It's time again to apprise you of the restaurant happenings around town.
First up, in mid-September, look for the re-opening of Fog City Diner as the revamped Fog City. Under the same ownership (Real Restaurant Group), the new spot has shed its diner schtick and will feature a brand new menu by executive chef Bruce Hill (Bix, Zero Zero, Picco) and chef de cuisine Erik Lowe. As Hill says in a release, the menu will be built on "and eclectic mix of everything I personally love to eat," including oysters, burgers, wood-oven-roasted chicken, wood-grilled meats, and seafood. As you may know, the original Fog City Diner opened in 1985, influencing a nationwide trend of retro-diner nostalgia, and closed in March to undergo a facelift. [7x7]
Coming this fall is TBD (1077 Mission Street), the new next-door sister restaurant of AQ, with the same executive chef, Mark Liberman. Like Fog City, the focus will be on wood-fired meats and seafood, and the decor will follow on the theme of "primal" cooking, with raw wood, camping lanterns, plaid thermoses, and taxidermy. Follow them on Facebook to get an update about the opening date. [7x7]
Up in Napa we have news of a taker for the vacant Ubuntu space, which has been dark for a year and a half now since owner Sandy Lawrence decided to shutter the acclaimed vegetarian spot for a "hiatus" that became permanent. As the Inside Scoop reports, chef Sean O'Toole (Bardessono, Quince, Hopper Creek Kitchen) is transforming it into Torc, which should open in October. And since "torc" means "wild boar" in Gaelic, you can expect there to be plenty of meat on the menu. [Inside Scoop]
And this week brought some fresh critical praise for the new Saison, which was named Bon Appetit's second Best New Restaurant in the country, even though it isn't technically "new"–it's three and a half years old, though it's only been in its new location since December. Like the New York Times' Pete Wells and SF Mag's Josh Sens before him, critic Andrew Knowlton praised Chef Joshua Skenes' food and concluded that even though it is crazy expensive, it is definitely "worth it." Expect reservations to no longer be so easy to get. [Bon App]
Pesce is now softly open in the former 2223/Jake's on Market space at 2223 Market Street. The eleven-year-old restaurant closed in its original Polk Street location earlier this month, and owners Ruggero Galdadi and Adriano Paganini–who are also partners in owning Beretta, Starbelly, and Delarosa –were training new staff this week in preparation for a Thursday opening, and they'll be operating at about half capacity until everyone is up to speed. The new location is much larger than the original at 100 seats, but features a similar, Venetian-inspired seafood menu as well as a full bar. Eater has fine photos of the space. [Castro Biscuit, Eater, Inside Scoop]