The Fog City Diner has been wiped from existence, but you'll still feel a twinge of its past upon entering the revamped Fog City, which opens tonight on the Embarcadero. The curvy diner footprint is still intact, with a huge central bar packed with stools, and the windows on all sides still offer a charming view of the bustling thoroughfare. The Real Restaurants team of Bill Higgins and Bill Upson remain the spot's owners, but its first interior revamp since opening in 1985 is much more updated and a good deal more neutral than its predecessor.
Chef-owner Bruce Hill (Bix, Picco, Zero Zero) has assumed control of the menu, changing the format from the global tapas of the Cindy Pawlcyn days to a more relaxed and seasonal aesthetic. Chef de cuisine Erik Lowe (Bix) will be turning out dishes centered around the wood-fired grill and oven, with options like wood-roasted tomato soup, mesquite-grilled lamb and tuna, and roasted chicken and clams. There's a big emphasis on local seafood, as well as a burger made with Hill's famed Chef's Press. Definitely stick around for desserts from pastry chef Aaron Toensing (Bix), which will include housemade frozen custard (Toensing and Hill went to Wisconsin to learn the technique) and French crullers fried to order. Here's the full dinner menu, and the dessert menu.
On the booze side of the equation, lead bartender Dustin Sullivan (Picco) will be offering a menu of primarily revamped classics, with takes on a Moscow Mule, Bloody Mary, and milk punch. (Here's a preview of some of the drinks.) They'll also offer 16 draft wines, mainly from California, and 7 California draft beers. Architect Michael Guthrie did a lot of work to revamp the 145-seat space, from installing the 30-seat V-shaped bar to opening up the kitchen; there's also new outdoor seating along Battery Street. Fog City is currently open just for dinner, with plans to introduce lunch and brunch sometime in October. Hours are Sunday-Wednesday, 5:30-10 p.m., and Thursday-Saturday, 5:30-11 p.m. Their OpenTable account is only taking reservations from 10/1 on, but prospective diners for the first week can call them at (415) 982-2000.
· Fog City Reopening With a Whole New Look [~ ESF ~]
· Fog City Diner to Shutter; Complete Overhaul on the Way [~ ESF ~]
· SF's 10 Most Anticipated Fall Restaurants [~ ESF ~]