A report by Dana Eastland. The large new project in the Presidio, SESSIONS, which we updated you on in June, officially opened its doors on Monday August 24th. The bar and restaurant comes from partners Michael Bilger (who is executive chef) and Evin Gelleri, the general and business manager. The pair has brought on Nicole Erny, a master cicerone, to develop the beer list and educate the opening staff, and Jordan Spaulding, a certified cicerone candidate, to manage the beer list day-to-day.
The bar has an extensive beer list, with 100 options available, including 24 on draft. The bottle list will offer some larger-format selections for sharing among groups, as well as a selection of five session-style ales. They are also offering a daily bottle pour available by the glass, which will offer a chance to try more unusual beers without having to order the whole bottle, and there are daily rotating flights too.
The wine list will include 30 bottles, along with 12 by-the-glass selections and 10 wines on tap. There is also a cocktail list from Peter Ziegler (Urchin Bistrot), made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Their liquor license will also allow them to offer wine for off-premise sale (meaning retail, essentially), and they plan to sell wines from Skywalker Ranch in Marin for both in-house and off-site consumption. Take a peek at the full bar list here.
As for food, Bilger’s menu offers hearty, seasonal food built around their relationship with local farms, especially the one at Skywalker Ranch. There is an ample choice of small plates, again with a focus on sharing, including a charcuterie platter of housemade meats with cheese and their own “brewed” bread ($16/$29), freshly shucked oysters (A.Q.), and panela cheese dumplings with cilantro-chile pesto, corn, and pepitas ($10/$18). For main dishes, it’s California style, with seasonal influences, such as rye pappardelle with smoked beets, pea sprouts, preserved lemon crème fraîche, and poached egg ($19), or meatier options like the pork rib eye confit with mustard fruit, stone-ground polenta, and broccoli di cicco ($30). This being a beer place, there’s also a burger, of course, available “straight” with just pickles and fries ($15), or “chef’s style” with the addition of Wagon Wheel cheese and bacon-Anchor jam ($18). Check out the full menu here.
The space is large, clocking in at 3,500 square feet, with seats for 150 in the dining room, plus an additional 50 on the patio. There is also a private dining room with space for 16. Lundberg Design conceived the space, incorporating an acrylic and steel sculpture into the entry. It’s also worth noting that Sessions won’t be accepting tips, but will add a 20 percent service charge to every check. Hours are Mon-Fri lunch 11:30am-2:30pm, limited afternoon menu 2:30pm-5:30pm, dinner 5:30pm-10pm; Sat-Sun brunch 11am-2:30pm, dinner 5:30pm-110pm. 1 Letterman Dr. at Lombard, entrance at the Chestnut Gate at Lyon, 415-655-9413.
The bar at Sessions. Photo by Kingmond Young.