If you follow any San Francisco hospitality industry insiders on Instagram, then chances are you’ve seen a photo of the food at impending anticipated opening The Morris. That’s because the restaurant, taking over the former Slow Club space and opening either late this week or early next, has been holding friends and family previews, which have been getting all sorts of industry folk excited. Here’s why.
1. Everybody loves sommelier/owner Paul Einbund. And you probably do, too, if you’ve been to Frances. That’s because he created the wine list there and worked the floor, delivering spot-on pairings for chef Melissa Perello’s stand-out Californian fare. Now he’s venturing out on his own with The Morris, and it’s an especially personal project named after his late father.
2. Heavy-hitter industry friends like sommelier Rajat Parr are helping out. Parr, a big name in wine, took some time out of his busy schedule to help train Einbund’s staff. Parr’s gin, Calyx, is also on the menu.
3. The menu is every wine lover’s dream. Einbund is very well-connected (wines from his friends’ vineyards like Hirsch Vineyards and Chanin Wines are all on the list), and he imports a lot of old-world wine himself, making his extensive cellar envied in the industry. Expect to see many of those bottles on the full, 50-page wine list, plus a large selection of rare and vintage Madeira wines and Chartreuse.
4. Gavin Schmidt’s menu scratches all the SF itches. We’re talking: local, seasonal, whole-animal cooking from the former Coi chef. Just look at this entire duck that Kin Khao owner Pim Techamuanvivit couldn’t help but Instagram:
It’s from Petaluma’s 38 North Poultry, and it’s brined for 24 hours with thyme and garlic, then air dried in the walk-in for four days, smoked at 165 degrees for two hours, and roasted in a convection oven until golden brown.
Northern California farmers, ranchers, and artisans are all over the menu (in full here), including Devil’s Gulch Ranch, 38 North Poultry, Andante Dairy, Full Belly Farm, Marshall’s Farm Honey, and many more. Michelin-starred Lazy Bear chef/owner David Barzelay is another fan of Schmidt’s food:
Congrats to my friend @peinbund on opening @themorris_sf. So many unique and personal elements and I can't wait to see them grow. Pictured here are a couple excellent dishes from @chefgschmidt. Crispy pork trotters with Asian pear on the left, and absolutely perfect buckwheat doughnuts with creme anglaise on the right.
5. Star architect Charles Hemminger and designer Scott Kester redid the space. Hemminger is the guy behind State Bird Provisions, Tartine Manufactory, Cala, Tawla, and more, while Kester has his fingerprints in Nightbird, Aster, Locol, and more — meaning they’re the guys to get. The two opened up the space and added some video installations, which is certainly a unique add to SF restaurant design.
6. It continues Slow Club’s neighborhood restaurant legacy. After operating for 24 years in the Mission, Slow Club became a true neighborhood favorite, pushing out influential chefs like Chris Kronner (Kronnerburger) and spawning sister restaurant Serpentine. Now, The Morris plans to continue that legacy as Einbund wants it to be “the ideal neighborhood restaurant.” He’s doing that by including many Bay Area makers, like Heath Ceramics and Berkeley’s Totem for the plateware, California clothing brand Evan Kinori’s server uniforms, Etta + Billie’s custom bathroom soap, and more.
It all sums up to make The Morris a restaurant that industry chefs, owners, and more can’t wait to open. Right now, it’s scheduled to arrive Monday, October 3 at the latest, and hours will be Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.