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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
December 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.

RESTAURANT NEWS

Openings

Perbacco Ristorante + Bar owner Umberto Gibin and chef-owner Staffan Terje are stretching their California Street realm one door down with the opening of the more casual barbacco eno trattoria. Dubbed a "little sister" to the larger Italian hot-spot, the 66-seat trattoria features Perbacco vets chef Sarah Burchard and wine director Mauro Cirilli. Designed by Cass Calder Smith, architects behind Perbacco's sleek style, the urban space lends comfortable appeal, with a black marble bar, dark walnut two-tops, small communal tables and an electronic menu screen. Seasonal trattoria fare includes artisanal salumi, gourmet Italian sandwiches and salads, baked pastas, and heartier dinner plates such as braised calamari with tomato, chili, fennel and olives; fried olives stuffed with pork and sage; and egg occhio di bue on braised rapini, tomato and ‘nduja. A focus on biodynamic international wines, with 100 by the glass, as well as San Francisco-local beers rounds out the experience. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Mon.-Sat. barbacco eno trattoria, 220 California St., San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-955-1919.
 
More East Bay happenings: The historic Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, a grand white hotel on the border between the Berkeley and Oakland Hills and a well known local landmark, has opened Meritage at the Claremont in the space that formerly housed Jordan's. The sweeping, upscale restaurant marks a significant update for the hotel (though its second restaurant and lounge, Paragon, is thoroughly modern). It is the third Meritage concept originated by Boston chef Daniel Bruce, adding to locations at the Boston Harbor Hotel and Maison Dupuy Hotel in New Orleans; each of the three Meritages features a strong focus on wine pairings with small and large plates of regional cuisine. New executive chef Josh Thomsen (The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Nobhill Tavern in Las Vegas) works with pedigreed local produce, meats and artisan ingredients, and offers a weekly "Vineyard to Table" prix-fixe menu featuring ingredients specifically chosen to best highlight local wines. Meritage at the Claremont, 41 Tunnel Rd., Berkeley, CA 94705, 510-843-3000, 800-551-7266.
 
Bocanova has opened in Oakland from husband-and-wife team Rick Hackett and Meredith Melville. The space comprises 6,500-square-feet of a restored 1920s icehouse in the burgeoning Jack London Square restaurant district, complete with waterfront views. Together Hackett and Melville bought and revived Enrico's in the early 1990s, and Hackett was most recently executive chef of MarketBar. At Bocanova, he creates pan-American plates with pungent flavors from South, Central and North America. Architect Michael Guthrie (Bix, Myth, Zinnia) designed the space, which uses recycled and sustainably harvested wood, stone, tile and found objects to create a stylish, rustic atmosphere. Lunch Mon.-Sat., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sun. Bocanova, Jack London Square, 55 Webster St., Oakland, CA 94607, 510-444-1233.
 

News Bytes

Chef Douglas Keane of Cyrus "Top Chef" Features Cyrus
Cyrus in Healdsburg hosted the season finale of Bravo's "Top Chef: Las Vegas." Chef Douglas Keane was one of the guest judges during the episode that named Michael Voltaggio of The Dining Room at The Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa the winner of season 6. Cyrus, Les Mars Hotel, 29 North St., Healdsburg, CA 95448, 707-433-3311.
 
Cetrella Introduces Weekly Prix-Fixe Menu
Cetrella in Half Moon Bay has the introduced a weekly-changing prix-fixe menu available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. The $25 three-course menu has included dishes such as Maine salt cod brandade with focaccia toast point, cold pressed Spanish olive oil and Castelvetrano olive tapenade; wood oven roasted sardines with French Riviera style stuffing, herb medley and balsamic vinaigrette; and Corsican style goat cheese cake with red berries gel and a citrus salad. Cetrella, 845 Main St., Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, 650-726-4090.
 
Half-Price Dishes on Wednesdays at Park Chalet
Every Wednesday during the month of December, Park Chalet's dishes from the lunch and dinner menus will be available for half the regular price. New items on these menus include crispy duck spring rolls, a smoked salmon club sandwich and warm bread pudding. (The promotion excludes tax, gratuity, the happy hour menu and all alcohol and other beverages.) Park Chalet, Golden Gate Park, 1000 Great Hwy., San Francisco, CA 94121, 415-386-8439.
 

Chef Shuffle

Restaurant Michael Mina has announced a new executive pastry chef. Catherine Schimenti, who won accolades for her desserts at Craft Los Angeles, moved to the Bay Area this year with longtime partner Matthew Accarrino (SPQR), also formerly with Craft. Both chefs also worked at Per Se, and Schimenti also has Balthazar Restaurant and Gramercy Tavern on her résumé. Look for Schimenti's innovative, refined desserts and pastries to blend seamlessly with Michael Mina's modern sophistication. Michael Mina, The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-397-9222.
 

Closings

As 2009 closed, unfortunately so did a generous handful of notable Bay Area restaurants. Zinnia in Jackson Square and seven-year-old Côté Sud in the Castro both closed their doors for good after service on New Year's Eve. Even the trendiest spots aren't immune: South Food + Wine Bar closed in late December, and Laïola closed after service on December 31, though both will reopen as new concepts under same ownership in early 2010---South's new incarnation to-be-revealed, and Laïola as Tacolicious, the restaurant's fresh street food concept made popular at the Ferry Building Farmers Market. Also closed in December: the recently restyled Metro Café (formerly Metro Kathmandu), venerable Carnelian Room and Acme Chophouse. Look for that restaurant to reopen in April, still under Traci Des Jardins, as two separate concepts: Public House, a sports-oriented pub appropriate for the ballpark location, and a second Mijita, Des Jardins' taqueria.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
Want to
learn to cook? Try new dishes? Meet a foodie friend for fun? Check out our compilation of culinary events in your area.

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