There is quite the swanky new spot to come to Chestnut Street, in the former Circa space: The Dorian (2001 Chestnut Street, 415-814-2671). The project is from Anderson Pugash, Benson Wang, and Jack Herr (Palm House, Bergerac, and Audio), along with partners.
The menu is classic American dishes designed to share, like a chopped Caesar salad, deviled eggs, shrimp cocktail, and steak tartare, plus mussels and fries, a flat iron steak, and a burger. The chef is Chris Ricketts, the group’s executive chef (read more about Ricketts on page 13).
Anthony Parks (Fifty Fifty Cocktail Co.) has designed a menu of classic cocktails and martinis, from a Gibson to a Martinez, and a Fifty-Fifty made with the addition of dry manzanilla sherry. Look for more than 75 fine American whiskeys and plenty of whiskey-based cocktails. The international and local wine selection includes two rosés and several sparkling, and there is a solid offering of half bottles and larger-format bottles.
The space is now airy and bright (thanks to some added windows), with a shimmering chandelier in the Drawing Room (dining area) and a spacious main bar tricked out in brass. It’s whimsical and fun, done in peacock blue, pistachio green, and faux crocodile with some Victorian and fin de siècle elements presented playfully (Shelly Amoroso is behind the design). There’s also the semiprivate mezzanine perfect for small groups.
Happy hour Tuesday–Friday 4:30–6:30 p.m. featuring $1 oysters and half-off bottles of Rosé and sparkling; dinner Thursday–Sunday 4:30 p.m.–midnight, Friday–Saturday 4:30 p.m.–2 a.m. Brunch is planned.
Speaking of brunch, there’s a new one at Scotland Yard (3232 Scott Street, 415-872-6853). It’s full of fun dishes, including chicken and waffle bites with Captain Crunch — encrusted chicken thighs, black pepper-maple caramel, and bread and butter pickles; and the bangers Benedict, with house-made sausage and Worcestershire-marinated tomato. The egg muffin sandwich looks mighty fine, and their bone-marrow aioli burger is also available. Sure to help any hangover or party is the stout float with house-made ice cream. Brunch Saturday–Sunday 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
Across the street in the former The Republic space, Spaghetti Brothers (3213 Scott Street) from Bix-Fog City alums plans to open Nov. 3 serving “inventive American standards.” Stay tuned for more details.
Middle’terranea, the inaugural concept at Mina Test Kitchen (2120 Greenwich Street, 415-625-5469) wrapped up last month. Now it’s Little Italy, inspired by chef Adam Sobel’s Italian-American upbringing, and serving a nonna-is-cooking-style-Sunday supper, featuring dishes like stuffed peppers, manicotti al forno, and veal and eggplant Parmesan. The pre-fixe menu is $49 per person with reservations by ticket purchase at michaelmina.net or through the Resy app.
The wine list features 20 approachable Italian wines by the glass and bottle, including a house wine on each table available by the honor system. Italian beers and low-proof cocktails inspired by Italian classics are also available.
Dinner Wednesday–Saturday 5:30–10 p.m. through Dec. 31.
An unexpected closure and sale: Alfred’s Steakhouse (659 Merchant Street, 415-781-7058). After 42 years, the Petri family decided to sell, and the Daniel Patterson Group will be taking it over. DPG director of operations Ron Boyd wanted the 1928 San Francisco classic (which previously housed The Blue Fox) preserved and convinced Daniel Patterson to look into it with him.
The last night will be New Year’s Eve, so you know that will be quite the blowout party. Alfred’s regulars, make your reservation now.
The restaurant will undergo some renovations, and new artwork — but it will remain mostly the same Alfred’s that we know and love. Boyd and the DPG want to respect the restaurant’s many traditions, including that it is one of the most affordable steakhouses in town.
They will continue to source their (steroid- and hormone-free, grass-fed, corn-finished) beef from Schmidt Family Farms (ditto cooking the steaks on mesquite/open fire). The menu will integrate a whole-animal program, so look for dishes like oxtails and pork shoulder. The three-course “school night” menu will also continue, and tableside salads may return, but vegetables will be upgraded a bit. Chef Charlie Parker will be coming over from Haven in Oakland to run things.
Drinks will remain classically driven, and some barrel-aged cocktails will be introduced. The wine list will be updated, and we might see some news about the huge downstairs wine cellar, but that is currently undecided. It was quite the private dining room back when it was the Blue Fox.
Mille grazie to Marco and Al Petri and the entire Petri family for the decades of memories in that historic space.