August 19, 2008

Folks have been wondering what exactly ~CHARLES PHAN~ is opening in the SOMA Grand. Well, the answer is: something new. The yet-to-be-named restaurant is a 3,500-square-foot space, and is made up of two areas divided by cuisine, décor, and a curtain: one part is a 40-seat lunch noodle bar with a fast-casual menu using quality ingredients. The other section will be a 100-seat lounge-type space, with a bar, extended hours, and DJs. The press release promises “an innovative dining experience unlike anything Phan has done in his previous ventures,” but that’s not telling us much, so stand by. Olle Lundberg of Lundberg Design, who also did the Slanted Door on the Embarcadero, is designing the space. The project is scheduled to open in November 2008. 1160 Mission at 7th St.

San Francisco Waterfront Partners has found a tenant for Pier Three (its neighbors will be the upcoming La Mar Cebicheria Peruana and Lafitte): ~LETTÜS~, the organic cafe folks will recognize from the Marina, is opening its second location there. (I’m not big on vegetarian burgers, but theirs is killer.) From the press release: “The 4,600-square-foot bayfront café occupies two spaces at Pier 3, straddling what was once an historic railroad passage. The south space will feature quick service organic coffee, pastries, lunches and dinners while the north space, which includes a 700-square-foot bayside patio, will provide a full service lunch and dinner menu. Both spaces will be lined with sidewalk seating on the Embarcadero.”

Wondering how Brett Emerson’s ~CONTIGO~ project in Noe Valley is coming along? Well, the Mugnaini pizza oven is in place and mighty spiffy (it’s like the ones at Picco, Pizzaiolo, Nopa, and Chez Panisse). But a pizza oven does not a restaurant make. Here’s more! Check out the latest renderings, and let’s hope for that September opening. 1320 Castro St. at 24th St.

I’ve had folks asking wassup with ~PRESS CLUB~, the spiffy tasting room on Yerba Buena Lane that is going to feature eight Cali wineries like Hanna, Chateau Montelena, Miner, Saintsbury, and others. The opening date has been pushed and pushed and pushed, and it’s because the project hit some big ABC snags. They are working with the ABC and now hoping to open this fall. The wineries are still on board, so we’ll just have to wait for this to all get sorted before we can start cheers-ing. 20 Yerba Buena Ln. at Market, 415-494-2000.

It’s time for your coffee report: I was hoping to say ~FOUR BARREL COFFEE~ is open for biziness today, but alas, due to some %$#& PG&E delays, co-owner Jeremy Tooker said the opening is looking more like maaaaybe Thursday, and perhaps not even until Saturday. Hours will be 7am–8pm daily. 375 Valencia St. at 15th Street.

Here’s a night when it’s okay to see red: ~CITIZEN CAKE~ chef William Pilz is continuing Thursday theme nights, and this Thursday August 21st is all about red. Think: ripe tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, and more. The menu includes a terrine with watermelon and tomato; deconstructed ratatouille and lamb; red snapper crudo; and for dessert, citizen red velvet with raspberries, cream cheese, and chocolate. There are also some $8 cocktails, like the love letter, or one with watermelon, tequila, and chiles. This special themed menu is in place of the regular dinner menu, and is $65. And coming up on August 28th is a special seafood dinner. 399 Grove St. at Gough, 415-861-2228.

Since I was gifted some burrata in Tahoe, it was almost like my own little A16 by the lake. Sadly, no pizza oven was nearby. Or trippa alla napoletana. But I’ll leave that to the experts. Anyway, I wanted to get this Book Passage off-site event listed early since it’s assuredly going to sell out: Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren are celebrating the release of their new A16: Food + Wine book, with a ~SPECIAL MEAL AT A16~ on Sunday September 28th. Price is $100, and it includes the book (which on its own is $35). 12:30pm. Order tickets here. 2355 Chestnut St. at Divisadero.