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May 10, 2011 3 min read

The Yellow Building Is the New Black

The Yellow Building Is the New Black
The view of Piccino’s dining room upon entering. Photo: ©
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And so dream projects really do come true. Opening this Wednesday May 11th is the Yellow Building, a stylish and unique collaboration in Dogpatch between Margherita Stewart-Sagan and Sheryl Rogat of ~PICCINO~, the ever-curated clothing store MAC (Modern Appealing Clothing) in Hayes Valley, and a new wine shop, DIG. I had a chance to check out the three spaces (plus Piccino’s new café) on Sunday night at a friends and family dinner, and was thrilled with it all (kudos to architectural firm Sagan Piechota).

Pass through the main entrance on the side of the 150-year-old building on Minnesota Street, and you’ll see the interior of Piccino is as sunny as the butter yellow exterior, blending natural modern, arty chic, and warm rusticity. There’s a black oak bar with room for 12 overlooking the open kitchen (the lights overhead are by Tom Dixon), and the main dining room—which will eventually seat a max capacity of 98—features beautiful cypress communal tables down the center of the room, with reclaimed black oak floors inspired by the Tate Modern (the room smells sweetly of wood). The fixtures are so choice, from the Eames stools at the bar to the dowel and metal chairs in chocolate, plus the softly glowing globes overhead from FLOS. The artwork by Suzie Buchholz and the back panel of cornflower blue also add punches of color, and I also loved the texture in the room, from the pebbled feel of the banquettes, to the smooth wood tables, to the pattern of white wood rafters overhead. I also fell in love with the spoon images by Michael Harvey (with wood spoons by Nic Webb). There is additional seating for 12 outdoors, which will be especially prized by lunchtime diners.

The menu from chef Rachel Silcocks (previously at nopa), while obviously expanded (and say hello to a new fryer!), is still very much Piccino, with an array of salads and vegetables—wait until you try the leek and sorrel fritters, and asparagus salad with a bright mint vinaigrette, both $9. There’s also a selection of homey pastas, and an expanded pizza menu, with eight in all (we tried the pisello, with English peas, lovage pesto, and buffalo mozzarella, $18). There are also a couple larger plates, like pan-seared halibut ($21) and braised lamb with favas and polenta ($19).

Desserts from Alicia Harper included a brûléed semolina budino with Burlat cherries ($7), and, of course, there’s an affogato from the coffee bar next door. Speaking of the new coffee bar, you’ll be able to order antipasti and desserts off the restaurant menu, in addition to a variety of treats baked just for the café. You can view an entire slideshow of the space (and the preview meal we had) on my Flickr page.

As for the neighbors, DIG is the wine shop from Wayne Garcia, which will highlight food-friendly wines from France and Italy that you’ll be able to try at the tasting bar. And considering the Rega turntable I saw in there, you’ll be listening to some choice vinyl as well (Wayne is quite the audiophile). And Ben and Chris Ospital of MAC will not only be tempting you with their incredible designer looks, but they are also going to be reviving Chez MAC, with home furnishings and more. DIG will be open Tue-Sun 12pm-7pm, and MAC will be open Tue-Sun 11am-7pm.

The Piccino café is now open, and hours are 7am-10pm daily; and the restaurant will be open Tue-Sun 11am-10pm, closed Monday. Piccino, 1001 Minnesota St. at 22nd St., 415-824-4224.

The view of Piccino’s dining room upon entering. Photo: ©

The center of Piccino’s dining room. Photo: ©
Spoon images by Michael Harvey (with wood spoons by Nic Webb).
The pisello pizza, with English peas, lovage pesto, and buffalo mozzarella.
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