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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
May 2013 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 exciting sister project to San Francisco's famed A16, A16 Rockridge, will open Saturday, June 1, 2013, on College Avenue in Oakland. Together with owner Victoria Libin, owner and wine director Shelley Lindgren (the duo also owns SPQR) will cultivate the same sense of warm sophistication and authentic Southern Italian cuisine as at the original A16, with Lindgren's notable focus on Italian wines --- the Rockridge list is 1,500-bottles strong. New to this location will be a full bar with an Italian-focused drink program, and there will be al fresco and late-night dining. Executive chef Rocky Maselli is an Oregon transplant with family roots in Puglia, and cuisine here will feature a more coastal bent than that of A16 in the city. Look for crudo, coastal-themed antipasti, Neapolitan pizzas topped with Manila clams, and house-made pastas sauced with local ingredients such as crawfish sugo. Dinner nightly. A16, 5356 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618, no phone.
 
Restaurateur Adriano Paganini (Beretta, Starbelly, Super Duper) has opened El Techo de Lolinda on the rooftop above Lolinda restaurant, providing San Francisco locals with a rare, all-weather, al fresco dining space with city views. The restaurant features casual Latin fare from Lolinda's executive chef Alejandro Morgan, as well as classic Latino cocktails (mojitos, piña coladas --- ask for what's available by the pitcher) and beers. Savory bites include ceviche, braised beef empanadas with pickled cabbage, skewers of beef, chorizo, shrimp, chicken or vegetables, and chicharrones. The eatery is also open for brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. No reservations, walk-ins only. Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun. El Techo de Lolinda, 2518 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-550-6970.
 
Trattoria Da Vittorio opened in May 2013 in the old Cafe for all Seasons dining room in West Portal. The restaurant is from 15-year front-of-house vet and first-time restaurateur Vittorio D'Urzo. D'Urzo, a native of Italy's Calabria, came to the area initially to work at his uncle's Piazza D'Angelo in Mill Valley, then moved around to spots such as Ecco, Sapore Italiano, and was opening manager for Locanda Positano and Limone. He has Italian sommelier certification and is serving southern Italian specialties based on his native cuisine (and mother's cooking): veal scaloppine, eggplant Parmigiana, house-made pastas and potato gnocchi and other classic fare. Neapolitan pizza are also available, with approachable prices throughout the menu. Chefs are Filippo Cannone (AcquaPazza) and pizzaiolo Antonio Luongo. Lunch & Dinner daily, Brunch Sat.-Sun. Trattoria Da Vittorio, 150 W. Portal Ave., San Francisco, CA 94127, 650-504-7976.
 
Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen & Pisco Bar has opened just off Highway One in Pacifica, with a 140-seat, two-level dining room with outdoor patio, featuring ocean views. Jose Calvo-Perez of San Francisco's Pasion and the popular Fresca properties is owner and executive chef. A full service ceviche bar is a highlight, along with Peruvian cuisine meant to be served family style. Enrique Sanchez (La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, Limon) heads up the pisco-focused bar. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen & Pisco Bar, 525 Crespi Dr., Pacifica, CA 94044, 650-733-7343.
 
Twenty-two-year-old Financial District white tablecloth enclave Palio d'Asti launched a separate cash-only takeout service called Palio Pronto in early April, located behind the restaurant with an entrance on Commercial Street. The Sicilian-pizza counter, inspired by single-dish-focused food trucks, features slices from a rotating selection of three daily pizzas and a choice of seasonal salads and cannoli for dessert. A few outdoor tables are available, along with beer, wine and sangría. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Palio Pronto, 640 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-395-9800.
 
Named for its cross streets, soon-to-arrive bistro Mason Pacific will bring seasonal California cuisine to the neighborhood crossroads of Nob Hill, Russian Hill and Chinatown. Executive chef will be San Francisco native Sean McTiernan (Delfina, Rose Pistola), and Eric Railsback, a former sommelier at RN74, will head up the wine program. Look for a May opening with dinner service initially, and lunch and breakfast further down the line. Dinner Tues.-Sun. Mason Pacific, 1358 Mason St., San Francisco, CA 94133, no phone.
 
Up in Sonoma, Bill Foley, owner of Healdsburg's Les Mars Hotel, and executive chef Shane McAnelly (Va de Vi) have opened Chalkboard restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Cyrus. Designers Catherine Macfee Interior Design have remodeled the 62-seat dining room --- new details include an open kitchen, new banquettes, large windows and wood floors, and other more casual elements such as a new communal dining table and chalkboard displaying specials. A Carrara marble-topped 20-seat bar adjoins the dining room. McAnelly's seasonal small plates menu is ingredient driven, many of which are culled from Foley's three-acre garden at his Chalk Hill Winery estate. Wines will play a large part in the Chalkboard experience, with ten flights showcasing a mix of local and European wines. Look for lunch service to begin in July. Dinner nightly. Chalkboard, 29 North St., Healdsburg, CA 95448, 707-473-8030.
 

News Bytes

Black pepper and caramel-braised pork belly from the Spice Route Program at E&O Asian Kitchen Spice Route Program at E&O Asian Kitchen
E&O Asian Kitchen features a new Spice Route program --- in which, every month until September, the Union Square restaurant will add to its regular pan-Asian menu one savory dish, one sweet dish and one handcrafted cocktail based on a particular spice traditionally associated with the ancient Asian Spice Route. May's is turmeric; June's is cardamom; July's is ginger; August's is star anise. Read more on GAYOT's blog. E&O Asian Kitchen, 314 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-693-0303.
 
Changes for Navio at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Navio restaurant inside The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, underwent renovations and reopened in April with a new look and focus on seafood. Panoramic views from the luxury property's coastal setting have always provided a striking dining backdrop, but now the updated interior is more reflective of the sea, with subtle, nautical details and low-rise architecture, soft fabrics in oceanic hues, and modern orb chandeliers that together give the room a "comfortable beach estate" feel. Chef Sean Eastwood focuses on fish and seafood harvested from Pacific waters to create approachable, high-craft entrées with Mediterranean inflections: think wood-fired baby octopus and fish, bouillabaisse, fresh shellfish, diver scallops and jumbo prawns paired with fresh, local ingredients. Eastwood offers several savory meat preparations as well, such as grilled rib-eye, slow-roasted Jidori chicken and 48-hour-braised short ribs. Navio serves dinner nightly, breakfast Mon.-Sat., a Saturday lunch and retains its famous weekly Sunday brunch, a special occasion favorite. Navio, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, One Miramontes Pt. Rd., Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, 650-712-7040.
 
Seghesio Family Vineyards Wine Country Dinner Series
Summer in wine country will include a special chef's dinner series from Healdsburg's Seghesio Family Vineyards. Cuisine from executive chef Peter Janiak (Boulevard, Presidio Social Club) will be served al fresco within the vineyard properties. Locations will vary with the wine and ingredients being showcased, and shuttle service will be provided to and from the main winery. The first dinner in the series on June 8 will be served at the Passalacqua Ranch & San Lorenzo vineyard (look for the menu on the website), highlighting the 2011 Dutton Manzana Pinot Noir, 2011 Barbera, Old Vine Zinfandel and a library vintage of San Lorenzo. Each dinner is limited to 50 guests, and tickets are $200 per person. Each event runs from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.seghesio.com.
 
Summer Movie Series & Wine Tastings at Top of the Mark
For a luxe twist on the summer movie tradition, visit the Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco on Tuesday nights. The famous Nob Hill spot (with breathtaking views) will feature a different movie classic every week, from June 4 through September 3, including "Meet Me in St. Louis," "Bullitt," "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and even "Jaws." Each film viewing is preceded by a wine tasting beginning at 5:30 p.m. For a complete list of participating wineries and featured movies, visit www.topofthemark.com. Top of the Mark, InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, 1 Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-616-6916.
 
New Negroni Hour at Poggio
Happy hour just got happier at Poggio. The Sausalito trattoria has launched its new Negroni Hour --- serving six different types of Negroni for just $5 each at its bar every Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Read more on GAYOT's blog. Poggio, 777 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965, 415-332-7771.
 

Chef Shuffle

Executive chef Banks White will depart Berkeley's FIVE restaurant at the end of May to be opening chef de cuisine at Richard Parsons' newest project Minton's, a Harlem, NY, restaurant and jazz club. White has been with FIVE since 2009, when he and Scott Howard opened the restaurant. (Howard is no longer involved with the project.) A search for a new executive chef is underway while sous chefs Michael Binder and Geoffrey Phan helm the kitchen in the meantime. FIVE, Hotel Shattuck Plaza, 2086 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704, 510-845-7300.
 

Closings

One of San Francisco's most opulent dining rooms closed at the end of March. Tommy Toy's Cuisine Chinoise, a luxe enclave filled with antiques and designed to look like "the sitting room of a Chinese empress," was a celebrity and VIP destination in its heyday, and had a great run --- 27 years. Original owner, iconic character and consummate host Tommy Toy, who began his restaurant career at the Imperial Palace and opened Toy's in 1985, passed away in 2008 at age 72. The restaurant was then run by co-owner and Toy's partner of 40 years, Alon Yu. Tommy Toy's Cuisine Chinoise, 655 Montgomery St., San Francisco, CA 94111, no phone.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
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