Colibri Mexican Bistro is Back and Now Open in The PresidioMay 29, 2022 12:36PM ● By Fran Miller
BY FRAN ENDICOTT MILLER
Of the many reasons to make a day or overnight visit to The Presidio in San Francisco, add newly opened Colibri Mexican Bistro to the list. Previously located for 18 years in San Francisco’s Union Square area, the popular restaurant is revived in its new home in one of the City’s most historic and picturesque buildings, the Presidio Officers’ Club. Offering weekday lunch and dinner, and weekend brunch, Colibri in this new Presidio location (with ample parking!) is a San Francisco destination.
The Presidio, the Mission Revival style Officers’ Club, and surrounding archaeological sites are among the most significant in the United States and are alone worth a visit. Nearly within arm’s reach of the Golden Gate, this is where Spanish colonists first established their military presence in 1776. Surrounded by groves of fragrant eucalyptus and panoramic bay views, this former U.S. Army Post is home to miles of hiking and biking trails, playgrounds, a golf course, museums, and two luxury inns.
But enough about history and recreation. Colibri is about food…really delicious food. Fans of the Union Square site were bereft when the restaurant shuttered during covid. In its welcome revival, Colibri moves into the space formerly occupied by Arguello, and while the enormous outdoor patio (with heaters) and the indoor dining room look familiar, the menu is all Colibri. Longtime Colibri executive chef Edgar Castro leads the restaurant, accompanied by many original Colibri team members. Originating from Merida, Yucatan, Castro draws inspiration from his background to highlight Colibri’s approach to traditional Mexican fare; he lends a homemade taste and feel to every dish, such as the made-to-order guacamole, and the fresh handmade tortillas and antojitos prepared in the outdoor comal.
While several Colibri favorites remain, Castro adds a few new highlights such as Quesabirria (braised short rib, corn tortilla. Monterey Jack cheese, red onion, cilantro, radish, and consommé) and Tlayuda Vegetariana (Oaxacan tortilla layered with black beans, topped with queso fresco, cabbage, mushroom, cactus, avocado, and tomato.) Mole fans will love Castro’s version, a legendary blend of spices, chiles, nuts and chocolate made into a rich and flavorful sauce, in the traditional Puebla style, served over chicken. Tacos de Pescado are always a favorite, as is the Chile Relleno. During weekend brunch, indulge in traditional Huevos Rancheros, or Huevos Benedictinos Estilo Michoacan, two corn shells topped with refried beans, carnitas, two poached eggs and chipotle hollandaise sauce served with black beans.
Colibri’s vibrant drink menu is curated by lead bartender Viridiana Gallardo who takes an innovative approach to classic Mexican pairings. Featuring a tasteful and diverse list of mezcals representing the talents of producers from around the world, Gallardo’s cocktail highlights include Calavera with Avion blanco tequila, Briotett de Framboise, lemonade, Aperol, and gold flakes, Oaxaca with Dos Hombres mezcal, angostura bitters, creole bitters, and dehydrated orange, La Chalupa with Espolon blanco, lime juice, simple syrup, hibiscus aqua fresca and wild hibiscus, and Toro de Valencia, with 21 Seeds Valencia orange tequila, lime juice, prickly pear, sea salt, and mint. At brunch, enjoy traditional favorites like mimosas with Cava for a Spanish influence, sangria, or a classic Bloody Mary. But if you’re craving a Mojito or Mai Tai, the Colibri team can mix that up as well.
“We seek to deliver nothing but the most authentic flavors with a traditional component that is completely separate from nouveau cuisine,” said Colibri proprietor Eduardo Rallo. “Everything feels like grandma just made it for you. With more than 50% of Colibri’s previous team returning to the new Presidio space, this reopening is bringing all of the best qualities from Colibri’s past back to life with a few added improvements such as an incredible outside dining experience!”
And parking…lots of parking.
Mon – Thurs: Lunch 11:30am – 4pm | Dinner 4pm – 9pm
Fri: Lunch 11:30am – 4pm lunch | Dinner 4pm – 10pm
Sat: Brunch 10:30am – 2pm | Dinner 2pm – 10pm
Sun: Brunch 10:30am – 2pm | Dinner 3pm – 9pm
Happy Hour: Monday – Friday, 3pm – 6pm
Colibri Mexican Bistro: 50 Moraga Ave., The Presidio, San Francisco
Photos courtesy of Colibri Mexican Bistro