West of Pecos Opens; Silks Morphing Into Brasserie S&P
By: Marcia Gagliardi "The Tablehopper"
Main dining room. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Recently on a Thursday evening, I had a chance to swing by and check out West of Pecos, the Southwestern restaurant newly opened in the former Bombay Bazar and Bombay Ice Creamery. I met up with owner Dylan MacNiven (Woodhouse Fish Co.) and his brother Tyler for a sneak peek; the space features two rustic dining rooms (the side room will open later) with big booths upholstered in Southwestern fabrics, hefty wood tables, and a bar area. The wood floor and skylights are original to the 1907 building. There’s also a front patio with fireplaces (but no seating)—they hope to roast chiles out front when they come into season. Be sure to notice the ax door handles when you walk in.
Chef Leo Varos is a native of Santa Fe (La Fonda, Geronimo, Bistro 315, O’Keeffe Café) and has put together a menu of Southwestern-inspired dishes, including starters like duck confit flautas, green chile mac and cheese, Pecos chili with braised beef, and hominy stew with red chile and braised pork. There are a few salads, and large plates like lamb albóndigas (made in a northern New Mexico style with chorizo and rice in a spicy tomato and green chile broth), whole fish fajitas, and some vegetarian options. There’s also a green chile burger with three cheeses—the hefty burger comes wrapped up in a thick and housemade flour tortilla (made from Varos’ mother’s recipe) and is served with potatoes on the side topped with queso fresco, plus some spicy chipotle ketchup you can dunk the potatoes into. There are housemade corn tortillas available as well—all are made on the hearth. You can check out a test menu over on tablehopper.
There’s also a full bar, with plenty of whiskey, tequila, and mezcal to quench your thirst (you look parched, cowboy). Dinner is Sun–Thu 5pm–11pm, Fri–Sat 5pm–12am. Brunch should launch in a few months.
550 Valencia St. at 16th St., 415-252-7000.
Meanwhile, over in the Financial District, we have new details about what is taking the place of Silks in the Mandarin Oriental. The new concept is Brasserie S&P, opening on the lobby level (where the MO Bar was); the name takes its inspiration from the hotel’s location at Sansome and Pine Streets. The bar and lounge area will blend into the 90-seat restaurant, with floor-to-ceiling windows, leather banquettes, velvet lounge chairs, and “boldly designed carpeting” (although nothing will ever top Fifth Floor’s previous zebra carpet, heh). The bar will feature a curved Italian white marble bar top, where you can order off a menu of gin and tonics along with other cocktails; beverage manager Priscilla Young is behind the gin-centric menu. Look for a strong wine selection as well.
The new executive chef is Adam Mali (Nick’s Cove), offering a menu of “brasserie-style, San Francisco cuisine,” with dishes like baked Drake’s Bay oysters with ginger and hijiki butter and roasted Liberty Farms duck breast with cracked English peas and preserved Meyer lemon. Breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch, and dinner will be served.
222 Sansome St. at Pine, 415-986-2020.
Marcia Gagliardi writes a popular insider weekly e-column about the SF dining scene, “the tablehopper.” Subscribe for free at www.tablehopper.com.
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