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Seaside Moonraker Stages its Comeback

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[Photo: Shawn McNamara ]

In its heyday, Moonraker was a seaside Pacifica restaurant, serving captivating floor-to-ceiling ocean views and lots of seafood. It closed about a decade ago, Ristorante Portofino opened in the space, and now Portofino has had its day of reckoning too. What you see here is the beginning of a comeback for Moonraker. Gary McNamara, Shawn McNamara and chef Jason Yeafoli have taken over, planning to return the restaurant to its status as a Bay Area dining destination. For a little background on this team, their Pacifica restaurant Barolo "pleasantly surprised" Bauer in 2006, earning 2 stars. Now back to the future.

Designer Michael Brennan is spearheading a complete overhaul of the dead Moonraker space. His aim is to create a "weathered, ocean-side feel" combining touches of rope and metal with 60s era lighting fixtures. The original fireplace will stay, but now deep brown oversize booths will face the widows around it, and a 40-seat open bar area will create another focal point in the middle of the dining room.

Similar to the bent of the decor, Chef Jason Yeafoli's menu will nod to the seafood-centric direction of yore, but with updated twists. For example, in the works is a tuna carpaccio with quail egg, brioche toast, and duck fat potatoes. They're also working on a locally inspired cocktail menu to serve at the full bar. The new, modern 2011 version of Moonraker should open up in early December, if all goes to plan.

· Moonraker to be reborn in Pacifica [ISSF]

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