu starting at $200. 125 Ellis St. at Cyril Magnin.
Japanese sandwiches with katsu, tamago, and more are beginning to trend stateside, and we now have not one but two new places serving them. Newly open in Japantown is ICHI SANDO (no relation to our beloved Ichi Sushi), serving four modern versions of Japanese sandwiches: dashimaki tamago in soft, white milk bread, along with a cheese version, or prosciutto, or mentaiko (with cod roe), and you get your choice of sauce. Also on the menu: a sweet version of the sandwiches (strawberry cream), a couple desserts (like shaved milk with chocolate ice cream, red beans, mochi, and shaved milk), and milk teas, including a strawberry latte. Open Wed-Sun 11:30am-9pm. 1581 Webster St. at Post.
The other location is CAFE OKAWARI in China Basin, which includes a chicken katsu sandwich, along with a couple bowls (chirashi, vegan), a salad, and an onsen tamago dish (poached egg and rice with toppings). I tried to get some info but no word on soft-opening hours, follow their Insta for updates. 236 Townsend St. at Clyde.
Breakfast fanatics know Nob Hill’s Mymy well, and now the owners have opened PLAIN JANE in the former Hoffman’s in the Mission, serving brunch dishes like smoked duck breast hash, an oyster mushroom scramble, or a trio of pancakes in their sweet flight (red velvet pancake, a cottage cheese pancake, and pan de mie custardy French toast), which I showed a picture of to a friend and he replied, “That looks like a nap waiting to happen.” Purr. Open daily 8am-2:30pm. 1000 Guerrero St. at 22nd St.
There’s a new Turkish place in Bernal called SHISH KE BABA, serving dips, housemade breads and pies (boreks), soups, kebabs, and wraps. And it’s priced right: an adana kebab platter (with rice and sides) is just $16. Open daily 11am-9pm. 59 30th St. at San Jose, 415-926-8955.
If you were sad over the closure of DUMPLING KITCHEN, it ends up the father couldn’t stay retired for long, so Paul Yu and his daughter Rebecca have reopened as DUMPLING SPECIALIST in a nearby location in Parkside, serving their housemade dumplings once again. It’s a tiny space, open Thu-Tue 11am-2:30pm and 5pm-8pm. 1123 Taraval St. at 21st Ave. [Via Eater.]
As mentioned in a previous tablehopper, COOK SHOPPE is now open in the former Chow on Church, with an updated space full of plants and a lighter look. The new menu is still approachable with a comfort-driven style, but certainly pricier than before (but, that’s SF these days, and at least they’re using sustainable, organic, and housemade ingredients). Hours are Mon-Thu 11am-10:30pm, Fri 11am-12am, Sat 10am-12am, and Sun 10am-10:30pm. 215 Church St. at Market, 415-552-2469.
And just so you know, Presidio Twilight has returned on Thursday evenings, bringing food trucks, live DJs, fire pits, and a full bar every Thursday from 5pm-9pm. This year includes some lawn domes to keep you even cozier.
Updates: Chef Nora Haron in SF, New Pizza Shops Coming (Flour + Water Pizzeria, Gioia Pizzeria)
Great news for folks who were previously loving chef Nora Haron’s Singaporean-Indonesian-Californian cuisine while she was at Oakland’s Drip Line Cafe—she is now in San Francisco at LOCAL KITCHEN, a 10-year-old SoMa restaurant from owner Jeff Handy. She will reprise some of her popular dishes, like chicken satay skewers, lamb meatballs, Singaporean chicken rice, and za’aar roti.
She’s also going to be putting her baking skills to work (while she was the head kitchen manager and culinary operations manager for Blue Bottle, she was known for making some awesome sourdough pastries). Look for some sourdough pizzas, with toppings like beef rendang (braised brisket, mozzarella, roasted pineapple, micro basil), and baked goods like kaya toast and pandan cake are also in the works. There’s an extensive wine list and cocktails as well to go with your laksa or Singaporean chicken rice. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Sat 5:30pm-10pm, Sun 5:30pm-9pm. 330 1st St. at Folsom.
And I’ll be writing about these two spots in the next issue, but just so you know, FLOUR + WATER PIZZERIA from chef Thomas McNaughton is due to open by late May in the former Farina Pizzeria space on Valencia in the Mission. Stand by for THE BIG SLICE, which is basically a quarter of a pizza, and I am here for it. Hours will be 11am-11pm. 700 Valencia St. at 18th St.
And I just received word that the upcoming GIOIA PIZZERIA Hayes Valley (in the former Two Sisters Bar & Books space) is opening Friday June 7th. Details in the next issue. 579 Hayes St. at Octavia.
Changes in Daniel Patterson's Alta Group (at Dyafa, Kaya Closed), Dabba Marina and Avedano's Closing
First, Heena Patel of Besharam announced she was splitting off from Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group, and now Nigel Jones of Kaya has ended his partnership and closed the restaurant (you’ll still be able to find him at Kingston 11, his restaurant in Oakland). And this just in: Reem Assil of Dyafa at Jack London Square is terminating her consulting agreement with Alta Group on August 9th. Read more about the issues afoot in Alta Group in this SF Chronicle piece.
After a year in business, DABBA is closing its Marina location—they are focusing on a new franchise partnership; the popular SoMa location will remain open. [Via Eater.]
And after 12 years in business on Bernal, AVEDANO’S butcher shop has decided to close on Sunday June 30th. It ends up their rent has more than doubled, and their building, and the building next door which houses their private dining room (the Udder Room), kitchen, bathroom, general storage, and production space have been sold. Add in labor issues, the fact that many people get their groceries delivered, and other hardships, and they have decided to close, unless someone comes up with some bright idea with how they can continue, or some iteration of the business. You can read the full note on their website. Best wishes. 235 Cortland Ave. at Bonview.
New Brunches at Prairie and True Laurel, Mestiza, and Breakfast at Bloom
It’s time to add some extra-deliciousness to your weekend brunch lineup. Serving brunch both Sat-Sun is PRAIRIE, with chef-owner Anthony Strong cookin’ up some truly creative dishes that speak to me, like a grilled pork blade chop with a Calabrian XO fried egg. You can also get that egg on a Carolina Gold rice waffle with salted maple butter, uh huh. Pressed omelet sandwich. Bellwether sheep’s milk yogurt danish with slow-roasted strawberries. So much goodness.
And they have all their awesome cocktails featuring fresh juices. Brunch is serrrrrved. Plus: reservations! Sat-Sun 11am-2:30pm. 3431 19th St. at San Carlos.
Also in the Mission, TRUE LAUREL has kicked off weekend brunch service from chef David Barzelay and chef de cuisine Geoff Davis, with dishes like lamb carnitas and spring greens, asparagus, peas, and a cast-iron sizzled egg; heirloom cornmeal pancakes with sweet corn butter and smoked maple syrup; and soft-scrambled eggs with chicken confit, housemade fermented hot sauce, chives, and lots of butter. You can also get that sick patty melt they do so well, and top it with a beef fat-fried egg. Lawdy.
Some new brunch cocktails from their talented bar (led by Nicolas Torres) will also in the house, like the True Brew (Grand cold brew, Caffè Amaro, PX Sherry, cold crème), and the bar will stay open after brunch service into dinner service. That stylish room is also going to look great during the day. Sat-Sun 11am-2pm. No reservations. 753 Alabama St. at 19th St.
Over at MESTIZA TAQUERIA in SoMa, brunch is in effect, now we just need the weather to warm up so we can take full advantage of their awesome, tropical patio. They’re also bringing in live DJs, plus hosting a mini-mercado with locally made crafts.
Start with some malasadas, move toward some chilaquiles verdes (with lemongrass chicken) or a choose-your-own silog bowl, like with Filipino pork adobo. And then there are Carlos’s cochinita pibil tacos, along with some low-ABV brunch cocktails and a killer-sounding and spiced coffee drink, the Mokkapino. Sign me up! Brunch is served Sat-Sun 10:30am-2:30pm. 595 Bryant St. at 4th St.
I have already mentioned all the wondrous things happening over at DANDELION CHOCOLATE’s new factory, café, and retail shop in the Mission, and now they have launched their breakfast service and afternoon chocolate experiences at Bloom Chocolate Salon, such as chocolate and ice cream tastings.
Executive pastry chef Lisa Vega has put together a breakfast menu that includes cake for breakfast, a chocolate chip pancake cake with vanilla cream and chocolate maple sauce, along with other delish picks that will make you want to schedule your next morning meeting in this chic space. Afternoon service will offer signature experiences, including Afternoon Chocolate with classic French pastries and hot chocolate, served in the traditional style of afternoon tea. Bloom is open Tue-Sun 9am-6pm, with breakfast until 11:30am. 2600 16th St. at Alabama.
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
(Sponsored Event): CUESA's Summer Bash, The Freshest Party of the Season
Sunday June 9th, 2019, 6pm-9pm | San Francisco Ferry Building
Celebrate the start of summer with a spectacular evening of peak-season deliciousness and warm-weather delights. For one night only, experience the Ferry Building as it is transformed for an epic party to feed your senses and soul. At CUESA’s Summer Bash, you’ll feast on unlimited food and drink from the Bay Area’s best chefs and bartenders, while supporting local farms and healthy communities.
• Savor impeccable food and drink from 45 top restaurants and 20 of the region’s finest spirit companies, wineries, breweries, and beverage makers • Explore San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building like you never have before, with live music and fun activities around every corner • Win one-of-a-kind foodie experiences in the Summer Bash Silent Auction and Raffle
Receive 15% off tickets with code tablehoppersummer (already applied in the link)!
Proceeds from this event provide vital funds for CUESA’s education programs, like Foodwise Kids and Foodwise Teens, which empower the next generation of healthy eaters.
Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Willkommen Opens in the Castro, Here's How in Uptown, New Umami Mart
Now open in the Castro is WILKOMMEN, an indoor beer garden from SoMa’s Black Hammer Brewing, serving 10 of their beers, plus local ciders, hard kombucha, and a full food menu (including sausage from Rosamunde, fries, potato salad, pretzels, and a daily roast salad, sandwich, or plate). There are high ceilings, plenty of plants, and picnic tables (outdoor seating is coming as well). Come by for lunch or dinner and a pint. Read more on Hoodline. Open 11:30am-11pm, and until 12am Fri-Sat. 2198 Market St. at Sanchez.
Congrats to Jennifer Colliau, the talented bartender (she opened several bars in the Bay Area, including The Interval, Hard Water, and The Perennial, and was part of the Slanted Door Group for nearly a decade) and creator behind Small Hands Foods—she has now opened her first bar called HERE’S HOW in Uptown Oakland. Expect modern techniques but no pretension—she’s made sure guests can see what goes into making craft cocktails, from watching ice being cut in the open prep room to cocktails being carbonated and canned. The cocktails are sophisticated yet fun, and yay, affordable too, check the menu. Look for beer, wine, and intensely cold and bubbly sodas too.
There’s also a global menu of elevated snacks, from popcorn shrimp popcorn to Peruvian ceviche to a crunchy fried chicken sandwich—and the kitchen is open until 11:30pm Sun-Thu and until 12:30am Fri-Sat! The bar is open Sun-Thu 4pm-12am and Fri-Sat until 1am. 1780 Telegraph Ave. at 18th St., Oakland.
Congrats to Kayoko Akabori and Yoko Kumano of UMAMI MART, who have opened a new location in Temescal for their Japanese bar shop, which finally has a tasting room (a six-seat bar) so you can sample their well-chosen Japanese sakes, beers, and shochus. And then you can peruse their shelves of glassware and decide what you want to use at home as a conduit to drink that bottle you’re getting. Look for future events too! Open Wed-Sun 12pm-7pm; the Umami Mart Bar will be open Fri-Sun. 4027 Broadway at 40th St., Oakland. [Via Eater.]
Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
StarChefs: San Francisco Rising Stars Award Winners
Tuesday Jun 11, 2019 5:45pm (VIP), 6:30pm awards ceremony $100 and up Tickets Terra Gallery 511 Harrison St. San Francisco,
StarChefs, the national restaurant industry magazine, is returning to San Francisco to celebrate the 2019 Rising Star Award Winners, with a number of new categories, such as Game Changer (Sayat Ozyilmaz, Laura Ozyilmaz, Noosh) and Charcuterie (John Harley Richter, Verjus), plus they continue to focus on Sustainability (Kim Alter, Nightbird). From January through April, the editorial team met with chefs, pastry chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, and artisans across San Francisco and Oakland.
The winners will be present at an awards ceremony and walk-around tasting gala at Terra Gallery on Tuesday June 11th, from Nico to Robin to Tartine Manufactory.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit La Cocina, a nonprofit working to solve problems of equity in business ownership for women, immigrants, and people of color.
5:45pm VIP reception 6:30pm awards ceremony 7pm-9:30pm tasting gala
Tickets: General admission tickets are $100 and grant access to the Tasting Gala. VIP tickets are $175 and grant access to the VIP Reception with Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, along with the Awards Ceremony and Tasting Gala.