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Moonraker to Bring James Bond Swagger, Modern Seafood Fare to Pacifica

New restaurant opening across from Nick's next week.

After a long hiatus from Rockaway Beach, the Moonraker, a seafood restaurant inspired by the 1979 James Bond film, is making its return.

It’s setting up shop at the very same spot it began—the old Portofino space in the across Rockaway Beach Avenue from . Besides a spectacular floor-to-ceiling view of the Pacific Ocean and the Rockaway riprap, Moonraker will feature a modern seafood menu with a twist, wines and cocktails.

The first Moonraker opened over 25 years ago and closed about 10 years ago. After Portofino shuttered in June, the owners of on Pedro Point bought the property. 

“We wanted to bring back the magic of the old Moonraker that served as such a special gathering place for so many years in the Bay Area community,” said general manager and co-owner Gary McNamara. “We hope we’ve created a place where both locals and visitors alike can enjoy hearty seafood dishes, have a glass of wine or a cocktail at the bar, and enjoy the sunset over the ocean, surrounded by friends.”

Moonraker is set to open to the public on Dec. 13. In preparation, the space has undergone a complete aesthetic and spatial overhaul. More than five tons of wooden beams were removed and recycled for local building projects, and Bay Area designer Michael Brennan was hired to give it a retro feel with modern comforts, said Moonraker public relations representative Rebecca Pariser. Check out the construction photos in the gallery.

Executive Chef Jason Yeafoli is bringing over 25 years of experience on both coasts to Moonraker’s menu. It will feature local seafood, but in Yeafoli's own interpretation that he hopes will offer locals something new from the sea.

“I want guests to choose dishes that they think they recognize, but then experience exciting new flavor combinations that leave them asking for more,” he said.

Pariser said the menu will include raw oysters on the half shell, chilled Maine lobster and Dungeness crab, with a white truffle lemon vinaigrette and lemon caper aioli respectively; Lobster Cappuccino with reduced Maine lobster stock and foam and Yellow Fin Tuno Carpaccio with quail egg, brioche toast, duck fat potatoes and frisée; Grilled Wild Salmon Pinwheel with black lentils, braised greens, lemon thyme sauce and gypsy pepper aioli; Brown Butter Basted Skate Wing with wilted spinach, oven dried toybox tomatoes and shishito peppers; Local Petrale Sole with Little Neck clams, lobster broth and root vegetables; and Grilled Natural Veal Chop with seared foie gras, black truffle and salsify.

Don Graham, wine director at Barolo, handled the drink menu, said Pariser.

Graham has made a list of local wines, many from vineyards near Pacifica. He’s also crafted locally-inspired cocktails like The Moonraker, made with Tres Agave Blanco tequila, blue Curacao and pineapple juice; the Rockaway Baby Beach made with Godiva chocolate liqueur, Kahlua, vodka and cream; the Sharp Park Basilicus, made with basil, white rum, lime juice and organic agave syrup; and the Esplanade Cherry Drop made with Ketel One Vodka, lemon juice, Heering Cherry Liqueur in a sugar-rimmed glass.

A media preview of the restaurant is happening tomorrow evening, so check Pacifica Patch for photos and initial impressions.

Moonraker will be open starting Dec. 13 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.on Friday and Saturday. Reservations and walk-ins are welcome. Ample street parking is available. For more information on Moonraker, please visit www.moonrakerpacifica.com or http://www.facebook.com/moonrakerpacifica, or call 650-557-7025.

For more news about Pacifica and surrounding areas, including the San Mateo County Coastside, follow us on Twitter and "like" us on Facebook.

Diane A. December 11, 2011 at 08:23 AM
Foie gras!?!?! What century do these people think we're in? Pacifica needs restaurants that will drag us *into* the 21st century, not backwards. Any restaurant owner who would perpetuate the misery and torture that is involved w/ the making of "foie gras" is unconscionable and archaic and any restaurant who serves up such torture is destined to fail.

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