31 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO One
of the most hotly anticipated restaurant openings of the year is
finally happening: this Thursday, August 2, ~SPRUCE~ will
be opening its doors to the rabid dining public. Let’s watch
it blow up on OpenTable! The project was beleaguered with numerous
delays (oh, we love historical buildings!), but the former auto
barn that dates back to the 1930s is quite the stunner, thanks
to Williams-Sonoma Home designer Stephen Brady. Elements include
reclaimed limestone from the floors of a French church; a library
with saddle leather chairs and newspapers, games, and antique cookbooks;
a bar with a white Carrara marble top; ebony-stained oak floors
and chocolate mohair walls; and a 70-seat dining area under cathedral
ceilings with steel trusses that crisscross under the original
glass-and-steel skylight. Executive chef Mark Sullivan’s
menu will continue the strong seasonal approach he honed at The
Village Pub in Woodside—heck, they have their own private
farm, SMIP Ranch, and we’re not talking some tiny little
backyard plot. According to the menu items listed in the press
release, I’m seeing a Cal-Med vibe, with ingredients like
farro garganelli, sweet pepper-and-eggplant ragout, and leek and
fennel soup poured tableside over creamy salt cod dumplings.
Andrew Green’s 1,000-bottle global wine list will have seventy
of them available by the glass, with more than 100 German rieslings
to accompany the house-made charcuterie. There will also be a café,
with gourmet takeaway items like artisan pastries, fresh-pressed
panini, cheese, and charcuterie by the pound. Spruce’s hours
are Mon–Fri, 11:30am–11pm, Sat–Sun 5pm–11pm.
3640 Sacramento St. at Spruce, 415-931-5100.
more note about Spruce: it seems the wickedly talented pastry
chef ~WILLIAM WERNER~, who left the Ritz-Carlton
Half Moon Bay earlier this year to join the Bacchus Management
Group (who oversees Spruce, The Village Pub in Woodside, and four
Pizza Antica locations), will be opening Spruce but will soon be
heading off elsewhere. It could be in a month, it could be six
at a juncture in his career when he is looking at all his options
and considering something major, like potentially going to Japan.
For now, it’s all TBD. Tim Stannard of Bacchus says, “I
wish we could keep him for the next 25 years!” Yeah, you
and me both, Tim. Werner has put together a reportedly incredible
list of desserts and is training some talented folks—get
ready for wow-ness.
here’s a quick update on Bacchus Management Group’s
brasserie project slated to go into the former Prego space on Union
by late fall/early winter (October is being discussed for now).
It will be called ~BRASSERIE VACHE~, a clever
homage to the Cow Hollow neighborhood (and what I am sure is going
to be a tasty steak frites). More details coming soon—they
are really focused on getting Spruce launched.
Is ~MANRESA~ poaching
all our SF talent or what? (Hell, who wouldn’t want
to work for David Kinch?) First James Syhabout left PlumpJack Cafe
and trucked on down to Los Gatos, and now it’s Kendra Baker,
who has been the pastry chef at Bar Tartine since it opened in
2005. She will begin August 3 in her new position. Who’s
next, Camber Lay? Well, we’re safe for now: Manresa doesn’t
have a full bar.
lots of restaurants are freshening up these days: one is ~JARDINIÈRE~,
which is closing on Sunday, August 19 and will reopen to the public
on Thursday, September 13, after celebrating its 10th anniversary
in business on the 12th. The main changes include converting part
of the downstairs dining room (to the left of the bar as you walk
in) into a lounge area, with low tables and new banquette seating.
Jardinière will also unveil its new lounge menu where people
can stop in for a drink and a bite to eat without a reservation—great
for symphony-goers, and hungry shoppers. Some new additions will
include Liberty Farms duck meatballs with Mission figs and Lucques
olives; pork belly sliders with romesco and candied onions; and
fried olives. Meowza. They are also adding a sommelier station
upstairs, replacing the piano, and thereby allowing the sommeliers
to offer a more elegant tableside wine service. There’s also
going to be a new sound system with different "zones" so
the downstairs bar area will have
fun/hip lounge music, while the upstairs will have more of a classic
jazz vibe. All the upholstery, carpeting, window treatments, and
bar stools will be replaced and take on a lighter and more contemporary
look, such as sheer Champagne-colored curtains and shimmery paint
on the walls, with seating and banquettes in shades of a smoky
gray/brown and olive. 300 Grove St. at Franklin, 415-861-5555.
Hayes Valley restaurant about to undergo a facelift is ~CITIZEN
CAKE~, which is
closing on August 13 to expand the dining room and bar area.
The hoped-for reopening is slated for September 1. Go construction
workers, go! 399 Grove St. at Gough, 415-861-2228.
have a design refresh in mid-August, and will include new paint,
tables, pews (seating), and upholstery. Nothing too major—the
changes will actually be done at night after service. Look for
some new menu and cocktail items in the next few months. 694 Valencia
St. at 18th, 415-553-8584.
fellow NOPA residents: after months of construction, it looks
like ~CAFÉ ABIR~ should
be reopening by August 14 or so. Like I mentioned before, new
additions will include a wine and sake selection for tasting,
and retail purchase. 1300 Fulton St. at Divisadero, 415-567-6503.
dining out, all kinds of things can roll up to your table, from
a cheese cart to a Champagne and caviar cart (a personal fave)
to a mignardise cart to a swell steak tartare cart (all aboard!).
Well, leave it to San Francisco, and the sick mind of Bruce Hill
over at ~BIX~ to
come up with the organic heirloom tomato cart. Primo tomatoes are
served with formaggio de Ferrante mozzarella and finished tableside
with extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic, basil, sea salt, and
fresh pepper. To partake in the tomato feast will put ya back $9.75
per plate. The tomato cart should be wheeling around the restaurant
until Halloween. 56 Gold St. at Pacific, 415-433-6300.
~SEASONS~ at the Four Seasons has a new restaurant
manager, Sebastien Duclos, a native of France. Duclos has over
nine years of experience spanning New York City, France, England,
Canada, and Switzerland. I spotted a Relais & Châteaux
property in his resume—top
drawer, baby. 757 Market St. at Grant, 415-633-3838.
like you non-Mission dwellers now have another spot to find homemade
salted caramel ice cream: the pastry chef at ~EOS~,
Lori Baker (yes, her real last name), is not only making some
delish flavors for guests, but they are selling to-go pints of
the stuff for $7. The seasonal sorbets at EOS have always been
popular, but Baker, who hails from Home in the Castro, started
to ramp things up with awesome ice cream flavors, like roasted
banana, mango macadamia nut brittle, Vietnamese coffee, Thai
peanut, and peanut butter red miso. The milk they use is hormone-free
milk from Clover. I am so ready to head over for their current
Arctic Star peach sorbet. 901 Cole St. at Carl, 415-566-3063.
of peaches, executive chef Stuart Brioza and pastry chef Nicole Krasinski
of Rubicon have
something pretty peachy coming up. They have been working with David
'Mas' Masumoto for three summers
now, picking peaches from the Elberta peach tree that they've adopted
on his farm. This year, they will be running a five-course ~“GIVE
PEACH A CHANCE"~ tasting menu, featuring peaches from
their tree (along with other Masumoto peaches). The special menu
will run from Thursday, August 2 through Saturday, August 11—it’s
available to anyone who dines at Rubicon, all you have to do is make
a reservation. There will also be a special wine pairing with
the menu (including a fresh peach Bellini, of course). In addition,
Mas Masumoto will be at Rubicon for a special peach dinner on Tuesday,
August 7. That night he will work the room, discussing peaches, organic
peach farming and all things peachy with anyone who orders the tasting
menu. He will also be signing copies of his books, which will
be available for sale. The menu is $78.00 for five courses. 558
Sacramento St., between Sansome and Montgomery, 415-434-4100.
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