The chefs, along with owners Justin Ayars and Jesse LaVancher, invited some friends, colleagues and journalists (including me) to try some of the dishes, such as thrice-cooked bacon, kimchi-topped fries, banana-shallot hushpuppies and pimento cheese fritters — something that Pimento Cheese, Please! filmmaker Nicole Lang (another guest) was happy to see.
We also sampled creamy mac-and-cheese with Gruyere, cheddar and braised beef short ribs; heavenly roasted duck breast with braised kale and melt-in-your-mouth vanilla-glazed turnips; and Pacific sturgeon with smoked tomato sauce and braised endive.
With “snacks” such as the fritters, potato skins and confit chicken thighs priced between $3 and $6, and entrées ranging from $14 to $19, the new menu offers refined dining at very competitive prices.
The menu also includes a “first course” section with items such as the mac-and-cheese, pan-fried sweetbreads, beef tartare, crispy pork trotters and Salad Niçoise, with prices between $6 and $10. New lunch and brunch menus will follow on July 3.
Meanwhile, Maher is preparing for his second pop-up restaurant event, Meddle with Spoons, for which he’s partnering with Secco Wine Bar head chef Tim Bereika. The dinner is set for July 22 at Ironfish by Pescados. Maher says he and Bereika have just finalized the menu for the all-pasta dinner; tickets will sell for $65 each.