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San Francisco’s Most Exciting Restaurant Openings

Mouth-watering options are coming to The Golden City this spring

Odette Estate

As the latest hot spot in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District, Odette Estate is already making a name for itself, thanks to inaugural 2012 vintages that received glowing reviews from critic Robert Parker. Its recently completed 3,500-square-foot public space welcomes visitors with walnut tasting bars, black velvet sofas, modern chandeliers and an open patio featuring cushioned benches and a fire pit. “With the addition of the lounge to the Estate, we look forward to creating offerings that are commensurate with the world-class wines being produced here,” says partner John Conover. The list includes the 2012 Odette Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, which received a 96-point rating from the venerable Parker. 

5998 Silverado Trail, Napa;odetteestate.com 

Verso Nightclub

Verso Nightclub

Forgery and Verso 

The Mid-Market District welcomes its newest watering hole, Forgery, and an adjacent sister property, the nightclub Verso. Forgery’s historic brick façade frames floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing the perfect view into the PlumpJack Group’s latest endeavor. The cocktail list includes creations such as the County Cork Shrub (Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, strawberry chamomile shrub and tonic) and the Pickled Swede (Absolut Elyx vodka, dill-infused Dolin vermouth and onion). Verso, the Latin word for “on the turned page,” is located in a former printing press and features exposed brick walls and a white Carrara marble bar alongside the dance floor. 

1525 Mission Street; forgerysf.comversosf.com 

Bodega Bay rock cod marinated in brown butter dashi at Ninebark

Bodega Bay rock cod marinated in brown butter dashi at Ninebark


The Napa skyline is getting brighter with Michelin-starred chef Matthew Lightner’s latest project, Ninebark. In partnership with New York-based hospitality group AvroKO, the restaurant boasts California-focused and “market-forward” fare, which, according to Lightner, is “an easy way to say ‘seasonal.’” The atmosphere is designed to mimic the intimate feel of residential gardens, and features custom-designed replica 1950s glider chairs as well as modernist details and custom plaid cushions in a third-floor lounge ideal for enjoying a glass of wine. A glowing wall of preserved herbs in vintage wood storehouse boxes on the ground floor warmly welcomes guests to an experience Lightner says will be “fun, comfortable and refreshing at the same time.” 

813 Main Street; ninebark-napa.com

Chicken tortilla soup at Californios

Chicken tortilla soup at Californios


Chef Val M. Cantu put down roots in the Mission District with Californios, a fine-dining restaurant informed by his Mexican heritage. “I wanted something that made sense,” says Cantu. “I found a rich Mexican history and discovered that ‘Californios’ was what the locals called themselves when this was still part of Mexico.” Along with his partners, Cantu offers an ever-changing, seasonal tasting menu which may include a beautifully prepared squab or a braised and smoked beef tongue. “We try to change things as quickly as we can,” explains Cantu. “As soon as we’ve come up with something we’re happy with, we already want it to evolve.” 

3115 22nd Street; californiossf.com