Help me name my future restaurant! I'd love to hear what you think of some names I've come up with... and I'd be tickled if you'd share your suggestions for a name. EVERY DAY I'LL POST A NEW NAME. Please express your honest opinions in the poll and leave comments. Thanks for playing the Name Game!
Our second contestant (of seven) is Castropoda or one of the other variations on the theme fusing Castro with epicurean words that begin with gastro (gastropod, gastronome, gastronomy, gastropub).
My restaurant is located on Castro Street in San Francisco's Noe Valley neighborhood. Castropoda is a play on gastropoda, the scientific class that includes the snail. The snail is the symbol of Slow Food, an organization that embodies the ideals that I strive for in my cooking. "Castro" here replaces "gastro," which is the root word for gastronomy, the study of the relationship between food and culture, including the art of cooking. (See other variations on this castro-gastro theme below and let me know if you favor one over the others. Of all my upcoming name ideas, this one is definitely still a work in progress).
Highlights location: restaurant is on Castro Street.
Slow Food connection: I have been a member of Slow Food for years and share the organization's philosophy (read this post for more information). This name subtly pays homage to that connection.
"Gastro" comes from Greek word for stomach and is the root word for gastronomy.
Gastropub: British term for pubs that serve gourmet fare. Positive association.
Potential for cute cartoon snail logo (would definitely not use the frightening picture on this post, which comes from my meal at El Bulli last summer. I included it here because it's Halloween. Boo! Click here for an even scarier picture from La Boqueria, Barcelona's central market).
Slight Catalan connection: Catalans are famous for their love of eating snails.
Slight blogging connection: there is a well-known, often hilarious blog by writer Regina Schrambling called Gastropoda. The variations below could be seen as paying homage to two of my favorite local blogs, Fatemeh Khatibloo's Gastronomie and the group blog Gastronome.
Let's face it, "gastro" does not have the same positive connotations in American English as it seems to have in the UK. In the US it is more associated with negative medical terms, like gastroenteritis. As gastopubs have begun to open in the US, perhaps this will change.
Not everyone is a fan of the snail. Especially not gardeners!
Location confusion: People may think restaurant is in the Castro, a nearby neighborhood on the other side of a very steep hill.
Only tenuous connection to my cooking influences from Spain and her Mediterranean neighbors.
Castromome, Gastronome: the "nome" is close in spelling to Noe (no snail connection).
Gastro Noe: when spoken, sounds close to "gastronomy"
What do you think? Take the poll and leave your comments. And remember, each comment counts as a raffle ticket in a drawing for a free dinner for two at my future restaurant (scheduled to open mid 2008).