On the Move
Spring has sprung and the natives are restless. Aqua sommelier William Sherer is boxing up his bottles and breaking for New York's Ritz-Carlton; Friday, March 15, was his last day at Aqua. Sherer's assistant, Matt Turner, jumped to the Financial District's newly opened Jeanty at Jack's. Masa's sommelier Michelle Kaseman skipped town for some quality family time, and Alan Murray, formerly under sommelier Larry Stone at Rubicon, has stepped in to replace Kaseman as the French favorite's new wine guru. Gary Danko maitre d' John Jasso fled to Fifth Floor, where he's now the general manager. Doug Washington, who was globe-trotting after leaving Jardinière when last we reported on him, has returned to his beginnings as a temporary acting manager at Postrio. His cameo is slated to last three months while he scouts for a full-time replacement. Executive Chef Victor Scargle departed Grand Cafe and has yet to land elsewhere; the Kimpton Group is still looking for his successor. Finally, the Hard Rock Cafe is (appropriately) relocating from its Van Ness location to Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf. The joint has never lived up to its opening party, where Harry hobnobbed with Cyndi Lauper and did shots with 49ers, then followed Grace Jones to her birthday bash at SOMA's Trocadero. The only question is: Will the cow move too?
Wine Country Word Fumé Bistro and Bar opened March 14 up Napa way. Terry and Gigi Letson (he worked for a caterer, she managed Napa Valley's Restaurant at Domaine Chandon and Celadon) remodeled a location along Highway 29 just off Trower Avenue. Terry will play chef while Gigi stands as manager and front of the house. The American menu ranges from $6 to $7.50 for starters and $13 to $19 for entrees. Though the dining room seats 70, when the sun's shining the outdoor terrace for 40 is the place to be. Considering that downtown Napa's absurdly affordable Zuzu remains packed nightly, Harry bets these cheaper, more everyday spots are the beginning of an up-valley trend.
Bohemian Brunch Newly opened Andalu, at 16th Street and Guerrero, has added Saturday and Sunday brunch to its menu. Now corned beef hash, pancakes, eggs Benedict, and doughnut holes are part of the tapas temptation on weekends between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Snack Attack There's no telling whether a vandal who broke the window at Upper Market's Grub in the early morning hours of March 11 was desperate for an order of ahi tuna cracker or something altogether different. Owner Brian Brown says the glass attack occurred after the perpetrator had unsuccessfully attempted to saw through the deadbolt; fortunately, the restaurant's alarm scared him or her away.