Crazy, Sexy, Cool
The cocoon broke open last week and Butterfly is finally flying over on Mission Street, next to Woodward's Garden. This restaurant and jazz club will feature Pacific Rim cuisine presented by Executive Chef Erik Hopfinger, accompanied by straight-ahead and Latin jazz in a transformed 3,500-square-foot space. The former auto repair shop now has exposed brick walls, a floating glass wall, and — my favorite — a koi pond in the middle of the room (no, koi do not drink Cosmos). The operations manager is none other than cool guy himself Thaddeus Van Dyke, making sure guests are enjoying the great sounds and the sharing and sampling of the menu. Some of my favorite dishes included Salmon Oshi-Sushi, Tokyo Tartare, and the Surf & Turf Salad. But the really exciting news about Butterfly is that the menu is served until 1 a.m., while the bar's open until 2 a.m. — and you know how Harry likes late-night food and drinks ….
Second Time's a Charm
You've all heard by now that Bruno's has reopened, but have you been yet? Harry recently dropped by to check out the scene and sample some of the new menu — let's just say that not only are the daily selections by Chef Ola Fendert as good as one would expect, but don't be surprised if he delivers your dinner personally. In this fast-paced market it's always nice to see the powers that be mingling with guests as they would in their own homes. Ola worked the room with ease, while owner/partner Michael Hecht spoke of wine and cocktails with his patrons. With Bruno's new look and energy, I could get used to sipping Manhattans at this lounge.
Thelma & Louise
Who are those two wild and crazy girls laughing, talking on the phone, and taking orders at Sweet Heat on Haight? None other then Gina Milano (the wild one) and Christina Deeb (the crazy one). Gina is the bartender bon vivant — if you have never had a drink poured from her talented hands you obviously do not have a social life — and Christina comes from a long line of restaurateurs, particularly father Michael Deeb. What do they have in store for the location? Some interior changes, menu changes, and maybe a name change, says Milano, but for now it's tasty sangria, improving food quality, and building a relationship with the new neighbors.