Plus Barbarossa reveals its happy hour menu and the New York Times publishes some reader responses to Pete Well's vivisection of Thomas Keller's Per Se.
[jump] Corridor Cafe to Open in Late January
Mid-Market's explosive growth is about to turn up Van Ness. The Hi Neighbor Restaurant Group (Trestle, Stone's Throw, Fat Angel) is almost ready to open Corridor Cafe at 100 Van Ness Ave. at the end of the month. A no-reservation, breakfast-lunch-and-dinner, “smart casual” spot with coffee by L.A.'s Lamill, it will precede the fancier restaurant Corridor by about three months. Considering that the team consists of Michael Mina veterans, and the fact that every other Hi Neighbor restaurant is solidly great, this should be a good one, too.
Fort Point Brewery Kiosk Open in the Ferry Building
A few months ago, the Ferry Building built some new kiosks along the north side, facing the Embarcadero. Marla Bakery, SoW Juice, Blue Bottle, and Dandelion Chocolate went in, and now Fort Point Beer Co.'s first retail presence completes the quintumvirate (as it were). And it's heated! The under-two-year-old brewery, based in a Presidio building that used to house the army's motor pool, will also throw a dim sum brunch at Hong Kong Lounge on Jan. 23 at 11 a.m. ($50.)
Barbarossa's “Flights & Bites” Happy Hour
At long last, Barbarossa has launched its weekday happy hour, with dollar oysters, a $15 seasonal grog flight(!), a $15 bubbles flight, an $8 beer flight, plus deals on beverages by the glass, Monday through Friday, 4-7 p.m. About that grog, you get three six-ounce glasses plus your choice of spirit, and some of the options seem pretty great, like Apple, Lemon, Ginger Cordial
Cranberry, Hibiscus, Lemon, Vanilla
Kiwi, Mint, Lime
Barbarossa, 714 Montgomery, 415-434-4204 or barbarossalounge.com
“Don't Knock Bong Water Until You've Tried It”
The New York Times' scathing dispatch from Per Se, comparing the matsutake mushroom bouillon to bongwater, generated a lot of feedback. It's mostly nods of assent, or at least that's what the paper published as a blog post. My favorite response is from a reader in Boston who said that the staff let some patrons act like drunken assholes just because they were big spenders. I can't imagine a worse decision for management to make in a crowded dining room of people dropping hundreds of bucks on dinner.