Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday, Monday

Being sick sucks! I coughed and hacked my way through last week, and now the inside of my tounge is coated with a gunk so evil that all food tastes flavorless and dull. Good thing it didn't start until after a fantastic bit of wine-geekery on Friday night. (Complete with a wonderful white Burgundy, a delicious Malbec, a 1997 Australis, a Melville, a Chateau Potelle VGS Zin, and a sinfully wonderful Pax -- so dark that the "legs" on the glass were black.)

Ghost Stories at Meridian: All we needed were some marshmallows and a campfire while enjoying the cozy upstairs private dining room at Meridian as Chef Dan Dunville told us ghost stories about their renovated building. Apparently, there's long been the ghost of an old woman in the historic 1870s log cabin building which has been everything from an inn to a private home to several restaurants over its life. (The dark richness of the original log cabin and stone walls bring an elegant warmth to the small, upstairs, private dining room.) But lately, it seems a few staffers have had some loud scares. Their ghost likes to bang pots in the kitchen, but otherwise, she's been deemed friendly.

Cafe de Paris: Early reports are trickling in on the new bistro on Carmel's main street featuring Chef Kathy Jones, late of Cobblestone Grill. The winecanine was at the soft launch and has an early report. No restaurant web site up yet.

Copertos in San Francisco: Currently, in San Francisco, restaurants are required by law to provide health care coverage for their servers. If you run your own business -- restaurant or not -- you know how expensive health insurance can be. So the new thing? A few upscale eateries are starting to add a "coperto" or a small fee for each diner ($1.25-$2.50 per customer), added to the check on top of tax, to cover the additional costs. The well-regarded restaurant Delfina, which started the practice, distributes a letter to customers saying the owners feel a "coperto" is a better solution than raising menu prices across the board. Oh, there's so much to say on this -- from how much I disagree with mandated health care to whether or not one should tip on the coperto. (Personally, I don't tip on tax so why would I tip on an additional fee designed to cover something the employee was -- or should have been -- paying for on their own before?) Don't expect the practice to make much headway outside SF anytime soon, but expect it grow beyond just the current few city restaurants struggling to cover extra costs. More from Michael Bauer at the SF Chron.

Biggest White Castle Ever! Friday, Louisville's mayor declared "White Castle Opening Day" as he welcomed the newest store in the burger chain, one that seats nearly 80 people, the largest in the US. With all this hoopla, it's apparent that in Louisville, they love their sliders. (They estimate their White Castle locations serve 170,000 people a week.)


Christopher said...

Delfina is my favorite restaurant in SF. I supplied the art and they supplied me with a hefty monthly allowance for food and wine. I realize my comment adds nothing to the discussion, I just wanted to reminisce for a second. And for the record, I would be happy to pay any coperto just to taste their panna cotta again!!

Donald said...

Ghosts? Yeah... um... OK.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't he hire the ghost to put salt on the food, the humans are not doing a good job at it.