Exterior of the Dancing Pig (photo by Seemless via Castro Biscuit).
The cheeseburger at Garaje. Yelp photo by Mr. D.F.
After a tip-off this morning from Castro Biscuit, I followed up with the owner of ~POESIA~, Francesco d’Ippolito, about the rumor that he’s opening a second Italian concept in the now-closed Dancing Pigs space on Castro. He confirmed the rumor is true—he plans to open a casual and affordable spot; he mentioned Roman pizza and offering a special “menu dello chef,” with two or three dishes for less than $15. The chef is Roberto Lamantia, who was born in Rome but has Sicilian parents, so you can bet he has a pocketful of recipes. (He has been living in San Francisco for the past 25 years or so, and is the mastermind behind the cannoli at Poesia.) Stand by for more details about the name, concept, and more in the coming weeks since this is all in a very nascent stage. 544 Castro St. at 19th St.
After license activity many months ago, ~GARAJE~ has finally opened in the former Bill’s Kitchen space, according to SFist. The details: There’s an eclectic and affordable menu, ranging from a cheeseburger (on an Acme bun) to fish tacos to some bocadillos (sandwiches), plus St. Louis ribs finished on the grill and a Chinese chicken salad. Eight beers on tap; cash only. Mon-Sat 11am-close. 475 3rd St. at Stillman (near Bryant), 415-664-0838.
Here’s one I have added to my “check it out” list (thanks Chowhound): ~HOUSE OF PANCAKE~ in the Outer Sunset, which serves a variety of pancakes (think savory Chinese pancakes), plus hand-pulled soup noodles and dumplings. 937 Taraval St. at 19th Ave., 415-681-8388.
Looks like ~WISE SONS DELI~ has a new place to spread its wings and bake all its breads and other baked goods. Inside Scoop says Wise Sons will be taking over La Grotta in the Mission Market, and since they’ll be able to bake off-site, they may be able to add dinner service and extended hours to the mothership (they currently need time to bake everything in their teeny-tiny kitchen, hence the early closing hours). 2590 Mission St. at 22nd St.