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Bancarella's Grand Opening; Sommelier Shift at Nopa

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UNION SQUARE—It's been softly open since December, but Bancarella, the new cafe from Gary Rulli of Ristobar and Emporio Rulli, had its official grand opening last night. The menu, developed by Ristobar chef de cuisine Michele Bilotti, includes crespelle, a variety of panini, and Peperu, a pepper-stuffed crescenza cheese; an extensive pastry case and a special espresso blend round out the selection. With an Emporio Rulli location right around the corner on Stockton Street, Rulli's become something of a Union Square impresario. [EaterWire]

NOPA—Scoop brings word that after seven years as Nopa's opening wine director, Chris Deegan has decided to move on, handing over the reins to his second-in-command, Lulu McAllister. Deegan, who developed a unique California-centric program while at Nopa, will continue to advice McAllister as she takes over the role, and plans to take some time off and travel. Considering the restaurant also lost five-year pastry veteran Amy Brown last summer, we're hoping the last survivor, chef Laurence Jossel stays aboard. [Scoop]

FINANCIAL DISTRICT—Though the dinner component is sold out, you can still snag tickets for tomorrow night to see Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski of State Bird Provisions and Nick Balla and Cortney Burns of Bar Tartine at their Commonwealth Club Inforum talk on chefs who "do it all," from pickling to creating charcuterie to creating their own plates to speaking at Commonwealth Club dining events. [EaterWire]

NORTH BEACHCoi announced a major series of wine dinners today. For the next year, once per month, chef Daniel Patterson will have a different winemaker visit, creating a special menu centered around his or her wines. First on the list is Josh Jensen of Calera, the Chron's 2007 Winemaker of the Year, who'll appear on February 21st. Andrew Mariani of Scribe Winery will follow on March 21st; future guests include Randall Grahm (Bonny Doon), Terry Thiese (Terry Thiese Selections), and Hugh Davies (Schramsberg). [EaterWire]
[Photo via Yelp/Ed U.]

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