The open interior is rustic modern.
Davis and exec chef Antelmo Faria told SFoodie dinner service is slated to begin August 1 (you can currently score breakfast and lunch from the order-it-yourself counter, Mon.-Sat., 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.). They described the concept as comfort foods that hype Portuguese and "core Mediterranean" flavors (Spanish, Italian, North African). For the current menu, Faria -- previously of La Salette, the Portuguese café in Sonoma -- is drawing from the Portuguese food he grew up with: bacalhau á casa (salt cod hash), chicken with chile-laced piri-piri marinade. Future menus should emphasize other Med cuisines.
A roast pork panino ($10) layered ultra-thin slices of Niman loin slathered with harissa, the North African spice paste. Deliciously sweet-sour roasted tomatoes were the real stars of the sandwich -- those, and the floury, brittle-crust roll. The accompanying paprika-spiked potato salad? Meh. Still, you get the feeling Horatius has only taken its first baby steps -- we're eager to taste what Faria can pull out once the kitchen gets established. Not sure we'd ever do any food shopping here, though the wine bar should be a cool spot for after-work sipping. Especially if you want to mingle with designers from the nearby Design Center in love with spatial drama. And if Horatius has anything to offer, it's spatial drama.
|Roast pork panino with potato salad: Roasted tomatoes give it a lift.|