Posts for March 15, 2012

Town Hall Launches Brunch; Aziza Loses a Chef to Healdsburg; and More

SoMa/Downtown: Town Hall is now doing Sunday brunch, 10:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., and it's still pretty calm and peaceful until people find out about it. [SFoodie]
Cole Valley: The Ice Cream Bar (815 Cole Street) gets the Bar Bites treatment in the Chron, despite not yet having their liquor license. [Chron]
Mission: Schmendricks, the bagel pop-up that has only made one quick-to-sell-out weekend appearance across from Bi-Rite, will pop up again on Sunday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m., at 780 Café, a.k.a. the former Summit. [SFoodie]
Berkeley: Suya African-Caribbean Grill just opened at 2130 Oxford Street. [Tablehopper]
Palo Alto: Ryan Shelton, Bruno Chemel's longtime chef de cuisine, has left his post at Michelin two-star Baumé and is taking the helm at Cellar Door Café, the restaurant at Bonny Doon near Santa Cruz. [Chron, Scoop]
Healdsburg: Aziza's chef de cuisine Louis Maldonado is moving up north to take the helm at Spoonbar. [Chron]

Get Your Barrel-Aged Cocktails at Zero Zero and Presidio Social Club

It seems like ages ago that we first touched on the barrel-aged cocktail trend — you take some booze for a drink, you see, mix it together and stick in a barrel for a couple months, and it comes out kind of different. Anyway, Presidio Social Club is unveiling a barrel-aged drink this week called the Chef's Ration (gin, vermouth, and Fernet). And the end of the month will bring the return of the barrel-aged Negroni to Zero Zero. [Table to Grave, Grub Street]

Tacolicious Bringing Their ‘White People Tacos’ to Mexico

The now wildly popular Tacolicious in the Mission took a little flack back when they only had a Marina location for being a taco place that catered to white folks. And while it is the non-Latino Mission that is filling most of the stools in the place, owner Joe Hargrave and chef Telmo Faria are betting that they can impress some folks with their food south of the border, too. They're doing a pop-up next week at The Restaurant in San Miguel de Allende, which is run by a friend of Hargrave, Donnie Masterton, where they'll be featuring their short-rib and carnitas tacos, among other items. Actually, they may only be serving gringos down there, too, but anyway. The tacos are good, alright? [Scoop]

Cindy Pawlcyn Unveils Fun New Cookbook

The book is based on Pawlcyn's ongoing weekly supper club menus in St. Helena.Photo: Amazon

Napa chef Cindy Pawlcyn, who has three restaurants in and around St. Helena (Mustards Grill, Brassica, and Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen), has just finished a cool, international cookbook called Cindy's Supper Club (Ten Speed Press). The book, due out in May, is based on the weeknight "supper club" series that Pawlcyn's been doing at Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen for the last decade. The menus are always themed, often around the rustic cuisine of a particular country, and this forms the basis of the book, which is part travelogue and part culinary world tour.

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Camber, a Restaurant, and Feezy, a Bar Coming to Oakland’s Uptown

We broke the news last month about the approach of Camber (1540 Broadway) in Oakland, and now Diablo brings us some details, courtesy of owner Irfan Joffrey. Joffrey's naming the place after his two children, Cameron and Amber, and he's aiming for an early summer opening. The menu will feature dry-aged steaks and "Asian-fusion cuisine with a California touch." Also, Joffrey has his sights on a spot nearby at 1707 Telegraph to open a bar called Feezy, which is his nickname. No word on the ETA for that, but stay tuned. [Diablo]

Chocolate Wine Is Now a Thing; Jet-Setting Wine Collector Arrested for Fraud

"This Cocoa Bordeaux tastes great over ice cream!"

• So, there's chocolate wine now. A Washington-based company is marketing this stuff called Chocolate Shop, which is a Bordeaux-style blend from California mixed with sugar and chocolate. And apparently it isn't just college girls who are buying it. [Drinks Business]

• Everyone knows that the wine market in China is a hot topic, but not so many people know that Chinese nationals are increasingly buying up property in California's wine country. [Wines and Vines]

• Watch a video and listen to a seminar about Chateau Margaux, the second-oldest of the premier cru, or "first growth," wineries in Bordeaux. [Wine Spectator]

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The James Weird Awards: Beehive Thievery and Parachuting to Avoid a Check

The food world tried to teach us a few lessons this week. First: Don't swallow cinnamon (unless you put it on some applesauce or buttered toast first). Second: Don't steal from poor, defenseless food carts, because it's rude. Third: Do not, under any circumstances, provoke a cranky Jamie Oliver. He will snap. More what-not-to-do parables can be found in the James Weird awards, straight ahead.

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Michael Bauer’s Chicken Was a Bit Dry at New Limon Rotisserie

Noting that it's "unusual is for the offshoot to crush the flagship," Michael Bauer revisits Limon (524 Valencia), which has recently morphed into a third Limon Rotisserie, following on the success of the South Van Ness chicken offshoot. He daren't try out the new Bayview location, but he did stop in to see how the Valencia spot is faring now with the lower priced menu. He finds it packed, but his chicken was, sadly, "dry and mealy," and the only thing he's really thrilled with was his pisco sour. Anyhow, two stars. [Chron]

Schools Can ‘Opt Out’ of Pink Slime

You may recall that the country's schools were all set to be the last conceivable place that people could get "pink slime," the beef additive that even Taco Bell won't buy. But an unnamed USDA source tells the AP that schools won't have to peddle this crap if they don't want to.

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Get a VIP Preview Tasting of Central Kitchen, the Upcoming Flour + Water Spinoff

Thomas McNaughton (left) with Central Kitchen chef Michael Gaines.

As we mentioned earlier, Flour + Water's new, slightly fancier spinoff Central Kitchen (20th and Florida) has delayed their opening until mid- to late spring. But you can get a special preview of what's to come, in eight courses, via two dinners in Flour + Water's Dough Room on April 2 and April 9.

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Ryan Scott Renames His Takeout Concept Market & Rye

Ryan Scott's West Portal sandwich spot, opening next week, now has a new name: Market & Rye (68 West Portal Avenue). Scott had previously named the concept Please & Thank You (maybe he didn't want any trouble from this place in Louisville?), and is planning to open another, larger location in the Potrero at 300 De Haro, possibly next month. [Chron, Earlier]

Here are the Super-Secret Wines the Obamas Served at Last Night’s State Dinner

What are you drinking, Mr. President?Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Among the chatter leading up to last night's State Dinner was talk that the Obama Administration, in keeping with a policy it set last year, wouldn't be publicly releasing the names of the wines served at the meal. The menu simply said that American wines would be paired with each course, and the going theory is that the move was in response to backlash the White House received after serving pricey wine at a 2011 State Dinner.

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Citizen’s Band Owners Speak; Irish Whiskey Is Trending

• Chris Beerman and Cheryl Burr, the friends and business partners who co-own Citizen's Band and Pinkie's Bakery, discuss the secret to their popular burger. [SFoodie]

7x7 gives their take on State Bird Provisions, and says to "expect the unexpected." [7x7]

• The Daily Meal talks to a craft services caterer in Hollywood who says that Glenn Close is happy with a bag of Oreos whereas Demi Moore once asked them to make an omelet from the whites of quail eggs. [Daily Meal]

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Recent reader reviews on MenuPages

  • Lucca Food Store See the menu

    “Billy's Philly”

    Billy is only there after 5 pm but if you are around go there and ask for his billy philly, the best philly you'll find this side of the Mississippi.

  • Le P'tit Laurent See the menu

    “Elegant Sauces & Fabulous Bread”

    It is the place me and my love go for every intimate moment.

  • Hidive See the menu

    “Are you kidding?”

    You have to be totally drunk to think that this is even acceptable as a public watering hole.


Jay Barmann
NY Mag