Their menu is playful and innovative, adding seasonal NorCal ingredients, technique, and refinement to many classic American dishes. You can start with Aaron’s garlic bread, or toasted ravioli and marinara, moving on to a chopped salad, clam linguine with Jimmy Nardello peppers, and spaghetti with uni butter. (But then there’s the orecchiette mac and cheese, with New York cheddar Mornay, and green chile salsa.) You can ramp up with a half chicken, duck breast scallopini, and Swedish meatballs, plus there’s are a couple of large-format table options, too, like a 16-oz. Flannery dry-aged prime New York steak with creamed spinach-delicata squash gratin, l’entrecôte sauce, and rosemary frites.
They’re making all the pasta in-house, and their Josper Grill (a charcoal-fueled oven and grill that can sustain temperatures above 650°F) will be getting a workout. Toensing will be rocking the desserts with housemade gelato, spumoni, and a Hatch green chile-apple pie with a cheddar cheese-flecked crust; here’s the dessert menu.
The bar features some cocktail classics (Boulevardier, La Floridita daiquiri), with Negroni variations as a highlight (courtesy of GM and bar director William Sanders, also a Bix alum). The wine list strikes a good balance between quality and value with both old- and new-world selections, but if you want to bust out with some Bollinger, you can do that too.
The former Republic bar has been given quite the overhaul by designer Michael Guthrie and architect Mark Topetcher. There are four areas: a bar, lounge, main dining room, and private dining room, with seats for 120 in all. There’s a 20-seat, copper-topped bar, red leather banquettes with plaid upholstered backs, an elevated lounge with mocha leather banquettes, and the 50-seat dining room has classic white tablecloths and Thonet bentwood chairs with beige leather seats and tartan upholstered backs.
Hours for the bar are 4:30pm-11pm, with the restaurant open 5:30pm-11pm. Look for some additions to come, like a daytime sandwich shop. 3213 Scott St. at Lombard, 415-400-8500.
Uni spaghetti. Photo courtesy of Spaghetti Bros.