August 18, 2015

August 18, 2015

The exterior of the former Shimo, the future home of Fiorella. Yelp photo by Mona C.

Folks in the Outer Richmond are going to be getting a neighborhood Italian restaurant and enoteca this winter called ~FIORELLA~. The project is going into the former Shimo and is from Boris Nemchenok (of Lower Haight’s Uva Enoteca), who is partnering with chef-partner Brandon Gillis (formerly Franny’s in Brooklyn and Bark Hot Dogs in Brooklyn and Manhattan). Nemchenok actually grew up in the Richmond and is excited to head back to the neighborhood.

On the menu: pies from the wood-fired oven, fresh pasta, and of course a fantastic list of Italian wines, which is Nemchenok’s passion. Dinner and brunch will be served, and there will be around 40 seats. They are currently targeting December 2015 or January 2016 for their opening. We’ll keep you updated in coming months as things take shape. 2339 Clement St. at 25th Ave.


The bar at The Keystone. Photo courtesy of The Keystone.


Dining room at The Keystone. Photo courtesy of The Keystone.

A report by Dana Eastland. The former home of Annabelle’s in SoMa is reopening on Monday August 24th as ~THE KEYSTONE~. Earlier this month, we gave you a preview on the plans for the food and the new concept. The final details have been worked out and now it’s ready to open.

Chef Zack Freitas has created the new menu. To recap, the focus is on American comfort food, with a decidedly modern, California style; the menu is divided into categories like Morsels, Popular, Delights, and Ambitious. There is also a selection of desserts from pastry chef Jenny Yang, with an emphasis on seasonal fruit (though the fiend brownie is no joke, with chunks of macadamia nut, toffee, and chocolate). Kelly Naughton is the bar manager, and the drink menu is approachable and fun, with cocktails, 20 beers on draft, and 15 wines available by the glass, including 2 sparkling options. Plus, they are offering two happy hours, one from 4:30pm-6:30pm and again from 10pm-12am.

The space has been redesigned by D-Scheme Studio to simultaneously look back to the building’s history and to the future, with a modernized vibe. They’ve stripped down the space and exposed more brick as well as an original skylight. The bar is still the anchor of the space, but they’ve added seating on both sides of it, and opened up the dining room. It opens Monday August 24th, and hours will be daily 11:30am-12am. 68 4th St. at Mission, 415-777-1200.

Another blast from the past is getting a makeover: ~CADILLAC BAR AND GRILL~ has been resurrected and is opening in The Market on the ground floor of the Twitter building. The original Cadillac opened in SoMa in 1982 and closed in 1999 to make room for the Moscone Center South, and it was quite infamous for its giant margaritas, platters of fajitas, and generally good times. For a fun trip through the restaurant’s history, check out this visual history on their site.

History aside, the new location is serving an (almost refreshingly) un-updated menu with pitchers of margaritas, chile con queso, guacamole, mesquite-grilled fajitas, and their “puffy tacos.” Hours are Mon-Thu 11am-10pm (bar until 11pm), Friday 11am-11pm (bar until 12am), Sat 5pm-11pm (bar until 12am), closed Sun. Happy hour Mon-Fri 3pm-6pm. 44 9th St. at Market, 415-554-0181.


The former New Star, future home of the Black Cat. Yelp photo by Kevin Y.

A couple of new projects are coming down the pike. Hoodline brings news of ~BLACK CAT~, a restaurant and bar opening in the Tenderloin at the end of 2015 from Fritz Quattlebaum. The all-day restaurant (which will also have full liquor) is moving into the former New Star space, which has been vacant for a couple of years. Gi Paoletti is behind the design, and chef Ryan Cantwell (Eccolo, Chez Panisse, Bar Jules, Zuni Cafe) will be leading the menu (American with global influences, primarily small plates), serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bites in between.

The project is in the Verona Hotel, which is home to the Mary Elizabeth Inn Supportive Housing Program, and Quattlebaum mentions there will be “an entry-level training program for residents of the neighborhood.” (No word if the project will be paying any homage to our city’s famous Black Cat Bar from the first half of the 20th century, read more about this amazing bar here.) 400 Eddy St. at Leavenworth.

Last week I noticed that ~PLIN~ on Valencia was closing and changing its name to Nostra. I reached out to chef-owner Alexander Alioto, who confirmed the news and concept change, but then released the details to the Scoop. He’s reportedly going to be creating a more neighborhood-friendly place where guests can choose from a variety of housemade pastas (8-12), plus sauces (6-10), seasonal vegetables, and proteins. Pricing should range from $12-$18. The bar area will become Bar Mia, focused on amari, amaro-based cocktails, and bites. Stand by for reopening details soon. 280 Valencia St. at 14th St.


Kale salad at The Plant. Photo courtesy of The Plant.

A few SF businesses are expanding, starting with the seventh location of ~THE PLANT CAFÉ ORGANIC~, now open in the AIC (American Industrial Center) in Dogpatch—their catering and test kitchen are in an adjoining space. The entire menu is going 100 percent organic, with some new items added as well. The Plant is also REAL-certified, “the nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and food service operators committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.” Hours are daily 8am-9pm, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 2335 3rd St. at 20th St., 415-801-5089.

Another local business we noticed is expanding is ~ONIGILLY~, which got its start as a La Cocina business and is now going to open a third location, in the Financial District. We connected with founder Koji Kanematsu, who said they plan to open in the second week of September. You’ll be able to come by for their tasty rice and seaweed snacks, perfect for all those busy FiDi workers who want a healthy and delicious snack. We’ll keep you posted. 455 Market St. at 1st St.

And now it’s time for dessert. Back in April, we mentioned that The Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley was expanding to the Castro, and now we’ve heard it’s going to be called ~THE CASTRO FOUNTAIN~. They are targeting a late fall/winter opening. They will serve ice cream and also hope to expand their selection of baked goods. 554 Castro St. at 19th St.


Photo courtesy of Sam’s Seafood Alley.


Photo courtesy of Sam’s Seafood Alley.

There will be a new spot to lounge around outside, feast on oysters and crab rolls, and enjoy a cocktail. Meet Seafood Alley, a new patio space opening outside ~SAM’S GRILL AND SEAFOOD RESTAURANT~ on Belden Place on Thursday August 27th. Managing partner Peter Quartaroli has really taken the concept of an outdoor area to the next level, with a protective awning, hardwood flooring, comfy lounge seating, and quite the eye-catching teak burl bar. Considering the classic restaurant got its start in 1867 as a seafood stand, it’s nice to see some outdoor presence again—and in this case, the digs are pretty swanky.

Seafood Alley will be open continuously Mon-Fri 11am-9pm for lunch, happy hour (5pm-7pm), and into the evening. It will have its own menu (take a look here), featuring local and sustainable seafood, including raw oysters, ceviche, bay shrimp or prawn cocktails, salads (including shrimp or crab Louie), chowder, and there’s also a steak sandwich, shrimp roll, and crab roll. You can kick back with a martini or Manhattan, beer and wine, and their new drink, The Alley Cat (cucumber vodka, Aperol, and cucumber on ice with a squeeze of lemon).


Wuxi-style wonton soup from Taste of Jiangnan. Yelp photo by Gary S.

~ORIGAMI MARKET~ is opening in SoMa on Wednesday August 19th. The healthy fast-casual spot comes from Kash Feng of Live Sushi and the newly opened Omakase and serves lunch and dinner in-house or for takeout. The menu offers Asian-influenced salads, bowls, and rolls, with lots of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free choices to satisfy everyone. Ingredients will be sustainable and well sourced, like Mary’s Chickens and Meyer Ranch for the antibiotic-free beef, and everything is less than $16. Hours are Mon-Sat 11am-9pm. 669 Townsend St. at 8th St., 415-865-9788.

Clement Street has a new Chinese restaurant, with fare from the region of Wuxi, according to those ever-knowledgable Chowhounds. It’s called ~TASTE OF JIANGNAN~ (and has nothing to do with Crystal Jade) and is currently softly open. They aren’t offering their full menu quite yet, which means no noodles, but there are still initial positive reports. The wontons are reportedly a highlight, as are the braised “big bones” that are no joke for the carnivorously inclined. 332 Clement St. at 5th Ave., no phone.


The exterior of the future Réveille Coffee Co. flagship. Photo courtesy of Réveille Coffee Co.

Stylish brothers Chris and Thomas Newbury of ~RÉVEILLE COFFEE CO.~ are getting ready to open their fourth and largest location this winter. The new location is in Mission Bay and will serve as their flagship and headquarters, with a roasting facility, training center, and espresso bar. In addition to the roasting space, they will be opening ~CAFÉ REVEILLE~ next door, with a full kitchen and bar serving wine and beer. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be available, along with their coffee. The space requires a full buildout, so it will be awhile before the doors open, but they’re aiming for this winter. 610-620 Long Bridge St. at 4th St.

One-cup-at-a-time juggernaut ~PHILZ COFFEE~ is bringing their mint mojitos to yet another neighborhood. Their latest location is now open in Potrero, adjacent to the Design District. They’ve got all the usual coffees, and there are extended evening hours too. Hours are daily 6am-8pm. 1775 17th St. at De Haro, 415-814-8096.

~COFFEE BAR~ has introduced a new, special coffee concoction to check out: cold-brew horchata. It’s made in-house, using their cold brew from Mr. Espresso beans, along with rice, cinnamon, and vanilla. Hello, lover. It’s available at all of their locations.

Todd Carmichael, La Colombe Coffee founder and star of The Travel Channel’s Dangerous Grounds, has a new series premiering on the Travel Channel on Monday September 14th called Uncommon Grounds. He’ll be exploring the culture of different countries through the lens of their relationship to coffee, including trips to Japan, Paris, Havana, and Lusaka, Zambia.


Pork leg with fried eggs for brunch at Huxley. Photo courtesy of Huxley.

Weekend brunch at ~BAR TARTINE~ is changing a bit. Instead of the usual à la carte menu, chefs and owners Nick Balla and Cortney Burns are now offering a prix-fixe family-style menu, with more focus on their favorite way of cooking, which is how they cook for their friends and family. The new menu debuted on Saturday August 15th and will continue to accommodate vegetarian diners and others with dietary restrictions. The price will change depending on what is served, but will always be in the low- to mid-$30s. Take a look at a sample menu here. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays 11am-2pm.

Speaking of brunch, you can now get it at ~HUXLEY~ on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 2pm, starting Saturday August 29th. Their famous avocado toast is available, along with egg dishes like the pork leg with fried eggs, chickpeas, roasted peppers, tomatillo salsa, and cilantro yogurt, or a summer succotash omelet with chanterelles. Their brunch cocktails are also available, of course.

~BELGA~ has launched lunch, running Mon-Fri 11am-3pm. You can check out the menu here, which includes salads, a croque madame, roasted tomato soup and fried bread, and a hamburger and frites. And beer! 2000 Union St. at Buchanan, 415-872-7350.

We’re big fans of late-night dining over here, so it’s exciting to hear that ~HOG & ROCKS~ is now offering a late-night menu on Fridays and Saturdays from 11pm to 1am. A menu highlight is the sausage and beer pairing, which features a different housemade sausage paired with a selected beer for just $15. The special will change regularly, but right now it’s an all-pork sausage with zucchini pepper slaw and a Flying Dog IPA.


Party time at The Hall. Photo from Facebook.

Tonight, Tuesday August 18th, don’t miss a special happy hour at ~THE HALL~ from 5pm to 8pm. There will be live music, drink specials, food, and desserts for sale from CHEFS, and a portion of all proceeds benefit Episcopal Community Services, or ECS. This is a great, fun opportunity to give back a little and share community, and you know you were headed to happy hour anyway, right? 1028 Market St. at 6th St., 415-558-8293.


This event is a bit farther afield than our usual coverage, but when it’s Ruth Reichl, well, we know people will drive a fair distance for our grand dame of (the former) Gourmet. On Monday August 31st, she will be appearing in conversation with Michael Krasny at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, brought to you by the Peninsula Open Space Trust as part of their 2015 Wallace Stegner lecture series. 8pm. Tickets and more info here.

You can bet she is going to talk about her upcoming cookbook, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Changed My Life, coming out at the end of September. If you don’t make it for the POST talk, you can see her in October on her book tour. She’ll be at Bar Agricole (hosted by Omnivore Books) on Tuesday October 6th and hosted by the Commonwealth Club in Silicon Valley on Wednesday October 7th—mark you calendar.


Salty, rare, delicious burger slinger ~KRONNERBURGER~ is taking beef to the next level on Monday August 24th with Beefstro, a meat party par excellence. From 6pm to 11pm they’ll be serving a four-course menu that includes grass-fed rib-eye steaks that have been aged 90 days, for $65 per person. There will also be wine pairings available for $40, and the fine folks from Ordinaire Wine will be on hand to share some cave bottle selections. Reservations can be made by email. 4063 Piedmont Ave. at 41st St., Oakland, 510-823-2371.

I was sorry to learn that Seamus and Shelley Mulhall have decided to close their pet project, ~THE GROWLERS’ ARMS~ after less than a year of them being open. In a note to their newsletter subscribers, they say: “Dear friends and fans, and those of you that have become practically family, it is with great sorrow that we have to let you know that we are closing The Growlers’ Arms. During these last ten months, we have met so many incredible people who have supported us and have appreciated our vision. We would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement. Our final night will be Wednesday August 19th.”

They will be celebrating with a three-course dinner for $45, prepared by guest chefs from their days at Chez Panisse. You can also come by tonight for their last Tasty Tuesday menu, three courses for $30. Best wishes to the Mulhalls, I know their many friends will be so sorry to hear this news. 4214 Park Blvd. at Glenfield, Oakland, 510-328-1315.