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The Weekly Feed
Carolyn Alburger | Photo: Courtesy of Consortium | March 18, 2013
A first look at Gaspar Brasserie, rumblings about Brandon Jew’s new project, and more news, trends and scuttlebutt from the Bay Area food scene.
Gaspar, the unborn French brasserie from Franck LeClerc (Gitane, Café Claude, Claudine), is clipping away towards its summer opening. About a month ago, we brought some early details about the Sutter Street spot, and today renderings from the architect, Elmer Lin of Consortium, are ready to rip. Keep in mind, Lim wants you to imagine Nina Simone playing over the speakers while you peruse his drawings.
LeClerc and Lin hope to create a departure from the previous inhabitant, Hecho, with a design that places equal emphasis on the upstairs and ground level dining areas. Diners will walk in from the street into a monochromatic bar area with hexagonal wood subway tiles and antique-style ceiling tiling. A brilliant vermillion wall against the staircase immediately draws attention upstairs. Lim says that a patina will be added to the wood and painted walls to give everything a worn-in, unpretentious feeling. They’re not sure on the bar surface yet, but it will either be zinc or copper. Mismatched furniture, dimly reflective surfaces, and even some strategically placed tobacco stains will drive the mood home. You can also have a first look at their Gaspar logo, hot off the presses, in the gallery above.
I caught up with departing Bar Agricole chef Brandon Jew last week, who told me a little bit about the project he’s got in the works. Jew is a San Francisco native, who grew up in the Sunset District, weaned on Chinese food from all of the mom and pops in the Avenues. Chinese food is still his passion, and the menu at his new spot will most definitely follow suit. In fact, Jew has been teasing out some Chinese flavors in the menu at Bar Agricole for the past month or so in anticipation. We’ll have more on this new project as details are solidified.
The Mission’s hopeful paean to pierogis, Stuffed, is about a month away from opening. Owner Dana Sacco says they’ve just refinished the floors and are rearing to go in the old Mission Sub shop at 2788 Mission Street. When Stuffed opens, there will be an extensive menu of pierogis with Sacco’s San Francisco spin on things, as well as a selection of Midwestern beers on tap.
Over in Oakland, the Chop Bar guys (Chris Pastena, Temoor Noor and Tom Henderson) are dialing up the food offerings at Tribune Tavern, which should open on April 10. One-time A16 chef Huw Thornton is overseeing the menu, which includes a steak section, hyper-seasonal ingredients, and tavern-y braises. I hear lardo, oxtail, salt-cured items, potted dips and “a good dose of offal,” will all also make an appearance. Linden Street Brewery is creating an impressive cask beer program for the bar as well.
The Persian New Year is coming up this Tuesday, and Zare at Fly Trap will be celebrating. Iran-born chef-owner Hoss Zare has been offering a celebratory special dinner for the past several years and this year he’s trying something new: A $55 four-course menu in addition to the regular menu. Here’s what to expect: Parsnip soup with Dungeness crab, sumac and angelica; pan-roasted sea bass with basmati rice, fava beans, tamarind, and dill; cabbage dolma with duck confit, toasted hazlenuts, beluga lentils, fennel broth, and huckleberry oil; and saffron rosewater ice cream with toffee tuile for dessert. Reserve on OpenTable, or by calling the restaurant.
Seven-year-old Russian Hill neighborhood favorite, Luella, is offering “wine month” specials for the rest of March. There are a bunch of $4 glasses and $20 bottles offered nightly from Sunday through Thursday.
If you’re planning to enjoy any of the special Passover dinners around town starting next week, it’s time think about those reservations. Perbacco will be doing its sixth annual dinner with Joyce Goldstein in the house, cooking Italian Passover dishes from her Cucina Ebraica cookbook. Take a look at the four-course menu here on Perbacco’s website and book by calling the restaurant.
Another major Passover news blast: Mexican-themed matzo balls are a thing. Berkeley’s newest Mexican restaurant Comal is offering Passover dinners. (Tickets are available here for March 25, and here for March 26). And Rosa Mexicano locations nation-wide are offering this lengthy menu of Jewish-themed Mexican food from March 25 to April 2.
One Last Thing
The Food and Farm film fest kicks off next Friday at the Roxie Theater. Tickets for all six screenings include a food pairing for each film. There’s also a kick-off celebration at Four Barrel coffee on Friday night. More details and tickets here.