The Barbary Coast is now open in North Beach, serving dinner, brunch and beverages. The menu is meaty, comfortable pub food, including a burger with an optional foie gras accompaniment, as well as chicken wings and pizzas. There is also a selection of freshly-shucked oysters and salads. The beverage selections include beer, cocktails and wine --- including three sparkling wines available by the glass. The comfortable patio offers outdoor seating. Dinner Nightly, Brunch Fri.-Sun. The Barbary Coast, 478 Green St., San Francisco, CA 94133, 415-788-0115.
Horsefeather, a bar and restaurant born out of the former TSK/TSK pop-up, is now open on Divsadero. Justin Lew and Ian Scalzo are behind the cocktails, while chef Ryan Chinchilla of Blue Plate and Foreign Cinema is running the kitchen. The menu is focused on small plates designed for sharing with cocktails, while the cocktail list offers original drinks with an inventive spin. Both food and cocktails will change with the seasons, and brunch will be added later this spring. Dinner nightly. Horsefeather, 528 Divisadero St., San Francisco, CA 94117, 415-522-0800.
The team behind Tacolicious has opened Bar San Pancho in the former Chino space at 16th Street and Guerrero in the Mission. The new project offers cantina-style Mexican food, along with cocktails and beer. While it’s not entirely a sports bar, major sporting events will be on the television, and menu highlights include sports-bar-friendly dishes such as the queso-stuffed burger and meaty tortas. Open daily. Bar San Pancho, 3198 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-649-6077.
Chef Brandon Jew’s new restaurant, Mister Jiu’s, is now open in Chinatown. The menu takes inspiration from Chinese cooking traditions (Jew's heritage is Cantonese), as well as California’s sustainable and seasonal ethos. The menu is served “banquet-style,” which is similar to family-style, for $69 per person. The multi-course meal includes salads, vegetable sides, rice and noodles, and entrées, as well as additional entrée options for the hungry. There is also a full bar with cocktails from barman Danny Louie, plus wine, beer and cider. Dinner Tues.-Sat. Mister Jiu's, 28 Waverley Pl., San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-857-9688.
The Absinthe Group will open a Spanish restaurant in SoMa this May. The new project is called Bellota, and the chef is Ryan McIlwraith, who previously worked at Coqueta. Menu items will include wood-fire-roasted meats and vegetables, paella, pintxos, tapas and family-style dishes. Beer, wine, Basque-style cider and cocktails will make up the beverages. Bellota, 888 Brannan St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-864-2693.
Second Act Marketplace, a food hall on Haight Street in the former Red Vic theatre, is getting a new food stall. Bulka Bakery comes from owner and baker Tatiana Kasatkina, who serves coffee, Russian-style sweet and savory pastries, croissants, quiches and housemade breads. She also plans to add traditional Russian cakes in the coming months. Breakfast & Lunch daily. Bulka Bakery, Second Act Marketplace, 1727 Haight St., San Francisco, CA 94117, 415-999-6012.
The new project in Ghirardelli Square from chef Jonathan Waxman is now open. Called simply Waxman’s, the restaurant offers seasonal New American cuisine, including fresh seafood, pasta dishes, and meat entrées. The space also offers a full bar with classic cocktails, and a wine list with lots of by the glass options. Dinner nightly. Waxman's, Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point St., San Francisco, CA 94109, 415-636-9700.
Wildhawk, a new Mission bar from the PlumpJack Group, is slated to open in late April 2016. The new bar features cocktails by Ken Luciano and Jacques Bezuidenhout of Forgery, as well as food from chef Howard Ko. The space, in the former beloved lesbian bar The Lexington, was designed by Jay Jeffers. Wildhawk, 3464 19th St., San Francisco, CA 94110, no phone.
Indian Paradox, a wine bar specializing in pairing Indian street food with wine (often thought of as a difficult task) is now open in NoPa. Look for lots of small bites designed for sharing, along with an international wine list. Dinner Tues.-Sun. Indian Paradox, 258 Divisadero St., San Francisco, CA 94117, 415-699-8725.
The team behind Tradition, Rickhouse and other locally beloved bars has opened a new spot for imbibing. It’s called Pagan Idol, and is all about tiki drinks, which are enjoying a bit of a resurgence at the moment. Vintage styling and retro details, along with lush plantings, make the space a fun one for enjoying a tropical beverage. Open Mon.-Sat. Pagan Idol, 375 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94104, 415-985-6375.
A new omakase-style sushi restaurant has hit the dining scene, called Ju-ni. Executive chef Geoffrey Lee serves twelve courses at the sushi counter, which seats just twelve diners (ju-ni means twelve in Japanese). Most of the fish on offer is flown in from the famed Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, and prepared using a combination of old-world technique and new-world ingredients and flavors. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Ju-ni, 1335 Fulton St., #101, San Francisco, CA 94117, 415-655-9924.
Jewish deli mavens Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman have opened their much-anticipated Wise Sons Bagel & Bakery on Fillmore Street. The grand opening was February 26th, and the shop serves freshly-baked bagels, along with schmears, egg sandwiches and coffee from Intelligentsia. Wise Sons bagels are also available at their other locations, including inside the Contemporary Jewish Museum and their 24th Street deli. Open daily. Wise Sons Bagel & Bakery, 1520 Fillmore St., San Francisco, CA 94115, 415-872-9046.
Chef Josiah Slone, together with his wife and partner Khin Khin Slone, have transformed the former longtime French-California destination Restaurant Sent Sovi in Saratoga into Relish Gastro Lounge. There are more than 24 craft beers on tap to complement dishes like buffalo carpaccio, shrimp & chips and Maple Leaf duck confit. Relish Gastro Lounge, 14583 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070, 408-867-3110.
Volta is a French-Scandinavian brasserie at the Westfield San Francisco Centre. The popular köttbullar (Swedish meatballs of beef, pork and veal) are certainly pleasing, but the menu holds greater reward for the adventurous. A thoughtful --- if not approachable --- cocktail program features a first-rate Manhattan-like Vieux Copain. Twenty beers by the bottle and tap, and a well-planned selection of wines by the glass, round out the experience. Volta, Westfield San Francisco Centre, 868 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 628-400-6200.
Purists will find VeganBurg’s svelte lineup of 100-percent plant-based burgers as close to the real thing as they’re going to find anywhere. Served on wholemeal buns and loaded with thick cuts of locally-sourced organic vegetables, the GMO-free soy and mushroom patties are shipped from the chain’s Singapore flagship. Add-ons of “cheese” and “bacon” are surprisingly convincing. Sides of savory, steamed broccoli and seaweed-dusted fries are worth the spend, but are best consumed hot. VeganBurg, 1466 Haight St., San Francisco, CA 94117, 415-548-8000.
Urbano Latino is an inviting neighborhood restaurant and bar serving up generously portioned Latin-influenced food in Oakland. Seafood paella is loaded with mussels, chicken, sausage, peas and saffron rice, and crowned with giant Gulf prawns. Also on the menu are Kobe-pork belly tacos, brick-pressed boneless half-chicken with mole sauce, appetizers, salads and sides. Urbano Latino, 4307 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94609, 510-922-1726.
Pacific Catch has opened a branch in Dublin at Persimmon Place. In a sprawling room with comfortable booths under large, square, simulated rice paper lights, peruse an extensive menu of Pacific Rim seafood dishes: sushi rolls, rice bowls, fish tacos or a generous crab salad with avocado, chunky vegetables, ginger, shredded nori and a soy-wasabi vinaigrette. Pacific Catch, Persimmon Place, 5251 Martinelli Way, Dublin, CA 94568, 925-999-8053.
Little Gem is a welcoming, fast-casual retreat in Hayes Valley. Practicality and function seem to rule, as dishes from the simple, gluten-free menu are promptly delivered to guests as they gaze out a wall of windows onto the chaos of the Gough Street corridor. Sun seekers will find two dozen seats on the sidewalk adjacent to the entrance. Little Gem, 400 Grove St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-914-0501.
Casa Cubana serves up Cuban-inspired cuisine in Oakland. An art gallery of Cuban prints and paintings surround patrons seated in twosomes or larger boisterous groups. The smart, compact menu offers something just right for everyone: meat, fish, fowl, soup, salads, wine and beer, and cocktails evoking 1940s Cuba. Casa Cubana, 59 Grand Ave., Oakland, CA 94612, 510-452-2822.
Chef/restaurateur Michael Mina will open a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant at 350 Mission Street. A name for the project has not yet been announced.
A casual Italian restaurant has opened in the Outer Richmond. Called Fiorella and headed up by owner Boris Nemchenok (Uva Enoteca, and New York's Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria), who grew up in that neighborhood, and chef-partner Brandon Gillis (Brooklyn's Franny's), the 40-seat restaurant offers fresh pastas, pizza, crostini and antipasti, as well as Italian wine varietals from boutique Italian and domestic producers. Fiorella, 2339 Clement St., San Francisco, CA 94121, 415-340-3049.
Elixir's "Golden Hydrant" -- A Cocktail with a Cause
Elixir has launched their spring cocktail menu. The bar features an ongoing seasonal cocktail on tap that benefits California wildfire relief efforts, and this season it’s the Elixir Mule, with Square One Organic Botanical Spirit, muddled rosemary, Top Hat Ginger Beer and lime, served with a rosemary spring. Open nightly. Elixir, 3200 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-552-1633.
Outdoor Seating Means More Walk-In Spaces at AL's Place
AL's Place in the Mission has added 18 seats to their sidewalk area, complete with palm trees, raised garden beds and charming string lights. Plus, there are patio heaters for those foggy San Francisco nights. The seats are available for walk-ins only, offering potential solace to those who couldn’t snag a reservation. AL's Place, 1499 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-416-6136.
Merigan Sub Shop Launches Summer Hours
Baseball season is here, which means that Merigan Sub Shop is now offering extended summer hours in the evenings. Hours are Monday through Friday 8:30am-7 p.m., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, and during Giants’ games on Sundays. Remember: AT&T Park permits food bought from outside the park, and Merigan subs make for satisfying game-day meals. Merigan Sub Shop, 636 2nd St., San Francisco, CA 94107, 415-536-2991.
Marla Bakery Open for Dinner
Marla Bakery is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, with a special Sunday Supper series as well. The menu changes regularly, and includes hearty, homestyle entrees such as a burger, roasted half chicken and bean soup. Marla Bakery, 3619 Balboa St., San Francisco, CA 94121, 415-742-4379.
Added Tapas Concept at Cala, New Brunch
On Friday and Saturday nights, Hayes Valley’s Cala offers a new casual spot to get a drink and a bite. As well as offering dinner in their main dining room, the restaurant's annex and popular lunchtime taqueria Tacos Cala, located in the back of the space, will open as Tapas Cala from 5pm to 11pm. They will also add Saturday brunch to the existing Sunday brunch service, available both days from 10 am to 2 pm. Cala, 149 Fell St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-660-7701.
Alfred's Steakhouse Re-Opens
A San Francisco classic since 1928, Alfred's Steakhouse has re-opened. It had been closed for renovations by new owners the Daniel Patterson Group, whose properties include Alta CA, Haven, Coi and Aster, among others. Alfred's Steakhouse, 659 Merchant St., San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-781-7058.
The Dock at the Lake Chalet Now Open, Plus Happy Hour
The Dock at the Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill on Oakland’s Lake Merritt is now open for the summer season. In addition to serving food and cocktails in the sunny outdoor space, the restaurant will also launch a new happy hour Monday through Friday, from 3 p.m.–6 p.m. and then later in the evening from 9 p.m.–close. The happy hour menu includes snacks, cocktails, wine and beer specials. Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill, 1520 Lakeside Dr., Oakland, CA 94612, 510-208-5253.
MINA Test Kitchen Launches Diane's Bloody Mary Brunch
Beginning March 27, 2016, The MINA Test Kitchen will offer brunch service on Sundays, called Diane’s Bloody Mary Brunch for Michael Mina’s wife, Diane. Her signature Bloody Marys will be on offer, along with other brunch cocktails. Brunch dishes are available à la carte and include options such as jelly donuts, a breakfast sandwich with pastrami on a bagel and french toast. Reservations can be made here, and walk-ins are welcome. Brunch is served Sundays from 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m. The MINA Test Kitchen, 2120 Greenwich St., San Francisco, CA 94123, 415-310-8371.
Food Truck Festivities
Off the Grid food truck market has returned to Fort Mason for a new season of eats, drinks, wine and games. Every Friday night from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. until October, check out more than 25 food truck vendors serving everything from tacos to dumplings to barbecue. Additionally, Rye on the Road will be on hand with cocktails, and live music keeps the scene hopping. Off the Grid Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd. Building A, San Francisco, CA 94123, 415-339-5888.
Ride Along with the San Francisco Brewer's Guild -- For Free
The San Francisco Brewers Guild is launching a new free shuttle service to transport beer lovers from brewery to brewery. Once a month, the Guild’s "Meet the Brewer" nights will include the chance to meet beermakers at several breweries, including Magnolia Brewpub, Barrel Head Brewhouse and Social Kitchen. Visit the official website for info and schedules.
The Company is MINA Test Kitchen's Latest
Michael Mina’s MINA Test Kitchen has announced its latest long-term pop-up, and it’s called The Company. Guest chef Vikrant Bhasin will prepare Indian food with a focus on small plates. Guests will have the option of seven courses ($49), nine courses ($59) or eleven courses ($69). Wine and cocktails pairings are also available. Visit the official website for reservations. The MINA Test Kitchen, 2120 Greenwich St., San Francisco, CA 94123, 415-310-8371.
Remembering Chef Eric Lanvert
News is circulating that chef Eric Lanvert passed away from a heart attack. He had been the longtime chef/owner of Rue Saint Jacques in San Francisco until the restaurant's closing in 2013.
Top Fromage: Gary Danko's Cheese Program Helmed by Certified Best
Congratulations to Cole Mathers of restaurant Gary Danko, who is a newly-named American Cheese Society's Certified Cheese Professional. Mathers is one of only 606 people in America, Canada and Europe to have passed the fifth level of testing required to receive the credential. Gary Danko, 800 North Point St., San Francisco, CA 94109, 415-749-2060.
Sophina Uong, previously of Revival Bar & Kitchen in Berkeley, is now the chef at Calavera in Oakland. In addition to her experience at Revival, Uong has competed in meat-centric events such as Lamb Jam, where she’s been the champion two years in a row. Expect to see some of her meat skills on the menu at Calavera. Calavera, The Hive, 2337 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, 510-338-3273.
The Cupertino location of Alexander’s Steakhouse has named a new executive chef, Jared Montarbo. The California Culinary Academy graduate’s career includes stints at various Wolfgang Puck restaurants, including Postrio, Lupo in Las Vegas and most recently Spago in Beaver Creek, Colorado. In addition to some menu items, Montarbo is also adding an omakase menu option. Alexander's Steakhouse, 10330 N. Wolfe Rd., Cupertino, CA 95014, 408-446-2222.
Ron Siegel has departed restaurant Michael Mina to join the kitchen of the rustic roadhouse Rancho Nicasio in Marin County as head chef. Meanwhile, Mina group vet Raj Dixit, formerly of Dana Point's contemporary Stonehill Tavern, has taken the reins at 252 California Street. San Francisco welcomes the SoCal native to the Bay Area, and wishes Siegel the best up north. Michael Mina, 252 California St., San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-397-9222.
The Mission location of The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen has closed. The location, at the corner of 20th and Harrison streets, was profitable, but the owners reportedly received an offer on the space and decided to sell. Those desiring gooey grilled cheese sandwiches can still find their goods at their remaining locations on South Park Avenue and Battery Street. The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, 2400 Harrison St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-926-5076.
After six months on the Embarcardeo, Caputo has closed. The restaurant offered pizzas, pastas and other Italian-inspired entrées, and despite a positive reception, they just weren’t able to meet their financial goals. Caputo, 100 Brannan St., San Francisco, CA 94107, no phone.
Il Cane Rosso in the Ferry Building has closed after seven years in the space. According to owner Lauren Kiino, the lease was up, and they elected not to renew it. There has not been an announcement about what is moving into the prime Bay-front Ferry Building space; Il Cane Rosso will still offer private catering for the time being. Il Cane Rosso, Ferry Building, 1 Ferry Building Plaza, San Francsico, CA 94111, no phone.
Reverb, the Polk Street restaurant that replaced Verbena in 2015, has closed its doors for good. The team also owns Berkeley’s Gather, and plans to focus their energy there for the time being. Chef Charis Wahl will also be headed back to Gather, and there is no word at the moment as to who is moving into the space. Reverb, 2323 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109, no phone.
Antoinette, the restaurant in the Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, from Dominique Crenn, is closed for revamping. Crenn has left the restaurant entirely, but Antonette will retain its name and the French brasserie concept. No word on when it will reopen, or who will be chef going forward. Antoinette, Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, 41 Tunnel Rd., Berkeley, CA 94705, 510-843-3000.
Cupola Pizzeria has closed, according to an announcement on their website. The pizzeria was one of several restaurants on the fourth floor of the Westfield Centre, and joins former neighbor LarkCreekSteak in its recent closure. Cupola Pizzeria, Westfield Centre, 845 Market St., Fourth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103, no phone.
After a year of changes and attempts to rework their concept, it looks like St. Vincent in the Mission has closed for good. The space has been on the market for some time now, and a new buyer is lined up to take over the space. As for owner David Lynch, he can still be find running events at Polk Street wine shop Biondivino. St. Vincent, 1270 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110, no phone.
High-end Japanese-Californian restaurant Ame closed after dinner service on February 29, 2016. Owners Lissa Doumani and Hiro Sone decided not to renew their lease inside The St. Regis San Francisco, choosing instead to focus on their wine country restaurant Terra, opened by the couple in 1992. (Ame was opened in 2005.) Meanwhile, the San Francisco restaurant space left by Ame will play immediate host to a pop-up restaurant helmed by The St. Regis called The Grill. Ame, St. Regis Hotel, San Francisco , 689 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105, no phone.
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