Posts for January 2, 2013

Wine Kitchen Ready to Open on Divis; Dishman Leaves Viognier in San Mateo

NoPa: Wine Kitchen (507 Divisadero at Fell) is on track for an opening as early as this weekend, perhaps. [Eater, Facebook, Earlier]
Oakland: District in Old Oakland is opening a lunchtime operation called District Carriage House out of an adjacent room at the back of the restaurant with an entrance on Ninth Street. And there will be fried chicken to compete with Miss Ollie's across the street. [Scoop]
Half Moon Bay: Preston Dishman, chef for the last five years at Viognier in San Mateo and at Sonoma's General's Daughter before that, is now heading over to Pasta Moon in Half Moon Bay. [Scoop]
Forestville: Chef Francesco Torre, formerly of Sausalito’s Fish, is opening Canetti, an Italian spot, in mid-January. [Tablehopper]

The Beer Just Got More Local at the Downtown Hilton

The beer taps at the bar at the Financial District Hilton just got some revision via certified cicerone and Social Kitchen brewmaster Rich Higgins, and they're now all local craft beers. Higgins has stocked the draft list at Restaurant 750 and Flyte Beer & Wine Bar with fourteen Bay Area brews, including Heretic's Evil Cousin pale ale, brewed in Pittsburg; Almanac's Extra Pale Ale; and Anderson Valley Brewing's Brother David’s Double.

Petar’s Calling It Quits After 53 Years in Lafayette

This very old door is shutting for good on Saturday.Photo: Courtesy of Petar's

Petar’s Restaurant and Lounge in downtown Lafayette, which opened in a nearby location in 1959, is shutting its doors after service on Saturday night, January 5. As Diablo reports, the 53-year-old (and therefore obviously old-school) haunt with a popular dancefloor on weekends has been well loved by "everyone from St Mary's co-eds to 50-something married couples," but rumors of its demise have been swirling for years. The lounge has played host for the last 26 years to local legend and "karaoke-DJ-emcee" Diamond Dave Hosley, and hopefully he'll find a new venue to ply his trade. (He says on his site that he'll be moving "somewhere," but he will do two last sets at Petar's on Friday and Saturday. There are now rumors of some "big-name restaurateurs" looking at the space, which is across the street from a popular location of Chow, but they're only rumors for now. [Diablo]

Subway Is Putting ‘Creamy Sriracha Sauce’ on Its Sandwiches

Can a hot sauce as virtuous as sriracha jump the shark? Foodbeast reports that a somewhat cryptozoological condiment called "Creamy Sriracha Sauce" is being put on Subway sandwiches at the chain's Santa Ana, California, stores. It will be available for a "limited time only," according to the in-store sign, which is currently the best proof of its existence, and the field report indicates the sauce tastes "less sweet and much more spicy" when applied to a turkey sandwich. Any more rooster sauce sightings out there? [Foodbeast via Gawker]

Miller Gushes About Capo’s; the EBX Likes the Heavy Pours at Berkeley’s Bartavelle

This week Virginia Miller gives us her adoring thoughts on Capo's (641 Vallejo Street), Tony Gemignani's newly open Chicago-style pizzeria in North Beach. She's in love, first of all, with the red leather booths and Prohibition-era decor, and the "dreamy" house Calabrese sausage with peppers, onions, and a light tomato cream sauce. She calls the mostaccioli "a beaut" of a dish, and she says you "can't go wrong" with any of the pizzas, especially the deep dish, order-ahead Quattro Forni (done in all four of the on-premise ovens), and the thin-crust Italian Stallion topped with thin-shaved Italian beef and horseradish cream and "sweet-hot" peppers. [SFBG, Roth's Earlier take]

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Eggplant Is Also Trying to Kill You

One dangerous aubergine.

More bad food news: Eighty restaurant patrons in Beijing had to be hospitalized after they ordered and ate eggplant stir-fries that were spiked with clonidine, which caused immediate fatigue, dizziness, and vomiting. 34 of the restaurant's customers needed to have the drug cleaned from their bloodstream, the Salt reports, quoting a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. According to the folks from the No. 307 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army, who authored the study with members of Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences, the intentional poisoning was designed to draw customers to a rival, presumably clonidine-free restaurant back in 2010, so we should all be safe.

A meal ticket of bad food. »

B. Patisserie Puts Off Opening Until Late January

B. Patisserie's Halloween candy-flavored macarons.Photo: Grub Street

Over the holiday weekend we received word that Belinda Leong's long-awaited bakery café, B. Patisserie (2821 California Street at Divisadero), has moved its scheduled New Year's opening to the end of the month due to a construction delay. Leong is now planning for a January 28 grand opening following a private event, however the exact date could still be subject to change pending final inspections. As discussed earlier, Leong's partner in the business is artisan-bread guru Michel Suas, owner of TMB Baking Co. and Thorough Bread, and the brick-and-mortar shop arrives fifteen months after Leong left the kitchen at Manresa to go out on her own, doing occasional bakesales at Flour + Water, Salumeria, and Four Barrel. [Earlier]

Saigon Soul, Featuring Vietnamese-Inflected Soul Food, Pops Up at Regalito Next Week

The folks behind Vietnamese pop-up outfit Bicycle Banh Mi (formerly Banh Mi Love You Longtime ... and we're a little sad they changed the name) are joining forces with Bar Agricole cook Seth Stowaway to do a one-night-only event called Saigon Soul on Monday, January 7 at Regalito (3481 18th Street). The concept is Southern soul food-meets Vietnam, and dish examples include shrimp, grits, and spare ribs with Vietnamese herbs; and rice paper rolls with Dungeness crab and chicories. It's $45 for a five-course tasting menu, and you can buy tickets here. [SFoodie]

Starbucks Tops 2012 Most-Expensed Restaurants List

America runs on venti.

Hot diggity Frappuccino! What, if anything, does it say about the state of the collective American workplace that Starbucks ranks No. 1 on a list of last year's most popular expensed restaurants? There were 20,084 receipts for things like lattes and babyccinos filed with the expense-management company Certify between January and November, Bucks reports. “They’re not taking clients there," says Certify executive Bob Neveu. "It’s an individual running between planes, grabbing something quick.” Neveu says McDonald's, Subway, Panera Bread, and Burger King round out the top five, and while there aren't any real surprises here, does this mean that more and more "meals" are being consumed at Starbucks? A "night menu" of bacon-wrapped dates, truffle mac and cheese, and chocolate fondue suddenly doesn't sound like such a wacky idea after all. [Bucks/NYT, Earlier]

Slow Hand BBQ Gets a Rave for Its New Home in Pleasant Hill

Slow Hand's ribs.

Slow Hand BBQ, easily one of our favorites for both dry-rubbed ribs and brisket when we did our Great Barbecue Tour of 2011, is no longer just a smoker attached to the back of pitmaster Dan Frengs's pickup. Our outer-East-Bay blinders caused us to miss the August opening of Frengs's brick-and-mortar location at 1941 Oak Park Boulevard in Pleasant Hill, in the former Smokin' Okies space where there was already a 32-year-old wood-burning smoker in back. And now Contra Costa Times critic Tim O'Rourke brings us a rave review. He tells us that Frengs and his crew are doing St. Louis-style ribs as well as babybacks, smoked chicken, the excellent Texas-style brisket, and Carolina pulled pork, as well as a quartet of side dish options: German potato salad, beer-spiked beans with bacon, mac 'n' cheese, and some really good coleslaw. Sadly for us this means we won't be finding Frengs popping up outside the Homestead or Dirty Thieves, though he did make one recent appearance at New Taste Marketplace in the Potrero. Ladies and gentlemen, this very well might give us our first reason to drive to Pleasant Hill. [CC Times]

Yet Another Crawfish Place Headed For the Richmond

There were only two Vietnamese-Cajun crawfish joints in town just a couple years ago when Jonathan Kauffman decided to do this dual review for the Weekly, and now there are five. (The phenomenon comes to us via the Vietnamese-American communities along the Gulf Coast in Louisiana who found success opening crawfish restaurants down there.) Today Grub Street discovers that Rockin' Crawfish is headed for 4724 Geary Boulevard (between 11th and 12th Avenues), which has lately been home to Cable Car Pizza. And this follows on November's news that Cajun Crawfish Boil had opened just up the street at Geary and 18th, and on the earlier opening of Cajun House Louisiana Crawfish at 308 5th Avenue. Also, there was the October closure of four-month-old House of Crawfish at 2080 Van Ness. Red Crawfish, which was one of Kauffman's subjects, is still around on Larkin in Little Saigon, and there is also now Crawfish Station at 9th and Irving in the Sunset.

Overweight People Somehow Less Likely to Die Than Skinnier People

Happy for a reason.Photo: iStockphoto

Something to tell your annoying friends who made New Year's resolutions to eat more lettuce and enroll in cultlike exercise classes: The "largest and most carefully done" study of body-mass index and mortality suggests that people whose BMI ranked them as overweight are less likely to die than normal-weight people. “Fat per se is not as bad as we thought,” Dr. Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, professor of medicine and public health at the University of California, Irvine, told the Times. “What is bad is a type of fat that is inside your belly,” he said. “Non-belly fat, underneath your skin in your thigh and your butt area — these are not necessarily bad.” As it turns out, fat may even be protective and nutritional for the elderly. As expected, some experts are critical of this enabling study because factors like blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes weren't taken into consideration. So maybe don't give up jogging just yet. [NYT]

Juhu Beach Club Finds Space in Oakland’s Temescal

Mistry at work.Photo: Courtesy of Preeti Mistry

After a space in the Mission fell through this fall, Juhu Beach Club chef Preeti Mistry set her sights across the Bay to another food-centric neighborhood: Temescal in Oakland. As Tablehopper reports, Mistry has inked a deal for the former SR24 space at 5179 Telegraph Avenue, across the street from Pizzaiolo, Dona Tomas, and Bakesale Betty. It was just about a year ago that Mistry landed the Mission location, and sixteen months since she shuttered her SoMa lunch pop-up on 11th Street. Juhu Beach Club will be serving Mistry's signature mix of Indian flavors in witty twists on street food dishes, like chicken curry tacos, fenugreek fritters, vada pav with ghost pepper sauce, and shrimp "po'Bhais". [Tablehopper]


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