On The Blackboard: October 12

By Mary Ladd

SF❤️ MX with tablehopper and Cambria Showroom
On Friday, October 13 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., tablehopper and Cambria showroom in SoMa are partnering up to hold a happy hour–style fundraiser (bites and drinks) to benefit a Mexico earthquake relief initiative called SF❤️ MX. The event will feature ample bites from a number of La Cocina spots, including El Huarache Loco, Sal de Vida Gourmet, Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas–plus Loló, Copita, with others being added daily. Craft cocktails are courtesy of Rye on the Road and El Techo, using premium spirits generously supplied by Campari America and Milagro tequila, while cervezas will be kindly provided by Cadillac Bar and Hard Frescoes, and there’s rosé wine too. The evening will also host an exciting silent auction with artwork, custom culinary experiences, gift certificates, and more. Multiple tiers of tickets are available starting at $35, but no matter how you slice it, 100 percent of the proceeds from the event will be donated to a reputable direct-aid organization in Mexico.
Neighborhood: SoMa MAP

The Dorian
Tuesday night’s "Rocks & Rosé" equals half-off oysters and rosé all night, from 4:30 p.m. to close. While ordering oysters often stokes romance, there’s also the chance to indulge bon vivant urges while sitting in a sumptuous banquette in this Victorian-themed parlor that also serves up eye candy for the literary-minded in the form of so many books on the wall.
Neighborhood: Marina MAP

El Buen Comer

El Buen Comer
Long before she enrolled at La Cocina, Chef Isabel Caudillo was making authentic “good food” from her native Mexico City, including the stews known as guisados, served in tan pottery vessels called cazuelas. Her $40 multicourse “El Buen Comer” deal offers her greatest hits: botanas (little special snacks such as ceviche or chips and guacamole), masas with hearty fillings (sopes, tacos, or tostadas), the famed guisados—and albondigas de res (beef meatballs). TLC carries each gesture from this kitchen, especially in the fresh tortillas, made by hand with organic masa.
Neighborhood: Bernal Heights MAP

Babette at the Berkeley Art Museum
Where else can you watch a film with Bay Area movie royalty Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff and The Unbearable Lightness of Being)? Berkeley Art Museum's Film to Table dinners at Babette start with a film, followed by a four-course meal inspired by the film upstairs, prepared and served by fabulous and charming chefs Joan Ellis and Patrick Hooker. The communal table ably allows dialogue with your fellow film-and-food fans.
Neighborhood: Berkeley MAP

Il Casaro Pizzeria and Mozzarella Bar
Incredible, thin-crust Neapolitan style pizzas are crafted with Caputo flour imported from Naples and San Marzano tomatoes, grown on the volcanic plains just south of Mount Vesuvius. A spectacular, red wood-burning oven is the center of attention here, while the happy hour pricing of $12 for any pizza demonstrates the owners’ passion for pizza that is always affordable and accessible, which they call a “simple Italian reality.” Il Casaro means “cheese maker” in Italian, and true to form, this mozzarella bar stocks burrata, mozzarella di bufala, and fior di latte.
Neighborhood: North Beach MAP

One Market’s Downtown Social on Friday and Saturday nights
Streetcar views and nightly piano come together to create an iconic San Francisco feel at this Embarcado spot. At the chef’s table, chef Mark Dommen and his culinary team sear and sauce components for dinner in a stunning open kitchen. In the main dining room, the three-course Downtown Social prix-fixe menu runs $45 a head—with half-priced bottles of wine from Tonya Pitts—and changes monthly depending on what's in season. October fare includes chestnut soup with smoked duck breast, and braised boneless short ribs. For a sweet ending, Bradley’s butterscotch pudding with Chantilly cream and pecan wedding cookie is “heaven in a cup” according to Dommen—and he’s spot on!
Neighborhood: Embarcadero MAP

Lamb riblets at Tawla

Teta’s Table at Tawla
Omnivores and veggie-focused eaters work things out in festive fashion via the $49 “Teta’s Table” prix fixe, wherein “an impromptu visit to Grandma’s won’t stop her from preparing a bountiful spread.” NorCal and Eastern Mediterranean coastal influences abound, while the blue and grey color scheme provide a visual link to those far-off seas, and the cut out white pattern on the walls and table candles leave some transfixed (or perhaps on the road to satiety). Nigella-seeded bread comes straight from the oven, properly hot and puffy, and the stand-up lamb riblets with date glaze, pickled peppers, and cilantro cause anticipation and sticky fun.
Neighborhood: Mission MAP

Maybeck’s Spaghetti Sunday
Sunday is the one night of the week to take in Dean Martin tunes while hitting up a family-friendly three-course spaghetti feast ($29 for adults; $14.50 for kids). Stiff drinks are shaken and stirred at the copper bar, and the dark red walls up the retro and congenial vibe. The star dish is the cacio e pepe, spaghetti with cracked pepper ladled with impossibly creamy and rich Parmesan broth. Swooning is an acceptable response, and may also help save room for the accompanying meatballs and famous garlic bread. (Don’t tell Nonna!)
Neighborhood: Marina MAP

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