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Aug 5, 2009 08:40 PM

Clementine - anyone been recently?

I am back in town after a couple years away only to find they closed Chapeau (one of my favorites). I understand Philippe now owns/runs(?) Clementine and I wondered if any chowhounds had eaten there recently and had any thoughts they'd like to share.

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  1. Here's the website:

    Looks like the old Chapeau! concept at the Clementime location.

    1. when did Chapeau! close? I walked by there 4 days ago and it was still in business.

      3 Replies
      1. re: saffrongold

        I don't think either Chapeau or Clementine closed. They are closed M and Tu however, or some such odd days.

        1. re: ML8000

          According to the Chapeau! website, it says Chapeau! has moved to the Clementine space. That is the only address now available for both restaurants.

          1. re: meggie t

            I guess that makes sense in a bad economy since they were a bit redundant and close to each other all things considered, same street but 12 blocks away.

      2. My Boss who is quite a foodie herself went last night and was sorely disappointed. Said things just seemed haphazardly put together and prepared.
        I can find out more if needed.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chefj

          See MB's review from Sep '08 or previous Chowhound thread:

          We enjoyed our dinner at Clementine. With respect to taste, the brown sauces in our dishes were well balanced between flavor & complexity but not overly refined (fantastic); I haven't found many other bistros in SF with the same. The wine list was also reasonable.

          The chef likes to tour the dining room and has a bit of color - see Yelp reviews or search Philippe Gardelle.

        2. We had a very good meal there last weekend with a nice bottle of wine that was reasonably priced. I heard the waiter tell someone that they are planning to open something else in the old space.

          1. Philippe Gardelle of Chapeau (1408 Clement) bought Clementine (126 Clement, former Alain Rondelli) last year and has been cooking there since. Last month he closed the original and changed the name of Clementine to Chapeau.

            Gayot reported that he's going to remodel the 1408 space and turn it into a wine bar.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Had a very tasty meal last month at the new Chapeau. The room is larger than the old Chapeau but just as noisy, though things quieted down to a tolerable level when one large party left. Food was very similar to the old Chapeau. My bacon-wrapped pork was cooked beautifully and melted in my mouth. Only downer at the table was my mom's cassoulet which was too salty. Talked to Philippe, who confirmed he's thinking about opening a wine bar at the old location, though it seemed he was still weighing his options and had something more in mind than merely a wine bar.

              BTW, parking at the new location is a major pain in the ass. I think they're going to miss all that street parking by the old place. I'm also wondering how a wine bar will do at the old location, which doesn't exactly get a ton of foot traffic. Still, he seems to have good taste in reasonably priced wines, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

              1. re: a_and_w


                126 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                Clementine Restaurant
                126 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                1. re: a_and_w

                  Will be interesting to see how he does with the wine store. As I recall, he had (or was at least an owner of) a wine store at 25th & Geary a number of years back.

                  1. re: Jeff

                    Sadly, Philippe says they're no longer planning to do anything with the old Chapeau space. But I'm happy to report the cassoulet was back to great. And the new Chapeau was packed by 6pm on a Saturday.

                    1. re: a_and_w

                      Second that. We went a couple of weeks ago and my 8 year old son, who tends towards steak frites, declared the cassoulet "really good." The little that he shared with me was quite good.

                      My only criticism was that the portion sizes among entrees was inconsistent. My wife had the lamb chops, I had the pork tenderloin. She easily had 50 percent more food than I did.

                      Service, as always, remains a huge draw for me. Phillipe gave our son a ton of attention, engaging him a couple of times throughout our visit, then inviting him to the kitchen, where he asked one of the cooks to prepare some profiteroles for our son, who proudly carried them all the way back through the restaurant to our table. Getting him to share was like pulling teeth . . . .

                      1. re: Jeff

                        I was just there this past Sunday, and it was packed! We had reservations at 7pm, and as we pulled up, Philippe waved us to the parking spot right in front (hubby had broken foot, I had a 3 year old son) -
                        This was first time in the new spot, and even though it was packed, the service was impeccable. Philippe came over and gave our son attention several times, and the food was delicious - my parents were happy (this was Dad's birthday dinner). Standouts on food were probably the Rack of Lamb (with Eggplant Moussaka/ Artichoke Barigoule/ Fried Panisse/ Thyme Lamb Jus), and Filet Mignon (with Pommes de Terre Landaise/ King Trumpet & Oyster Mushrooms/ Sauce à la Périgourdine)