Posts for March 19, 2012

Gay Bar Goes Straight in SoMa; Bernal Supper Club Changes Name; and More

SoMa: So, we've been unclear what was going on with Raven (1151 Folsom), the bar formerly known as Club 8, which was predominantly gay. It seems that the gay ownership has decided to go straight, at least with the bar, and it's now known as Raven. Eater reports that they brought in local designer Michael Brennan to revamp the place. [Grub Street, Eater]
Bernal Heights: The afore-blogged-about Bernal Supper Club is no longer, as one of the three partners has taken his leave and taken the name with him. The remaining two partners are now operating as the Hillside Supper Club. [Tablehopper, Earlier]
La Lengua: This Chowhounder is setting out to eat at, and comment upon, every food establishment in the outer stretch of Mission lately known as La Lengua. We wish him well. [Chow]
Yerba Buena: Last week marked the debut of another La Boulange, at the revamped Metreon. [Scoop]

Kauffman Counts Himself a Fan of Fifth Floor's Burger

Writing that "‚Äčthe premium burger may just be the defining dish of the past decade," Jonathan Kauffman gives a shout-out to the Fifth Floor's excellent burger today, as part of SFoodie's ongoing countdown of their 50 favorite dishes. He notes chef David Bazirgan's choice of meat, "ground short rib, chuck, and skirt steak — all cuts known for their deep flavor" and he says it's well worth the $16 price tag, or the $30 for the deal with the shot and a beer, including tax and tip. [SFoodie]

Thieves Tavern/Dear Mom Team Open The Unresolved Love Life of Evelyn Lee

We mentioned a few weeks back that the Mission Hill Saloon had been sold to new owners and was undergoing a quick remodel. And last week marked the opening of the replacement, from three of the guys behind Dirty Thieves, Thieves Tavern, and Dear Mom, and the name is kind of a mouthful: The Unresolved Love Life of Evelyn Lee (491 Potrero at Mariposa). As owners Oliver Piazza and Jay Beaman told Mission Mission, they don't care for boring bar names, and "they have a good friend named Evelyn whose love life seemed to warrant commemoration."

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2012 James Beard Restaurant and Media Award Finalists Announced

The winners will be announced May 4 and May 7.

Today the James Beard Foundation announced its nominees for the 2012 awards ceremonies — media awards will be handed out on May 4, chef and restaurant awards on May 7. Check out the full list of finalists below. Congrats to everyone, especially New York Magazine's Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld, who were nominated for best food coverage in a general-interest publication; and Grub Chicago's own Michael Gebert, who picked up his own fourth nom in three years for this Sky Full of Bacon video. Good luck to everyone!

2012 James Beard Foundation Nominees [PDF]

Kostow, Chiarello, Patterson, and Cosentino Lead S.F.’s 2012 James Beard Nominees

Among the local highlights in the just-announced James Beard Foundation Awards nominees for 2012 are a Bay Area-dominant quartet of chefs in the Best Chef: Pacific category. Daniel Patterson (Coi), Chris Cosentino (Incanto), Michael Chiarello (Bottega), and Christopher Kostow (Meadowood). Thomas McNaughton (Flour & Water) once again lands on the Rising Star list along with newcomer and national press darling Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese Food). And four-month-old AQ got a nod for Best New Restaurant, which is pretty awesome for them. Bar Agricole made the cut for nominees in the brand new Outstanding Bar Program category; and A16's Shelley Lindgren once again gets honored for her wine program.

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Farina’s Pizzeria Offshoot Might Actually Open One Day

It's been a full two years since we first heard that Farina was opening a Neapolitan pizzeria down the street at the corner of 18th and Valencia, and various construction (and/or funding) delays have kept that project back-burnered ... until now. Urban Life Signs and Eater report that activity has restarted in the plywood-covered space, including the addition of those white hexagonal tiles that are used in various BART stations. As for the name, that appears to be up in the air at this point, and they may be abandoning "Antica Pizzeria Napoletana" now that there's already an established Una Pizza Napoletana in town, which is probably wise. [Urban Life Signs via Eater]

Nigella’s Husband: Feel Free to Covet My Wife

"Coveting is all everyone does, all the time, every day. It’s what drives the world economy, pushes people to make a go of their lives, so that they can afford the executive model of their Ford Mondeo to park next to their neighbour’s standard model. And who would want to be married to someone who nobody coveted?" — The extremely wealthy and incredibly cheeky Charles Saatchi on life, and being married to 'domestic goddess' and chef Nigella Lawson. [Daily Mail]

The Night Light Replaces Sweet Jimmie’s In Oakland

It's kind of men's clubby, right?

We told you back in the fall that Oakland's Sweet Jimmie's (311 Broadway) the site of a double homicide last April, was becoming the Night Light (they were actually going with the more cutesy spelling of Nite Lite at the time). And now the East Bay Express reports that the place just opened on Friday night, and the guys behind it are none other than John Nackley and Doug Kinsey, who were responsible for the hipsterfication of the Ruby Room and Radio back in the late 90s/early aughts. They note a "solid" cocktail list, six beers on tap including two from nearby Linden Street, as well as "velvet wallpaper, tons of dark wood, and gorgeous chandeliers." Also of note: There's a private, members-only lounge upstairs now. [EBX, Thrillist]

Watch the James Beard Nominee Annoucement Live [Updated]

This year, the James Beard Foundation is running a live video stream of its announcement ceremony in Vegas. It's happening right now! Feel free to watch it, straight ahead, or, check back in a bit and we'll have the full list of nominees when it's available.

To the stream... »

Mr. Bauer Finally Chimes In on the Revised Bar Tartine, Awards Them Three Big Ones

Bar Tartine, which will be starting daytime service via a new sandwich counter soon.Photo: Grub Street

It's been almost a year since chef Nick Balla moved over from Nombe to take the helm at Bar Tartine, evolving the menu to an Eastern European-by-way-of-California tour featuring bunches of house-made ingredients like pickles, charcuterie, sour cream, and spice mixtures. Michael Bauer says he had been waiting for their upcoming remodel to be complete before doing an update review, but now the Top 100 redux is almost upon us, he writes, "I just couldn't keep quiet a minute longer. It's a restaurant that's so distinctive it deserves attention."

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But the Portions Are Small

So what did Olive Garden critic Marilyn Hagerty think of the meal she had at Dovetail during her recent trip to New York? Well, she liked it. In fact, the halibut is "as wonderful as that served years ago at the Golden Hour Caf√© in downtown Grand Forks." She later adds, when assessing her new-found stardom, "Being a so-called celebrity in this big city isn’t bad ... But I know fate is fleeting and after I settle in at home this weekend people will forget." [Grand Forks Herald]

Step Inside Mission Bowling Club, Open for Business This Evening

The time has come for the Mission to have its own bowling alley. Tonight at 6 p.m., at long last, Mission Bowling Club (3176 17th Street at South Van Ness) swings open its doors, complete with a full bar from the team behind Minibar, and a food menu from Mission Street Food's Anthony Myint. They've only got half the lanes of the recently opened Lucky Strike, but is it too much to say they've got twice the heart? They've got twice the S.F. cred, anyway.

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William Werner’s New Café Gets a Name: Craftsman and Wolves

Werner's got a S.F. nostalgia thing going on...Photo: Courtesy of Outfit Generic

The info continues to dribble out about William Werner's upcoming patisserie/café at 746 Valencia, and Grub Street now sees that the name of the place on the liquor license application is Craftsman and Wolves. We are awaiting confirmation and explication from Mr. Werner, but until then, please revisit this preview slideshow. Update: Mr. Werner confirms the news for us, and points us to this introductory post and teaser graphic. [Grub Street]

Starbucks’ First Evolution Fresh Juice Shop Opens Today

Vegatables!Photo: Courtesy Starbucks

Remember how we mentioned that Starbucks had recruited a Liquiteria employee and was making plans to dominate the fresh-juice business? Well, better enjoy your mom-and-pop juiceries while you can: the coffee giant's first Evolution Fresh store opens today in Bellevue, Washington. (As genius as the company normally is at branding, it's evidently not so great at spelling, as the "vegatables" advertised in the photo proves.) USA Today got a look at the shop and reports that baristas have given way to "juice partners," who mix cold-pressed elixirs by pouring them to order from eight taps. Sample combinations: Field of Greens (greens, ginger, apple and cucumber), or Coconut Zen (coconut water, pineapple and cucumber); you can also buy 15.2-ounce bottled juices in similar flavors.

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Bachelor Ben Brings His Wine to the Marina; ‘Pine Nut Mouth’ Re-Examined

• Tomorrow night, Bachelor Ben Flajnik will be hosting a walk-around winemaker dinner/tasting at Marengo on Union with his Envolve Winery. We can't confirm there are still tickets but you can email here to find out or they're $75 at the door. [Eater]

• Here are some really bleak and depressing photos of almost-empty refrigerator cases and shelves at a Berkeley Safeway that is about to close for renovations. [Berkeleyside]

• There's been an accounting scandal involving California-based Diamond Foods, the walnut processor that also makes Emerald Nuts, that has sent their stock price plummeting. [Reuters/HuffPo]

• Sales at sit-down restaurants were up almost 9% in 2011 over the previous year, which is a big indicator of a rebounding economy. [NYT]

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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