Whether they've been around for two, 10 or nearly 70 years — as is the case with these three Bay Area restaurants—reinvention is necessary for survival in the restaurant world. With fresh new chefs and tasty new menus, these three spots are worth a return visit.
For too long, Alembic’s excellent food has been glanced over in favor of its cocktails. But new chef Rachel Aronow (3rd Cousin) has really put her new menu on the map with housemade charcuterie (from animals she raises in Sonoma, her hometown) and fresh vegetable-focused dishes. Aronow has also been know to age her own bresaola and Southern-style tasso ham. Try the truffled scallop succotash, laced with golden corn puree, padron peppers, delicata squash, cornito rojo peppers and shaved Burgundy truffle.
El Paseo (owned by rockstar Sammy Hagar) has delighted customers for more than 70 years. New chef Todd Shoberg (Molina) recently came on board with fresh new dishes such as black mint and watermelon-accented buttermilk fried quail and Mexican tarragon tomato sorbet for dessert. Whatever you do, don’t miss the hefty, juicy double bone-in pork chop with roasted figs, hunks of Pt. Reyes blue cheese, grilled purplette onion, mustard greens and a drizzle of Saba vinegar.
Whitechapel is known for having one of the largest gin selections in the world. New chef Michelle Matthews (15 Romolo) keeps the traditional British, Indian and Dutch-Indonesian cuisine influences in his revamped menu of gourmet pub fare. We loved the beer-battered fish and chips with mashed minted peas and lemon tarragon tartar sauce, Dutch fried favorite bitterballen, and the beetroot-cured salmon dotted with fennel pollen Devonshire cream, salmon roe and pomegranate seeds.