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Jardinière

What's New: Bushi-Tei Debuts Chef Michael Hung

The first time I walked off the street into Japantown's Bushi-tei, it was just to take a closer look at the majestic, live-edge communal table that almost fills up the entire street-level dining room. A glance upstairs revealed irregular, Hobbit-like slabs of wood lining the walls. Another look down popped with pairs of whittled wood spindles, serving as the most delicate of chopsticks on each table. I had to come back.

Back to School: Fall Arts, Crafts and Cooking Classes and Lectures

It's back to school time, so take your brain off summer vacation. Here are some opportunities to get your noggin firing some extra neurons this fall:

Jonathan Franzen @ City Arts & Lectures: Perhaps THE great American novelist of his generation (The New York Times Book Review called his latest novel, Freedom, "a masterpiece of American fiction"), Franzen (who previously authored The Corrections) is a deeply cerebral writer who crafts multi-layered plots of dramatic social commentary. At Herbst Theatre, he'll be talking to Mark Breitenberg about his writing life and new works. September 13th, 8 pm. Other City Arts & Lectures events to get on your calendar include Jonathan Safran Foer, Maya Rudolph, Mark Morris and Judd Apatow. (check out the full schedule here).

Liquor.com's Spirited Supper Series Heads to Jardinière

Liquor.com's Spirited Supper Series, which held its inaugural tasting event last week at Beretta (featuring mixologist Ryan Fitzgerald and lots of rum), is now headed to Jardinière. The September 2nd event will feature libations by Jardinière master mixologist Brian MacGregor paired with Traci des Jardins' signature French and California hybrid cuisine.

Farm Fresh Cocktails from SF Newcomer Bar Agricole

Just like the surge in popularity of farm-to-table dining in San Francisco, bartenders are beginning to follow their chef cohorts into the fields for the freshest fruits, veggies and herbs to add to their increasingly innovative and tasty barroom concoctions.

But the person who is taking this to the extreme is San Francisco's Thad Vogler, who just this summer opened the bar at Camino and the J Lounge at Jardiniere.

Five Places to Feed Your World Cup Appetite

Although the soccer players do most of the sweating, we spectators have a lot of eating, drinking, and TV-screen heckling to do in honor of the 2010 World Cup. The question is, which destination will best satisfy our bellies? Here's a solid line up of city spots fit for the entire spectrum of World Cup fanatics.

Kezar Pub, 770 Stanyan St., S.F.

Girls Gone Wild (Boars): Traci Des Jardins and Loretta Keller Go to Mongolia

There's no end in sight to the pig posturing around here, but so far it's been done primarily by men. Primarily chef-men. It continues on with the endless whole pig dinners, Ryan Farr's butchering demos and general pork-product madness. (I love this Details article.)

Trimming the Fat: Prix-Fixe Meals for Under $45

Restaurants continue to drop their price points making the prix-fixe the new tasting menu. Here are some we'll be hitting up in the coming weeks.

Monday Nights, Jardinière, Good Deal

On Monday night, when I was recovering from my vacation by gazing longingly at photographs of the Costa Rican beaches, my intrepid understudy Robin was hard at work at Jardinière, sampling her way through the restaurant's new Monday night menu, a $45 prix-fixed four-course meal (with wine!) with a theme that changes weekly. For the kick-off they served a Oaxacan meal comprised of ceviche, cactus-and-white-bean soup and duck in black mole, concluding with cinnamon churros and Oaxacan hot chocolate. I am a little bit sorry to have missed this one, to be perfectly honest, but another chance—three more, actually—exists. For the remaining Monday nighs in March, here's the line-up:

This Week's Top Eat + Drink Events

1. Bavarian Brews
Tonight, get in a German state-of-mind at the Bavarian beer dinner at Local Kitchen. Eight unusual beers will be poured and paired with an assortment of dishes. The dinner is $75 (excluding tax and gratuity); reserve your spot by emailing by emailing vinonotes@yahoo.com

Where Did Julia Roberts Dine This Week in SF?

We’re not frequently star-struck, but how’s this for a celebrity sighting: Monday night, following the fundraiser for Paul Newman’s children’s camp (held at Davies Symphony Hall) none other than Julia Roberts, her husband Danny Moder, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Bruce Willis, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Robin Wright Penn, Billy and Janice Crystal, Danny DeVito, Bonnie Raitt and Marsha Williams gathered at Jardinière to celebrate Julia’s birthday (she turned 41)—other lucky diners heard the gang singing “Happy Birthday” to Julia and Rita (whose birthday was just a few days earlier).
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