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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
August 2008 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.



San Francisco Waterfront Partners has found a tenant for Pier 3 (its neighbors will be the upcoming La Mar Cebicheria Peruana and Lafitte): Lettüs the organic cafe from the Marina, is opening its second location there. The 4,600-square-foot bay-front café occupies two spaces at Pier 3, straddling what was once an historic railroad passage. The south space will feature quick service organic coffee, pastries, lunches and dinners while the north space, which includes a 700-square-foot bayside patio, will provide a full service lunch and dinner menu. Both spaces will be lined with sidewalk seating on the Embarcadero. Lettüs, Pier 3, San Francisco, CA 94111, no phone available.
Now open in Oakland's Jack London Square is Miss Pearl's Jam House, under the direction of consulting chef Joey Altman, the original chef who launched San Francisco's Miss Pearl's Jam House in 1989, and executive chef Robert Barker. The menu of New World Island-inspired cuisine includes crispy catfish fingers, black eye pea fritters and jumbo sea scallops in a potato crust. A raw seafood bar, a wood oven for roasting fish and meats, as well as a rotisserie will be featured to recreate the Jamaican "Jerk" tradition of barbecuing meats, seafood and vegetables. The colorful look is reminiscent of a grand mansion located on a tropical island. Open daily.
Moving into the former Toraya spot on Fillmore Street will be a second location of Woodhouse Fish Company, an East Coast-meets-West-Coast, old-school-meets-new school fish shack from Dylan MacNiven of Woodhouse Fish Company on Market Street. He said the menu will focus more on West Coast seafood, like Dungeness crab, local oysters, and more. He said the space is going to entail quite the build-out, so it will be at least six months or so until the opening. The new location will be a bit more up-market than the casual Market Street location, with about 50-75 seats. Lunch and dinner will be served daily, and MacNiven is mulling over possibly launching brunch as well.
The partners behind Limon in the Mission (which remains temporarily closed due to fire damage) have opened Limón Rotisserie. It's a Peruvian-style rotisserie with small plates and a ceviche bar. Beer, wine and sangria are coming soon. Limón Rotisserie, 1001 S. Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-821-2134.
Urban Tavern, the restaurant project in the Hilton San Francisco from Donna Scala, and Laurent Manrique and Chris Condy of C&L Partners, is now open. The executive chef is Patrick Kehler, most recently at Circolo, but he also served as chef de cuisine at Aqua. The Mediterranean-inspired menu includes appetizers like clams and chorizo with fingerling potatoes and piquillo peppers, and entrée choices like chicken "bouillabaisse" style with saffron and fennel broth, tomato confit, fingerling potatoes, and fresh dill. There will also be a charcuterie selection, omelettes served all day, and roasted meats carved tableside. Urban Tavern, 333 O'Farrell St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-202-7011.
The partners behind Downtown's Plouf (Eric Klein and Olivier Azancot) and the Mission's Garçon (Jerome Rivoire) have opened Bonbon Patisserie in the Financial District. Coffee and espresso are available, plus quiche, soup, croques and Alsatian-style pizzas, along with dessert and pastries, like croissants, tarts and macaroons. The place is petite, with only a few seats, so consider it more for take-out. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Bonbon Patisserie, 308 Kearny St., San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-956-5005.

News Bytes

etoile Fresh Eats
Over Labor Day weekend, étoile restaurant at Domaine Chandon debuted their Garden Tasting Menu highlighting estate-grown fruits and vegetables. The new Napa-native menu will be offered every Sunday for lunch and dinner through September. Some of the peak-flavor ingredients shaping the menus will include multiple varietals of heirloom tomatoes, patty pan squash, baby carrots, Japanese eggplant, and more. The fixed price Garden Tasting Menu is composed of five courses at lunch and seven courses at dinner. Each week's offering will be completely different. Five-course lunch for $85. Optional wine pairing $50 for lunch. Seven-course dinner for $105. Optional wine pairing $75 for dinner. étoile, Domaine Chandon Winery, 1 California Dr., Yountville, CA 94599, 707-944-2892.
Green Scene
The Lark Creek Inn, along with sister restaurant Yankee Pier in Larkspur, will begin rewarding their "environmentally-friendly" guests this summer by offering free valet parking (normally $4 per vehicle) to those who arrive in hybrid, electric and natural gas vehicles. Guests also have the option of riding their bicycles and parking in a rack in their shared parking lot. Lark Creek Inn, 234 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur, CA 94939, 415-924-7766.
Wine Offer at Palio d'Asti
Palio d'Asti is celebrating their eighteenth year in business, and for the month of August all bottles of wine with dinner will be half off. Palio d'Asti, 640 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-395-9800.
A Classic Pairing
Clift's Redwood Room has launched Eggs and Toasts, pairing Tsar Nicoulai California Select Estate Osetra Caviar with premium Champagnes. The Eggs and Toasts will be available daily in the Redwood Room and requires 24 hours' advance booking. Prices range from $500 to $1000, depending on the Champagne selected. Champagnes include Veuve Grande Dame; Dom Perignon Vintage 1996 and Saffron Whitefish & Krug Rose. Clift, 495 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-775-4700, 800-697-1791.
Governor Tackles Trans Fats
The state government is stepping in on behalf of the health of Californians and banning trans fatty acids, which are believed to raise cholesterol and contribute to heart disease. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill on July 25 prohibiting the use of trans fats in restaurants beginning in 2010, with California bakeries following suit in 2011. Cities such as New York City and Philadelphia have already adopted similar legislation, but California is the first to enact this ban statewide.

Chef Shuffle

Check back soon for more news.


After 14 years of business, Rubicon, a landmark food and wine destination, has closed. The current cost of doing business in San Francisco was a primary component of owner and restaurateur Drew Nieporent's decision to close, plus a shrinking profit margin. The executive chef Stuart Brioza and his fiancée, pastry chef Nicole Krasinski, who were at Rubicon for four and a half years, intend to stay in San Francisco, but have no firm plans at this time. There is also no word about the fate of the famed wine cellar; there are a couple interested parties who may buy the building, but nothing is final.

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