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More new places to try.



Hen House
The latest jolt of life at the revitalized Swan’s Market is this pizza stand–cum–wine bar, where Pizzaiolo vet Celeste Cooper and Oliveto alum Alexandra Lopez turn out quick-fired pies both conventional (pepperoni) and quirky (asparagus, garlic cream, goat cheese, and almonds). There’s also a short list of salads and a single, ever-shifting entrée. Seating is at tables shared by Swan’s other tenants: It’s a food court for the urban chic.
907 Washington St. (at 10th St.), Oakland, 510-229-4399

This Italian stalwart has revamped its menu and shifted its gaze south toward the bottom of the boot. Emphasis now falls on Sicilian cooking, particularly antipasti, with small bites ranging from carrot-and-olive caponata to crunchy spindles of fried cuttlefish. The new eclecticism is appealing, but the kitchen’s strength remains such longtime standbys as a comforting lasagna and a thin-crust pizza with anchovies melted into the cheese.
4293 Piedmont ave. (at Echo Ave.), Oakland, 510-652-3676

The sleepy Sonoma town square has been in need of a joint like this: casual, trendy (reclaimed wood galore), with great cocktails and food. The menu, a global California mashup, boasts such earthly delights as tender pork ribs, slow roasted in a spicy, vinegary Asian broth, and a modern play on an Americana-style shrimp Louie salad. When the desserts arrive, beware: The velvety butterscotch pot de crème can turn a benevolent diner into a greedy churl.
9 E. Napa St. (at Broadway), 707-931-6926

Jackson Square
Airy in ambience and laserfocused in intent, this second restaurant from the Stones Throw crew serves one $35 three-course prix fixe menu whose dishes change nightly. The food hews traditional but inspired: A Day Glo-green English pea chowder is poured over breadcrumbs, melted leeks, and tiny cubes of potatoes, while salsa verde delivers a bright jab to crispy seared salmon with farro. The price is low, but the flavor runs high.
Rebecca Flint Marx 531 Jackson St. (at Columbus Ave.), 415-772-0922


Originally published in the July issue of San Francisco.

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