Restaurant Review

Lunch hour, part 2

Great new midday meals at Wise Sons, Square Meals, Seoul Patch, and New England Lobster

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Last week we covered four notable new lunch spots. This week, we round off the list with four more.

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Lunch hour

Pheasant hot pockets, beef cheek ramen, and inventive veggie fare -- your mid-day meal just found flair

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Lunch-hour quality advances around town with a slew of notable openings or recently launched lunch menus. In a two part series (click here for part two), here are some of the best new mid-day meals.

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Gitane

Gypsy-spirited Gitane continues to be the Bay's go-to for adventurous cocktails and sexy atmosphere

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE While I miss the sophisticated, out-of-the-box cocktails of former bar managers Carlo Splendorini and Alex Smith (they both continue to craft excellent drinks, Splendorini at Michael Mina, Smith at Honor Bar), I am pleased to say Gitane, one of the sexiest spots in all of SF, is still a drink-worthy location. I'd be remiss not to likewise return to the Moroccan and Spanish-influenced menu that chef Bridget Batson has been rocking for years.Read more »

Maven

Superb cocktails and eclectic, well-paired dishes at this new destination restaurant in Lower Haight

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Ice Cream Bar

Step into the Wayback Machine: this new Cole Valley spot serves a panoply of delicious soda fountain treats

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE I was born of another time. As much as I wouldn't trade the rights and access of today, I hunger for the romance, artistry, and intellectual pace of eras gone by. As a child, I grew up on classic films and whitebread shows like Father Knows Best, where youth hung out at soda fountains listening to the jukebox. Naturally, I was delighted upon hearing a retro-inspired soda fountain was opening near my home.Read more »

State Bird Provisions

Jazzy flights of fancy (and a nice play on that eponymous bird) at this innovative, eclectic Fillmore newbie 

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Baumé

We'll probably never be able to afford to eat here again, so this review -- including Alba white truffles, suckling pig, and hints of Calvados -- will just have to do.

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE There are meals that live on in memory: dioramas of conversation, heartwarming food, and that misty glow from a fine bottle of wine. Then there are those that are game-changers, the food an elaborate tapestry, weaving complex threads of creativity into an unexpected whole as impacting on the taste buds as to the eye. It borders on art.Read more »

Fresh and fancy-free

3 fantastic new thrifty dining options: Chubby Noodle, Roostertail, Galette 88

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Despite all its high-end culinary buzz, San Francisco is loaded with amazing cheap eats (as my colleague L.E. Leone has been documenting for decades for the Guardian). Here are three new places I consider worth adding to your go-to list.

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Shining season

AQ lights up SoMa with high creativity and affordable prices

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE In its opening weeks, AQ in SoMa* reminds me of lauded Commonwealth and Sons and Daughters. At all three restaurants, precision marries inventiveness — at a reasonable cost. AQ's starters are $9 or $13, while entrees are $24. After dining in cities the world and country over, I can vouch that it is rare to see this level of skill and creativity at this price.Read more »

Dishes for a winter's night

From Sonoma duck ragout to creamy chestnut soup; culinary cheer for the chills

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APPETITE As we arrive at the end of 2011, here are a few dishes of soothing comfort for a winter's night from four under-the-radar places.

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