Continuing tomorrow at Acquerello, which is ringing in 25 years at Sacramento and Polk this summer, is an alumni dinner series featuring chefs who formerly got their start there.
A couple weeks ago there was a menu and special dinner from La Ciccia chef Massimiliano Conti, and tomorrow, July 8, Acquerello welcomes back chef Nathan Lockwood, currently executive chef at Altura on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Lockwood served as chef de cuisine at Acquerello under executive chef-partner Suzette Gresham-Togentti for several years of the last decade, helping it to earn and maintain its Michelin star since first getting one in 2007.
The 10-course dinner from Lockwood will feature wine pairings chosen by wine director Gianpaolo Paterlini, who has gone on to help open the more casual spinoff 1760 up the street. The prix fixe is $175 per person, with $95 additional for wine. See the full menu for tomorrow's dinner here. Limited seating is still available.
In a recent interview with Inside Scoop, owner Giancarlo Paterlini (Gianpaolo's father) said that despite working "in the great houses in Europe" early in his career, his inspiration in opening and refining Acquerello has been The French Laundry. He also notes that in an age of ever-increasing, casual dining that eschews tablecloths and pomp to aim for a Gen X and Gen Y clientele, Acquerello is "filling up a little niche" as they keep old-school, fine-dining style alive—cheese cart and all.
"Everyone is catering to this younger demographic," Paterlini says. "Sometimes we forget about the rest of the people. There are not many places in the city like us right now."
And that is indeed true.
Next up in the dinner series, on August 5, will be a collaboration between chef Heather Bailie of Fatted Calf, chef Brandon Martinez of Austin's The Noble Pig, and chef Michael Shwe of Proof Baking in S.F. On August 19, there will be an "Up and Coming" chef dinner featuring a special meal from Acquerello's current chef de cuisine Mark Pensa and sous chef Patrick Van Voorhis. Then, rounding out the series on September 10, will be a dinner specifically built around 1989 vintage wines chosen by Gianpaolo. Call 415-567-5432 to reserve.