This week in restaurant and bar happenings around town, we bring you news of the new Bar Agricole spinoff Trou Normand, a new chef back at Bar Agricole, a new Mexican brunch option, and news about the replacement concept at Fifth Floor, arriving in May.
First up, the new cocktail- and charcuterie-centric bar-restaurant from the Bar Agricole team, Trou Normand, debuts Monday, March 17, in one of the ground-floor spaces of the Yelp building, a.k.a. 140 New Montgomery. The tall, narrow, brick-lined space has already earned some comparisons to New York venues, and you can expect some top-notch cocktail offerings as well as an extensive brandy, Armagnac, and Calvados selection – barman/owner Thad Vogler has spent some time in Europe sourcing some extra-special, small-production brandies straight from the producers. (The term "trou Normand" refers to the tradition of taking a shot of brandy or Calvados to settle the stomach between courses in Northern France and Normandy). Chef and former Bar Agricole butcher Salvatore Cracco will be offering between 20 and 40 house-made salumi and charcuterie items on any given night, as well as a full dinner menu that's yet to be released.
Meanwhile, over at Bar Agricole this week brought the announcement that former Camino sous chef Melissa Reitz has been named chef-partner at the SoMa restaurant. Reitz replaces Reina Talanoa who had been promoted from sous chef after the departure of opening chef Brandon Jew early last year. Reitz most recently earned some raves at Bantam in Santa Cruz, and she's taking the menu (which debuted Thursday night) in a more communal, snack-y, and cocktail-friendly direction. [Inside Scoop]
Ever-popular Mexican spot The Little Chihuahua, with locations now on Divisadero, Valencia, and in Noe Valley, is launching brunch this weekend at all three of its locations. Expect dishes like Mexican "French toast" (made with tortillas), stacked enchiladas, chilaquiles, and breakfast tacos filled with scrambled eggs. See the full menu here. [Tablehopper]
And finally, the biggest news this week is the rebranding of the former Fifth Floor as Dirty Habit. The Kimpton Restaurant Group just released details of the redo following Fifth Floor's previously reported closure in January, and they're definitely aiming for a complete overhaul. There will, as previously discussed, now be an outdoor patio space in the previously empty courtyard outside the windows, but the vibe is going to be more sultry and edgy, they're saying, like a secret hideout. There will be a sit-down, restaurant component as well, with small plates from Fifth Floor chef David Bazirgan and desserts from acclaimed pastry chef Francis Ang, but cocktails will be more of the focus, with bar manager Brian Means promising some tableside flourishes and "interactive cocktails." Stay tuned for more details before the May opening.