Photo by Brian Smeets for Grub Street.
Opening on Tuesday June 22nd, Tyler Florence’s ~WAYFARE TAVERN~ is once again bringing life into the historical space that once housed beloved Rubicon. The menu of authentic American dishes was inspired by the San Francisco restaurant scene of the late 1800s. You can expect hors d’oeuvres like grass-fed beef carpaccio ($16), grilled sardines ($14), and, not surprisingly, salt-roasted bone marrow ($14), along with smoked chicken wings ($9) and a selection of country hams ($18). The raw bar will feature a variety of oysters and clams ($15 for 6, $27 for 12), plus Dungeness cracked crab with Louie dressing ($18), and even Santa Barbara sea urchin ($18). Entrées will include poached petrale sole ($24) with a chorizo-mussel chowder and green garlic breadcrumbs; organic fried chicken ($22) with buttermilk brine, garlic, woody herbs and lemon; a California Cobb salad ($22); a 21-day dry-aged grass-fed sirloin ($32) with buttered mushrooms and watercress; and the classic Hangtown fry ($18). There will also be daily Blue Plate Specials, and homey desserts like strawberry shortcake and banana pudding.
In true turn-of-the-century and Barbary Coast style, the bar will figure prominently, with cocktails by Josh Harris and Scott Baird from The Bon Vivants. The bar program will feature boutique distilleries, craft-distilled spirits, and seasonal ingredients, such as the house-crafted plum and black tea shrub. The wine list is all about California wineries and vintners, along with a selection of Florence’s own label, plus a large selection of draft beers and an organic draft root beer served in frosty glasses.
The antiquarian look of the restaurant is a cross between a Victorian parlor and an Edwardian men’s club; Florence partnered with interior designer Lori Yeomans of USA Interior Design. Cool facts: the walls are lined by original bricks salvaged from the Earthquake and Great Fire of 1906, and the wood floors were sourced directly from a turn-of-the-century Kentucky barn. The open kitchen has a chef’s counter with seating for eight, and The Parlor room has a billiard table available for private parties and for diners and guests, when not reserved. For more details on the style and design of the three-story restaurant, be sure to read the hardhat column about it. Hours will be Mon-Fri 11:30am-11pm, and Sat-Sun 5pm-11pm.