Things are getting close for FOG CITY, the reinvented concept opening in the former (and iconic) Fog City Diner. Come mid-September, you’ll be able to check out the brand-spanking-new 145-seat digs from chef-owner Bruce Hill (Bix, Picco, Pizzeria Picco, and Zero Zero) and founders Bill Higgins and Bill Upson (of Real Restaurants)—the place hadn’t been updated since it opened in 1985, so expect some ch-ch-changes.
tablehopper has the first look at the menu—Hill is calling the style San Franciscan cuisine, with a strong focus on items coming off the monster wood-fired grill, like a wood-grilled tomato soup ($6), mesquite-grilled local albacore ($26) or lamb skewers ($24), and grilled beef tongue ($17). Of course there will be a burger ($14), made with Bruce Hill’s special technique, which uses his patented Chef’s Press. There’s a wood oven that will also be blazing full time, cooking up clams and chicken. Erik Lowe, who was the chef at Bix the past five years, will be the chef at Fog City.
Hill and Lowe source ingredients that are tops in quality and seasonality, so look for a lot of seasonal salads and well-sourced proteins, from local halibut crudo ($14) to the grilled Brandt Beef rib-eye ($44). Many items are housemade, from the hamburger buns to the American cheese (even the hot sauce on the chilled oysters is barrel-aged). The menu is designed to share, and also has a variety of snacks (all $6), like deviled eggs and long beans in a beer batter. I’m also fired up to try the desserts by Aaron Toensing, which will include a “frozen custard” (using Straus Family Creamery milk) and French crullers made fresh to order.
The cocktail menu will include some classics (Bloody Mary, Irish coffee), plus newer-school creations, like barrel-aged and on-tap cocktails. Look for primarily local wines on the 16 taps, plus 7 beer taps.
The 4,334-square-foot space has been completely redone by architect Michael Guthrie, and is now much more open, with a V-shaped onyx-hued bar that seats 30 and an open kitchen. There will also be outdoor seating along Battery Street. The official opening party for Fog City (slated for mid-September) will be a fundraiser for Raphael House; the date, tickets, and details will be announced soon. Follow Fog City on Twitter: @Fog_CitySF. 1300 Battery St. at The Embarcadero, 415-982-2000.
Rendering of the front of Fog City by Michael Guthrie and Company. (Note: the outdoor seating configuration is not final.)