The Tablehopper

Lots of activity on Polk Street; fall is full of new openings

Ready to wear your new back-to-school outfit? You have many new restaurants to check out. One of the biggies will be Gianpaolo Paterlini’s 1760 (1760 Polk Street); the team had hoped to open in August, but all will be revealed soon. The menu from chef Adam Tortosa includes dishes like watermelon gazpacho with Dungeness crab, finger lime, and borage, and beef tartare with Marcona almonds, Thai herbs and chile. There will also be a few pastas, like squid ink linguine, uni, garlic, red pepper, and breadcrumb, plus a fried duck sandwich. Sign me up. There is quite the array of flavors and influences; dishes will range from $8–$25. There will also be desserts from pastry chef Riccardo Menicucci, like milk chocolate ganache with hickory ice cream, bourbon caramel and marshmallow. Stay tuned for more on the décor and other details.

Also on Polk: Pesce (2227 Polk Street) has closed its doors and swam downstream to the Castro (2223 Market Street). Chef-owner Ruggero Gadaldi (with Adriano Paganini) moved the restaurant (and its menu) to the new location. As for the fate of the original Pesce location, stand by for more on that soon.

Popular salad (and sandwich) shop Blue Barn Gourmet (2237 Polk Street, 415-655-9438) has opened a second location in the former Yabbie’s Coastal Kitchen. The team (Sam Josi, Nate Valentine and Stryker Scales) has their latest project (Padrecito in Cole Valley) up and running, so it’s now time to release the salads. The space is a lot larger than the original on Chestnut Street — there are 44 seats plus 9 at the wine bar. Partner Nate Valentine said he wants it to be a space where people can sit and enjoy their meal over a glass of wine, while the Chestnut location is more grab-and-go. The opening menu is similar to the one on Chestnut, with some additions later. There are local beers and wines (five reds, five whites), and people the team personally knows make all the wines. Initial hours are Tuesday–Sunday 11 a.m.–8 p.m., and will be adjusted as needed (Mondays will be added later, too).

Slated to open on Sept. 4 (at press time) is La Urbana (661 Divisadero Street) in the former Plant It Earth space. The project comes from local entrepreneur Eduardo Rallo and Mexican architect and restaurateur Juan Garduño, and will be a modern Mexican restaurant with an attached mezcaleria. Chef Benjamin Klein will head the kitchen (his chef de cuisine is Julio Aguilera). The menu will offer modern takes on traditional regional Mexican dishes, like Manila clam menudo with cabbage tostadas and hominy, or a carnitas torta on freshly baked brioche. Northern California ingredients will figure prominently. Think contemporary cantina by way of Mexico, D.F., with a mezcal-centric bar.

The space is designed by partner Garduño’s architecture firm, and will be a mix of old and new, the urban and the rustic. The heart of the space is the spacious bar, which will be topped with aged zinc and seat 20. Behind the bar is a collection of colorful, rural furniture from Puebla, Oaxaca and Toluca affixed to the wall like an art piece, and will be custom-lit, plus there’s an open kitchen. The space is full of gorgeous tile from a fourth-generation tile-maker in Mérida. The 60-seat dining room will feel like a contemporary cantina, with plenty of light from the large windows. The furnishings have many custom touches, and there will be original art throughout (and on the façade of the building). Am looking forward to this stylish addition to Divisadero!

Just in case you were planning to join the masses in line for dinner at State Bird Provisions (1529 Fillmore Street, 415-795-1272), the restaurant is closed until about mid-September as they work on their expansion into the space next door. A date has not been set for the reopening, so you can’t make any future reservations right now (hold yer horses).

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Marcia Gagliardi is the founder of the weekly Tablehopper e-column; subscribe and get more food news and gossip at Follow her on Twitter: @tablehopper. E-mail: [email protected]