Prolific SF restaurateur Anna Weinberg says she's "ready for the roaring 20s," but her restaurants won't all be reopening at once due to much-cited staffing challenges that are impacting the whole industry.
The reopening of Tosca this spring was clearly priority number one, and that restaurant is now rolling in North Beach. Weinberg partnered up with chef Nancy Oakes and designer Ken Fulk back in 2019 following Tosca's closure under former chef-owner April Bloomfield, aiming to bring the place back as an Italian restaurant. Following some light remodeling over the last year and a half, and after a few false starts, Tosca is back with a menu not dissimilar from what it was before, but featuring Oakes's light and skillful touch with pastas — and a truly special ribeye that could easily feed three. The historic dining room opened back up in early May.
Nearby, a few blocks up by Washington Square Park, Park Tavern has remained dark after doing some takeout earlier in the pandemic. Weinberg tells SFist that the restaurant needs "a lot of love" after going at such high volume for a decade, and she's been working with chef and mentor Jonathan Waxman on sourcing new equipment for the kitchen. Executive chef-partner Jennifer Puccio remains in charge of the menu, and the plan to get it back open in grand style in time for Park Tavern's 10-year anniversary in September.
As for Marlowe, the restaurant group's original flagship, Weinberg says that the goal is to reopen on July 8. That restaurant debuted 12 years ago, making a splash with its Michael Bauer-approved burger, and it has been in its current digs since late 2014.
First up, though, is the reopening of Leo's Oyster Bar down in the still quiet Financial District. The small, stylish, seafood-centric spot was set to reopen today, but Weinberg says there are a few holdups and it should hopefully make it open this week.
And Weinberg says that she and Fulk plan to bring Leo's to Fulk's event venue in SoMa, the St. Joseph's Art Society at 10th and Howard, this summer. You may recall that they had plans to do a Tosca pop-up there, in the parking lot, last summer, but some permitting issues got in the way. Now, the permits are in place, and so are some fancy glass greenhouses Weinberg found in London, which will create an indoor-outdoor party that Weinberg promises will have a "bit of dinner theater" at times — there's talk of putting a guy on stage to butcher a 300-pound tuna while violins accompany him. Weinberg told Eater last week that she and Fulk "are ready for the roaring ‘20s. And you know we can throw parties."
In the next couple of weeks, SoMa's Petit Marlowe (234 Townsend Street) will be reopening with a new name: Petit Marché. Taking a cue from Il Buco in New York, which has a Mediterranean pantry and home goods shop incorporated into the restaurant, Weinberg plans to offer vintage dishware and glassware for sale that she's been collecting for her various restaurants ("I have an actual milk glass problem," she says), along with the Champagne, caviar, and shellfish that had always been the focus of Petit Marlowe. Additionally there will be more charcuterie (featuring the fancy slicer formerly at Tosca), and some new terrines on the menu that she says will make the place "even more French."
As for The Cavalier at the Hotel Zetta, that is no longer part of Weinberg's Big Night Restaurant Group. Weinberg and ex-husband James Nicholas are separating their business dealings, though they remain co-owners in Marlowe, and Petit Marché and Leo's remain fully in Weinberg's domain. The Cavalier and its attached back-room lounge, Marianne's, now reportedly belong to Nicholas. Both are back open and taking reservations.
Stay tuned for more details as they become available.