Well, chefs Nick Balla and Cortney Burns are morphing and changing things up again. It ends up they will be serving their last bowl of chanko nabe (sniff sniff) as ~MOTZE~ on Saturday May 27th, and after a quick refresh (expect a field- and forest-inspired look) will be reopening in their Mission space as DUNA on Thursday June 1st.
The new menu will be focused on the flavors of Central Europe, a flavor profile the two of them adore and is very personal to them (Nick was in Budapest during high school, and Cortney grew up in an Eastern European Jewish family), and played a big part in their cooking while at Bar Tartine. (The name, Duna, is the Hungarian word for the Danube River.)
The new all-day menu is designed to be a more fast-casual format, starting with a range of hearty chopped salads, like Summer Chop Salad with Gyulai salami, cheese, and summer vegetables; chicken and avocado with spicy tahini and sprouts; or a Rusa Salad with the flavors of Mexico, with beets, squash, sweet potato, and a green herb sauce, dressed with kvass and lime. You know you’ll want their langos (smoked potato flatbread) on the side to dunk into the sauce in the bottom of your bowl. Heartier dishes will include spaetzle, a soft egg noodle served with chicken paprikas, and cabbage rolls and sauerkraut. There will also be some dinner specials and snacks, breads, and dips, plus desserts like frozen farmer’s cheesecake and frozen custard.
It’s worth noting that Motze may have comebacks in the form of some pop-up/ticketed events at Duna (like on Saturday May 27th—it’s a set menu for $48/person, not inclusive of tax and tip; tickets will become available on the Motze website starting this Friday). But for now, they’re on to their next thing. 983 Valencia St. at 21st St., 415-484-1206.
An array of chopped salads at Duna. Photo by Eric Wolfinger.