Chef Anthony Strong’s first solo restaurant, Prairie, will open on October 12, with a menu of “new school Italian” dishes.
“It’s my version of Italian food. Italian at its core, but drawing from an expanded pantry,” Strong says. That translates to a menu that pulls in inspiration from Japan, California, and beyond, combining ingredients and techniques to create unique dishes based on Italian cuisine. Like most Italian restaurants there’s antipasti section, but this one includes guanciale-wrapped mochi with radicchio and aged balsamic alongside castelvetrano olives with Meyer lemon kosho.
Deeper in the menu, dishes run the gamut from charred negi onions with bottarga and lemon oil to Berkshire pork spareribs with Calabrian XO rub. A tea leaf salsa verde tops thin-cut short ribs, pine nut miso and urfa biber pepper graces radishes, and Korean rice cakes are smothered in mushroom sugo. Check out the full menu here.
The 2,300-square-foot space once housed Hog & Rocks; Prairie has transformed it into a sleek, modern interior with repurposed materials. Strong collaborated with Oakland-based design shop Manual Labor and Holden Architecture to collect and refurbish the white ash wood tables and walls that were dyed indigo via the Japanese technique of aizome.
A small bar adds additional seats to the room, which has a generous view of the kitchen. And as San Francisco’s ravenous brunch crowd will appreciate, there is a heated, covered patio out front.
When it opens on October 12, Prairie will offer dinner Tuesday through Sunday beginning at 5:30 p.m. Weekend brunch will start later in the fall.