Backburner Blues

Passport Please; Special Delivery; Who Knew; Checking In

Passport Please
Matt Berson, manager of Florio, and his wife Bethany Berson, pastry chef at Boulangerie Bay Bread, have left their respective jobs for (could it be?) early retirement!?!? Nah, just to spend some quality time together -- in Asia. The pair don't expect to be back stateside until spring of next year, and then will be relocating to Portland. Yes, Portland, where affordable housing and a less hurried way of life are still the norm.

Special Delivery
As my mailbox always seems to be full of interesting press kits and delicious dinner invitations, it was a surprise to see the UPS person at my door with a small package. After opening and removing a wooden wine box, which was indeed filled with a bottle of wine, I found an invitation to a gathering of the who's who of winemakers and sommeliers to announce the grand opening of Roy's. Chef Roy Yamaguchi, acclaimed for his award-winning Euro-Asian cuisine, will throw open his doors by month's end at 101 Second St. at Mission. His famous "aloha" style of service will encompass both romance and comfort in the 200-seat space bringing "outdoor to indoor."

Who Knew
If you've ever wondered whether your waiter is a struggling painter or writing a novel when he's not slinging the latest style of black cod, check out what the restaurant managers and chefs are doing when they're not at work. The Back-burner Blues Band tore the roof off at the RestaurantPro.com party at Restaurant 24. The group is Gordon Drysdale (guitar), Joey Altman (bass guitar), and Scott Newman (drums) of Rubicon, Scott Warner (guitar) from Nice Ventures, and Mike Sweetland (guitar) and Andre Chapital (vox) of LuLu. They're not giving up their night jobs, but they do rock. Chris Hemmeter, host with the most and president and CEO of the online restaurant ordering system, kicked off the party by handing out Louisville Sluggers to the first 100 restaurants in the door. Then everyone filed out to the field for batting practice with none other than Vida Blue.

Checking In
Hotel Triton, known for its clever themed rooms, has created the On-Air Suite honoring Alice 97.3 morning show hosts Sarah and Vinnie. The launch party for the suite, which is split between Sarah's side (dressing table, girly accouterments) and Vinnie's (surfboard, chair, sports memorabilia), will feature Lapis chef Thomas Ricci's hors d'oeuvres. The suite will have an "On-Air" direct line, so beware when you answer the phone, because it could be good morning with San Francisco's most popular a.m. show hosts.

 
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