After selling out 135 pop-up dinners, Sorrel has found a permanent plot to call home in Pacific Heights, where chef Alex Hong and director of operations Colby Heiman hope to open at 3228 Sacramento (in the former Nico space) on April 13. Hong, a Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park graduate with experience at Jean Georges and Quince, says he’s adapted popular items from his past tasting menus for a la carte ordering, and the restaurant will also offer a fixed “chef’s menu.”
As one might expect of a restaurant named for a perennial herb, Sorrel’s focus is seasonal ingredients (its namesake is on the menu, served with oyster, asian pear, and oro blanco). Menu prices aren’t finalized, but it will be about $90 for the tasting menu, with starters between $8 to 14, pastas between $16 to 24, and entrees between $24 to 36. The whole array of options is below.
Heiman, an alum of Cornell’s hotel management school with a background in commercial real estate, describes Sorrel as a “crossover” restaurant, one “spanning a wide range of accessibility.” It’s a “neighborhood location where people can visit once a week, and a destination spot, where people can come and celebrate.”
One menu item that’s likely to fall into the celebration category is the Wagyu Zabuton for two. The prized beef for the dish comes from Snake River Farms, and to prepare Hong will use Japanese charcoal. Zabuton, Heiman notes, is Japanese for “pillow.”
Hong also takes a creative approach to pasta, which occupies much of his menu. At opening, expect dishes like cappellacci in whey — stuffed pasta with homemade sheep’s milk ricotta that’s then cooked in a broth of the whey.
Samuel Bogue (wine director for the Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, which includes Flour and Water) will be Sorrel’s beverage director. He’s culled a succinct list of wines that will change ever few months.
Scrappy young duo that they are, Hong and Heiman designed the interior of Sorrel themselves. There’s a statement piece of a marble bar, two walnut slab tables with black epoxy (designed by Ben O’Hearn of Emeryville’s Modern Millwork), steel tables (made by Joe Servin of Dark Metal Machine Work), and teardrop globe lights (that were hand blown by Guido Gerlitz of Effetto Glassworks). For large groups, Sorrel has a private dining room with its own record player and a view into the wine cellar.
“Hate it or love it,” Heiman says of the design, “we’ve only got ourselves to blame.”
Sorrel will serve dinner five nights a week starting on April 13, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., with reservations available online.