7/25/2012 01:06:00 PM

First Look: Abbot's Cellar Opens In the Mission Tonight

Beer snobs love to geek out over killer suds the way oenophiles go sideways for cult Cabs. The problem is monster craft beers are often a meal unto themselves and don’t exactly pair very well with food anymore than a big fat oaky Chardonnay does. But Abbot's Cellar, this new suds-centric fine-dining endeavor from the Monk’s Kettle crew, aims to take beer-and-food pairings to the next level.

In the Cellar: Co-owner and cellar master Christian Albertson curates a 120-plus food-friendly beer list including 20 on tap and two drawn from hand-pump cask engines. Each is treated with the kit gloves, aged in a bi-level stone-encased cellar, served at optimal temperature and poured into the proper glassware that best complements its style. The bar will be the first of its kind to serve ten daily rotating beers-by-the-glass poured from 750 ml bottles (as opposed to draft) that are not usually available in small tasting formats.


In the Kitchen: Chef and co-owner Adam Dulye is a chef by training but isn’t afraid to let the beer shine. Prior to joining the team at Monk’s Kettle, he led several beer-centric restaurants in Colorado and Portland and currently acts as a culinary consultant for the Brewer’s Association. At Abbot’s Cellar, he plans to craft a daily mid-priced seasonal New American menu (under $30) designed to match the suds, some of which is cooked in a hybrid gas-wood-fired oven. In addition to the a la carte options, Dulye will offer both three- and five-course prix fixe tasting menus that will come matched with specific brews. Highlights from the opening menu include beef bone marrow with house pastrami, and spicy greens, braised white sea bass with carrot broth and clams and roasted quail with green garlic sausage, apricots and spelt granola. Best of all, the entire menu is served until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Look: Lundberg Design (known for their work at the Slanted Door and Quince) has transformed the former auto repair shop into a rustic/chic space with materials typically found in an Old World monastery but presented in modern ways (think lined reclaimed planks, river stones, exposed brick, Edison-bulb pendants and soaring 24-feet ceilings). There’s seating down the length of the long dining room, as well as counter seats at the colored-concrete bar and a communal table up front. Fun little details include walnut tables featuring a custom pull-out shelf to store the beverage list, a reading shelf filled with old cookbooks at the counter, a backlit bar that houses over 40 different types of beer glasses, and a beer-bottle-shaped trough-style sink in the bathrooms.

The Details: 742 Valencia St; 415-626-8700, opening tonight dinner served from Sunday-through Thursday from 5-11 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 5 PM-midnight.

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