June 27, 2006

June 27, 2006

A new spot will be opening soon in the old Long Island Chinese Restaurant in Noe Valley—taking its place will be ~BISTRO 1689~ by July 8 or so, which is looking good because they just passed all their inspections. The 45-seat restaurant is being done up with shades of grey, including the two-tone banquettes and the imported floor tile from Italy. There will be art from local artists displayed on the wall, and a cozy wine bar that will seat four. In fact, the entire restaurant has been completely redone, like, everything is new—it took about six months to do so. The owner is Benny Cheung, whose family has Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong and Thai restaurants in Shanghai, so now he's opening his first in California, a French-California restaurant with chef Scott Drozd at the helm. Drozd previously worked as a dinner chef at Anzu in the Hotel Nikko, plus did some stints in some San Diego restaurants (Catamaran Resort, Parallel 33), Lake Tahoe (PlumpJack Squaw, Moody's Bistro, and Graham's), and New York (Aureole, Gramercy Tavern). He is crafting a technique-driven menu of seasonal and rustic French cuisine with Californian accents that will change nightly. The upscale bistro-style dishes will feature fresh, sustainable, and local ingredients, with meats from Niman Ranch and fish from three trusted sources. Dishes will include sautéed duck breast with roasted figs, pea tendrils with a shallot vinaigrette; and pan-roasted halibut with roasted cherry tomatoes, mussel and garlic confit, and a lemon-basil broth. He's also doing desserts like fresh pear tart with goat cheese and ricotta mousse, topped with thyme streusel, and a drizzle of olive oil and honey with a sprinkling of fleur de sel (I am so gonna try that dessert), or chocolate hazelnut cake with homemade brown sugar ice cream and lemon anglaise. (Entrées will range from $16-$24, and desserts $5-$8.) Dinner will be served nightly from 5:30pm-10pm, and until 10:30pm on Fri-Sat. 1689 Church St. at 29th Street, 415-550-8298.

So here's some unfortunate news: it ends up two thugs came into ~BLOWFISH SUSHI~ Friday night around midnight and robbed it, in addition to firing off three rounds into the floor (one had a handgun, and the other a shotgun). Fortunately everyone is okay (there were reportedly two tables of diners in the restaurant at the time of the robbery), and the poor waitress who was reportedly pistol-whipped is doing okay after some stitches and a visit to the hospital. The staff is understandably shaken up, and the police are investigating the matter. (Please note the link to the Fox Reno piece from the Metroblog story above contains some errors.)

Those nostalgic for baseball might be interested in ~JOE DIMAGGIO'S ITALIAN CHOPHOUSE~ which opened yesterday in the old Fior d'Italia space in North Beach. The space is intended to look like a timeless throwback to the 1930's, but with a Rat-Pack soundtrack (think Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra). The space will be sleek and swanky, with a granite bar top, leather tufted booths in the "North Beach Room," and the "Manhattan Room" will feature steel blue and gray with dark Brazilian cherry hardwood floors. (Yes, there is also a Marilyn Room.) The project comes from Jeff and Rick Dudum (McCovey's and Bing Crosby's restaurants in Walnut Creek), Architecture & Lighting (Le Colonial, Shanghai 1930) and Best-Santos Studio (Bing Crosby's, Sir Francis Drake). The kitchen is headed up by Culinary Director Frank Palmer and Executive Chef Allen Vitti, who will work in tandem to lead the menu creation. D. Michael Bussinger will serve as the Executive Sous Chef. Expect classic dishes with modern flair on the menu like a Sicilian fisherman's stew, rabbit three ways, pizzettas, and aged Midwestern Angus beef steaks and chops—there will also be a focus on using local vendors and sustainable produce. The restaurant will open for cocktails starting at 3pm, and dinner nightly from 5pm-11pm (bar until 1am). Live music seven nights a week (including live piano). 601 Union St. at Stockton St., 415-421-JOED (5633).  

~DOSA~ is now open for weekend brunchy-lunches (as of this last Saturday and Sunday) from 11am-3pm! They'll be offering some new dishes, plus a variety of egg dosas and uttapams (including "Egg Poriyal" for the traditionalists), salads, Lillet cocktails, mimosas and pitchers of white sangria soaked in fresh seasonal fruits. Carnivores will dig the South Indian Lamb "Dumm" Biryani cooked under a lid that is sealed with dough to capture all the delicious aromas during the baking process of the Niman Ranch lamb, basmati rice, onions, saffron, ginger and a myriad of other spices—hello. (For those who like to know how to properly say the name of their food when ordering it, "Dumm" is pronounced "dhum" and rhymes with mum.)

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