Alfred’s Steakhouse Reopens with Revamped Menu

Last week, SFGate.com reported that a few months after a basement fire forced San Francisco’s iconic Alfred’s Steakhouse to close for a brief remodel, the 90-year-old institution, with its red leather seats and white table cloths, reopened to the public.

According to the report, at the core of the revamp, led by Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group, is an expanded menu with a starters and bar bites section that includes tater tots with smoked trout roe ($18), a riff on celery victor ($11), and fried shishito peppers ($10), among other things.

“We feel like every night at the restaurant should be a celebration, which is really what a steakhouse is all about,” Patterson said. “The changes we made to the food and drink menus were intended to reflect that spirit of fun and spontaneity.”

As before the fire, Patterson and his team want to keep the iconic elements of the space while moving the food forward into the more modern era.

This all sounds great to us!

Alfred’s, 659 Merchant, 415.781.7058

Old SF Neighborhood Has a New Name: The East Cut

The area around the Transbay Transit Center has recently been dubbed the East Cut, a name unveiled at a gathering at Solaire, a 32-story building at Fremont and Folsom streets. So says a recent SFGate.com report. The rebranding effort encompasses a growing section of the city; in the last decade, about 6,000 apartments and condos have been added to the neighborhood, with at least 2,000 more in the works.

Coming up with new names for sub-neighborhoods is a favorite San Francisco pastime. SFGate puts it perfectly:

“For a city of only 49 square miles, San Francisco is packed with a lot of neighborhoods. While Wikipedia puts the number at 40, locals would tell you there are at least a dozen more, from Lincoln Park to Balboa Terrace to Bayview Heights.”

Chronicle architecture critic John King East says developers explain East Cut is a reference to when Rincon Hill was bisected in 1869 to make Second Street a flat thoroughfare connecting downtown and the commercial waterfront. It may sound like a stretch, but who would have guessed the name Cow Hollow would catch on.

Tiny Bubbles: 9 Artists Exhibit Work at War Memorial

Tiny Bubbles is a group exhibition curated by independent curator and former gallerist Steven Wolf. The show features nine artists known for producing dark and often funny narratives set in imaginary worlds filled with characters that mirror their own searches for meaning.

Presented by the San Francisco Arts Commission, the exhibition marks a welcome return for a curator known for producing playful and adventurous shows in his former Mission-district space Steven Wolf Fine Arts. And Tiny Bubbles is true to form. Inspired by painter Roy De Forest’s use of “snow globe narratives,” Wolf chose works from a surprising variety of artists that construct small worlds of their own.

San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries’ spring season
Where: War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue, S.F.
When: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM Tuesdays-Saturdays for main gallery; closes Aug. 19 Admission: Free
Contact: 415.252.2244, www.sfartscommission.org

Bay to Breakers Sunday: Online Registration Ends Tomorrow

There are tons of things going on this weekend, but on Sunday the annual Bay to Breakers race takes place, and since there are tens of thousands of people participating in the 7.6 mile footrace, that has our attention.

With a starting point near the San Francisco Bay, a few blocks from The Embarcadero, the 12K race runs west through the City and finishes at the Great Highway where breakers crash onto Ocean Beach. A quintessential San Francisco experience since 1912, the race celebrates the City in a wonderful (and yes, often wacky) way. It’s fun for runners and spectators alike.

It’s not too late to sign up, but you might want to do that today. To register, click here. Then run like crazy on Sunday. Endorphins await!

Rave Reviews for Mister Jiu’s

After reading Bill Addison’s review of Mister Jiu’s on Eater, we’re not eating anywhere else until we’ve eaten there. Even the post’s headline is enticing – it reads, “Mister Jiu’s Is a Love Letter to America’s Oldest Chinatown: Traditional Cantonese meets California Lushness in San Francisco.”

He opens by simply describing how the restaurant came to be, and that in itself is intriguing:

“When Mister Jiu’s opened in San Francisco’s Chinatown in April 2016, it became only the third restaurant to occupy its building since it was constructed in the 1880s. Chef and owner Brandon Jew is a native of the city. He remembers peeling red-dyed boiled eggs and slurping down longevity noodles during banquets at the former tenant, Four Seas, a Chinese-American community keystone for holiday gatherings since the 1960s.”

“Jew signed his lease in 2013. It took him three years to transform the space into his dream project — and then another six or so months of polishing to boost Mister Jiu’s to its current standing as one of California’s most vital new dining destinations.”

We’re already hooked, and he hasn’t even begun to describe the food yet. To read about the dishes, and to see some gorgeous photos of the food, click here.

Michael Bauer’s Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants in 2017

Michael Bauer is the San Francisco Chronicle’s celebrated food critic and editor. He has put out this Top 100 list annually for the last 22 of his 28 years at the paper. Everyone in the industry, and anyone who likes to eat, looks forward to its release.

The restaurants he includes can be found throughout the Bay Area. He visits each restaurant several times. Describing what he has found, he said, “So many high-quality restaurants have opened in recent years that it feels as if we’re in the golden age of dining. The downside: It can take a lot of gold to eat out these days.”

To offset “price creep,” this year’s Top 100 includes many more lower priced eating establishments, places he says he goes to “on my own dime.”

The feature has been placed online, and it really is a sweet guide, with a review of each spot, along with useful details, photos, and links to restaurant websites. To see it, click here.

The 40th Annual SF Decorator Showcase Opens this Weekend

The San Francisco Decorator Showcase is widely considered to be the West Coast’s premier design showhouse event, renowned for featuring the work of the region’s top interior and landscape designers.

This year, it takes place in a gorgeous and spacious home located at 2698 Pacific Avenue. It runs from April 29 through May 29, and it’s open to the public Tuesday through Sunday. Times vary, as do ticket prices, so be sure to visit the Showcase website for details.

The San Francisco Decorator Showcase first took place in 1977, and every year since it has been held in some of the City’s most breathtaking homes and neighborhoods. All the funds raised through the Decorator Showcase go directly to support the San Francisco University High School Financial Aid Program.