On Saturday, SOMA's Bergerac, right under the Audio Discotech on 11th Street at Folsom, opened a portal to past. At first glance, the warmly lit bar looks like an industrial-colonial fusion, contrasting a utilitarian steel trunk-made-table with worn leather armchairs and couches adorned with cowhide and fur. A closer inspection of the Far Eastern relics and antler-embellished mantle brings to imagination what Teddy Roosevelt's den would look like: an imperialist's haven.
The crafted cocktails run in the same theme: a juncture of conquest and yet-to-be-conquered. The Red Medicine, a Kalimotxo-style sangria and coke mix, is both sweet from soda and starkly bitter, with a kick of cinnamon. Dirty Work, a tequila and champagne based cocktail, coalesces two distinct liquors and boldly adds a hint of pineapple and cardamom. For the hunter, the Crochet Rouge: a French inspired rye whiskey based with an Indian twist of Vadouvan-infused liqueur, served in a gold-rimmed goblet worthy of the drinker.
And what's a drink without a bite? Chef Randy Lewis serves a pan-global menu, merging east and west. Highlights include the Bergerac Egg, a freezer-cured custardy yolk swathed in black pudding, with a fried breaded exterior, and the crispy boneless chicken wing, served on a skewer and festooned with a delicious blend of Vietnamese caramel, garlic, mint and cilantro leaves. Bar snacks are warm roasted almonds in rye whiskey barrel salt and Bagna càuda buttered popcorn, zested with herbs and shredded garlic.
Russell Davis' newest venture Bergerac may be just another trendy bar in S.F. But if a repetitive history has taught us anything, it's that we can't get enough.