Things are coming into focus quickly at Company, the new restaurant concept going into the former 10-year-old Tao Cafe in Noe Valley. Owner Thuy Nguyen has joined forces with Four Seasons vets Karen Hoffmann and Jason Poindexter to bring an approachable yet refined California Mediterranean menu to the neighborhood. Russell Morton, formerly of Plumpjack Group and Velvet Cantina, will run the front of house. The plan for now is to very softly open this weekend with full lunch service beginning on September 28, and full dinner to follow on October 9.
The menu is designed for flexibility, with ample bar food options ($6-10), including grilled Monterey squid with smashed butterball potatoes and pancetta, and a housemade goat milk ricotta with broiled mission fig on orange blossom honey toast. Dinner entrees like pappardelle with an oxtail sugo and braised beet greens, and a free range chicken with ancient grain salad, d'anjou pears and hazelnuts will fall in the $14-26 range.
Meanwhile Morton is putting together an inventive list of wine cocktails, incorporating soju-based gin, liqueurs, syrups and tonic water made in-house. See the opening menu's Baronial (house made gin, Lillet, bitters and seltzer), and you get the gist. Barrel-aged fortified wine cocktails are also in the works, while global wines and local craft beers will be offered on tap and by the glass or bottle.
As far as the remodel goes, no walls were taken down, but the owners did add in an entirely new eight-seat bar at the front of the space. They're going for a "retro, industrial, artsy" vibe with brightly colored walls, and vintage light fixtures hanging from custom steel frames. Eventually, they'll reopen the upstairs lounge area (last seen when the space was Flying Saucer) for private parties and further eating and drinking purposes.
Hours shall be 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 10 p.m., Sunday, and Tuesday through Thursday. The joint will stay open until 11 p.m on the weekends. As always, once Company is in full swing, early thoughts and intel are most welcome in the tip jar, or below.
· All Company Coverage [~ ESF ~]