Looking for someplace new to try? Here’s your monthly reminder of five new spots that recently opened around town.
This SoMa newcomer from chef-owner Brian Fernando features a contemporary French menu that highlights Sri Lankan dishes and ingredients (like egg hoppers and mulligatawny soup with chicken conﬁt and pickled black mustard seeds); Fernando was most recently at the upscale Le Papillon in San Jose. The look is spare and contemporary, and includes a bar and communal table (always convenient for solo diners). And then there’s that wine list, which is 85 bottles strong. 1601 Howard St. at 12th St., 415-552-1601.
The Mission has a new and stylish spot for wine, beer, and small plates (we're talking more than 100 bottles of wine from all over the world to choose from). Chef Anthony Paone has constructed a menu of easy bites, like oysters with accompaniments, seasonal salads, and a changing meat sandwich, plus a good variety of domestic cheeses. The look is vintage and loungey, complete with vinyl played on a record player. 3565 20th St. at Lexington, 415-624-3140.
Michael Chiarello’s new Spanish restaurant (and his first restaurant in San Francisco) just opened with a splash on Pier 5. The open kitchen includes a custom wood-fired grill that will be put to use preparing hot tapas like grilled razor clams and duck albondigas; chef Ryan McIlwraith is also making larger family-style dishes like fideuà (vermicelli pasta cooked like paella with shrimp and lomo Iberico). Look for a rustic-chic look, and plenty of wine, sherry, and inventive cocktails to enjoy. Pier 5 at Washington St., 415-704-8866.
This cheerful spot (complete with turquoise walls and lots of sunshine) from Emily Day is already tempting neighbors with delicious baked goods made with all-natural ingredients, ranging from a perfect chocolate chip cookie to buttermilk biscuits, plus cakes, pies, and bread. You can also hang out and enjoy lunch items like sandwiches and salads, and Stumptown coffee. 1030 Hyde St. at Pine, 415-992-7620.
Now open in Hayes Valley, this moody spot with low, amber lighting lives up to its name. Come by for some choice wine and beer, and a menu that features interim chef Joanna Karlinsky’s famed Meetinghouse biscuits and chili, plus other American-style classics, like mac and cheese, tater tots, and pulled pork. (It also sounds like they’re playing Giants games on their screen, FYI.) 581 Hayes St. at Laguna, 415-431-6647.