January 12, 2016

January 12, 2016
01_fiorella_oven_JSiska.jpeg

Fiorella’s Toscana oven by Forni Valoriani, built in Reggello, Italy. Photo by Jen Siska.

02_fiorella_interior_JSiska.jpeg

The interior. Photo by Jen Siska.

03_fiorella_int_JSiska.jpeg

Wallpaper and lighting detail. Photo by Jen Siska.

UPDATE: Opening Wednesday January 27th for dinner!

Earlier this year we wrote about ~FIORELLA~, the neighborhood Italian restaurant, pizzeria, and enoteca coming to the Outer Richmond. To recap, Boris Nemchenok (of Lower Haight’s Uva Enoteca) is partnering with chef-partner Brandon Gillis (formerly Franny’s in Brooklyn and Bark Hot Dogs in Brooklyn and Manhattan). Fun fact: Nemchenok actually grew up in the Richmond just a few blocks away.

The opening menu includes antipasti like vegetables with hard-boiled egg and anchovy dressing, and pan-fried caciocavallo cheese with salsa verde, plus supplì al telefono, a variety of bruschette (chicken liver alla Toscana, and house-cured anchovies with mozzarella di bufala and butter), and Venetian polpette (meatballs) with lemon, vino bianco, and parsley. Pastas include linguine con vongole (clams) and pasta al ceppo with meat ragù (pasta al ceppo is a rolled pasta that looks like a cinnamon stick). Some secondi will also be featured, TBD for now.

As for the pizza, it’s a hybrid Bay Area style. Since their wood-fired Toscana brick oven (by Forni Valoriani) cooks pizzas in 2-1/2 to 3 minutes (instead of the usual 90 seconds for most Neapolitan pizzas), it’s going to have a crisper crust (Oakland’s Pizzaiolo and Boot & Shoe have the same oven). The menu includes a white pie (with ricotta, fior di latte, red onion, and oregano), of course a margherita, a New Haven pie (tomato, Parmigiano, olio nuovo), sausage and onion, clams and chiles, a spicy salami pie with caciocavallo, and The Alamo, with tomato, mushroom, rosemary, cream, garlic, and provolone picante (this pie was inspired by ingredients grown in the Alamo Elementary student garden—the kids will vote on their favorite, and if you order it, 10 percent of proceeds will go to the arts program).

Nemchenok knows his way around a wine list—look for Italian producers, along with domestic producers growing Italian varieties, plus an all-SF beer list.

The 40-seat restaurant has 8 seats at the bar and a communal table in the front window with room for 10. The interior has some fun details (by designer Melinda Turner), including white hex tile, dark woods, chic spherical lighting, and wait until you get a look at the Bay Area icons wallpaper, featuring Alice Waters, Angela Davis, E-40, Joe Montana, and Dennis Richmond of KTVU Channel 2 (LOL); it’s by Bay Area artist Matt Ritchie (via Flavor Paper)

Coming down the road will be weekend brunch, espresso drinks to go, and there’s a back garden that will have outdoor seating when the weather warms up. And they take reservations! It will be open nightly 5pm-10pm.

The plan is to open the week of January 25th. You can also follow along on Instagram and Facebook for updates. 2339 Clement St. at 25th Ave., 415-340-3049.

01_Cadence_Bar.jpeg

The bar at Cadence. Photo by Tory Putnam.

02_CadenceInteriors_08.jpeg

The dining room. Photo by Tory Putnam.

03_Cadence_Teacup.jpeg

Booth seating. Photo by Tory Putnam.

04_Cadence_Carrots.jpeg

Carrots. Photo by Tory Putnam.

05_Cadence_Fettuccine.jpeg

Fettuccine. Photo by Tory Putnam.

Opening Wednesday January 13th for dinner in Mid-Market is ~CADENCE~, the restaurant adjoining the jazzy Mr. Tipple’s Recording Studio from Jay Bordeleau (Maven).

Chef Joey Elenterio (Wayfare Tavern, Chez TJ) is serving a progressive American menu, which you can explore as a four-course dinner for $49 (the house applies tax and auto gratuity of 20 percent, making the total cost just under $64 per person) in the reservation-only dining room (you book your seat via Tock on the website), or order off the à la carte menu in the bar area and at the communal tables, which ranges from appetizers to full-size dishes, and dessert.

The prix-fixe menu offers two options, either a vegetarian menu or one featuring seafood and meat. You’ll be presented with an amuse-bouche, a first course (on the vegetarian menu, the roasted baby carrots feature a range of textures, temperatures, and pops of flavor from pickled walnuts and wild rice aioli), a pasta course (either delicate hand-cut fettuccine with turnip beurre fondue and persillade, or wintery rabbit agnolotti in a roasted garlic jus with celery root milk), a main course (which includes grass-fed rib eye on the meaty menu), and one of the dessert courses included vanilla bean bavarian, banana pudding, chicory granité, and caramelized banana gelée—it was like a zhooshed up version of my childhood fave of banana pudding with Nilla wafers. Plating is very considered, and you’ll run through a variety of different dish styles through your meal.

The tiled bar in the back features cocktails from Chase Williamson (Maven, Prospect, Nopa)—there are some communal tables as well where you can post up. You’ll note many culinary elements in the cocktails ($13 each); a good one to start with is the Nectar, with Krogstad aquavit, sarsaparilla honey, lime, and cava. You can look at the wine list here, which has a focus on old world—you’ll find some well-priced selections and some splurges too (because, tech).

The 100-seat restaurant is pushing a look that differs from many others (G. Paoletti Design Lab is behind the design)—it has a loungy feeling, with eye-catching round “teacup” booths that will be the coveted seats for sure. There’s no missing the booths in the middle of the room with faux fur backs and look like they’re enclosed with Flintstone-sized wood ribs. Tables along the wall are backed with golden rods that put off a gentle twinkling light, and an upholstered banquette runs underneath. Lights are kept low, and the upbeat soundtrack keeps things energetic.

Hours are Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm. 1446 Market St. at Polk, 415-851-8561.

01_black_bark_int_yelp.jpg

The counter and seating at Black Bark BBQ. Yelp photo by Eric M.

02_black_bark_ext_yelp.jpg

Black Bark BBQ from the outside. Yelp photo by Albertino M.

By Dana Eastland. We first mentioned the new barbecue project from chef David Lawrence and his wife Monetta White back in December of 2014, and now ~BLACK BARK BBQ~ is here. On Wednesday January 13th (that’s tomorrow), the new fast-casual barbecue restaurant will finally open its doors after years (literally) of planning, recipe testing, and remodeling. Lawrence has been traveling and researching regional American barbecue for the new restaurant, and even brought on barbecue expert Edith Cheadle from Dallas, with more than 20 years of smoke under her belt, to help open the restaurant and consult on the food.

The barbecue here is not completely beholden to one style. Rather, it gravitates toward Texas style, with dry rubs, but also looks to the Carolinas and Kansas City for inspiration. Lawrence calls this “San Francisco-style barbecue,” and plans to offer his ribs, along with chicken, hot links, brisket, pulled pork, and a rotating pit master special, depending on mood and the best-looking cuts available. Many of the sides are made using Cheadle’s recipes, including bourbon mac and cheese with cornbread crust, smothered greens with ham hocks, and sweet potato casserole. In addition to all that barbecue, there will also be seasonal salads available. The drinks include 12 local beers on tap, as well as 6 wines, plus a selection of bottled options—look for plenty of ciders too.

The space is casual, with room for 56 diners in the open dining room. Ordering is done at the counter, and the open kitchen allows a view into the pit. There are televisions for watching the game, if that’s your thing, and on nice days there will be outdoor seating for 15. Hours are are Wed-Mon 11:30am-10pm, closed Tue. 1325 Fillmore St. at Eddy, 415-848-9055.

saru_nigiri_yelp.jpg

Nigiri at Saru Sushi, Ijji co-owner Billy Kong’s restaurant in Noe Valley. Yelp photo by Grace C.

Divisadero Corridor keeps on crack-a-lackin’. The team opening Kinjo on Polk also have a project coming to the Divisadero Corridor, and we finally received a few details from them. It’s going to be called ~IJJI~ and will be a traditional nigiri sushi place, with a few small side dishes. There are only 16 seats, with 8 at the counter and 8 table seats. It will be dinner only, potentially open six nights a week.

The owners include the chef-owner of Saru in Noe Valley, Billy Kong, and the chef-owner of Seiya in San Carlos, Kuo Hwa Chuang, and Amanda Tsung. The name means perseverance, persistence, or dedication, which is what you need to open a restaurant in this town. Look for an opening the last week of January, just next door to the upcoming Indian Paradox (at 258). 252 Divisadero St. at Haight.

1-RonSiegelHeadshot.jpg

Chef Ron Siegel. (Photo originally provided by Ritz-Carlton San Francisco.)

Sarahauman-headshot.JPG

Chef Sara Hauman. Photo courtesy of Huxley.

There are a lot of chef changes since the start of the year—let’s begin with the news that chef Ron Siegel has departed ~MICHAEL MINA~. He tells Scoop he’s tired of the commute to San Anselmo, which he has been doing for 18 years, and teases he may have something in the works in the North Bay.

His replacement is Raj Dixit, previously in the Mina group at Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis Monarch Beach in SoCal, as well as at The Ryland Inn under chef Craig Shelton and at David Bouley in New York. He’ll be ramping up for an early February transition.

One more thing to note: Michael Mina Restaurant has named Martin Sheehan-Stross as the lead sommelier. He will be working with Mina Group’s corporate wine director Rajat Parr to grow the program (look for even more Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Champagne selections). He was recently named one of Wine and Spirits Magazine’s Best New Sommeliers in 2015 and was previously the beverage director at Wayfare Tavern.

I was sorry to hear Sara Hauman has packed up her one-woman army and departed ~HUXLEY~ in the Tenderloin. Eater adds she is going to be working with Brandon Jew on his upcoming Mister Jiu’s (coming in a couple of months)—she previously worked with him at Bar Agricole. Owner Kris Esqueda closed the restaurant this week to make some minor upgrades to the space; look for a small beer tap system, more wines by the bottle, and new low-ABV cocktails. Stand by for a chef announcement soon.

We just received word from Namu’s Dennis Lee that he is leaving his chef post at ~SMOKESTACK~ and ~MAGNOLIA GASTROPUB & BREWERY~ due to professional differences; he will be dedicating his efforts on Namu’s upcoming Divisadero project, Namu Noodle (coming to Dogpatch this year), and Namu Jakarta (opening in Indonesia this year—it will be a two-tiered concept in a luxury high-rise with a finer dining room upstairs, and a more casual concept at the lobby/ground level). His last day with Magnolia will be in February.

Chef Kevin Scott—who helped update the ~BIG 4~ menu and concept after the Huntington Hotel was taken over by the Scarlet Singapore (sorry not sorry, I refuse to call it the Scarlet Huntington)—departed after the holidays wrapped up; his last day was December 26th. He says he’s eager to get his own thing going, but in the meantime will be consulting and freelancing as he works on his next project. Best to you, Kevin!

The upcoming ~CITIZEN FOX~ (and recently opened Kit Fox) has lost their chef, Kevin Schuder. Eater reports “mutual differences in management” led to the decision to part ways. The Citizen Fox pop-up at 2293 Mission Street will continue with the kitchen staff in place there.

butter_love_interior_FB.jpg

The interior of Butter Love Bakeshop. Photo via Facebook.

By Dana Eastland. Well-regarded pie pop-up ~BUTTER LOVE BAKESHOP~ has found a permanent home in the Outer Richmond, according to Scoop. The new location, from baker Esa Yonn-Brown and her husband Josh Perez, offers her classic all-butter crust pies, including savory potpies and seasonal fruit pies. There are also other pastries, including cookies, quiche, cakes, and scones made from the recipe used by the space’s former occupant, Nibs. If that’s not enough to entice you, they are also serving doughnuts, along with coffee from Mr. Espresso. 3717 Balboa St. at 38th Ave., 415-602-3988.

A La Cocina alum, Gabriela Guerrero, has opened a new restaurant in the former Salumeria space in the Hamm’s Building, Scoop reports. It’s called ~DELICIOSO CREPERIE~, and Guerrero is serving crêpes with a Latin influence. Some of the fillings are French style, like ratatouille or a croque monsieur, but others offer choices inspired by Mexican food, including turkey with mole sauce and adobo pork. Peek at the menu here. Hours on Mon-Fri 7am-4pm. 1550 Bryant St. at Alameda, 510-334-9967.

Hoodline caught the news that the Upper Haight now has its very own sushi restaurant. It’s called ~GINZA~, and they’ve moved into the former Great Indian space. The menu includes lunch specials like bento boxes and special rolls, all available for less than $20. On the regular menu you’ll find an omakase option, as well as sushi, sashimi, and hot appetizers. 1793 Haight St. at Shrader, 415-742-0552.

Financial District and SoMa workers have a new place for sandwiches and a salad bar. ~FAYALA~ is now open on Fremont, and according to Yelpers, it’s a sister restaurant of Chez Fayala on Pine. They offer sandwiches made to order, as well as an abundant salad bar and hot food buffet. Yelp reviews so far are very positive, with many citing good value, cleanliness, and fresh food. 215 Fremont St. Suite B at Howard, 415-757-0444.

ramen_jubay_IG.png

Spicy Iza Ramen from chef Ritsuo Tsuchida. Photo via Instagram.

The folks behind Iza Ramen in the Lower Haight are launching a new pop-up at Blowfish Sushi since Iza is now up and running. (It started there as a pop-up—oh, and quick sidebar: Iza Ramen is now open for lunch Sat-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm.)

Chef-owner Ritsuo Tsuchida is starting pop-up Ramen JuBay on Saturday January 16th and will be featuring a white tonkotsu ramen ($11), with angel-hair noodle in a tonkotsu pork broth with chashu BBQ pork,
 marinated egg, cloud ear mushroom, and pickled takana mustard leaf; there will be a spicy version for $12. The menu also includes karaage chicken wings, chicken pot stickers, and takoyaki. The pop-up runs on Saturdays 11:30am-2:30pm; expect it to stick around for six months or longer. Blowfish Sushi, 2170 Bryant St. at 20th St., 415-285-3848.

manor_coffee_shop_Ext_yelp.jpg

The old-school exterior of Manor Coffee Shop. Yelp photo by Kevin Y.

z-littlegem-breakfast-braise.jpg

The Hayes braise at Little Gem. Photo by Kimberley Hasselbrink, courtesy of Little Gem.

Some readers have been asking about news on the ~MANOR COFFEE SHOP~, which we warned was closing. It has now closed and was taken over by new owners, who aren’t quite ready to share lots of details but would tell us that they hope to open in mid-February, and they are planning to “keep the diner vibe going.” The menu will change, though they wouldn’t say quite how, only (and emphatically) that is would be “better.” 321-A West Portal Ave. at 14th Ave., 415-661-2468.

The recently opened ~LITTLE GEM~ in Hayes Valley is now serving breakfast and lunch. (To recap, this is the upscale fast-casual place that is wheat-, dairy-, and refined sugar-free, highlighting quality and local ingredients.) Breakfast includes a variety of grains and egg dishes, from their housemade granola to almond and quinoa flour pancakes to the Hayes braise (Swiss chard, black garlic, poached egg, almond-bacon crumble), while lunch offers a chance to check out their wrap sandwiches. Oh, and save room for their lemon custard. Hours are Tue-Fri breakfast 8am-10:30am, lunch 11am-4pm, dinner 5pm-9pm; Sat-Sun breakfast 9am-11am, lunch 11:30am-4pm, dinner 5pm-9pm. 400 Grove St. at Gough, 415-914-0502.

It sounds like ~ORIGAMI MARKET~, the fast-casual spot in SoMa that we mentioned in August, is closing and morphing into ~OKANE~. Kash Feng, who owned Origami Market and also owns Omakase, is still at the helm and plans to open Okane in mid-January. The new project is inspired by the izakayas of Japan and will focus on traditional dishes as well as sake and beer, plus a small wine list. In addition to the dining room seating, there are also plans for a sushi counter that seats four. Hours will be daily for lunch from 11am-3pm and dinner 5pm-12am. 669 Townsend St. at 8th St.

sf_restaurant_week_FB.jpg

Dining out with San Francisco Restaurant Week. Photo via Facebook.

By Dana Eastland. San Francisco Restaurant Week returns this month from January 20th through the 31st. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association is once again running the show, with lots of partners like OpenTable and Lyft to help make your restaurant-going experience a smooth one. More than 120 restaurants from all over the city are participating, including Belga, Aatxe, Ichi Sushi, Zero Zero, and 1300 on Fillmore (and Les Clos is running a good offer for both lunch and dinner, with wine pairings!). Check out all the participating restaurants here.

How it works this year is that all of the restaurants will offer special prix-fixe meals, at two different price points for both lunch and dinner: lunch is two courses at either $15 or $25, dinner is three courses and either $45 or $60. You can also follow along on Facebook, and if you attend four or more meals and post a photo, you’ll even be entered in a drawing to win $1,200 in gift certificates! Locations, times, and meals served all vary; see website for additional details.

For those of you in the East Bay or looking to explore, Oakland Restaurant Week is happening January 14th through the 24th. There are more than 100 restaurants participating, with the option of prix-fixe lunch or dinner menus of $20, $30, $40, or $50 per person. Participating restaurants include Calavera, A16 Rockridge, Salsipuedes (which includes their drowned fried chicken torta!), Desco, and Juhu Beach Club. The whole list of participating restaurants is here, so you can start planning your visit now. Locations, prices, and hours vary per restaurants; see website for details.

Berkeley is also getting in on the action, with Berkeley Restaurant Week happening from January 21st through the 31st. There are over 20 restaurants participating, including Comal and Revival Bar + Kitchen, with options ranging from a $20 prix-fixe lunch to dinner for either $25 or $35. Here’s the full list of restaurants, along with menus and details. Locations, prices, and hours vary.

ippudo_ramen_yelp.jpg

A bowl of Ippudo Ramen in New York. Yelp photo by Crystal H.

The East Bay has plenty of new projects to look forward to, starting with the news that ~IPPUDO~ is coming to downtown Berkeley (it’s known for being one of the tastier tonkotsu ramen bowls in New York, but has locations around the world). Berkeleyside mentions it’s coming to Shattuck (next to Berkeley’s first Blue Bottle café, which will also be arriving); no word on timing. 2011 Shattuck Ave. at University, Berkeley.

Meanwhile, Eater and Inside Scoop both caught Daniel Patterson’s Instagram announcement that he’ll be opening a ~LOCO’L~ with Roy Choi next door to Plum Bar in the original Plum (the first location is opening in Watts in LA on January 18th). Sounds like the SF Tenderloin location will come after Uptown Oakland, and there’s a mention of East Oakland too. 2216 Broadway at 22nd St., Oakland.

Opening Wednesday January 13th is the 60-seat ~CAFÉ EUGENE~ in the former Little Star Pizza in Albany from the team behind Little Star Pizza and Boss Burger (Jon Guhl and Ryan Murff). They want it to be a neighborhood restaurant, and the menu will highlight influences from California and the Pacific Northwest for brunch (like baked steel oats with honey baked pear and cardamom coconut milk) and dinner (like clam chowder potpie) daily—the chef is Amanda Joost Gehring (Lalime’s, Café Rouge).

Cocktails include some inventive Bloody Marys and warm cocktails like Spanish coffee. Outdoor seating has room for 15. Open Sun-Thu 9am-9pm, Fri-Sat 9am-10pm; brunch runs 9am-3pm, dinner starts at 5:30pm, with an interim menu in between. 175 Solano Ave. at Cornell, Albany, 510-647-9999.

We’ve been following ~CASA CUBANA~’s Facebook page for a while, and they are now open. To recap, it’s from Sam DuVall and Joe Kohn (Izzy’s Steak and Chop House) in the former Vo’s, and the Cuban-inspired menu can be viewed here. Cocktails and art also play a big part. Open for lunch 11:30am-2:30pm, happy hour runs 4pm-7pm, and dinner 5pm-10pm. 59 Grand Ave. at Webster, Oakland.