Inside Four Barrel Coffee. [Photo: Kenn Wilson/Flickr]
THE MISSION—Looking for a taste of Mill Valley Beerworks' acclaimed food, minus a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge? Head to Four Barrel Coffee tomorrow afternoon, when regular customer and MVB chef David Wilcox will offer $9 Prather Ranch porchetta sandwiches with radishes, pickled mustard seeds, and aioli, or beet Reuben sandwiches with cucumber, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing, as well as $4 pickles. No beer will be served, though, so be advised. The pop-up is out back on Caledonia St. from 11 am-3 pm. [EaterWire]
UNION SQUARE—Millennium is holding an agave-centric dinner next Wednesday, May 22, with six courses of tequila and mezcal shots and cocktails paired with dishes like cherry salad with spinach and purslane, sweet pepper relleno, and masa dumplings with porcini mole. Admission is $95 and includes the drinks. Call Alison at (415) 345-3900, ext. 13, to reserve. [EaterWire]
HAYES VALLEY—Boxing Room is bringing in a whole goat from Rossotti Ranch for a special dinner this Monday, May 20, and chef Brian West of Petaluma's Risibisi is coming down to give Justin Simoneaux a hand with preparing the five-course dinner. Dishes will include smoked goat ham, goat-neck tortellini, and goat's milk cheesecake, paired with three beers and two wines. Dinner is $100 all-inclusive, with two 20-person seatings at 6 and 8:30 pm; call (415) 430-6590 to reserve. [EaterWire]
HAYES VALLEY—Tomorrow marks the third edition of Hayes Valley's annual Ham and Eggs Fire Brunch, which commemorates the fire caused by a local back in 1906 while making the titular breakfast dish. This year's brunch will be at Biergarten at noon, with proceeds going to the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association; those who feel like getting up early can take a walking tour at 10 am before they dine. [Hayeswire]
Madrona Manor. [Photo: Wikimedia Commons]
The Bauer Power Hour descends on Healdsburg's Madrona Manor this week, where Jesse Mallgren, "one of the Bay Area's most underrated chefs," is putting out "a finely honed meal that seemed generous and a great value" at $91 for five courses, plus another $68 for wine pairings. Unfortunately, the service is "personable and well-meaning, but doesn't match the sophistication of the food," and the staff's uniforms get special mention: "The staff at restaurants of this caliber generally is impeccably dressed; here they wear ill-fitting black suits and scuffed shoes, like a ragtag team." (Perhaps they're the Bad News Bears on their day off.) In the end, though "Madrona delivers in a Sonoma sort of way," and could even be dubbed "a poor man's Meadowood." Final verdict: three stars. [Chron]
Meanwhile, Nicholas Boer continues on the East Bay beat with a trip to Juhu Beach Club, where "the best word to describe" the cuisine is "fun." He's enamored with most of the pavs, particularly the meat versions; the vegetarian Sloppy Lil' P is "too starchy" for his taste. He's also not big on "the sulfur-y punch of black salt," which chef Preeti Mistry thinks "Americans are totally ready for." But with a "hard to forget" atmosphere and servers "obviously jazzed about the food," Boer thinks Mistry has "a bright future built on her food." Two stars. [Chron]
Anna Roth scooted over to Divisadero's Wine Kitchen, which she sees as a metaphor for the under-construction neighborhood: on every block between Fell and Geary, "there's at least one storefront boarded up with plywood or a land parcel set aside for condo development." She digs Wine Kitchen's "impressive wine selection" and "ambitious, though less impressive, small plates menu," but dubs the space "strangely soulless," with a "lack of personality that starts with the interior" and carries through to the yuppie crowd. "Gentrification is par for the course in a city like San Francisco, and there's nothing wrong with ambition when it's executed well. I just hope that it doesn't mean a neighborhood as gritty as Divisadero has to lose its roots." [SF Weekly]
Josh Sens did a double-dip this month, visiting Charles Phan at both of his new Southern outposts, South at SFJAZZ and Hard Water. South is the weaker of the two, in his opinion: it "hits a lot of flat notes, like a saxophonist with shoddy embouchure." The cocktails are excellent, and bar bites are good, but the whole thing feels messed-up as a dinner concept: "Sit for a full-length dinner, and you're asking for frustration." Meanwhile, Hard Water's "terrific" cocktails, "more composed" food like sausage and Gulf flounder, and "clearer sense of identity" are all to the good, until it's time to flag down a server: even Phan himself, who unwittingly sat down next to Sens, had some trouble getting his order in. Two stars for Hard Water, and 1.5 stars for South. [SF Mag]
The Examiner's Cynthia Salaysay was also on the scene at Hard Water, where the "towering shrine to brown liquor...outshines the accompanying food." Though there were a few standouts, like buttery oysters St. Charles and the much-lauded fried celery hearts, and the "rustic-meets-Space Age" room is a winner, Salaysay wasn't impressed by her entrees: "None of the entrees I ordered lived up to the beauty of the drinks," and to make matters worse, "dining at the bar made for some confusion." Overall, she gets "the sense that Hard Water is still figuring out its marriage of top-notch bartending and fine dining, [but she'll] surely be back to drink a few more whiskeys." [Examiner]
Jonathan Kauffman found the tortas at closet-size (well, "practically an armoire") La Ciudad de Mexico in the Richmond to be worth packing into the small space: Chef Luis Bolaños, a La Torta Gorda alum, makes tortas "as good as anything you'll eat in the Mission or Oakland," and burritos should be ignored in favor of "freshly-made quesadillas" with nopales or squash blossoms. One out of three stars. [Tasting Table]
Luke Tsai headlines his review of Ben's Restaurant as "The Best Chinese Restaurant in Oakland That You've Never Heard Of," and indeed, he's pleased by the "simple, tasty, inexpensive Chinese food — mainly rice plates, priced at around six bucks each." Westernized standards rule the menu, but ingredients are fresh and "even the most Americanized dishes are cooked the way the chef himself would like to eat them." Off-menu specials like Wednesday fried chicken or curry chicken fried rice are his favorites, and it's best to go sooner rather than later: Ben's a one-man kitchen operation, and he's retiring in a couple of years. [EBX]
[Photos: Wes Rowe]
The sun is shining and it is finally feeling like Spring. So shed some layers, join Eater Dating, and take your new partner on one of these Eater-approved dates.
How about we...
...juice it up at Thrive Juicery.
...sit on the rooftop at El Techo de Lolinda.
...try the Korean steak sandwich at Rhea's Cafe.
...taste some South African cuisine at Amawele's South African Kitchen.
...head to Kitchen Mojo and try the popcorn shrimp kimchi po'boys. </a> </p>
·Eater Dating [~E~]
The view from El Techo de Lolinda. [Photo: Wes Rowe]
THE MISSION—We went up on the rooftop to check out new bar El Techo de Lolinda, housed in the former Medjool space. We've got the menu and cocktail menu, too.
NOB HILL—Allegro Romano owner Lorenzo Logerici landed himself in hot water this week after allegedly slapping a health inspector who cited him. He's been charged with battery.
BURLINGAME—Meanwhile, Peninsula izakaya Mokutanya is courting some negative press attention of its own after deciding to serve lion-meat skewers.
SOMA—The Wise Sons are going for a second deli location, in the Contemporary Jewish Museum. They'll have a takeout window and bagels from Beauty's as well.
SAN FRANCISCO—Five new openings went down this week: the second location of beloved Mission sandwichery Rhea's; an Embarcadero brick-and-mortar for Thrive Juicery, a new South African restaurant called Amawele's in the Rincon Center; Elmira Rosticceria, an Italian breakfast and lunch spot near Civic Center; and West Portal Southern Italian restaurant Trattoria da Vittorio.
LOWER POLK—Brenda Buenviaje of Brenda's is opening a new cafe, Libby Jane Cafe, two doors down from her mothership, with coffee and sandwiches. Her po'boy place on Fillmore is still on its way, too.
SOUTH BEACH/LOWER HAIGHT—Other female chefs also have the expansion bug (go, girls!): former A16 exec chef Liza Shaw is opening a deli, Merigan Sub Shop, near AT&T Park, while Frances' Melissa Perello is considering a second location in the Lower Haight.
NORTH BEACH—Pisto's Tacos bowed out after just two weeks, to be replaced by a more upscale concept, Pisto's, with a private phone number. (Ooooh.)
Developers of the former Dugoni School of Dentistry building are reducing the number of units from 93 to 77 in order to avoid rezoning the property. They also hope to build 11 townhouses adjacent to the former education building in Pacific Heights. Keeping on trend, the school is headed to the Mid-Market area of SoMa. [SF Business Times/Curbed SF]
Andrea de Francisco, who managed The Grind in the Lower Haight, is planning to open a cafe of her own in the Bernal Heights/La Lengua area, at 3438 Mission St. It'll be called Cafe St. Jorge after her family's hometown in the Azores, and will feature Stumptown coffee and Portuguese-inspired sandwiches and salads. She's running a $30K Kickstarter campaign to get it up and running: $10 gets donors a treat or a cup of coffee, and $5 buys a good old-fashioned hug. [Haighteration]
Photo by Sara Iravani</a>
SAN FRANCISCO—It's that time of year that no one likes to think about: swimsuit shopping season. Never fear, we've mapped out nine shopping spots that will make it a little more pleasant.
EMBARCADERO, TIBURON—We have two wine festivals to look forward to in the Bay Area this weekend, one in the potentially chilly city, on in potentially balmy Tiburon. What will you wear?
SAN FRANCISCO—In light of the recent deaths in Bangladesh at clothing factories, people want to know where and how their garments are being made. Here are nine great ethical options in the Bay Area.
NAPA—The inaugural Bottle Rock Napa Valley music festival went down last weekend, and we snapped some sweet street styles from the flower crown and maxi dress loving audience.
EVERYWHERE—From our Editor's Picks, we've got $6 nail polish that's perfect to kick off you summer, a colorful dress/cover up that will lure you away from always wearing black, and a chic wallet that will keep the craziest lives somewhat organized.
UNION SQUARE—Don't miss the big party at Uniqlo tonight. They're celebrating the launch of their rad new limited edition rocker tees, featuring the likes of The Sex Pistols, David Bowie, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring.