Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- Fine dining devotees, rejoice: For the first time since 2019, the Michelin guide will announce newly-starred restaurants in California in late September. In the leadup to the awards, the guide is highlighting new dining gems throughout the state, beginning with the Bay Area and California wine country: Oakland’s ever-popular Horn Barbecue; Routier, the new French restaurant from the B. Patisserie team; Bernal Heights’s Marlena; Cal-Indian stunner Ettan in Palo Alto; and Aurum in Los Altos are all getting shoutouts in the 2021 guide, selected “to help food lovers identify new discoveries prior to the annual announcement of Bib Gourmands and Stars.” For the full list of Northern California restaurants added to the guide, see the Michelin Guide website.
- In 2019, the 20-year-old Belgian cafe Frjtz closed its doors in Hayes Valley, ending decades of Belgian-style fries, burger, and crepes. Fans could at least take comfort in the fact that owner Santiago Rodriguez transitioned the restaurant to a delivery-only model but now, even that has come to an end. In an email Rodriguez confirmed that Frjtz ended its long-run in the city on July 28. If you truly need your frite fix, however, there is still an Oakland outfit in operation that’s run not by Rodriguez, who moved to New York two years ago, but by his sister-in-law and niece.
- A popular San Mateo sushi restaurant is expanding to Noe Valley, reports What Now SF, bringing Tokyo-shipped fish and Japanese tapas to 737 Diamond Street (the former location of Bacco Italian Restaurant). Dash Japanese Tapas and Sushi owners Eric Deng and Edmond Tse just signed a lease for the address, so they’re early on in the process, but stay tuned for a projected 2021 opening date. [What Now SF]
- While some Bay Area tech companies have recently pulled back on returning to their downtown offices, it’s full speed ahead for Andytown Coffee Roasters. The popular San Francisco roaster and mini-chain of coffee shops has reopened its location inside the Salesforce Transit Center, at 181 Fremont Street, for the first time since shuttering at the beginning of the pandemic. If you build it they will come?
- After dominating the takeout scene during the pandemic, wildly popular Thai mini-chain Farmhouse Kitchen has reaffirmed its plans to expand to Berkeley. Berkeleyside reports the restaurant confirmed it will indeed open at 1549 Shattuck Avenue, as planned, by the end of 2021. [Berkeleyside]
- A ghost kitchen with major Tuscan credentials has opened in Sacramento: Dario Cecchini, the world’s most famous butcher according to the Los Angeles Times, has expanded stateside with sandwich shops in New York and, of all places, Sacramento. The takeout and delivery-only Cicci Di Carne opened July 15 at 500 Capitol Mall, reports the Sacramento Bee, serving seven-inch sandwiches stuffed with the likes of mortadella, burrata, salami, fontina, and more. Additional locations are planned for San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Walnut Creek. [Sacramento Bee]