Here’s your monthly reminder of five brand-new places that just opened around town. Yeah, the upcoming Thanksgiving feast is coming in hot, but remember, the holiday weekend is a great time to check out a new hotspot while everyone is gone!
Anyone who loves East Coast-style sandwiches, or lived back East, or just happens to appreciate the beauty of a well-made Italian combo, you’re gonna want to get your heinie to SoMa for one of these honkin’ subs. Liza Shaw (an alum of A16 and Acquerello) is your master of sub ceremonies, and she’s making a variety of hot and cold subs, from an eggplant parm to housemade roast beef to a killer egg salad to the Arista, a drippy combo of roasted and braised pork with provolone, hot peppers, and arugula (everything comes on a custom roll from Pinkie’s Bakery). Since Shaw has quite the culinary pedigree, you can expect a local, sustainable, and seasonal twist on many of the ingredients—quality, baby. The 8-inch subs are $10–$14. And there’s good wine too, oh yeah. Hours are Mon–Sat 10am–7pm. 636 2nd St., 415-536-2991.
Looking for a new date spot? The freshly open Nico in Laurel Heights looks like a contender. It has an intimate vibe, but it’s not stuffy (no tablecloths), and there’s a small pewter bar in the front in case you are solo (or just love to dine at a bar). The menu features contemporary Cal-French cuisine, featuring local, seasonal, and foraged ingredients and modern cooking techniques (but it’s not crazy-expensive: mains run $22–$25). Nicolas and Andrea Delaroque are behind the project; French-born Nicolas has worked at Manresa, Atelier Crenn, and Coi. The wine program is of note as well—enjoy some quality Champagne, ’tis the season. 3228 Sacramento St., 415-359-1000
The former City Tavern space is no more, and taking its place is Sabrosa, a Mexican restaurant helmed by chef José Ramos, who was a founding chef at Nopalito. Ramos has built a seasonal menu around recipes from his mother, grandmother, and aunt, but with some untraditional twists. Look for home-style dishes like caldo xochitl (chicken and rice soup) with vegetables ($14), pollo a la parrilla (grilled half chicken) with chile seed pipián sauce ($20), a variety of tacos, tasty salads, and plenty of bar snacks/antojitos. Speaking of, there’s a large, 24-seat bar, and the dining room has a communal table for 12 in the center, plus there's outdoor (heated) seating. Ramos’s biz partners are Andy Wasserman, Hugo Gamboa, and Adam Snyder (of Redford and The Brixton), and San Diego barman Matt Stanton. 3200 Fillmore St., 415-638-6500.
The AQ team (Matt Semmelhack and chef Mark Liberman) have opened another Mid-Market/SoMa project, although this one is all about open-fire cooking, which includes smoking (like cured wild salmon), rotisserie, and hearth-baking methods for both meats and vegetables, plus there are some raw picks on the menu too. TBD has 50 seats (there’s also a kitchen counter and communal table), with a fun, camping-inspired/woodsy look to it (think wool blankets, taxidermy, and red lanterns). While there isn’t full liquor, bar manager Tim Zohn has concocted a very clever list of low-alcohol cocktails, plus there are more than 20 beers on tap (and a fab wine list by Kristen Capella). 1077 Mission St., 415-431-1826.
Russian Hill has a new neighborhood restaurant in the former Luella. The look is a bit rustic and spare (it feels like a cousin to Rich Table), with a popular wine bar up front (with 11 coveted seats). The Cal-American menu from chef Jason Halverson (previously Michael Mina) includes a stellar sunchoke soup and squid ink conchiglie pasta ($12–$16), and mains like duck breast ($16–$29), plus there’s a burger for $16. The team includes GM Ryan Cole (also an alum of the Mina Group), plus Jason Kirmse and Cyrick Hia (Fat Angel), and front-of-house and operations partner Tai Ricci, formerly of SPQR and Michael Mina. You’ll want to check out the awesome beer list (again, Fat Angel is behind it), and the wine selections are also very appealing and well-priced. Look for the bright yellow exterior on these upcoming rainy nights. 1896 Hyde St., 415-796-2901.