Opening this evening for dinner service is WAXMAN’S, the new Ghirardelli Square restaurant from chef Jonathan Waxman and partner Howard Greenstone. Their partnership, the Waxstone Group, also owns and operates NYC’s Jams, Nashville’s Adele’s and Bajo Sexto Taco and the forthcoming Bajo Sexto Taco Lounge, and Atlanta’s Brezza Cucina. But now Waxman, who was born and raised in Berkeley, is opening his first San Francisco restaurant.
The executive chef is David Suarez, and the market-fresh menu includes ingredient-driven pastas, wood-roasted vegetables, meats and fish, plus fresh salads. Dishes include baked Hammersley oysters with onion confit and brown butter; petrale sole crudo with avocado and orange salad; pea purée on toast; and charcoal-grilled market vegetables with Meyer lemon mayo. Pastas like spaghetti carbonara and risotto di mare with mussels, squid, and Dungeness crab will be served, plus entrées like wood-roasted steelhead with Treviso and romesco salsa and Jonathan’s signature JW chicken with salsa verde (yay).
David Lynch (previously St. Vincent) is behind the wine list, with new- and old-world selections, and around 20 wines by the glass. Patrick Poelvoorde has put together a list of handcrafted cocktails that will change with the seasons.
The 6,500-square-foot former warehouse has been given quite the restoration and transformation by Boor Bridges Architecture. Historic features include 130-year-old Douglas fir columns, original brick walls from the 1890s, double-height ceilings, two atriums, and expansive windows.
The dining room has 110 seats, with walnut tables and Thonet chairs, while the 75-seat café has cypress wood tables and Fermob chairs, plus there are 60 seats on the outdoor patio. There are two walnut bars seating 20, plus bentwood barstools, a communal table made out of reclaimed redwood logs that seats 10, and an oversized cypress and redwood service table that sits in the center of the restaurant. It makes sense that Evan Shively was involved when you hear about all the wood pieces, which include wall-mounted medallions from a felled cypress tree and the cutout interior of a walnut burl tree root that spans nine feet in diameter.
Open Sun-Wed 5pm-10pm and Thu-Sat 5pm-11pm. Bar open daily at 4pm. 900 North Point Street #201 at Larkin, 415-636-9700.
The side dining room. Photo courtesy of Waxman’s SF.