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Five New Restaurants to Check Out This Month

The exterior of the new Fog City. Photo © Drew Altizer 2013.

Looking for a new hotspot to check out? Here’s your monthly reminder of five brand-new restaurants that just opened around town.

 

Café Claude

Now up and running adjacent to the infamous “Triangle” is the swanky second location of this well-known downtown Frenchie bistro. The vintage lighting, damask wallpaper, dark wood, and burgundy leather make this an ideal date spot, or a fun location for girls’ night out. There are plenty of wines and aperitifs to get your motor running, and the menu has bites like brandade, plus larger dishes like a smoked trout salad, steak tartare, Niçoise salad, and a burger, of course. Weekend lunch is coming soon. 2120 Greenwich St. at Fillmore, 415-375-9550.

 

Fog City

This San Francisco classic is back, with a new and contemporary look, an updated menu, and fresh vibe. The 145-seat space features a huge bar (with room for 30), and some tasty cocktails, like the Inside Job with housemade orgeat. The menu from chef-owner Bruce Hill (Bix, Picco, Pizzeria Picco, and Zero Zero) and chef Erik Lowe ranges from deviled eggs with bacon (uh huh) to a bunch of vegetable dishes, plenty of seafood, and meatier picks like the grilled beef tongue, and those boys know how to make a mean burger. Dessert: it’s all about the Straus Family Creamery frozen custard and French cruellers. 1300 Battery St. at The Embarcadero, 415-982-2000.

 

Maruya

This spot literally just opened yesterday in the former Bar Bambino space in the Mission, and the room continues to have a chic look, full of wood and clean lines. It’s primarily a sushi place, under the talented knife of chef Masaki Sasaki (Kantaro, Sebo, 2G Japanese Brasserie, and Hecho). You can go for omakase for $85, or moriawase (an assortment of what’s fresh that day) for $40; the dinner menu also includes some broiled appetizers and salads, ranging from shishitos to half a lobster (that piece of tail will put you back $25). 2931 16th St. at Capp, 415-378-6667.

 

Taps Social House and Kitchen 

You like beer? Well, you have found your new spot, with 28 beers on draft (including Pine Street, Bear Republic, and Lagunitas) at this new Russian Hill hangoout. But no, that’s not all. There are also some cocktails for you, and wines on tap too. And look at that, the chef is the wicked-talented Michael Lamina (previously Leopold’s). He’s turning out a menu that’s meant to be very shareable, with a bunch of bar snacks, dishes like Scotch egg with Scotch bonnet aioli and pickled kohlrabi, gnudi with parsnip puree, and meatier large plates like wood–grilled bavette steak. It’s a big space (try 170 seats) so don’t worry about just showing up with a hunger in your belly. 1516 Broadway at Polk, 415-673-1459.

 

Tosca Café

This beloved San Francisco classic is back, and although only regulars would really notice the differences, the one big change is there is now a kitchen, serving rustic Italian-influenced dishes until 1am.  And it’s not just anyone running that kitchen—it’s the talented chef April Bloomfield (Spotted Pig), who is co-owner with Ken Friedman. The menu ranges from all kinds of bar snacks to pasta dishes, and a few larger plates to share, like roasted chicken for two. The new cocktail list features 11 excellent selections (start with the Negroni, finish with the famous house "cappuccino"). Everyone in town seems to be coming by to check out the update, so don’t be surprised by the curious crowds. 242 Columbus Ave. at Broadway, 415-986-9651.

Marcia Gagliardi is the founder of the weekly tablehopper e-column; subscribe and get more food news and gossip at tablehopper.com. Follow her on Twitter: @tablehopper.