Over on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, in the Before Times, Cavallo Point was known as a semi-secret spa, date, and special-occasion spot — with its restaurant Murray Circle enjoying a number of years of critical acclaim.
Murray Circle had fallen a bit off the radar even before the pandemic began. But now that hotels and resorts are getting back to normal business, all these months in, the three restaurant spaces at Cavallo Point are making re-debuts this week, following the reopening of the luxury resort they're a part of.
The Murray Circle space will be reborn this week as Sula, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant with a fresh look by Wilson Ishihara Design, and a menu by Murray Circle's last executive chef, San Francisco native Michael Garcia.
Sula opens Thursday, October 13, along with the attached raw bar called Sula Lounge, and the more casual American bistro Farley — which was formerly called Farley Bar.
Farley appears to have opened already, and has been serving resort guests three meals a day, including an all-day menu featuring a burger topped with smoked mozzarella and red-pepper aioli, a steak sandwich, a fried chicken sandwich, and mains like a grilled Duroc pork chop and grilled Baja swordfish.
Garcia, who previously worked in the kitchens at three San Francisco institutions — Stars under Jeremiah Tower, Farallon, and the Cliff House — tells Eater that his menu inspirations at the three restaurants come from "homages to my roots," and he says that some dishes are "reimagining dishes from the past with a little more culture to it."
With celebration dinners and special occasions in mind, there is a focus on dishes that pair well with Champagne.
Examples at Sula include a charred Monterey octopus with olives, preserved lemon, and fennel confit; a lobster veloute; and a dish of Fort Bragg Petrale sole topped with mussels and roe, which Garcia says is a nod to cioppino. In Sula Lounge, behind the main restaurant, you can expect raw seafood and caviar service, and a separate menu.
There is a full bar available in all three restaurants, and details on the cocktail list are still to come.
For the new look of the restaurant, designers Mark Wilson and Yoko Ishihara tell the Chronicle that they looked to the utilitarian architecture of Bauhaus, as well as to the property's 120-year history as an army base, Fort Baker — though one that thrived most during peacetime. Certain elements, like the presence of brass fixtures, and a painting done from an old photograph of soldiers playing volleyball, make sly references to the military.
"Our references to the Army are very soft, very subtle," says Wilson, speaking to the Chronicle. “We did not want to erase the past, but we were not going to highlight G.I. Joe."
After Thursday's opening, Sula will be open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner only from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Farley will be open seven days a week for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, with future hours still TBD.
Top photo courtesy of Cavallo Point