San Francisco Proper Hotel’s Mid-Market Villon restaurant reopens for dinner

San Francisco Proper Hotel's Mid-Market Villon restaurant reopens for dinner

Beginning Thursday, April 7, diners will again be able to slip into a padded leather banquette to dine under skirted chandeliers at Villon, the commendable and “eclectic cool” restaurant on the ground floor of the San Francisco Proper Hotel. . For two long years the restaurant was mostly inactive, open for breakfast, lunch and cocktails primarily to serve hotel guests and fully closed for dinner. Now Executive Chef Jason Fox, who came to the hotel shortly before the pandemic turned everything upside down, is ready and able to roll out the tight but technique-focused dinner menu he’s dreamed of for years.

Fox, former executive chef and owner of the Michelin-starred Commonwealth (which closed following a dispute with an owner in 2019), says he draws inspiration from a number of sources when it comes to the new menu . On the one hand, it looks to the aesthetics of the hotel, which gives “pre-modernist early European styles” a modern update. He was also considering the location of the restaurant near the city’s arts and theater district and hopes to bring a bit of theatricality to the dining room. Finally, he draws on the diversity of produce grown in Northern California—from Japanese citrus to Italian chicory—to give the menu a quintessentially Californian sense of place.

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Slices of lamb on a wooden platter.

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Crêpe suzette with chocolate accompanied by Grand Marnier flambé.

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The result is a menu that winds from San Francisco classics like a seafood tower to a scallop and shrimp roll inspired by beef tartare dim sum with the unexpected addition of pear kimchi. Riffling on old-school institutions and their sleek serving style, there’s also a two-course dinner for 2 that features gem lettuce, smoked mushrooms and beet salad, plus grilled lamb. on redwood – both of which will be deployed in the dining room on carts. The team is also having fun with some interesting cooking techniques: roasting carrots over hay to serve with date ice cream and grilling spring asparagus over charcoal.

On the drinks side, the nifty San Francisco-themed menu Bon Vivants Hospitality (Trick Dog, Chezchez) first designed for the bar in 2017 is back — with a notable new addition. Bon Vivants’ Josh Harris explains that the modular 7×7 menu, which features seven impressive themed sections of seven classic cocktails for a total of 49 drinks, now includes a mocktail section. There are an “unprecedented” number of zero-proof ingredients available to bartenders these days, says Harris, adding that he’s delighted to bring two non-alcoholic vermouths from Martini & Rossi plus Ghia, a non-alcoholic drink with a flavor profile similar to an aperitif.

With 45 seats in the stylish dining room and lobby lounge, Villon remains relatively small but ambitious. The restaurant will continue to serve breakfast, lunch and cocktails, and will be open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. starting April 7.

A hand pours sparkling wine into a coupe on a table next to a seafood tower.

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The Villon dining room seen from behind the bar.

San Francisco Clean

Steamed buns topped with caviar.

Alina Tyulyu

Alina Tyulyu