Just when I was starting to hear more grumbling about the lousy food at white-hot Mercury, some news slid down the pipeline: Dr. Winkie's restaurant/lounge/nightclub in his old DV8 space has closed its kitchen. Fret not, young hipsters with money to burn and a case of the nibbles -- you can still strap on your Prada feed bag at this silver pleasure palace. Nourishment will be provided via a mobile sushi wagon.
Joseph Phelps Winery is hosting a tasting party next Tuesday at Eastside West. The going's been rocky at this Cow Hollow raw bar ever since Michael Bauer slammed it, but I say it's worth another look-see -- stop by and slurp some old grape juice. The Eastside boys are also hosting a weekly Monday night industry get-together at the bar. Good bartenders, cheap beer, shop talk.
Now, What Was I ...?
The Chameleon space on Valencia, a bar and club with a loyal and scruffy following, has finally found a savior. J.J. from the Rooster down the street has slapped on a fresh coat of red paint and stenciled over the old sign, which now reads ... umm, oh, what was it? Amnesia. Drop by and forget.
Comings and Goings
When it rains ... Daniel DeLong, fading golden boy of both Elroy's and Stars, has left Jeremiah Tower's revamped Redwood Alley kitchen after a difficult time at the helm. The departure was by mutual agreement.
It pours ... Stephen Janke is departing the Cypress Club and packing his bags for Seattle, where he'll open a new property in the Rainy City. Janke must be credited with turning the Cypress Club menu around and introducing me to exciting new dishes during his tenure as executive chef.
Fishin' With Ward
Ward Robilliard, who was hastily released from Rose Pistola and Black Cat after a long partnership with Greed Hearon, has resurfaced at McKormick & Kuleto's and will be heading up that group's wine program at the new Spenger's Fish Grotto. Sounds like another restaurant that will be worth the bridge toll.
Smoke and Mirrors
In case you haven't heard yet, City Attorney Louise Renne filed suit against Delaney's Marina bar last week for multiple violations of the California smoking ban. Now, Harry must say he's never seen a saloon that smokes, though he has seen a few burn down. My point is that if people are lighting up where they're not supposed to, isn't that their fault, not that of the location? I agree that the whole thing stinks more than an ashtray of day-old Newport butts, but should poor old Tim Delaney be shanghaied for almost 13 grand just 'cause a bunch of baccy weed addicts have taken over his perfectly respectable saloon? Methinks not.