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Side Dish 

Forward to the Past; Beneath the Palms; Five and Dime; Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em; Rim Shot

Wednesday, Apr 12 2000
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Forward to the Past
Jon Varnedoe and Michael Hecht, the team behind Foreign Cinema, are reopening Bruno's come June 1. Besides a slightly redone and reconfigured dining room and the addition of a huge fish tank -- for the feng shui -- the most notable change is the food. Ola Fendert, last of Plouf, is putting together an inviting Italian menu for the swank jazz joint. (Don't expect checkered tablecloths and basket Chianti any time soon.) The Mission Street club and restaurant promises to restake its claim to being the premiere hipster spot -- but geeks are welcome too; look for Bruno's to jump on the Internet freeway, providing Webcasts and MP3 tracks of its shows.

Beneath the Palms
Say "Hey" to Restaurant Twenty Four, opening in Willie Mays Plaza. This 1920s-style American restaurant was designed by Bob Puccini for the Bon Appetit Management Co., which runs the kitchens at Oracle. Chef Christian Andrew Caiazzo, of Danny Meyer's Union Square Cafe, Postrio, and Globe, is tending the wood-fired rotisserie. Howard Cummins -- Le Colonial and Harry Denton's -- is the major-domo in charge and is still denying poaching other restaurants' staff .... The only thing they're stealing down at the ballpark is second base.

Five and Dime
Gil Nickel, owner of Far Niente winery, and his son Jeremy, are slapping a new label on their latest wines. The Nickel & Nickel house (what can you get for a dime?) will release a 1997 zinfandel and merlot in May. These more affordable quaffs are vineyard designate, not from the Far Niente Oakville Estate. Harry can't wait for the tasting -- never mind the spit buckets.

Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em
So, what, a year and a half after Californians passed the nonsmoking law, the city of San Francisco has decided to start enforcing it? That's right -- in case you haven't noticed, even the smokiest bars are forcing their Marlboro men and Camel girls onto the sidewalk to spark up. It is the law, you know. And, hey, use an ashtray, will ya?

Rim Shot
What were they serving at the Globe-catered art opening above El Bobo the night of the Folsom Street fire? Well, smoked salmon, of course.

Know something Harry doesn't? E-mail Coverte@aol.com and sweep the dirt out from under the rug.

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Harry Coverte

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