Monday 11: Austin Isn’t Happening, The Morris Opens

Plus the Lone Star Saloon's future looks brighter, Zapata Mexican Grill's does too, and Mario Batali will cook the Obamas' final state dinner.

The Morris Opens

After a delay of a couple weeks, Paul Einbund’s The Morris (2501 Mariposa) is officially open and serving fried pork cracklins, smoked Muscovy duck, and the Improved Whisky Cocktail. Go forth and enjoy!

The Advocate Will Close Next Thursday

The year-old follow-up to Comal, The Advocate (2635 Ashby) will close on Thursday, Oct. 27. Eater reported Friday that a series of departures in the kitchen was likely to blame, although the owners cited labor costs and local competition. Mercifully, Comal is still going strong.

Lone Star Gets Sold to Longtime Bartenders

While lots of attention has been paid to the struggle of the nearby Stud, SFist reports that the Lone Star Saloon (1354 Harrison) — recently named to S.F.’s new Legacy Business Registry — will be sold to two longtime bartenders. Two for two, in terms of saving SoMa’s queer spaces? Seems that way. Whew.

Toast Kitchen + Bar Taco Joint Not Happening

Inside Scoop reports that Austin, the Texas-style taco joint that was to replace Toast Kitchen + Bar (5900 College Ave., Oakland) is not happening after all.

Dear Mom Getting a New Name and Concept

Four-year-old gastropub Dear Mom (2700 16th St.) will soon get a new name. Owner Paul Bavaro — who also owns Thieves, Whiskey Thieves, and Blind Cat, f.k.a. Dirty Thieves — wants pool tables, and a smaller menu, too. Hoodline says Bavaro doesn’t like the idea of paying $15 for a hamburger, so he’s scrapping it, and quotes him remarking in an empathetic manner on the subject of nearby homeless encampments, too. If you always thought Dear Mom was a weird name, remember that the original owners once had another bar in the Mission called The Unresolved Love Life of Evelyn Lee. Can’t fathom why that one didn’t stick.

The Outer Sunset Gets a Seafood Market

When Cajun Pacific (4542 Irving) closed shop and became a pop-up at Brick & Mortar Music Hall in the Mission instead, the restaurant-starved Outer Sunset had one fewer outlet. Hoodline reports that the space will become Hook Fish Co., a market and restaurant serving seafood caught between Monterey and Mendocino.

The Saga of Zapata Continues

An 11th-hour intervention saved Zapata Mexican Grill (4150 18th St.) from closing on Friday. Hoodline reports that the story is about more than just one burrito joint: Owner Jorge Perez had been battling landlord Les Natali again and again over Natali’s refusal to grant a long-term lease to the 20-year-old business, and Natali is known around the Castro for maintaining vacancies in the properties he owns. As Natali contributed $8,400 to Sup. Scott Wiener’s state Senate campaign, they got a statement from Wiener about his supporter’s actions.

The Obamas Hit Up Mario Batali to Cook for the Italian Prime Minister

To prepare for Pres. Obama’s 13th and final state dinner, honoring Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy, the first lady went to Mario Batali‘s Babbo. Batali seems a little nervous about the menu, if you read between The New York Times‘ lines. He’s going to wear his orange Crocs, and “avoid the more adventurous dishes found on Babbo’s menu, like the aforementioned ravioli, as well as the head cheese, tripe, pig foot and sweetbreads.”

The NYT Profiles The Chef of the World’s Best Restaurant

Elsewhere in the world of Italian food, The New York Times Magazine gets in-depth with Massimo Bottura, chef of Modena, Italy’s Osteria Francescana, which was no. 1 on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. He serves dishes like a “fillet of sole garlanded by edible silver-gray paper that has been made out of seawater” and a dessert called “Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart,” and says Italian food is so good because “it’s distilled by centuries of history.”

Meat’s Effects on Climate Change…

“If your four-person family skips steak just once a week, it’s the equivalent of taking your car off the road for nearly three months.” So says this Salon article, a handy reminder of just how carbon-intensive a burger can be. Also, did you know that eight U.S. slaughterhouses are among the 20 biggest polluters in the country?

…And Oysters’ Effects on a Healthy Ocean

Always balance a doom-and-gloom story with a happy one, right? Oysters are the heroes of civilization, another Salon story argues, but the rise of aquaculture — as opposed to natural reefs — ignores many of their benefits.

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