Dish

Phoenix on Montgomery Street
From the (metaphorical) ashes of Ernie's rises the Essex Supper Club, which opened Aug. 3. The food is "neoclassical American," for you categorizers, although the new chef is English. (Ernie's menu was mainly French.) As for Ernie's famed red-silk interior (featured in the Hitchcock film Vertigo), "changes will be minimal," says interior designer Christina de Limur, although the look will be "updated."

The man behind the resurrection at 847 Montgomery is London-born L.A. entrepreneur Chris Breed (owner of the Southland's hip Roxbury Supper Club), and one of his partners is Victor Gotti -- one of the co-owners of Ernie's.

The old place, whose business had sagged markedly in recent years, shut its doors last September after a 64-year, multigenerational run -- much of that time as one of the city's pre-eminent venues for star-spotting.

Pastry Lady
Moose's has a new pastry chef: Heidi Steele, a 28-year-old West Virginian who majored in architecture. Does that suggest a big emphasis on presentation?

"I try to keep my dessert presentations simple and elegant," she says. "I believe that the presentation should never override the flavor and texture of the dessert."

Steele's most recent gig was as assistant pastry chef at Mark Miller's Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe, N.M.

Writing About Eating
Aspirants to the world of food writing will be interested in a class being offered at Golden Gate University beginning Sept. 11: "Honeyed Words and Spicy Stories: Reading and Writing about Food." The syllabus includes work by James Beard, Alice Waters, and M.F.K. Fisher, among others. Call 442-7222 for more info.

Pepper Love
If, by some strange chance, you've never had gooseberry chili sorbet, you might want to stop by Millennium for dinner this Sunday. The upscale vegetarian restaurant in the Abigail Hotel (246 McAllister) is putting on its first Red Hot Chili Pepper dinner ($35 prix fixe) from 6:30 to 9:30 in the evening. Besides the spicy sorbet, courses will include such things as corn risotto cakes with chipotle-albaca basil pesto, batter-fried chiles rellenos, and pickled scotch bonnet chilies (said to be the world's hottest). There will be no live music -- from the Red Hot Chili Peppers or any other group -- but growers from Tierra Vegetables (an organic producer of chilies) will be on hand to discuss peppers and other hot topics. Call the restaurant at 487-9800 for reservations.

By Paul Reidinger
sfwdish@aol.com

 
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