January 26, 2016

January 26, 2016
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Chef Matthew Kirkley; photo via Coi’s website.

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Chef Kirkley’s stunning turbot, winter vegetables, beurre Cancalaise. Photo via Instagram: @matthew_kirkley.

It’s a new year, which brings a lot of chef shuffles and moves and new menus. Let’s review.

Over at ~COI~, Daniel Patterson has transitioned out of the kitchen. Executive chef Matthew Kirkley (L20 in Chicago) is in place, and his new menu has debuted. You’ll note a seafood-leaning menu, with dishes like geoduck clam, lardo, Bibb lettuce, buckwheat; turbot, winter vegetables, beurre Cancalaise; and abalone, bone marrow, black truffle. Nope, the tasting menu doesn’t finish with beef! The new menu price is $225 (plus a 20 percent service charge). Dinner is served Thu-Mon.

We previously noted that chef Sara Hauman has left ~HUXLEY~, and taking her place is Manfred Wrembel (most recently at Schroeder’s, and previously Plum and Incanto). His new menu is up, with many local and seasonal dishes, including wild arugula, chicken liver ravioli, Half Moon Bay herring, and a burger, the Hux Deluxe. There’s also a small tap system, with beers on draft, and look for new bottles on the reserve beer list and new affordable wine selections as well. Open for dinner service Tue-Sat 5:30pm-10pm and brunch Sat-Sun 11am-2:30pm.

At ~GASPAR BRASSERIE~, executive chef Chris Jones has transitioned to overseeing all of owner Franck LeClerc’s Au Bon Repas properties (Gaspar Brasserie, Gitane, and Café Claude); taking his place in the kitchen is Adam Nichol, who has been working as chef de cuisine at Gaspar. He did whole animal butchery and charcuterie while at Central Kitchen and Flour + Water and will be doing some more for the charcuterie program at Gaspar. The menu has morphed into an all-day format, take a look here.

And over at ~FARALLON~, Jason Ryczek is working for chef-owner Mark Franz as the new executive chef—the two collaborated on the upcoming chef’s tasting menu for Valentine’s Day. Ryczek was at Waterbar for the past three years.

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The punchy banquette in the dining room. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Just a quick heads up that ~STARBOARD~ is having their grand opening this Thursday January 28th. We shared all the details about this Mission hofbrau opening next door to Slate in our recent post, so you can catch up there.

The hearty and affordable menu is all about getting you fed: check it out online—dear lord, ROBUCHON MASHED POTATOES with hella cheese curd (their words). And get excited for these business hours too: Tue-Wed 5pm-12am, Thu-Sat 5pm-3am, with a special late-night menu. And wines. And beers. Brunch coming soon. Enjoy. 2919 16th St. at S. Van Ness, 415-465-5830.

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Banh mi from DragonEats. Photo via Facebook.

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The Popsons cheeseburger. Photo: Michael David Rose Photography.

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Sneak peek of the new American Grilled Cheese Kitchen space. Photo via Facebook.

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The new Smokin’ Warehouse in Laurel Heights. Yelp photo by Karen L.

Some local businesses are expanding with new locations around town, starting with Vietnamese fast-casual spot ~DRAGONEATS~, which opened a third location in the Upper Haight in the former Sunrise Deli. (DragonEats also has locations in SoMa and Hayes Valley.) According to their Facebook page, they are now open and serving their menu of banh mi, salads, bowls, and rolls. Open 11am-6pm. 1671 Haight St. at Cole, 415-795-1469.

While we’re waiting for the Causwells team to open ~POPSONS~ at 6th and Market in the Warfield Building this March, you can nab one of their outrageously good burgers at their new pop-up, starting today at 330 Townsend Street (the original Marlowe location, and then Marlowe Burger). They will be serving an array of burgers with different toppings, plus three kinds of fries, chili, and a salad; check out the menu. Lunch starts Tuesday January 26th (that’s today!), running weekdays 11am-3pm. Hours will extend to weekdays 11am-8pm on Monday February 1st. 330 Townsend St. at 4th St.

If everything goes according to plan, Heidi Gibson and Nate Pollak of ~THE AMERICAN GRILLED CHEESE KITCHEN~ will be opening their third location in the Broadway-Sansome Apartments (at 799 Battery Street) on Monday February 1st. Folks in the area will be happy to have a menu of AGCK’s cheesy sandwiches, salads, soups, and more (including shoestring fries and crispy maple Brussels sprouts), plus breakfast service (hello breakfast sandwiches), and beer, wine, and mimosas. Wylie Price designed the space, with 22 cozy counter seats and there’s some outdoor seating (12) as well. Initial hours are Mon-Sat 8am-3pm; look for hours to expand to 5pm on February 8th. (They will also be selling up to 10,000 grilled cheeses at Union Square for the Super Bowl, so someone is gonna be busy!) 799 Battery St. at Broadway, 415-872-9230.

We have been tracking the Laurel Heights opening of ~SMOKIN’ WAREHOUSE~ (in the former Eunice’s Café space) for a bit, and according to a tablehopper reader (and some posts on Yelp), they are now open. It’s definitely designed for takeout, and the menu includes beef and pork ribs, brisket, links, sandwiches or platters, sides, and burgers. Initial hours for now are Mon-Sat 11am-6pm; look for them to expand later. 3336 Sacramento St. at Presidio, 415-440-0088.

Fans of ~SMITTEN~ ice cream will be happy to know another location is coming to the Marina—so just when you get out of spin class, you can ruin your workout with a scoop of churned-to-order cookie dough ice cream with pretzels and chocolate chips! Founder Robyn Sue Fisher is excited to be moving into the former Judy’s Cafe this summer. In an interesting twist, Eastman Ice Cream operated in the space in the 1930s and ’40s. 2268 Chestnut St. at Avila.

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Nojo Ramen’s spicy chicken soboro tossed noodles. Photo via Facebook.

It’s closed, it’s open, oh wait, it’s closed again. And the former ~NOJO~ in Hayes Valley has opened once again, this time as ~NOJO RAMEN TAVERN~, although original chef-owner Greg Dunmore is no longer involved with the project, so the menu is different.Hoodline mentions the focus is on five kinds of ramen made with a rich chicken broth (paitan ramen), and small dishes like gyoza and cucumber with spicy miso are available. Pictured here is their spicy chicken soboro tossed noodles, a soupless ramen. There’s also an extensive menu of beers, plus sake, soju, and wine. Hours are Wed-Sat 5pm-11pm and Sun 11:30am-7pm. 231 Franklin St. at Hayes, 415-896-4587.

This makes for a nice segue, since Nojo’s Greg Dunmore used to work over at ~AME~ at The St. Regis San Francisco in SoMa. Lissa Doumani and Hiro Sone will be closing the restaurant at the end of February. Taking its place will be a pop-up concept—The Grill—for eight weeks, starting March 1st, under the direction of St. Regis San Francisco’s executive chef Franck Desplechin. A new concept will be unveiled later; stand by for updates. 125 3rd St. at Mission, 415-284-4040.

And Michael Mina is closing ~BOURBON STEAK~ at the end of March. Eater reports the lease was up, and Mina is looking for a new location—the restaurant opened in 2010. It looks like the restaurant’s brand-new chef Thomas Griese will be staying with the group (he was previously working for Mina in Miami), and it’s worth noting the bar Clock Bar will remain open.