Food writer Virginia Miller introduces her new weekly column in the Guardian -- and gives us her favorite restaurant openings of the year
Hot Sauce and Panko 1545 Clement, SF. (415) 387-1908, www.hotsauceandpanko.com. With an impressive array of hot sauces from around the world, addictive chicken wings in a crazy range of sauces (tequila-chipotle-raspberry jam!), this quirky take-out also has a hilarious blog.
Mission Cheese 736 Valencia, SF. www.missioncheese.net. Mission Cheese serves not only lush cheeses and wines, but some of the best grilled cheese sandwiches around in a chic cafe setting.
Bar Tartine 561 Valencia, SF. (415) 487-1600, www.bartartine.com. Though not a new opening, I refer to the complete revamp and Eastern European-influenced menu under chef Nick Balla that happened this year. Unusual dishes, Hungarian and beyond, and Balla's impeccable technique make this menu unlike any other.
Boxing Room 399 Grove, SF. (415) 430-6590, www.boxingroomsf.com. It's refreshing to get some New Orleans breezes in SF from a Louisiana chef making his own Creole cream cheese and frying up fresh alligator.
Nojo 231 Franklin, SF. (415) 896-4587, www.nojosf.com. We've had a glut of izakayas open over the past few years, but this one stands above in warm, hip atmosphere and consistently delightful food.
Park Tavern 1652 Stockton, SF. (415) 989-7300, www.parktavernsf.com. From the owners of Marlowe, this immediately feels like the buzzing destination restaurant of Washington Square Park for satisfying American food with gourmet edge.
Jasper's Corner Tap 401 Taylor, SF. (415) 775-7979, www.jasperscornertap.com. All things to all people: comfortable meet-up spot with perfect cocktails, craft beers and wines aplenty, and the food is consistently heartwarming.