Nearly 25-year-old Spanish restaurant Zarzuela will close in the coming weeks as chef/co-owner Lucas Gasco retires to Spain. He’s there now, but don’t worry, he’ll return to SF on the 15th of the month to cook some last dishes of paella and pulpo a la gallega (octopus and potatoes) before he leaves for good.
Meanwhile. the space at 2000 Hyde Street (at Union) won’t sit empty when he does depart: Michael Pawlik, executive chef at nearby Russian Hill restaurant Frascati, and his girlfriend and co-owner Amanda Banks Barker (Mamanoko) will take over with a new restaurant, to be called Abrazo. They’ll keep some of the Spanish influences with a Mediterranean focused menu, but without the tapas format.
“They’ve been there for so long, and I hate seeing these restaurants just fall off, so I want to keep the Spanish theme going but broaden it regionally” Pawlik tells Eater. The chef has cooked in a Mediterranean vein at Frascati for the last 12 years, but will depart that restaurant to focus on Abrazo.
Cosmetically, Pawlik and Barker will add some fresh coats of paint to the new restaurant and remove the linen tablecloths of yesteryear in favor of reclaimed wood tabletops. Barker, currently bar manager at Mamanoko, will put together a drinks menu for Abrazo including some sherry-based cocktails. Altogether, they hope to open in early December.
Stay tuned for more details as Zarzuela says farewell and Abrazo gets ready to fill its sizable shoes.
- Polk Street’s Classic Zarzuela to Be Replaced by Abrazo [TableHopper]