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New Songs in an Old Cafe
The 6-year-old Ace Cafe, at 1539 Folsom in SOMA, has new owners -- John DiDomenico and Lon Lazare. (They also run Nickie's BBQ in the Lower Haight.) Their new chef, Paul Robben, who's also cooked at the Billboard Cafe and Cha-Cha-Cha, gives a Caribbean spin to the new menu. Deep-fried calamari now comes with chipotle mayonnaise, for example, and baby-back ribs are basted with black chile chocolate sauce. Blackened salmon comes with a ragout of black chile, tomato, and pepper vodka. Standards from the old menu continue. You can still get the buckwheat noodles in spicy peanut sat, the jerk chicken on focaccia, and the sea bass tacos. Ace also offers live music four nights a week.
Up on the Roof
Another place recently reopened under new auspices. The old Starlite Roof, atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, is now Harry Denton's Starlight Room. (Will one of the patrons be Armistead Maupin, author and co-producer of PBS's Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City? Are these people being self-indulgently grand or is Dish just oversensitive to the dropping in public of one's own moniker?)
The reincarnated Room offers, apart from a full bar, an appetizer menu and caviar service, "along with Harry's decadent dessert specialties," says the press squib. And music! The house orchestra will be in session every night except Sunday, with everything from swing to blues. Expect to pay cover charges from $6 to $12, and wear a jacket if you're a man, but don't complain, because, says Denton, "it's all about glamour!"
By Paul Reidinger