Kudos to two favorites in the Marina District that are having "second lives."
These would be Bistro Aix and Baker Street Bistro.
Bistro Aix was closed for quite some time for renovations--not remembering specifically, I'd say close to if not more than a year, leading up to this past October. Y'know how a restaurant that's closed for a while loses momentum? Staff leaves. Customers get distracted. Not here...
We dined at Aix during the soft opening--fabulous. We dined there New Year's Eve--even better. I won't regale anyone with the specific dishes--but everything was brightly and deeply flavored, the staff was energetic and thoughtful, we can't wait to go back.
Best thing? The formerly open back patio is now enclosed. It looks and feels open--but it's warm even on December 31 at 10:30 PM.
Other best thing? Aix did not put on a special New Year's Eve prix-fixe. We could have had small dishes; we could have had a three- or four-course meal, they presented a normal-dining-out flexibility. (We had two courses each; and a bottle of Chablis.)
Baker Street went through a different transition.
Now, this used to be a decent-enough neighborhood French place--comfortable, middle-of-the-road dishes, nice service, etc.
Then--I'm a bit vague on the details--the owner took his operation to another location, the chef (?) took over the space...and...Baker Street has improved, it has really improved. The menu feels larger, and more interesting. We were there one night a couple weeks before Christmas--great steak frites--and again Thursday (charcuterie plate, steak-frites for herself and our friend; confit de canard- for me-I was tempted by cassoulet, which you don't see around here that much, but couldn't pull the trigger--a couple interesting French reds for not a heck of a lot of dollars). Place was packed, which is good; but the meal was nicely paced, the ambience is quiet energy and we will be back there soon, too.
Baker Street Bistro
2953 Baker St, San Francisco, CA 94123
3340 Steiner St, San Francisco, CA 94123