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Telling Postrio Goodbye: A Media Retrospective

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Union Square: As you surely remember, Postrio rides off into the sunset tonight. The first half of the Wolfgang Puck farewell tour took place last night, with a veritable cornucopia of VIPs in the house, from the all-star cast in the kitchen to The Bauer in the dining room. And of course, Puck—looking very tan, we might add—was and will continue to be the man of the hour. The room was full of energy, flashing back to an era of dining that, for one reason or another, has been largely lost: one where good tables matter, one where you look up to see who just entered, one where soy sauce is exotic, one where for a split second, you could be in a scene from American Psycho.

To mark the occasion, we've taken the liberty of sifting through the various newspaper archives to look back at the buzz that's surrounded Postrio for the last 20 years. Enjoy. If you have any particularly vibrant memories of Postrio (especially you industry folks), feel free to send them our way too.

· Herb Caen, 2/15/95: "Now we're at crowded-as- usual Postrio, where Dr. John Lewis and his fiancee, Robbie Brown, both of Houston, were whooping it up last Fri. night with eight of their Texas friends, all here for an ethics convention. Suddenly, Dr. John says to Robbie, 'Hey, let's get married right here and now!' (They had a license.) Concierge Shirley Bovone, summoned to find a priest, delivered a friend, the Rev. Ed Wright, who came whistling over from Corte Madera, arriving in time for dessert. This explains why 11 people were standing around the table, looking joyously tearful."

· Zagat, 11/5/96: "Los Angeles chef Wolfgang Puck's Postrio, for the second time, was rated the Bay Area's Most Popular Restaurant. It didn't seem to matter that founding chefs Anne and David Gingrass have moved on to Hawthorne Lane (the fourth most popular restaurant), making room for the sibling team of Mitchell and Steven Rosenthal. "

· Herb Caen, 2/8/96: "Foodnote from Greg Bayol: 'The Cow Palace charges $7 for parking, same as valet parking at Postrio, but then, you can't get cheese pump nachos at Postrio.'"

· Herb Caen, 9/23/96: "How big is Liz Taylor? Last Fri. she walked into Postrio for lunch carrying her white Maltese, Sugar, and nobody said 'Whoa dere!' even though it's illegal to bring a dog (nonhuman) into a restaurant here. Sugar occupied a large napkin on an adjoining chair and left a large tip."

· Chron Corrections, 8/24/00: Who are those guys, again? "The executive chefs of Postrio restaurant in San Francisco where [sic] misidentified in yesterday's Food section. They are Mitchell and Steven Rosenthal."

· Bauer, 1/11/02: "Open for more than 10 years, Postrio seems to have lost its edge. The experience now feels like a mass-produced brand, like Bill Blass. Diners are paying Prada prices only to discover the restaurant is wearing the emperor's new clothes."

· Bauer, 10/24/03: "It's all served up in one of the prettiest settings around ... Postrio feels like a real restaurant, elegant but not the least bit stuffy."

· Bauer, 12/10/08: "As I looked around on a Thursday night, the feeling was different. The room was far from full; the upstairs 'overflow' room was empty ... it feels like Postrio is in the doldrums. At nearly 20 years old, it's too new to be deemed a classic and too old to be trendy. It's in that no-man's-land, and it certainly didn't appeal to this man."

· Bauer, today: "Last night (and tonight) it all ended the way it began, with a big splash ... It was a bittersweet night, but in his usual classy style, Puck ended the Postrio run by recreating the magic of opening night."
· EaterWire: Postrio Sets Farewell Dates [~ESF~]
· EaterWire Late Edition: Postrio Plans Big Overhaul, Hiatus [~ESF~]

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