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Recent Openers 

Wednesday, Mar 27 2013

The Alchemist Bar & Lounge: A phonograph playing old-timey music sets the mood as you walk through the ground floor entrance of this second-floor SOMA bar. Upstairs, find vintage sofas, projected silent movies, and intriguing cocktails. 679 Third, 746-9968.

Balançoire: The name means "swing" in French, and this new restaurant/club in the Mission has a huge dancefloor, burlesque happy hour, and a menu that leans heavily toward French Creole fare. 2565 Mission, 920-0577.

Charles Chocolates: After a two-year hiatus, S.F.'s beloved chocolatier is back with a new Mission storefront offering cookies and confections, a peek-a-boo window into the kitchen where the magic happens, and, soon, a café with hot chocolate and other decadent treats. 535 Florida, 659-8770.

Hard Water: Charles Phan's new Embarcadero restaurant has a New Orleans theme, with dishes like boiled peanuts, seafood gumbo, okra etouffee, braised rabbit, and a raw bar featuring Hog Island oysters and cracked crab. Plus, a two-page whiskey menu and short list of whiskey-based cocktails. Pier 3, 392-3021.

Hutong: The former Betelnut is revamped with a new focus on Asian street food, though chef Alexander Ong remains at the helm. The menu's emphasis is on small plates, like kampachi sashimi, oxtail hot pot, roti canai with curry, and hand-cut noodles with wild boar. 2030 Union, 929-8855

Padrecito: Spinoff of the Marina's popular Mamacita brings exotic fare like goat tacos, duck carnitas chilaquiles, nettle and green garlic quesadillas to Cole Valley. 901 Cole, 742-5505.

Shorty Goldstein's: New FiDi lunch spot has everything you'd want from a deli: pastrami, brisket, egg creams, chopped liver, matzo ball soup, latkes, knishes, and at breakfast, matzah brei and challah French toast. 126 Sutter, 986-2676.

South: Charles Phan's other new venture pairs New Orleans cuisine with the smooth sounds at the new SFJAZZ. Expect cornmeal-crusted fried oysters, chicken gumbo, and Toulouse sausage, accompanied by boubon-heavy drinks. 201 Franklin, 539-3905.

Waraku: Ramen in multiple varieties is the focus of this new Japantown spot – including tonkotsu, shoyu, and dipping noodles — though the menu also features Japanese favorites like octopus balls, gyoza, and karaage. 1638 Post, 292-3388.

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