|OCTOBER 9, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO I have been waiting on this one for months, and now I can talk
about it! In the historic 1250 Jones building, ~LE CLUB~ returns
to its roost—it was most recently C&L Steakhouse, and
before that, Charles Nob Hill. Gina Milano (Bambuddha) and movie
producer Todd Traina are opening this reservations-only restaurant
and lounge, priming it as a discreet and glam locale inspired by
a classic British members club, where guests can dine, drink, and
even play games—board games, that is. Or cards. Or chess,
whatever your pleasure. There is a green onyx bar, light blue onyx
tabletops, and custom furnishings. Here’s a swank detail:
both valet and town car service will be offered. The menu is described
as seasonal continental cuisine, with dishes like fondue and caviar,
available until 1am, and both classic and original cocktails will
on the drink menu. You know this place is going to become holiday
party central. Look for an early November opening. 1250 Jones St.
at Clay, 415-9LE-CLUB.
know the lower Nob Hill neighborhood has been mourning the impending
closure of the John Barleycorn, and then sweet Ahmed closed the ~RED
DOOR CAFÉ~ last weekend (he will eternally have
a spot in my heart for telling me I laugh like a sailor). Moving
into its place is ~OLÈA~,
a casual space serving Cal-Med eats for lunch and dinner, and weekend
brunch. The name comes from the scientific name for the olive tree
(and for the record, it’s not related to the Portland restaurant
with the same name, or Olean, or Olestra, ha ha). The restaurant is slated to open October 23, and the chef/owner is Gabriel Amaya from Guadalajara, working with his business partner, Glen Bolosan, who will be handling the front of house. 1494 California St. at Hyde, 415-202-8521.
into the Bistro 1689 space will be ~CLAY OVEN INDIAN
CUISINE~, the fifth location of the India
family of restaurants. The menu is northern Indian/Punjabi style.
The soft opening is slated for the 17th, and the grand opening
party will be on the 27th, with drinks and dhol, Indian-style
drumming (not to be confused with daal, dearie). There’s
room for 50, and there will soon be a spacious upstairs area
with room for 40, and a back patio with seating in the next month
or so. 1689 Church St. at 29th, 415-826-2400.
The restaurant Vignette in the Orchard Hotel is now ~DAFFODIL~.
Executive chef Russell Rummer of Roots
Restaurant in the Orchard Garden Hotel, a sister hotel, is now the executive
chef of both restaurants. Daffodil’s concept will be a contemporary
Euro small plates menu highlighting local ingredients, designed
to pair with wines from around the world. Open for dinner Mon–Sun
5pm–10pm. 665 Bush St. at Powell, 415-956-2972.
mystery developments along the Valencia corridor: I’ve
heard word of a new Afghani or Iranian food venture, ~ZAYTOON~ (?),
that will open in the old Bistro Annex space. Anyone have more
deets? Drop me a line! 1136 Valencia St. at 23rd.
heard word that a café will open in the old ~ADS
HATS~ location at 758 Valencia at 19th Street. Anyone
know what’s the word?
RESTAURANT & LOUNGE~,
the new place I mentioned a few months ago that was moving into
the Sake Lab space, is plugging along for an opening at the end
of the month (October 27 for now). The menu is based on classic
American comfort food favorites, including “have it your
way” burgers (you can choose from eight kinds of meat—since
Ola Fendert is the chef consultant, I expect the burger to be delish),
plus some dishes like braised short ribs, pappardelle, sea bass
with chorizo, and natch, some charcuterie. Executive Chef Ivan
Tam, formerly of Pres a Vi, will be overseeing the kitchen. Cocktails
in effect, and Mark Bright has picked out the wines. There is a
lounge with leather couches and low tables, and a dining area,
all with a modern look and vibe. Dinner nightly 5pm–2am.
(Yes, late night eats in North Beach besides Golden Boy and pasta.)
498 Broadway St. at Kearny, 415-576-1118.
Okay, this made me laugh. So we have Horizons opening up, and
just down the street, ~ZEBRA LOUNGE~ at 447 Broadway
is now ~CLUB LATITUDE~. Discuss.
One of my fave local pastry chefs, the talented ~CHONA
PIUMARTA~, is leaving LarkCreekSteak and is off to be
the executive pastry chef at Slanted Door. Congrats! Her last
day at LCS is October 17.
wharf watch for you: Chic’s Seafood Restaurant (looooooved
that name) on Pier 39 is now ~FOG
HARBOR FISH HOUSE~,
offering diners a “quintessential
San Francisco waterfront seafood dining experience.” (Does
this include snapping rogue seals?) The restaurant comes from the
original developers of Pier 39, the SIMCO Restaurant Group. In addition
to the views, there is a fireplace, waterfall, full bar, live
lobster tank, and a menu with classics like cioppino, chowder,
and sourdough bread, plus hand-filleted fresh fish. One thing:
beware the sappy piano music on the website—consider yourself
warned. Open daily 11am–11pm. Pier 39, 415-421-2442.
The ~INTERCONTINENTAL MARK HOPKINS SAN FRANCISCO~ has a new executive chef, Christophe Depuischaffray (and I thought
my last name was challenging). According to the press release,
he’s “a seasoned veteran with over 23 years in the
hospitality industry… [and is] a native of France [who]
started his culinary career in Corsica, France and has worked in
hotels spanning the world, including Europe, Egypt, Asia, and the
Americas. Prior to joining the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, Christophe
was at the Hotel InterContinental Madrid in Spain where he was
Executive Chef for over three years.” 999 California St.
Bread alert: ~BOULANGE
DE HAYES~ finally
opens tomorrow. 7am. Be there. Or be sleeping in bed. 500 Hayes
St. at Octavia, 415-863-3376.
we’re on carb patrol, over in the Castro, moving into
the former Philz space on 18th Street and what then became the
short-lived “Bean Here, Brew That” café (short
sidebar: why do so many cafes and Laundromats use puns for their
names? What is up with that?) there is going to be a bread shop
called ~URBAN BREAD~. More details on that when
the owner gets back to me. 3901 18th St. at Sanchez.
Joining the ranks of brunch spots on Upper Polk, ~BAR
JOHNNY~, formerly Tablespoon, is now serving weekend
brunch. The “brunch bite” dishes include an onion
frittata ($6), a French toast sandwich with goat cheese and fig
($7), and a variety of salads ($7). Of course there’s a
burger ($9) and some recovery cocktails. Brunch is served Sundays
11am–3pm, and will start on Saturdays on October 20. 2209
Polk St. at Vallejo, 415-268-0140.
In the lower Haight, ~BAGHDAD NIGHTS~ has
heard a couple good reports, and there is the option of belly dancers
during dinner parties if you request them in advance. Hips don’t
lie. Dinner nightly, lunch starts November 1. 682 Haight St. at
the new location of ~SULTAN~ opened at
11:30am for a lunch buffet! Dinner will be starting mid next week.
Looking forward to eating their food again. 340 O'Farrell St. at
And now, your Afghani restaurant roundup!
~HELMAND PALACE~ has
opened in its new digs on Van Ness, and the $10 lunch buffet
(Tue–Fri) is back in effect.
I know some of you were missing the pumpkin dish, just in time
for Halloween. 2424 Van Ness Ave. at Green, 415-362-0641.
Taking over the much-adored Mediterranean Spirit space is ~DE
AFGHANAN KABOB HOUSE~. Open 11am–10pm Mon–Fri,
and on the weekend until 11pm. 1303 Polk St. at Bush, 415-345-9947.
Upcoming openings and updates:
In case you were wondering what is up with ~SANGHA~—the
Japanese fusion restaurant slated to open at 678 Chenery at Diamond—there
were some snags with permits, the custom furnishings, the usual.
Look for an opening at the end of the year. Meanwhile, Ric Lopez’s
other property, ~P’TIT LAURENT~, seems to
be plugging along and pleasing the neighborhood—a tablehopper
reader told me about a killer early bird prix-fixe deal that rotates
each week: for $19.95 you get three courses, Mon–Thu 5:30pm–7pm.
699 Chenery St. at Diamond, 415-334-3235.
~FISH AND FARM~ is
now slated to open next week, not this week. Stand by.
all goes well, ~FRISEE~,
the new healthy joint I mentioned in the Castro is slated to open
on the 15th or 16th.
Hey, boozehounds, last call on signing up for the groovy mixology
class at ~CANTINA~ in conjunction with La Cocina.
Ends up I was given the wrong date: the class is next Monday, the
15th, at Cantina from 6pm–8:30pm. Duggan McDonnell (aka Shotzi)
will be walking an intimate group through proper cocktail crafting,
and some La Cocina businesses will provide some delish eats. $125
per person. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Space is limited to 20 people. All proceeds go to the programs
at La Cocina and a portion of the cost can be considered a tax-deductible
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