Looking for somewhere new to eat? Here’s your monthly cheat sheet of five brand-new places that recently opened around town.
Chef Traci Des Jardins is one busy lady this summer and fall—fresh on the heels of opening The Commissary in the Presidio comes her next restaurant, this one in the landmark Presidio Officers’ Club. Look for soulful Mexican dishes with some Cali flair here (Des Jardins is paying homage to her abuelita with Arguello) and there’s even a comal where handmade tortillas will be griddled. Lunch and dinner are served, and the outdoor patio (which also has heat lamps and a fire pit) is gonna be a hit. The full bar, manned by Enrique Sanchez (La Mar), has over 50 tequilas to get you feeling good.
50 Moraga Ave. (at Arguello), 415-561-3650
We are really spoiled in this town, you know? Here’s yet another example: The wicked-talented Mark Bright (Saison, Vinyl, Bright Wine Fund) has opened his pet project, an all-day cafe and wine bar that is gratuitously good (and open 8am–12am daily!). If you even remotely love wine, or just want to learn more about it, this place is your jam—there’s a fantastic selection you can taste (Burgundy galore), with a retail component too. Look for classes, guest winemaker visits, and more. In the kitchen is Shawn Gawle, previously the pastry chef at Saison, who also has mad savory skills. Dishes like a perfect frisée aux lardons and Parisienne gnocchi gratinée with Comté can be yours, plus breakfast dishes, to-go sandwiches, and sweets, like Humphry Slocombe ice cream sundaes. But even if you just need a coffee, there’s that too.
234 Townsend (at 3rd Street), 415-795-1422
Is it mean to talk about a restaurant at which you can’t get a table? Well, you can sign up for the mailing list to see if you can score a seat to this much-buzzed-about project when the next block of tickets is released. Chef-owner David Barzelay got his start at underground suppers that he was hosting out of his home, and now he has moved into a permanent space: the former Hi Lo in the Mission. There are two 22-foot elm tables, and 20 diners sit communally at each table at two seatings every night at 6:15pm and 8:15pm. You can expect around 11 courses of Modern American dishes for $120; there are also beverage pairings (there’s a full bar) for $50. Barzelay has assembled quite a team, which includes pastry chef Maya Erickson (previously at AQ), sommelier Marie-Louise Friedland (previously at Quince) and bar manager Brandon Presbury (Bartlett Hall, Locanda).
Dinner served Thu-Mon. 3416 19th Street (at Valencia), 415-874-9921
Marlowe is back, bigger and snazzier than ever in its new home at the former Coco500 location in SoMa. The light-filled space is full of clean tile and a crisp bistro-meets-butcher shop look by Ken Fulk. Bonus: they created a new enclosed patio (which is where you’ll want to sit for lunch) and there’s a full bar too. Jennifer Puccio’s menu got tweaked a bit, featuring new bar bites like English pea pancakes with smoked salmon and chive crème fraîche. Emily Luchetti is now the pastry chef for the Big Night restaurant group (Marlowe, Park Tavern, and the Cavalier), so expect good things. Lunch is served during the week, and Marlowe is open nightly for dinner—brunch is coming soon!
500 Brannan at 4th Street, 415-777-1413
This adorable wine bar and shop in Russian Hill has become quite the busy neighborhood hangout in just a couple weeks since it opened. Melissa Gugni and Jay Esopenko of North Beach’s Little Vine are behind this 30-seat spot, where you can plunk down on a barstool for some well-selected wines, and the meat and cheese platters extend far beyond the usual: the salumi is house-cured, and their cheese director selected over 100 cheeses (this is what happens when you hire the former buyer from The Cheese School of SF). You can also enjoy bubbles and oysters, salads, sandwiches, and there are plenty of items to bring home too—check out the stocked shelves.
Hours: Mon–Sat 5pm–11pm, and Sun 12pm–8pm. 1945 Hyde (at Union), 415-272-7567.