This week's biggest food news, at least in terms of financial impact, came from the coffee industry when we learned that Peet's Coffee & Tea would buy Portland's much-smaller Stumptown. Let that sink in for a second, and also have a look at Matthew Lightner's Ninebark, which opens in Napa next week. Elsewhere in the food blogosphere:
Kit Fox is opening Thursday in the Hall, which Eater explains is a vegan sandwich joint, the kind that really seeks to replace meat. So if you prefer your carnitas with jackfruit and your french dip with seitan, welcome home. Kit fox is being billed as the kid sister to the forthcoming brewpub operation Citizen Fox: no word on how that's coming along, but perhaps this is intended to tide us over.
Minako's space will soon be occupied by a soup spot, Rosarito Soups, the inimitable Capp Streep Crap observes. That operation "appears to involve Pete Mrabe, of North Beach’s Don Pisto’s and Chubby Noodle."
Canela sent us a line about their Guest Chef Series, which is pulling on chefs from all kinds of Bay Area Spanish restaurants for prix-fixe ($68) menus cooked along with Canela's chef-owner Mat Shuster. Expect Healdsburg’s Bravas Bar de Tapas executive chef Mark Stark, a James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur semifinalist, to take over the kitchen first on Wednesday, October 21st.
Pascal Rigo, whom Eater describes as at the height of his powers, is now Munchery’s “Chief Customer Experience Officer." The Business Times has a bit more on what, exactly, he'll be doing to give Munchery's kitchens an edge.
Clement Street's Pizza Orgasmica is out with a whimper after many years, RichmondSFblog reports. Meanwhile, Spaghetti Bros. will open in the Marina late this month, with Eater explaining that it would like to bestride the high-low delineation and "be like an elegant saloon," in the words of management.
A new option for the Mid-Market area, Waystone Wine Bar, has been planned for the Warfield building. Hoodline reports that it's the latest venture by Tom Patella, who is a partner in the Marina's Causwells.
The Bay Area Reporter has it that Zapata Mexican Grill may receive another year on its lease. "Owner Jorge Perez and his landlord, Les Natali, have verbally agreed to a lease extension for the popular restaurant, allowing it to remain open until October 31, 2016," they share.
Taiwanese, Japanese, South Asian, and British teas purchased direct from farmers are now available at a San Francisco expansion of Berkeley's Asha Tea House. Inside Scoop writes that the traditional tea operation opened quietly last week on Kearny.
Smuggler’s Cove, Trick Dog and Tommy’s all made the cut for this (very legit) World’s Best Bars list. As Inside Scoop writes, the list is edited by Hamish Smith, an editor at the UK trade publication Drinks International. First published in 2009, it’s determined by a poll of 412 industry experts.
In a chef shuffle, Mikkeller Bar's head chef is in the process of moving over to another beer-soaked kitchen, the one at the Monk’s Kettle. Eater reports that Mike O'Brien's split from Mikkeller was amicable.
Kurt Huffman of Portland's ChefStable is still headed to the Dogpatch, but his restaurant concept is morphing into a private events space, so yeah, Eater has that news.
Last, one Peninsula brewer is making beer — a terribly water intensive process — with recycled water, as the Business Times reports. That's the mavericks at Mavericks Brewing, a sister brewery to Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., so cheers to them!
This Week In Reviews:
The Chronicle's Michael Bauer headed North for "one of the best places I’ve found for oysters anywhere in the United States:" Seattle's Westward. He also went on a long meditation about how cocktail culture has shaped restaurant culture, with Thad Vogler front-and-center as a source. "It’s become increasingly obvious that Bay Area diners are more than happy to pay a premium for good cocktails during dinner," Bauer writes.
Meanwhile, and also for the Chronicle, Anna Roth checked out FuseBox in West Oakland, at which "you’ll want at least one order of the locally famous Korean fried chicken wings, with their light, rice flour crust and thin shellacking of sticky-sweet sauce." There are some problems with the spot, but there's also "so much heart that mistakes are forgiven."
The Weekly's Peter Kane checked out Ovok at the former Sliderbar. To keep it short, he "wouldn’t expect this one to last very long." The critic also checked out Downtown Oakland's Parlour, which "was one of the best dinners [he's] had this year" despite it being a very loud place.