For Catholics and those who like sacrificing things, this week marks the beginning of Lent. But it also feels like the definitive beginning of Spring here in SF and all around the Bay — even though the official start of the season isn't for three weeks.
Spring should mark new beginnings, and we have a few of those to share from the local food scene. But there are some surprise closures to announce as well.
- After a brief, four-day closure and remodel, Anthony Strong's Prairie has reopened on 19th Street with a new focus. Because Strong had emerged as a local talent with the Delfina Group, people expected pasta at his new spot, and so pasta there was when it debuted in the fall of 2018. But now Strong is pivoting to focus more on live-fire cooking, and as Eater reports today, he's debuting a new prix fixe format around a big redwood table, with one seating each night, called The Campfire Room. (The now smaller, regular dining room will still offer a revamped a la carte menu). Reservations at 415-483-1112.
- Sadly, after less than a year, mixology master Jennifer Colliau has shuttered her Uptown Oakland cocktail spot Here's How. Eater brings the news via a note reposted on Reddit, and Colliau says she can't deal any longer with the legal fight against some NIMBY neighbors who have fought the bar's presence since before it opened. [Eater]
- Brown Sugar Kitchen chef Tanya Holland tells KQED that her new restaurant at the Oakland Museum, Town Fare, will be "unpretentious and delicious" and serve three meals a day. The restaurant is set to open this summer. [KQED]
- Hahdough Bakery, after some delay, is opening Sunday in NoPa. The business — from Vietnamese-born, German-raised baker Ha Do — began operating in December out of a small window in Hayes Valley. But it officially opens Sunday as SF's only German bakery at 1221 Fell Street, serving traditional Black Forest cake, Berliner donuts, delicious-looking kirschtasche (cherry turnovers), and chewy pretzels. [Eater]
- A new generation over at SF Weekly has discovered the Thai brunch they've been serving for over two decades at Buddhist temple Wat Mongkolratanaram in Berkeley. [SF Weekly]
- Dim sum favorite Hong Kong Lounge II, which was destroyed in that explosion in the Richmond last year, is returning in SoMa, in a new building at 99 Rausch, and it will be called Hong Kong Lounge Bistro. [Tablehopper]
- Three Babes Bakeshop, after getting local and national attention for getting screwed over by the Munchery closure, ultimately got most of the money they were owed by the shuttered delivery business — $18,000. [KQED]
- Constellation Brands, which owns the Corona beer brand, commissioned a survey from a PR firm that shows consumers are less likely to order the beer due to the coronavirus panic. [CBS SF]
- The Chronicle's Soleil Ho offers up her "new to her" favorites in San Jose, having just made it down to explore the South Bay recently, and they include the fairly new Bánh Cuôn Bun Moc Ông Ta, and Back A Yard Caribbean Grill. She also just reviewed Yountville's Perry Lang's, the new spinoff of grill-master Adam Perry Lang's APL in Hollywood. She says it has a "clubby" vibe "like you’ve wandered into a whiskey commercial," and steak service includes a "felony knife," a steak knife worth $950.01 that is the minimum allowable for a felony theft conviction.