Posts for November 28, 2012

Miller Delighted by Orexi; Roth Calls Machka Pleasant, But Indistinct; Bauer Mostly Impressed With Lincoln Park in Marin

And to round out the day, a roundup of this week's reviews thus far, beginning with Virginia Miller's visit to Orexi in West Portal for the Guardian. She says that the restaurant is "a step in the right direction" in our Greek-food-starved city, where the only real option for decent Greek fare is the high-end and ever-crowded Kokkari. She, like the Weekly's Anna Roth before her, loves the taramosalata and the eggplant-based melitzanosalata. And she says she's "smitten with [the] homey moussaka." She says you can skip the octopus and the baked white beans, however. [SFBG]

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Eleven Cozy Bay Area Spots for a Warm, Wintry Meal

The season definitely took a shift this week, and the next few days you should expect to be a little damp. Given that, we have a few suggestions of where to dine by a fire, or at least ensconced in a cozy dining room with some rib-sticking, soul-warming food this winter. We're not talking tried-and-true comfort food necessarily, but from our list it does seem the Europeans have a hold on hearty cuisine that will get you through the coldest, bleakest days, though ramen is a fine bet too. And by the way, booze also does the trick, and the fireplace lounge at Big Four or the Hideout at Dalva are also good bets for hiding out with a cocktail in the cold and rain.

Sous Beurre Kitchen to Host a Most Fowl Pop-Up This Weekend

Chef Michael Mauschbaugh, whose Sous Beurre Kitchen pop-up at Sugarlump is readying to go brick-and-mortar next year on 24th Street, is doing a one-off event this Saturday, December 1 at FoodLab (7th and Market) called The Wild Goose Chase. It's being done in conjunction with Kitchit's One Night Stands series, and the menu is all about wild game birds. To be exact, squab, pheasant, quail, and goose.

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First Look at Hakkasan, the Upscale Chinese Spot Opening December 3

For cheap and sometimes cheery Cantonese fare, San Francisco has no shortage — in Chinatown, the Richmond, and elsewhere. But when it comes to classed-up, caviar'd, and Michelin-level Chinese dining, there's been a definite dearth since the closing of Cecilia Chiang's legendary Mandarin restaurant, which lived from 1968 to 1991 at Ghirardelli Square. That will all change next week with the grand opening of Hakkasan, the newest location of the Michelin-starred, London-based restaurant group founded by Alan Yau, famous for the wildly successful Wagamama ramen chain in Britain. He unveiled a similarly posh New York location this past spring, and Hakkasan San Francisco, which opens Monday on the second floor of the One Kearny building, is being overseen by executive chef Ho Chee Boon, who also opened the original London branch.

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KronnerBurger Launches With Limited Hours, Crab Burger

It's a big 'un.Photo: Courtesy of KronnerBurger

As we discussed earlier, Chris Kronner launched his KronnerBurger pop-up over the holiday weekend at Bruno's (2379 Mission). The full menu is now online, and features some intriguing cocktails from The Alembic's Daniel Hyatt, although the bar guy is going to be Locanda's Gabriel Lowe going forward, with a different list of boozy treats. On the food side you have the signature burger with optional bone marrow, a "Nonmeatburger," and a crab burger, not to mention onion rings, a wedge salad, a whole plate of marrow, and fries with the optional poutine-i-zation of curds and gravy. As the Scoop notes today, hours are limited for now, with Sunday and Monday evenings definite, and a 4:30 to 8 p.m. happy hour on Saturday (Bruno's uses the space for overflow crowds in the later evening). He hopes to be open seven days a week soon (see Facebook for updates). Eventually, though, in the coming months, we should know where Kronner will be moving permanently, and it might even be two separate spots — one in the Mission and one on Polk. [Scoop, Earlier]

Consumer Reports Says Our Pork Is Full of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

But is it all hogwash?

It was more than a year ago when the USDA relaxed its official pork-cooking guidelines, but hold up! There’s a new pork predicament on the horizon. A recent study conducted by Consumer Reports finds that the majority of pork products in this country are tainted with a rare bacteria strain known as Yersinia enterocolitica. Like garden variety food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli, the bug identified in the study causes fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea that can last one to three weeks if ingested. However, unlike those more common disease-causing agents, Yersinia enterocolitica is resistant to most antibiotics. And all signs seem to point toward the widespread factory-farm practice of loading porkers with antibiotics as the blame.

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Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger Wishes She ‘Had a Penis’ For Yigit Pura

Well, what do you know! It looks like Tout Sweet owner and Top Chef: Just Desserts winner Yigit Pura succumbed to a contractual obligation* to appear on another Bravo show, The Millionaire Matchmaker, in the upcoming season. It's unclear to what extent he'll be involved with the episode, or whether Patti finds him a match, but in the preview she arrives to a meeting with him saying, "Look at how cute you look. You're the first person I wish I had a penis for."

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Rich Table to Up Their Bar Game With Jason ‘Buffalo’ LoGrasso

The opening 'bar' at Rich Table.Photo: Andrei Riskin/Grub Street

Rich Table (199 Gough), which has already established itself in its first four and a half months as the new darling of the S.F. dining scene and won the all-important Bauer rave, announced this week the hiring of Jason "Buffalo" LoGrasso to head up a new and improved bar program. As of opening, they've been serving a small, rotating selection of seasonal cocktails created by the front-of-house team, but LoGrasso will bring things up a notch having cut his teeth at several of the city's better bars, including The Alembic, Bourbon & Branch, and most recently Quince and Cotogna.

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Anthony Bourdain Is Now Foiling Secret Service Keg Parties

In case you missed the State Department's daily briefing on Monday, spokesperson Victoria Nuland was asked about Anthony Bourdain's weekend tweet that suggested the Secret Service personnel who'd rented the phones previously forgot to delete text messages pertaining to their keg parties. Secret Service agents are only allowed to have keg parties under direct orders from the president. "Anything that you’re aware of on that front?" Nuland was asked. "No," the spokesperson said. "But we will have our Embassy follow up on that one for sure." Bourdain is traveling throughout Southeast Asia filming his new show, which presumably means it's safe for all government agent who aren't stationed there to proceed with their regularly scheduled illicit weekend plans. [State via Daily Caller, Earlier]

Heston Blumenthal May Be Opening in the U.S., Probably in New York

What's he working on now?Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Earlier today, Food and Travel editor Guy Woodward tweeted, "Rumour is that Heston Blumenthal will open a restaurant in one of Mandarin Oriental's US hotels - maybe next year. My money's on New York." The brainy English chef, who currently holds three Michelin stars and first garnered attention with his modernist food at the Fat Duck in Bray, already operates a restaurant called Dinner by Heston in London's Mandarin Oriental, which ranked No. 9 on this year's World's 50 Best list.

Is it happening? »

Flavor Ammo: New Ways to Use Old Bay

There's a lot going on in that little tin.Photo: Melissa Hom

When you think of Old Bay — the Maryland spice blend in the yellow and blue tin — you probably think of outdoor crab shacks on the Chesapeake Bay, or maybe a lobster bake on a beach. But there's nothing inherently summery or regional about the blend itself, other than how well it goes with a cold pitcher of Natty Boh. Chefs seem to have realized that. Mission Chinese's Danny Bowien has used it in a dish of Sichuan catfish; the Momofuku group famously seasons their fried chicken with it; plenty of places sell Old Bay–dusted fries and burgers with Old Bay–infused aïoli — the list goes on and the reason is obvious: Old Bay's transformative powers extend way beyond crabs.

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Have an Instant Party With This New Booze Delivery Service

What do you do when you have eight people at your house and it's raining (!) and the corner store is just way too far to walk? Enter Swig, a new liquor and beer delivery service that at least in its debut season will not be ripping you off with surcharges. As Thrillist points out, they only tack on four dollars as an "ID checking fee," and it behooves you to order in bulk — six packs of beer, which come in seven varieties including Fat Tire, Corona, and Lagunitas IPA are all just $8.99 per six pack, and the ID checking fee remains flat no matter how many you buy. Also, we note that a bottle of Tanqueray is pretty standardly priced at $22.99. The service is SF-only for now, serving only the neighborhoods east of Divisadero and north of the Bayview/Excelsior (see the delivery area here). And they're operating until 10 p.m. during the week, and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. A beer run may still be faster if the store is on your block, but clearly less cool. [Thrillist] Update: As we discover from the Swig team, they're actually partnering with local businesses who already sell alcohol, and they're not licensed to sell it themselves. The idea is to drive business to those businesses that already have the inventory, and thus, the prices aren't that bad.

Watch This Kid Eat an Ear of Corn in Ten Seconds

We'd hate to think this is the start of a new trend of power-tool-assisted food stunts, because it's only a matter of time before some forlorn teen locks himself in a room with his Lumix, a bunch of bananas, and a band saw. We'll leave it to you to decide if this blé d'Inde à la Home Depot is a cry for help or actually a genius new invention. (That's a trick question, because it's obviously both.) And, as always, don't try this at home.

Cordless corn cobs. »

Watch Jon Stewart’s Take on the Hostess Closure

On last night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart became the latest person to weigh in on the end of Twinkies. Needless to say, he doesn't seem too broken up about the demise of this "diabetes dispensary." Stewart wonders what he'll have to turn to for "stomach aches and self medication" — Arby's? Boxed wine? The options are grim.

The full clip, right this way. »


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Jay Barmann
NY Mag