Inspired by the regional cuisines and traditions of Spain, Bellota has crafted an eclectic menu of meats grilled on a wood-fired hearth, inventive paellas, Old World stews, fresh seafood, medium-sized tapas, imported charcuterie and cheeses, as well as slow-roasted vegetable dishes.
The Spanish-focused cocktail menu from Jonny Raglin, Director of Bars at The Absinthe Group and co-creator of Comstock Saloon, features Spain’s cocktail of choice, gin tonic. The all-Spanish wine list emphasizes small producers and growers, and features sherry on tap.
Located in a landmark building on the National Register of Historic Places, Bellota is part of The Absinthe Group, a collection of San Francisco restaurants and drinking establishments created by proprietor Bill Russell-Shapiro, led by operations director Eric Vreede.
With a mix of both industrial and hand-crafted design elements, the 140-seat dining room captures the surrounding urban cityscape and channels an airy, Mediterranean setting. The space invites you to relax with live music at the 30-seat full bar and lounge, host events in the private dining area, or enjoy front-row seating around the open kitchen with a custom hearth, the heart and soul of Bellota.
Meet Chef Gonzalo Tecuaque
Chef Gonzalo Tecuaque was born in Veracruz surrounded by the deep flavors and seafood-dominant cuisine of the coastal Mexican state. He was taught to cook at a young age, his mother introducing him to the world of the kitchen when he was old enough to lend a hand.
While growing up, he appreciated cooking as a matter of necessity and nourishment; it was about creating something delicious from basic pantry staples and uniting a family around a shared table.
Chef Gonzalo is a dreamer, and it wasn’t long before his strong spirit and interest in the kitchen took him North to Los Angeles to pursue a culinary career. He began working at a taco shop before getting an invitation to work in San Francisco from a friend. It was here in the Bay that he began to plant roots for his career. Working his way up from dishwasher to line cook at the renowned Boulevard, famed chef and restaurateur Nancy Oakes gave him the ultimate blessing: “You have a great future ahead of you in this industry.”
With a renewed spirit and the prospect of success on the horizon, Chef Gonzalo set out to learn as much as he could in the great fine dining establishments of the city. Staging and working in the kitchens at Five, La Folie and Perbacco, among others, he absorbed as much as he could, gaining knowledge and earning the respect and responsibility it takes to run a world-class kitchen. He eventually found his way to Absinthe, where he became Sous Chef and further honed his skills before getting the opportunity to be Executive Chef at Bellota.
At Bellota, Chef Gonzalo continues to incorporate his family roots and passion into his cuisine. He runs the kitchen with a humble, guiding spirit, incorporating his accumulated knowledge from every level of the kitchen ladder into his leadership style. He envisions a Bellota that stays true to its traditional Spanish roots, but plays with splashes of Veracruz flavors and California farm-to-table freshness.
The Absinthe Group
THE ABSINTHE GROUP TEAM
Bill Russell-Shapiro – Proprietor
Eric Vreede – VP of Operations
Liz Meza – Director of Human Resources
Jonny Raglin – Director of Development
Phillip Acquafresca – Beverage Director
The Absinthe Group (TAG), founded and managed by food-industry veteran Bill Russell-Shapiro, creates and operates unique, high-quality food and wine enterprises. TAG includes a carefully built collection of six businesses, four of which are located in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. They are overseen by TAG Vice President Eric Vreede, Director of Human Resources Liz Meza, Director of Bars and Development Jonny Raglin, and Beverage Director Phillip Acquafresca. These include Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, Akna, Arbor, Arlequin Wine Merchant in Hayes Valley, Bellota in SoMa, and Comstock Saloon in North Beach.