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SOMA Sayonara 

Cafe Monk closes its doors

Wednesday, May 1 2002
Bunk at Monk Sad news: After dinner on Saturday, April 20, Café Monk owner Dan Friedlander closed his 565 Fourth St. restaurant for good. Chef/partner Randy Windham, brought on board last year to turn the troubled SOMA location around, succeeded in making it more popular with his fresh, evolving menu. The restaurant had been seeing strong traffic on three of its five open nights, but Friedlander ultimately conceded that the revenue wasn't up to snuff. Ironically, neighboring Bizou celebrated its ninth birthday within the same week. Like many local food hounds, Harry looks forward to Windham landing elsewhere.

Dine Redux? Chef Julia McClaskey and front-of-the-house personality Robert Hill open Julia today, May 1, at 2101 Sutter at Steiner. This is the second endeavor by the dynamic duo who made Mission Street's Dine a white- hot destination two years ago (and who fled shortly after its newness waned). Their latest location is a more intimate setting, with 70 seats in the dining room and 40 in the lounge area. McClaskey and Hill's old chum, designer Michael Brennan, has transformed the corner location into an elegant eatery with an open kitchen and raw bar. Harry hopes Julia's acoustics, unlike those at Dine, won't require you to bellow over your bouillabaisse.

Bistro Baez Harry was happy to see the return of his friend Joan Baez as La Contessa ZinZanni at the newest production of Teatro ZinZanni. (Catch her now until July 14.) The European cabaret, circus, musical, and dinner theater is in its third year at Pier 29, with a new, five-course spring menu highlighting crusted halibut and double lemon tart. The food is as tasty as the show, although it must be hard to contend with Baez's sultry costumes and alluring voice.

Delfina Bambina Annie and Craig Stoll of Delfina announce the arrival of their five-pound bouncing baby girl, Lucy Rose, whom the stork dropped off on March 29. Considering how much time the Stolls put in at the restaurant, it shouldn't be long before Lucy's working the room.

Globe-trotting Yes, that steamy couple at Globe's corner table on April 13 was Pamela Anderson and bad boy Kid Rock, aka Robert James Ritchie. The lovers, who got engaged on April 18, were enthralled with each other; no doubt the other male patrons appreciated the addition of further globes of note. Two more lovebirds dined the following night: Jared Leto and Cameron Diaz, an on-again off-again item since 1999.

Not Just a Figment Sam Duval of Izzy's is remodeling his Rocco's Seafood Grill at 2080 Van Ness to become FIGS, which stands for France, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Continuing the ongoing tapas trend, the menu will feature small plates from the corresponding countries. Overseeing operations is Howard Cummins, previously of Twenty Four. ... A second branch of Cole Valley's Burgermeister will open in early July at 138 Church near Market in the former home of Art's Coffee Shop. The popular purveyor of Niman Ranch meat patties clearly needs to hire an editor: A sign in the window reads "Comming soon."

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Harry Coverte

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