Posts for April 11, 2012

Gordon Ramsay Shared Easter Brunch With the Beckhams in Napa

BFF Gordo.

Remember how David and Victoria Beckham have that vineyard and vacation home up in Napa where they occasionally entertain their celebrity friends? Well, Gordon Ramsay apparently popped up to spend the Easter weekend there with his British friends, and the trio was spotted having Easter brunch at Solbar, as Leah Garchik reports. This is the second time we've heard that old Gordo was chilling with Posh and Becks, having spent New Year's with them last year too. No word on whether he's here to shoot any more Kitchen Nightmares, or what. [Chron, Earlier]

Kauffman Says Cedar Hill ‘Gets Barbecue Right’; Hirsch Reviews Freehouse

Jonathan Kauffman asserts that pitmaster Jon Rietz "gets barbecue right" at the six-month-old Cedar Hill in the Marina. He writes, "Cedar Hill's meats come so close to transcending the mediocrity that smothers Bay Area barbecue," but, alas, it isn't consistently as awesome as it was on one of Kauffman's visits. He described some "spectacular" smoked chicken (something we've also loved at Memphis Minnie's, which is where Rietz formerly worked), and at least one instance of perfect, Texas-style brisket. But on different visits, the meat came out differently, and the Memphis-style ribs weren't so great. [SF Weekly]

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Gluten-Free Mariposa Baking Company Opens at Ferry Building

Good news for all Celiac sufferers: Mariposa Baking Company, which serves entirely gluten-free pastries, bagels, cupcakes, and other stuff, has just opened at the Ferry Building. They've taken over the former Prather Ranch digs after Prather moved across the way to open American Eatery a few months back. And though we are often skeptical of gluten-free baked goods, these triple-chocolate truffle brownies look damn tasty. [Scoop]

The Soup Nazi of Oakland Cajun Food Actually a Big Softie

The East Bay Express's Jesse Hirsch, by way of writing a review of ten-year-old OB's Café in Old Oakland, tells the hilarious tale of a visit to the restaurant "feeling a potent mixture of hunger and fear" as he approached. The chef-owner, you see, has a well documented reputation for being gruff, and comparisons to the Soup Nazi abound on Yelp. But Hirsch was reassured by friends and various five-star Yelp reviews that this guy knows his way around a jambalaya, and he confirms that the food is excellent, even if the service can be off-putting. "After half an hour of preparation, a terrific meal," he writes. "My shrimp and grits had an ample base of creamy cheddar-laced grits, sticky but not lumpy... We couldn't stop eating." Also, by the time he paid his bill Hirsch realized the chef had a a sense of humor after all, and perhaps all you have to do is show some appreciation for his art — just like Kramer did with the Soup Nazi — to win him over. [EBX]

The Best of S.F.: Where and What to Eat

Dinner at Outerlands is among our favorites.

San Francisco is a good-eating town, and we here at Grub Street have been doing our best to point you to the best there is when it comes to sandwiches, pasta, roast chicken, cocktails, desserts, you name it. In the great tradition of American sitcoms, allow us to take this mid-season moment to recap some of our favorite slideshow moments of the last couple years, just in case you missed one.

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Bauer Still Doesn’t Care for Nick’s Cove

You may recall that in 2010 Michael Bauer had to pull a review from publication (which he subsequently published parts of on his blog) of Nick's Cove in Tomales Bay after a sudden menu change would have made the review outdated. Local restaurant impresario Pat Kuleto reportedly dumped $10 million to renovate the place to "maintain its ramshackled appearance," as Bauer put it, only to admit later to investors that the whole venture had been "a disaster" and sell off the property to a restaurant group. Recently Mr. Bauer "made the winding trip" back to Nick's Cove to see how the new owners were faring, and it still doesn't sound like it's worth the trip.

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Tradition, Opening Soon, Replaces Mr. Lew’s in the ‘Loin

The former Mr. Lew's, which began as a kind of joke, but stuck around for a year.

Speaking of the Future Bars empire — which includes Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse, Swig, The Wilson, and the brand new Local Edition which opens Thursday at Third and Market — they've got yet another bar in the works which is replacing the temporary Mr. Lew's Win-Win Bar & Grand Sazerac Emporium (441 Jones) that opened last year in the former 441 Club and closed for renovations in January. It's called Tradition, and as partner Brian Sheehy tells the Scoop, the name "will reflect the great history of making, serving and enjoying American spirits and cocktails." So, expect another nice cocktail bar which probably won't be as formal as B&B, and expect it to open in a few weeks. Details to follow. [Scoop]

Police Pursuing Marina Stiletto Attacker [Updated]

San Francisco Police now have the name of the drunk woman who got a little too violently protective of her Louboutins outside a Marina restaurant last weekend, and it's all thanks to blogging and social networking you guys! Says the victim of the alleged stiletto attack to his skull, Matt Meidinger, "I am happy to have obtained the information about the woman and have given the information to the authorities. It’s all in their hands now, and is under investigation." We've gotten wind of her identity, too, and it seems multiple individuals heeded the call of Twitter and Facebook and kept this woman from remaining anonymous. We shall update you as we learn more about the investigation.

Update: Grub Street spoke to SFPD spokesman Daryl Fong who tells us that police are still currently attempting to apprehend the suspect, and we should know more soon. Also, we're going to start calling her Louboutin Lucy until she can be identified. That is all.

Update 2: Louboutin Attacker May Claim Self-Defense In Marina Shoe Assault

Earlier: Drunk Marina Lady Attacks Local Restaurant Guy With Stiletto

First Crush Changes Hands, May Get Revamped

Fourteen-year-old Union Square bistro First Crush (101 Cyril Magnin) is in the process of being sold to new owners. Longtime owner Shahram Bijan is selling to Ebubekir Tekdemir according to a liquor license app, and Bijan tells the Scoop that he's looking to concentrate on his two Toast locations in Marin. It's unclear whether a name change or significant menu change are in the works. [Scoop]

Chef Shuffles at Presidio Social Club, Bluestem

Presidio Social Club

There's a new chef at five-year-old Presidio Social Club: Wes Shaw. As founding chef and owner Ray Tang tells us, he's excited to have hired Shaw, a Texas native, in part because he spent seven years in the military, which reflects on the restaurant's vibe being a former officers' club. "It’s fitting how similar Wes’s own story is to the thinking behind the restaurant," says Tang, who's working alongside Shaw to revamp the menu. "He is simultaneously breathing a new sense of relevance into the menu as well as truly celebrating the history of [the restaurant].” Also notable: In a nod to his Texan upbringing, Shaw will be doing a brisket special on Tuesdays.

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Now Rick Santorum Is Quitting Steak Dinners, Too

Rick's staying in tonight.

The race for the GOP presidential nomination isn’t the only thing that former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum dropped out of: Seems he’s also bailing on tonight’s Red Meat Tour dinner, a $40-per-head, three-course steak dinner at a Radisson Hotel on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Philebrity reports that he’s backing out of the dinner because he’s no longer a contender for the presidency. We wouldn't be surprised if the real reason is because the menu for tonight’s dinner includes a vegetarian option. [Philebrity]

F. Scott Fitzgerald: Tender Is the Turkey Bound With Dental Floss

In addition to penning classics like Tender Is the Night and drinking heavily, F. Scott Fitzgerald also apparently kept detailed recipe logs. In fact, recently unearthed in his many notebooks was a creative, macabre, and possibly illegal list of ways to prepare leftover turkey. Clearly, the man missed his calling: Among his lunatic ravings carefully crafted preparations: turkey doused in a gallon of vermouth and a demijohn of angostura bitters; turkey à la Francais, stuffed with old watches and chains and monkey meat; and turkey hash, stewed in a washing machine and delicately bound with dental floss. Martha Stewart, this man was not. [Lists of Note]

Nick Offerman on Scotch, Meat, and Making Love to Megan Mullally in Diners

He's pro-coaster.Photo: Jordan Naylor/WireImage/Getty Images

Best known for playing America's foremost breakfast enthusiast Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, and starring in films such as 21 Jump Street and Casa de Mi Padre, Nick Offerman is also, perhaps unsurprisingly, an accomplished woodworker with his own outfit, Offerman Wood Shop, in Los Angeles. Last night, Offerman was in town to host the premiere of Handmade: A Celebration of American Craftsmanship, a roadshow documentary presented by Balvenie Scotch. We caught up with him to chat about whisky, breakfast foods, and wooden dildos (among other things).

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Sloshed: Is There Any Way to Make Wine Bars Better?

"I'm getting, like, jammy leather with a hint of cocoa."Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Wine bars are not like other bars. Bars are fun. Wine bars are not. Even the term "wine bar" is boring. Often, these places — the kind that are named the Cellar or A.O.C. — feel less like bars (places to meet people for a drink, good conversation) and more like tutoring rooms. Don't get me wrong: I like drinking wine. I once ran a café where I peddled a small (but distinctive!) wine list. I even wrote a monthly column all about wine for McSweeney's. But my goodness: Wine bars have got to get better.

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Alicia Silverstone Defends Feeding Her Son Mouth-to-Mouth

Bear Blu's mom.

When a video went viral of Silverstone feeding her son, Bear Blu, pre-chewed food from one smacker to another, the reactions were hardly all shits and giggles. But that didn't bother vegan and constipation-killer Silverstone, who insists that "people have been feeding their kids that way for thousands of years" and that it's all part of the weaning process. Most doctors say she's not entirely clueless, and that there's definitely some validity to the method. We say, chew and let chew. [NYDN]


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