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Wines at Eno Wine Lounge.
Red velvet cupcake from La Luna.
Exterior of Pica Pica Castro.
Shrimp ceviche at Pica Pica Castro.
The Opening Wire
Brand new San Francisco spots for wine, cupcakes, arepas, and more.
Carolyn Alburger | Photo: Heather Scharf Photography, Yelp, Quentin Curtis Bacon, and Carolyn Alburger | March 26, 2013
Following this month’s earlier openings for Hutong, Padrecito, a second Bi-Rite Market, and the recent Charles Phan-apalooza, restaurant March Madness contines this week.
1) If you haven’t been to Pica Pica since it opened three years ago on Valencia Street, it’s probably time for a revisit. Owner Adriana Lopez Vermut opened her third location in the Castro over the weekend, and there are lots of changes and new things to talk about. First off, there is table service. The ambiance is a spicy one: with devil’s masks from Yare adorning the walls and Pica Pica Radio streaming live from Caracas.
The menu (see it here) has been scaled up to include a lot of non-arepa items, like nachos Pica Pica ($13.50) with pulled pork and Guasacaca sauce; Ensalada Llanera ($12.50) with grilled flank steak, tostones, black beans and mustard vinaigrette; entrees like crispy chicken ($15) with black beans, yucca fries and slaw; and new dessert options like yucca beignets with dulce de leche dipping sauce ($5.50). Lopez Vermut hopes to get her beer and wine license by April 19th. Until then, they’re serving virgin passionfruit red and white sangria and non-alcoholic beers and wine.
2) Last Thursday, La Luna Cupcakes opened its first retail outpost on the first level of the Crocker Galleria (50 Post Street). Inside you’ll find this lovely array of cupcakes and cake pops. Of course, industry people are already mumbling about the savory cupcake options, which are really more of a quiche in cupcake form. Flavors include havarti with scallions and smoked salmon; ground beef with queso fresco, salsa and pinto beans; and “San Francisco Bay-con” made with bacon, eggs and cheddar cheese. Have you tried one yet?
3) This week Eno Wine Lounge will ring in its sixth U.S. outpost just off Union Square in the former Stanley’s Steamers hot dog joint at 320 Geary Street. Eno is a chain of casual “neighborhood” wine bars with branches in Chicago, The Ritz in Half Moon Bay and Laguna-Niguel, and Hotel Coronado in San Diego. The focus here is on wines (50 by the glass, 300 by the bottle) sourced from all over the world, with a studied nod to local producers in each market. There are also six different $12 cheese flights, a charcuterie platter that’s $7 per person, and five different $11 chocolate tasting plates. Have a first look at the San Francisco wine menu here, and the food offerings, here. You can hit up their grand opening party tomorrow night from 6 to 9 p.m. Winemakers from AP Vin, Qualia, Carlotta will be in attendance.