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Ernest is the initially solo enterprise of Chef Brandon Rice, formerly of Abundant Table and Coi, and for anyone who’s acquainted with those eating places, it shouldn’t arrive as a surprise that a eating working experience below is heading to be not only unforgettable, but exclusive and charming. Though Ernest is celebrating just its to start with calendar year in organization in San Francisco’s vibrant Mission District, it straight away created waves in the city’s culinary entire world thanks to Chef Rice’s playful, eclectic tactic to elevated cuisine.
The menu is divided up in to 4 components: raw bar snacks salads and greens and meat & seafood. Every single section is manufactured up of dishes made to shock and delight the palate in techniques that you would not count on.
“Ernest’s menu attributes food stuff that I like to take in myself,” clarifies Chef Rice in response to what the inspiration is driving the menu at Ernest. “It’s an expression of what I appreciate about foodstuff with flavors of my upbringing, vacation, and performing around the globe. The food has assumed powering it. I want to existing flavors that are elevated, although nonetheless experience like the foods is approachable and everyday.”
A handful of illustrations on the at any time-switching menu is the Keluga Caviar Tater Tots, which is presented in two bowls: just one total of crispy tater tots and a single loaded with creme fraiche with chives, lemon zest and a nice dollop of caviar. One more stand out? The Sushi Rice which is a wonderful consider on beef tartare served with vibrant orange ikura (salmon caviar), sushi rice and nori to develop hand rolls with.
Other current menu highlights consist of the Uni Toast with jamon serrano and quail egg Mexican Shrimp Coctel with avocado and saltines Lo Mein Sea Urchin ‘Carbonara’ with Olivier’s bacon Pork Tomahawk Tonkatsu and the Duck Confit Fried Rice.
The menu delivers diners a real culinary journey that finishes with a choice of incredible, nostalgic desserts: the signature Ernest sundae with a vanilla hazelnut swirl, with hazelnut praline and a dwelling created milk chocolate Magic Shell the present-day shaved ice flavor, Strawberry Shortcake, with selfmade strawberry jam and topped off with a yellow cake crumble and whipped cream and last but not least a decadent basque cheesecake.
“We’re not a restaurant with boundaries – we’re cooking what we like and alter the menu usually. It is about presenting seasonal flavors. In California, we have the most effective develop in the earth, with seasons that are continuously transforming what’s readily available to us at the farmers markets. Our aim is to make dishes that are new and thrilling, however at ease.”
We chatted with Chef Brandon Rice on this past year in business menu highlights inspiration and a lot more. Here’s what he had to say!
How has your past experiences operating at areas that contain Wealthy Desk and Coi prepared you for your very first solo job, Ernest?
To me, a restaurant is a sum of all the spots you’ve ever worked. Absolutely everyone has their own cooking design and style, so every single kitchen area has a way of shaping you. I consider about Coi and how unbelievable Daniel Patterson’s palette was — he taught me how to season foods. Then with Prosperous Desk, I had the chance to really operate a kitchen area on my personal and prepare dinner my very own style of food.
Prior to these San Francisco ordeals, I used time in Boston with Ken Oringer. He seriously released me to the meals I nonetheless love, to this day. On the lookout back again, Ken’s kitchen is nevertheless 1 of the most interesting kitchens I’ve at any time been in.
Talk about what this initially 12 months in organization seemed like for you, did the pandemic affect organization?
Our initial calendar year in company was almost nothing like I ever anticipated, whilst also exceeding all anticipations. It is been extraordinary so much and I’m so grateful for the community and reception we’ve been given from attendees. We opened on March 17, 2021, in the middle of COVID.
Following SF town direction, we ended up only allowed to have out of doors eating with just space for about 40 seats. It was nothing at all like what I imagined opening doorways of my initial restaurant would be like – I could not even see the visitors from the kitchen area.
As restrictions had been eased, we were being capable to grow from only outside the house to 50% within, then 75%, then finally fully inside of. Honestly, I search back and realize that although it was extremely challenging to run out of doors-only dining, this more compact quantity of visitors assisted our workforce. It permitted all of us to relieve into the legitimate speed of the restaurant. I glimpse about our full dining space nowadays and I’m extremely happy of in which we are just a yr immediately after opening our doorways.
How would you categorize your delicacies? What do you hope visitors take away from a dining expertise here?
I would say ‘Modern California’ for the reason that it embodies all the things — the ideal make in the environment, seafood, astounding butchers. I like to play with flavors and generate dishes that are unexpectedly nostalgic but may well be wildly new for a guest, offering them an encounter that surprises nonetheless comforts them as a result of flavors all through the meal.
My hope with this is that our company occur, explore the menu and have a fantastic time. There is no greater experience than when individuals are generating reservations to come back again before they’ve even remaining.
Talk about menu highlights and what will get you energized at this time in the kitchen area.
The Beef Tartare was one of the initial dishes that I concepted when I was dreaming up Ernest. I loved the idea of taking part in with the common beef tartare and flavors of sushi rice – it is just one of my favourite factors to try to eat on my days off. I consider there’s each a newness and a familiarity to the dish that excites attendees.
Our Uni Toast has turn out to be a mainstay – it’s decadent, tender and textural. And we just extra Crab Rangoon Dip to the menu. It is been floating all over the again of my head for a although now, and I love how it embraces the freshness of summer stone fruit from a person of our beloved farms, Kashiwase Farms.
I get truly fired up by what cooking in the Bay Location offers, like all the lovely oysters from Hog Island and viewing the summer months make at the farm stands. We genuinely load up our sector carts this time of calendar year. Even a lot more, observing the crew all-around me expand with the cafe has been an unbelievable factor to direct and be a portion of.
We’ve made this everyday ritual in which just one of our kitchen crew associates will give a shorter pre-change speech to start out assistance. Looking at how this kitchen is coming alongside one another and inspiring every other, cheering every single other on each and every evening, is amazing.
The strawberry shortcake shaved ice is 1 of my most loved desserts at any time. How do you appear up with these seasonal flavors? How did you make this distinct creation?
I definitely love classic Americana desserts. Developing up, I ate strawberry shortcake in the summer and Ioved the Very good Humor Shortcake bars that you could purchase from the ice product truck. I assumed the shaved ice was a perfect chance to make anything playful and take you again to individuals flavors from your childhood.
We always function a shaved ice on the menu, updating the flavor seasonally and normally participating in on common desserts. We have experienced pleasurable with these recreating peach and apple pies a black sesame tiramisu pineapple upside-down cake and a vintage rainbow shaved ice. Currently being in California, we get stunning fruit 12 months out of the 12 months and strawberry season has a prolonged continue to be in the Bay Place, so we’re able to genuinely make this just one the star of summer months.
This identical nostalgia drove the imagining guiding the Ernest Sundae and cheesecake as very well. They’re elevated variations of the desserts I’ve cherished my entire lifestyle.
Do you also make the other desserts? The desserts ended up as equally a highlight as the savory dishes!
Yes, we do! Our cheesecakes are baked each and every early morning from scratch, and we also craft all of the sundae things in property. We make our individual comfortable serve base we toast the hazelnuts and prepare dinner sugar to a deep amber letting it established then mixing with hazelnut oil to make our have praline and crafting our individual ‘magic shell’ chocolate shell that we pour table-side. It is a exciting minute seeing company light-weight up as that chocolate is poured.