To keep tabs on every San Francisco restaurant and bar opening is folly. But to keep tabs on the most worthy? Yeoman’s work, and we’re proud to do it. Thus we present Table Stakes, a monthly rundown of the five (or so) must-know spots that have swung wide their doors in the past thirty (or so). Bon appétit.
Alta at Minnesota Street Project
Why now: The 35,000-square-foot art space known as the Minnesota Street Project is worth the trip to Dogpatch — especially now, with the opening of the second casual-Cali Alta outpost from the Daniel Patterson Group (after the Mid-Market original and prior to the upcoming, third Alta at The Grant.)
Order this: The Summer Berry Blend juice — then upgrading to a barrel-aged negroni as the day wears on. Also the Lassen trout, with horseradish yogurt.
Why now: Just opening at press time, this is the second, lower-key spot in the neighborhood from the pair behind the James Beard-nominated Rich Table.
Order this: It's all going to be delicious, but we're going with the half-chicken with the chimichurri sauce and the umami fries.
Why now: Do you like dumplings at all times of day, plus an array of summery, beer-y beverages to match?
Order this: A couple small bites (pickled lotus, garlic seaweed salad) — and as many dumplings as you can handle: seafood gyoza, pork Beijing noodles, shrimp and cilantro dumplings, and special Xi'an dumplings, with pork, cabbage and green onions — a recipe inspired by Omakase Restaurant Group owner Kash Feng's mom.
Why now: There are myriad delivery apps/start-ups here at the moment, but none with the kitchen cred of Young Fava, S.F's first delivery-only bistro, from chef Anthony Young — who exited Delfina in 2016, after 11 years.
Order this: Whatever they're cooking — but if their Instagram is any indication, we'll happily sign up for the steakhouse salad: grilled iceberg lettuce, Point Reyes blue, busted radishes, and warm bacon vinaigrette.
Why now: Chef Chris Cosentino — you either know him from Cockscomb in SoMa or as the winner of Top Chef Masters — gets free rein in this high-high-end boutique hotel restaurant in Napa, a converted 1907 inn.
Order this: Risotto with green garlic, artichoke and preserved lemon, and maybe a La Fin cocktail, with Christian Drouin Calvados, dry vermouth, and pear cordial.