Here we have a fresh rendering from Sagan Piechota Architecture of Hayes Valley's pending New Orleans-inspired show stopper Boxing Room. The interior has been totally reoriented since the Citizen Cake days, with the bulk of the dining room facing Gough as opposed to Grove. Chef Justin Simoneaux has been working with the designers on an interior that melds influences from his Louisiana upbringing with a sense of place in California. Imagine the space above bustling with a man-powered, oyster-and-shrimp filled raw bar around the corner to the right, the energy of an open kitchen and servers clad in matching t-shirts and blue jeans. Five-foot wide, custom-built opalescent glass-encased chandeliers will hang from the ceilings. Floors are made from flecked concrete that almost looks like brick. Twenty beers and six wines will flow from taps at the bar. And the music will probably be a little on the lounder, funkier side. Simoneaux notes the walls were made from a 100-year-old Douglas fir, tabletops come from Monterey cypress trees and chairs will be tricked out in faux alligator to bring in the NOLA flavor.
Since we're showing you an interior rendering, a draft of the final menu is only fitting. Now you know Simoneaux has been hosting preview dinners at sister restaurant Absinthe for several months now, helping him define and refine his offerings prior to opening. He plans to run a boucherie of sorts from the kitchen, using whole hogs, cows and goats in various dishes. Unusual-to-the-Bay Area things like alligator, frog, turtle and tasso sausage will appear regularly on all menus. Simoneaux will be rotating things like muffaletta at lunch time; crab-stuffed flounder and frog legs sauce piquante during the dinner hour.
Menu items fall in a very comfortable range: $5 bar snacks, $8-$11 appetizers and entrees hovering between $13 and $22. Daily lunch specials, dinner specials and a "design your own plate" option with various cuts of meat and seasonal sides will all be outlined on a large chalkboard menu that forms an interior focal point. And everything will be neatly tied up with pastry chef Bill Corbett's reinterpretations of Southern classic desserts like bananas Foster. Simoneaux says the goal is to offer less-composed desserts, like pie and slices of cake. Corbett, who famously loves savory-leaning sweets, is making an effort to err on the sweeter side here. Expected opening as of now is late May.
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