[Photos: Patricia Chang]
Market Street Spanish staple Canela is nearing its second anniversary, but the restaurant has more to celebrate: a revamped interior and new menus have freshened up Paco Cifuentes and chef Mat Schuster's Castro space. The pair, who are partners in work and life, have updated Canela's interior with the help of Adeeni Design Group, and the result is a looker: Arabic influences from Andalucia are visible in window panels reminiscent of the Alhambra, and a new entrance draped in red awning hints at the romantic ambiance within. Vintage flamenco videos are projected on the wall during dinner service, too.
Frequent visits to Spain have informed Schuster's menu, which features traditional dishes like paella, albondigas and gazpacho, plus a bevy of tapas options like garlicky gambas, croquetas, tortilla española and stuffed piquillo peppers. (See the full dinner menu here. ) Canela's Sunday brunch menu has also been updated, with bocadillos and flatbreads to complement more traditionally brunchy options like braised pork hash and the requisite sangria.
The wine list, curated by Cifuentes and featuring 40+ bottles, spans all over Spain, with a mix of small producers and sustainable and naturally-grown selections that pair well with traditional Spanish flavors. And as if that's not enough for Iberian aficionados, Canela also offers a little retail selection of imported goods, like olives, paprika, vinegar and ceramics. Hours are Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30 pm-11 pm; Friday-Saturday, 5:30 pm-12 am; and Sunday, 11 am-11 pm, with the kitchen closing one hour before the official closing time.