It’s official: Daniel Patterson’s 48-seat Oakland project, ~PLUM~ opens this Wednesday the 29th, and along with it is a new addition to the Daniel Patterson Group: Ron Boyd (AQUA, Beautifull) has signed on to take over the role that Jeremy Fox was to fill at Plum and in the group overall. Boyd will oversee Patterson’s restaurants (Coi, Il Cane Rosso, and the upcoming Plum, though the further-out Bracina will be chef Lauren Kiino’s main responsibility), and Boyd will also work on developing new ideas for the group, its garden, and allowing Patterson to focus on and be present daily at Coi. Boyd was formerly the chef de cuisine at AQUA, and most recently, was conducting R&D for Beautifull’s healthy prepared foods. Earlier in his career, Boyd was Patterson’s chef de cuisine at Elisabeth Daniel.
Kiino will be playing a big part in Plum as the opening chef. Bill Corbett will be doing the desserts at Plum (like roasted white chocolate parfait with huckleberry and tarragon, $9), but Boyd will also be now working with pastry chef Deanie Hickox, who left Manresa to help out at Coi.
(You got all that? Good.)
So, what’s going to be on the menu at Plum? It’s well priced, with many dishes under $20, and a four-course menu for $45. There are snacks to start, like chickpea fritters or crispy chicken skin with seaweed (both $4); starters like a smoked black cod and potato purée ($12) or chilled eggplant soup ($9); larger vegetable dishes like mushroom dashi with yuba, tofu, and greens ($13) or steamed chanterelle custard with nettles and hazelnuts ($13); meaty mains like slow-cooked farm egg with savory chicken-giblet fried farro and sprouts ($17), or seared squid with kohlrabi, mustard greens, and black rice porridge ($18). And since it’s open late, there will be a burger (gasp) and a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.
As for the wine list, wine director Andrew Mosblech has put together an international list with about 50 selections, and 25 will be available by the glass or “flask.” The wines were described to me as balanced, fresh, and food friendly, with a focus on good value, integrity, tipicity, and a sense of discovery (look for some unique grapes, like moschofilero and schiava). As for you cocktail lovers, Scott Beattie’s list (and bar) won’t be in effect until next year, but one of his aperitif/cocktails will be on the opening list, the Bella Rufina (brachetto, orange bitters, amarena cherry), along with some sakes, sherries, and beers. The space will have some drama, like walls in deep colors, a chandelier, and of course some unique art, like X-ray cross-sections of plums. There will be either counter or communal table seating. Hours will be 5pm-1am daily. Reservations accepted!