Start with a cocktail—a flaming negroni or, soon, one of their barrel-aged concoctions—served up by a Bourbon & Branch vet. Then head into the main restaurant—a bright joint with turquoise tabletops, lime green walls and skylights with traffic light covers, producing a stained glass effect. Opt for a two-top by the window overlooking the park and order up a pork chop , a flat iron steak or... a grilled cheese. Nothing pairs with negronis like a grilled cheese.
"The Red Hook cocktail is expertly crafted and the Sea Bass is moist and delicate. Order a side of rapini and you won't be sorry."
Two chefs, Dane Boryta (formerly of Sens) and Matt Sullivan (from Blue Plate) are conspiring on this rather straightforward California-inspired menu with comfort food leanings. Dane's best friend, bartender Pete Gowdy comes from Bourbon & Branch, creating a list of classic cocktails it's safe to assume will be prepared with some level of skill.
Shepherding in a new era at this historic North Beach gathering place (affectionately known as the Washbag) is American bistro Bottle Cap, a breezy, walk-in-only affair offering a moderately priced, updated retro menu (served all day) and handcrafted classic cocktails in an adjacent lounge; the dark, nostalgia-crammed interior has been replaced by a sunny room outfitted with stenciled blue tables, vintage wallpaper and windows looking out onto nearby Washington Square Park...