Follow @tablehopper on Threads!
Learn more
Jun 19, 2024 17 min read

This week’s tablehopper: glampy. (free)

This week’s tablehopper: glampy. (free)
Table of Contents

what’s cookin’

Polenta di manzo at Che Fico’s new brunch (Tierra Vegetable Farm polenta, fried egg, fava bean, snap pea, salsa verde). Photo: ©
Polenta di manzo at Che Fico’s new weekend brunch (Tierra Vegetable Farm polenta, fried egg, fava bean, snap pea, salsa verde). Photo: ©

Ciao, amici! I hope you had a lovely weekend in the sun, and hit up some Juneteenth celebrations. Sis and I spent part of Sunday cleaning two pounds of fresh anchovies (so nasty)—this is what happens when you ask your father what he’d like for Father’s Day. Fortunately, the payoff was big: we enjoyed Carm’s expertly fried anchovies (so light and crisp) with a bottle of Domaine Carneros Cuvée de la Pompadour brut rosé (what a refreshing pairing), and now we’re curing boquerones, which will end up on some crunchy bread and salads soon. 

Pops also had me bring down some fresh calamari so he could revive an old Calabrese recipe his mother used to make: calamari gratinati al forno, with breadcrumbs, cured black olives, parsley, fresh tomatoes, garlic, lemon zest, peperoncino, and a combo of pecorino and Parmigiano. What a tasty dish (this recipe is pretty close to what we made, if you can read Italian). My mother made garlicky rapini for a side, and we also had crisp, oven-roasted potatoes, what a dream dinner. I was digging through their second fridge (LOL) and found a bottle of Picayune Cellars grand cru blanc du noirs Champagne that my Mom and I picked up in Calistoga when we visited their delightful tasting room last fall, what a gorg bottle to enjoy together for our dinner. (Big thanks to my friend Gabe at Ocomar for the fantastically fresh ’chovies and calamari.) I have even more recipes for you (in English, ha-ha) in my column today!

Here’s wishing everyone a happy Juneteenth. I love that the Frameline SF International LGBTQ+ Film Festival is hosting a free block party (with drag performances!) and an outdoor screening of Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero outside of the Castro Theatre, tonight (Wednesday June 19th), starting at 7pm. 

In the spirit of Pride, here are a couple excellent films you should watch on Kanopy (free if you have an SF Public Library card!). I mentioned this one last fall: don’t miss P.S. Burn This Letter Please, a fantastic documentary about gay life and the drag scene in New York in the 1950s. It all started when a box of letters was discovered in an L.A. storage unit in 2014 (fortunately they weren’t burned!), and the subsequent doc offers a window into an amazing demimonde of drag pioneers 70 years ago. The fabulously dishy tales are beyond entertaining, and the brave stories of living authentically and of survival are so inspiring. Before you traipse off to your next drag brunch, this is one to watch.

I was so grateful to be able to watch the heart-achingly beautiful The Blue Caftan—a love story that takes place in one of the oldest medinas in Morocco—which left the theaters before I had a chance to see it. Boom, thanks Kanopy. 

And over on PBS/KQED, it’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month, with some excellent queer programming, which includes Casa Susanna on 6/28, and the series Disco: Soundtrack of a Revolution, which I need to start watching, like, yesterday.

Are you starting to think about the weekend already? Good, because I have a perfect Saturday lineup for you: head to Che Fico for their new weekend brunch (I’ll be posting about my favorite dishes on @tablehopper this week!), then hop to the Mission for the Melting Spots listening party at Manny’s (tablehopper readers get free admission, read all about it in the socialite below), and then pop by the F + W Pasta Shop from 3pm–5pm for a mortadella party: they’re serving morty sandwiches, along with beverage director Sam Bogue’s new house rosé called Mortadella (I love this name so much!), a nero d’avola blend crafted in collaboration with Subject to Change Wine Co. Tickets are $32. How’s that for a trifecta of fun?

If you live near the Peninsula, I wanted to be sure you saw that Donato Enoteca in Redwood City is celebrating their 15th anniversary this Thursday June 20th, and they have quite the special menu for just $48, featuring specialities from chef-owner Donato Scotti’s hometown of Bergamo. Book your dinner reservation! 5pm–9pm.

OK, it’s time to dive into this week’s column, which includes a jetsetter post about my recent glamping getaway at Mendocino Grove with Cannescape (over the 4/20 weekend). I also snuck in some last-minute news about a new bar opening Friday in North Beach: April Jean.

Sending love to Healdsburg and Sonoma County—it was hard to wake up on Monday and smell smoke from the Point Fire in the air. Thank you to the firefighters who are doing strong work getting it contained. Best wishes to all.


the chatterbox

Oysters of the day at Xebec, with Hogwash and hon wasabi honeydew slush. Photo courtesy of Xebec.
Oysters of the day at Xebec, with Hogwash and hon wasabi honeydew slush. Photo courtesy of Xebec.

New Openings Around Town

After suffering a rotten break-in just days before their opening (the thieves stole over $15K worth of liquor and equipment, ugh), Xebec has overcome the disheartening setback and just opened in the former Sauce location in Hayes Valley. (As if opening a restaurant isn’t hard enough, jeesh.) Chef George Hawawini’s Mediterranean menu features some Japanese touches, with a large variety of starters that can be enjoyed over a cocktail at their full bar. Happy hour is Wed–Sat 5pm–6pm, while dinner is 5pm–9pm; extended hours and days are coming in July. 131 Gough St. at Lily.

I’ve been tracking what was moving into the former Shalimar on Polk, and Karahi House just opened after a pretty long renovation to the space. The edited Pakistani (and halal) menu includes a variety of meat dishes cooked in a karahi (a special kind of Indian pan that is similar to a wok), as well as curries (bring on five kinds of goat dishes), items from the tandoor, and some biriyani options. Open daily 11:30am–11:30pm. 1409 Polk St. at Pine.

After getting their Presidio Heights location open in February, the second SF location of Emily Winston’s Berkeley-based Boichik Bagels just opened today in Lower Pacific Heights/Upper Fillmore. (The space was formerly Glaze Teriyaki.) Hours are 7am–1:30pm. 1946 Fillmore St. at Pine.

I enjoyed this writeup in 48 Hills about what the businesses that were in La Cocina’s former Municipal Marketplace are now doing, and how the space is still being utilized by the entrepreneurs. 101 Hyde St. at Golden Gate.

Coming Soon: the Brazilian Boto Restaurant, Plus Inner Sunset Openings 

A spread of dishes at the upcoming Boto Restaurant and Bar. Photo courtesy of Boto.
A spread of dishes at the upcoming Boto Restaurant and Bar. Photo courtesy of Boto.

Opening Thursday June 27th in Cow Hollow is Boto Restaurant and Bar, a Brazilian restaurant with a rooftop bar. Longtime nightlife figures and owners Johnny Metheny (aka Johnny Love) and Nick Bonney brought on Brazilian executive chef Lucas Freire, whose background includes the Epicurean Group, Prospect, Bouche, and Petite Left Bank in Tiburon. The menu will feature classic Brazilian starters like coxinha (chicken croquette with Brazilian spreadable cheese and house hot sauce), while mains include dry-aged picanha (charcoal-grilled, top sirloin cap steak with crispy garlic clarified butter, feijão tropeiro beans, boiled cassava, and tomato vinaigrette) and rotisserie chicken galinhada (turmeric, rice, grilled okra, rainbow carrots, cipollini onion, and chicken jus).

Cocktails include a caipirinha classico, and the wine list will feature South American wines. There’s an indoor dining area and rooftop bar, and the space will convert into a club (with dancing) on weekend nights. The grand opening party is Thursday the 27th from 4pm–2am. Dining nightly 4:30pm–9:30pm; bar Sun–Wed 4pm–10pm and Thu–Sat 4pm–2am. 1853 Union St. at Laguna.

You’re reading the free version of the tablehopper newsletter. Become a supporting subscriber 🤘 and you’ll receive the complete hopper on Tuesdays, with allllll the weekly stories and tips, plus other fun perks, like custom restaurant recommendations, subscriber-only content, and more. Thank you for supporting the future of this 18-year-old independent publication with a subscription!

Pasta Supply Co. Mission Launches Dinner, Expanded Hours at Bettola, and a Burger and Martini Special

Oh yeahhhh. Dinner starts Wednesday at Pasta Supply Co. Photo: ©
Oh yeahhhh. Dinner starts Wednesday at Pasta Supply Co. Photo: ©

Pasta Supply Co. in the Mission is launching dine-in dinner service tonight (Wednesday June 19th), and with their tricked-out kitchen, chef-owner Anthony Strong and team have some great dishes planned: you can start with a house antipasti plate for two (like three–four veggies, olives, tonnato, and a 3D printed pasta—this week’s is a basket of fava bean pesto); salt cod mantecato stuffed shells in puttanesca sauce; you can add a juicy, bone-in chicken thigh “piccata” on your butter ’n cheese mafaldine; and “hot mess” spaghetti and meatballs (they toss spaghetti with their hot mess garlic-chile-lemon butter and then bank a few meatballs on top, which Strong says is “super simple but utterly stupidly good”). Dinner hours will be 4:30pm–9pm, nightly! 3233 22nd St. at Mission.

And, something to note about Pasta Supply Co.’s new pricing structure (from their Instagram post): “Tipping is a severely outdated practice that is rooted in and perpetuates inequality. It has gone on too long and has gotten way out of hand, so we’re getting it out of our business. Starting today each and every member of our team receives a % of sales on their paychecks. No more tipping. 

“And don’t worry, we’re prioritizing affordability just like we have been since we opened:
- Pastas on the menu are still in the $18-25 range
- 20+ housemade pastas are still $8.75 for two big bowls
- Those baller wines in the milk crate are still retail price for dine-in

“Want to do a little something extra after your visit? Grab a bag of pasta or a gift card and give it to a friend! Showing us love and spreading the word is the best way to support this kind of work, and every employee sees a portion of your purchase on their check. 

“Of course there’s a ton of material on this topic out in the world ranging from insightful to spiteful. If you’d like to listen to one of our favorites on tipping please check out @nprpodcasts Throughline episode titled Land of the Fee.’”

Bettola in the Inner Richmond just expanded their hours, adding lunch service Tue–Fri, and is now open on Sunday, too. New hours are Tue–Fri 11am–9pm, Sat 5pm–9pm, and Sun 4pm–9pm. 343 Clement St. at 4th Ave.

the socialite

Melting Spots guide maps are available both online and on-site in participating restaurants. Photo courtesy of California Migration Museum.
Melting Spots guide maps are available both online and on-site in participating restaurants. Photo courtesy of California Migration Museum.

California Migration Museum Tells Immigrant Stories Through SF Food Staples (Plus, a Listening Party on Saturday)

by Savannah Leone Bundy

The California Migration Museum is currently launching a brand-new, interactive storytelling project, laying out over 200 years’ worth of history through a culinary lens. Melting Spots: An Immigrant Map of San Francisco Food is a collection of “bite-sized” audio stories that highlight immigrant chefs, restaurants, and dishes that have unique connections to and history in San Francisco (think sourdough, cioppino, garlic noodles, tea leaf salad, Rice-a-Roni, and more). 

With the Melting Spots map serving as the menu (printed maps are available at partnering restaurants), hungry historians and curious food lovers are invited to explore the City and “taste the stories” behind SF food culture. Featured restaurants include both longstanding institutions like Thanh Long, Liguria Bakery, the Japanese Tea Garden, Cinderella Russian Bakery, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, and Sam Wo, and newcomers like Reem’s, Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement, Señor Sisig, Mamahuhu, and D’Maize (the complete list can be found on the map).

In celebration of the launch, there will be a listening party this Saturday June 22nd at Manny’s, where guests will get the chance to hear the stories and pick up a limited edition map. Tickets are available here, AND as a special tablehopper exclusive, you can use code THFRIEND at checkout for a free General Admission ticket and discounted map. 2pm–3pm. 3092 16th St. at Valencia.

the lush

An early peek at the custom-built bar at April Jean. Photo courtesy of Nate Valentine.

Industry Pros Opening April Jean on Friday, a Neighborhood Cocktail Bar at the Historic Corner of Grant and Green

Here’s a quick tidbit of some fun breaking news in North Beach. After closing in 2023, the former Grant & Green Saloon has been given quite a massive upgrade and redux. Opening Friday June 21st is April Jean, a neighborhood cocktail bar from owners Nate Valentine and Jamal Blake-Williams (Harper & Rye, Peacekeeper, August Hall, Lost Resort, Tipsy Pig, and Gold Leaf Catering)—new to their partnership is Joe Poz, former beverage director at August Hall. 

The Grant & Green Saloon opened in the 1970s, and was a live music venue and dive bar over the years (many well-known blues acts played there in the past). The new owners (and industry pros) have given the space a lot of love, and it will now be a neighborhood cocktail bar, with wine, beer, and music will come from vinyl records instead of a stage.

The name is in honor of two of the owners’ mothers (April and Jean), and the team wants to offer a safe space where everyone is welcome, and guests feel cared for the way someone’s mother would look after you.

In fact, the cocktail menu is inspired by Poz’s mother’s kitchen, and the childhood snacks and desserts he’d eat from the fridge when she wasn’t looking, and nostalgic treats like lemon bars ended up inspiring some of the cocktails. The drinks menu will offer modern and sophisticated cocktails (also named after the mothers of folks involved with the project!), plus non-alcoholic options, wine, and beer, at prices that are meant to feel inclusive.

Architect Nick Polansky, builder and curator of design Julian Snellgrove (ENZO Design Build), and Brittany Busacca (the wife of Blake-Williams) all worked together to envision and create a sleek space that has a modern and natural-chic design, while paying homage to late 19th-century San Francisco architecture with old-growth redwood. Snellgrove hand-built all the custom wood elements: there are wood cabinets that house the soundsystem and records (with plenty of plants), a wood bar (with a stone serpentine bar top) and back bar, wood banquettes around the room, and wood-trimmed windows that open to the street.

The team is excited to open in such a longtime North Beach location (it has been a bar for over 100 years!), on a well-known corner in one of SF’s most lively and historic neighborhoods. Open daily 2pm–2am. Follow @barapriljean for updates. 1371 Grant Ave. at Green. 

the jetsetter

Glamping tents on a beautiful, dewy morning at Mendocino Grove. Photo: ©
Glamping tents on a beautiful, dewy morning at Mendocino Grove. Photo: ©

A Glamping Getaway at Mendocino Grove with Cannescape

Back in April, just a few days after I threw my mega Bohemian Sunday bash, I took off to Mendocino for a weekend of glamping at Mendocino Grove, which coincided with special 4/20 cannabis experiences and programming, thanks to Cannescape. It was exactly the decompression I needed, starting with that beautiful drive through Anderson Valley (take a look at my previous jetsetter piece for some places to visit on your way up to Mendo or back). 

Mendocino Grove is a stunning property in a redwood grove on a bluff. Couple Teresa Raffo and Chris Hougie (of Cornerstone Sonoma) acquired the property in 2016, and have been restoring and upgrading the formerly neglected campground to its currently well-tended, rustic-chic status. 

The dreamy view from my Point Arena tent. Photo: ©
The dreamy view from my Point Arena tent. Photo: ©

Once you check in, you’ll be able to park somewhat close to your tent, and they have some wagons and staff who can help you schlep your gear if you need it. There are camp villages spread out throughout the property—I loved the privacy of my Point Arena tent (P7), which was a bit secluded from the others, and sitting on my little deck, I had a view of the trees (with the ocean peeking out in between them) and a ferny meadow. It was a tiny bit of a walk to the communal bathrooms, but the additional peace and quiet were worth it. (Maybe don’t drink a big cup of tea before bed, because it gets really chilly at night—I’d recommend bringing a super cozy bathrobe or big sweatshirt for late-night bathroom trips.)

Inside my glamping tent. Photo: ©
Inside my glamping tent. Photo: ©

The spacious, canvas, safari-style tents have really comfy beds and fluffy pillows, a down comforter, and plenty of blankets, plus a mattress pad heater, which you’ll want to turn on to warm up the bed about 20 minutes before you crawl into it. Snuggle HQ. The tents have a small clothes rack, towels, bedside lamps, rechargeable lanterns you can carry with you, and a couple leather butterfly deck chairs you can hang out in. There was my own picnic table, fire pit with a grilling grate (there are also gas grills around the property), and a safe box you can put any foodstuffs into (there are critters, so don’t bring any food into your tent). You can even have someone build your fire for you (for a fee).

There’s a 24-hour tea bar, with complimentary morning coffee, cocoa, and a light breakfast (like a DIY oatmeal bar and hard-boiled eggs) from 7:30am–10am, plus there’s an espresso bar where you’ll find some baked goods.

The breakfast bar (and gorgeous setting). Photo: ©
The breakfast bar (and gorgeous setting). Photo: ©

There isn’t a canteen on-site, so anything you want to eat or drink, you’ll need to bring in. But Mendocino Grove is literally just a couple minutes from the town of Mendocino, so you can easily go into town for meals, snacks, or groceries. (I picked up a tasty poke bowl from Gnar Bar—be sure to request their housemade kimchee. I brought it back for a peaceful lunch at my picnic table while watching the birds.) They also rent Camp Boxes ahead of time, so you don’t have to bring plates, utensils, etc. if that’s helpful.

But the real treat is on Fridays, when you can enjoy dinner on-site, prepared by the talented chef Chantelle Sookram. On my first night, we tucked into a deeply flavorful chicken tajine (seriously, so homey and comforting after that long drive), with beautifully selected and prepared vegetables. The meal totally exceeded my expectations for a camp dinner, and it was awesome to chat with Sookram and find out she cooked at NOPA and Blue Hill in New York, so her love of vegetables runs deep (and she has Trinidadian roots, so the complex spicing in the tajine quickly made sense). You can check the menu ahead of time, and for $25 ($10 kids), it’s a big yes. Dinner is served 6pm–8:30pm most Fridays.

There are also some pop-up events, and on Sunday June 23rd is a Good Farm Fund Dinner, in case you feel like coming up! The meal will showcase local farms, wines, beers, and music for just $35. (There will be another one on October 13th.) tablehopper readers can take 30 percent off your stay if you come for one or both of these dinners with code TABLEHOPPER. I also see a lobster feed on July 11th, and their Campfire Series brings live music most Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays through the season. Check the events page for the lineup.

A table setting at the Cannescape dinner. Green vibes only! Photo: ©
A table setting at the Cannescape dinner. Green vibes only! Photo: ©

I was stoked that my visit coincided with a Cannescape 4/20 overnight event, which included an infused happy hour, hosted by The Herb Somm (the fabulous Jamie Evans), with serrano pineapple margaritas from her Cannabis Drinks book, plus canna bevvies from Artet and Maison Bloom. There was an infused six-course dinner from canna chef Solomon Johnson/chef Swoop (his menu was full of seasonal produce and smoky notes, like charred corn and poblano soup, and charred plums with farro, beets, and burrata, plus the crowd-pleasing “O Hey Boo” challah with honey butter, bush berry gastrique, and smoked vanilla Devonshire cream for dessert). It was so cool to see chef Swoop again after watching him win the Chopped 420 competition show, which I was a cannabis consultant on a couple years ago.

Chef Swoop’s stunning presentation of confited leeks with nori and charcoal aioli. Photo: ©
Chef Swoop’s stunning presentation of confited leeks with nori and charcoal aioli. Photo: ©

The next morning, there was a CBD breakfast and wellness experience (the lovely ladies from Green Bee Botanicals talked about cannabis and skincare—I swear by their Brightening Eye Cream—and we got to make our own infused bath salts). It was a treat to hang out and catch up with some longtime canna friends while chilling in nature.

Cannescape founder Chelsea Davis curates quality brand partners and featured cohosts, and whether you’re a microdoser or heavy hitter, you’ll enjoy the getaway (although I would have loved to be able to request my preferred THC dosage for dinner, or at least know how many milligrams of THC chef Swoop was planning to serve ahead of time since I’m a low-dose lady). Since weed people are the best, it’s so fun to hang out at communal meals and fire pits together and make new friends over many laughs. The best part is when it’s time for bed, you just toddle your high ass back to your tent—no need to deal with calling a ride and having an awkward conversation with your driver. At the end of the getaway, you get a gift bag (thanks, OOKA, Garden Society, and Martyjuana). Follow Cannescape for updates on future overnight experiences and getaways.

Happy hour with the lovely The Herb Somm. Photo: ©
Happy hour with the lovely The Herb Somm. Photo: ©

There’s nothing like getting out of the city and enjoying Mendocino’s magical fresh air, but seeing the stars can be tricky—it was definitely misty and damp on my first night. But then we got lucky and the sun broke through for the rest of the weekend—it was gorgeous, in the crisp, low 60s in the afternoon. It gets down to the 40s at night, so pack some extra-cozy gear (and a hat/beanie).

Iris on the Fern Canyon Loop Trail. Photo: ©
Iris on the Fern Canyon Loop Trail. Photo: ©

While you’re on the property, be sure to follow the Fern Canyon Loop Trail to check it all out, or walk it with their staff on weekend mornings; they can point you to off-property trails you can explore, too (ask about the lighthouse hike, or Gordon Trail). The ocean is right there, so plan on a beach hike—you can also enjoy the sun at Big River Beach. Don’t miss the Botanical Gardens in town, and take a look at my past Mendocino jetsetter so you can check out the Skunk Train railbikes in Fort Bragg, one of my favorite activities I have ever done up there! 

Need to chill out? You can also book a massage (deep tissue or Swedish), or a facial! This is glamping, after all. They have treatment rooms, and there’s even a cedar sauna—there’s also complimentary morning yoga on the deck. The bathrooms have hot showers and EO bath products; don’t forget your flip-flops. 

A shimmering ocean view while walking to my tent. Photo: ©
A shimmering ocean view while walking to my tent. Photo: ©

I had some of my best sleep in months up there, and I can’t believe how relaxed I felt when I checked out 48 hours later. It would be fun to get some friends and have a glamping weekend together, and if you’re looking for a retreat location, they have a brand-new event space, kitchen, and 60 tents (in all kinds of sizes). There are Wi-Fi zones, but really, try to unplug if you can. Dogs are welcome for a fee. The hospitable staff was so kind and helpful, and they really take pride in maintaining the property well. The season will run through November 26th, with special rates for midweek travelers Sept–Oct; go get some fresh air.

I’ll be posting some Reels of Mendocino Grove and the Cannescape event on @tablehopper this week so you can see more!


My dreamy bowl of creamy vegan tofu noodles last week. Photo: ©
My dreamy bowl of creamy vegan tofu noodles last week. Photo: ©

Some Springy/Summery, Under 30-Minute Pasta and Noodle Dinners

I’ve been enjoying riffing on some springy recipes over here, and I know when the weather is warm, you want something quick and tasty to make that won’t overheat the kitchen (or the cook). Since I’m so fired up on seasonal produce right now, almost all of these dishes are inspired by vegetarian recipes as well. Here are some carbs to work on your summer body! LOL.

the archivist

follow me on the ’gram

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to tablehopper.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.