[Photo: Billy B./Foursquare]
It's been almost a year since The Chapel opened its doors on Valencia, and the bar and music venue's long-awaited restaurant is finally coming to light. Appropriately, it's to be called The Vestry (which is defined as a room adjacent to a chapel that houses sacred objects and can serve as a gathering area).
In this case, the sacred objects in question will be of the culinary variety: executive chef Matthew Colgan (of À Cótè) and chef de cuisine Seamus Mackenzie have designed a menu to showcase contemporary Californian dishes like crispy squash blossoms with carrot-ricotta puree and pesto, nectarine and prosciutto flatbread with tomato sauce and smoked Caciocavallo cheese, and grilled albacore tuna crostini with eggplant caponata. In the dessert department, executive pastry chef Elaine Osuna has a playful menu in mind, featuring dishes like custard-filled brioche donuts and a homemade take on the It's-It ice cream sandwich.
Darren Crawford of Bourbon & Branch is behind The Vestry's cocktail menu, which will showcase craft ingredients like housemade syrups and obscure spirits to create a wide-ranging selection of drinks. Sommelier Patrick Cress has assembled a streamlined list of food-friendly California wines, and a selection of localand craft beers will also be on offer.
The space is the site of an old mortuary, and owner Jack Knowles repurposed much of the interior to create the restaurant's design elements, turning mortuary doors and columns into tables and doors, and reusing wood trim from the address's former identity. The restaurant will seat 85 inside and will have room for another 50 people at their outdoor patio, which has been the Mission's best-kept outdoor drinking secret. The Vestry is due to open on September 19th, so keep a close eye on this one.