Having received its Michelin star in 2016, Laurel Heights’ well-regarded contemporary French restaurant Nico decided not to rest on its laurels or its heights. Husband-and-wife owners Chef Nicolas and Andrea Delaroque closed up last August a 3228 Sacramento St. with the intention of moving into the former Bocadillos space at 710 Montgomery St., near Jackson Square.
That time has nearly come, and Nico will reopen in early April, with a prix-fixe lunch from Tuesdays through Fridays (it’s two courses for $32, three for $38) plus dinner on Saturday evenings. For that, options include a $62, four-course meal or a $75, six-course, “carte blanche” menu assembled that day to emphasize the restaurant’s market-driven nature. Considering the caliber of this kitchen and the fact that Delaroque is a classically trained chef who worked at Manresa, that’s a steal. Beyond dishes such as cauliflower “Grenobloise” with sabayon and roe, and suckling pig with cabbage and béarnaise, there will also be a bar menu with oysters, a wild mushroom waffle made with Atika cheese, and paté.
The majority of the front- and back-of-house staff is expected to rejoin, ensuring continuity for a restaurant that prized excellent service. Additionally, a liquor license means there are now classic and seasonally inspired cocktails, including a signature drink called Le Chat Noir.
That name is no accident, since Nico’s new address happens to be a historical site. As a plaque embedded outside notes, it was the home of The Black Cat, a notorious bohemian/gay bar that opened as soon as the telegram arrived announcing the repeal of Prohibition and closed in 1963 after numerous raids and other run-ins with the law. Expect little of the danger but all of the thrill when this much-missed standard-bearer returns to the scene.
Nico, reopening in early April, 710 Montgomery St., 415-359-1000 or nicosf.com