Barbary Coast Neighborhood Assn.
To Join: www.barbaryneighbors.org/joinup
Barbary Coast Neighborhood Assn.
To Join: www.barbaryneighbors.org/joinup
Can The Embarcadero Handle This Much Traffic?
WATERFRONT GRIDLOCK—Traffic along the Embarcadero already moves at a snail’s pace during many hours of the day. Additional development along this popular thoroughfare will only make things worse, unless public transit options are improved.
For those Barbary Coasters who either drive along the Embarcadero or cross it on foot, the idea of adding traffic from a new Cruise Terminal, an America’s Cup “temporary” concert venue, the new Exploratorium, and a new Warriors Arena at Piers 30-32 must seem like a really bad nightmare.
But that’s what might be in store for the Northeast Waterfront if San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee gets his “legacy” wish and the Warriors get to build a 17,500-seat arena over the water along the Embarcadero. And don’t forget the owners won’t just host 40+ basketball games—they plan on at least 100 more events throughout the year… concerts, rodeos, circuses, etc.
Add 80+ events at the Giants’ AT&T Park and you can quickly get the idea.
“The Embarcadero is already grid-locked at several times during the day,” one area resident complained. “Adding all this additional traffic will be insanity! Plus all these auto emissions damage the health for those who live in the area.”
Adding to the problem of auto congestion is the lack of public transit along the Embarcadero. "There is decent Muni Metro service to AT&T Park,” said Bob Harrer, BCNA Vice President. “Beyond that line, however, the historic F-line street cars are popular but inadequate for serving the cumulative demands arising from these developments. “The city needs to show specifically how it will meet the future demand for mobility along the Embarcadero. This means quantifying the physical and financial resources that will be dedicated to the corridor in the future," Harrer added.
In addition to traffic problems, many residents are questioning the financial terms initially proposed for the Warrior’s arena. According to the SF Bay Guardian, the Warriors will have to spend $120 million to replace Piers 30-32. To compensate, the city will sell the Warriors a seawall lot on the other side of the Embarcadero for $30 million, then give the $30 million right back to the team.
Then the city will set up an Infrastructure Financing District and use the future tax income to fund a $50 million bond. The Warriors get the bond money; the city pays back the debt. Finally, the city will be giving the team $30 million worth of rent credits, meaning the Warriors will probably never pay any rent at all for the use of Piers 30-32. And to make it sweeter, San Francisco will pay the Warriors 13 percent interest on the rent-credit money.
Further north, a small outdoor amphitheater that was intended for America’s Cup activities, suddenly has doubled in size.
The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the America’s Cup Pavilion called for a “4,000-person venue on the site.” Now the America’s Cup Event Authority proposes to increase capacity to 9,000. The promoter, Live Nation (from Masonic Auditorium fame), will need to get approval from the Entertainment Commission for the additional capacity. But has the Entertainment Commission ever said “no” to anything?
Some neighborhood leaders are already asking important questions about the Embarcadero traffic issue. Jamie Whitaker, editor of Rincon Hill News, suggests these deal points for the proposed Warriors Arena:
- The Term Sheet should require non-Warriors basketball events to start no earlier than 8 pm to give the 100,000+ weekday office workers time to get out of our neighborhood.
- Perhaps Main Street and Beale Street should be closed to through traffic between Folsom and Bryant.
- The number of non-Warriors basketball events that occur on the same evenings as Giants baseball events should be limited to 2 or 3 per month.
- No events other than Warriors basketball games should be scheduled on Thursday evenings—the worst traffic congestion night of the week.
- A MUNI bus line (12 Folsom?) should run all the way to Main Street instead of stopping and turning up 2nd Street.
Another future consideration is the SF Giants’ desire to develop one of its parking lots adjacent to AT&T Park. They are proposing to build a medium-size arena venue for musical performances, rallies, and smaller-scale sporting events.
All this potential development along the Embarcadero is a complicated issue. But it will be crucial to future quality of life in the Barbary Coast.
Congestion Pricing—Alive and Well?
On Dec. 14, 2010, the SF County Transportation Authority Board voted 8-3 in favor of pursuing additional study of the congestion pricing concept. The initial study found that congestion pricing would be a feasible way of meeting San Francisco's goals for sustainable growth, but San Francisco is still in the early stages of exploring pricing. Not much has happened officially since then.
“A decision on whether or not to implement congestion pricing is still at least 2-3 years away, following additional study and outreach,” the Board announced. “If that decision is made, congestion pricing would not likely be implemented in San Francisco before 2015.”
Congestion pricing is a concept being used in London and Stockholm whereby drivers are charged a fee to enter a busy part of the center of each city. In San Francisco, congestion pricing is being proposed for the entire Barbary Coast area, as shown on the Authority’s planning map.
For more information visit http://www.sfcta.org/content/view/302/148/
Port to Celebrate 150th Anniversary on April 24
With a heritage that began just following the Gold Rush era during President Abraham Lincoln’s Civil War term, The Port of San Francisco will be celebrating its 150th Anniversary on April 24.
Beginning in April and throughout the remainder of 2013, the Port plans to have events and activities on the waterfront, and throughout the City, that highlight the Port’s rich maritime and cultural history and showcase the vibrant “people port” that it’s become today. Port 150th Anniversary celebratory activities include:
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - Big Birthday Bash at PIER 39 – Media event to kick off the anniversary celebration – 11:00 a.m.
Sunday, April 28, 2013 - Maritime Day on the Waterfront – a daylong public celebration of events and activities along the waterfront from Hyde Street Pier in the north to Heron’s Head Park (Pier 98) in the south – 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Activities will include public boat tours, special discount offers at Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 and various restaurants on Port property; historical exhibits and lectures at Pier 1; interactive art at Pier 14; Artists open studio at Pier 70 Noonan Building; and an Open House at the EcoCenter in Heron’s Head Park.
Interpretive Displays –20 interpretive displays will be placed along the Embarcadero Roadway and roadways in the southern waterfront. Each display will provide a glimpse into the rich history of the Port and its contribution to building the City. The displays are three-foot diameter metal columns that will be fabricated by the Port’s Maintenance Division and written by Port staff. Each column will feature a historic photo and caption, and other information of interest to the public.
Port Banners – the Port is preparing a series of festive banners celebrating the 150th. Each banner features an image of how the public enjoys the waterfront today. The intent of the banner images is to entice the public to visit and support the Port in its future endeavors. The banner images will be hung along Port roadways, used as backdrops for events, and posted on the Port’s website. Select images from the banners will be turned into merchandise for sale to the public.
In addition, the celebration will dovetail with many community activities including:
- Port History Exhibit, City Hall – 4th Floor, May 2013
- San Francisco Library – Exhibit and Lecture, 6th Floor History Center – July through August, 2013
International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Locals – Film and History Talk “Tribute to Bloody Thursday,” Local 34 Auditorium – July 5, 2013
- ILWU - Labor Day Fest – Local 10 Longshoreman’s Hall – September 2, 2013
- SF Fire Department – New fireboat dedication, Pier 22 Fire House – October, 2013
- History Talk, Chinatown - TBD
- National Park Service - Maritime Museum – Private Boating on the Bay Exhibit –TBD
- California Historical Society – Exhibit – TBD
- San Francisco Giants – Port’s 150th Day at the ballpark - TBD
- Wells Fargo Museum Exhibit – 420 Montgomery Street – TBD
- Union Bank Exhibit – 400 California Street - TBD
8 Washington Developer Tries an "End Around" Play
After being forced to wait until the November 5 General Election to find out if voters will approve upzoning to allow construction of a tall condo tower, the developer of 8 Washington and the Port of SF are trying something new.
The Port has proposed an ordinance be passed that would grant permission to the developer, San Francisco Waterfront Partners, to occupy part of the public right-of-way in order to begin constructing a portion of the proposed 8 Washington High-Rise Condo Project.
The Port’s logic seems to revolve around the fact that major sewer work is being done in the vicinity of the proposed development. However, allowing any part of the 8 Washington project to move forward would be a violation of the California Constitution, state and local law, according to Jon Golinger, Campaign Director for the “No Wall on the Waterfront” effort. “This is an audacious attempt at an end-run around the will of the voters,” said Golinger.
On August 1, 2012, the Director of the San Francisco Department of Elections certified that enough of the 31,371 petition signatures submitted were valid to qualify the first voter referendum in more than 20 years for the San Francisco ballot.
“The 8 Washington Referendum suspended Ordinance Number 104-12, which attempts to amend the City and County of San Francisco’s zoning map by “upzoning” a portion of the waterfront from 84 feet up to 92 feet in one area and 136 feet in another,” said Golinger.
At the same time, the City Attorney’s office has an investigation open to determine whether Port officials violated the law by expending city resources to influence the vote on the 8 Washington/Wall on the Waterfront Referendum. “We are appalled at what appears to be a systematic attempt by the Port to undercut the will of the voters of San Francisco before they have even had the chance to cast a single ballot,” added Golinger.
The “No Wall” Coalition has also been busy attempting to convince the financial backers of 8 Washington to reconsider their investment. In a January 14 letter to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), Coalition leaders stated that retired California teachers are deeply concerned about the ongoing and even increasing escalation of CalSTRS’ investment of their retirement funds in the 8 Washington project.
“In responding to an information request about this risky investment by retired teachers, Ethics and Compliance Officer Robert Carlin provided the surprising news that CalSTRS had actually increased its investment in this project to a total of almost $42 million last year,” according to the letter.
Continuing, “The second factor contributing to our concern is the apparent fecklessness of the loan/investment as a use of pension trust funds. The supporters of No Wall on the Waterfront who have experience with institutional investing warn that some money managers resist learning from their mistakes and instead, double down on them, trying to prove they were right all along.
“The beneficiaries of the funds with which you are entrusted are sensitive to warning signs (such as the defiant tone of Mr. Carlin’s letter) that that may be happening here,” the letter concluded. For the complete letter visit: http://barbaryneighbors.org/Calstrs.pdf
Changes Could Be Ahead for Embarcadero BART Station
The Barbary Coast’s closest BART station at the Embarcadero could be extensively remodeled if federal money becomes available to finance the job.
BART ridership has increased so much that during rush hour, the Embarcadero station is so crowded with people waiting to board trains that safety and timeliness are being affected. BART is now carrying about 400,000 riders per weekday, with 150,000 getting on or off at the Embarcadero and Montgomery stations.
The biggest change might come with the addition of new "saddleback" platforms—one in each direction at the Embarcadero station which would allow riders to board and exit simultaneously from both sides of a train.
In addition, the remodeling might include boring additional tunnels for staircases, and putting in extra elevators, according to BART board members. Instead of having trains speeding by just inches from waiting passengers, a barricade would be built with automated sliding glass doors that would open when the trains arrive, similar to AirTrain at the SFO Airport.
BART board members say the whole job could take more than five years and about $900 million in funds, but the stations would remain open during that time.
2013 Timetable of SF Port and Waterfront Events
· February 26--Pier 27 Cruise Terminal Phase 1 Ribbon Cutting
· March 5--Debut of Bay Lights on Bay Bridge
· March 10--Sunday Street’s Kickoff from Fisherman’s Wharf to Mission Bay
· March 17-19--2013 World Baseball Classic at AT&T Park
· April 5--SF Giants Opening Day at AT&T Park
· April 14--National Multiple Sclerosis Society Walk MS 2013
· April 17--Grand Opening of The Exploratorium at Pier 15
· April 24--150th Anniversary of Enactment of Port of San Francisco
· April 28--Cycle SF, San Francisco Kidney Walk, Opening Day on the Bay, Port Maritime Day in celebration of its 150th anniversary
· June 9--Sunday Street Southern Waterfront – Bayview/Dogpatch
· June 16--San Francisco Marathon
· July 4--Opening of the 34th America’s Cup, 4th of July Fireworks
· July 4-August 30--34th America’s Cup Louis Vuitton Challenger Series
· August 4--The Giant Race - Half marathon, 10K, 5K
· August 9--San Francisco Mini Relay for Life
· September 1-4--Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals
· September 3--JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge
· September 3--Reopening Celebration of the Bay Bridge
· September 3-6--North American Disabled Sailing Championship at South Beach Harbor
· September 7-21--34th America’s Cup Final Match
· September 28--Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
· October 6--Glide Floss Bridge to Bridge
· October 10-14--Fleet Week
· October 20--Nike Women’s Marathon
· December 31--New Year’s Eve Fireworks
John King to Speak at BCNA Sunday Social
San Francisco Chronicle Urban Design Critic John King will be the featured speaker at the March 3rd Sunday Social for the BCNA. King will be speaking on “The Barbary Coast—The Contentious Waterfront, and The Changing City.”
The Social will be held at 5A5 SteakLounge, 244 Jackson Street near Front. It is scheduled for 4-6 pm. Members of the BCNA and guests who might like to join are welcome. No RSVP required.
David Chiu Begins 2nd Term with Area Meeting
District 3 Supervisor David Chiu began his second term as the Barbary Coast’s City Hall representative (as well as another stint as President of the Board) with a Neighborhood Leaders Meeting on Jan. 9 at City Hall. At the meeting, Chiu gave an overview of District 3 Issues, which included:
· Development & Planning Projects: 8 Washington, CPMC Hospital, 1600 Larkin church conversion
· Public Safety & Homeless especially along Polk, Union Square, Nob Hill and Broadway Corridor
· Playgrounds: Joe DiMaggio, Waterfront, Chinatown
· Green projects: community gardens, trees
· Seismic safety: legislation introduced
· Online B&Bs
· Vacant storefronts
· America’s Cup
· Participatory budgeting
More than 30 district leaders representing many neighborhood constituencies then offered an additional list of neighborhood issues and concerns. They included:
· Congestion toll legislation has returned and will need community input
· Cell phone towers proposed on Russian Hill (no citywide plan)
· Legislation proposed by Mayor to help move the 8 Washington development along
· Zoning and conditional use abuse
· Crime and quality of life issues in major tourist areas (Broadway corridor, Polk St. bars)
· Central Subway
· Improving services for seniors and families with children
· Emergency preparedness
· Parklets, trees, street lighting, signage improvement
· Working with the Port on public access issues, policies
“David Chiu’s philosophy and function as our supervisor is on improving neighborhoods and quality of life for District 3 constituents,” said BCNA Vice President Diana Taylor. “He is mission-driven and action-oriented with a focus of moving policy to action.” These same themes were also reflected in the neighborhood leader’s bullet-point list of issues.
In addition to this meeting, Chiu also held a Participatory Budgeting Community Session on Jan. 26 and a meeting concerning a Community Benefits District for Broadway on Jan. 30.
Could Bay Bridge Lights Increase Property Values?
LED SPECTACULAR —The Bay Lights is a privately-funded art display that will animate the Bay Bridge with 25,000 white programmable lights. The Grand Lighting Ceremony will take place March 5. Photo by Sudheer G via Facebook.
The Barbary Coast will be one of the major beneficiaries of the Bay Bridge’s “Bay Lights,” the world’s largest light sculpture, 1.8 miles wide and 500 feet high commemorating the Bay Bridge’s 75th Anniversary. The Grand Lighting will take place on March 5.
Some real estate brokers are optimistically stating that “Bay Lights” will increase property values for homes and businesses that can see the west span of the bridge. The moving light sculpture was designed by internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal. The light show will be visable for two years on the San Francisco Bay Bridge west span.
Using 25,000 white individually programmed LED lights, the light installation will create complex algorithms and patterns in a display across the bridge’s towers and support cables. “The Bay Lights is a privately funded gift to the Bay Area and The World,” according to the thebaylights.org website.
Known for his light sculptures and site-specific architectural works, Villareal’s art is part of the permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum in Kagawa, Japan. Villareal received a BA in sculpture from Yale University in 1990, and a graduate degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Interactive Telecommunications Program. He is 46 years old and was born in Albuquerque, NM. He currently resides in New York City.
Some residents wonder why the lighting art must be removed after two years. “Once it’s up, seems like it would cost more to take it down than just leave it in place,” said one BCNA member.
Notes From The Golden Gateway Tenants' Association
Condominium Conversions. Supervisors Mark Farrell and Scott Wiener have proposed loosening the tight limits on converting tenancies in common (TICs) to condominiums. The current lottery system would be replaced by payment of a fee of not more than $20,000 to the City.
If this measure is passed, it would NOT apply to the Gateway, which is not a TIC. Also, any affected tenant 62 years of age or older and who declined to buy his or her unit would be provided with a lifetime lease with rent control, and a proposed amendment would reportedly provide the lifetime lease to all tenants of any age.
Opponents of the measure are concerned that it would reduce the stock of affordable housing in San Francisco, and that the lifetime lease provision might not be legally enforceable. Another concern is that this might be the opening move in a long-term campaign to repeal or limit the scope of rent control.
Participatory Budgeting.There is something new under the sun. Each San Francisco supervisor has an annual discretionary fund of $100,000 to spend to benefit his or her district. Our supervisor David Chiu has decided that the voters of District 3 should decide how to spend this year’s fund. At a community meeting on January 26, invited community leaders made many suggestions which are being reviewed for feasibility by David’s staff. If all goes as planned, the proposals that survive the review will be placed on a ballot in March, when District 3 voters will select approximately 5 of the proposals for funding. If this exercise is successful, it could be repeated next year, and other supervisors may decide to follow it in their own districts.
Annual Membership Meeting. The annual membership meeting of GGTA will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:00 am at L’Olivier Restaurant, 465 Davis Court. This year’s officers and board of directors will be elected, and coffee will be provided. Our District 3 supervisor and board of supervisors president David Chiu has been invited to speak.
ON THE WATERFRONT
Almost everything now happening and threatening to happen on the Northeast Waterfront is justifiably controversial. But the long-awaited opening of one of San Francisco's world-famous institutions—The Exploratorium in its new home—merits a civic fanfare, a salute from local residents, and a shout-out from this senior waterfront reporter.
The kickoff is scheduled for April 17. Exploratorium Family, thank you very much for saving Piers 15-17, two of the last surviving finger piers that used to constitute a distinctive maritime necklace around the top of this old port town. And future generations will have evidence that San Francisco formerly was one of the world's great seaports, not a real estate hodgepodge such as some other cities.
The Exploratorium is a handsome contrast to the tacky America's Cup Store now occupying the space between Pier 27 and Pier 29. Thank heaven it's temporary, and all can be glad that sometime next year the James R. Herman Cruise Terminal will be open for business at that site. America's Cup can be thanked for its contribution to that, also long time in the offing.
On still another port note, the BCNA Record has learned that Mayor Ed Lee has appointed Mel Murphy of Murphy & O'Brien Real Estate Investments to the long-empty fifth seat of the powerful Port Commission. Murphy was formerly president of the City's Dept. of Building Inspection (yes, that one). He also is a founding director and a continuing member of the development-advocating organization quaintly named the San Francisco Coalition for Responsible Growth. This appointment had not been confirmed at the time of this writing. Meanwhile, the Port Commission at its January 24th meeting held its annual election of officers and voted to re-elect Doreen Woo Ho president for another term, and the long-serving Kimberly Brandon continues as vice president.
Sunday Streets is kicking off its 5th season on the Embarcadero on Sunday, March 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Embarcadero will be transformed into a space for you to bike, walk, run, do yoga, dance, play. Mark your calendar.
Postponed to Spring are Record articles such as an update on the BCDC/Port Waterfront Planning Process getting under way March 1, a description of the Infrastructure Financing District the Port wants to enact to replace the extinguished Redevelopment Agency, and further information on the Giants organization's plans for its pending development near the popular ballpark.
Concerning all the changes along the Waterfront—not all desirable— I hope that if we ever have another big earthquake, we will feel the way Lawrence W. Harris did in his poem following the 1906 earthquake, “The City That Was.”
From the Ferry to Van Ness,
You’re a Godforsaken mess.
But the damndest, finest ruins,
Nothing more and nothing less.
You’re a Godforsaken mess.
But the damndest, finest ruins,
Nothing more and nothing less.
Under the category “Restaurant Names Are Important,” we humbly suggest that the new tenant at the former Enrico's in North Beach location hasn’t done much better—name-wise—than the prior unsuccessful occupant. Naked Lunch has taken over the space of Txoko. Having a name that no one could pronounce was just one of the problems at Txoko. One-too-many Basque tapas places was a close second. Although Naked Lunch has a rabid following of noon-time diners, would you invite a friend to dinner at Naked Lunch? And what was wrong with the name, “Enrico’s” anyway? Just asking. 504 Broadway. (415) 577-4951. http://nakedlunchsf.com/
* * *
If you’re on an expense account or have some rich, giving friends, Hakkasan is worth a visit. As reported in the Summer, 2012 edition of this column, the San Francisco outpost of Hakkasan is the 10th location worldwide, including four restaurants in London and three in the Middle East. The reported price tag on the interior remodeling of the second floor space at the corner of Kearny, Geary and Market was $7 million, and the place is gorgeous. The restaurant reviews have generally praised the food, if you can handle $52 Wagyu beef in Chinese five-spice sauce. But Hakkasan’s bar menu is quite reasonable with large food portions. The fabulous wrap-around bar is great for people-watching and affordable Happy Hour drinks and snacks. One Kearny St. (415) 829-8148. http://www.hakkasansf.com/
* * *
It seems that cream puffs are the new cupcakes. New on the scene within walking distance of the Barbary Coast is Pacific Puffs in the Westfield San Francisco Center. Previously Pacific’s cream puffs were available only at their location on Union Street, or from their “Puff Truck.” But now they have a second brick-and-mortar location. Pacific Puffs joins Beard Papa's Cream Puffs’ two nearby locations: on Yerba Buena Lane and also in the food court at Westfield. May the Puff Wars begin! 865 Market St. (415) 440-7833. http://www.pacificpuffs.com/
* * *
With so much business they don’t even take phone orders, SoMa’s popular HRD Coffee Shop has added a new dinner-only location: HRD Smokin’ Grill in North Beach. Unlike the original, which is open for breakfast and lunch, HRD Smokin’ Grill is open for dinner only (at least for now). Set in the former Dogfather space, right next to Golden Boy Pizza, the new place has picnic table seating, faux brick walls and an autographed Guy Fieri poster. The menu includes a large selection of smoked meats. Some of the dishes that made the SoMa location popular… the kimchi burritos, fried rice and Mongolian cheesesteaks are available, too. 532 Green St. (415) 543-2355.
* * *
The Rulli team has expanded their presence at Union Square with Bancarella, a “little brother” to their Marina restaurant, Ristobar. Bancarella has opened in the Powell Street Pavilion on top of Union Square at Geary and Powell, sharing space with TIX Bay Area. Highlights: Shots of Gary Rulli’s special Bancarella espresso blend and traditional Italian hot chocolate, and lots of savory dishes. 350 Post St. (415) 924-7478. http://www.rulli.com/
When Not in Rome, Try Chiaroscuro
By Carol Peterson
Almost six years ago, Alessandro Campitelli gazed into the vacant building at 550 Washington and had an epiphany. The light and shadows reminded him of the Italian term “chiaroscuro," the subtle play of light in some Italian painting. With his restaurant Chiaroscuro, Alesandro is applying this artistic term to gastronomy, mixing flavors with great subtlety.
Alessandro comes from Rome where he studied at the prestigious Istituto Professionale Alberghiero, graduating with a degree in hospitality. Moving to the United States, he worked at a few restaurants in San Francisco, saving every dime to open his own place. “It was a rough first two years, but I have now gained the steady clientele I had hoped for and I can‘t complain. Most of my clients are business people, but my next goal is to introduce my restaurant to the locals, who are loyal the year out.”
The choices at Chiaroscuro are constantly changing. The menu is small and concise, with only around 4 appetizers, 4 or 5 pasta dishes and the same number of entrees.
On one of our visits we shared the crispy veal semolina sweetbread, with cauliflower puree, artichoke hearts, kale chips and fresh horseradish. The veal was crisp, with a light covering but inside it was juicy and tender. The creamy cauliflower begged to be scooped up into the homemade bread and the artichoke heart provided a light texture to the dish.
The pasta dishes are a far cry from the spaghetti churned out not too far up the street. Alesandro employs one man whose only job is to make pasta every day. I am a pushover for anything mushroom, so the vermicelli spoke to me. These round, tender and slippery noodles are tossed with white-truffle infused butter. Sautéed earthy porcini mushrooms, fresh herbs and Golden Valley Pepato cheese join the pasta to create a bold flavor. The white winter truffles are imported from Alba.
My favorite entrée was a difficult choice, but because this Italian restaurant dares to be different, I would recommend the Duet of Rabbit. The delicate piece of tenderloin is wrapped in smoked pancetta and accompanied by rabbit leg comfit. The combination of huckleberry goat cheese, grape antique, a chickpea flour cake, compound house butter and rosemary-goat cheese mousse provided the perfect combination of flavors for a memorable dish.
For dessert, I chose the white chocolate gelato. The embedded tiny bits of coconut were a pleasant surprise to a happy meal ending.
Talking to Alessandro about his menu, I mentioned that of all the restaurants I have reviewed, his and Daniel Patterson's COI have been the only ones I know of that make their own butter. He was surprised and flattered that I noticed, but he said, “I have been doing it for years. When you have a restaurant where every dish is defined to perfection, it is only natural you would make your own butter. I just give mine a different twist.”
As should be clear from this review, this is a fine dining restaurant with appropriate prices. It’s a place to celebrate with an exquisite meal and impressive service. It's a place where if you are planning an event or just a get-together with friends you are presented with your specialty printed menu so you can follow the meal. It's the kind of restaurant where every detail is taken care of as if you are the only guests.
It's the royal treatment right here on the borders of the Barbary Coast. Chiaroscuro, 550 Washington Street, (415) 362-6012, http://www.chiaroscurosf.com/
NOTE: Restaurant reviewer Carol Peterson visits many neighborhood restaurants in the course of her duties. She writes only about those she can review positively.
A Message From The Board
The start of a new year is an excellent time to assess one’s priorities for the upcoming twelve months. With that in mind, the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association Board met recently to review its activities.
Waterfront Playground (Sue Bierman Park): Making this playground a reality continues to be a high priority. More than $600,000 has been raised but more support is needed to reach the required $900,000. Board member Ranee Lan is helping lead the effort for this badly-needed facility. (Donations can be made at www.WaterfrontPlayground.org.)
Planning Study by the Port and BCDC: The Record previously described this year-long project focusing on selected topics for the waterside of the Embarcadero. Second-Vice President Bob Harrer will sit on the “Working Group” of key stakeholders. Among the issues to be considered is creating a Northeastern Open-Water Basin, focusing on the area between Piers 29 and 33. This could entail the removal of badly deteriorated Pier 31, an eminently excellent idea.
8 Washington: On the surface, all seems quiet for now. But there are rumors of possible legislation to promote the project. (See story on Page 3.) BCNA will continue to monitor the situation as we await the Fall referendum on “No Wall on the Waterfront.”
Congestion Toll Legislation: There are rumblings that this proposal could resurface this year. (See story Page 2.) It envisions imposing a fee on vehicles entering or leaving the northeast quadrant of the city. This could easily cost a household more than $1500 per vehicle per year. It makes no sense whatsoever to punish residents with a fee just because they happen to live in the area. It will also drive up costs for local businesses.
Public Safety and Homelessness along Broadway Corridor: A longstanding problem. The good news is the Central Police station has formed an advisory board to try to better address the issues. Board member Steve Chen will represent BCNA on this new initiative.
Teatro ZinZanni Relocation to SWL 330 (Broadway and Embarcadero): We understand the Port and Teatro ZinZanni are working toward a final lease agreement. BCNA will continue monitoring the project and provide constructive input as appropriate.
A Publication Of The Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association
Managing Editor, Bill Sauro
Written By June A. Osterberg
For Past Issues: http://www.barbaryneighbors.org/Newsletters.htm
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President David Albert
1st Vice President Diana Taylor
2nd Vice President Bob Harrer
Treasurer Carol Holland Parlette
Secretary Bill Benkavitch
Mary Lou Licwinko