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Top Chef John Tesar Plans to Bring Texas Steak to San Francisco

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It will be an expansion of his popular Dallas eatery, Knife

John Tesar
Tommy Garcia/Bravo Media

Eater critic Bill Addison once called outspoken Dallas chef John Tesar’s steakhouse, Knife, “a beefy joyride for every budget.” Now it looks like San Francisco might soon get a “beefy joyride” of its own, as former Top Chef contestant Tesar says he plans to expand his critically-acclaimed Dallas steakhouse with a location in SF’s Metreon Center.

The Metreon is owned by Starwood Retail Concepts, also Tesar’s partner in Knife’s current expansion plans in Houston and Plano, TX. And while the chef says the deal is not 100 percent finalized, the new restaurant could take the place of the current indoor food court, which includes operators like Sanraku and SF Soup Company.

Tesar says he plans to bring his chef-driven steakhouse mentality to the Bay Area, a style that he envisions fitting in perfectly with the San Francisco lifestyle. “I have every intention of bringing what we do in Texas to San Francisco,” Tesar told Eater SF. “We’re going to bring a good steak to San Francisco. Other than House of Prime Rib, I’m tired of going to places like Morton’s and getting robbed.”

The Magic Burger at Knife Dallas
Bill Addison

That vision also includes hiring West Coast talent to run the kitchen, though Tesar says he’ll be making regular appearances. “I’ll search out talent with the same sensibilities,” said Tesar. “I don’t need seven guys with tweezers and a heat lamp performing an operation on one plate." For context, Knife Dallas’ menu features an extensive selection of steaks and cuts from Texas’ 44 Farms, from filet mignon to dry-aged ribeye, as well as pasta, salads, burgers, a ham tasting, and bacon jam sloppy joes with crispy pig’s head, tortillas, and salsas.

“I have wanted to work on the West Coast for a long time, and I have a lot of chef friends there,” said Tesar. “So, why wouldn’t I want to come to SF after living in Texas?”

Tesar also hopes that an outpost of his casual burger restaurant, Knife Burger, will follow its big sibling, offering a “Shake Shack-like” price point for a small selection of burgers, beers, and wines.

If the deal is approved and all goes according to plan, the restaurant would open in late 2018, coinciding with the projected completion of the nearby Moscone Center expansion. Stay tuned for more.

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