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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Michael Mina's Middle'Terranea Has a Yogurt-Based Cocktail!

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 11:45 AM

click to enlarge The Ashraf - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • The Ashraf

Michael Mina’s newest space, Middle'terranea, has a “concoction” called the Ashraf which consists of Dolin Dry vermouth Kina l’Aero d’Or, apricot, lemon, lime, and Greek yogurt that is definitely one of the cleverest ways to work around a no-hard-alcohol liquor license restriction.

click to enlarge PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane

click to enlarge PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
Having left the heavy wallpaper, gold mirrors and other bordello-like trimmings of the previous Café Claude intact, Middle’terranea is not quite a proper restaurant, but a test kitchen where Mina and his team (among them, Adam Sobel of RN74) will be monkeying around for the benefit of their many fans as a sort of in-house pop-up. The idea is to combine the cuisines of Israel, Turkey, Egypt, and Lebanon — inspired by none other than the Egyptian-born Mina’s own mother — with a family-style, California-modern approach to dining.

Expect hummus with fried cauliflower and crispy chicken skin; red snapper in an aromatic broth made with lentils, cumin, saffron, tomato, lemon verbena and other herbs; and char-grilled, harissa-marinated, whole-roasted chicken. Sobel told SF Weekly at the preview event that he intends to change the menu every two weeks, and is already working on the second iteration.

Middle’terreanea opens tomorrow (July 23), for dinner on Wednesday through Saturdays, although it’s already sold out through early August. The $45/person rate for the multi-course meal comes with an optional, $30 beverage pairing of beer, wine, mead, cider, or the Ashraf (the name of which, if you’re curious, refers to a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad; in other words, it’s Muslim nobility). All told, that’s a fairly affordable price for all this bounty and the thrill of getting to watch a top-caliber chef test ideas in real time.

Middle’terranea not the only punny name on the street, either. Further down, there’s a laundromat called Greenwich Clean Time. Not that Michael Mina is anything but adept at adding new establishments to his business, but this one will obviously fit right in.

Middle’Terranea, 2120 Greenwich.

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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