Looking for someplace new to try? Here’s your monthly reminder of five new spots that recently opened around town.
Meet your next bad habit. This sunny, Lower Pac Haights patisserie from Belinda Leong (Gary Danko, Manresa, and numerous places in Europe) and Michel Suas (the founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute and Thorough Bread Bakery) holds many items that will tempt. The pastries are modern French in style, ranging from a lemon tart to an elegant vanilla cake with cassis, to a selection of viennoiserie, from Leong’s famed kouign-amann, to croissants, coffee cake, and scones. Whew. There are also open-face tartines made on a levain that Suas specially created for b. Patisserie, and to-go items like macarons and cheese sticks. Come hungry. 2821 California St.
A sparse presence on our local culinary landscape is Cuban cuisine, but a new addition is the second outpost of Oakland’s Caña, located in the former Circolo space in the Mission. The menu is similar to the original location, but there is now a wood-fired oven in the kitchen for cocas, or flatbreads, and other fire-roasted choices. Both lunch and dinner are served, with everything from sandwiches (including a Cubano, of course), plus empanadas, salads, and ropa vieja and lechon asado for dinner. The space is attractive, with a tropical/industrial elegance thing going on, including tall ceilings with exposed and painted ducts plus crystal chandeliers for a fun contrast. 500 Florida St.
The Castro has a brand-new restaurant with a whimsical look, including comfortable slipcovered chairs, quirky portraits of animal heads dressed like people, counter seating at an open kitchen, and some cheerful punches of color (it also seems like a good spot for a casual date). Chef-owner Jon Hearnsberger’s New American menu features a variety of salads, and entrées like pot roast, vegan shepherd’s pie, and duck breast (in a wallet-friendly move, none of the main dishes cost more than $20). There are beers on tap and quality wine selections that are also reasonably priced. 558 Castro St.
This brand-new barbecue spot in the Mission is from Maverick/Hog & Rocks founder Scott Youkilis and partners Dave Esler and Eric Rubin, with vittles by chef Ryan Ostler and drinks by Scott Beattie and Michael Lazar. The experienced team is filling the 80 or so seats at this multi-level space that has wood framing, three white oak communal tables on the main floor, and eye-catching charred cedar plank siding. Place your order at the counter in the back, but note that the menu isn’t just about traditional barbecue. Items like kale and sweet potato salad with ricotta salata keep company with a juicy half chicken off the smoker, plus St. Louis-cut spare ribs, beef brisket ($22, sold by the pound), whole grilled trout, and more. (Oh yeah, and barbecue pho.) 3416 19th St.
Owners Joshua Skenes and Mark Bright have moved their high-end restaurant from its Mission digs into a stunning location in SoMa. The historic pre-Quake building was built in 1888; the 4,000-square-foot space has 35-foot timber beams, brick walls, deep gray tones, and a very open floor plan (there are no walls containing the gleaming and top-of-the-line kitchen). There are only 18 seats, and the sole menu is a tasting menu of 18–20 courses ($248 per person, with optional wine pairings for $148). There is also a bar and lounge (by reservation only), where you can order a cocktail and if you are so inclined, there’s also a $48 tasting menu, featuring eight to ten canapés. Mark Bright’s wine list already boasts 2,000 selections, with plans to eventually grow to 5,000. Meet SF's latest destination restaurant. 178 Townsend St.