The new project from the Leopold's team of Klaus and Albert Rainer opened very quietly this week, but the word is clearly out among locals, who are already filling the seats at the handsome Palmer's Tavern. Don't expect German fare, though: a menu of classy tavern food and well-priced cocktails make this a ready-made neighborhood gathering spot. The Long Bar space at Fillmore and Clay has been revamped with a sexy, mahogany ethos: dark wood paneling, old photographs and leather booths lend an air of nostalgia to the space, and a wall-mounted swordfish makes for a unique focal point.
Executive chef Raymond Tamayo's menu matches the setting, offering elevated club food with seasonal flair. Choose among appetizers both vegetable-centric (chilled corn soup, summer bean salad) and meat-heavy (steak tartare, fried oysters and quail a la plancha), then transition to entrees like Wagyu beef, king salmon and cornmeal-crusted hen. There are also some solid bar bites, like crispy squash blossoms and a "Palmer burger" with raclette.
Palmer's cocktail list offers drinks ranging from $8.75 to $9.50, a relative steal in the pricey current market. The Classics menu offers favorites like a Pimm's Cup, an Adonis (sherry, Italian vermouth, and bitters, served up) or an Old Pal (bourbon, Campari and dry vermouth), while more creative "Palmer's cocktails" include the Fillmore Fizz (gin, Fernet-Branca, pineapple gum, citrus and egg white) and the Bohemian (rye whiskey, Cynar amaro, coffee liquor and sweet vermouth). Wine and beer are also on offer.
Hours for the new spot are 5:30-10pm Sunday-Thursday, and 5:30-11pm Friday and Saturday.