Downtown in the space once occupied by Perry's and Midi on Sutter and Kearny (more recently by the short-lived tequila-and-sushi concept Hecho), Gaspar Brasserie just made its public debut before the holiday weekend. It's a cozy, bi-level space with a low-ceilinged upstairs bar befitting an after-work affair, or a long night of eating and drinking away your sorrows on a corner stool. The food is modernized bistro fare, featuring things like Burgundian escargots with confit garlic, shallots, and bacon; a layered smoked salmon "mille crêpes"; and a grilled entrecôte steak (basically a NY cut, in slices) with horseradish-potato puree.

See the full food menu here. There's also a downstairs bar and lounge space for the early evening crowd, and a full dining room upstairs. Basically, it is unrecognizable from the space it was.

Pastry chef Chuck Dugo, most recently of Slanted Door, is doing some traditional French desserts, including an Ile Flottante and a Paris-Brest — a cream-filled, wheel shaped dessert created to commemorate a Paris-to-Brest bicycle race in 1910.

Kevin Diedrich, who's made a name for himself at the Burritt Room and Jasper's Corner Tap, is heading up the bar program, which leans toward sophisticated classic cocktails made with brandy and gin. There's a house Old Fashioned made with Armagnac; the Napoleon's own made with Cognac, aged rum, Maraschino, lime, and pineapple; and my favorite of the bunch, the Crusta, with gin, Calvados, lemon, orgeat, and bitters. Also, there's a half dozen "low octane," mostly Champagne-based cocktails, perfect for starting your happy hour slowly. Check out the drink selection here.

For now, Gaspar's only open in the evenings starting at 4 p.m., with Happy Hour on weeknights from 4 to 6 p.m., and closed on Sunday. They're planning to start lunch service in the coming weeks and months, as well as late-night dining and brunch. Also, eventually, Sunday dinner will be happening as well.

Gaspar Brasserie - 185 Sutter Street at Kearny - 415-576-8800