This month we tell you where to spend Mother’s Day so she feels truly appreciated, all about the Biggest Openings of the year, What’s Happening across the City, we introduce you to the Executive Chef at Gaspar Brasserie and share another phenomenal recipe with you!
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and many restaurants are featuring something special to make mom feel like a star. Restaurants are offering flowers, bubbles and bites to ensure that each mom knows how much she is appreciated. Read on for a few of our staff’s favorite Mom-ories!
Laura Garner | Account Manager - The best thing my mom ever did for me as a little girl growing up in the South, was to teach me to ride saplings. If you don’t know what that means, here goes: you find a small, bendable tree (oak saplings were always my favorite) with low lying branches and you climb it to the top. The tree will bend without breaking and you can ride it rodeo style. It’s still one of my favorite party tricks. My friends think it’s hilarious.
Erin Euser | Account Supervisor - Carol Euser is a woman to love. I could write for days about how fortunate I am to call her my mother, that she is truly the best mom in the whole wide world, and that I happily share clothes with her due to her impeccable style, but I will go straight to the point. I love you, Mama. Love, Bubbers (Erin)
Maya Placido | Associate Account Manager - Whenever I would wake up from a bad dream or be feeling sad or anxious, my mom would make me a cup of Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea. Somehow she always added just the right amount of milk and honey to soothe me as she provided guidance about whatever was bothering me. To this day, I keep the tea on hand for times when I’m feeling overwhelmed, but I can never seem to get the proportions of milk and honey right – some things are just better coming from her, advice included.
Stephen Herbert | Associate Account Manager - My mother (who has maybe the quirkiest sense of humor of anyone I have ever met) and I have a history of playing Scrabble together, and whenever my mom would have letters that phonetically spelled a word, she would try to make up a definition to justify her non-word. I have to admit, some of them were pretty creative!
Kelly Curran | Account Manager - While I admire my mother’s independent spirit and knack for adventure, her sense of adventure didn’t quite translate to the kitchen. Her rolodex of meals consisted of Spaghetti & Meatballs, Chicken and Rice-a-Roni, and Ground Beef Tacos (not even going to mention Monday night Taco Bell and Ecco’s Pizza on Fridays) – but on her way home from work she would frequently “phone it in” and ask me to start prepping. Somewhere between her disinterest and my “chores,” I can attribute my passion for food to my mom.
Farryn Lewis | Executive Assistant - My mother and I used to travel across the country every summer by train. The landmarks that we saw and the cities we visited have made those times spent together memories that I will treasure forever!
Where to Spoil Your Mother This Weekend!
Alioto’s | San Francisco | Fisherman’s Wharf - There are few things more San Francisco then delicious seafood on Fisherman’s Wharf at the City’s oldest fine dining restaurant. Celebrate Mother’s Day with Alioto’s for a special lunch or dinner and take in beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and watch as the sun sets over the Bay. For reservations, call the restaurant at 415.673.0183 or visit their website here.
Slow Club | San Francisco | Mission - Now through Mother’s Day, Slow Club is taking it upon themselves to give complimentary sparkling wine for the City’s Mothers! On Sunday, May 11th each mom dining for brunch will get also get a takeaway gift of Slow Club’s fantastic Chocolate Chip Cookies. Consider your sweet tooth satisfied! For reservations, call the restaurant at 415.241.9390 or visit their website here.
Poggio Trattoria | Sausalito - Take mom across the Bridge to Sausalito and enjoy a delicious meal at the renowned Poggio Trattoria led by Chef Ben Balesteri. Poggio will give each mom a fresh gardenia to ensure the rest of her day smells sweet! Be sure to ask for a table on the patio so you can enjoy the spectacular views. For reservations, call the restaurant at 415.332.7771 or visit their website here.
Bluestem Brasserie | San Francisco | Yerba Buena - Treat mom to Executive Chef Francis Hogan’s new brunch menu at this urban neighborhood restaurant, which incorporates the bright, fresh flavors of spring into a mix of classic and innovative items. Think Asparagus Salad with Poached Egg, Mocha Stuffed Brioche French Toast, and Egg in a Basket, where eggs are fried in slices of whole wheat sourdough and topped with ricotta, Parmesan and seasonal pickles. For reservations at this trendy establishment, call 415.547.1111 or visit their website here.
The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards | Livermore - Celebrate Mother’s Day on a beautiful landscape of rolling hills and pristine nature at the oldest single-family owned winery in the country. The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards will be serving a special three-course brunch menu that features mouth-watering dishes such as Estate Corned Beef Wild Rice Hash, Hawaiian Walu and a Chocolate Flour-less Cake with Dulce de Leche. Brunch is available from 10:30-2:30. For reservations, call the restaurant at 925.456.2450 or visit their website here.
Hopscotch | Uptown Oakland - Mothers and their families can get their morning donut fix at Hopscotch, where they’ll be offering donuts with their classic butterscotch cream. All the favorites from the brunch menu will also be served, like the Soy Braised Pork Belly Benedict with Jidori eggs and Miso Hollandaise, Soba Biscuits & Sausage Gravy, and Shoyu Eggs. For reservations, please call the restaurant at 510.788.6217 or visit their website here.
E&O Asian Kitchen | San Francisco | Union Square - After a day of shopping, there is no better place to bring your Mother to enjoy a modern Asian meal than E&O Asian Kitchen. The menu has something for everyone with items such as their famous Indonesian Corn Fritters and Butternut Squash Dumplings, craft cocktails and even an extensive gluten-free menu. For all of the moms, Executive Chef Sharon Nahm will prepare a sweet treat of Oolong Tea-Infused Marshmallow Bites with Chocolate and Sea Salt. For reservations call 415.693.0303 or visit their website here.
M.Y. China | San Francisco | Union Square - If you forget to buy Mother’s Day flowers, don’t worry, M.Y.China has got you covered with hand-carved flowers from Executive Chef Tony Wu. With two locations at the Westfield San Francisco Centre and Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park, the Chinese cuisine will delight your mother’s taste buds with a menu featuring hand-pulled noodles, dim sum and several wok classics. On Sunday, May 11th, moms will end their meal with a beautiful hand-carved vegetable flower at each of the locations. For reservations call 415.580.3001 for the San Francisco location or 707.703.1955 for the Rohnert Park location. You can also visit their website here.
May 2014 will go down in San Francisco’s record books for the Most Restaurant Openings in a Single Month. AF&Co. alone is opening six properties, with 11 more breaking onto the scene around the city. Not only are we making waves in San Francisco, but we are also taking our operations nationwide with projects in Savannah, Chicago and Seattle!
Dirty Habit | San Francisco | Union Square | May 1 - Fifth Floor restaurant and lounge will be reborn as Dirty Habit, a fine dining restaurant headed by the renowned chef David Bazirgan, but with a more bar-focused vibe much like popular joints Trick Dog and 15 Romolo. Dirty Habit is a dark and sultry hideaway serving creative cocktails and exquisite seasonal dishes. Much of the original team of Fifth Floor can still be found on staff. For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.
Magnolia Brewery & Smokestack | San Francisco | Dogpatch | May 6 - San Francisco hot-spot Magnolia Brewery is finally expanding from their original location on Haight to the Dogpatch district alongside new BBQ restaurant inclusion, Smokestack. The laid-back joint will be plating hearty and innovative BBQ dishes alongside their prized beer menu, offering an entirely new experience of brews and food. The bar program will specialize in American whiskeys and have a lengthy selection of cocktails. For more information, visit the restaurant’s website or Facebook page.
Palm House | San Francisco | Marina | May 14 - Palm House is a new restaurant and bar in the former Nettie’s Crab Shack space, featuring tropical comfort food with a Californian sensibility. Located at 2032 Union Street at Buchanan, Palm House offers the flavors of the Caribbean with an innovative bar menu featuring the restaurant’s signature slushy and a relaxed, fun environment. Escape from the city to a tropical paradise with Palm House! For more information, please visit their website here or Facebook page.
Bartlett Hall | San Francisco | Union Square | May 19 - Reminiscent of old-school San Francisco, Bartlett Hall is a versatile space offering elevated bar food by former-Maverick chef Eman Eng. The menu will be seasonally inspired and offer a variety of dishes ranging from flat breads to bone marrow, while the bar program will incorporate local spirits. The restaurant will have a small brewing operation on site for their house beers and an intimate private dining room perfect for executive lunches and friendly gatherings. For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.
Pacci Italian Kitchen + Bar | Savannah, Georgia | Downtown | May 20 - Downtown Savannah’s newest gathering place for fine food + drink, Pacci is as warm and inviting as a traditional Sunday supper in a quaint Italian village. Each dish is lovingly prepared by Savannah’s own Chef Roberto Leoci, using the purest ingredients and age-old techniques. When their doors open this spring, you will find a signature “Kitchen Counter,” community bar, dining room, and intimate Secret Garden courtyard—perfect for a sultry night under the Southern stars. For more information visit their website here or Facebook page.
Gaspar Brasserie | San Francisco | Financial District | May 22 - Named after his grandfather, the new restaurant by Franck LeClerc of the Claude Lane collection (Café Claude and Café Claude Marina, Gitane and Claudine) is a stunning endeavor in Downtown San Francisco. The new brasserie located adjacent to the Galleria Park Hotel on Sutter and Kearny will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, serving both lunch and dinner with a focused happy hour program. The restaurant will feature two full bars – one upstairs in the ‘Cognac Room’ and the other downstairs in the more casual bistro-style setting. For more information, visit the restaurant’s website or Facebook page.
Chino | San Francisco | Mission | Late May - Telmo Faria and Joe Hargrave of the wildly popular Tacolicious will be opening their new Asian-centric restaurant (and their first non-Mexican venture) Chino in the former Andalu space. Their highly-anticipated menu will consist of innovative spin-offs of dumplings, noodles, traditional Asian dishes and strong cocktails. The opening date might be pushed back due to the loss of their originally planned chef, Brandon Jew. For more information, check out their Facebook page.
Shakewell Bar & Kitchen | Oakland | Lakeshore | Late May - The beautiful yet casual space features a menu incorporating the chefs’ favorite dishes with a twist from Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Spain and North Africa. The restaurant will have a wood-burning oven where they will cook a variety of interesting rice dishes and Chef Tim Nugent has crafted a delectable dessert menu as well. Much like the worldly food, Shakewell’s beverages will represent an eclectic and elegant list of international beers and wines with a selection of fine cocktails. For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.
Aveline and The European | San Francisco | Union Square | June 3 - Aveline and The European will be occupying the restaurant space inside The Warwick San Francisco. Casey Thompson makes her San Francisco culinary debut at the helm of Aveline, a name that pays homage to her culinary heritage. Guests can find a menu inspired by San Francisco, shared in a convivial space where kitchen, dining, and living are open to each other. Her vision is simple: bring the best ingredients of the season to the table in expertly crafted dishes. For more information on Aveline, visit their website or Facebook page.
Aveline’s partner, The European, is a bar and lounge offering guests an array of original craft cocktails and classic favorites in a relaxed environment. The menu, created by Master Barman Adam Wilson, is influenced by his travels and is reflective of the rich history and evolution of European spirits and cocktails. For more information on The European, visit their website or Facebook page.
The weather isn’t the only thing that’s been hot lately. This beautiful city of ours has been buzzing with exciting happenings.
Dress for Success Power Walk | Little Marina Green | Tomorrow - Team AF&Co. is at it again this year! We are excited to don our red headbands and hit the pavement in an effort to raise money for Dress for Success. Bossman Andrew sits on the board of this wonderful organization that works to provide independent women with job counseling and professional attire to help develop their careers. To donate to Team AF&Co. or the organization as a whole, please visit the website here.
Star Chefs & Vintners Gala | Meals on Wheels | Fort Mason | June 1 - The Meals On Wheels of San Francisco Star Chefs & Vintners Gala is one of the premier culinary events of the Bay Area. Each year, the region’s top chefs and vintners join together for an evening in support of San Francisco’s homebound seniors. Proceeds go toward providing crucial support — including hot meals, daily human contact and volunteer services — for the City’s most vulnerable residents, allowing MOWSF to continue its mission of “Nourishing the Whole Person.” For tickets and more information, visit the website here.
Negroni Week | Campari America | Nationwide | June 2-8 - Raising a glass to a good cause has never been easier. From June 2-8, 2014, the second-annual Negroni Week descends upon the city for a celebration of San Francisco’s favorite cocktail, The Negroni (one part Campari, one part gin, and one part sweet vermouth). Proving that cocktails taste better with charity, participating Bay Area bars and restaurants will be donating a portion of proceeds from every Negroni sold to the charity of their choice. Bars and restaurants interested in signing up can go to www.NegroniWeek.com. Negroni fans are also encouraged to spread the word on social media using the hashtag #NegroniWeek, with surprise giveaways to supporters throughout the week. Be sure to check out La Urbana, Gitane, Café Claude, Gaspar Brasserie, Dirty Habit and Perbacco for their creative twists on this classic!
Content Connect | 5th Annual PR Summit | The Old Mint | June 17 - Over 500 executives (including our beloved Andrew Freeman!),top-tier media influencers, analysts, marketers, pr practitioners and entrepreneurs discuss the latest trends and best practices in business communications, storytelling and content marketing. This conference gives you the chance to spend one-on-one time with these industry visionaries and leaders from the world of publishing, public relations, marketing, branding, advertising, niche communities and vertical with a vested interest in the future of social journalism and digital storytelling. Andrew will be on a panel to discuss event marketing, social engagement and how they are affecting the world we work in. For tickets and more information visit the website here.
Success: You Wear it Well | Dress for Success | Julia Morgan Ballroom | June 19 - Andrew is very proud to be on the Board of this incredible organization and would like to formally invite you to join him at the 9th Annual Fashion Gala. Enjoy cocktails and bites from top female chefs, the thrill of a live and silent auction and a stunning fashion show. Special guest Jeannie Mai will be present for this wonderful evening as well! For complete information and to purchase your tickets, please visit the website here.
Chris Jones | Executive Chef | Gaspar Brasserie - Chris Jones joined the team at Gaspar with a love of cooking that began in childhood. At an early age, Jones helped in the family kitchen, making recipes from children’s cookbooks and continued to experiment as a teenager. During college, Jones realized that he enjoyed his job in a restaurant kitchen more than the courses he was taking.
Jones took a leap of faith and decided to work his way up in the kitchens of Washington, DC. After gaining invaluable hands-on experience, Jones decided to fill in the gaps of his knowledge by enrolling in California Culinary Academy before going back to work in DC. He has been inspired by many chefs along the way, including Jeffrey Buben and Robert Weidmaier who helped him hone the French technique that he has utilized throughout his career.
Eventually Jones made his way to Chicago and it was in the windy city that he first met celebrated Sonoma restaurateur, Sondra Bernstein. The two discovered that they shared similar ideologies about food and seasonality and Jones subsequently moved back to the West Coast to work at the girl & the fig and Estate in Sonoma, CA.
Most recently the Executive Chef at Brix in Yountville, CA, Jones is excited to lead the kitchen at Gaspar. When he’s not busy in his own kitchen, you can find him at home experimenting with new recipes or out on the town working his way through the Bay Area’s many restaurants.
Chef Robin Song’s Chicken-Liver Mousse
Hog & Rocks | Mission District
8 oz. chicken livers, cleaned
1/2 cup cream
1 stick butter
½ cup shallots
¼ cup celery
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons Port
½ teaspoon pink salt
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch Maldon salt or any nice sea salt
- Start by soaking livers in 1/4 cup of the cream for 4 hours, preferably overnight. The next morning, drain the livers well and rinse in water. Pat dry onto paper towels.
- In a large, hot sauté pan start with 1/3 of the butter and sauté livers with kosher salt and pink salt. Cook until just firm, then remove the livers and add vegetables. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and cook until soft.
- Once softened, add the Port and reduce until alcohol is removed. Add remaining ¼ cup cream and reduce by half.
- Pour all contents into a blender with the livers. While the blender is running, slowly add knobs of the remaining cold butter to emulsify.