Impressively on schedule, ~BAKER & BANKER~ is opening tonight (December 1st) in the former Quince space (and before that, Meetinghouse). Owners and couple, pastry Lori Baker and chef Jeff Banker, are going to be offering a New American menu with delicious-sounding items like cauliflower soup with vadouvan curry and toasted local almonds; house-smoked trout with celery root latke, horseradish crème fraîche, pickled beets, and shaved fennel; Paine squab and crushed liver crostini with arugula, apples, and Villa Manadori balsamic; striped bass and Spanish chorizo with cockles, bouillabaisse broth, and Meyer lemon aioli; and braised Ponzi Farm lamb stew with crunchy lamb sweetbreads, Anson Mills polenta, and salsa verde (main courses are $17—$25).
More stomach grumbling: Baker’s opening dessert menu includes pumpkin cobbler with cinnamon brittle ice cream; huckleberry brown butter tart with whipped crème fraîche; and peanut butter caramel fudge brownie with roasted banana ice cream and salted peanut brittle (she is known for her ice creams, so get ready). There will also be house-made breads, like soft potato rolls and buttermilk herb. Wine director Collin Casey (most recently the on-site sommelier at La Mar under master sommelier Emmanuel Kemiji) has put together an initial list of 60 bottles; most will be old world, priced between $40 and $60. The 49-seat restaurant used to be an apothecary, which inspired designer Michael Brennan to highlight details like the molding and woodwork. There will also be light caramel walls, Edison bulbs in the light fixtures, a visible ceiling pipe system, and banquettes upholstered in espresso leather. The room will also sport a bar with six stools, and a back bar with woodwork from the 1940s.