Trust in Schrager?

Clift Hotel; Roy's; Perlot; Jardinière

Gentlemen in the Back Row
After much ballyhoo around town from all our politically correct goody-two-shoes, the auction at the famed Clift Hotel began last Tuesday at 10 a.m. If any of you are thinking, "Yeah, so -- another hotel remodel. So what?" let me give you some background. The Clift Hotel was once the jewel of downtown's grand old hotels. It also houses the Redwood Room, which is classic, to say the least -- as the old saw goes, try saying the name after several martinis, and the rest of the evening is history.

When the Four Seasons ended its lease with the hotel some years back, the Clift changed hands until its recent purchase by hotelier Ian Schrager. (Let's just hope we have better luck in our own back yard when this grande dame reopens than we do at the Sky Bar, the Whiskey, or the Blue Bar, to name some of his other hot spots.) The cries started when remodeling plans were publicized; some feared the Redwood Room would be destroyed, while management issued soothing statements saying the hotel will be restored to its original grandeur. Now we have to wait and see, but since I have stayed at several Schrager hotels, and even had the good fortune of having cocktails with Mr. S himself, I say: Close your eyes, count to three, and behold the wonders that await you.

Final Boarding
Did you miss me? I thought so! How ironic to be dining at the opening of Roy's before heading off to Hawaii for a little island R&R. After the guests were lei-ed on arrival, I found myself seated next to the lovely Stephanie Holt. The incredibly matched wine flowed, and course after course arrived; then I noticed my good friend Hedda sitting at a nearby table. The question on everyone's mind was: Hedda, was that metal decoration on your shoulder your pet locust, or what?

Checking In
Chef Geoffrey Blythe's new dining room in the Hotel Majestic, Perlot, is serving a very classic and impressive menu. The setting is San Francisco romantic -- if you didn't think a place like this existed, you've just been proven wrong.

Meanwhile, it looks like Blythe's move from the infamous Jack's on Sacramento Street came none too soon. Jack's is being sold for office space after a difficult run since its reincarnation. Once again, another one of our city's great "if these walls could talk" sites has closed its doors.

Big Ticket
It's true that Doug Washington of Jardinière is leaving his famed management position. "I'm cashing out, relaxing, and heading to Europe with an open-ended ticket," he says. How many of you remember that charming boyish smile in his first years at Postrio?

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