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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
July 2008 Archive

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RESTAURANT NEWS

Openings

Dynamo Donut & Coffee has opened in the Mission, serving gourmet, organic, handmade, yeast-risen donuts made by Sara Spearin, a Liberty Café alum, with flavors like banana dulce de leche, plus made-to-order French press coffee and espresso drinks from Stumptown Roasters in Portland. Open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Dynamo Donut & Coffee, 2760 24th St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-920-1978.
 
This fall, chef Michael Chiarello, of Food Network's Easy Entertaining, plus the ventures NapaStyle and Chiarello Family Vineyards, and the founding chef of Tra Vigne restaurant, is stepping back into the kitchen to open Bottega, a new restaurant within the Vintage Estate's V Marketplace in Yountville. Bottega means "an artist's workshop or studio" in Italian, and Chiarello will be truly hands-on in the day-to-day cooking at Bottega. Bottega will serve rustic farm-to-table cuisine that reflects the bounty of fresh produce in the Napa Valley and the bold flavors of Italian cuisine. Bottega's wine list will represent Chiarello's favorites of the Napa Valley, both classics and up and comers, along with a solid collection of Italian wines. Bottega is located in one of Napa's most historic buildings, which was one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley. The two indoor dining rooms will seat 118 collectively, including a private dining/wine room and bar, and the outside covered terrazzo with two wood-burning fireplaces will seat 66 at both lounge and table seating, plus there is a lounge and full bar. Bottega, 6525 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599, no phone available yet.
 
A charming new cookie and sweets place has opened in Potrero Hill in the former Petite Patisserie space called baked. cakes, sweets & treats. The owners are Tina Fisher and her partner, Andrea Ortega. Hours are from 7 a.m.-2 p.m., opening back up at 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays for post-dinner folks in the area with a sweet tooth. baked. cakes, sweets & treats, 1415 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94107, 415-826-9455.
 
Travelers to Peru (or Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico, Spain and Venezuela) may already be familiar with the restaurant La Mar, and its celeb chef, Gastón Acurio. He plans to open a location in San Francisco before the end of 2008 in the 100-year-old building at Pier 1½, near the Ferry Building. There will be a pisco bar/lounge area (up to 65 seats), a ceviche bar serving about ten kinds made with local fish that will highlight a variety of Peruvian chiles, a spacious dining room in the back (88 seats), an exhibition kitchen turning out contemporary-Peruvian fare, plus a spacious outdoor patio overlooking the water with a fire pit. The chef de cuisine (Jose Luis, who opened the first La Mar with Acurio), the pastry chef, and floor manager are all coming from Acurio's restaurants in Peru. Local wine figure Emmanuel Kemiji is consulting on the wine list, and is actually consulting with Acurio on all his restaurants. La Mar is slated to open at the end of August or early September. La Mar, Pier 1½, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105, no phone available yet.
 
Michael Mina Michael Mina opened his first bar concept, Clock Bar, in the The Westin St. Francis hotel. The name is a reference to the famous Magneta Grandfather Clock, which resides in the main lobby of the hotel. To complement the classically inspired cocktails on offer, Michael Mina has created a menu of small plates. Food and drink pairings are designed by chef Chris L'Hommedieu, highlighting seasonal ingredients and trends, as well as featured cocktails and spirits. Clock bar is open daily from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Clock Bar, The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-354-2735.
 
Bar Norcini, a new salumi, cheese and wine bar, has come to Union Square. It has opened in a new combined space made up of the Villa Florence's lobby, and where Caffe Kuleto's used to be. The name Norcini is Umbrian for "pork butcher"---chef Bob Helstrom of neighboring Kuleto's is well known for his talent and passion for salumi-making. In the morning, Bar Norcini will serve Illy coffee and pastries, while lunch will bring panini, pizzettas topped with salumi, salads and cheese. The evening menu gets pared back down to pizzettas, salumi and cheese. There will be some well-chosen Italian wines, and eight specialty cocktails, each featuring Italian liqueurs and ingredients. Bar Norcini, 225 Powell St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-397-7720.
 

News Bytes

Swimming to France
Business owner Judy Hedin of Moki's Sushi and Pacific Grill in Bernal Heights is selling her ten-year-old business to Jason Kwon and Ziah Lee of Sozo Sushi in Pleasanton. The name, staff and menu will all remain the same---just the ownership is changing. Hedin is heading off to France. Moki's Sushi and Pacific Grill, 615 Cortland Ave., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-970-9336.
 
More from Myth
Changes are afoot in two of San Francisco's largest (and currently vacant) restaurant spaces in Jackson Square. First, it's looking likely that Quince will be moving into the Myth space at 470 Pacific Ave. (all details are still being determined at the moment). Meanwhile, Myth's former executive chef, Sean O'Brien, is opening a restaurant in the former Scott Howard space (500 Jackson St.) called Zinnia. The restaurant is going to get a little design refresh, and O'Brien said dinner will probably start being served in the fall, following the former Myth's format of dinner service running only Tue.-Sat.
 
Executive chef Erasto Jacinto and Cindy Pawlcyn Mustards Grill turns 25
Rubberneckers along Highway 29 wondered at the hullabaloo outside Mustards Grill. Approximately 800 invited supporters and admirers turned out to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Cindy Pawlcyn's Napa Valley roadhouse on June 16. Chef Pawlcyn's long held belief in comfort food made fresh and local is her legacy. Festive red and yellow cloths billowed in hot afternoon winds on tables bearing limitless platters of ribs, pulled pork sandwiches and burgers, while servers passed paper cones of signature onion rings. Paths through supercharged gardens of future menu ingredients lead to three dozen wine pouring stations, including Shafer, Silver Oak, Blackbird, Goldeneye and Shifflett. A band, insta-photo booths, old-fashioned cupcakes and ice cream cones heightened the fun. Mustards Grill, 7399 St. Helena Hwy. (Hwy. 29), Napa, CA 94558, 707-944-2424.
 
Dinner and A Show
For those seeking some music with their supper, a couple of places have launched live music programs. Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto now hosts performances by jazz, Latino, reggae, blues and rock and roll musicians, plus hip hop DJs and poetry slams, on Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 6 p.m.-9 p.m., no cover. 1919 Fourth St., Berkeley, 510-845-7771. And then on Tuesdays, Nick's Cove in Tomales Bay has launched "Local's Night," with free live music, fish and chips, $1 oysters, and $3 Lagunitas pints; live music 7 p.m.-9 p.m. 23240 Highway One, Marshall, 415-663-1033.
 

Chef Shuffle

Chef Joel Huff has parted ways with Silks at the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco. Huff reportedly is in search of his next high-profile post, preferably in the Bay Area. In the meantime, the Mandarin hotel's executive chef, Joshua Nudd, a graduate of the Jean-Georges Vongerichten school (Chambers Kitchen in Minneapolis), will temporarily take over the stoves at Silks, and will for now maintain the menu of contemporary California and Pan-Asian cuisine. Silks, Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco, 222 Sansome St., San Francisco, CA 94104, 415-986-2020.
 

Closings

Check back soon for more news.

CULINARY EVENTS
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