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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
March 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

Modern, gourmet burger eatery 400° is set to hit Carmel later this spring. Created by David Fink (Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group, including L'Auberge Carmel, Aubergine and Cantinetta Luca) and co-owned by chef Jason Balestrieri, the 2,200-square-foot, two-story restaurant will anchor the Carmel Plaza shopping complex at Mission and 7th, and will feature a dog-friendly patio. Look for more details and a phone number in the coming weeks. 400 Degrees, Carmel Plaza, Ocean Ave. & Mission St., Carmel, CA 93921, phone not available.
 
Relative newcomer State Bird Provisions from co-owners (and husband and wife) executive chef Stuart Brioza and pastry chef Nicole Krasinski has caused quite a local stir. The eclectic Fillmore Street restaurant features a short, frequently changing menu of contemporary, seasonal creations (including possibly evergreen choices such as the dish of fried quail, California's state bird). What really sets the restaurant apart is the service concept: food is plated and shipped through the dining room on carts, dim-sum style, for diners to peruse and request. The result is a novel, casual, shared interactive experience despite the cuisine's high local pedigree. Sunday brunch service started on March 11. Dinner nightly, Brunch Sun. State Bird Provisions, 1529 Fillmore St., San Francisco, CA 94115, 415-795-1272.
 
Asian Box opened March 2, 2012, in Palo Alto's Town & Country Village, offering fast-casual Asian street food from executive chef Grace Nguyen (Slanted Door). Local and sustainable ingredients make up the variety of bases --- Asian vegetable salad, rice noodles, brown or white rice --- and mains such as lemon grass marinated pork, coconut curry tofu, or garlic and soy glazed beef combine to create custom "box" lunches and dinners. Fiery house-made sauces are a specialty; additional sides and artisan beverages (including Vietnamese iced coffee) are available. Street-cart-inspired dining includes a stand-up communal table and 25 outdoor seats. All dishes and drinks are gluten-free. Look for an alcohol license to kick in later this year. Lunch & Dinner daily. Asian Box, Town & Country Village, 855 El Camino Real, #21, Palo Alto, CA 94301, 650-391-9305.
 
French Blue will open in St. Helena in the Napa Valley in May 2012. The neighborhood restaurant is a collaborative effort from managing partner Stanley Morris (Teatro ZinZanni, Stars Bar & Dining), notable winery and restaurant architect Howard Backen and interior designer Lori Backen, and winemaker Leslie Rudd (owner of Press restaurant), and will feature seasonal California cuisine from executive chef Philip Wang (Merriman's Kapalua, Mason's, Carneros Inn, Truc). Ingredients will be sourced locally, predominantly from nearby Rudd Farm & Orchards. Local wines, craft beers and seasonal cocktails will provide further draw. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. French Blue, 1429 Main St., St. Helena, CA 94574, 707-968-9200.
 

News Bytes

The Restaurant at Meadowood has reopened after a refresh and remodel New Look for The Restaurant at Meadowood
The Restaurant at Meadowood has reopened after a refresh and remodel. The 44-seat dining room and adjacent bar now feature a warm palette of dark wood and grey fabric, updated artwork, new fixtures and accessories in brass, bronze and iron, luxurious wingback leather chairs and enhanced lighting. A remodeled kitchen for chef Christopher Kostow and his team boasts greater room and counter space, cutting-edge enhancements designed to ensure a smoother, more exacting kitchen flow, and additional features such as a new coffee and espresso station from Stumptown Coffee Roasters and a Josper coal burning oven. Most intriguingly for guests, the restaurant now offers a four-person chef's counter located inside the kitchen, with a dedicated 15- to 20-course menu and experience. The Restaurant at Meadowood, Meadowood Napa Valley, 900 Meadowood Lane, St. Helena, CA 94574, 707-967-1205.
 
Farewell to Foie Gras?
Fast approaching, July 1, 2012, will mark the beginning of California's statewide ban on the production and sale of foie gras, and chefs (and foie opposers) throughout the Bay Area have stepped up their responses accordingly. Restaurants hosting special dinners and celebrations built around the luxury ingredient have risked controversy and protest, but on March 30, a group of chefs will join forces at Alexander's Steakhouse in San Francisco to commemorate (defy?) the prohibition. Cooking with Alexander's chef de cuisine Marc Zimmerman and pastry chef Dan Huynh will be Fifth Floor Restaurant & Lounge's David Bazirgan, Atelier Crenn's Dominique Crenn, La Toque's Ken Frank and Chez TJ's Joseph Elenterio. The six-course foie gras and wine paired dinner costs $250, exclusive of tax and gratuity, with all profits benefitting CHEFS, the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards. Alexander's Steakhouse, 448 Brannan St., San Francisco, CA 94107, 415-495-1111.
 

Chef Shuffle

The Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco, home of Silks restaurant that is soon to undergo a metamorphosis, has appointed Adam Mali executive chef. Mali will helm all food and beverage movement through the restaurant's transformation, set to be complete in May 2012. Mali has worked at Gianni's, Jodi's Restaurant and The Grist Mill Café on the East Coast, the Montecito group of restaurants and Restaurant Kody in Colorado, and Gary Danko and Delfina in San Francisco. He was most recently executive chef of Nick's Cove in Tomales Bay. Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco, Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco, 222 Sansome St., San Francisco, CA 94104, 415-986-2020.
 

Closings

Berkeley's tiny but iconic Cafe Fanny's last day in operation was March 9, 2012. A cousin of Chez Panisse, the European counter-service café on San Pablo Avenue was founded by Alice Waters and her brother-in-law Jim Maser (Picante) in 1984, and it was flanked by Kermit Lynch's wine shop and Acme Bread (and served provisions from both). Fanny is also the name of Waters' daughter; Cafe Fanny handmade granola was ubiquitous in Berkeley grocery stores. After 28 years, the business was no longer sustainable. Cafe Fanny, 1603 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, CA 94702, no phone.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
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