San Francisco certainly boasts a roster of celebrity chefs, but one wine country icon has yet to cross the Golden Gate--until now.
Bottega owner and Food Network star Michael Chiarello is set to open a Spanish restaurant on San Francisco's Pier 5 in the former Lafitte space this spring.
The yet-to-be-named restaurant will mark the chef's first San Francisco project, and will also fill the final spot for lease on the pier, meaning the historic redevelopment will be 100 percent full.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Chiarello eyed San Francisco for its wealth of kitchen talent and its noncompetitive distance from his Napa Valley restaurant, Bottega. (Nobody puts Bottega in the corner.)
The new restaurant will also be neighbors with La Mar and Charles Phan's upcoming New Orleans-style restaurant, Hard Water (due open this winter), turning the pier into a regular restaurant row.
According to a release, Chiarello has hired Spanish architect Alberto Rivera and SF-based Michael Guthrie & Company for the redesign. The chef plans to push the bar outside on the water, raise the indoor dining room tables a few inches to reveal views of the bay and to trim the room with fabric and banquettes "to give it a little sexiness," per the Chronicle.
The menu will highlight regional dishes from Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque region, but will feature our local ingredients.
Besides his restaurant and winery, Chiarello hosts two cooking shows and runs NapaStyle, a behemoth lifestyle company that sells cookware, furniture and fine foods. And now he can add San Francisco Spanish spot to his ever-growing roster.
Main image courtesy Flickr: K Tao.