A New Kind of Restaurant, The Perennial, from Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz

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Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz. Photo courtesy of The Perennial.

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The greenhouse at The Perennial’s aquaponics partners, Viridis. Photo courtesy of The Perennial.

The altruistic and visionary duo of Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz (Mission Chinese Food, Mission Street Food, Commonwealth, Lt. Waffle) are working on a new restaurant and bar in SoMa: ~THE PERENNIAL~. There’s a lot of ground to cover with this concept, so let’s dive in.

The restaurant will have a strong eco and environmental perspective, unlike anything in the city, with an aquaponic greenhouse in Oakland (scraps from the restaurant kitchen will be used to feed fish, whose waste will then provide nutrients for the plants) and a focus on perennial agriculture and a farm-to-table and “table-to-farm” cycle (read: how to deal with waste). You should take a look at the Kickstarter video for more from Anthony Myint on aquaponics—it’s definitely the direction things need to be going in. (And maybe kick down a few bucks while you’re at it.)

The dining room will have a display of live plants that will be used on the menu à la minute (how’s that for fresh ingredients?), plus there will be large planters on the roof of 55 Ninth Street. The kitchen will be energy efficient (through consultation with the Food Service Technology Center), and the team will also be working closely with and donating a portion of proceeds to nonprofit Zero Food Print, a foundation that promotes restaurants (and diners) minimizing their environmental impact, and educates and enables restaurants to reduce their carbon footprints.

Pretty exciting stuff. This is the next wave, people.

The chef is Chris Kiyuna, currently chef de cuisine at Mission Chinese Food SF. He recently trained at Noma and has also cooked at Coi, but keeps things real, too (he was at Front Porch as well). This is a first time for me to see this on a press release: “the chef will serve accessible yet refined climate-conscious California cuisine.” Read on.

There will be “climate beneficial meat,” from cattle that graze “on compost-treated rangeland [which] encourage[s] the growth of perennial grasses whose longer roots sequester carbon beneath the soil, keeping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere” (the team is working with the Carbon Cycle Institute). And another cool thing: the restaurant “will work with Chad Robertson (Tartine) and Wes Jackson (The Land Institute) to offer bread and baked goods using perennial alternatives to traditional wheat, such as Kernza, a naturally bred intermediate wheatgrass, which boasts high-yield, root-based carbon sequestration, and pest resistance.”

Cocktails will be from Tin Roof Drink Community: Chad Arnholt (Trick Dog) and Claire Sprouse (ABV). And since everything will be eco-minded, you sure as hell won’t be seeing any plastic straws here. Not only will Paramo Coffee be served (you can read the original post on tablehopper here about them), but there will also be a daytime kiosk.

The 65-seat restaurant is being designed by Paul Discoe (Ippuku, Greens). The Perennial is going into a new apartment building called AVA 55 Ninth (the restaurant and café will be on the ground floor). Lunch and dinner will be served six days a week (à la carte dinner entrées will run $18-25). They are hoping to open in February 2015. I look forward to this one taking shape in the new year. 59 9th St. at Market.