The close of November brought the much anticipated reopening of Quince, a couple of sad closing announcements, a celebrity sighting at Atelier Crenn, and more.
As announced in early November, one of SF's three remaining Michelin three-star restaurants, Quince, has reopened as a somewhat more intimate restaurant. Tuesday, November 28 was reopening day, and the restaurant now just has ten tables following a significant renovation, and there is now the option to do a full multi-course meal, an abbreviated four-course experience, or just a couple of a la carte plates in the lounge. Eater has some food photos, and reservations appear only to be available this month for the four-course experience (which requires a $270 deposit per person), as of this writing.
After more than 20 years downtown, Basque restaurant Piperade closed for good on Thursday. As Eater reported, chef-owner Gerald Hirigoyen said the closure had less to do with the pandemic and impacts on downtown as it does with his desire to retire. "I'm old!" Hirigoyen says. "It's not that complicated." Hirigoyen previously ran Fringale in SoMa, which opened in 1991, and he opened Pastis in the space that became Piperade in 1996.
Bob's Donuts, the beloved Polk Street institution with a newer location in NoPa, is expanding for the second time. As former SFist writer Caleb Pershan reports at the Chronicle, the owners of Bob's, the Ahn family, are taking over nearby Lotta's Bakery (1720 Polk Street), one block up, for a "kitchen expansion" of the existing business. At some point, maybe in 2025, it may also open as a doughnut shop, but they haven't yet decided if they plan to operate both spaces like that. Lotta's, meanwhile, will serve its last treats on December 23.
Sadly, one of our favorite East Bay breweries, Oakland's Ale Industries, is shutting down. This weekend may be the last chance to grab a beer at their taproom, as head brewer Morgan Cox announced in early November that they were ceasing production and only staying open to sell off the stock that they have. The reason was a 50% rent hike, and ongoing problems with break-ins at the brewery.
The folks behind excellent SF modern Indian spot Rooh have just opened a new casual spot in Emeryville's Bay Street complex. It's called Pippal, and as Tablehopper reports, the menu covers multiple regional Indian cuisines and highlights some unusual dishes, including Goan chorizo pulao, a dish that arose from the Portuguese influence on the Goa region.
There was a major celebrity sighting Saturday at Atelier Crenn. The quartet of actors who played hobbit friends in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, and Billy Boyd, all dined there together. Monaghan posted a photo to Instagram (it seems like these guys do dinner together quite a bit while traveling for such convention appearances) and the SF Standard picked up the story, and it seems the foursome was in town for Fan Expo, a big sci-fi/fantasy/anime and cosplay convention that was at the Moscone Center last week. Anyone know where headliner Ewan McGregor had dinner?
As we heard earlier this week, trendy Stonemill Matcha, which closed in August after five years in business in the former Bar Tartine space (561 Valencia Street), will reopen soon. As the Chronicle reported, the Japanese, high-end matcha cafe is being reopened with the help of nearby ramen spot Taishoken (665 Valencia Street), whose owners are behind the project.
Up in Napa, celebrity pizza chef Chris Bianco is opening his previously announced new restaurant at the Carneros Resort & Spa next week. It's called Farm, and the menu is inspired by Bianco's non-pizza Phoenix restaurant Tratto. As the Chronicle reports, Bianco's legendary pizza will ultimately be available next door at the more casual Market restaurant, which will also sell Bianco-branded products as well. An opening date for Market has not been set.