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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
May 2015 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

Sabio on Main brings upscale, contemporary dining to Pleasanton. Executive chef and co-owner is Francis Hogan, formerly of Bluestem Brasserie, whose specialties include whole animal butchery, charcuterie and cheese mongering. Hogan is also a certified sommelier. His seasonal, sustainable menu features small plates showcasing a range of international flavors --- European, Asian, Latin American and even Caribbean fare --- but more than 50 percent of the menu highlights Spanish cuisine. Sabio promises an extensive wine list and artisan cocktails. Sabio on Main, 501 Main St., Pleasanton, CA 94566, 925-800-3090.
 
Aster from Brett Cooper (Outerlands) and the Daniel Patterson Group has opened in the Mission District. The artsy, 45-seat space features clean lines and mid-century and craftsman detailing, a communal table the length of the restaurant, booths with plush banquettes, and art by Jesse Schlesinger and Pakayla Rae Biehn. Cooper's cuisine is modern, local Californian, showcasing ingredients from small farms, ranches and seafood purveyors. Pastry chef is Sean Ehland. Aster is among those restaurants heralding a tip-free format, where menu prices are inclusive of all service. Aster, 1001 Guerrero St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-875-9810.
 
Chef Melissa Perello (Frances) has taken over the old Baker & Banker space at Octavia and Bush Streets in Pacific Heights. Her new restaurant is named, appropriately, Octavia, and features an open kitchen, 55 seats and Perello's seasonally driven California cuisine. Octavia, 1701 Octavia St., San Francisco, CA 94109, 415-408-7507.
 
Chef Aaron London utilizes pristine vegetables in innovative preparations at his Mission District restaurant, Al's Place. (London was last seen at former Napa standout Ubuntu.) Note: This venture is not vegetarian --- London uses meat and fish. But his technique with vegetables gives those still smarting from Millennium's San Francisco departure reason for excitement. Al's Place, 1499 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-416-6136.
 
Bon Marché Brasserie & Bar comes from Matt Semmelhack and Mark Liberman, cofounders of the Mercer Restaurant Group (AQ Restaurant & Bar, TBD Restaurant). The 7,500-square-foot space provides a variety of all-day dining options for mid-Market denizens, including a full-service brasserie, coffee shop, raw bar, craft brewery under master cicerone Rich Higgins and a lounge, along with a private dining room for special functions. The grand, Art Deco-inspired venue has a vibe reminiscent of the Marais district of Paris. There is even a flower shop. Though Bon Marché is overseen by Liberman, executive chef is Matthew Sieger, and the focus is seasonal French fare for lunch and dinner. Pastry chef is Rikki Garcia; sommelier is Allegra Angelo. Bon Marché is part of Shorenstein Properties' redeveloped 1355 Market Street historic building, now known as Market Square. Bon Marché Brasserie & Bar, 1355 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-802-1700.
 
The Barrel Room has opened a 60-seat, rustic-modern wine bar and restaurant on Sansome Street between Clay and Sacramento, which will have a tasting room and retail shop to go along with its sit-down dining and imbibing (there is even an underground "speakeasy" with a full bar). The menu from executive chef Manuel Hewitt will change quarterly to highlight diverse regional cuisine (French, German, Austrian, Italian, etc.), with seasonal cocktails and featured wines to complement. Overall, varietals are international, often hard-to-find, with a variety of flights and more than 50 available by the glass. There are also international and local craft beers and a happy hour from 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri. The Barrel Room's debut regional focus is Latin America. A second location is in Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood (5330 College Ave., 510-655-1700). The Barrel Room, 415 Sansome St., San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-956-6900.
 
Aatxe (pronounced aah-CHAY) is a Basque restaurant on the street level of Upper Market's 100-year-old Swedish American Hall, home of musical venue Cafe Du Nord. The venture comes from a partnership between cocktail team The Bon Vivants (Trick Dog) and Ne Timeas Restaurant Group (Flour + Water, Central Kitchen, Salumeria). Aatxe's chef Ryan Pollnow, former chef de cuisine at both Flour + Water and Central Kitchen, staged at Mugaritz early in his career. The restaurant features 50 seats, a full bar with a focus on Spanish-inspired drinks and exclusively Spanish wines, an open kitchen with counter seats, and a menu of Basque-style plates, from pintxos to large entrées, served late every night. Aatxe, Swedish American Hall, 2170 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94114, 415-471-2977.
 

News Bytes

Express Prix-fixe Lunch Monday-Friday
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana has an express prix-fixe lunch option weekdays from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. For $26.95, diners are offered three courses with items such as cebiche, chicken wings and Peruvian desserts, and guaranteed turnaround time is one hour or less. La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, Pier 1 1/2, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-397-8880.
 
Plank Serves Lunch
Jack London Square's newest --- and largest --- addition, plank restaurant, has started serving weekday lunch. The 50,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor venue features dining and a full bar with 50 beers on tap, as well as bowling, bocce ball, sports viewing, billiards and arcade games. Adults only after 9 p.m. plank, 98 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607, 510-817-0980.
 
Thomas Keller Collaborates with Seabourn Cruise Lines Thomas Keller Collaborates with Seabourn Cruise Lines
Fine dining aboard Seabourn is about to be elevated to another level with the cruise line's partnership with Thomas Keller (The French Laundry). Read more about this collaboration on GAYOT. The French Laundry, 6640 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599, 707-944-2380.
 

Chef Shuffle

Check back soon for more news.

Closings

Two closures around the Financial District will affect late-night diners and revelers. On Montgomery Street, dot-com leftover Bubble Lounge has finally burst after 17 years and who knows how many bottles of Champagne. Meanwhile another late-'90s-born venue, Globe from Joseph Manzare, closed after service on May 30, taking with it numerous memories of industry dining.
 
After more than 30 years, Annabelle's Bar & Bistro --- a consistently inviting, serviceable choice for tourists and suits near the Metreon and Moscone Center --- shuttered after service on May 15, 2015. Its website promises a transformation and reopening in July 2015, so stay tuned. Annabelle's Bar & Bistro, 68 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA 94103, no phone.
 
Famous vegan destination Millennium Restaurant closed at the end of April 2015. The restaurant had set the gold standard for organic, plant-based fine dining. According to a letter posted on Facebook, Millennium's lease is up and two of its owners are retiring. However, executive chef and co-owner Eric Tucker --- who has been with the restaurant since its 1994 inception --- has moved the concept to Oakland (5912 College Ave.). Millennium Restaurant, The Hotel California, 580 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94102, no phone.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
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