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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
April 2009 Archive

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Want to know who's doing what in your city? Gayot has the restaurant news you want to read on openings, closings, special events, and more. Learn everything you need to know about the restaurants in San Francisco here.



Chef Michael Mina In one of spring's more notable debuts, Michael Mina's newest venture RN74 has opened for lunch and dinner at the base of San Francisco's new Millennium Tower, a luxury high-rise at 301 Mission Street. Named for the major highway Route National 74 through Burgundy in France, the wine bar and restaurant will feature Burgundian-inflected cuisine from chef Jason Berthold (The French Laundry) and a world-class wine list by sommelier and Mina Group wine director Rajat Parr. The 30-seat urban wine bar and separate, 75-seat dining room will reference the feel of the Burgundy region with contemporary sophistication. More than 50 wines will be available by the glass. RN74, Millennium Tower, 301 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105, 415-543-7474.
San Francisco chef Roland Passot has opened La Folie Lounge, a fashionable new lounge on Polk Street, adjacent to his winning French restaurant, La Folie. With a "modern Moulin Rouge" design of hardwoods, a tin ceiling, and sexy white leather couches, the full bar and lounge maintains Passot's high standards of sophistication and warmth, though it provides a more casual way to enjoy his cooking. A menu of bar bites includes lobster croque monsieur with English pea soup, house-cured salmon lollipops, pâtés, terrines and cheeses, and the occasional dip into Americana such as with the truffled macaroni and cheese. Wine director Georges Passot, Roland's brother, has put together a short, lively list of predominantly French and Californian wines by the bottle or glass, and bartender Cezar Kusik blends artisanal cocktails. La Folie Lounge, 2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109, 415-776-5577.
Stylish Southern restaurant Pican has opened on the ground floor of the new Broadway Grand high-rise in Oakland's Uptown neighborhood. The cuisine from executive chef Dean Dupuis (Atlanta's South City Kitchen) features a blend of Cajun, Creole, Caribbean and flavors from the American South. The spacious interior (5,600 square feet) includes a bar and lounge, dining room and open kitchen, and features a rich, warm palette of dusky browns and reds, reclaimed pecan wood and intriguing textiles. Music ranges from gospel to jazz. Single-batch bourbons will be a specialty at the bar, with one of the largest assortments in the U.S. Pican is the first restaurant from entrepreneur Michael LeBlanc. Lunch service begins mid May. Dinner nightly. Pican, Broadway Grand, 2295 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, 510-834-1000.
After a near six-month hiatus, local sushi favorite Ebisu, located near Golden Gate Park in the Sunset District, reopened on May 12. The restaurant was gutted in a million dollar renovation led by owner Steve Fujii. Not only does the redesigned restaurant feature a new, contemporary interior, updated sushi bar, and state-of-the-art kitchen, but Fujii has also announced a Financial District Ebisu coming in late summer 2009. Ebisu, 1283 Ninth Ave., San Francisco, CA 94122, 415-566-1770.

News Bytes

Dining Changes at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
Along with The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco's new Small Bottles/Small Bites value option, further dining changes for the venerable hotel have been announced. The Lobby Lounge now offers breakfast daily, lunch weekdays, and dinner Sunday and Monday evenings, as well as afternoon tea on weekends. The Terrace restaurant space will now only be open for private events and select holidays. Luxury dining from chef Ron Siegel will continue weekly in The Dining Room from Tues.-Sat. Visit for more information, or for details on Small Bottles/Small Bites. The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, 600 Stockton St., San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-296-7465, 800-241-3333.
Bocadillos Bite-size Basque Plates
Basque tapas and wine bar Bocadillos has marked its 5th anniversary with a new happy hour, featuring $2 pintxos, or bite-size plates, and California, Basque and Spanish wines starting at $25 bottles. Executive chef Gerald Hirigoyen (Piperade, Miró) has created a sparkling menu of Basque bites for the event, including kiwi and marinated beets on chèvre, lamb's tongue with pear chutney and fresh herbs, and tortilla española with manchego on toast. (Many such recipes are featured in his newest cookbook, Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition from Ten Speed Press.) Bocadillo's happy hour runs from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. weekdays. Bocadillos, 710 Montgomery St., San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-982-2622.
Bring Out the Beast
On a recent visit, the dauntless Anthony Bourdain purportedly made Incanto one of his stops---and it's no wonder: chef Chris Cosentino has turned sustainably enjoying whole animals, from ear to tail and everything in between, into a revived artform. His current Leg of Beast meal series for parties of six to eight features an entire leg of beef and all its components for $200, including roasted marrow bones, tendon with a salad of cannellini beans, chicory tardivo salad with Zinfandel vinaigrette, and 20 pounds of whole braised beef shank cooked for six hours. Cost is exclusive of tax, tip, and any other menu items (if there is room). Incanto, 1550 Church St., San Francisco, CA 94131, 415-641-4500.
New Partnership for San Francisco Chef Traci Des Jardins
San Francisco chef Traci Des Jardins of Acme Chophouse, Mijita and California-French favorite Jardinière has announced a partnership with The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe, set to open mid-mountain at the Northstar resort in North Lake Tahoe in the fall of 2009. Des Jardins will head up the property's signature restaurant, designed by The Johnson Studio (Fearing's at The Ritz-Carlton, DallasTRU), that will feature a rustic, contemporary feel with a bark-edge wood ceiling, stone fireplace, 94-seat dining room, 71-seat bar and lounge, an open kitchen and dramatic mountain views. The resort itself will house 170 guest rooms, 23 private residences, and ski-in-ski-out access with mountain valet services. Call 1-800-241-3333 or visit for more information.

Chef Shuffle

The French Laundry has announced some upcoming changes in the kitchen. Chef de cuisine Corey Lee is leaving the Yountville destination and executive chef Thomas Keller has named protégé Timothy Hollingsworth as replacement. Hollingsworth was a commis in 2002 and became sous chef in 2007. He was a member of Per Se's opening team in 2004, and represented the U.S. at the 2009 Bocuse d'Or world final in Lyon in January, where he placed sixth. The transition will take place in August 2009. The French Laundry, 6640 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599, 707-944-2380.


Wolfgang Puck's prominent San Francisco outpost Postrio in The Prescott Hotel has closed for a complete renovation, and the venue won't open again until late 2010. (Breakfast service for hotel guests and modified bar dining will be available for the duration.) The Union Square restaurant opened in 1989, and for 20 years was an incubator for many of the Bay Area's more notable chefs. Puck aims for a transformed interior and menu, occurring in concert with a remodel and refresh of the entire hotel, all under EDG Interior Architecture + Design. Postrio, The Prescott Hotel, 545 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-776-7825.
Longtime Marin fine-dining destination Lark Creek Inn in Larkspur closed on April 12 to begin transformation under the same ownership into The Tavern at Lark Creek. The new, more relaxed and value-conscious venue is set for a May opening. The building's notable exterior---a charming 1888 Victorian among the redwoods---will remain, but the interior will include a wood-burning oven, refreshed tables and chairs and a new color palette, as well as an herb garden and brick patio. Chef-partner Erica Holland-Toll will shape the seasonal, countrified menu to reflect the casual ambience, featuring no entrée priced over $15, and including dishes such as wood-oven roasted half chicken, classic pot roast, duck lasagna with goat cheese and hazelnuts, and appetizers such as boiled crawfish with drawn butter and spiced Petaluma chicken wings. There will be a new focus on artisanal cocktails and affordable wines will be offered by the glass, bottle and carafe. Lark Creek Inn, 234 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur, CA 94939, 415-924-7766.
The sumptuous Café Majestic, located inside Pacific Height's The Hotel Majestic, closed unexpectedly the first week of April. The restaurant launched the career of young chef Ian Begg, who left in 2008; Café Majestic's closure left its newest notable chef, Louis Maldonado (Cortez), looking for another kitchen.
Three-year-old Vietnamese restaurant Bong Su closed earlier this month due to the declining economy and a landlord dispute. Owners Tammy Huynh and Anne Le Ziblatt preferred to shutter rather than compromise the upscale vision of the sultry locale, and instead plan on renewing focus on winning sister restaurant Tamarine in Palo Alto.

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