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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
December 2011 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

Notable Bay Area direct wine importer Premier Cru has found an 8,000-square-foot retail home on University Avenue in Berkeley. The 1,000-bottle-strong collection includes rare aged French wines such as 1918 Château d'Yquem Sauternes and 1959 Lafite-Rothschild, along with small-production imports, with examples from every major region as well as lesser-known wine-making areas such as Slovenia and the Canary Islands. Founded in 1980, the shop has maintained an Internet-based presence since the 1990s; previous brick-and-mortar locations include Oakland and Emeryville. Premier Cru, 1011 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94710, 510-644-9463.
 
Oakland had another big ticket opening when Daniel Patterson's Haven launched December 14, 2011, featuring executive chef Kim Alter (Manresa, Aqua) and pastry chef Matt Tinder (Coi, Plum). The restaurant has been in production since 2008 when Patterson secured the Jack London space for his then-named venue Bracina, which was to feature chef Lauren Kiino. Three years and many changes later, Haven is a 3,000-square-foot, clean-lined dining room and bar with vintage factory details and Shaker-inspired furnishings, and featuring Alter's seasonal new Californian cuisine. Alter's approachable menu favors whole animal cooking and "whole vegetable" seasonal preparations from roots to leaves. Tinder's dessert menu includes seasonal, shareable plates for two. An open kitchen features 12 ringside seats. Dinner nightly. Haven, 44 Webster St., Oakland, CA 94612, 510-663-4440.
 
Right on schedule, Ron Siegel's new restaurant Parallel 37 opened December 12, 2011, inside The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, replacing the luxury destination restaurant The Dining Room. Siegel has crafted an approachable contemporary American menu of small bites, appetizers, entrées and sides culling from the area's ingredients. Though Siegel's top-tier technique remains, dishes are straightforward and unfussy. Entrées include saffron risotto with crispy chicken leg and tomato confit; Sonoma duck breast with salsify, radishes and shiitake mushrooms; and slow-cooked pork with braised greens, flageolet beans and Madeira sauce. Fish and seafood also play a welcome role on the menu. As previously noted, the dining room has received an entire renovation and refresh, including a new bar area and chef's table; in another nod to changing times, notable bar manager Camber Lay has been charged with helming the cocktail program. Lunch & Dinner daily. Parallel 37, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, 600 Stockton St., San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-296-7465.
 
Charles Phan's newest restaurant, Wo Hing General Store, has opened in what was The Slanted Door's first location at 584 Valencia Street in the Mission District. (Phan's Slanted Door is now located in the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero.) The long, narrow, two-tiered restaurant boasts a bar made from a reclaimed bowling alley, and features Asian street food with a Chinese bent from Michelle Mah. Cocktails by bar manager Brooke Arthur are also a big draw. Lunch & Dinner daily. Wo Hing General Store, 584 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-552-2510.
 

News Bytes

Continuous Service at Cotogna
Michael Tusk's Cotogna is now open for continuous service from 11:30 a.m. until closing Monday-Saturday (with the restaurant's special "Sunday Supper" event only on Sundays). The full menu is available throughout the day at the counter, bar and main dining room, and walk-ins are welcome. Cotogna, 490 Pacific Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133, 415-775-8508.
 
Happy Anniversary, Mark!
The InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, home of the landmark Top of the Mark bar and restaurant, celebrates 85 years this holiday season with guest specials through January 31, 2012. Patrons can opt for the 1926 nightcap, featuring window seats, Prosecco for two and four chocolate-covered strawberries for $19.26, or the 85th year package that includes preferred window seating, a bottle of Moët & Chandon Imperial Champagne, dessert and a fruit and cheese plate for $85. Top of the Mark's annual holiday festivities will remain, including afternoon tea service from 2:30 p.m.-5 p.m. from December 26 through December 30, 2011. Top of the Mark, InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, 1 Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-616-6916.
 
Brunch at Boxing Room
Chef Justin Simoneaux has created a new brunch menu at Boxing Room in Hayes Valley, available every Saturday and Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. New Orleans-inspired fare includes beignets with chocolate-espresso cream and pain perdu with fruit preserve. Larger dishes include shrimp rémoulade; crab-and-artichoke cakes with poached eggs, hollandaise, spinach and bacon; and crawfish and tasso omelets with brabant potatoes. Don't miss the kicky menu of down-home brunch libations, such as a "bayou beer" made with Abita IPA, Bloody Mary mix and pickled vegetables. Boxing Room, 399 Grove St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-430-6590.
 
Seasons Change
Just as the seasons are changing now, we can also expect to see changes at Seasons inside the Four Seasons San Francisco. Details are few at the moment, but the hotel is rumored to be replacing the elegant restaurant with a new dining concept. Seasons, Four Seasons San Francisco, 757 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-633-3838.
 

Chef Shuffle

Zack Freitas (Commis) is now chef de cuisine at Zare at Fly Trap. Zaré at Fly Trap, 606 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94017, 415-243-0580.
 

Closings

After less than a year, Elizabeth Falkner's second incarnation of Citizen Cake on Fillmore Street will close at the end of 2011. This marks the second closure for Falkner in 2011 --- her SoMa outpost Orson closed for regular business in October, but remains open for private events only until the venue has a buyer.
 
After two years in business, "neo-Californian" restaurant eVe in Berkeley will close at the end of 2011 after New Year's Eve dinner service. Husband-and-wife chef team Christopher and Veronica Laramie aim to transform the 28-seat space into a casual rotisserie. Meanwhile, there are talks in the works of a second, more ambitious project from the notable chefs, one more in line with the high-caliber cuisine that got eVe noticed. Look for more in 2012. eVe, 1960 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704, 510-868-0735.
 
Café Gratitude's eight Northern California locations, including vegan Mexican eatery Gracias Madre, will shutter due to a series of "aggressive lawsuits" and insufficient resources, according to a letter from Matthew and Terces Engelhart on behalf of Café Gratitude, LLC, posted here http://cafegratitude.com/. The first Café Gratitude, a bastion of raw vegetarian food with menu items famous for their hippy-culture names ("I am Thriving," "I am Complete") opened in San Francisco's Mission District in 2004. Closures are expected to take several months as the properties are sold. The Café Gratitude Los Angeles location will remain open.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
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