May 4, 2010

May 4, 2010

I had a chance to catch up with Ray Tang, who wanted to fill me in on a few changes as he is stepping back in as owner of ~PRESIDIO SOCIAL CLUB~. First, there is a new chef: Derek McCarthy, who was previously at Blue Plate. Look for a new menu to launch on June 1st, offering a different take on American cuisine (Tang explains the menu’s story as “cuisine that would reflect officers returning from abroad”). Prices will be lower, lunch will return, and the menu is moving away from the recent Southern focus. Instead, look for an all-day menu with dishes like a chicken noodle soup, a BLT, a burger, steak for two, nightly local fish specials, roast beef, or chicken, served with classic sides like broccoli and baked potato—but featuring high-end and locally sourced product. (He also mentioned a basket featuring a fried trio of chicken, quail, and rabbit.) The wine list is also being revamped but the cocktails will remain the same (i.e. delicious)—and look for the return of the Sunday roast pig. Additional details: Shawn Kearney is no longer with the company and is taking a break from the restaurant world, and Puccini Group will continue as the management group.

Just a quick public service announcement: ~SOCIAL KITCHEN & BREWERY~ is now open. The restaurant is only open for dinner service, for now, from 5pm-10pm. They are not allowed to serve any alcoholic beverages after 10pm, so last call is currently at 9:30pm. (They are working with the city to have that curfew pushed until later in the evening.)


Flickr photo from that guy 252.

When I had dinner at Barbacco a couple of Tuesdays ago, I took a peek at ~AQUA~ next door: even though the closing night was just that previous weekend, the room was already cleared of almost everything. It felt a little sudden, but upon learning CEO Mark Weiss of the Whisk Group (he lives in Washington DC) had bought all of AQUA’s assets, from the name to the furnishings to the website—and even the phone number—then the quick timing of the clear-out made more sense.

I had a quick chat with Weiss, who said he plans to reopen the famed restaurant again somewhere in the Financial District (three locations are currently being considered). I asked what his connection to the restaurant was, and he said, “It was one of those incredible restaurants, and I had many business deals there…I feel a strong connection to it.” He hopes to get in touch with many of the original players in the restaurant, including the designers, but noted that there are obviously elements that will need to be updated. When I asked about the chef, he said he wants to secure the space before deciding upon the chef, but he does plan on having lunch and dinner service. Weiss also mentioned plans to open another project in San Francisco, which could possibly open sooner than the AQUA redux. Stand by for more.

~THE RITZ-CARLTON, SAN FRANCISCO~ has named Patrick Callarec executive chef, whose duties will encompass all hotel-specific culinary activities, including dining in The Lobby Lounge, In-Room Dining, banquets, and catering. French-born Callarec’s background includes executive chef for The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, and owner of the award-winning Chez Paul Restaurant in Olowalu. (To clarify, chef Ron Siegel is not going anywhere—he will continue in The Dining Room.) 600 Stockton St. at California, 415-296-7465.

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