Homage’s exterior and the alley (which will be getting an upgrade). Photo courtesy of Homage.
Chef-owner David Kurtz. Photo: Brendan Pascoe.
The Homage loaf in progress, featuring three wheats and a three-day ferment. Photo from Instagram.
We mentioned back in June that chef David Kurtz, previously of Maven, was taking over Galette 88’s space in the FiDi to open his own project, ~HOMAGE~. We can now release some details, and FiDi workers, get excited.
The name will make sense upon first glance at the menu, which will pay homage to local farmers by featuring a different farmer every two weeks. Guests will learn about the farmer’s backstory, products, location, and more, while seeing their products highlighted throughout the menu. A concise menu will be focused on soups, salads, and sandwiches, and the ingredients will be highly seasonal and market-driven (obviously).
Sample dishes include a salad of Little Gems, endive, and Treviso; a preserved Braeburn apple and celery root soup; a hard cider-braised heritage pork “Cubano” with Calvados mustard, Swiss cheese, 4505 cured ham, pickled cucumber, and Braeburn apple; and a duck congee, with air-dried smoked duck, roasted spring onions, and Szechuan pepper. As you can see, the menu will stretch across different cuisines and not be limited to just a NorCal style, so don’t be surprised if one day you find a Taiwanese beef noodle soup. Meats will come from Biagio and other quality purveyors, and they will be roasted, braised, smoked, and more. And even though the menu will rotate often, as favorite dishes and sandwiches are revealed, some items will become mainstays on the menu.
A cornerstone of the project is its bread—it will be naturally fermented for three days and baked in-house. And even though Homage is not a bakery, they will also be grinding their own specialty whole wheats on premise for the ultimate in fresh flour, although they will also use local mills for some of their flour needs. There will be a dark-crusted Homage loaf, in addition to rolls and a soft baguette. Sandwiches will always be made to order—no premade sandwiches in a grab-and-go case here.
There will also be a curated retail section, with pantry items like marmalade, pickles, and more on the shelves, plus freshly milled flour and other products.
Kurtz has a fine dining background and is excited to offer something of quality and freshness that’s made with technique to the lunchtime space, while still being efficient and speedy for the busy downtown clientele.
Homage will be open for breakfast, serving coffee (from a variety of roasters), tea, juices, pastries, and hand pies, and offering a robust WiFi, making it a welcoming place for people to hold morning meetings in the sunlit space. In the late afternoon and evening, a happy hour will kick in, with beer and wine, plus small plates, cheeses, and charcuterie.
The 49-seat space is being designed by Gi Paoletti and will feature an open kitchen (it’s also a massive upgrade from the previous kitchen, which just had a crêperie setup—this is much more complex). The space has some industrial elements, but will also have an urban country feel to it, bringing a NorCal farm aesthetic to the city—the reclaimed wood floors will remain, and there will be subway tile too.
There is an outdoor alley that will have seating for 20—it’s going to be painted and made more pleasant with a redwood fence and planters so you don’t have to look at dumpsters while enjoying your lunch. Homage is running a Kickstarter to complete the outdoor space—please consider kicking in some funds so they can offer downtown a great outdoor space to enjoy, and you can enjoy some sandwiches and more as incentives.
Homage will be open Mon-Fri from 8am-9pm, and eventually Sat through lunch will be added. The goal is to open in Q1, ideally February. Follow along on Instagram and Facebook for updates—and, of course, we’ll keep you posted. 88 Hardie Pl. at Kearny.