The Rulli team is going to be expanding their presence at Union Square with BANCARELLA, a “little brother” to their Marina restaurant, Ristobar. Bancarella is opening (hopefully on Monday December 17th) in the Powell Street Pavilion on top of Union Square at Geary and Powell, directly across from St. Francis Hotel (the space is shared with TIX Bay Area). Ristobar’s chef, Michele Belotti, is developing the menu for Bancarella, which will feature an array of items, including a breakfast pastry selection (say buongiorno to spiced apple brioche). There’s a gleaming, white La Marzocco La Strada espresso machine, which will be dispensing shots of Gary Rulli’s special Bancarella espresso blend, plus a stainless steel machine from Italy that will be preparing the traditional Italian hot chocolate. Barolo by the glass, check. Some of the savory items that Belotti is preparing include tuna tartare with avocado, lasagna, Fontina fondue, panini, salads, cheese and salumi plates, and small plates like crescenza cheese-stuffed sweet-spicy peppers and warm Castelvetrano olives.
The space includes a Milanese-style pastry case, as well as a glass-enclosed patio where people will be able to enjoy beer or wine while watching the cable cars go by Union Square. And how handy: Bancarella will also be a holiday pickup store for their seasonal and traditional panettones. Hours to start will be daily 7am-10pm. Union Square (Geary St. at Powell), 415-924-7478.
Opening Friday December 12th in Dogpatch is LA FROMAGERIE, a cheese shop from Ruben Donze (of Bouvet, which features hardware imported from France), who is collaborating with Romain Marseille. Donze has been in the AIC building for nine years, and he has converted part of his shop’s warehouse space to host this cheese shop. (The French Alps native knows how badly the neighborhood could use some quality cheeses.) He’s going to be stocking more than 50 cheeses, which will mostly be French, plus some cheeses from Spain, Italy, and the U.S. He mentioned how he really wants to encourage sampling (love that). There will also be charcuterie, like rillettes and pâté, plus bread from Firebrand and other gourmet products, including pastas and sauces, and some frozen items, like petit fours from White Toque. Hours will be Tue-Sat 11am-7pm. 2425 3rd St. (between 20th and 22nd streets).
On the exterior patio area. Photo from Bancarella.