Food-and-drink spots, deals, events and news
The Cosmopolitan on Spear Street. See "Deals" below.
As long-time San Francisco resident and writer, I'm passionate about this city and obsessed with exploring its best food-and-drink spots, deals, events and news, in every neighborhood and cuisine type. I have my own personalized itinerary service and monthly food/drink/travel newsletter, The Perfect Spot , and am thrilled to share up-to-the minute news with you from the endless goings-on in our fair city each week on SFBG. View the last Appetite installment here .
NEW RESTAURANT and BAR OPENINGS
Awesome sandwiches out of a Dogpatch garage at Kitchenette
Debuting less than two weeks ago out of warehouse in Dogpatch is Kitchenette , a project from chefs who've worked at places of such high caliber as Incanto, Chez Panisse and Foreign Cinema, creating daily offerings that are, you guessed it: fresh and seasonal. Check the website for the changing menu which usually consists of a meat and vegetarian sandwiches (occasionally pizza), a salad, fresh juice and cookie. Last week I was converted by the fabulous Bahn Mi-like sandwich of beer & tangerine roasted Berkshire pork ($8) with cilantro, jalapeno, cabbage plus a side of macaroni salad. Washed down with a tart Meyer lemon, tangerine, blood orange juice ($2), I was already planning my next visit. Bring your cash (no other option) and come early because once their daily creations of lunchtime goodness are gone, well... they're gone.
Monday-Friday, 11:30am-1:30pm or until food runs out
958 Illinois Street (in the American Industrial Center)
Fine dining made more affordable at La Folie's Lounge
San Fran's 21-year old French fine dining mecca, La Folie , may not be cheap even in lounge form, but if I don't have to pay $70 to $105 for the only option of tasting menus in the dining room, I can still make a night of it ordering a la carte in the next door lounge, opening March 31 during their 21st birthday party. You can now eat as little or as much as you wish of the Michelin-starred food given a lounge-twist (think Lobster Croque Monsieurs), cocktail in hand (note: the bar is helmed by Casper Rice of Michael Mina and Rubicon).
2316 Polk Street
Cafe Altano, a casual, new restaurant in Hayes Valley
Hayes (Valley, that is) is home to a regular foodie row with primo sushi, German food, coffee and chocolate within a couple blocks. Cafe Altano is a humble entry into to the 'hood, a corner Med-Italian eatery taking over the Modern Tea space (R.I.P.) With pizzas, pastas, mussels, paninis and beers, it sounds like a relaxing late afternoon spot to chill, sitting at the copper bar, communal or sidewalk tables.
602 Hayes Street
EAST BAY OPENING
The Old South modernized with upscale Southern food and Bourbon Room at Pican
Nothing makes me want to book a reservation more than the words "bourbon" and "Southern food" together. In a chic, Rhett Butler gentleman's space with burlap-draped chandeliers, crushed shell & limestone bar and a private Bourbon Room, is Oakland's Pican , conveniently near the Paramount Theatre . New Orleans' native, Michael LeBlanc (co-founder of Brothers Brewing Co ) debuted Pican, his first restaurant, last week for dinner (5-10pm nightly; Friday and Saturday till 11pm), with lunch (and sidewalk seating) forthcoming, on the ground floor of the new Broadway Grand building.
They had me at "She-Crab Soup", one of my favorite lush delicacies when traveling in Charleston (creamy crab soup with crab roe for deeper texture and flavor), “Southern foie gras” (pan-fried chicken livers with Benton’s incomparable bacon in a sweet onion-Marsala gravy - um... yeah!), Low Country shrimp and grits, Bourbon and molasses-lacquered duck, and peanut jalapeno coleslaw. Small plates run $6-16, entrees $17-29, so it's a date night or friends night on the town, especially when you can sip from a 96-deep bourbon list (definitely a number of rarities on board), beers, wines or cocktails. They're going for the goal of biggest Bay Area Bourbon selection with a calendar of events including Bourbon tastings, Cigar dinners, live music, art showings and Winemaker dinners. It it's all as fabulous as it sounds, I'm prepared to make good use of FasTrak across the bridge.
2295 Broadway, Oakland
April 20 - One-night-only dinner prepared by Eric Ripert at Aqua
The name Eric Ripert means something to you if a) you've seen Top Chef, where he's often guested, b) you've eaten at Manhattan's Haute French temple, Le Bernardin , or c) you love and follow great chefs nationwide. Well, Eric is here and cooking for you in a rare one night appearance at our own Aqua , so reserve now, while there's still time.
$130 not including wine pairings
252 California Street
The Cosmopolitan brings back the Martini Lunch
SoMa's classic long-timer, The Cosmopolitan , has an old school, New York vibe for power lunches and cocktails post-work (the 4-8pm Wednesday and Friday Happy Hour is now $4 for everything from Belgian beers to sliders, mini-sandwiches and champagne). They prove they mean business with a new Two Martini Lunch deal: yep, two Russian standard vodka martinis for $5. Your boss never has to know.
121 Spear Street, Suite B8
Morty's Deli for a fab Reuben and a PBR for $7
I get a touch of my East Coast NJ/NY roots when I eat a fabulous Reuben sandwich at the Tenderloin's funky fresh deli with NY attitude, Morty's . On Tuesdays you can now buy a Reuben and PBR for $7. The deals continue with Fish Fry Fridays, Spaghetti and Meatballs Thursdays, and wine specials to pair with.
Deli open Mon-Thu 8am-8pm; Fri 8am-6pm
280 Golden Gate Avenue
Hayes Valley's Samovar Tea Lounge $10 weekday Tea Lunch
Samovar  in Hayes Valley (on their Web site, they're calling it Zen Valley?) recently started a daily lunch special: soup, salad, 1/2 sandwich (either tofu or turkey) and tea (green, black or herbal) for a mere $10 - including tax!
297 Page Street