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Top Chef and Top Bartender Debut Aveline & The European in Union Square

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[Photos: Patricia Chang]

After months of anticipation, Aveline and The European, the new restaurant and bar from chef Casey Thompson and bartender Adam Wilson, are finally checking into Union Square's Warwick San Francisco hotel tomorrow. The restaurant and bar are the first solo projects for Thompson, the Top Chef fan favorite who trained under Dallas' Dean Fearing, and Wilson, who gained extensive experience behind the bars of Beretta, Del Posto, and Babbo. They're located right across the lobby from each other.

Aveline, a 60-seat "New Californian" restaurant, is named for Thompson's grandmothers, one of whom was named Hazel and the other of whom was French ("aveline" is French for "hazel.") The food is definitely on the refined side, with small plates like crab macarons; avocado with marinated leek, pink peppercorn, and crumpets; and an egg-yolk beignet with wagyu beef, lardo, and trotter sauce. Larger plates include fried chicken with kimchi powder and picked vegetables, and sea bass with fiddleheads, fungi, bonito butter, and pea-shell tea. Wilson will provide the cocktails for the restaurant as well. Here's the full food menu.

Over at the 35-seat European, Wilson is shaking up cocktails intended to reflect what Europeans drank during Prohibition. (Find out more about his inspirations in our interview.) They're primarily fizzy and on the lighter side, intended not to bowl drinkers over with booze. Drinks include a Royal Hiball, with Champagne, cognac, and strawberries; the Violet Fizz, with gin, black currant, creme de violette, cream, and seltzer; and the signature The European, with Campari, grapefruit, gum syrup, lemon, and seltzer. Though Thompson isn't a partner in The European, she's cooking up a huge menu of bar plates for it, including Wagyu tartare, a brisket burger, housemade Spam with grape jelly and Texas toast, and chicken-skin chips with smoked-eggplant cream. There are also raw bar options, and charcoal-grilled skewers like confit chicken wings and pork-jowl bacon. Here's the full food and drink menu.

The spaces' looks reflect their dual personalities; Aveline's space is lighter, brighter, and more formal, with a glassed-in wine cellar and mustard leather banquettes, while The European has a darker, moodier vibe. Hours for Aveline are Sunday-Thursday, 5-10 pm, and Friday-Saturday, 5-11 pm; The European's hours are Sunday-Thursday, 4 pm-12 am, and Friday-Saturday, 4 pm-1 am. Both venues will launch brunch service (weekends, 11 am-2 pm) later this summer.

· Adam Wilson Previews The European's Cocktail Menu [~ ESF ~]
· Aveline and The European to Open June 6 [~ ESF ~]
· SF's 12 Most Anticipated Spring/Early Summer Restaurants [~ ESF ~]

The European

490 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 345-2305 Visit Website


490 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102 415-345-2303 Visit Website