Tidbits: Palio's Big Update, The Table at Merchant Roots, New Brunch, Pho in the Mission, New Gus's Community Market


Palio’s new and contemporary style. Photo: Kristen Loken.


The final course for the upcoming Elements menu at The Table at Merchant Roots. Comet: a milk chocolate and mint ganache truffle wrapped in cotton candy and pulled through isomalt sugar. Photo by @amandalynnphoto via @chefshelton.


Shakshuka at Tank18’s new Sunday brunch. Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux.

Congrats to ~PALIO~, the FiDi restaurant formerly known as Palio d’Asti, which is now sporting a new name, updated look, and menu that has expanded to cover many regions of Italy (instead of just Asti). I walked in to the new dining room (renovated by AnV Architects), and thought it looked molto Milano, with a large bar now as a focal point (and 19 seats), and there are three private and semi-private dining rooms. Owner Martino DiGrande brought on Matt Grippo and Shirley Brooks (Bottom of the Barrel cocktail consulting) to overhaul the beverage program, while maintaining executive chefs and brothers Mauricio and Jose Alberto Martinez, who first started working there in the 1990s. Come in to the lounge for a pizza from the wood-fired oven and a spritz, or stay for lunch or dinner of housemade pasta and Barolo-braised shortrib. Open for lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, dinner Mon-Sat 5pm-10pm, happy hour 2pm-6pm. 640 Sacramento St. at Montgomery, 415-395-9800.

The Table at ~MERCHANT ROOTS~ is now offering tickets on Tock to upcoming dinners. There are just eight seats, and guests are served a tasting menu from chef Ryan Shelton with a specific theme for $110, with the option of a wine pairing for $75 from director of operations Madison Michael. Tickets for the latest series, Elements (“inspired by celestial bodies and the elements that make up our universe”), are available for January 31 and February is open too. There is also a Valentine’s Day option for $205. Shelton has been working on this menu for a while, so expect some exciting things.

SoMa residents have a new brunch option: ~TANK18~ is launching Sunday brunch on January 13th, with dishes like shakshuka; seared polenta cake with white beans, grilled okra and pickled onion; skirt steak and eggs; and more. There is not only a selection of house wines, but a full bar offering brunch cocktails as well. Served 11am-3pm. 1345 Howard St. at 10th St.

A tablehopper reader tipped me off to a new Vietnamese pho restaurant in the Mission in the former Rhea’s—~PHO ON BRYANT~—take a peek at the menu here, which also includes some Chinese-style dumplings. Open daily 11am-9:30pm. 2200 Bryant St. at 20th St., 415-678-5560.

Over in Mission Bay, brothers Bobby and Dimitri Vardakastanis of ~GUS’S COMMUNITY MARKET~ just opened their fourth location, which includes their well-stocked grocery shelves and produce, as well as a deli and café featuring Andytown coffee. New offerings include a build-your-own ramen bar and pastries from Starter Bakery. Their father, the late Gus Vardakastanis, opened his first store on Haight Street in 1981. Open daily 7am-10pm. 1101 4th St. at Channel.