Foodie Updates: Saison Wine Bar Spinoff, New Restaurant in Dogpatch, and More


In this week’s food-world headlines, we have the big update of Michael Bauer’s Top 100 restaurants, a spinoff wine bar and retail shop coming from Saison partner/wine director Mark Bright, and a huge new restaurant and distillery concept coming to Dogpatch from a Portland restaurateur.

First up, Michael Bauer’s 2014 update of his Top 100 restaurants in the Bay Area was released online today (for digital subscribers only), and will appear in Sunday’s print edition of the Chronicle. In total, 20 restaurants were added, including notable newcomers The Cavalier, Coqueta, Sir and Star, and Tosca Cafe, two-year-old Maven, and four-year-old Wayfare Tavern. Bar Agricole and Range get re-added to the list after both dropping off of it in 2013. And among the notable cuts are longtime Top 100 stalwarts Michael Mina, Farallon, Waterbar, and Spruce. Kitchens and restaurateurs across the Bay Area are either high-fiving or putting their heads in their hands right now. [Inside Scoop, Chron, SFist]

In SoMa, Saison partner and wine director Mark Bright is plotting a new cafe and wine bar concept, with a wine retail shop component, near the restaurant at 234 Townsend — a space that was previously home to Gluten Free Grocery. It still does not have a name, but he’s saying the concept will be vaguely along the lines of Arlequin in Hayes Valley, with a casual, all-menu including morning coffee, and an attached wine shop and bar. He’s a fan of French and French-style wines, and says Burgundy will be a big a focus. Bright previously launched a short-lived wine bar pop-up bar called Dcantr in the Stable Cafe space, with food from the Saison kitchen, but that project turned out to be infeasible. Look for this to open possibly by summer. [SF Gate]

Mid-Market this week brought word that Top Chef Masters contestant and the only man to win a Michelin star for an Indian restaurant in America, Suvir Saran, has named his forthcoming restaurant in the NEMA building: American Masala (14 10th Street). He tells the Chron, “We say that masala in India is not just spice," says Saran. "It's also the extra that you bring to life.” The restaurant, he has said, will feature “the food of the planet, through my Indian eyes,” and it’s expected to open this fall. [Chron]

Approximately a year from now, look for a huge new restaurant, event space, and distillery to be making its debut in Dogpatch at 19th and Third. The unnamed project comes from Portland restaurateur Kurt Huffman, the man behind Ox, Block & Tackle, Oven & Shaker, and multiple other restaurants there, as well as Seattle steakhouse Miller’s Guild. Huffman tells Eater that the new, 12,000-square-foot project in a former boiler factory will feature a 400-500 person event space with catering by Bi-Rite, and a 100-seat restaurant, with a casual concept that’s still TBD —  maybe a “re-examined steakhouse,” maybe something along the lines of Nopa. Also, there will be a small on-site off-shoot of Napa Valley Distillery, and maybe, eventually, a rooftop bar. [Eater]

And it looks like Thomas Keller is going to be adding to his Napa Valley empire once more. He’s planning to open a Yountville ice cream shop, dubbed Bouchon Creamery, perhaps in the next year. This is still in the planning stages, however. [Inside Scoop]

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