With Bottle Cap, new blood has officially infused the space once occupied by the iconic Washington Square Bar and Grill. Former Sens chef Dane Boryta and Blue Plate man Matt Sullivan are behind the menu, and Bourbon & Branch graduate Pete Gowdy has crafted the drink. The theory here? Elevated comfort foods and thought-out cocktails will attract a new breed of clientele. That's without mention of the vibrancy co-owner Liz Ferro has created by giving the interior a noticeable facelift. Now there are lamb ribs with bourbon glaze, well-made Negronis, turquoise tables and a lot more light pouring into the space. Seven weeks in—and just days before the added buzz of Park Tavern hits the nabe— let's see how the theory's held up so far.
The Interior News: SFoodie shares their sentiment: "We hated the green at first, but the longer we sat waiting for our food, the more it grew on us. It doesn't look at all modern; it looks like somebody's bad color choice from the '50s. Considering the neighborhood and the American cuisine, it actually gives Bottle Cap an ambience of permanence, which is pretty darn impressive for its second night." [SFoodie]
The Noisy News: 7x7 describes, "It all feels very cavernous–an echo chamber buzzing with shrieks, laughter, and the sounds of bartenders shaking up drinks bombarding you from all angles." Blogger Foodie Fool counters: "The space is giant and lacked some acoustics due to the high ceilings, but baby steps. Hopefully when they add music in October the acoustics will be better." [7x7, Foodie Fool]
The Menu News: SFoodie waxes: "What we ate, admittedly not very much, was not only flawless, it also showed more imagination than we expected from the definition of the place, which is ingredient-based American food." 7x7 adds, "...its flavors, while conceptually delicious, sometimes lacked spice and saltiness...there were definite homeruns: for warmth, order their juicy, lightly-charred grilled nectarines served over a tart, melty bed of goat cheese and topped with some arugula." [7x7, SFoodie]
The Booze News: SFist liked the Negroni enough to feature its recipe. 7x7 concurs: "The effort shows: the delicate floral flavors of honey permeated my vodka-based Bee's Knees, while the lime-green, rye-infused Final Word was bright and citrusy. They were just what we needed after a down-home meal in the fast-fading light of the day." [SFist, 7x7]
The Service News: SFoodie shares, "The service was bad in the right way. Various staff members kept checking in on us; they don't know what they're doing yet, but they seem to understand that being friendly goes a long way." But Yelp's Caroline L. adds "Our waiter was nice, but he barely came by to check on us...Didn't feel the interaction we would have liked, seeing has how there were other tables getting better service than us. Don't get me wrong, though. They were nice." [SFoodie, Yelp]
The At-Least-It's-Not-Pasta News: Maggie P. of Yelp says, "Great food in a spot that is overrun with pasta joints." And Yelper Gloria H. adds, "I have a soft spot for this place...something about the location and the history." [Yelp]
The Dessert News: Carina Ost dishes on their pudding: "The first spoonful was exactly what I didn’t want, but it ended up being perfect. I assumed that I wanted smooth and light and this was grainy and thick, but it so totally worked. Much like the mixed old and new décor, the consistency of the pudding with pumpkin pie filling texture and sweet candy taste were a match." [Mission Fruition]
Your early observations, as always, are important. Please send them here or jot them liberally below.
· All Previous Bottle Cap Coverage [~ ESF ~]