3343 Lakeshore Ave., Grand Lake
Phone: (415) 513-9586
Web: Michel Bistro/Facebook
Status: Opening tonight
Germain Michel and Samie Didda, the owners of popular SF wine bar Amelie and its NYC sister, have expanded their empire to the East Bay with Michel Bistro, which opens tonight. Co-owned with Jean-Michel Fabregon and housed in the former YaYu Ethiopian space, the restaurant features the cooking of 26-year-old Anthony Salguero, who's worked at Saison, Commonwealth, and Plumed Horse. The emphasis is on Cal-French bistro/brasserie fare, along with French-influenced cocktails and an all-French wine list.
Classic French dishes like moules frites, steak au poivre, and trout almandine all make appearances on the menu, nestled alongside some new takes like a forbidden-rice risotto, bison tartare, and a lamb burger. There are also cheese and charcuterie platters, the latter with housemade duck rillettes, and snacks like chicken-liver mousse and bone marrow with brioche that pair nicely with the house selection of ten types of pastis and the four draft beers (NapaSmith IPA, Allagash White, St. Bernardus 8, and Mission Blonde). Here's the full menu.
On the wine side of things, the tout Francais list is actually divided by classification, ranging from low-priced vin de pays to grand cru options. Michel's own winery, in southern France, will also provide some selections.
The space is petite and casual, with exposed brick, leather banquettes, a long wood bar, and dark wood tables. Wine barrels are posted around the room. Michel is opening tonight for dinner and tomorrow morning for weekend brunch; lunch will launch in a few weeks or so. Hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 5:30-10pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 11am-3pm, for brunch.