The basics

TABLEHOPPING: Pizza, burgers, banh mi, and brunch...what more do you need?



This week features some smaller openings around town, plus new places to go for brunch, and, how charming, they're not all gonna leave you broke. Besides, some of us self-employed types are still reeling from those pesky tax quarterlies that were just due, blergh.Read more »

Hairy dilemma

Dogs in restaurants are more common than ever, despite being illegal for mere pets, a trend that service dog owners don't like


It used to be rare to see dogs in restaurants — which many people see as gross and the health codes don't allow — but not anymore. It's an increasingly common sight to see dogs in Bay Area restaurants, grocery stores, bars, and others businesses that traditionally haven't allowed them.Read more »

Chef Michael Anthony talks 'The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook'


The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, 352 pp., $50) takes you on a restaurant tour, beginning with Danny Meyer’s initial conception of opening this New York establishment, continuing past the chief steward and his wheelbarrow of fresh spring produce from the Greenmarket, around the harvest table where the floral designer pairs yellow sprays of sunflowers with splayed summer squash, into the kitchen during the staff’s family meal, past the pastry station where Nancy Olson creates her autumn peanut butter semifreddo, and ending at the dining table with a winter dish of guinea hen prepared by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Anthony.

By the time you’ve read through this serious and seriously exquisite cookbook, ogled the colorful photos, and closed the enormous, masculine-elegant back cover, you’ve spent a whole year eating inside the Tavern. Your appreciation for the minute mechanics that run a restaurant will have widened, and your list of must-try recipes? Exploded. (I’ve already checked off the curious “Cauliflower with Quinoa, Prunes, and Peanuts” with happy results). Chef Anthony, making his first trip to San Francisco in December, spoke to me about his vision behind the book.

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Michael Mina reaches settlement after overcharging customers at his SF restaurants


Celebrity Chef Michael Mina and his four San Francisco restaurants – Michael Mina, RN74, Bourbon Steak, and Clock Bar – have agreed to pay $83,617 to their employees to settle charges of overbilling their customers a 4 percent meal surcharge ostensibly intended to cover the company's employee health care obligations.Read more »

Check, please

Top San Francisco restaurants facing exposure over health surcharge


San Francisco restaurants that have been cheating their customers and employees — charging diners for city-required healthcare coverage that they aren't fully providing to workers — will finally be exposed in the coming weeks, with some notable names in foodie circles among the likely culprits.Read more »

A moratorium on progress


My friend Johnny, who lives in Seattle, tells the story of the day years ago when he saw an older woman standing on a hillside near his house, watching while bulldozers knocked down trees and tore up part of the hill to put in a freeway extension. He was pretty new to town, so he asked the woman what was going on.

She shook her head, and with a bitter smile, said: "Progress."Read more »