About Marcia Gagliardi
Marcia Gagliardi is a freelance food writer in San Francisco. She writes a weekly column, Foodie 411 for the SFCVB on their “Taste” site; a monthly gossip column, “The Tablehopper” for The Northside; and regular features for Edible San Francisco. Her first book came out in March 2010: The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco: Find the Right Spot for Every Occasion.
Latest Posts by Marcia Gagliardi
During my trip to New Zealand, I had the pleasure of making my way through all the appetizers at Clooney in Auckland, a very chic and contemporary restaurant from restaurateur Tony Stewart (he is also behind The Hamptons in Auckland). At the time, he told me he had a pop-up, New Zealand-inspired restaurant and bar project that was going to open in San Francisco California for the America’s Cup. After waiting on some finalized details, I can finally spill the beans on ~WAIHEKE ISLAND YACHT CLUB~, opening Thursday July 4th on Pier 29.
First, I need to explain Waiheke Island a bit. It’s an island off that is a short ferry ride away from Auckland. And let me tell you, it’s the picture of dreamy. It has wineries, gorgeous beaches, winding roads, delicious food, and a wonderful easy-breezy vibe. I was so sorry I was only there for the day—I was ready to just show up with my toothbrush and move there.
Tony Stewart is going to be re-creating the relaxed, unpretentious, and comfortable feeling of Waiheke in San Francisco, along with bringing the progressive New Zealand cuisine style (and some ingredients—including Silvers Fern Farm’s SILERE merino lamb) that his projects are known for. There will be a four-course menu (with choices) each evening, plus two-, three-, and four-course menus at lunch; many of these dishes are also available on the bar menu, so you can just swing by for a drink and a bite as well. Look for brunch to launch in August.
His culinary team includes head chef Hayden McMillen (TriBeCa, Vinnie’s, Huka Lodge, Meredith’s, The French Café), who is known for an innovative style that is built around seasonality and purity of flavor. His sous chef is local boy Nicholas Patchen (Boulevard, Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, Spruce, Campton Place, and All Spice in San Mateo). The specialized menu will have a modern/contemporary sensibility, intersecting with local ingredients.
The stylish yet laid-back space is going to feature many design elements from New Zealand, including slabs of macrocarpa cypress polished by hand, American white oak furniture that was handcrafted in New Zealand by Douglas and Bec, and even the pottery was brought over. Stewart has been working with architecture/design firms Sutro Architects (local) and Fearon Hay Architects (New Zealand) on the project. (For those of you into floorplans, you can check it out here.) The restaurant seats 85, plus 12 at the chef’s counter and 20 at the bar.
The bar is going to be a highlight of the experience, made in New Zealand. There will be craft beer from brewer Moa, and sommelier Geeling Ng will be handling the wines and pairings (although don’t expect New Zealand wines—due to some contractual obligations with America’s Cup, the wines will be from Napa Valley). There will also be a cocktail list conceived by Clooney’s bar manager, Needham Woodward.
The stadium (in America’s Cup Village) is just next door and will feature more than 30 live music concerts (Sting performed there last week), so it’s a convenient place to grab a bite before a show as well. Even though the America’s Cup 2013 finals will wrap in late September, Waiheke Island Yacht Club will stay open through December 31st. Am very much looking forward to experiencing this unique Kiwi import!
Photo credit: waihekeboatclub.co.nz.
20 Spot is bringing wine and small plates to the Mission. They opened their doors on March 29th, with a menu of small plates and snacks, plus more than 100 bottles of wine to choose from.
Owners Bodhi Freedom (who owns Bacchus Wine Bar in Nob Hill) and Peter Goggin are offering an eclectic selection of wines from all over the world, with a focus on unusual flavor profiles. They’ll be open Sun-Mon and Wed 5:30pm-12am and Thu-Sat 5:30pm-1am. 3565 20th St. at Lexington, 415-624-3140.
EASTER DAY is Sunday March 31st this year, so get yourself ready for some springtime celebrating. Here are some places around town to meet all of your brunch (and beyond) needs if you’re in the San Francisco/Bay Area in California.
~SPRUCE~ is serving a special three-course Easter brunch (oooh, special!) from 10:30am-3pm. You’ll have a choice of different mains and appetizers; check out the full menu here. The brunch costs $65 per person, not including tax or tip, and reservations can be made by calling 415-931-5100.
Check out the three-course brunch at ~FOREIGN CINEMA~, which includes choices like a warm brandade, French toast, and a croque-madame. The brunch costs $45 per person, $15 for children, and reservations can be made by calling 415-648-7600.
Downtown, the ~BRASSERIE S&P~ will be serving a special brunch menu from 10am-4pm, plus bottomless mimosas for $25, and the usual selection of excellent gin cocktails. There’s a rumor that the Easter Bunny will stop in too. Reservations can be made by calling 415-986-2020.
At ~TWENTY FIVE LUSK~ you’ll find a three-course prix-fixe brunch with choices for $35 per person from 11am-2pm. Check out the menu choices here, and make reservations online or by calling 415-495-5875.
For something a little different (and way fun), check out the Sunday’s a Drag brunch at ~HARRY DENTON’S STARLIGHT ROOM~ at the Sir Francis Drake. The special Easter show includes an Easter bonnet compeition, and obviously you’re encouraged to wear yours too.
The show includes a brunch buffet, and adult beverages can be purchased as well. There are two shows, one at noon (doors at 11am) and the second at 2:30pm (doors at 1:30pm). Reservations can be made by calling 415-395-8595. Sir Francis Drake Hotel, 21st floor, 450 Powell St. at Sutter, 415-395-8595.
If your taste runs more toward dinner than brunch, check out the poutry dinner at ~A16~. Sonoma County Poultry will be featured on the menu, with Liberty duck and Easter specialties available in addition to the regular menu.
~DELFINA~ is opening early on Easter Sunday, if a late lunch/early dinner is your style. Doors open at 3:30pm, and reservations can be made here.
If you’re thinking about taking a jaunt for Easter, take the ferry to Sausalito and catch lunch or dinner at ~POGGIO~, where there will be a special menu with lots of springtime egg dishes like asparagus Milanese, or check out the lamb chops. Mmmm, lamb chops. Lunch begins at 11:30am, and dinner begins at 5:30pm.
Photo credit: pwcmoms.
CHARLES CHOCOLATES is opening an exhibition kitchen and shop in San Francisco California’s Mission District. The new spot opened its doors Friday March 15th and is ready to fill all of your chocolate needs with pavés, brownies, chocolate-covered almonds, and more. The new space features a retail area for making purchases, plus a glass-enclosed exhibition kitchen so you can watch the magic happen.
In coming weeks, they’ll add seating to the patio as well. More confections will become available in the future, but there are quite a few delicious choices already. Welcome back, Chuck (and your peanut butterflies)! And just in time for Easter chocolate time. 535 Florida St. at Mariposa in San Francisco CA, 415-659-8770.
Barbecued ribs. Photo from BBQ Junkie. On Saturday March 2nd, the San Francisco Bay Area had the 33rd Annual Black Cuisine Festival.
The event is a fundraiser for Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose Senior Services, and included lots of soul food, like barbecued chicken and ribs, smothered chicken, and sides like potato salad, corn bread, yams, and greens. There was also be live music, dancing, and activities for kids.
Additionally, there were some serious sweet treats “like Grandma used to bake,” including pound cake, banana pudding, and sweet potato pie. It was held on 1706 Yosemite Avenue at 3rd Street, San Francisco, California.
Say cheese with the seventh annual ARTISAN CHEESE FESTIVAL, which lands in Petaluma California from March 22nd-24th, 2013. The festival this year includes some fabulous seminars, including a wine and cheese pairing with Laura Werlin, a seminar on new cheesemakers with Janet Fletcher, a tasting panel on mixed-milk cheeses with John Ash, and cheesemaking workshops with Mary Karlin. There are also tours of local farms, workshops on pairing cheese with beer, and grand tasting events.
Some of the activities you can partake in include:
- Hands on Cheesemaking
- Farm Tours
- Wine and Cheese Pairing
- Beer and Cheese Pairing
- Cheese-Inspired Culinary Delights
- Cooking Demonstrations
- Panel Discussions
- Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace
745 Baywood Drive at Lakeville, Petaluma, California. 707-283-2888.
From March 29th-31st, 2013, you can catch the brand new Food and Farm Film Festival at San Francisco’s Roxie, in conjunction with Bi-Rite Market. The festival will be showing films that tell stories about our food, where it comes from, and how it is grown.
Each of the screenings will include a food pairing, too. A panel of judges will screen each of the films and award their favorites Chef’s Choice awards.
This unique film festival will pair local chefs with new films to create a delicious feast for the eyes and mouth.
The sixth annual eating, drinking, and carousing extravaganza that is ~PEBBLE BEACH FOOD & WINE~ will take place this year April 4th-7th, 2013. Now is a great time to snag tickets to events you don’t want to miss, from the opening evening reception to the weekend of tasting tent action.
Many big-name chefs, including Daniel Boulud, Grant Achatz, Dominique Crenn, Pierre Gagnaire, and Tyler Florence will participate, with cooking demonstrations, special dinners and lunches, and lots of one-of-a-kind wine tastings (bring on the verticals!).
There will also be a special Battle of the Coasts pair of dinners, with East Coast chefs cooking one evening and West Coast chefs the next, for proper comparison. Many of them are available individually, starting at $100, or you can purchase a package deal at varying levels, starting at $995.