Jennifer Puccio, the chef of Park Tavern -- the subject of this week's full-length restaurant review -- cooked at Cortez, Ubuntu, and Ramblas before settling in at Marlowe almost two years ago. As I was gearing up for this week's review, I spoke to Puccio about her designs for the new restaurant.
SFoodie: How did you and Anna Weinberg end up in the old Moose's space?
Puccio: One of our partners at Marlowe, Dave Stanton, happened upon the space. I think one of his friends and business partners was involved when it held Joey and Eddie's. When the space became available, we loved it and the neighborhood.
In the restaurant you've found a number of ways [a photo, Ed's Negroni on the cocktail menu] to pay homage to Ed Moose. Were you conscious of his legacy when you were designing the restaurant? [Note for you youngsters: Moose was the owner of Moose's, which used to occupy the same space.]
Actually, when my husband and I moved out here from Boston, he was an assistant manager at Moose's, and I had the opportunity to meet [Ed]. Moose's was such an iconic restaurant, and had been around for so long. Ed Moose was such a part of San Francisco. It was our goal to try to bring the restaurant back to at least some sort of the glory that he had here.
The scale of Park Tavern is so much different from Marlowe. How has that changed what you're doing?
Mainly, the size of the menu. If I had to count, it's about double the size of Marlowe's menu, just because the size of the kitchens. We have a wood-fired oven here, room for six line cooks instead of just barely three, so it just allows us to do more production. Not being open for lunch also offers me a lot more freedom to play around.
What all are you doing with the new wood-fired oven?
Right now, we're baking the crisp to order in there, plus all of our wood-fired sides. We're going to start bringing in some half-pigs to roast and play around with more meats.
Where did you find that cast-iron pan with a roasting spike that you roast your poulet rouge in?
Actually, Staub makes them. I found one and just throught that they were amazing, so I brought a lot of them in. They're a great way to cook chicken. I don't brine it -- the marinade has quite a lot of salt in it, as well as chile peppers and garlic, and it sits on the birds for at least a day before they're roasted to order.
I didn't see that many people ordering the Marlowe burger. You relieved?
Definitely! [Laughs] I expected a flood of people coming in for the burger, but we don't sell that many. It's been quite nice.