After pestering co-owner Giancarlo Paterlini of Acquerello for weeks about gossip surrounding a second project, I can finally release the details. The Acquerello team (co-owners Giancarlo Paterlini and Suzette Gresham and wine director Gianpaolo Paterlini, Giancarlo’s son) is opening 1760 (1760 Polk Street), a more casual concept in the former Parrilla Bar and Grill space. Similar to what Quince did opening Cotogna — 1760 will be the place you can swing by for a midweek dinner and a drink, while Acquerello is designated more for special occasions.
The team has hired executive chef Adam Tortosa from Los Angeles. His background includes a four-year apprenticeship under master sushi chef Katsu-ya Uechi, and eventually becoming chef of Kiwami, Katsu-ya’s signature restaurant. Most recently, Tortosa worked for chef Michael Voltaggio at Ink. So, yes, at 1760 you can expect some stunningly sourced seafood, but the concept is Italian-inspired California cuisine.
Acquerello has been open for 23 years, with legions of committed regulars (and big fans, which I definitely am), so it will be exciting to see where son Gianpaolo takes this next iteration of the family business, considering he practically grew up in the restaurant. While the tablecloths may disappear, his service standards will assuredly remain high. Gianpaolo’s wine list will be notable, with 250 labels (European and domestic, not just Italian), and there will also be a full bar (stand by for who will be in charge). It’s a huge corner space. John Wheatman — who was behind the 2010 design refresh for Acquerello — will design the new space of 60 seats plus bar seating and a communal table. A late April opening is targeted.
Time to meet the latest waistline challenge: b. Patisserie (2821 California Street), a fabulous new addition to our city’s exploding bakery/pastry scene. The project is from Belinda Leong (Gary Danko, Manresa and numerous places in Europe), who, after holding a series of successful pop-ups, partnered with Michel Suas, founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute and Thorough Bread Bakery.
The previous Crepe & Coffee location on California Street is now such a looker — through the sunny yellow door is a curving custom-made marble pastry counter constructed by AMC Innovation in Paris. It’s capable of running different temperatures along the same level, and it’s the only pastry case of its kind in the United States. The open kitchen has gleaming, custom, floor-to-ceiling refrigerator and freezer units. In the back of the room, there is a dedicated space to make open-face tartines, like a version of flammekueche with fromage blanc, caramelized and pickled onions, bacon, and Gruyère, and another with broccoli rabe, smoked mozzarella, and tomato sauce.
The pastries are modern French in style, ranging from a lemon tart to an elegant vanilla cake with cassis to the oh-so-pretty Grande Macaron cake with rose pastry cream, plus an extraordinary chocolate caramel toffee mousse.