After taking over and massively renovating the former Les Clos space in SoMa, PETIT MARLOWE is opening this Friday June 23rd. Big Night Restaurant Group’s Anna Weinberg and designer Ken Fulk have created a charming 49-seat wine bar and oysterette, with pale pink leather banquettes, a marble bar, hand-stitched toile wallpaper, and painted black-and-white checkerboard floors. They complete the look with some antique and flea market finds from Paris, like vintage bistro chairs and lamps and paintings. It’s chic, quaint, and where you’ll want to go on a date—and with The Riddler in Hayes Valley, it now brings our city’s truly stylish wine bar count up to two. (Keep it up, SF. Way to finally move away from wine barrels as décor and black leatherette couches.)
Executive chef Jenn Puccio is overseeing the menu of bistro bites and small plates, with three kinds of her brilliant deviled eggs, including a Caesar salad-inspired filling with Spanish anchovy, Parmesan, and bread crumbs, while another has ‘nduja egg filling with brûléed lardo. Oy. There are charcuterie, cheese, and tartare options (like côte de boeuf with porcini oil and lemon) and another of beet with harissa, whipped sheep’s milk cheese, fennel fronds, and seeded toast. Salads and tartines round out the savory picks (like a PB&J of a warm torchon of foie gras with apricot-chile jam).
Chef Henry French (Leo’s Oyster Bar) is bringing his raw bar knowledge over to Petit Marlowe, with eight kinds of oysters (don’t miss the kimchi-like pickled ramp cocktail sauce!), plus clams, scallops, and there are even percebes (gooseneck barnacles) on the menu, which I have only seen in Portugal, so, cool. Shrimp or Dungeness crab cocktail, check, plus crudos, like a silky Tasmanian ocean trout with lemon, capers, and olive oil will also be on offer. For dessert, Emily Luchetti has created a brilliant rosé ice cream with Smitten Ice Cream, made with Scribe’s Una Lou Rosé. Ooh la la.
The wine list assembled by Jennifer Gomez is of course full of bubbles (including their Big Night sparkling rosé from Burgundy), plus some interesting selections you can request a half-bottle of to try instead of having to commit to a full bottle.
Open Mon-Wed 4pm-10pm, Thu-Sat 4pm-11pm, closed Sun. Raw bar only from 4-5pm daily, full menu after 5pm. 234 Townsend St. at Lusk, 415-923-8575.
Oysters and bubbles. Photo: Aubrie Pick.