The glamorous hunting lodge pictured above is The Cavalier, a British-inspired restaurant opening today at the Hotel Zetta at 5th and Mission. It's the much-anticipated latest project from the Park Tavern and Marlowe team of chef Jennifer Puccio and proprietor Anna Weinberg, along with Weinberg's husband James Nicholas. Equal parts high-concept English hunting lodge, vintage dining car, London bistro, and clubby bar, the space occupies four distinct areas, yet maintains an intimate feel that belies its 115-person seating capacity.
Designed by Ken Fulk, the Cavalier's interior is richly textured, evoking a club where English aristocrats might unwind with a steak and oyster pie after a day in the saddle. Taxidermied animals adorn the main dining room and the walls of the Blue Bar, with its long blue leather banquette, as well as the restaurant's ample main bar, which is illuminated by salvaged cathedral lanterns. Set off from the main dining area are two additional spaces: a more private area featuring hand-painted fox hunt wallpaper and a sliding barn door, and the Rail Car, reminiscent of an old train compartment—complete with brass luggage racks.
Jennifer Puccio's hearty menu continues the British theme, with starters like breaded and fried lamb ribs (known as "scrumpets"), venison tartare, and an "Eggs and Cheese" section that includes deviled quail eggs and welsh rarebit soufflé. Entrees include fish and chips, ribeye, and a special house burger that, for the first time, varies from the Bauer-beloved formula Puccio perfected at Marlowe. (It's called the Blue Bar Burger, and features tomato chutney, English cheddar, and mustard.) Here's the full dinner menu.
Sweets like the lemon posset with tea-poached dried plums, elderflower liqueur and sea salt and the double-crusted crumble with blueberry, English custard and anise hyssop round out the dessert menu, along with Stumptown coffee. And when it comes to drinks, the Cavalier rides in style, with cocktails like the Whiz Bang
(Tobermory Scotch, Cherry Heering, sweet vermouth, absinthe), The Barrister (Buffalo Trace bourbon, Nardini Amaro, white vermouth, Benedictine) and the East Indies Sling (Bombay Sapphire, sweet vermouth, lemon, Fernet-Branca, maraschino). Check out the full cocktail list here.
One component remains in the works: Marianne's, a semi-exclusive speakeasy. Inspired by namesake Marianne Faithfull and the Rolling Stones, it's accessible only through a garbage alley, and themed after the opulent French chateau where the bohemian rock stars went to unwind. (Interestingly, this is a repeat influence this month, as the upcoming Bergerac in SOMA is also influenced by Keith Richards' Villa Nellcote.) A large-scale print of the Stones' Beggar's Banquet cover adorns the wall, while chandeliers and a wine-cellar ambiance make Marianne's a welcome retreat from the bustle of the Cavalier's main rooms.
The Cavalier will stick with dinner service until October, when it will launch a full breakfast and lunch menu available exclusively in the Blue Bar. Dinner hours are 5:30-11 pm daily; breakfast, when it comes online, will be from 7:30-10:30 am, with lunch from to 11:30 am-2:30 pm.
· Let's Get to Know Hotel Zetta, San Francisco's Newest Hotel [Curbed SF]
· One Year In with Park Tavern's Anna Weinberg and Jennifer Puccio [~ ESF ~]