Eat + Drink
Welcome back to our partnership with Eater. For this weekly Friday column, Eater editor Paolo Lucchesi gives his report on all the restaurant news that's fit to print, including hot openings, sudden shutters, industry interviews, and all the taco truck minutiae your Friday can handle.
1) Despite housing a pair of rising star chefs in the last two years, Cafe Majestic never quite caught on with the local dining scene, and as a result, the restaurant suddenly shuttered its doors this week, claiming it didn't have enough money for dinner service. You do hate to see that.
Well, what can we say? It's about time. We predict that in a few years that little blue bottle you see to the left will be popping up elsewhere—New York? Los Angeles? Seattle? Blue Bottle, it's time to fly.
This just in: Nate Appleman, pizzaiolo, San Francisco darling, butcher extraordinaire and chef of A16 and SPQR, has been named one of Food and Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs of 2009. He's joined on the list by Chris Kostow, chef at Meadowood in St. Helena, giving the Bay Area ample representation on the New York-based mag's list. Congratulations! And also, oh no! Now we'll never be able to get a table.
If anyone has the inside sccop when it comes to the Ferry Plaza Farmers market it's Lulu Meyer, associate director of market operations at CUESA. You'll see her at the market, rain or shine. Every week, she'll be giving us her short list for the market—just in time for Saturday shopping. Go to cuesa.org for more information about farmers, what's in season and market goings-on.
Taking a break in our normally scheduled food news …
Slow Food San Francisco will be screening “Mr. Bene Goes To Italy” on Saturday, April 4 at the Delancey Street Theatre. The film, a favorite of Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini, follows the journey of Benedito Batista da Silva, an authority on manioc flour production in the Brazilian Pará State (leave it to Slow Food to find something obscure!). The screening is followed by a reception; tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.
My brother was visiting from Boston last weekend and so I did what I often do—took him to a good cross-section of places the likes of which he doesn't have access to back East. Historically that roster of restaurants has included La Taqueria (because, I don't care what they say, Anna's Taqueria can't hold a candle), Chez Panisse and something in the Ferry Building, often Hog Island Oyster Co. It's always fun to watch someone experience a place you love for the first time, especially if, like my brother, they're good eaters. This time around I brought him to Beretta and as we poured over the cocktail list the divide between Boston and San Francisco widened.
A box from Recchiuti Confections landed on my desk this morning. You know when it's Recchiuti—who I'd deem one of the best chocolatiers in the country—it's going to be something exciting, something refined, something special. But before I even opened the box, I did a little envisioning: Please don't be truffles! Please don't be some fancy chocolate Easter egg!
The other day I was talking to a restaurant owner. He was complaining about the no-show—the person that ditches a reservation without bothering to cancel. I’d like to think that this is just a matter of ignorance, more than downright rude behavior. Diners just assume the restaurant will give your table away to someone else—no big deal, right?
Here’s are what a couple industry insiders have to say:
This is a picture of Martine Saunier, San Francisco's premier wine maven. Last week she held her annual portfolio tasting at the Presidio's Golden Gate Club. In a time when restaurants aren't buying much wine, the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd of wine professionals in attendance was testament to the quality of her lineup of wines and her rock star status. Martine, who just turned 75 a few months ago, just keeps going and, if anything, getting better. (You think Mick Jagger has energy, just try keeping up with Martine.)