August 13, 2010

August 13, 2010
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Bar Agricole’s courtyard fence.


At last, Thad Vogler’s dream tavern, ~BAR AGRICOLE~ is opening in SoMa on Monday August 16th (many of you will recognize Thad from behind the bar at The Slanted Door, Jardinière, and Beretta). The name (Farm Bar) relates to Vogler’s tendency to trace drinks to their agricultural roots—and it also refers to the famous Agricole Rhums made from sugar cane in the French Caribbean (yeah, he’s a fan).

tablehopper featured Bar Agricole in a hardhat some months ago, but to share further details with you: chef Brandon Jew (Pizzetta 211, Zuni Café, Quince, Magnolia) has put together a meal of “Northern California cuisine” that could include anything from squash fritters to roasted leg of lamb (the menu was designed to respect the whole animal). Bar Agricole has close relationships with two biodynamic farms, Heart Arrow Ranch near Ukiah, and Marian Farms in Fresno. The all-day menu means you can come by for a small bite or a full meal (hours are from 6pm-1am, and daytime hours will be added soon).

Here’s the opening menu (subject to change):

Squash fritters 6
Piccalilli 5
Chopped liver on toast 12
Olives & herbs 5

Leafy salad 13
Tomatoes with bottarga 16
Bigoli with pesto 14
Green beans with mustardy potatoes 12
Rolled chicken and an egg 16
Grilled sardines & avocado 14
Corn pudding with ham 15

Fish soup with aïoli 16
Roasted peppers with shelling beans 17
Stuffed quail 19
Roasted leg of lamb 18

Cheese plate 15
Berries with custard 8
A dozen almond Madeleines 6
Rum raisin ice cream 6

The wine director (and “forager”) is Mark Ellenbogen, who is no longer putting together his well-known wine list at Slanted Door (Paul Einbund has taken his place, and will be overseeing all the Slanted Door, Heaven’s Dog, and Out the Door wine programs). Ellenbogen’s wine list will feature natural wines from 15-20 estates, from California, France, Spain, Italy, and Austria. Guests will be able to taste from four to seven wines from each estate. He will also be tending the herbs and flowers in the tavern’s front garden. German-born Andreas Willausch (Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant, China Moon Cafe, Masa’s, Farallon) will be managing the front of the house.

The bar manager is Eric Johnson (Bourbon & Branch, Heaven’s Dog, Beretta)—take a seat at the 15-seat bar for mixed drinks made with spirits that celebrate the tradition of farmhouse distilling. Thad, Eric, and Mark have also worked with local producers to create custom distillates, including a farmhouse curaçao, biodynamic brandies, and California pure cane rum.

Here’s the opening cocktail list (all $8—yeah, that’s my kind of drink price):

Traditional Sour: Armagnac Blanc, lemon, egg white
Brandy Cocktail: curaçao, Italian vermouth, absinthe, and bitters
Daiquiri: white rum, lime, grapefruit, maraska, aromatic bitters
Jersey Sour: California brandy, lemon, apple, maple, aromatic bitters
Whiskey Cocktail: dry vermouth, grenadine, absinthe, orange bitters
Tequila Daisy: lemon, vermouth blanc, apricot preserve, chartreuse bitters
Petit Zinc: farmhouse vodka, oj, red vermouth, farmhouse curaçao
Whiskey Sour: lime, port, and orange bitters
Presidente: California agricole, farmhouse curaçao, grenadine, orange bitters
White Rum Swizzle: 2 vermouths, lemon, farmhouse curaçao, raspberry
Ti Punch: hibiscus bitters
Gin Cocktail: riesling and stone fruit bitters
Star Daisy: Calvados, gin, grenadine, and lemon
Capitan Cocktail: Armagnac Blanc, aromatic bitters, and chinato
Dry Pisco Punch: pineapple gum and hibiscus bitters

The 72-seat project features many artisans in its construction and design—and architects Aidlin Darling Design (with Matarozzi/Pelsinger Builders) have created San Francisco’s first LEED-certified Gold building (and are eagerly anticipating the possibility of having the first LEED platinum-certified commercial interior). Please refer to the hardhat for details on the players and many features, like Sebastian Parker’s white oak tables and chairs that were saturated in red wine. It opens Monday—congrats team, it’s gonna be a beaut. And readers, you’re just going to have to take my word on it—sorry there are no pictures to share at the moment.


Exterior photo from The Summit.

I thought you’d like to know about two more cool, upcoming “guest chef” programs happening around town. First, when ~THE SUMMIT~ opens in the Mission on Tuesday August 24th (well, that’s the plan for now), chef Eddie Lau is going to be launching a guest pastry program. He wants to instill a rotating/incubator dessert chef program, where (perhaps unknown) pastry chefs can try out and highlight their creations, serving them for three-four months at a time. The desserts would also be served late night, which is a nice feature. You can read more on Eddie’s HotFoodPorn blog. 780 Valencia St. at 19th St.

And consider this a smoky heads up: Ryan Ostler, formerly of Bruno’s, is going to be joining his lady (pastry chef Katharine Zacher) for a Monday night of barbecue at ~BAR TARTINE~ on August 23rd. There will be three-four courses served family style of their delicious down-home cooking. I’ll have more details next week—and more info on upcoming dates as well. Hubba.