A report by Dana Massey-Todd: Well, we’ve seen beer elevated to the status of fine wine, but over in the old Ozone space some adventurous folks are bucking that trend in favor of cider. UPCIDER is now open on Polk Street, and they are serving some excellent and hard-to-find ciders from all over the world. Co-owners Ozzie Gundogdu and Omer Cengiz worked together at the Jazz Bistro at Les Joulins for five years before they decided to open their own place, and they decided on cider because they felt it was an underrepresented niche in our fair city. They signed Tony Carracci, formerly of Cha Cha Cha and Ace Café, on as chef, and voilà! Upcider.
The menu is well-executed bar food with a twist, with generously portioned and rather delicious sliders, and a variety of share plates, salads, and flatbreads. There’s also a whole section of the menu devoted to potatoes, which is fine by me. All of the food is intended to pair well with the broad variety of ciders Gundogdu and Cengiz have brought in from all over the world. There are some really cool cider offerings, like the Astarbe cider from the Basque region of Spain, which is aged in whiskey barrels and has the dry tang of sour beer or kombucha. On the other end of the spectrum is the sweeter, fruit-infused Fox Barrel from Colfax, California, with blackberry and pear, which makes for a refreshing dessert. They are also trying to highlight and encourage California cider producers, like Two Rivers in Sacramento, Ace in Sebastopol, and Julian Hard Cider Co. in Julian. In the future, they may be able to host cidermaker dinners, with cider and food pairings.
For now, the menu is on the smaller side. They plan to add some happy hour food offerings in the future, and the menu should change every few months to reflect the seasons. They may also be able to host live music and larger events, as soon as they get their entertainment license. There will be an official grand opening party in September too. Their Facebook page should have lots of updates. Bar and kitchen hours are Sun-Thu 4pm-12am and Fri-Sat 4pm-1am. 1160 Polk St. at Sutter, 2nd floor, 415-931-1797.
The perfect place to enjoy a dry cider and watch the Polk Street madness go by. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.