Casey Thompson may be a familiar face from her Top Chef appearance as a finalist during Season 3, but the Bay Area is anxiously awaiting her local debut, soon to come with Aveline and The European, a restaurant and cocktail bar both slated to open soon inside the Warwick Hotel in San Francisco. Thompson moved here from Dallas and spent three years helping wineries pair up with local farms. She also served as the US Ambassador for Terrazas de los Andes, a Moet-Hennessey brand.
Aveline's menu is billed as San Francisco-centric, and the bar space will feature craft-meets-classic drinks created by Master Barman Adam Wilson. Bay Area Bites caught up with Thompson recently. Her comments have been edited for length and clarity.
Bay Area Bites: Tell us about Aveline & The European, your first business foray on the Bay Area scene.
Thompson: Aveline is my baby. Not literally, but close. These are the dishes I have had dancing around in my thoughts for the past two years. The name, Aveline, is a combination of my two grandmothers that have each had a strong culinary influence on me. The menu is essentially Californian in style, but also a reflection of me, my career, and my path as a chef. It is all of my travels, my experiences, and my favorite things in the form of a restaurant.
The staff is a talented group of people that I have sought out or collaborated with before on past projects. They have all worked for talented chefs and trained hard to get where they are now. I couldn’t be happier and more excited that we get to experience this project together. It is as much theirs as it is mine. As for location, we are located at the Warwick San Francisco at 490 Geary Street, just outside of Union Square in the Tenderloin.