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Check Out Bartlett Hall, Now Open Downtown

By Virginia Miller
May 28, 2014
Photo by: Virginia Miller

Union Square has a new all-day gathering place: Bartlett Hall just opened on May 20 in a massive, wood-walled space inside the gorgeous building (circa 1914) at 242 O'Farrell Street. The room can accommodate 140 people, including a brewery in the back and a large bar behind the front lounge. 

Notably the executive chef is Eman Eng (née Emmanuel Eng), last seen at long-time Mission favorite Maverick, which closed due to a fire last year. Here, Eng reinvents Maverick classics like the butter burger and the fried chicken while crafting a menu of approachable, elevated tavern fare. Nine staff members from Maverick are on board here, making the whole operation feel a bit like Maverick Downtown, catering to locals and tourists with all-day menus and late night snacks that are served until 2 AM. Based on an early tasting, here are some standout bites and cocktails. Watch for house-brewed beer, coming soon. 242 O’Farrell St., 415-433-4332

  • Photo by: Virginia Miller

    Meaty, juicy, fantastic miso and maple glazed ribs ($12) are even better swiped through a layer of mild cauliflower Vermont curry, inspired by Japan's most popular curry brand.

  • Photo by: Virginia Miller

    Here's the view as you enter the spacious restaurant and face the bar.

  • Photo by: Virginia Miller

    Bar Manager Brandon Presbury came up with a list of great cocktails ($10 each), akin to those he created at former workplaces Locanda and Beretta. The drinks maintain a welcome balance of complexity, taste and approachable simplicity. Our initial favorite is the Emperor Norton cocktail, named for the legendary San Francisco character. It combines floral-earthy pisco with tart-sweet-spicy elements of lemon, lemon zest and strawberry-jalapeno syrup - all of it softened by a frothy layer of egg white.

  • Photo by: Virginia Miller

    Thank goodness the Maverick butter burger ($16) lives on here. The famed butter literally oozes with butter. Here at Bartlett, Eng takes it to the next level by dousing it in cheddar and stout rarebit, inspired by classic Welsh rarebit sauce. Crispy onions on top give it a bit of crunch, as does a side of Kennebec fries. Welcome back, Maverick burger.

  • Photo by: Virginia Miller

    Pop in for one of 15 beers on tap. Chris Wike curates a selection from the Bay Area, Germany and Belgium with house-brewed beers coming soon. There's also an array of wines focused on small California producers. Pair it all with bar snacks like creative squid ink brioche ($9) topped with wild king salmon roe, avocado yogurt mousse, everything bagel spices and dill. We also dig this simple, gratifying bowl of popcorn ($5) dusted with crushed kale (reminiscent of nori/seaweed sheets) and cheddar cheese powder.

     

  • Photo by: Virginia Miller

    Shredded, smoked ham imparts meaty goodness to this English pea soup ($10), which also gets Parmesan breadsticks for dipping. A 3-course business lunch ($23) comes with a choice of this soup or a mixed green salad, followed by a flatbread-style pizza and a house-baked chocolate chip cookie for the road.

  • Photo by: Virginia Miller

    The vivid, clean Sugar Daddy cocktail adds intrigue - in the form of absinthe - to the classic Daiquiri ingredients of white rum, lime and gum syrup.
     

  • Photo by: Virginia Miller

    Flatbreads ($15-20) are made with a crispy-thin semolina crust and come with fun toppings like spicy marinara, duck confit or the Carbonara flatbread ($18) pictured here with bacon, pecorino cheese and egg yolk.

  • Photo by: Virginia Miller

    The refreshing Big Alma cocktail is a welcome alternative to the Gin & Tonic. Gin, gently bitter Bonal aperitif, dry vermouth and orange bitters shine through soda water and lemon. It cleans the palate and goes down easy, working just as well with lunch as it does as a late afternoon aperitif.

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Places Mentioned

Bartlett Hall

American • Tenderloin

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
 
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