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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
February 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

The Punchdown, which bills itself as a "natural wine bar," has opened in Franklin Square in Oakland. A unique offering is the Blind Flight, which is free if diners can guess the three wines. Open evenings Tuesday through Saturday. The Punchdown, 2212 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, 510-251-0100.
 
Chef Todd Humphries (Quilted Giraffe, Lespinasse, Martini House) and partner Richard Miyashiro will open Kitchen Door inside Napa's Oxbow Public Market in spring 2011. The 90-seat, casual venue aimed at everyone from "families to foodies" will feature accommodations for large and/or private groups, dining for one, counter seats and communal tables, an outdoor patio, a wood-fired rotisserie and pizza oven in the open kitchen, as well as a full bar. Humphries menu of "multi-ethnic" bites made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients might include Salmon Creek brined pork chop with apple coulis and braised greens, Snake River Farms Kobe burger with Swiss cheese and wine stewed onions, and flatbread with spiced ground lamb, cucumbers, shaved radish, lettuce and harissa. More casual fare will include small bites, soups, salads and "handwiches" as well as a menu of "fireplace" specialties including potatoes baked in ash. Gourmet to-go options and other goods will also be available via retail. Lunch & Dinner daily, Brunch Sat.-Sun.. Kitchen Door, Oxbow Public Market, 644 First St., Napa, CA 94559, no phone yet.
 
Rose Pistola in North Beach has reopened after a quick closure and update. Original architect Cass Calder Smith led the refresh of the interior, including a palette change to greys, burgundies and browns. Two Honduran mahogany communal tables join the restaurant's classic mahogany furnishings and the original tile floors have been restored, among other details. Menu changes under chef Mark Gordon feature most prominently in daily specials and an expanded lunch menu of sandwiches and baked pastas. Most of the restaurant's classic Italian dishes---fritto misto, roasted fish in spicy tomato broth, thin-crust pizzas, chocolate budino cake---remain intact. Rose Pistola, 532 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133, 415-399-0499.
 

News Bytes

Prime Rib Sundays at Alexander's Steakhouse
Alexander's Steakhouse offers prime rib every Sunday evening for only $35 per person. Cost includes a side dish and signature hamachi shooter. The restaurant opens at 5:30 p.m. Call for reservations. Alexander's Steakhouse, 448 Brannan St., San Francisco, CA 94107, 415-495-1111.
 
Going Up: Bazirgan at Fifth Floor
Debuted in January, 2011, chef David Bazirgan's (Boston's No. 9 Park, Baraka, Chez Papa Resto) creative and polished new American menu at Fifth Floor Restaurant & Lounge has reinvigorated interest in the high-profile dining room inside the Kimpton Group's Hotel Palomar. Bazirgan's seasonal dishes include quick, luxe bar bites for the hotel's comfortable bar and lounge to lengthy tasting menus featuring French technique and Mediterranean inflections. Dishes include a Mendocino uni and crab flan; slow cooked squab with black trumpets, bacon, root vegetables, leg confit and salmis; and Island Creek oysters five ways, including chowder, fried with rouille, and paired with béarnaise and caviar. Also new to the restaurant is general manager Scott Chilcutt, formerly manager of Gary Danko restaurant. Master sommelier Emily Wines still oversees the restaurant's extensive international list, now featuring 25 by the glass from $7-$18 each and more than 50 half bottles. Jacques Bezuidenhout's high-end contemporary cocktails also remain. Fifth Floor Restaurant & Lounge, Hotel Palomar, 12 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-348-1555.
 
5 for $5 at RN74
Gayot Insider Pick RN74 from Michael Mina and Rajat Parr has introduced a very happy, happy hour special. Glasses of featured red and white wine (rotating selections), select well drinks and bar snacks, including mushroom tempura and chicken croquettes, will all cost only $5 each. RN74's happy hour runs Mon.-Fri. from 3 p.m.-6 p.m., and again from 10 p.m. until close. RN74, Millennium Tower, 301 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105, 415-543-7474.
 
Steak In at Seasons
Seasons restaurant inside the Four Seasons San Francisco hotel has announced a renewed focus on executive chef Mark Richardson's steakhouse cooking with a new menu. Four local cuts of beef---Brandt Farms dry-aged rib-eye, Hearst Ranch grass-fed filet, Prather Ranch New York strip, and Harris Ranch Angus porterhouse---are paired with creative seasonal sides and Richardson's signature, inventive and traditional sauces, including bordelaise, chimichurri and hollandaise with horseradish and thyme. Richardson's new team at Seasons includes Alex LaMotte (Per Se, Daniel, Jean Georges) as executive sous and pastry chef Jeffrey Wurtz (Essex House, L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon), who joined Seasons in late 2010. Seasons, Four Seasons San Francisco, 757 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-633-3838.
 

Chef Shuffle

Some chef changes at two of the Mission District's more notable spots. As reported earlier, Nombe izakaya has a new chef in Vincent Schofield who has helmed several now-defunct San Francisco restaurants (Ebb & Flow, Kabuki Kitchen). Meanwhile, Nombe's former chef Nicolaus Balla has moved to Bar Tartine, and despite his acclaim with Japanese cooking at both Nombe and O Izakaya Lounge, plans to steer that restaurant into Eastern European territory. Young chef Chris Kronner, formerly at Bar Tartine, is leaving the Bay Area.
 
Shortly after opening Rotisserie & Wine in Napa where he was co-chef, Jeremy Fox has split with the restaurant and executive chef and owner Tyler Florence. The split also marks the end of Fox as creative director of Florence's burgeoning restaurant group that includes Wayfare Tavern, Rotisserie & Wine, and the soon to open El Paseo in Mill Valley. It is a second sudden restaurant exit within one year for the acclaimed Fox, who abruptly resigned from Ubuntu in February, 2010. Rotisserie & Wine, 720 Main St., Napa, CA 94559, 707-254-8500.
 

Closings

Check back soon for more news.

CULINARY EVENTS
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