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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
October 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.



The Mina Group has announced that sommelier Rajat Parr will open The Company Bar & Kitchen in the Steuart Street, Embarcadero restaurant space that formerly housed Shanghai 1930. The restaurant, bar and lounge, not due to open until summer 2013, will feature small plates of Parr's native Indian cuisine, a tightly curated list of international wines with Syrahs and Rieslings as highlights, and East Indies-inspired cocktails focused on gin and whiskey in a casual, high-energy atmosphere. The design will be led by Los Angeles-based AK Design Network. Look for more details, including the identity of the chef (rumored to be a longtime friend of Parr's from his days at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park). The Company Bar & Kitchen, 133 Steuart St., San Francisco, CA 94105, no phone.
The Sea by Alexander's Steakhouse has opened in the old Trader Vic's location in Palo Alto. Building on the success of big-ticket Alexander's Steakhouses in Cupertino and San Francisco, the restaurant aims to be a power seafood dining destination, with prices comparable to those of the steakhouses (seafood entrées range from $31 to $65; an eight-course tasting menu will cost $140, $200 with wine pairings) and features Alexander's signature Japanese influences in the cuisine. The restaurant has 148 seats and substantial private dining options, including a full conference center that can accommodate up to 200 diners. Chef de cuisine is Chris Velasquez, wine director is Maxwell Klassen and sommelier is Cyrus Schultz, and pastry chef is Dan Huynh. Dinner nightly. The Sea by Alexander's Steakhouse, Dinah's Garden Hotel, 4269 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306, 650-213-1111.
Big news for Oakland diners: San Francisco's notable A16 restaurant is opening a second location in Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood in early 2013, taking over the space formerly occupied by Hudson restaurant. A16 is known for its authentic southern Italian cuisine and Neapolitan-style pizzas, as well as for owner-wine director Shelley Lindgren's wine list from that region. The Oakland location will mirror the concept of the first, with an open kitchen and counter seats, a private dining area and full bar. San Francisco's Cass Calder Smith/CCS Architecture is leading the remodel that began in November 2012. Executive chef will be Rocky Maselli, who comes to the Bay Area by way of Oregon's Willamette Valley where he was most recently chef-owner of Osteria Sfizo. A16, 5356 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618, no phone.
Jamber Wine Pub has opened on Folsom Street in SoMa in a 2,100-square-foot, high-ceilinged, industrial space adjacent to Oola Restaurant & Bar. Draws include 20 California wines on tap (no bottles) and ten-plus specialty beers from microbreweries such as Pacific Brewing Laboratory and Linden Street. A comfort menu of pub noshes includes bacon-wrapped buffalo meatloaf, fish ‘n' chips, "Jamburgers" and other sandwiches, as well as lighter salads and munchies like soft pretzels. Ambience is warm and come-as-you-are; a sheltered outdoor patio in front is a highlight. Co-owners are siblings Matt and Jess Voss ("Jamber" is a nod to one of Ms. Voss' nicknames). Lunch & Dinner daily. Jamber Wine Pub, 858 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94107, 415-273-9192.

News Bytes

Saison Change
Executive chef Joshua Skenes and the team at 18-seat standout restaurant Saison have announced an upcoming relocation. The restaurant will end service at its Mission District location on November 30, 2012, to make way for the move into an historic building at 178 Townsend in South of Market, where they will reopen in December, 2012. Rather than increase capacity --- Skenes and co-owner and sommelier Mark Bright will retain the 18-seat format, with 12 seats at the bar and lounge --- the move will further the intimacy of the nightly tasting menu experience, with kitchen and dining room merged into one open design. The unrestricted layout will feature "stove, refrigeration, hearth [open fire plays prominently in Skenes' cuisine] and bar" within the dining layout, removing all barriers between front and back of house. Bright's cellar will now house 5,000 bottles, and a new cocktail program will debut. Saison, 2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-828-7990.
Craftsman, Wolves and Tea
Noted local pastry chef William Werner (The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay; Quince; Tell Tale Preserve Company) opened a sleek pâtisserie this summer on Valencia Street in the Mission, serving high-end, creative desserts in a hip storefront with a 20-foot pastry case and smattering of communal seats. Starting October 15, the venue will launch afternoon tea service, featuring (entirely house-crafted) items such as seasonal scones and crumpets with clotted cream and olive oil curd; salt cod rillettes with brioche and beet root madeleines; and signature caramelized hazelnut financiers with pâte de fruit and sesame tainori tile. Teas are oolong or tisane served in individual teapots. Cost is $22 for one, $40 for two. With reservations, seats are secured at the communal table, but walk-ins are welcome based on availability. Craftsman and Wolves, 746 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-913-7713.
Don't Miss CUESA's Sunday Supper
The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) hosts its 10th Annual Sunday Supper on October 14 from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. at the Ferry Building, gathering a who's-who of Bay Area chefs (the full list can be found here: and other foodie luminaries into one delightful evening meal. The dinner will take place at long, communal tables in the Ferry Building's Grand Hall, and will be served family style from six chef-teams, with unique menus stemming in part from six different whole-beast preparations. Proceeds benefit the Schoolyard to Market program that educates local youth in health and nutrition, gardening and food purveying at the Ferry Building Farmers Market. Tickets are $225 per person and can be purchased at

Chef Shuffle

Executive chef and chief operating officer Jeffrey Stout and Alexander's Steakhouse parted ways in mid October. The split comes before the power dining group's opening of new seafood enterprise The Sea by Alexander's Steakhouse in Palo Alto, due November 2, in the space formerly owned by Trader Vic's. According to sources, Stout's departure will have no effect on the timing of the opening. Chef de cuisine will be Chris Velasquez. In San Francisco, Alexander's Steakhouse remains helmed by chef de cuisine Marc Zimmerman, and in Cupertino, chef de cuisine Gerardo Naranjo is in charge. Alexander's Steakhouse, 448 Brannan St., San Francisco, CA 94107, 415-495-1111.
Yankee Pier restaurant in Larkspur announced that sous chef Henry Moreno has been promoted to chef. Moreno is a San Francisco native who worked as sous chef at Nick's Cove, chef de partie at Dry Creek Kitchen and sous chef at MarketBar before joining Yankee Pier. Yankee Pier, 286 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur, CA 94939, 415-924-7676.
Rene Cruz is the new pastry chef at the Presidio Social Club. The West Coast native has worked at EOS and Baker & Banker in San Francisco, and is a graduate of the city's branch of Le Cordon Bleu. Cruz intends to update the restaurant's bread program with some new, fresh offerings, and his new desserts include salted caramel ice cream sandwiches with toasted meringue and honey roasted peanuts, and vanilla bean semifreddo with roasted peach and apricot compote and candied hazelnut crunch. Presidio Social Club, 563 Ruger St., San Francisco, CA 94129, 415-885-1888.


Wine country standout Cyrus closed after service on October 28, 2012. Hotel Les Mars' affiliate Crossroads Winery, LP, owned by Hotel Les Mars co-owner Bill Foley, will acquire the restaurant space and assets. Cyrus chef-owner Douglas Keane and co-owner Nick Peyton will "see what opportunities await for Cyrus," but have announced no firm move or future opening. Cyrus, 29 North St., Healdsburg, CA 95448, no phone.
Devotees of Mayflower's dim sum and Hong Kong-style seafood will be sad to learn the San Francisco location closed abruptly on October 1, 2012. Mayflower owners will focus on their other three locations in Union City, Milpitas and Millbrae. Meanwhile, renovations, a new restaurant and new owners are en route to the venue at 6225 Geary Blvd., with no other details forthcoming.

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