This week's tablehopper: crab and Cognac.
Get excited for SEVEN preparations of crab at the tablehopper crab and Cognac holiday supper at M.Y. China with Rémy Martin! Photo: © tablehopper.com.
High, gang! How is it December 17th? I swear, this holiday is just flying by (but then again, I’ve been working nonstop on the launch of the new mymilly box—the nation’s first direct-to-consumer subscription and discovery box for microdosers—over at mymilligram, so I know what’s taking up allllllll my time). But the holidays found me! Coming home from The Emerald Cup on Sunday evening, I was greeted with the most amazing vision: two live and lit-up Christmas trees gallivanting down the street in my neighborhood. Of course I had to pull over.
The holiday spirit(s) continue: I am SO EXCITED to tell you about this very special crab and Cognac dinner I have put together! Yes, we’re having a tablehopper holiday supper on Saturday December 28th, so if you’re home during that week between Christmas and New Year’s, now you really have something to look forward to.
We’ll be feasting on seven kinds of crab at M.Y. China, with dumplings and off-the-menu dishes, plus some incredible cocktails and tastings from our sponsor Rémy Martin’s Cognac portfolio, including a tasting of Tercet! The price is unbelievable (just $99, all-inclusive) and tickets are VERY limited, so don’t delay! I’d so love to see you before the year is up! Let’s roll our sleeves up and enjoy this family-style feast together!
I hope you all enjoy the holiday season, with many good times shared with friends and family, which is really the best part. I’m grateful for your friendship and support and for so many of you who have been following me all these years. Looking forward to a new decade with you! And I’ll be back in your inboxes around the New Year with the bore, you can count on it! Ho ho ho, heh heh heh.
Love, Marcia, AKA Champers the elf
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
It's All About Crab and Cognac for the tablehopper Holiday Supper on December 28th!
SORRY EVERYONE, THIS EVENT SOLD OUT IN 90 MINUTES! THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST! A couple weeks ago, I posted some pics from an M.Y. CHINA media dinner I attended, celebrating the restaurant’s seventh birthday with an over-the-top menu of seven different preparations of crab. It was one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a while, and I got to thinkin’, “Wouldn’t it be fun to recreate it for my readers for a tablehopper holiday supper?” The answer is oh hell yes!
Over the years, I’ve so enjoyed hosting holiday meals during that quieter week between Christmas and New Year’s—it’s perfect for those of you who have family in town and are looking for something fun to do. So mark your calendar and get your ticket stat: Saturday December 28th is the tablehopper Crabtastic Holiday Supper with M.Y. China!
And since it’s the holidays, we need to make this supper extra-special—so how about a crab and cognac supper? That’s right, we’re partnering with Rémy Martin on a very memorable evening, featuring cocktails and tastings from their Cognac portfolio. We’ll enjoy cocktail pairings with 1738 Accord Royal, XO Cognac Fine Champagne, and a tasting of Tercet, made from three talents: the wine master, the master distiller, and the cellar master!
The family-style feast is going to feature quite the abundant menu, highlighting all seven preparations of crab on M.Y. China’s crab celebration menu (get ready to eat with your hands!), plus many off-menu dishes, including some fun dim sum, because you are so VIP. And just wait until you see the show-stopping dessert (executive chef Tony Wu puts on a show!). And all of it with Cognac cocktails and pairings? So over the top. You ready?
Appetizers: scallop shiu mai XO sauce (off the menu) flower crispy shrimp with mango yolk (off the menu) Shandong beef roll crispy har gow (off the menu)
The Seven Kinds of Crab: forbidden golden garlic steam crab salted egg yolk crab chili pepper crab coconut curry crab Jiangxi spicy crab sweet tamarind crab typhoon garlic dusted crab
Sweet and sour pork and Tercet tasting
Sides: Sichuan green beans Wild boar scissor-cut noodles (brown or white rice by request)
Dessert: ice cream/sugar egg puff/sugar cloud (off the menu)
Cocktail pairings and Tercet tasting provided by Rémy Martin.
The menu is subject to change, but this is the general awesome plan. Sorry, but dietary restrictions and modifications cannot be accommodated for this evening’s menu.
SORRY EVERYONE, THIS EVENT SOLD OUT IN 90 MINUTES! THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST!
Dinner will begin at 6pm. Since Rémy Martin is so generously hosting us, the ticket for this crabtastic and Cognac-tastic feast is only $99, all-inclusive. I know, unbelievable. Happy Holidays! We only have a limited number of 20 seats for this supper, so get your ticket ASAP.
We will also be making a donation to the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, we are so appreciative of everything they do to make sure people are fed for the holidays, and every other day of the year.
If you’re sad you will be out of town during this supper (sniff sniff), please know you can still come to M.Y. China and enjoy selections from their crab menu through January 17th.
M.Y. China Westfield San Francisco Centre Restaurant Collection Under the Dome 845 Market St., Suite 480 San Francisco, CA
Saturday Dec 28, 2019 6pm $99, all-inclusive more info
M.Y. China - Westfield San Francisco Centre, 845 Market St., 4th Fl., San Francisco - 415-580-3001
Chef Timothy Hollingsworth Opening a Restaurant in SF
Big news that came in (just before I was going to send this out!): chef Timothy Hollingsworth (known for his 13 years at The French Laundry, and now his restaurant Otium in LA) is returning to the Bay Area with his restaurant, ALL THESE YEARS, opening in San Francisco in spring 2020.
He’s moving into the now former Ayala next to the Hotel G (I was so sad to learn that chef Melissa Perfit had moved on when she came to shuck at my High Ho Silver party last month, I loved so many of her dishes at Ayala!). All These Years will be “a contemporary restaurant that celebrates America’s diverse food culture.” Stand by for more in the New Year. 398 Geary St. at Mason.
So Many New Openings, Just Pick a Cuisine
There are a bunch of brand-new and affordable openings that caught my eye for us to check out (let me know any winners!).
You gotta love a place called A BOWL OF CHICKEN SOUP AND RICE NOODLES. You can choose your own noodles and toppings (including beef and seafood options), and the restaurant is actually offering more than just chicken soup and noodles—there’s a bunch of appetizers on the Chinese menu as well, including fried salt-and-pepper chicken wings (or calamari, or prawns), roast duck, and many vegetable sides. Seems like the perfect season for this Tenderloin restaurant to open (it took over the former Eden Silk Road Cuisine). Open Wed-Sun 11:30am-9:30pm, Mon 11:30am-8:30pm. 572 O’Farrell St. at Jones.
If you’re looking for Cantonese classics, Hong Kong clay pot rice, congee, cheung fun (rice noodle rolls), and other dim sum dishes, there’s a new place in the Inner Richmond to check out: WEI GUO HOUSE. Open Tue-Sun 11:30am-3pm and 5pm-9:30pm. 3751 Geary Blvd. at 2nd Ave.
If you want to warm up over some Korean soups, stews, and ssam, there’s the brand-new SF HONEYPIG, offering lunch specials starting at $9.99, and Korean BBQ for dinner, plus hot stone dishes, and some serious combo dinners. Open daily 11am-10pm. 4217 Geary Blvd. at 7th Ave.
Across the Park, ROSE INDIAN CUISINE, offering mostly classic Northern Indian dishes on the menu, with different kinds of pakoras, plus some Himalayan dishes (momos) too. The breads look especially interesting, with some unique parathas and naan. Open daily 10:30am-10pm. 1386 9th Ave. at Judah.
Fans of the General Tso’s chicken at the former Wonderland in the Lower Haight, fear not. A new restaurant has taken its place, YH-BEIJING, with a sleek new exterior and interior, but the chef-owner is reportedly the same. Look for a new dim sum menu (with some trendy xiao long bao wrappers in different colors), Beijing-style dim sum and dishes, and some of the old-school Wonderland favorites. Open daily 11am-3pm and 4:30pm-9:30pm and Sat-Sun 11am-9:30pm. 500 Haight St. at Fillmore.
The former Tawla space in the Mission is now SUSHI SHIO, offering omakase (what else?) but with a Korean touch (from chef Alex Kim of Sushi Hon on Harrison). Open Sun-Thu 5:30pm-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-10:30pm. 206 Valencia St. at Duboce.
Further down Valencia is the new YASMIN, a Mediterranean spot from the kind Syrian owners of Palmyra in the Lower Haight (now open in the former Ali Baba’s Cave). What this means is awesome, freshly made falafel (get the plate, it’s better than the wrap), rotisserie chicken (you can get a whole chicken for $14), kabobs, kibbeh, wraps, salads, and more. Open daily 11am-11pm, and until 2am Fri-Sat. 799 Valencia St. at 18th St.
There’s also a new Mediterranean spot in Russian Hill: SUMAC, serving Istanbul street food (meets California love for wraps, rice bowls, and salads). You can check the menu here. Open daily 11am-9pm (until 10pm Fri-Sun). 1096 Union St. at Leavenworth St.
I’ll never understand why it’s so hard to find classic tortellini (filled with meat, screw all the cheese-filled ones, seriously), but the new TORTELLINO counter inside Market Hall lives up to its name, making authentic meat-filled tortellini (with mortadella!), and offering them in brodo (one of my top ten favorite dishes, ever), or in two kinds of sauce.
They’re making other dishes as well, like housemade lasagne bolognese, tagliatelle, gnocchi, and more. You know they’re truly Italian because they’re serving tomato bruschetta in the height of winter, LOL (that always makes me laugh—our Cal-Ital chefs would never!). The owner started the biz in Bologna, with three locations in Northern Italy. Open daily 11am-9pm. 1355 Market St. at 9th St.
Fans of Tropisueño should know they’ve opened a sister location, COCOSUEÑO in the former Straits on the 4th Floor Under the Dome at the Westfield Shopping Centre. You can peep the extensive menu here, which includes ceviches, soups, and their famed chile verde in larger plates, plus tacos, enchiladas, and tamales. And a full bar (which will come in handy after a day of holiday shopping). It’s more of a casual taqueria by day, and sit-down restaurant at night. Open daily 10am-8:30pm, and Sun 11am-7pm.
And last but certainly not least, Bayview/Hunter’s Point/India Basin has a new café, CAFÉ ALMA, from Kristin Houk of All Good Pizza and Tato. There’s an all-day menu of breakfast sandwiches, fresh salads, panini, smoothies, and soups, with a full coffee bar. The space is spacious (5,000 square feet!), and is designed to host events, guest chefs, workshops, pop-ups, community gatherings, and more. Open Tue-Fri 7am-3pm, Sat 8am-3pm. 888 Innes Ave. at Griffith.
Closures Include Fat Angel (No!), 331 Cortland Marketplace, More
This is going to have many people crying into their Hazy IPA: after ten years in business in the Fillmore, FAT ANGEL is calling it quits. I spoke with owner Jason Kirmse (who was also a player in the Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group), who says the decision to close wasn’t due to an all-too-common bad landlord situation (for once). He says it was time for a change—it was a great run, and now he’s considering other things to do. There’s a new tenant taking over the space, to be revealed soon. And great news: the Hi Neighbor Group will be absorbing their great staff at their other restaurant locations.
The last night you can get their famed pot pie (and kale salad) is on New Year’s Eve, when they will go out with a bang (expect some extra-special touches). Thanks to Jason and the team for providing people such a great first date spot, and a welcoming place for a beer (or wine) and bite all these years. 1740 O’Farrell St. at Fillmore St.
Also in the ten-year/it-has-been-a-good-run camp: after incubating numerous small food businesses in Bernal, 331 CORTLAND MARKETPLACE is calling it quits. You can read more on the owner’s non-food plans in this Hoodline piece.
After years of giggling over the name as I drive by it (try 22 years!), SQUAT & GOBBLE in the Castro has closed, and Hoodline reports a second location of owner Issa Sweidan’s Bonita Taqueria y Rotisserie will be moving in come early 2020 (the first location is in the Marina). Look for some pretty tasty-looking rotisserie chicken. The other locations of Squat & Gobble remain open in West Portal and the Marina, FYI, so you can still laugh with me. 3600 16th St. at Market.
Updates: Le Marais Castro Serving Dinner, Cassava Offering Brunch (Almost) Daily, More
Looking for a new, cozy spot for dinner? LE MARAIS CASTRO has just added dinner service, offering their everyday French classic dishes (French onion soup, Lyonnaise salad, croque monsieur, rotisserie chicken, boudin blanc, frites), plus a few weekend specials, like poulet pané (pan-fried chicken) and bœuf bourguignon. Plus they have wine, beer, and low-ABV beverages! They look forward to feeding the neighborhood! Dîner Wed-Sun 5pm-9pm. 498 Sanchez St. at 18th St.
Fans of CASSAVA can now enjoy their awesome brunch six days a week! Get their popular fried chicken sandwich, veggie rice bowl, and Japanese breakfast from 10am-2:15pm both on weekdays and weekends (but closed Tue)! And they now accept brunch reservations throughout the week. 3519 Balboa St. at 36th Ave.
Have you had a chance to enjoy the delicious Detroit-style pizza (and salads!) at SQUARE PIE GUYS in SoMa yet? They recently launched weekday lunch service, and added a new format (a selection of five different personal pizzas per day, with one rotating daily) and new dishes to the menu: Calabrese Hot Chicken Sandwich (I love their Buffalo chicken parm sandwich), a Papa Boach Salad (roasted kabocha squash, marinated cauliflower, arugula, green olives, and a red curry coconut vinaigrette), and the Square-Waiian Pizza (sliced ham, pickled red onion and jalapeño, pineapple). Hours are Tue-Fri 11:30am-2pm and 4:30pm-10pm, and they open at 4pm on Sat. 1077 Mission St. at 7th St.
Seasonal and Holiday Treats, from Dungeness Crab to Truffles to Mushroom Foraging
Holidays in SF mean it’s time for fresh, local Dungeness crab (finally, it’s here!). Of course, you can try to squeeze in to the counter at SWAN OYSTER DEPOT (go early and midweek!), a booth at SAM’S GRILL AND SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, and HAYES STREET GRILL offers a half-cracked crab and salad on the menu at lunch (open for lunch this weekend and Christmas Eve!) and dinner. (Do note they are closed Jan 1-6.)
Another classic (35 years and counting!) is PIER 23 CAFE RESTAURANT & BAR, which serves a whole Dungeness crab—it’s oven roasted and smothered in garlic, lemon, California white wine, and lots of butter (chef Bryan Baker utilizes the crab roe and fat in the broth for a richer flavor). Market price is $60 right now. Enjoy a view from the heated outdoor waterside patio and some live music.
If you can’t make it down to Pillar Point Harbor and pick them up off the boats, I’m a big fan of visiting “the girls” at ALIOTO-LAZIO FISH COMPANY on the Wharf in the morning.And SCOMA’S offers a service where you can order their regular or jumbo holiday crab online and have it packed up and ready to be picked up at a certain time. (Just park by the fish receiving station and pick up at the host stand.)
Next! It’s latke season, which means DELFINA is serving up their two versions from Sunday December 22nd through the 30th, plus some other “Jew-ish” holiday treats alongside their regular menu. And at their sister restaurant LOCANDA, don’t forget the Feast of the Seven Fishes is happening on Christmas Eve, check it out.
More latkes: ONE MARKET is serving chef Mark Dommen’s famous crispy latkes with housemade apple sauce and sour cream—the restaurant will be open 12/23, 12/27, and 12/28 during the holiday. Wine director Tonya Pitts will definitely pour you some fab bubbles to go with them.
Both locations of FIORELLA on Polk and Clement are serving some Hanukkah dishes à la carte: latkes with crème fraîche and quince butter, roasted beet salad, chicken matzo ball soup, beef brisket with wild mushroom noodle kugel, and nut and date coins. (From December 22nd-30th.)
PLÄJ in Hayes Valley is serving a traditional Swedish Christmas Julbord menu this Sunday December 22nd for $85/person. Make your reservation!
Have you enjoyed any white truffles yet? I’ve been working so much I haven’t made it out for any yet! One of my favorite places to enjoy this seasonal treat is PERBACCO, which offers a variety of classic Piemontese dishes, with five grams of white truffles shaved tableside. Available during dinner service through December 24th.
I thought this looked cool: on January 26th, Passalacqua Winery is partnering with Relish Culinary Adventures for a special wild mushroom foray and luncheon in Healdsburg. In the hills above Sonoma County, learn the fundamentals of edible wild mushroom foraging. Following the hillside excursion, return to Relish for a cooking demonstration and discussion on techniques for storing, handling, and cooking a variety of fresh and dry/wild and cultivated mushrooms. Guests will enjoy a three-course wild mushroom lunch, with guided wine pairings from Passalacqua Winery, led by winemaker Jessica Boone. Tickets available on Relishculinary.com (there are some other dates too!), $154 per person. Healdsburg.
Something to look forward to in the New Year: FRANCES started celebrating their tenth anniversary (!) with a series of dinners, featuring a star-studded line-up of guest chefs, sommeliers, and winemakers. Sponsored by OpenTable, Frances’ Tenth Anniversary Dinner Series will showcase women in the industry that have made an impact on chef-owner Melissa Perello and her teams at Frances, Octavia, and the newly opened M. Georgina in Los Angeles, with each dinner in the series benefitting a charity. Perello and team have a goal of raising $50,000 for all charities. Each dinner is limited to 40 guests and will feature a Champagne reception, followed by a multi-course collaborative menu with wine pairings for $250/person, including tax and service.
Wednesday January 8th is with chef and author Anita Lo with sommelier Belinda Chang, benefiting Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and Dress For Success; Tuesday January 21st is with Renee Erickson (chef, author, and co-owner of The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, and more) with Master Sommelier and Vice President of Wine & Beverage Experience, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, Emily Wines, benefitting Wild Fish Conservancy; Monday January 27th is Kim Alter (chef/owner, Nightbird, Linden Room, San Francisco) with Kathryn Coker (Rustic Canyon Family Wine Director & Esters Co-Owner) benefitting Corazon Healdsburg; Tuesday January 28th is with Gabriela Cámara (restaurateur, chef, and author; Contramar, Mexico City; Cala; Onda, Santa Monica) and Jessica Koslow (chef and author, SQIRL, Los Angeles; Onda, Santa Monica)…the list of amazing women goes on! Click through to see the incredible lineup of talent and book your reservation!
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Have Yourself a Very Happy Canna Holiday with the mymilly Box!
Are you canna-curious? Let your tablehopper friend (me!) guide you to some amazing low-dose, high-quality products at mymilligram. It’s a completely new world of cannabis, so even if you had some weird times with weed in the past, it’s worth taking another look since there are now so many products that are completely measurable—you can go low and slow and stay in control (while you explore better sleep, diminished pain, relaxation, de-stressing, creativity, and fun). Discover in-depth reviews, and be sure to subscribe for updates at mymilligram.com.
BIG NEWS: I just launched the mymilly box, an exciting collection of the latest low-dose and high-quality cannabis products, which you can order for delivery to your door—available statewide in California! You’ll also get tips on how to use the products (and how to open them!) in fun mymilligram videos—there will be caftans.
Wait until you get your first taste of Artet, an Italian-style, cannabis-infused aperitif that’s non-alcoholic and going to change the way you wind down (I’m obsessed); continue the Italian-canna theme with gianduja ganache bonbons from Pantry (and “the Franks” in New York: Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo of Frankies Spuntino Group); and be one of the first to try House of Saka’s first Vinfusion: Saka Pink, a new luxury infused beverage made from grapes, perfect for a host gift (and chilling out). Yes way weed rosé! Order here.
Don’t want to consume? Start with some great topicals instead, from this extra-strength spray to a roll-on stick.
If you’re in the Bay Area and still doing some last-minute holiday shopping, you can place your order by Thursday at 4pm for a weekend delivery! Honestly, the mymilly bag is one heck of a fun and one-of-a-kind gift, which you can divide up or keep it all for yourself!
Thanks for taking a look! And let me know if you have any canna questions, I’d love to connect.
Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
New Bars Include Macondray on Polk, and Two Outside of SF
There are some new bars where you can get your holiday cheers on: now open on Polk in the former Bullitt is MACONDRAY from Aaron Paul (previously Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group) and Jake Roberts (Harper & Rye). Look for cocktails and New England-inspired seafood and bar bites (there are pier fries with malt vinegar powder and lobster roll bites). There’s also a $1.50 oyster happy hour every day from 5pm-6pm.
Cocktails have a fun culinary spin to them, and there’s a globetrotting list of wines by the glass and bottle. The space has a classic yet eclectic look, with white wainscoting, a pressed tin ceiling, tobacco banquettes, high-top tables with cobalt blue bar stools, and plenty of plants and tropical wallpaper. It’s cute. Open daily 5pm-1am. 2209 Polk St. at Vallejo.
Over in Oakland is FIRST EDITION, the Bay Area’s first comic book-themed cocktail bar from the Jackalope and Soda Popinski’s team, with food from Oakland’s Xolo Taqueria. It has quite the over-the-top interior. Designer Michael Brennan = there are creepy clowns. Open Sun-Mon 5pm-12am and Tue-Sat 5pm-2am. 1915 Broadway at 19th St., Oakland.
Up in San Rafael is a beautiful and classic bar in an 1896 building, CALIFORNIA GOLD, from Isaac Shumway (Tosca Café, Alamo Drafthouse) and wine director/wife, Rhia Shumway. It’s looking very destination-worthy for any city dwellers, with an interior designed and built by both Isaac and Ignacio “Notch” Gonzalez (who designed Smugglers Cove and Whitechapel), complete with the original 1906 mahogany bar. There’s dark wood, tufted red leather booths, a pressed tin ceiling, dark green walls, and historic California art and photography. I’m so ready to hang out.
The bar pays tribute to California’s Spanish, English, and Mexican roots, with quality boilermaker (“shot and a beer”) options, with a heavy focus on thoughtful spirits (over 300 selections) and craft beers (12 rotating beer taps), while cocktails take inspiration from the classic to pre-Tiki tropical exotica, plus (primarily) Californian wines. Open daily 4pm-2am. 848 B St. at 3rd St., San Rafael.
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
(Sponsored): You Can Still Enjoy a Very Special Offer on Gabriel-Glas!
It’s the season for drinking holiday cheer, so do it in high style. Gabriel-Glas of Austria is the universal wine glass that is revolutionizing the way we drink wine. The “One for All” glass is ideal for every type of wine, and designed to allow the full expression of aromas and flavors of any style of wine to emerge in the glass. The Gabriel-Glas is elegant, affordable, and because it’s seamless, it’s much more durable than many other stems on the market. The “One for All” wine glass makes an ideal gift for wine lovers and gracious hosts.
The glass is produced in two qualities: the StandArt glass is molded, and the Gold Edition is painstakingly mouth-blown by skilled European artisans. The Alpha Decanter is a stunning complement to your wine service. All products are lead-free crystal, and dishwasher safe.
We already ran our amazing giveaway (thanks to everyone who entered!), but tablehopper readers can still enjoy Gabriel-Glas and take advantage of a one-time, 20-percent-off coupon at gabriel-glasinternational.com, code: ENJOY. Happy Holidays and cin cin!
(Matchmaker): Palihotel San Francisco Is Now Hiring a Chef de Cuisine
Paligroup is currently seeking a chef de cuisine for the Palihotel San Francisco location. The chef de cuisine will be responsible for running the day-to-day operation of the kitchen, managing the brigade, and assisting the group executive chef to ensure the kitchen and kitchen costs are run to the restaurant and hotel’s standards.
To learn more about this opportunity, follow the link.
(Matchmaker): Palihotel San Francisco is Now Hiring a Restaurant Manager
Palisociety is a collection of unique hotels and residences that are synonymous with authenticity, style, innovation, and good old-fashioned hospitality. The F&B manager is responsible for managing the daily operations of the restaurant and bar at Palihotel San Francisco, including the selection, development and performance management of employees.
To learn more about this opportunity, follow the link.