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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
March 2010 Archive

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RESTAURANT NEWS

Openings

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News Bytes

Taylors Automatic Refresher (photo by Barb Rybicki) A Burger By Any Other Name
Northern California roadside burger and shake landmark Taylor's Automatic Refresher has undergone a high-profile name change to Gott's Roadside Tray Gourmet. Known for its "fast food as fine food," where diners pair their gourmet grease grub with Chardonnay as often as fountain Coke, the mini-chain's three locations include the original 1949 St. Helena drive-in, newest Napa's Oxbow Public Market location and a large bit of visible corner real estate within the Ferry Building in San Francisco. The eatery was acquired by brothers Joel and Duncan Gott in 1999, who legally changed the name on March 25, 2010.
 
French Nibbles at Blanc et Rouge
Blanc et Rouge wine bar---co-owned, among multiple investors, by Laurent Manrique---is now serving a short menu of French lunch items. The sophisticated Financial District spot on the lower level of Two Embarcadero Center features outdoor café seating and a soft, warm, interior bar and lounge. Plates include salades niçoise, Parisienne and Provencale au poulet, as well as four varieties of croques (toasted cheese sandwiches) including the popular croque monsieur. The moderate list of good wines covers a broad array of countries and regions, and includes a handful by the glass. (Note: Rouge et Blanc at 334 Grant is a related property with a different menu.) Blanc et Rouge, Embarcadero Center, Two Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA 94114, 415-391-0758.
 
Keane to Have Lunch
It's one of wine country's most exclusive dinner destinations, but this spring top Healdsburg restaurant Cyrus will begin luring well-heeled lunchers as well. Starting Saturday, May 15, chef Douglas Keane and maître d' Nick Peyton will mark the contemporary restaurant's fifth anniversary with new Saturday lunch, featuring the same choice of five- or eight-course chef's tasting menus or the vegetarian tasting menu as at dinner. The change will also feature an update to the Champagne and caviar portion of the Cyrus experience, with five imported and domestic caviars weighed tableside on an antique scale, paired with blinis, egg yolk custard spheres, compressed cucumbers, powdered crème fraîche and Meyer lemon. Cyrus, Les Mars Hotel, 29 North St., Healdsburg, CA 95448, 707-433-3311.
 
Stellar Dellar
Lark Creek Restaurant Group, led by president and CEO Michael Dellar, has announced four new restaurants for 2010 and 2011---one at the University of Southern California, and the others in northern California. Those restaurants will include Fish Story, a high-end, welcoming fish and seafood enclave in Napa's new Riverfront development; a yet-to-be-named artisan pizzeria near well established LarkCreekSteak "under the dome" of the Westfield San Francisco Centre; and The Grill by Lark Creek in the new Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport. The new properties should bring up to 250 new jobs to the area---not to mention more of the Lark Creek Group's consistently good, locally driven, farm-(and sea)-to-table cuisine.
 
Aqua Man
Of all the fine dining establishments affected by the poor economy, Aqua, arguably the city's best destination seafood restaurant, has experienced one of the most turbulent rides. After Laurent Manrique's departure and a bevy of management disputes in 2009, the restaurant finally found potential new ownership in the Bacchus Management Group, but that team recently walked away from the deal. On March 8, 2010, however, none other than Michael Mina---a chef at Aqua when the restaurant opened in 1991---signed the lease on the property. The Mina Group has yet to determine the restaurant's concept, and there is no closing date on the current incarnation, nor future opening date as of yet. Still, the coupling feels right. Aqua, 252 California St., San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-956-9662.
 
Brunch at Orson
With Citizen Cake's Hayes Valley closing (soon to reopen on Fillmore Street), Elizabeth Falkner has moved brunch South of Market to her second venue, Orson. Indulgent menu items (many with contemporary Asian inflections) include brown-butter-vanilla donuts with jam, Dutch soufflé with marmalade, and less traditionally "breakfasty" items such as ramen with eggs and pork, beef and beet hash, rösti roll with curried scrambled eggs and paneer, and burgers served with duck fat fries. Brunch is served Sat.-Sun. from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Orson, 508 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA 94107, 415-777-1508.
 

Chef Shuffle

Executive chef Paul Arenstam has departed Americano in the Hotel Vitale for a new project on College Avenue in Berkeley called Summer Kitchen Bake Shop; a collaboration with Arenstam's wife Charlene Reis, the new venture focuses on sustainable take-out dishes and fresh baked goods. Arenstam led Americano's focus on seasonal, local ingredients, linked the restaurant with Slow Food and created some exceptional, rustic Italian cuisine. Kory Stewart, former chef de cuisine of Americano, has stepped into the role of chef since his departure. Americano, Hotel Vitale, 8 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105, 415-278-3777.
 

Closings

Citizen Cake on Grove Street has closed---but not to worry. Elizabeth Falkner's beloved restaurant and pâtisserie is simply moving. Falkner has taken over the old Vivande space on Fillmore at Sacramento St., and plans to reopen Citizen Cake with lunch and dinner daily in March. Citizen Cake, 2125 Fillmore St., San Francisco, CA 94115, no phone.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
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View our calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in San Francisco

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Discover the best restaurants in San Francisco for sushi, steak, a romantic night out and more

 

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