October 28, 2011

October 28, 2011
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Photo from Farina.

There are a number of changes going on at ~FARINA~, starting with a chef change: Angelo Auriana is the new executive chef, coming over from Gary Rulli’s Ristobar in the Marina. He is just beginning to make some adjustments to the menu: while Farina will continue to serve Italian food with a Ligurian focus, there will be some influences and dishes from other regions as well. (Don’t worry, the mandilli al pesto aren’t going anywhere.) Auriana has been the chef at Ristobar for the past year and half, and prior to that, was at the famed Valentino in Los Angeles for 18 years. He has an elegant touch, so I look forward to seeing how things develop on the menu.

More Farina updates: it looks like the upstairs terrace/roof garden is close to being complete. There are custom marble tables and wood benches that fit 6-8 each, with room for about 30 in all. There will be wind breaks, heat, music, and special lighting to make it comfortable, along with special tiles and other design touches—stand by for a sign-off soon.

The upstairs private dining room has also gone through some changes, and is now more of a wine room with a clubby look, including a wine rack and leather booths. There’s room for about 24 guests.

And for your calendar: truffle season is here, and Farina’s special contact who hand carries white truffles from Italy to the restaurant should be bringing them for special truffle dinners on November 10th and 30th. You will be able to choose from some special appetizers, pastas, and entrées to have the truffle shaved on (Auriana mentioned fonduta, risotto, and perhaps some dishes with duck egg or cardoon—he cooked a number of truffle dinners while at Valentino). Look for more special truffle dinners on December 8th and 28th, and January 5th and 25th (these will probably be black truffles). You can make reservations now.

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Exterior of Ristobar. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

With the departure of chef Angelo Auriana from ~RISTOBAR~, a new chef will be taking over, Michele Belotti from Italy. He has worked under the famed Paolo Frosio at Restaurant Frosio in Bergamo (Marc Vetri apprenticed at Frosio as a young cook), and was most recently a sous at Da Guido in Piemonte. Belotti originally came over to San Francisco for vacation, but has decided to move to San Francisco permanently and take the chef position. He begins November 14th.

In the meantime, Ristobar is launching a pizza special on the weekends: come by Sat-Sun from 3pm-5pm, and get any of their pizzas for $10. And it starts this weekend, yay.