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The three best new restaurants to try in December

Photograph: Virginia Miller Caviar service at Gibson

One of the best new fine dining restaurants in the country. A cocktail and live fire-driven restaurant. A comforting Italian restaurant where you can bring a group of friends. These three new openings are worth leaving your house for. 


Chef Robin Song’s relaxed, Art Deco-inspired new restaurant, Gibson, in Hotel Bijou, opened in the Tenderloin last month with live-fire cooking and quality cocktails (try a silky, clarified Japanese Bloody Mary). Whether you prefer the charcoal-grilled sourdough bread, clams cooked in hay (a unique play off clam chowder in a sourdough bowl) or the decadent caviar service served with fried foods, the menu holds one pleasure after another. 



China Live
Photograph: Virginia Miller






Eight Tables at China Live

Hidden away down an alleyway and at the top of an elevator, Eight Tables at China Live is a very special restaurant. The meal starts with no less than nine, beautifully presented amuse bouche and the delights just keep coming. Each Chinese- and Taiwanese-inspired course is delicious and artful. Honestly, there is nothing else like it in the country. 



Squid ink pasta at Donato & Co.
Photograph: Virginia Miller





Donato & Co.

Spacious and warm, Berkeley’s new Donato & Co. is the latest restaurant from Donato Scotti (of CRU and Donato Enoteca in Redwood City and Desco in Oakland). Heartwarming dishes pour from the open kitchen, including grilled meats and fish. Housemade pastas are a highlight, such as the fresh pappardelle laden with Gulf prawns, cannellini beans and lemon zest, or the squid ink spaghetti tossed with Calabrian peppers, squid, tomato confit and bottarga.