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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
December 2012 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

Valencia Street in the Mission District has experienced a flurry of openings this year, and the trend doesn't seem to be abating. Akash and Rana Kapoor's first San Francisco brick-and-mortar location of Curry Up Now --- also a popular food truck concept, with additional brick-and-mortar locations in Palo Alto and San Mateo --- will join the fray on January 15, 2013, providing lunch and dinner daily. Indian street food dishes will include vada pav, pani puri with quinoa, tikka masala burritos and many vegan and gluten-free options. The 2,100-square-foot casual venue will seat 70 for dine-in, with large community tables as a feature, with takeout and catering as additional options. Curry Up Now, 659 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110, no phone.
 
Three upcoming openings for Oakland to report. First, Duende Restaurant + Bar will open in an 84-seat industrial space at 468 19th Street in Oakland's Uptown in early 2013. The project includes a restaurant, central lounge, full bar and wine bodega (retail shop) as well as a loft space for private parties, and is a collaboration between Paul Canales (Oliveto) and restaurateur Rocco Somazzi. The cuisine will be Spanish with Basque, North African and French inflections, and will consist of bar snacks, small plates and large plates of shareable mains such as paella. Dishes will be seasonal and ingredient-led. The wine list will focus on Spanish varietals and sherries, including sherry cocktails. In Jack London Square, the closure of Miss Pearl's at the end of 2012 made way for Lungomare from Chop Bar owner Chris Pastena. The waterfront space makes it ideal for Pastena's concept --- coastal Italian, including grilled whole fish, handmade pastas, house-cured meats, pizza and crudo, with executive chef Craig DiFonzo (Cantinetta Piero) manning the stoves. An international wine list will highlight coastal regions, including some lesser known Ligurian wines. Lungomare's opening date is February 7, 2013. Finally, Tribune Tavern, also from Pastena and Grand Tavern's Temoor Noor, will open in late March inside the historic Tribune Building at 409 13th Street, and provide a local gathering place with lunch and dinner and dedicated beers from Oakland's Linden Street Brewery, among many other local providers.
 
Cocotte in San Francisco Hyde Street Bistro owners Aurore Martinez and Mikael Audry have closed that longtime Russian Hill neighborhood enclave to open Cocotte in the same location. The new restaurant is a comfortable French rotisserie, with organic rotisserie chickens served whole or by the half, with three sauces --- creamy mushroom, spicy bell pepper, or shallots and wine reduction --- and sides such as Brussels sprouts with anchovies, and potatoes gratin. Additional rustic menu items include chanterelles stuffed quail, eggs Meurette, beef Wellington, coq au vin and some seafood plates. Atmosphere is casual French, with all dishes available for take out or cozy dine in. Homey dining room details include copper pots, backlit cookbook shelves, wood ceiling beams and iron fixtures. Look for brunch in the coming year. Dinner Wed.-Mon. Cocotte, 1521 Hyde St., San Francisco, CA 94109, 415-292-4415.
 

News Bytes

Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery Cookbook
Chef Thomas Keller has released a new cookbook featuring recipes from Bouchon Bakery. Read more on GAYOT's blog. Bouchon Bakery, 6528 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599, 707-944-2253.
 
Jason "Buffalo" Lograsso Now at Rich Table
Notable bartender Jason Lograsso --- known locally as "Buffalo" because his hometown is Buffalo, NY --- now heads up the cocktail program at Rich Table. Lograsso has won fans for his playful, seasonal takes on classic drinks at Coco500, Beretta, The Alembic, and most recently at Cotogna and Quince, where he led the bar programs. Rich Table, 199 Gough St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-355-9085.
 
New Private Event Spaces Around the Bay
Those seeking spaces for private group events, dining or celebrating around the Bay Area have some new options to consider. Comal in Berkeley just opened a downstairs dining area called Abajo that can seat up to 22 people, and features a dedicated menu of five customizable courses. Call the restaurant for details (510-926-6300). In San Francisco, Charlie Palmer's Mystic Hotel, home of the Burritt Room + Tavern, now has a private event space called Berlinetta Lounge. The speakeasy-style lounge features classic atmosphere, sophisticated amenities and can host groups from ten to 80. To reserve, call 415-400-0500.
 
Saison Change
Executive chef Joshua Skenes and the team at 18-seat standout restaurant Saison have announced an upcoming relocation. The restaurant ended service at its Mission District location on November 30, 2012, to make way for the move into an historic building at 178 Townsend in South of Market. Rather than increase capacity --- Skenes and co-owner and sommelier Mark Bright will retain the 18-seat format, with 12 seats at the bar and lounge --- the move will further the intimacy of the nightly tasting menu experience, with kitchen and dining room merged into one open design. The unrestricted layout will feature "stove, refrigeration, hearth [open fire plays prominently in Skenes' cuisine] and bar" within the dining layout, removing all barriers between front and back of house. Bright's cellar will now house 5,000 bottles, and a new cocktail program will debut.
 
Tour France with Special Guide Traci Des Jardins
Celebrated San Francisco chef Traci Des Jardins (Jardinière) will provide a lucky few with a personal culinary tour of French wine country from April 29-May 5, 2013, as part of a partnership between the James Beard Foundation and luxury travel company Royal Insider. During the weeklong culinary adventure, Des Jardins (who apprenticed at several top-tier French restaurants, including La Maison Troisgros, at the beginning of her career) will guide a group of 12 guests through Beaujolais, Burgundy and Champagne, staying at fine châteaux and receiving private tours and specialized experiences at local restaurants, wineries and farms. Visit jbf.royalinsider.com for details.
 

Chef Shuffle

New chef de cuisine Michael Koenig brings a new menu to Aurea inside the Renaissance San Francisco Stanford Court Hotel. Koenig is half Lebanese, half German, and playfully refers to his cuisine as "Mediterranean comfort food." Seasonal dishes include tri tip quinoa salad with cucumbers, feta, sun-dried tomatoes and avocado, and Loch Duarte salmon with Beluga lentils, Tuscan kale, leek and chive butter. Koenig has also added new bar bites such as bacon-dusted popcorn and cornflake fried chicken to pair with classic cocktails and an array of Lagunitas beers on tap. Koenig was most recently executive sous chef at the Grand Café. Aurea, Renaissance San Francisco Stanford Court Hotel, 905 California St., San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-989-3500.
 

Closings

As usual, with the close of another year comes news of restaurant closures. Despite six years as an intimate darling of the Mission District, Bar Bambino shut its doors after dinner service New Year's Eve, 2012. Expansive waterfront property Miss Pearl's Jam House in Jack London Square also closed after the holidays to make way for a new Italian project called Lungomare. And in temporary closure news, Charles Phan's Heaven's Dog has succumbed to a flood and is shuttered indefinitely for repairs.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
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