Tailor’s Son opens its doors today, March 31, on a tony stretch of Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights, the newest in the continuing expansion of a prolific SF restaurant group. The restaurant is an aptly named personal project from Back of the House’s founder and owner Adriano Paganini, a remembrance of his childhood as the son of tailors in Northern Italy.
The restaurant’s opening is a bright moment in what’s been a year of seemingly endless closings and delays for restaurateurs throughout the Bay Area; Tailor’s Son has been on hold for over a year due to the constraints of the pandemic. For Paganini, now is the ideal time to put something simple and substantive out into the world as diners begin to feel comfortable venturing out and restaurants increase their indoor dining capacity.
The menu is a collaboration between Paganini and chef Freedom Rains (also the chef at Back of the House restaurant A Mano) that includes recipes from his mother. Like the food she prepared for him in Solbiate Olona, the small village outside Milan where Paganini grew up, there is less meat on the menu — in her recipe for Risotto alla Milanese saffron and parmesan are the stars, though ossobucco and bone marrow are both rustic optional add-ons. That means seafood and vegetables are a focus, though dishes like the rotolo with braised rabbit and rigatoni with lamb ragu can still be found. The entire first section is devoted to verdure (vegetables), including a fritto misto of spring vegetables with tarragon aioli, and a spinach sformato with truffled pecorino and hazelnuts.
Meanwhile, the cocktails are Italian in nature with spritzes, negronis, balsamic-infused martinis, and the like. The Tailor’s Martini adds balsamic vinegar to the classic gin and vermouth combination, while a Negroni Tropicale uses pandan in tandem with rum and pineapple gomme to level up a classic. The wine list is all Italian, with the majority of bottles organic and biodynamic.
Interior designer Hannah Collins of ROY joined the project to create a playful, clean interior that calls back to Paganini’s tailor roots in the details. Overall, it’s a casual space with an inviting bar (that neighborhood regulars will surely claim immediately), leather bench seating, and various patterns and shapes of tile throughout. The facade of the restaurant has maintained a bit of its original vibes from 38 years as Elite Café, though with some upgrades, including a new neon sign hanging above the entrance.
Starting today, Wednesday, March 31st, Tailor’s Son will open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.