On and Off Chestnut

On the other side of the equal night

Spring has sprung and the days are increasingly longer than the nights now that we’ve passed the vernal equinox. And with our continued beautiful weather, many of those longer days have been passed pleasantly on and off Chestnut.

Spring is also a time for a fresh start, and a number of our local businesses have taken spring cleaning to heart. Tipsy Pig recently closed for a few weeks to freshen up, renovate its kitchen to improve service, and build out brand-new restrooms for a better guest experience and to provide full accessibility. Up the street, Pacific Catch is also undergoing some renovations and a bit of a facelift, while staying open throughout its upgrades. Over on Fillmore, the City Tavern has been closed as its restructures its partnership, but plans to reopen soon are in the works with rumors of a makeover in store.

Tipsy Pig: 2231 Chestnut Street, 415-292-2300,

Pacific Catch: 2027 Chestnut Street, 415-440-1950,

Some changes have been happening on the Marina’s Restaurant Row – Steiner Street – with the closure of Asqew Grill, where the space is still listed for lease after three months. A few doors down, Let’s Be Frank also closed a few months ago but has been reborn as Toma where you can now get “Mas Mexican.” Toma is one of the tiniest restaurants in the neighborhood, but it serves up its family recipes of made-to-order tortas and sopes along with an extra-large helping of heart and soul. Natural premium meats and fresh seasonal, local produce are used to create its homemade-style food. Monday through Thursday 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.–2 a.m.; and Sundays 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

Toma: 3318 Steiner Street, 415-921-8662

While Toma may be a nice little replacement for La Barca, in that venerable location Stock In Trade has risen, and it’s one of the largest restaurants in the neighborhood. With 140 seats, a 40-seat bar, a 30-seat private dining room, and even an indoor bocce ball court smack in the middle of the dining room, there is plenty of room for you and your friends to gather at this new Marina tavern. The pub grub menu includes eclectic shared plates from a bacon poutine and a shrimp or crab Louie jar, to a Korean grilled chicken salad. A full bar along with local brews on tap, and even a few wines on tap, will keep the party lively late. Open daily from 5 p.m. with the bar open until 2 a.m.

Stock In Trade: 2036 Lombard Street, 415-829-3000,

If you are looking for a little something Italian, like a savory panini, a sweet sorbet or gelato, or a decadent affogato, then you have to stop by Caffe Dolci at the corner of Fillmore and Filbert. The former John Campbell’s Bakery spot is now whipping up house-made gelato, serving Illy espresso, and creating some combinations that include all of the above.

Take the Ridiculously Rita that combines dark chocolate, espresso, chocolate gelato, and is topped with a house-made chocolate marshmallow square – that’s enough to make a Peep blush! Or try one of their coppas – their version of a sundae – like the perfect spring break that is the Capri, with limoncello, vanilla and strawberry gelato, strawberry sauce, whipped cream, and fresh strawberries. Open Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m–10 p.m.

Caffe Dolci: 3301 Fillmore Street, (415) 563-8101,

Hoping we have some April showers so we’ll have a bounty of May flowers!

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