"I'm standing in a construction zone, so let me talk to you from someplace quiet," said chef Scott Howard via cell phone. Howard and two business partners are experiencing restaurant birth pangs in Corte Madera for Brick & Bottle
, which they plan to launch May 31 in the former Izzy's Steakhouse at 55 Tamal Vista (at Chickasaw), near Book Passage
. It'll be lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, food with a Cal-cuisine seasonal focus, along with cocktails, local beers, and wine. A year ago, Howard was presiding over the launch of Five
in Berkeley's Hotel Shattuck (he remains consulting chef there). He made his name ― literally ― on his eponymous restaurant in San Francisco (it shuttered in 2008), and earlier at San Anselmo's Fork.
Howard sounded stoked. "I've got some new toys to play with," he said: a rotisserie and pizza oven, from which will emerge gratins and sides, roasted vegetables, and meat specials like prime rib, pork, and duck. "I haven't worked in a place with a pizza oven for probably 10 years," Howard said.
Brick & Bottle's opening date is said to be firm, though launches rarely stick to schedule. "In all likelihood, worst case scenario, we wouldn't miss it by a day or two. We'd have pre-opening parties for sure [on May 31]. I know how a lot of restaurant openings go, and they miss it by a month. We're not in that situation."