Tie One On

Danko, Dine, and various anniversaries

All About MeHappy birthday to Harry, happy birthday to Harry. Forgive the absence over the past few weeks, but it's been two years since the birth of Side Dish, and November was a month packed with restaurant anniversary celebrations. In other words, Harry had to party. Everyone is still recovering.

So Long and Danko for All the Fish Harry wasn't the only one having fun. Renée-Nicole Kubin, wine director at Gary Danko, has left the building. Or rather, she decided it was time to kick up her heels after suffering from über-successful-restaurant burnout. Jeff Morganthal, who hails from Ritz-Carlton Laguna Nigel, is stepping in. Danko's famed frontman, Nick Peyton, is calling it quits, too, to play househusband while he decides on his next project. He's still a partner, but as of January, he's out.

Speaking of Out The staff at Dine reputedly knows how to have a good time, so General Manager Maureen Donegan didn't think any harm would come from one little late-night body shot with a friend at one of the dinner tables. But as a result, the party's over. She was released from her duties when a customer cried foul to Robert Hill, Dine's chief executive officer. For Donegan, it was no love lost. She and Esquire magazine chef of the year Julia McClaskey had been butting heads for some time. Donegan tells Harry she's still invested in the property though she no longer works there, and she has already moved on to her next restaurant project, slated to open in eight months. (Sorry, too early for further details.) Hill, who was planning to leave after the first of the year, has extended his stay until the spring in light of the loss of Donegan -- and the restaurant's recent nomination in that same men's magazine as one of the country's Best New Restaurants of 2000.

In Dog Years, They'd Be 105Still November partied on. Fog City Diner blew out its 15th anniversary with a block-long bash, the 17-piece Starduster Orchestra, and a preview menu from newly appointed chef Bruce Hill. (Due to his recent kitchen hopscotching for Real Restaurants -- the group that owns Fog City, among other places -- Hill has not settled down since he helmed the Waterfront.) Regardless, one can't help but wonder if the band would have played on if the tourist favorite hadn't starred in a Visa commercial.

Meanwhile, it was diners who got a surprise party in celebration of Garibaldi's 10 years on Presidio Avenue. On Nov. 20, anyone who stepped through the door and opened the menu discovered an announcement that the evening would be comped, cocktails and all. Farther east, November marked 10 years since the Cypress Club opened -- when it first caught Harry's attention with its famed design, oft compared to cow udders. The restaurant's celebration, a benefit for ARC San Francisco (Association for Retarded Citizens), proved the Cypress Club folks can still milk it for all it's worth. Last but not least, the Buena Vista Cafe toasted the 48th year of its Irish coffee. As the legend goes, it was a classically foggy San Francisco night in 1952 when the BV's then-owner sat at the bar with Stanton Delaplane, the late San Francisco Chronicle writer, and invented the kicker. (Some say Delaplane brought the drink to the States from a trip overseas.) Over 30,876,000 Irish coffees later, the BV is still pouring strong.

 
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