Ernest is the 1st solo venture of Chef Brandon Rice, formerly of Abundant Desk and Coi, and for any individual who’s acquainted with these restaurants, it should not appear as a surprise that a dining knowledge below is heading to be not only unforgettable, but unique and charming. Although Ernest is celebrating just its first calendar year in organization in San Francisco’s lively Mission District, it instantly made waves in the city’s culinary globe many thanks to Chef Rice’s playful, eclectic strategy to elevated delicacies.
The menu is divided up in to four sections: uncooked bar treats salads and greens and meat & seafood. Each section is manufactured up of dishes created to shock and delight the palate in ways that you would not count on.
“Ernest’s menu attributes food items that I like to eat myself,” points out Chef Rice in response to what the inspiration is driving the menu at Ernest. “It’s an expression of what I like about food with flavors of my upbringing, travel, and functioning all-around the environment. The foods has believed driving it. I want to current flavors that are elevated, although even now emotion like the foods is approachable and informal.”
A number of examples on the ever-altering menu is the Keluga Caviar Tater Tots, which is offered in two bowls: a single whole of crispy tater tots and a person crammed with creme fraiche with chives, lemon zest and a good dollop of caviar. Another stand out? The Sushi Rice which is a wonderful choose on beef tartare served with bright orange ikura (salmon caviar), sushi rice and nori to generate hand rolls with.
Other latest menu highlights contain 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 offers diners a real culinary journey that finishes with a collection of unbelievable, nostalgic desserts: the signature Ernest sundae with a vanilla hazelnut swirl, with hazelnut praline and a home created milk chocolate Magic Shell the present shaved ice flavor, Strawberry Shortcake, with do-it-yourself strawberry jam and topped off with a yellow cake crumble and whipped product and at last a decadent basque cheesecake.
“We’re not a restaurant with boundaries – we’re cooking what we like and alter the menu usually. It’s about presenting seasonal flavors. In California, we have the finest deliver in the earth, with seasons that are consistently shifting what’s available to us at the farmers marketplaces. Our goal is to develop dishes that are new and interesting, yet comfortable.”
We chatted with Chef Brandon Rice on this earlier yr in small business menu highlights inspiration and more. Here’s what he experienced to say!
How has your earlier encounters operating at spots that consist of Loaded Desk and Coi prepared you for your very first solo undertaking, Ernest?
To me, a restaurant is a sum of all the locations you have ever labored. Absolutely everyone has their very own cooking design and style, so each kitchen area has a way of shaping you. I think about Coi and how amazing Daniel Patterson’s palette was — he taught me how to period meals. Then with Abundant Table, I experienced the prospect to genuinely run a kitchen on my individual and cook dinner my have style of food stuff.
Before these San Francisco ordeals, I invested time in Boston with Ken Oringer. He genuinely launched me to the food I nonetheless really like, to this working day. Searching back again, Ken’s kitchen is still just one of the most interesting kitchens I have ever been in.
Discuss about what this 1st year in business appeared like for you, did the pandemic impact enterprise?
Our initially calendar year in small business was practically nothing like I ever envisioned, even though also exceeding all anticipations. It is been incredible so much and I’m so grateful for the group and reception we have received from visitors. We opened on March 17, 2021, in the middle of COVID.
Adhering to SF town advice, we ended up only permitted to have out of doors eating with just home for about 40 seats. It was absolutely nothing like what I imagined opening doors of my initial restaurant would be like – I couldn’t even see the visitors from the kitchen area.
As constraints were eased, we were ready to increase from only outside to 50% within, then 75%, then lastly thoroughly inside of. Actually, I appear back again and realize that though it was unbelievably hard to operate out of doors-only dining, this smaller sized quantity of attendees helped our workforce. It authorized all of us to ease into the true rate of the cafe. I look all-around our full eating place these days and I’m unbelievably very pleased of exactly where we are just a 12 months right after opening our doorways.
How would you categorize your delicacies? What do you hope visitors choose absent from a dining expertise here?
I would say ‘Modern California’ for the reason that it embodies everything — the very best make in the world, seafood, awesome butchers. I adore to perform with flavors and develop dishes that are unexpectedly nostalgic but might be wildly new for a visitor, giving them an practical experience that surprises nevertheless comforts them through flavors all through the meal.
My hope with this is that our friends come, explore the menu and have a excellent time. There is no greater experience than when people are generating reservations to arrive back again ahead of they’ve even remaining.
Converse about menu highlights and what receives you psyched currently in the kitchen area.
The Beef Tartare was a single of the 1st dishes that I concepted when I was dreaming up Ernest. I liked the plan of playing with the basic beef tartare and flavors of sushi rice – it’s one of my most loved items to take in on my days off. I imagine there is the two a newness and a familiarity to the dish that excites company.
Our Uni Toast has become a mainstay – it’s decadent, gentle and textural. And we just included Crab Rangoon Dip to the menu. It’s been floating all over the back again of my head for a whilst now, and I love how it embraces the freshness of summer season stone fruit from 1 of our most loved farms, Kashiwase Farms.
I get genuinely energized by what cooking in the Bay Spot gives, like all the lovely oysters from Hog Island and looking at the summer time develop at the farm stands. We really load up our industry carts this time of yr. Even much more, seeing the crew about me grow with the restaurant has been an outstanding thing to direct and be a section of.
We have established this everyday ritual wherever a single of our kitchen area staff customers will give a limited pre-change speech to begin assistance. Seeing how this kitchen area is coming together and inspiring every single other, cheering every single other on each individual night, is incredible.
The strawberry shortcake shaved ice is one particular of my favored desserts at any time. How do you come up with these seasonal flavors? How did you make this unique creation?
I genuinely appreciate common Americana desserts. Expanding up, I ate strawberry shortcake in the summer and Ioved the Great Humor Shortcake bars that you could purchase from the ice product truck. I assumed the shaved ice was a best possibility to build some thing playful and choose you back again to those people flavors from your childhood.
We generally characteristic a shaved ice on the menu, updating the taste seasonally and usually enjoying on traditional desserts. We’ve had exciting with these recreating peach and apple pies a black sesame tiramisu pineapple upside-down cake and a common rainbow shaved ice. Currently being in California, we get lovely fruit 12 months out of the 12 months and strawberry period has a prolonged continue to be in the Bay Space, so we’re able to truly make this a person the star of summer months.
This identical nostalgia drove the contemplating powering the Ernest Sundae and cheesecake as very well. They’re elevated variations of the desserts I have beloved my full life.
Do you also make the other desserts? The desserts had been as equally a spotlight as the savory dishes!
Sure, we do! Our cheesecakes are baked every single morning from scratch, and we also craft all of the sundae things in home. We make our have gentle serve base we toast the hazelnuts and cook sugar to a deep amber letting it established then mixing with hazelnut oil to make our individual praline and crafting our very own ‘magic shell’ chocolate shell that we pour desk-facet. It’s a entertaining minute seeing friends mild up as that chocolate is poured.