Chef's Choice

Women think Auberge du Soleil's cook is a pretty tasty morsel

Camera ReadyFor you overworked chefs who don't know how to get a date, consider following the lead of Auberge du Soleil's chef, Richard Reddington. Thanks to a snapshot of the 35-year-old in the Sept. 30 issue of Wine Spectator, women are visiting his restaurant for more than his French-inspired California cuisine. One female guest ventured into the kitchen to meet Reddington -- and handed him her room key; an ABC studio scout wondered whether he was interested in being on The Bachelor, a dating show during which a single man whittles his choice from 25 women down to "the one." Despite encouragement from friends, Reddington, who is single, says, "I just didn't feel like turning my life upside down" by going on TV. In addition to being good-looking, he's also a mensch: In making the decision, he consulted his mother.

What's Old Is Newsom AgainVeteran singles mecca Pierce Street Annex may be reopening, but its new-millennium interpretation is unlikely to resurrect the sloppy fun that made the Marina District dance club and bar famous. Gavin Newsom and his PlumpJack group are behind the two-year renovations, and it's doubtful the preppy politico aims to accommodate the old crowd of bridge-and-tunnel women and visiting sailors. When doors open on Nov. 15, MatrixFillmore will unveil a Stanlee Gatti-designed interior complete with fireplace, lots of dark wood, accents in burgundy and green, and a built-in DJ station. A simple bar menu, rendered by PlumpJack Cafe chef James Ormsby, will set partygoers back $8 to $17. And for those who think the name refers to a Keanu Reeves movie, the real story: In the spring of 1965, Marty Balin opened San Francisco's first folk rock nightclub, Matrix, at 3138 Fillmore. The venue's live performances included Balin's band, Jefferson Airplane, as well as Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and the 1970 debut of Bruce Springsteen's Steel Mill. The Matrix closed in 1972; under new owners, it became Pierce Street in 1978.

Mosquito NettingWilderness and Harry generally don't get along, but that may change thanks to Bob Green, whose success with Bigfoot Lodge Bar in L.A. has inspired a second location in our town. The space, at 1750 Polk St., is the former site of Boston Spirits; we should be able to see its forest for the trees on Dec. 7. The concept of the bar is a trip to Yosemite Lodge, complete with bark walls, faux trees, lantern lighting, and a 10-foot hand-carved wooden Sasquatch. The DJ sits in a log cabin. No word on plans to serve bug repellent.

Johnfrankly SpeakingOn Nov. 4 Johnfrank unveiled its new bar, lounge, and outdoor patio -- the latter a boon to the city's smokers. Harry sneaked in during the industry party for bar and restaurant employees and spotted yet another DJ booth as he headed outside. Can any S.F. bar open without one?

 
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