Russian Hill continues to beef up its roster of neighborhood drinking spots, with the addition of House Rules. The cozy, neighborhood bar and restaurant comes from restaurateurs Rick Howard and Noelle Calixto (Eddie Rickenbacker's, Campus), offering bar bites, big TVs and plenty of opportunities to break the rules.
The menu, put together by chef Scott Youkilis (Hog and Rocks), is an upscale selection of bar-friendly food for dinner and weekend brunch. Shareable items like lobster salad sliders on mini brioche rolls and potato skins con queso accompany heartier fare like burgers, salads and sandwiches. The Big House Burger, which features hot beer cheese, bacon, pickled jalapeños and a house special sauce, is not for the faint of heart. And as for drinks, the beverage program was put together by Fifty/Fifty, the bar consulting company from Anderson Pugash (owner of Palm House and Bergerac) and Anthony Parks (former beverage director of Palm House and Bergerac). Handcrafted cocktails like the Stranger Danger, composed of Jameson and ancho-chili liqueur, will grace the menu alongside a selection of beers on draft and in bottles.
Designed by Michael Brennan (Zero Zero, Jardiniere), the narrow space (formerly seafood restaurant Pesce) is definitely "intimate," providing 25 seats inside and about 12 sidewalk seats. There's a long bar and a fireplace, surrounded by plenty of exposed brick, wood and leather. And for those imbibing too many potent cocktails, there are etiquette reminders emblazoning the walls, offering solid advice such as "Treat others as you would treat yourself, unless you do not treat yourself very well."
The bar opens softly tonight, May 27 at 9 p.m.; Regular hours are Tuesday-Friday from 5 p.m.- 2 a.m., Saturday-Sunday from 11 a.m.- 2 a.m.