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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
October 2008 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

Boutique hospitality group Joie de Vivre continues to shower the city with appealing dining options along with their signature hotels. Opening inside their newest, eco-conscious venture, the Good Hotel on Seventh and Mission streets in SOMA, is Good Pizza, a modern, casual eatery featuring thin-crust artisanal pizza in large slices. Freshly baked scones, muffins, croissants and breakfast calzones are also available beginning at 6:30 a.m., as well as coffee drinks made with Equator Coffees. The eatery joins neighbor Custom Burger and Lounge, an elaborate, build-your-own burger joint inside Joie de Vivre's Americania Hotel, for affordable, hip eats near the Civic Center. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Good Pizza, The Good Hotel, 112 Seventh St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-621-7001.
 
Notable Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio has opened his first U.S. restaurant, La Mar Cebicheria, on Pier 1 ½ on the Embarcadero. With its debut, San Francisco's subtler love affair with Peruvian food (as evidenced by the wait lines outside Fresca's multiple locations) is finally showing itself full force. La Mar's airy, waterfront dining room features hardwood floors, sea-blue woven seating, and a combination of vivid, energetic color and elegance. A cebiche (ceviche) bar offers fresh selections daily. The venue also boasts an 80-seat outdoor patio, a pisco-focused bar and lounge, and is already one of the hottest reservations in the Bay Area. Lunch & Dinner daily. La Mar Cebicheria, Pier 1 1/2, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-397-8880.
 
As of October 22, chef Sean O'Brien's elegant new venture Zinnia is open for business in the former Scott Howard location in Jackson Square. O'Brien built a stellar reputation at nearby Myth before that restaurant's closure earlier this year, and the opening of his new venue is cause for foodie buzz. Mixologist Jackie Patterson heads up the bar. Stay tuned for more details. Dinner Tues.-Sat.. Zinnia, 500 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA 94133, 415-956-7300.
 
James Schenk, chef and owner of Peruvian restaurant Destino, has opened adjoining, modern Pisco Latin Lounge. The vibrant, stylish venue features Carrera floors, a long walnut bar, and comfortable seating for dates or groups, including a semi-private area for parties, and a distinctly Latin American energy. There is a focus on the spirit pisco, evident both at the bar and in the décor (which includes a pisco-inspired chandelier), highlighted most prominently within the lounge's original recipe for Pisco Punch, a revived vintage cocktail San Francisco claims as its own. A full range of additional artisanal cocktails is offered, along with many wines from Spain and South America. Food includes Schenk's Nuevo Latino tapas and desserts (including his famous alfajores) and other popular items from Destino next door. Dinner Tues.-Sun. Pisco Latin Lounge, 1817 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-874-9951.
 
Zaré at Fly Trap Respected local chef Hoss Zaré, who owned the former Cal-Med destination Zaré on Sacramento Street for nearly ten years, has taken over and transformed 100-year-old Fly Trap restaurant in SoMa into Zaré at Fly Trap. The move has heart behind it---Zaré cut his teeth in Fly Trap's kitchens---and despite the romantic dining room's pretty facelift, treasured details such as vintage prints, sconces and mirrors from the former incarnation remain. The chandeliers and piano have been removed to add breadth to the space, the old-fashioned tablecloths are gone, and high lounge tables near the bar offer a casual way to enjoy a new cocktail program designed by Reza Esmaili. A cozy outdoor patio seats a lucky handful for lunch or dinner. The modernized, seasonal menu draws its most notable influences from the Mediterranean's eastern regions, especially Zaré's native Persia. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Mon.-Sat. Zaré at Fly Trap, 606 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94107, 415-243-0580.
 
Los Angeles cult favorite Pinkberry, makers of gourmet and freshly-topped frozen yogurt treats, has at long last announced a location for its northern California debut. The eatery's first area shop will open in December on San Jose's Santana Row. Expect the lines to begin forming now. Cult fro-yo neophytes can visit www.pinkberry.com for a taste of what's to come. Pinkberry, Santana Row, San Jose, CA 95128, 408-551-4611.
 
The former (and short-lived) Palmetto space on Union Street in the Marina has become Nettie's Crab Shack, opened as of September 30. Named for co-proprietor Annette Yang, who has managed at Spruce, Foreign Cinema and Jack Falstaff, among others, the casual seafood restaurant is the first collaboration between Yang and chef Brian Leitner, who spent five years in the kitchens of Chez Panisse. A fresh, airy design by Zack/deVito is brightened with light from high windows and skylights, and colored in natural woods and painted chairs in beachy hues reminiscent of coastal Maine. The space's new incarnation also features a 20-seat patio---a boon on sunny Union Street, and a good complement to what appears to be a winning, soulful and seasonal menu that includes barbecued oysters, boiled crawfish, pails of steamers, whole grilled fish and cioppino, paired with cold beer or affordable wines. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun. Nettie's Crab Shack, 2032 Union St., San Francisco, CA 94123, 415-409-0300.
 

News Bytes

Go Tell It on Fillmore
Soulful hotspot 1300 on Fillmore is launching a gospel brunch on the first Sunday of every month. Each month's live music and dining event will feature two seatings, one at 11 a.m. and the second at 1 p.m. A three-course prix-fixe meal will include a selection of chef David Lawrence's Southern-influenced brunch entrees such as barbecue shrimp and creamy grits, or more traditional options such as flavorful spinach and goat cheese frittata. A bellini or mimosa, assorted biscuits and scones and dessert are also included. The restaurant is also expanding its live jazz and blues program to include Sunday-Wednesday evening appearances from bands such as local collective Jazz Mafia. Gospel brunch tickets cost $39 per person. Call for reservations. 1300 on Fillmore, Fillmore Heritage Center, 1300 Fillmore St., San Francisco, CA 94115, 415-771-7100.
 
Veterans Dine Free on November 9
U.S. Military veterans dine for free on Sunday, November 9, at McCormick & Kuleto's Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, and Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto in Berkeley in honor of Veterans Day. (Sunday was chosen to allow for convenience for families.) Veterans who actively served in Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard and present relevant identification can enjoy either a free lunch or dinner entrée as a thanks for their contribution to the country. Call either restaurant for reservations or more information. McCormick & Kuleto's Seafood Restaurant, Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point St., San Francisco, CA 94109, 415-929-1730.
 
Ciao, Maman
Chez Maman on Union Street has split from the original parent company that owns Chez Papa and the original Chez Maman on Potrero Hill. Manager Stephen Bouillez has purchased the petite bistro and changed its name to Gamine. The airy décor and casual menu will remain the same for now, including the popular burger. Gamine, 2223 Union St., San Francisco, CA 94123, 415-771-7771.
 
Another Phantastic Project
Chef Charles Phan will extend his growing empire---which includes Slanted Door, Out the Door (soon to be on Fillmore), and the new Academy Café---with yet another opening slotted for December 2008. The yet-to-be-named restaurant and lounge will be located inside the Soma Grand, a 22-story luxury residential tower with a boutique-hotel ambience managed by Joie de Vivre Hospitality. Designed by Lundberg Design, Phan's project will comprise 3,500-square-feet of space and include varying levels of sophistication and experience, including a casual, high-end noodle bar for quick dining, and a top-shelf bar and lounge with intimacy and DJs for evening. Look for more details in the coming months. Soma Grand, 1160 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103, no phone available yet.
 
She's Tops
Young, local chef (she's 30) Jamie Lauren from San Francisco cornerstone Absinthe Brasserie & Bar will be a contestant for season five of Bravo's "Top Chef," premiering November 12. Lauren joins a prestigious line of former local contestants that includes Ryan Scott of Mission Beach Café and Jen Biesty, who takes over the reigns at Scala's Bistro this month. Visit www.bravotv.com for program details. Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, 398 Hayes St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-551-1590.
 

Chef Shuffle

For those following Bay Area chef Scott Howard's (Fork, Scott Howard) progress since the closure of his eponymous restaurant early this year, the chef had moved on temporarily to Left Bank in Larkspur, but after seven months is seeking a new project. Look for more in the coming months. Left Bank, Blue Rock Inn, 507 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur, CA 94939, 415-927-3331.
 
Executive chef Elizabeth Falkner's (Citizen Cake) ambitious new venture Orson hasn't quite yet found its feet. After a much-discussed debut in February, the still-new South of Market restaurant has recently lost its chef de cuisine Ryan Farr, and star bartender Jacqueline Patterson left in September. Orson, 508 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA 94107, 415-777-1508.
 
In a surprise move, Arnold Eric Wong, former co-owner and executive chef of bacar in SOMA and Eos Restaurant & Wine Bar in Cole Valley, will be taking over the kitchens at the long-neglected Union Square location of Asian chain E & O Trading Company. Though not known lately for its cuisine, the Financial District restaurant features a great location, thoughtful décor, and is buttressed by a franchise that includes venues in Hawaii, San Jose and Larkspur. Hopefully Wong's talents will inject the venue with new energy. E&O Trading Company, 314 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-693-0303.
 

Closings

Check back soon for more news.

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