TABLEHOPPER Let’s celebrate carbs at new (and expanded) bakeries, and dive into Sunday poolside barbecues and spiffy suppers.
You have a taste for Frenchie baked goods? Bon. Hightail it over to the French-inspired Le Marais Bakery (2066 Chestnut, SF. www.lemaraisbakery.com) in the Marina. This brand new place is legit: owner Patrick Ascaso is a Paris native, and the bakery is a tribute to the boulangeries he grew up with. (Some guys get all the luck.) You’ll find croissants and French-style levain breads fed daily with natural starter from boulanger Justin Brown, who previously worked at Bien Cuit and Roberta’s in Brooklyn. And since more is more, there’s also a separate pastry program helmed by Phil Ogiela, formerly at Aziza and Presidio Social Club, with desserts like gâteau Basque with cream and apricots, fresh fruit tarts, and madeleines. The place is as good looking as the treats on your plate: Paxton Gate is behind the très charmant design, complete with vintage baking trays functioning as cabinets, light fixtures made from Bundt pans, and a floor featuring tile from the north of France.
More bakery news: the fine folks at Cassava Bakery and Cafe (3519 Balboa, SF. www.cassavasf.com) have reopened — yay! — and it’s even bigger and better than before. They recently finished expanding into the space next door, which means more seating, new dinner hours, and an augmented menu. Have you been there yet? Trust, you should go. Chef Kristoffer Toliao and co-owner Yuka Ioroi are also assembling a wine and beer list, with vino- and vermouth-based cocktails. In the works? This lovable Outer Richmond cafe plans to add a Parisian café–inspired sidewalk patio with heaters and a windshield; wish them luck, or even better, visit the website to see how you can help ’em out.
Since we’re in the neighborhood: fans of the xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and more at Shanghai Dumpling King (3319 Balboa, SF, 415-387-2088) will be happy to know they have reopened after renovations. Mmmm, dumplings.
A couple solid local spots have expanded into second locations: Ramen Underground (22 Peace Plaza, Suite 530, SF. www.ramenunderground.org) on Kearny now has a place in Japantown, in the former Sanuki Udon. And you can now score kati rolls and more at the new Kasa Indian Eatery (1356 Polk, SF. www.kasaindian.com) that just opened on Polk Street, where the relatively short-lived Fourth Wave Coffee was.
BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET
Poolside BBQ. Has a nice ring to it, right? Well, the great minds at Chambers Eat + Drink (601 Eddy, SF. www.chambers-sf.com) and the Phoenix Hotel have launched a new Summer Sunday Series every Sunday from 1pm–6pm. You’ll be able to kick it poolside for brunch (which runs until 2:30pm) and tuck into some barbecue from 2pm–6pm. Chef Trevor Ogden’s varied menu includes classic Southern barbecue dishes like brisket, ribs, and pulled pork, plus grilled burgers, hot dogs, and yakitori skewers (prices range from $7–$12). Throw in some mellow beats and alfresco cocktails, and you’ve got yourself a groovy little scene. And check this: future DJs will include Mark Farina and Afrolicious. Sweet. All we need is a repeat of last weekend’s gorge weather and we’re in business.
YOU GOTTA EAT THIS
While dining at the city’s oh-so-fabulous Quince isn’t within everyone’s reach, the casual offshoot Cotogna (490 Pacific, SF. www.cotognasf.com) next door is certainly more affordable, and just as delicious. But unless you receive the weekly Cotogna newsletter, you may not know about its fab Sunday Suppers ($55 for four courses). The menu changes weekly, featuring ingredients at the height of seasonality. One late spring menu included an extraordinary green gazpacho made with avocado, butter lettuce, and Dungeness crab; fagotelli pasta (go ahead, make jokes) with zucchini and squash blossoms; buttermilk fried rabbit from Devil’s Gulch Ranch; and oven-roasted peaches and lemon verbena ice cream for dessert. Yeah, four courses of hell yes. If you see a menu that sounds good to you, hop to it. Even if you can’t get a reservation, you can probably score seats at the bar and communal table. Buon appetito!
Marcia Gagliardi is the founder of the weekly tablehopper e-column; subscribe for more at tablehopper.com. Get her app: Tablehopper’s Top Late-Night Eats. On Twitter: @tablehopper.