Restaurant Michael Mina reopened Tuesday night, Oct. 19, moving from the Westin St. Francis to the former Aqua space. Frost-Tsuji Architects redesigned the 110-seat dining room with the original Aqua design in mind, infusing the haute fine-dining venue with a lax quality. The new Restaurant Michael Mina from restaurateur and accomplished chef Michael Mina takes a more traditional approach to modern American cuisine.
Mina’s signature style of incorporating Japanese ingredients and French influence is evident in his eponymous restaurant’s fare. Executive Chef Jeremy Ravetz dishes out game and seafood-laden starters, main courses and a single seasonal plate, currently a kabocha squash soufflé with black or white truffle cream, that Mina regards as perfect for “sharing in the middle.” In addition to the menu’s offerings of caviar samplers, chilled shellfish and hors d’oeuvres, the dinner menu includes starters such as tuna tartare, foie gras and pineapple and Wolfe Ranch quail and entrees like Maine lobster pot pie and Brandt Farms beef rib eye.
The spacious bar area at Mina’s in the Financial District makes it business-lunch friendly with a lunch menu consisting of small plates like steak tartare and big plates including a Japanese-style hamburger and Mediterranean fish soup. Mina also offers his concept of “bar dinner” where the Financial District can grab an alcohol-enriched beverage (try “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” a seasonal cocktail made with Landy Cognac, canton and pumpkin) and dishes such as Wagyu beef wrap and miso-glazed black cod.
The mostly a la carte, share-worthy dinner menu comes with the option of having the chef cook for your table, and a $95 six-course chef’s tasting menu, with wine pairings for another $50. Corporate wine director Rajat Parr has revived Mina’s wine list with an eclectic collection delving into small, boutique wineries and celebrated French and European vineyards. The chef’s daily small plate tasting is offered for lunch at $39.
Restaurant Michael Mina is located at 252 California St. in San Francisco, 415.397.9222; michaelmina.net.