The Tablehopper

Turkish delights

A couple of new downtown projects: Machka (584 Wash-ington Street, 415-391-8228) is opening next to Taverna Aventine. A recent press release fills in the details: It’s a Turkish restaurant, and Jocelyn Bulow (Chez Papa Bistrot, Chez Maman, Papito) is consulting. The owner is Farshad Owji with his wife, Sibel — the two are actually attorneys, but now they’re getting into the restaurant game (Farshad spent 10 years in Turkey and really loves the cuisine).

The cuisine will be contemporary Turkish with Mediterranean influences prepared using seasonal, locally sourced and (mostly) organic ingredients. Some dishes on the opening menu range from grilled octopus to blue cheese- and chorizo-stuffed dates with pastrami and a frisée salad. Uh, yeah, that’s definitely contemporary. Chef de cuisine Reynol Martinez (Globe, Papito, Aperto, and Epic Roasthouse) will head up the kitchen. There are 32 seats with a communal table, hardwood floors and an exhibition kitchen, plus sidewalk seating, weather permitting. Lunch and dinner
will be served.

More Turkish delight: Yigit Pura of Top Chef “Just Desserts” fame, is opening Tout Sweet Patisserie in Macy’s Union Square (170 O’Farrell Street) on the third floor. Pura hopes to use his classical pastry training to create whimsical, adventurous sweets, drawing inspiration from childhood without sacrificing refinement. He also wants his creations to reflect the ever-changing availability of seasonal ingredients in California, as well as the unique blend of cultures and innovation he sees in the Bay Area. In addition to macaroons, petit gâteaux and special event cakes, Tout Sweet will also serve a range of breakfast and lunch items: morning pastries, sandwiches, soups, and quiches to fuel up for a hard day’s shopping the Macy’s shoe department. If you are seeking gifts, there will also be jams, pâtés de fruit and dessert sauces available. The opening is Saturday, Aug. 25.

Also at Macy’s: the 200th Pinkberry (170 O’Farrell Street, 415-391-1529) frozen yogurt store — the first location in the City — has opened, offering six flavors in all. Store hours are Sunday–Thursday 10 a.m.–11 p.m. and Friday–Saturday 10 a.m.–midnight.

Some changes in North Beach: The 98-year-old Victoria Pastry Co. has left their current location (1362 Stockton Street) and is moving to 700 Filbert Street. Stand by for details on when they will reopen.

And Steps of Rome Caffe (348 Columbus Avenue) is now closed. About six months ago, owner Scott Holley also closed the neighboring Steps of Rome Trattoria; he owned both businesses for 10 years. No more swarthy buskers with heavy accents, no more pasta alla vodka, no more tiramisu, and no more raucous parties during the World Cup. Oh wait, that was all fun in my 20s — it’s been a while.

Marcia Gagliardi is a contributing editor to 7×7 magazine, writes a popular weekly e-column (subscribe for free at, and is the author of The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco. E-mail hot tips to [email protected].
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