Field Notes: Restaurant, Hotel and Food News

San Francisco

Pan-Asian from Chef Ho Chee Boon Lands in Cow Hollow

Chef Ho Chee Boon of Michelin-listed Cantonese restaurant Empress By Boon in Chinatown is taking his culinary savvy to a new San Francisco neighborhood, Cow Hollow. His focus? The Malaysian cuisine of his youth and, more expansively, the broader Asian culinary diaspora that he experienced while opening Hakkasan restaurants around the world. Blue Whale Restaurant & Lounge landed on Union Street on September 30 and man, that back deck-slash-lounge with outdoor bar looks amazing! With drinks from cocktail superstar Brandon Clements (Spruce, The Saratoga), it is sure to be busy back there…

The outdoor lounge at Blue Whale Restaurant & Lounge
The outdoor lounge at Blue Whale Restaurant & Lounge

Wasabi crispy tiger prawns and baked lobster with buttermilk and chili on the opening menu are ringing my bell. But I’m really curious to see if chef includes some dishes from Penang – a region of Malaysia that is on my culinary bucket list for its mix of Muslim, south Indian and other influences. I’m hoping for bowls of hokkien mie, chee chong fun and nasi goreng. I know chef is making Malaysian rojak, a sweet-spicy fruit-based salad (SF Eater has a terrific image of the dish) and some Cantonese favorites like crab xiao long bao. Head to OpenTable to make a reservation.

Fight Like a Girl

Maybe because my brothers told me I did not fight like a boy during all the years I endured childhood in the same house with those three, I am drawn to anything that tells me to fight like a girl. Because, how else would I fight? (I did learn to throw a punch like a boy. My Dad taught me that one – watch out!) When I heard that Harris’ Steakhouse designed a cocktail for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) named – you guessed it – Fight Like a Girl, I knew I had to call it out. Made with Sipsong “Indira” gin, lemon juice, pomegranate grenadine and tonic, and only available through October 31, the drink hits that late-summer/early fall sweet spot of refreshing with just enough depth to be compelling. The palest of pinks, the drink arrives with a few pomegranate seeds afloat in the ice, a light touch for a light cocktail. Proceeds are donated to funding BRCA gene testing.

Bring On the Stars at Saison-Otenque Collab Dinners

scallops with “pirão”

From October 17 – 21, Chef Alberto Landgraf of Rio de Janeiro’s Oteque will be cooking in the Saison kitchen with executive chef Richard Lee. With two Michelin stars and spot #47 On the World’s 50 Best List (similar accolades for Saison chef Lee), chef Landgraf earned plentiful accolades for his precise Brazilian flavors and minimalist approach.

The chefs will be working together on dishes from each chef’s menu. Featured dishes unique to this collaboration include:

  • scallops with “pirão”
  • rack of pork with fermented tomatoes
  • oysters on their own juices with “pimenta de cheiro vinaigrette”

Reservations are available on Tock.

rack of pork with fermented tomatoes

Support Food Literacy and Local Restaurants

Eating is something we all (sometimes) take for granted – at least those of us who have the means to do so. But the folks at Foodwise never forget that food is at the heart of wellbeing (human, earth…). To honor our local food shed while supporting growers, Foodwise is throwing a  four-course Sunday Supper dinner party at the San Francisco Ferry Building on October 15.  Thirty restaurants, including Burdell, Dalida, Mourad, Nightbird, Restaurant Abacá, Shuggie’s, State Bird Provisions, Uma Casa, and many more, will be cooking an epic meal together, featuring early fall produce from farms at Foodwise’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Markets.  Proceeds from ticket sales support their mission of ensuring a thriving farmers market program, food access initiatives, and education programs and participating restaurants – they are underwriting the food and labor costs of each participating restaurant. Now that’s win-win for everyone involved.

The Grand Hall at the Ferry Building during a Sunday Supper; photo courtesy of Alex Akamine/Foodwise

There will be six four-course menus (each course made by a different restaurant), with regional wines pairings (vegetarian and nonalcoholic options available on request):

  • Nightbird: Scallop with K&J Orchards Pluot, Dirty Girl Farm Beet, Brooks & Daughters Shiso
  • Shuggie’s: Tuna Rib Crudo with Herbs, Pickles & Spicy Things
  • Burdell: Roast Duroc Pork with Cracklin’ & Warm Shelling Bean Salad with Mustards
  • State Bird Provisions, The Progress & The Anchovy Bar: Guinea Hen Leg with Devoto Gardens Apples, Smoky Eggplant & Sunflower Sprouts with Morita Pepper-Stewed  Iacopi Farms Butter Beans
  • Breadbelly: Sake-Poached K&J Orchards Pear, Sake Lees White Chocolate Crème Anglaise, Coconut Cake & Candied Ginger
  • Nopa: Salted Honey Tart with Mission Fig Preserves, Fig Leaf Crème Fraîche & Coconut Crumble
Chefs on the steps of the Ferry Building, photo courtesy of Alex Akamine/Foodwise

$20 Italian Lunch at Corzetti

San Francisco restaurant Corzetti interior

Open since mid-August, Corzetti, the new Union Square restaurant inside Hotel G is just what the doctor ordered. Coastal Italian cuisine from executive chef Tali Misserlian (A16, Noosh, Bierhaus, a Mano, The Tailor’s Son) in a breezy room with plentiful light and trendy grandma wallpaper in the back nook. Say “yes” to carbs because springy focaccia, hand thrown pizzas, and handmade pasta anchor the menu, including the two-course $20 lunch menu.

Union Square Italian restaurant Corzetti’s Pizza Spritz

Choose from minestrone or Caesar salad, then a sausage and broccolini pizza or ravioli pomodoro, then revel in the fact that you have $15 leftover for a Pizza Spritz cocktail. Topped with an Italian “Gilda” pintxo (no anchovy; pepperoncini, tomato and olive instead), Lambrusco’s sweetness is tempered with lemon and oregano, a refreshing spritz that speaks of Liguria and coastal communities around Europe. Join the crowd of ladies who lunch, dudes with laptops and local theater folk for a pre-theater meal. Because, why not? It’s the best lunch deal in San Francisco right now.

North Bay

Eat the (Cook)book at Coast Kitchen

Chef Seadon Shouse at Timber Cove Resort's restaurant, Coast Kitchen
Chef Seadon Shouse at Timber Cove Resort’s restaurant, Coast Kitchen

Chef Seadon Shouse, partner at Coast Kitchen at Timber Cove Resort, is launching a cookbook, From the Hill by the Sea, that celebrates chef’s Nova Scotia roots. With wine pairings from Flowers Winery, Croix Estate Winery, Roederer Estate, Wayfarer Vineyard and Seebass Vineyards, a dining experience  pairs wines with recipes from the cookbook. The meal begins with Marin oysters, then moves to pan-seared scallops with truffle butter, and lobster with trumpet mushrooms before a fourth course of porcini-roasted cauliflower. If you have room for dessert, it’s a hazelnut-crusted dark chocolate tart. Bring friends and don’t forget to make a reservation on Resy.

East Bay

Limited-edition Latin Fusion Coffee

Chef Nelson German’s Big Apple drink at Caffe by Mr. Espresso

After opening a coffee bar and caffe this May, The Caffè by Mr. Espresso is hosting collabs with local chefs. Though I just missed the news about chef Tu David Phu’s matcha coffee, chef Nelson German’s Latin fusion coffee program runs October 9 – 21. Be sure to visit multiple times – 10% of proceeds from the specialty drinks will be donated to Community Kitchens, building sustainable, community-centric foodways in Oakland. 

South Bay

Pinot and Chardonnay – and chef Mullen!

Chef Seamus Mullen, who made his name as chef at New York City’s Tertulia and Boqueria, has returned to his NorCal roots. He recently came aboard as culinary director at Menlo Park’s Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel restaurant, Madera. As something of a “welcome back,” the restaurant is hosting a Flowers Dinner on October 13 with wines from Flowers Vineyards paired with Chef Mullen’s four-course menu. Look for dishes such as smoked hiramasa crudo with crispy shallots and lemon oil and grilled swordfish with almond romesco and braised fennel to showcase the winery’s famed Sonoma Coast chardonnays and pinot noirs. Tickets here.