6, 2006 | SAN FRANCISCO
Sandwiched right in between Aqua and Tadich Grill will be ~PERBACCO~,
a restaurant project from Staffan Terje, the former executive chef
at Scala's (he was there for eight years), and Umberto Gibin,
a former director of operations at Grand Café, Masa's,
and Fifth Floor (from 1999-2004), who also worked for Larry Mindel
while at Il Fornaio and the fab Poggio in Sausalito. Demolition
started in November, and they just got approval to move ahead with
construction only a couple weeks ago. The 6,000-square-foot restaurant
was formerly the home of the Gold Coast restaurant, and is known
as the historic 1912 Hind Building. Cass
Calder Smith (Azie, LuLu, Rose Pistola, Terzo) is currently
transforming the long, narrow space. The restaurant will have two
levels, including a curing room in the basement for salumi like
their house-made prosciutto. In fact, one of the first things you'll
notice upon entering Perbacco will be a cherry-red Berkel slicer
gracing the bar. Those Berkels are like parking an Alfa Romeo on
the bar—totally gorgeous.
seasonal menu will be focused primarily on the northern Piedmontese
region, a mountainous area of Italy that integrates numerous French
influences in its luxurious cuisine, which is often embellished
with truffles and porcini mushrooms. It's also the region
known for two of the biggest wine beasts, Barolo and Barbaresco.
The menu will also include dishes from Liguria and Savoy. Appetizers
will feature some crudos (this is where the menu will depart a little
from the Piedmontese area), homemade stuffed pastas like ravioli
and angolotti, and classic regional dishes like brasato (braised
beef in Barolo) and bollito misto (a boiled medley of meat). The
restaurant will have a hip urban look while still keeping a foot
planted in the Old World, with touches like an original brick wall
that was retained, marble, plus a carpeted floor (it will help diminish
noise). There will be a bar area with room for 40 in booths and
at the bar, while the dining area can seat 100-110, including the
mezzanine. There will also be room for 40 in the private dining
area, plus an open kitchen in the back. For those wondering about
the name, it's an Italian expression, Per Bacco!, which is
simultaneously a positive affirmation, and a salute to the beloved
Bacchus. The plan is for a September 1 opening, serving lunch Mon-Fri,
and dinner Mon-Sat. 230 California St., at Battery St.
big one slated to open in late September will be ~SPRUCE~
from the Bacchus Management Group. Bacchus is made up of five partners:
three from the Village
Pub in Woodside (Tim Stannard, Mark Sullivan, Andrew Green),
in addition to Gordon Drysdale (Pizza Antica and the former Gordon's
House of Fine Eats) and Brannin Beal of Postino in Lafayette and
Tomatina. They have taken over the former La Table space, in a building
that originally housed a car garage in the '30s-'40s.
The architect/designer is Greg Klosowski of Ellipsis a+d, who worked
with Jim Zack of zack/devito on Manresa and Gordon's House
of Fine Eats. Spruce's soaring ceiling features a glass skylight
that runs through the center and is dramatic to say the least (you
can take a peek at the project here).
There will also be 30-foot antique brick walls, white Carrera-marble
countertops, plus chocolate brown mohair and ebonized walnut. There
will even be a dedicated aging room in the kitchen that is temperature-controlled
for charcuterie and cheeses.
Sullivan, from the Village Pub, will be the Executive Chef. Expect
a menu of contemporary American/Californian cuisine, with the requisite
Mediterranean flair. There will be an array of charcuterie, from
salumi to pâté to headcheese, and ingredients will
feature produce from SMIP Ranch, the restaurant's 17-acre
organic farm on an estate in Woodside. Expect a continued commitment
to incredible wine service—every waiter of the Village Pub
is certified through the introductory level course through the Court
of Master Sommeliers—and they will continue to do so at Spruce.
They will also have about 1,000-plus wine selections, all stored
at varying temperatures appropriate for the wine. 3640 Sacramento
St., at Spruce St.
is also another ~BIG PROJECT~ in the works for
SF through Bacchus Management Group, but all I can say is the word
is mum for a little bit longer until things are tightened up. I'll
keep ya posted. (Naturally!)
barely two months of service, the restaurant that moved into the
Habana space on Van Ness, ~LA JOYA~, has closed.
a brighter note, I was pedaling my bike by the ~WOODHOUSE
FISH COMPANY~ last week and am happy to report it's
open! It looks like a classic East Coast fish shack/diner, and the
succinct menu (check it out on their website) looks beyond fish-a-licious,
with fried oysters and Ipswich clams (!), seafood cocktail, stuffed
artichoke or avocado, seafood salads, chowder, cracked crab and
lobster, and Anchor Steam and Sierra Nevada on tap. I'll let
you know once I've checked it out. The owner is Dylan Woodhouse
MacNiven, the son of Jamis MacNiven of the cult-like Buck's of Woodside.
Open for dinner nightly, and hopefully lunch soon. 2073 Market St.,
at 14th St., 415-437-2722.
former home of Watergate and Le Bistrot on Nob Hill is now ~SPARROW~
from Steve Javellana. The space was remodeled and opened a little
over a week ago, serving contemporary cuisine with French-Asian
influences. The executive chef is Terry Lynch, and I have to say,
the menu looks rather tasty and is posted on the mighty-cute website.
Open nightly for dinner. Valet parking is $9 at the Gramercy Towers
parking lot (on Jones Street). 1177 California St., at Jones St.,
Monday was ~CAFFE
TRIESTE'S~ first day open in their new location
on Market Street, and this year marks their 50th year in business!
The café features a seaside mural, a long espresso bar, and
indoor seating. It will be open all day, offering traditional café
fare like breakfast treats, quiches, soup, salads, panini, and the
like. (And, of course, their delicious coffee.) They should have
their outdoor seating set up in a couple weeks. Mon-Fri, opening
at 6:30am, and Sat-Sun at 7am. Open until 10pm Sun-Thu, and 11pm
Fri-Sat. 1667 Market St., at Gough St., 415-551-1000.
the Marina, Cozmo's Corner Grill is closing (potentially at
the end of June) and getting a massive facelift from the talented
designer Michael Brennan (Boca, Cortez, Tartare), reopening as ~CIRCA~
in August or so. Executive Chef Erik Hopfinger (Butterfly, Backflip,
Spoon) is building a menu of small and shared plates that will offer
a modern interpretation of classic dishes, and will highlight more
of his classic French training. Dishes will range from $4-$19, and
will include numbers like Dungeness Crab Tater Tots and Moroccan
Spiced "Lolly Chops." Mark Bright will be the consulting
sommelier (past consultations include DOSA and Oola), crafting a
wine list that will spotlight unique wines and small producers not
easily found elsewhere, with a strong Cali presence. The 112-seat
space includes a bar, lounge, and dining area, and will be significantly
swankified, with cushioned walls, long chandeliers, plush booths,
and light boxes. 2001 Chestnut St., at Fillmore St., 415-351-0175.
now, for the big daddy: the ~WESTFIELD
SAN FRANCISCO CENTRE~, opening September 28. I wrote
up some of the initial restaurants moving in there a few weeks back,
but here's the official list of the seven full-service restaurants
that will comprise the signature Restaurant Collection:
Ogden and restaurateur Michael Dellar, principals of the Lark
Creek Restaurant Group are opening ~LARK CREEK STEAK~,
featuring steaks, chops, and seafood on the Centre's fourth
floor, under the famed Dome that was formerly in the Emporium.
hurrah, Tom Colicchio will be importing ~'WICHCRAFT~
from NYC. We're talking sandwiches from heaven, people, made
with ingredients from small producers and greenmarkets, and antibiotic-
and hormone-free meats. You'll be able to eat-in, or take-out,
plus there will be delivery (ruh roh) and catering options.
will be an outpost of Charles Phan's ~OUT THE DOOR~
will be another import from the East Coast: Jeffrey Kalt's
with foods prepared a la minute, exhibition style, as the guest
looks on. There will be individual serving stations with foods from
around the world, along with salads and sandwiches.
folks behind Colibri
Sylvia and Eduardo Rallo, along with their group's executive
chef, Alex Padilla and Chef Rocio Gomez (the former Mexican Presidential
chef), will present ~ZAZIL~, an upscale Coastal
Mexican restaurant serving seafood specialties in a stylish environment.
Yeo will be moving his Singaporean/fusion ~STRAITS
RESTAURANT~ from Geary Street, and reopening it in
the Centre, with a raw oyster bar, and a full bar with premium sake
and a selective wine list. The Geary Street location closes in July.
but not least, ~COCOLA BAKERY~, "the Gucci
of French patisserie," will be opening its first San Francisco
location. The authentic French bakery and café is famed for
its homemade breads, high-end pastries, and soups.
will also be the ~DOME CAFÉ~, situated beneath
the historic dome and rotunda. Then there's the ~FOOD EMPORIUM~,
which includes the gourmet market Bristol Farms, and an additional
15 fast-casual gourmet eateries in an upscale dining environment:
food is served on real china with real cutlery. Bloomingdale's is
coming, plus the flagship Century Theatres, with nine wall-to-wall
screens and stadium seating, and a Burke Williams Day Spa and Massage
Center. Whew. I'm tired.