San Francisco: New Menu Debut at Aster
Last week, chefs Brett Cooper and Daniel Patterson's Michelin-starred eatery revamped its menu, transitioning from a set four-course menu to a larger seven-course menu. Designed by Cooper, the menu continues to reflect Aster’s commitment to refined California cuisine.
Seasonal produce remains at the forefront with a dish of heirloom carrots with barley miso and caramelized yogurt joined by rana roja beans with egg yolk and chanterelle. A trout dish with preserved lemon and bronze fennel is followed by another featuring aged pork with kohlrabi, nectarine, and smoked garum. And for dessert, a peach ginger crisp gets dressed up with coconut and flaxseed crisps. An optional wine pairing includes a mix of old and new world wines, including many biodynamic bottles. 1001 Guerrero St; 415-875-9810.
On August 10, Windy City diners welcomed a long-anticipated German restaurant from chef Mark Steuer (Carriage House, El Che Bar). Inspired by Steuer’s childhood spent exploring Bavaria, the Black Forest, and Alsace with family, as well as his South Carolina upbringing, Funkenhausen’s menu is deeply personal. There is speck and melon dressed up with heirloom tomatoes and lemon vinaigrette, charred broccolini with buttermilk dressing and golden raisins, and prime rib sauerbraten with whipped potatoes and horseradish sauce. Schnitzel, sausage, Bavarian pretzels, and chops also feature heavily.
Funkenhausen’s generously sized dining room skews more towards polished brasserie than rustic, wood-tabled beer hall. Plush, upholstered booths in deep navy, herringbone-patterned wall tile, and clusters of globe-shaped lights give the space a bright, sophisticated feel–just right for sipping a German beer and nibbling off a plate of sürfentürfen, a delightfully-named that pairs scallops and pork belly with kraut puree and plums. 1709 West Chicago Ave; 312-929-4727.
Nashville: Stay Golden Restaurant & Roastery
On August 13, the Stay Golden Coffee Co. will open a brick and mortar location in Music City. The space will include an onsite coffee bean roaster that will perfume the bright, airy dining room. Chef Simoni Kigweba (Josephine) will helm the menu, offering seasonally-inspired breakfast and lunch dishes like tomato tartine with ricotta and basil, short rib hash with red eye gravy, and an English muffin egg sandwich with bacon and either tomato jam or hot honey.
Nathanael Mehrens will oversee both coffee and cocktails. In addition to cold brew and lattes, the drinks menu includes the Good Morning which pairs espresso with sweet corn milk and chile lime salt, and a coffee mint julep with Sacred Bond Brandy. 2934 Sidco Drive, Suite 130.
New Orleans: Couvant
On August 14, the French Brasserie Couvant will open inside the Eliza Jane Hotel in New Orleans’ bustling Magazine Street district. In a nod to the brasseries of Paris, the polished dining room will include banquette seating and be accented with glints of copper and softly lit globe light fixtures.
The menu, meanwhile, will offer chef Brad McDonald’s (Shotgun, London) updated take on sophisticated brasserie fare. Expect dishes like pissaladiere with Ortiz anchovies and English pea “A la Française,” with a sunny side up duck egg, bacon, and mint. Also notable: McDonald’s three takes on moules frites: Marinieres, A La Normande, and Marsaeilles. 317 Magazine St; 504-882-1234.
This past May, the James Beard award-winning chef, Alon Shaya, opened the modern Israeli restaurant, Saba, in New Orleans to much acclaim. On August 18 he will head west with a sister restaurant, Safta, inside Denver’s Source Hotel. Saba is Hebrew for grandfather and Safta means grandmother–and fittingly, both restaurants pay homage to Shaya’s familial heritage.
Safta will combine flavors and dishes from the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe–the three regions that most deeply shape Israel’s vibrant cuisine. Helmed by chef de cuisine Jessica Nowicki, Safta’s menu will include wood-fired pita, hummus topped with cauliflower and Yemenite curry, braised lamb shanks with labneh and figs, halloumi cheese with apple butter, urfa chili, and fennel, and a wide array of salads like watermelon and Bulgarian feta. Pastry chef Liliana Myers (Frasca Food & Wine) will turn out chocolate and hazelnut babka and labneh cheesecake with orange blossom granola and pomegranate caramel.
Diners can expect to enjoy their meal amidst a bright and vibrantly colored space with ombre wallpaper, lushly planted columns, a reclaimed leather bar, and a lovely view of the Rocky Mountains. 3330 Brighton Blvd, Ste. 201.