It’s not all about the beer at the latest venture from the team that brought Monk’s Kettle to San Francisco; it’s about an appreciation of both food and beer at The Abbot’s Cellar, Valencia Street’s newest restaurant, now open in the Mission District.
Co-owner and Cellarmaster Christian Albertson and co-owner and chef Adam Duyle have created a unique restaurant which offers diners a fresh take on beer pairings. Beer lovers will rejoice in the 120-plus bottle beer list, with a focus on craft beer. Those who are looking for a fine dining experience will be able to enjoy Duyle’s menu featuring seasonal cuisine.
First the beer experience. The Abbot’s Cellar’s beer program will include more than 20 beers on draft – including two drawn from hand-pump cask engines – along with more than 100 bottles. Albertson and co-beer director and cicerone Mike Reis have organized the well-rounded list by taste profile and beer styles. The restaurant will also feature a unique beer-by-the-glass program, offering 10 beers by-the-glass poured from 750 ml bottles rather than draft. The selection of beers will change daily and this is the only type of program like this in the country, allowing for a completely unique beer-tasting experience. Finally, one of the most unique design features is the restaurant’s two-story beer cellar. The area will be able to hold up to 500 cases of beer, allowing for the restaurant to serve each at its ideal temperature and poured into glassware that is suitable for its style. Just the little touches that make The Abbot’s Cellar special. Oh and by the way, the restaurant will also have about 20 wines available by the glass and bottle as well.
Food-wise, Duyle, who has led several beer-centric restaurants in Colorado and Portland before, will be offering both a daily changing à la carte menu and 3-and-5-course prix fixe tasting menus with specific beer pairings. Each week, Duyle sits down with Albertosn and Reis to compose the menu. “Sometimes it will be me leading off with an ingredient I got at the market or from a rancher that’s about to come into season,” he said. “Other times it will be us tasting through beers and determining what is ready to drink. Next we talk about flavor profiles, how they react on the palate, and how we imagine them playing off the beer. We decide what reaction we want the beer to have with the food, and vice versa, building the menu from there.” Menu items are all priced under $30 and might include the following:
Chilled Turnip hot smoked salmon, blackberries and coriander
Beef Bone Marrow house pastrami, spicy greens, pickled mustard and rye
Braised White Sea Bass poached potatoes, snap peas, carrot broth and clams
Dry Aged Strip Loin spring onions, padron peppers, crispy hen of the woods
Roasted Quail green garlic sausage, apricots, spelt granola
Dessert highlights might include:
Blackberry curd cornmeal crumble and whipped sour cream
Dark Chocolate Cheesecake streusel crust, pistachio powder and cherry sauce
The space is beautiful and spacious right in the hub of all the action on Valencia Street, where a restaurant/bar/shop seems to open every day. The restaurant will be able to seat up to 100 guests with booths, banquettes, communal tables, bar seating and a chef’s counter. The Abbot’s Cellar is located at 742 Valencia Street and will be open Sunday-Thursday from 5:00-11:00 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.