RSShospitality

Palestinian Family Shares Treasured Dishes at Zaki Kabob House

Palestinian Family Shares Treasured Dishes at Zaki Kabob House

| March 28, 2012 | 4 Comments

While Middle Eastern restaurants abound, Zaki Kabob House in Albany is one of the few that serve specialties of Palestinian cuisine, like spheeha, maklouba and mensaf. Family-owned and run by Fayza and Kameem Ayyad and their children, Zaki offers tastes of another world, plus warm hospitality.

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Eat with Your Hands for a Sensuous, Intimate, Mindful Meal

Eat with Your Hands for a Sensuous, Intimate, Mindful Meal

| February 22, 2012 | 8 Comments

Eating with the hands is more than just a way to maneuver food to the mouth. It embodies cultural values including, a sensuous connection to the food, the feeling of sharing and community, practicality avoiding waste, even prolonging a delicious meal by enjoying the lingering aroma of it on the fingers. Many cultures, such as Indian, Arab and African have dined this way for thousands of years. In a video-clip, the writer receives a hands-on lesson in eating with the hands — Moroccan style.

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Healdsburg gets a dash of the Mediterranean with Bergamot Alley

Healdsburg gets a dash of the Mediterranean with Bergamot Alley

| February 18, 2012 | 2 Comments

Healdsburg’s newest wine bar, Bergamot Alley, focuses on hard-to-find Mediterranean wines and local, handmade snacks to accompany them.

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Christmas Morning Pumpkin Bread

Christmas Morning Pumpkin Bread

| December 25, 2011 | 0 Comments

A festive, secretly good-for-you pumpkin bread recipe, perfect for warming up your holiday morning.

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Touchscreen Dining: Out of Touch?

Touchscreen Dining: Out of Touch?

| April 27, 2011 | 3 Comments

When my friend Roy alerted me to this new piece of technology, my first reaction as both a career server at a fine dining establishment and someone resistant to new technology was to view the E La Carte tablet as vilely impersonal and a threat to my profession. Over the last 24 hours, however, I have calmed myself as I weigh what I imagine the cons– and the pros– are of this particular piece of equipment.

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Danny Meyer Documentary: The Restaurateur

Danny Meyer Documentary: The Restaurateur

| April 7, 2011 | 5 Comments

A look into The Restaurateur, a documentary following Danny Meyer through the whirlwind dual openings of Eleven Madison Park and Tabla in 1998.

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Nibblers Eatery: A Deep East Bay Oasis

Nibblers Eatery: A Deep East Bay Oasis

| January 4, 2011 | 10 Comments

While the Pleasant Hill area doesn’t exactly evoke visions of decadent cheese plates, fine wines, locally grown produce, or handcrafted chocolate desserts, that’s what you’ll find on the menu at Nibblers.

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SF Chefs Hospitalitarianism Panel: Forget the Trays

SF Chefs Hospitalitarianism Panel: Forget the Trays

| August 13, 2010 | 2 Comments

At the Hospitalitarianism panel, the tablehopper’s Marcia Gagliardi chatted with Umberto Gibin (Perbacco, barbacco), Annie Stoll (Delfina), Giancarlo Paterlini (Acquerello), Nick Peyton (Cyrus) and Tim Stannard (Pizzeria Antica, Spruce, Cafe Des Amis). Stannard fielded one of the toughest questions, when Gagliardi asked him how he knows who will make it, who won’t, and how do you let people know.

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What Makes A Great Waiter Great?

What Makes A Great Waiter Great?

| May 14, 2010 | 9 Comments

What the hell does it take to get a great waiter in this town? I have had so few. The only answer I could come up with is this:

Luck. Pure, unholy luck.

It doesn’t seem to matter much what type of venue you are patronizing. High end restaurants are no guarantee of great service, though one’s expectations are higher when there.

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Cooking Class at Ramekins with Joyce Goldstein

Cooking Class at Ramekins with Joyce Goldstein

| March 10, 2010 | 0 Comments

A peek into a cooking class at Ramekins Cooking School and Inn in Sonoma, taught by Joyce Goldstein. Recipes included!

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Cutting Corners: Tipping in a Down Economy

Cutting Corners: Tipping in a Down Economy

| January 29, 2010 | 6 Comments

2009 was a rough year for restaurants in San Francisco and (if January is any indicator) 2010 isn’t going to be a bed of truffles and lollipops either. As a 20-year veteran of the restaurant industry, I cringe.

Have you taken a look at the list of restaurants that closed their doors in the past year?

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Service Rules

Service Rules

| January 5, 2010 | 2 Comments

In late October, as part of his start-up chronicle for the New York Times’s You’re The Boss blog, Bruce Buschel posted what he called “a modest list of dos and don’ts” for servers at the Bridgehampton, N.Y. seafood restaurant he’s opening on April Fool’s Day. He included the above nuggets, along with 96 others. Far from “modest,” the list, laid out in two parts, touched off frantic comment-slinging in New York Times-land.

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Cesare’s Salad: Tossing My Own.

Cesare’s Salad: Tossing My Own.

| November 20, 2009 | 0 Comments

I’m a sucker for a great Caesar salad. Call me old school, but there are few things that can beat it in my book. Garlicky, lemony, cheesy, and anchovy-y, if there is such a word. If there isn’t, there should be.

Sadly, a great restaurant Caesar salad has eluded me in this city of ours.

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Favosalata: It’s Not Hummus.

Favosalata: It’s Not Hummus.

| September 4, 2009 | 2 Comments

I don’t care what you say, this is not hummus. It is called favosalata. If you insist on calling it hummus, I will persist in telling you that you are wrong, however politely.

Where I work, we are very good at pretending the customer is always right, even when he isn’t. I hear our guests make ordering blunders on a nightly basis, which isn’t surprising, considering the fact that our dinner menu is in Anglicized Greek. It’s downright confusing to the uninitiated. And, of course, un-Greek.

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