An incredible lineup of openings—and welcome returns— just might keep winter blues at bay.
Ever-chic restaurateur Anna Weinberg (Marlowe, Park Tavern), James Nicholas and chef Jennifer Puccio have opened The Cavalier within SoMa’s Hotel Zetta. Bangers and stout custards prevail on the English pub menu, while the scene is elegant, hunting-season-meets-rock star—complete with one of design maestro Ken Fulk’s “secret” rooms. 360 Jessie St., 415-321-6000; thecavaliersf.com
Underneath Tom Dixon pendants and in French oak environs by of-the-moment firm KallosTurin is Bouli Bar. The central element is a wood-burning hearth, from which Amaryll Schwertner’s marinated octopus, warm funghi salad and za’atar-topped wild yeast pizzas emerge. One Ferry Building, 415-399-1155; bouletteslarder.com
The conceptual fare crosses local with Gulf of Mexico: braised oxtail, clams and hominy with cabbage tostadas; Oaxacan chocolate crémeux with mezcal gelée. Annex bar Garage Urbano is set to open with limey palomitas upon arrival and dominoes at the ready. Come sunset, it’s hard to turn down a raspberry-habañero coconut water spiked with Bols Genever. 661 Divisadero St., 415-440-4500; laurbanasf.com
After 93 years slinging the famous House Cappuccino (a Prohibition-era booze sneak: chocolate and steamed milk with brandy) to the likes of Hunter S. Thompson, Rudolf Nureyev and Francis Ford Coppola, the legendary Tosca Cafe faced closure this year. Sean Penn sent a missive to N.Y.’s Ken Friedman and chef April Bloomfield (Spotted Pig) to bail them out. Freshly renovated, Tosca 2.0 sports a Bloomfield menu—bucatini with tomato, guanciale and chili, please—and denizens can relish the promise of Bono belting out “’O Sole Mio” at 4 a.m., once again. 242 Columbus Ave., 415-986-9651; toscacafesf.com
STATE BIRD PROVISIONS
This year’s James Beard Award winner for Best New Restaurant (and the city’s toughest reservation) recently expanded next door. Enter Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski’s modern dim sum carts—oysters with kohlrabi kraut; kimchi yuba with smoked egg bottarga—plus new family-style set menus and a raw bar. 1529 Fillmore St., 415-795-1272; statebirdsf.com
Written by Alison Clare Steingold