May
15
2009

On the Town

Pussycat!

Pussycat!

GOOD EVENING THURSDAYS
Bruno’s
2389 Mission Street at 20th Street
415-643-5200
Reservations: goodeveningthursday@gmail.com

I couldn’t let much time go by without telling you about Good Evening Thursdays. Similar to a Mission St. Food scenario, this is a skilled team from various restaurant backgrounds creating a weekly changing menu in a unique space… but unlike other experimental meal “events”, this one has Rat Pack-chic with a touch of sassy sex appeal (read on!)

The short-but-sweet menu on debut night satisfied: Filet Mignon with bone marrow ($22), Oysters Rockefeller ($12), Chop Salad ($9), Burger & Fries ($15), even Prime Rib for two ($40), are served in Bruno’s intriguing upstairs room. If I had to name a stand-out, it probably was the tender, bleeding-rare filet with fine pairing of bone marrow and glazed carrots.

On their debut night, May 7th (reservations-only, thankfully, so no waits), I walked up the leopard-carpeted stairs for my 8:30 reservation (8pm until 2am – we’re big city folk now!) into a room that evoked Betty Page sexy and the spirit of a Parisian, speakeasy club.

Yes, she' watching you as you eat!

Yes, he's watching you!

A cheesy, creepy cat hangs over the proceedings, near a little bar, while “Pussycat” illumines the wall in giant ’60′s lettering, a little Bardot/Gainsbourg, a little Austin Powers. Despite campy touches, the intimate space, with corner nooks, maintains its class. That is, until you get to the gold pole in the middle of the room. I don’t want to make any assumptions about its purpose, but let’s just say if you sip too many martinis or want to show off for your date, it could be a little too tempting to make use of it.

With a delightful team of waiters in vintage suits, the ’60′s French aspect marries Sinatra/Martin/Davis/Bishop/Lawrence attitude.  I felt like I could be in a Vegas mobsters’ club or private restaurant in old New York with the other ‘swells’, sipping martinis and slurping oysters. A perfect excuse to dress up and put on your best heels (any excuse is a good one for me!)

Though I’d miss the exclusive fun upstairs, I look forward next time to staying downstairs in the bar where those sans reservation also get a Thursday night-only menu with options like Let’s Be Frank Hot Dogs on an Acme Bun ($9) with choice of beef chili & onions or kimchi relish & bacon mayo. If hot dogs aren’t your scene, how about Marin Sun Farms Pork Bahn Mi ($9) or Mary’s Chicken Wings ($9) with Blood Orange and chili sauce? You can stick with Kennebec Fries ($6) or Pork Rilettes ($7), too. It’s glorified bar food, to be sure.

An inviting table upstairs at Bruno's

An inviting corner table

It can’t be a secret for long, but being there on debut night, it sure felt like one. Albeit, the kind of “secret” where Alice Waters is at the table next to you (shhhh, you didn’t hear that from me…)

Chefs and partners include Chris Kronner of Serpentine and Slow Club, and Sam White of Chez Panisse and Open Restaurant, plus Christa Manolo of Beretta making cocktails. This crew is onto something unique, memorable and altogether one-of-a-kind. Good Evening Thursdays, indeed.

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