Posts for February 1, 2013

Acquerello Team Opening a New Spot on Polk; Zinfandel Festival This Weekend

Polk Gulch: You may recall how the Parilla space recently became available at 1760 Polk Street. It turns out that Giancarlo Paterlini of nearby Acquerello snapped it up. Will this be a new, casual Italian spot from the team? Details remain few, but stay tuned. [Scoop]
SoMa: ZAP, the annual Zinfandel festival with both wine and food tastings, is all this weekend at the Concourse Pavilion. [Grub Street]
Upper Haight: Daniel Hyatt, the bar manager at The Alembic and creator of its excellent cocktail program, has taken his leave, and he's a free agent for now. [Tablehopper]
St. Helena: La Condesa, the Mexican spot imported from Austin, now has a new, more casual menu, and a new chef: Chris Mortenson. [Scoop]

Ramen Shop Is About to Get Even Busier

Rockridge's new Ramen Shop, from a trio of Chez Panisse alums, just got a big pictorial and piece in the Times' T Magazine, penned by an alum of the CP organization himself, David Prior. He quotes partner Sam White saying, "We didn’t want to make a place that is like a Japanese place, but a place that our Japanese friends will like." And even though the place has been crazy busy since the moment it opened, this bit of national press should definitely make that even worse. [NYT]

Ashton Kutcher Spotted at the Roxie; Bill Cosby Dines at Nopa

Ashton Kutcher, who we already know is a fan of Zero Zero and Rye when he's in town, was just spotted at the still-booze-free Roxie Theater this week. Huh. In related news, the Roxie has never, ever screened Dude, Where's My Car? [Uptown Almanac]

Bill Cosby, in town last week for the opening of the new SFJAZZ Center, dined at Nopa on Thursday. Insert pudding joke here. [Haighteration]

Bauer Likes to Eat Mexican When He's Blue

"Whenever I’m feeling a bit down, a trip to Nopalito helps. I love just about everything on the menu, but this week I was taken with the panucho..." — Michael Bauer, highlighting a few dishes this week on the blog, amidst some winter blues. [BetweenMeals/Scoop]

Sactown’s Biba Caggiano Honored By Italian Culinary Academy

Biba Caggiano

The Italian equivalent of Michelin, the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, which travels around with inspectors rating restaurants and "safeguard[ing] Italian culinary traditions," just made a trip to Sacramento to launch a chapter of the organization there. And while in town, they honored restaurateur and cookbook author Biba Caggiano, chef-owner of Biba, which since 1986 has been one of the most celebrated Italian restaurants in California. Caggiano published her ninth book, Spaghetti Sauces, in 2011. The Accademia's tasters were especially in love with her famous lasagna, and the Sacramento chapter's new president, Orietta Gianjorio, said the meal they had was "really good and the wine pairings were perfect." [SacBee]

Hashiboro Kou on the Way to Replace Nan California Korean on Fillmore

A new izakaya is moving in to replace the shuttered Nan California Korean Kitchen at Fillmore and Geary. It's called Hashiboro Kou (the website is not yet together), and Eater notes the signs going up, along with a promise that it's coming in March. Nan, which opened in June 2011, was the short-lived reincarnation of Nan Korean Dining Bar, and prior to that, Heung Bu Nae. Details about the new place are few, but stay tuned as the opening approaches. [Eater]

The Six Best Places for Wings in S.F.

The Angry Korean wings at Wing Wings.Photo: Courtesy of Wing Wings

OK. It's Super Bowl weekend. And we'll do our service-y duty for you here, in case you are doing any last-minute planning for a gathering, or in case you just want to tuck into a plate/bucket of good and spicy chicken wings for the hell of it. These are our top six bets.

Read more »

Box & Bells Preview Dinner Tickets Sold Out [Update]

Just a friendly reminder that James Syhabout's first preview pop-up of the upcoming Box & Bells menu, at Hawker Fare, is happening February 17 at 6 p.m., and advanced tickets are required. They just went on sale this minute, and they're $45, including beverages and tip. Get one now. We're guessing it'll be good. Update: ... Annnd it's already sold out. In five minutes. But we're pretty sure there will be more of these in the coming weeks.

What to Eat on AQ’s All-Citrus Tasting Menu This Weekend

The farmers' market haul.

Despite the weather, this is still winter. With that in mind, chef Mark Liberman is doing an all-citrus tasting menu this weekend featuring nine varieties of height-of-season citrus like kumquats, mandarins, tangelos, and yuzu. It's $75 per person, without beverages, and as always, full participation by the table is required. See the menu below. Mmm ... brassicas beignet with Meyer lemon mustard.

Read more »

Aramis the Sick Lion Is Getting By on Elk Burgers in Texas

Here's a guy who probably doesn't mind a little horse DNA in his hamburgers every now and then. Aramis, an African lion living at the In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue Education Center in Wylie, Texas, hasn't been feeling too well. "This African lion is very, very sick," the local NBC affiliate explains. "All he wants to do is eat elk meat." Problem is, of course, dude needed to take his pills and no one had any elk filet lying around. Or so it seemed: the local Twisted Root Burger Co., which also grills venison and boar burgers, had just gotten a 50-pound shipment yesterday morning, so now the center's staff have been able to slip Aramis his meds by tucking them into the chop meat. "I think it's awesome," says restaurateur Jason Boso. "I mean a lion and me, we have a lot in common. We eat buffalo, and elk, and venison, and so I need to help my brother out."

Elkburger Helper! »

Gold Dust Lounge Will Be Reborn Tonight!

The old Gold Dust will get its last goodbye in today's parade.

2012 was rough for The Gold Dust Lounge. The bar stood at 247 Powell Street, right off the corner of Union Square, since at least 1918, when it began as the Techau Tavern, and the current ownership, Jimmy and Tasios Bovis, owned it from the mid 1960s on. It was forced to close because the landlords (the Handlery Hotel) needed the real estate to give to a retail store moving in on that corner, and evicted the Bovises last May after a five-month fight that saw everyone from the Historic Preservation Commission to Willie Brown involved. And today, February 1, the bar is being reborn on the other side of the hill in Fisherman's Wharf at 165 Jefferson Street, in a freshly built-out space with a few Victorian details. And the owners are celebrating the rebirth with the help of Mayor Ed Lee, a random character actor, and a whole cable car procession up Powell Street starting at 3 p.m.

Read more »

Priorities: Eighth Grader Chooses Fried Chicken Over Young Love

They've surely broken up by now.Photo: Reddit

A hormonal adolescent has penned the most honest ode to fried chicken we've ever seen (and Grub Street has seen a few). This note — apparently found on the floor of an eighth-grade classroom — reflects teenagers coming to terms, as we all do, with how best to balance our love lives and our love of fried chicken. Kids, they grow up so fast. [Reddit via Mashable]

Applebee’s Fires Server for Posting ‘I Give God 10 Percent’ Receipt, Defends Its Actions

But does God serve Weight Watchers entrees?Photo: Reddit

Details have emerged about the customer who wrote, "I give God 10 percent, why do you get 18?" on a receipt and refused to leave a tip. Pastor Alois Bell delivered the holier-than-thou message at a St. Louis Applebee's, where she was dining with a party of twenty. Bell asked to have the check broken up into increments so she could avoid paying the mandatory 18 percent tip, and then proceeded to cross out the $6.29 auto-gratuity. Chelsea Welch, a waitress (but not Bell's sever), posted the photo online "as a lighthearted joke." After it went viral and Bell got outed, she called Applebee's to demand that the restaurant fire everyone involved in the scandal. Welch lost her job.

Jesus Christ! »

Patricia Unterman Gives Her Stamp of Approval to the New Chez Panisse Regime

Patty U. gives us a review today of two dinners she's had in the last six months at the downstairs restaurant at Chez Panisse, providing some insight into the work being done under the recently appointed co-chef team of Jerome Waag and Cal Paternell. And Patty has a long perspective on this, having eaten there many times in the last 30+ years, and knowing well the styles of former chefs Jean-Pierre Moullé (who'd been there 37 years) and David Tanis. She says that a meal she had from Waag back in August "could have been cooked by JP [Moullé] himself," and she was relieved. But she has higher praise for Paternell, saying that a January Friday dinner she had by him "surprised me with its creativity," and gushing, "Peternell’s food possessed that transcendent Chez succulence and brightness but tasted new and rather poetic with its overlay of exotic if totally integrated scent. Charming!" [Unterman on Food]

Make It Stop! Now Doritos Will Launch Taco Bell-Flavored Chips

Taco Bell and Doritos are like that new couple that just can't stop with the PDA. Following Monday's news that the Bell will release a new Doritos Cool Ranch-flavored taco shell, today Frito-Lay declares "I love you more" by committing to a new Taco Bell flavor of Doritos. Whoa, meta. According to the L.A. Times, the flavor will roll out for a limited time in April and carry the labels of both junk-food giants on the bag. We've done this to ourselves, America. [LAT, Earlier]

Burger King U.K. Admits There May Be a Little Horse in Its Whoppers

Who's going to broil your wild horses?

Looks like someone got a little creative with the custom blend, messed up in the slaughterhouse, or didn't wipe down the grinder too carefully: Burger King announced that contrary to an earlier assertion, there are in fact "very small trace levels" of horse DNA in its products, but that it has taken action in order to cut out the horse-contaminated meat from its supply chain. It is thought that the multinational Silvercrest Foods bought meat from a "non-approved supplier" in Poland, and the fast-food chain hadn't been able to detect equine DNA earlier this month when it performed tests on its patties, in part because "testing for equine DNA is not a standard practice used in beef production." [Guardian UK, Earlier, Earlier]

Ben & Jerry’s Announces Liz Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt

30 Rock is over, but the show's leading lady is cryogenically frozen in the form of Ben & Jerry's. Liz Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt will hit stores this spring, and it comes with a blueberry-lavender swirl. Proceeds will benefit the Jumpstart charity, an education organization supported by Tina Fey that serves children in low-income neighborhoods. That's awfully nice. But our beloved Liz would want full-fat cream in her dessert. [Earlier, Vulture]


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