A bunch of new projects are coming to the city, starting with ARTESANO in Laurel Heights in the former Asqew Grill space. It’s a new project from chef-partner Jeff Gambardella and owner Douglas Mathieux of neighboring Rigolo Café, which bills itself as “the most child-friendly restaurant in SF.” Their new project is casual South American comfort food. They’ll be open for both lunch and dinner, and are aiming for an approachable, comfortable vibe. Stay tuned for more details soon, like an opening date. 3415 California St. at Laurel.
Meanwhile, out in Noe Valley, we can look forward to LA NEBBIA from Massimiliano Conti and Lorella Degan of La Ciccia. The name means “the fog” (something we know well here). Scoop reports they are converting a former consignment store into a 36-seat enoteca, with a selection of cured hams and fresh cheeses on offer, plus pizza, a variety of lasagne (yes!), and of course, some great wines. While Italian wines will figure prominently, there will also be some wines from the U.S. and France. Look for a fall opening. 1781 Church St. at 30th St.
Another enoteca will be INOVINO from Claudio Villani, presently the wine director at Perbacco. I was chasing this story before I left for Coachella, but SF Magazine’s Weekly Feed got the goods while I was gone: He’ll be opening the 30-seat enoteca in the former Hama-Ko in Cole Valley. Look for wines from around the world, plus cheese and charcuterie, crudos, crostini, and more. He’s aiming for a July opening. The space will have a chic look, with a Carrara marble bar. How’s that for a lot of words beginning in “c”? And here’s two more: 108 Carl St. at Cole.
This May, MASON PACIFIC, from Jay Thomson and Shannon McTiernan Thomson, will be opening in the former Lalola space that borders Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and Chinatown. Executive chef Sean McTiernan (Rose Pistola, Delfina) will be creating a menu that is on the quality neighborhood bistro tip. Sample dishes include rabbit terrine on housemade levain with grilled lettuce and pickled mustard seed, and New York strip with pickled mushroom and a lemon-ponzu reduction. Sommelier Eric Railsback, formerly of RN74, is behind the extensive wine program. Some highlights: food-friendly wines by the glass, aged wines from Thomson’s personal collection, and a carafe program with wines made specifically by Copain. Dinner will be Tue-Sun 5:30pm-11pm. 1358 Mason St. at Pacific.
Just as I was leaving on vacation, I heard word that nearby RUE SAINT JACQUES on Jackson Street had closed and Lorenzo Logoreci (Allegro Romano) was moving in. I wasn’t able to get confirmation before I hightailed it out of town, but I returned home to some permit action, and confirmation by the Scoop. The new name is A LA ROMANA, and it will be a casual enoteca and pizzeria. Look for an opening in a couple of months. 1098 Jackson St. at Taylor.
File this under developing: some permit action points to KEZAR PIZZETTA at 775 Frederick St., the former home of NEW GANGES Indian restaurant. The new owner used to own Monterey Deli in Sunnyside, and apparently sold that business to get this one going. Am hoping the name on the permit is just temporary, because I am sure The Kezar Pub folks and Pizzetta 211 will have something to say about it. 775 Frederick St. at Arguello.
Lastly, fans of Southern California’s TENDER GREENS will be able to enjoy a location in the Financial District early this summer. Scoop mentions the chef is Sean Canavan, who was the opening chef at Bluestem Brasserie. 50 Fremont St. at Mission.
The former Lalola space. Photo from Lalola’s website.