Maybe you spent those couple of rainy nights this week huddled at home, or maybe you returned to your favorite, most comforting neighborhood haunts for familiar meals. In any event, here's what's been happening in the restaurant scene while you were hiding out.
Over in the Marina, little southern-French bistro Castagna (2015 Chestnut Street) reopened this week after a year-long closure caused by an electrical fire. As Eater reports, they'll be open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday, and they'll be doing weekend brunch that may be the latest on record in the city, from 10:30 a.m. until 5:00p.m. New menus are online here. [Eater]
Another notable item this week was Michael Bauer's blistering update review of Mission Chinese Food, which will clearly not be returning to the Chronicle's Top 100 this year when the list gets revised next month. In truth, Bauer was never a huge fan of chef Danny Bowien's scrappy Chinese-American experiment inside dumpy Lung Shan on Mission Street, reluctantly giving it three stars for food in 2012 (and two stars overall) only after Bowien had received national acclaim and opened a second, wildly popular branch in New York. Bowien won the James Beard Award for Rising Star chef in 2013 among other honors, and lives in New York now, but the restaurant had seemed in pretty good hands under sous chef Jesse Koide. (I'll say that while I always find one or two good dishes there, I've never been thrilled enough to wait an hour to eat. Ever.) Now, though, Bauer says "dish after dish misses the mark," and it loses half a star overall, to be a dismal one and a half overall. And yet, there's still a crazy line every night, and there likely will continue to be. [Chron]
In other high-profile, controversial news, State Bird Provisions, which just last week made the switch from Urbanspoon to OpenTable for their online reservation system, ended up having to disappoint hundreds of customers who snapped up reservations for tables which should not have been available in the system. Due to a snafu, tables that are set-aside for walk-ins – who dutifully line up every night – were made available on OpenTable, and the restaurant then had to email all these people to tell them their reservations were getting cancelled, but could be moved to a date months in the future. [Inside Scoop]
And finally, SPQR executive chef Matthew Accarrino was named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs for 2014. The annual class of ten has become a prestigious honor for early- and mid-career chefs, and to qualify you just have to have run your own restaurant kitchen for fewer than five years. The chefs will all be featured in profiles, along with signature recipes, in the July issue of F&W. On Monday we'll be catching up with Accarrino, and looking at where some previous Bay Area honorees are now. [Food & Wine]